CLEVELAND -- The Indians examined the severity of a right wrist injury that forced José Ramírez to leave Saturday night’s 4-2 win over the Royals in the middle of his first-inning plate appearance and determined Sunday morning that he needed to be placed on the 10-day injured list with a fractured right hamate bone.
Ramirez will have surgery in New York on Monday and a timetable for his return will follow, according to a report by Zack Meisel of The Athletic. The Indians have not confirmed the report.
Ramirez, who doubled over in pain after foul-tipping a 2-0 fastball from Glenn Sparkman, had an MRI on the wrist, and the Indians had infield prospect Yu Chang pulled from Triple-A Columbus’ game. Chang was called up on Sunday to fill Ramirez's place on the active roster.
Hamate bone fractures can keep a hitter out for an extended period, though the recovery time can range from weeks to months. They can also be tough on power hitters, as it can take a while to regain strength in the injured wrist.
Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, for one, is recovering from surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. He last played on July 23 (after playing through discomfort for some time) and is expected to be out until at least mid-September.
There are plenty of other recent examples of hitters who have dealt with hamate fractures. Delino DeShields had the same surgery as Gallo last year and only missed three weeks, but Tim Tebow had his Minor League season end in late July when he broke his right hamate bone. Giancarlo Stanton missed the final three months of the 2015 season after fracturing the hamate bone in his left wrist on a swing in late June, while hitters like Nick Markakis (2012) and Troy Tulowitzki (2010) missed about six weeks with their hamate bone injuries.
Ramirez was seen discussing the injury with some teammates in the clubhouse, but he opted not to speak to reporters.
A hush fell over the capacity crowd at Progressive Field when it became clear that Ramirez was in serious pain. Ramirez’s second-half surge (.327/.363/.705) after a brutal first half (.218/.308/.344) has been a huge element in the Indians’ launching a legit American League Central race with the first-place Twins. Ramirez had 17 extra-base hits in August, entering Saturday, tied with Boston’s Rafael Devers for the most in MLB.
After getting checked out by head athletic trainer James Quinlan, Ramirez left the game with a 2-1 count and he was replaced by Mike Freeman, who drew a walk to complete the plate appearance, Freeman wound up driving in the game’s first run in his next at-bat.
In the 2017 season, Ramirez was hit by a pitch in mid-August and he dealt with a sore right wrist the rest of the way, missing three games in early September.
The 24-year-old Chang had a .254/.323/.429 slash in 67 games for the Clippers this season. He missed time with a sprained finger, but he made his Major League debut earlier this season when Ramirez was on the paternity list. Francona said pulling Chang from Saturday’s game in Columbus was a necessary precaution.
“We want to make sure that if we need to do something, something else doesn’t happen,” Francona said.