Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday on his right thumb and is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks, leaving Los Angeles to look for alternatives at shortstop until he’s ready to play.
An MRI indicated that Ramirez has a torn ligament in his thumb, the team said Thursday. Dr. Steve Shin, a sports-medicine hand specialist, is scheduled to perform the surgery in Los Angeles.
Ramirez was injured Tuesday night while playing for the Dominican Republic in its victory over Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic championship game in San Francisco.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Ramirez could start rehab in about three weeks.
Colletti ruled out an immediate trade to address the temporary loss of Ramirez.
‘‘Not as of now,’’ Colletti said. ‘‘If it was all year long, we’d think about it differently. We’ve got some depth.’’
Dee Gordon and Luis Cruz appear to be the leading candidates to be the Opening Day shortstop.
If Cruz moves to shortstop from third base and Gordon goes to Triple A Albuquerque, the possibilities at third appear to be Juan Uribe, Nick Punto, and Jerry Hairston.
At the start of spring training, manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez at shortstop was a key.
Despite the injury to Ramirez, Mattingly said the WBC “was great for the game.’’
Jeter: No ‘setback’
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said shortstop Derek Jeter will play only in minor league games for the rest of spring training. The move could cut short how much time Jeter would miss if he starts the season on the 15-day disabled list. By not playing in major league exhibitions, the Yankees could backdate Jeter’s start time on the DL if that’s necessary.
Jeter missed his third straight exhibition game Thursday because of inflammation in his surgically repaired left ankle. The 38-year-old captain received an anti-inflammatory injection on Wednesday.
‘‘I wouldn’t call it a setback,’’ Jeter said. ‘‘We’re not talking about my ankle right now. We’re talking about normal soreness that comes after you have surgery. So, I'm not concerned at all about my ankle.’’
Cashman hasn’t ruled out Jeter missing the Yankees’ regular season opener April 1 at home against the Red Sox. The GM said he didn’t know when Jeter will resume baseball activities.
Jeter continues to target April 1 as his goal.
‘‘Nothing has changed from my point of view,’’ Jeter said.
Yankees righthander Phil Hughes, diagnosed with a bulging disk in his upper back early in spring training, is scheduled to pitch for the first time on Friday in a minor league game.
The Yankees lost, 6-1, to Minnesota Thursday night in Tampa. Robinson Cano rejoined the team from the WBC and got New York’s only hit.
For starters . . .
Tim Hudson was picked to start on Opening Day for the Braves, manager Fredi Gonzalez announced. Later in the day, Hudson tossed six scoreless innings and Justin Upton hit a towering homer to lead the Braves over the Nationals, 4-3, in Kissimmee, Fla. . . . Jose Bautista hit his fifth home run of the spring, a long solo shot that helped Toronto beat Tampa Bay, 3-1, in Port Charlotte, Fla. Roberto Hernandez, who is competing for the Rays’ fifth spot in the rotation, pitched six sharp innings, allowing one run and three hits . . . In Port St. Lucie, Fla., David Freese homered in his first game in a week and the Cardinals beat the Mets, 3-2. Freese had been out since March 14 with back stiffness after a hard fall while chasing a foul ball . . . In Goodyear, Ariz., Derek Norris homered as Oakland roughed up Johnny Cueto and beat Cincinnati, 10-9. Cueto allowed five runs on five hits and two walks in 1⅔ innings. Mark Prior, trying to make another comeback, pitched a scoreless inning for the Reds . . . Tigers ace Justin Verlander gave up three home runs and Houston beat Detroit, 7-2, in Lakeland, Fla.