FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Hanley Ramirez will miss the World Baseball Classic due to lingering soreness in his right shoulder that has prevented him from throwing thus far in Spring Training. The good news is that the injury shouldn't have an impact on his big bat, which the Red Sox
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Hanley Ramirez will miss the World Baseball Classic due to lingering soreness in his right shoulder that has prevented him from throwing thus far in Spring Training. The good news is that the injury shouldn't have an impact on his big bat, which the Red Sox are counting heavily on this season.
Ramirez belted a three-run homer as part of a five-RBI performance in Thursday's 19-2 victory over the Rays.
"I always look healthy hitting," Ramirez said. "Just when I throw the ball, that's the only problem."
The Red Sox's medical staff hasn't cleared Ramirez to throw yet. He has been limited to DH in Grapefruit League games, but that will be his primary position anyway this season.
"We did speak to the Dominican team for the [World Baseball Classic] regarding Hanley," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "The most succinct way I can say it is they're looking to replace Hanley on their roster. He still needs rehab with his shoulder. The throwing program will continue to progress as tolerated, so as of now, Hanley will not be joining Team Dominican, with their intent to replace him."
Shortstop Jean Segura of the Mariners was named to replace Ramirez.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
At this point, the injury isn't a big concern for the Red Sox because Ramirez's primary position this season will be designated hitter, and he's been able to perform in that role during Spring Training.
The Red Sox would have been fine with Ramirez joining the Dominican Republic in Miami on the scheduled reporting date of Friday if they could continue to monitor him. But Dominican Republic general manager Moises Alou wasn't comfortable with the uncertainty surrounding Ramirez, and the fact he wouldn't be able to play defense.
"We told Moises it would be fine if he just went there. It's only Miami. He could get treatment, go play the game, come back. Hanley would be willing to do that, because he can DH, he'd only DH for the team," Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. "However, Moises felt at this point, he'd rather have someone committed, part of their workouts beforehand, their team activities, and we're not ready to let him just go join the club and go away like that."
Though Ramirez takes great pride in playing for his country and was part of the Dominican squad that won the 2013 World Baseball Classic, he was on board to give up his spot on the roster.
"He has physical needs and feels the best way to allow him to be ready for the start of our season is to be in here with us," said Farrell.
Ramirez sustained a thumb injury during the 2013 World Baseball Classic that required surgery. The Dominican Republic is scheduled to open Pool C play on March 9 against Canada in Miami.
"Definitely [disappointed]," Ramirez said. "I want to go to represent my country. But the main key is to get healthy and to get ready for the season. I've been getting a lot of treatment, and we're moving forward."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.