CLEVELAND — Apparently José Ramírez's right hand was just a little more banged up than we were led to believe.
Just one day after the Guardians were eliminated from the postseason by the New York Yankees, Ramírez's agent Rafa Nieves tells ESPN's Enrique Rojas the four-time All-Star will undergo surgery next month "to repair damage to his right hand." The procedure is expected to take place sometime between Nov. 4 and 6 in Cincinnati.
Ramírez's hand issues first reared their ugly head in June, when Cleveland's third baseman was forced to miss two straight games during a west-coast road trip with what was called a bruised right thumb. He returned and missed just three more contests during the season, and even participated in the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game in July.
But despite the issue never specifically being brought up again and Ramírez putting together another overall successful campaign (29 home runs, 126 RBIs, 6.0 bWAR), his numbers did drop off a bit following his initial return from that time off. While he had been on what looked like an MVP pace, he slash life dipped to .264/.329/.437 from June 21 onward, and he also hit just three homers during the final month of the regular season.
Even with Ramírez seemingly being limited, he still proved crucial down the stretch as the Guards won the American League Central Division title before making an improbable run to Game 5 of the AL Division Series, which they eventually lost to the Yanks. Ramírez was solid as ever in the playoffs, batting .333 with a game-winning home run in the wild-card opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, while also making some huge defensive plays.
On a happier note, if Guardians fans are wondering whether or not Ramírez will be able to help the team defend its AL Central crown, they need not worry: According to Nieves, J-Ram will be good to go for spring training in 2023.