The only thing standing in the way of Hanley Ramirez playing in Game 3 of the 2013 NLCS is his own pain tolerance, reports Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. Ramirez suffered a rib injury in Game 1 of the series, and, although the Dodgers aren't releasing the results of the shortstop's CT scan, he is unlikely to make things worse by playing on Monday even if the diagnosis is a cracked rib.
Ramirez sustained the injury on Friday when he was hit by a Joe Kelly fastball in the opening game of the series. Although he played the rest of that 13-inning marathon, he was a last-minute scratch for Game 2 when he was not able to hit off a tee due to the pain. His condition did not improve on Sunday, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports.
The Dodgers can ill-afford to lose Ramirez from their lineup right now. The team has scored only two runs total through the first two games of their series against the St. Louis Cardinals, and they were shut out in Game 2 with Ramirez out of the lineup. The 29-year-old missed substantial time during the regular season due to injuries in his thumb and hamstring, but was the Dodgers best hitter when he did play. He batted .345/.402/.638 with 20 home runs in 86 games this season, and went 8-for-16 with six extra-base hits and six RBI in the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. Nick Punto started in his place in Game 2 against the Cardinals.
Update 4:14 pm: Manager Don Mattingly announced that Ramirez has been diagnosed with a fractured rib, and remains a game-time decision to play based on his own pain tolerance. The Dodgers specified that it was a hairline fracture, and Mattingly went on to say that playing with the injury would not be "dangerous" for his shortstop's health.