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Tribe sits J-Ram, takes no chances on his health

Reyes relegated to bench role with Indians playing in National League park
@MandyBell02
September 27, 2019

WASHINGTON -- Despite needing to win on Friday night in order to guarantee that their playoff hopes live to see another day, the Tribe had to put the magnitude of the series opener against the Nationals aside in order to put José Ramírez's health first. Ramírez was activated off the

WASHINGTON -- Despite needing to win on Friday night in order to guarantee that their playoff hopes live to see another day, the Tribe had to put the magnitude of the series opener against the Nationals aside in order to put José Ramírez's health first.

Ramírez was activated off the injured list on Tuesday after undergoing surgery on his right hamate bone just over four weeks ago. Although manager Terry Francona had indicated that the hope was to keep his third baseman in the lineup for the team's final six games, Ramírez was kept out of Friday’s lineup with a sore right hand.

“He’s not hurt,” Francona said. “I don’t know if it was realistic to think he would go play the whole way out. Certainly, we would like to have him in there, but kind of fall back to what we say: You can’t just do the right thing when it’s convenient. You got to do the right thing for the players all the time.”

Ramirez returned with a bang on Tuesday, launching two homers against the White Sox before hitting another on Wednesday. But after an 0-for-3 night on Thursday in his third game off the IL, Ramírez experienced soreness in the hand, prompting Francona to give him Friday night off. Francona wasn’t sure if Ramírez would be available to pinch-hit, and it’s unknown if he will be back in the lineup on Saturday or Sunday.

Don’t expect to see Reyes in the outfield

Ending the season in a National League ballpark prompted the Indians to make a decision regarding their designated hitter, Franmil Reyes. Since being traded to Cleveland from San Diego at the end of July, the 24-year-old has made one seven-inning appearance in right field. Aside from that he’s been strictly used in the DH role. Because the Indians lose that extra hitter at Nationals Park, they decided to keep Reyes on the bench instead of working him into the outfield plans.

“If you think it through, he’s only played right field,” Francona said. “So you’d be asking your right fielder to move to a position he hasn’t played. You’d be putting a guy that hasn’t played in right field and you may be doing it with two at-bats, because if we had a lead, we’d take him out. This way we can get him an at-bat whenever we want, and we have what we think is our best defensive outfield out there.

“Don’t get me wrong, I wish he was playing. I don’t think moving two guys is probably worth it.”

This date in Indians history

Sept. 27, 1914: Nap Lajoie became the third hitter in Major League history to reach 3,000 hits, going 2-for-3 in a 5-3 win over the Yankees at League Park.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.