The Cleveland Guardians had their season come to a close a few weeks ago when they lost Game 5 of their American League Division Series to the New York Yankees. Not even a full day later, word has surfaced that third baseman José Ramírez would need to undergo surgery on his right hand.
Wednesday morning, Ramírez had the procedure to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, the team announced. They even gave us photo evidence.
José Ramírez underwent right thumb surgery this morning at Dayton's Kettering Health to repair the ulnar collateral ligament injury suffered in June.— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) November 9, 2022
Procedure went as expected and he is slated to resume baseball activity in 6-8 weeks.#ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/zDfk9JpgK2
As noted above, there's a six-to-eight week recovery period here, which means Ramírez should easily be full strength come spring training and his 2023 season shouldn't be affected at all.
The Athletic's Zack Meisel, meanwhile, reported a few weeks ago that Ramírez elected to play through his injury because an in-season operation would've required him to miss substantive time. Meisel noted that Ramírez's numbers suffered after he sat out a few games and underwent an MRI in June. Here's the breakdown, again, as highlighted by Meisel:
- Before: .305/.397/.642
- After: .264/.329/.437
With the caveat that a lot of other factors could have played a part, it's probably fair to assume that Ramírez's production was impacted in a negative way by his hand injury. After all, hands are an important part of a batter's whole operation.
Ramírez appeared in all seven of the Guardians' postseason games, batting .333/.344/.500 with a home run, two doubles, and four runs batted in. He walked once and struck out seven times across 32 plate appearances.
Overall, Ramírez's surgery and rehab cap an eventful year. In addition to posting 6 Wins Above Replacement for a second consecutive season (according to Baseball Reference's calculations), he started off the spring by signing a new long-term deal with the Guardians: a seven-year pact worth $141 million. Ramírez's previous contract was in its final legs, and was set to expire after the 2023 campaign.