For those in need of further evidence that Indians infielder Jose Ramirez is composed of superlative DNA, consider that, according to today’s report from Mandy Bell of MLB.com, the injured star may be back in the lineup for tomorrow’s game against the Phillies (link). Before Saturday’s game, Ramirez took live batting practice, which could represent the final step in his recovery.
Just two days ago, MLBTR relayed that Ramirez–who fractured a hamate bone in late August–may have been ready to return for next week’s series against the White Sox. That the 27-year-old would make it back even sooner than that is a testament to both his toughness and some impressively resilient bones. Though he hasn’t played at the halcyon level we saw from him in 2018, Ramirez has still graded out as an above-average regular to this point in 2019, with a .254/.325/.463 slash line, 20 homers, and 24 steals through 126 games.
Team prez Chris Antonetti also gave an update to Bell on the progress of ailing starter Corey Kluber, who long-tossed from 120 feet on Friday. In short, the club isn’t ruling out Kluber’s return this year–even if their playoff rotation remains unsettled in a heated race for the AL Wild Card.
“Yes, [Kluber] could fit in,” Antonetti told Bell. “I think how far [the season] goes obviously has an impact on that…I’d love for him to be pitching Game 7 of the World Series. That’s a good outcome for us.”
Kluber, 33, fractured his forearm on May 1 and suffered a strained left oblique in his comeback bid on Aug. 18. The former Cy Young winner has pitched to a 5.80 ERA (4.06 FIP) through 35.2 innings this year, with 9.59 K/9 and 3.79 BB/9 marks.