We cautioned Chicago Cubs fans not to pin their hopes on the return of injured third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and Ramirez was quick to agree before he actually came back from a dislocated shoulder.
After watching him play a few games, it’s pretty clear that he’s still hurting. I’m glad that he’s willing to play through it, but I hope he doesn’t do himself long-term harm. For now, he simply wants us all to know that the power isn’t going to be there.
”I can’t go to the plate and try to hit a home run because that ain’t going to happen,” Ramirez said recently to the Sun-Times. ”If I try to hit it, I won’t hit it. In BP maybe I would, but in the game, if I try to hit it, I won’t hit it. I’ve got to get my pitch and concentrate and do what I’ve got to do to drive the ball.”
It’s not that home runs are impossible for him now, it’s just that he isn’t physically able to try to him homers.
”If I get my pitch and put a good swing on it,” Ramirez continued, ”it’s going to go. But I won’t be looking to hit homers. I’ve got to get back first. I’ve got to get my stroke back and see pitches. I’ve got only 24 at-bats since I came back. I didn’t play for two months, so it takes awhile.”
If this is going to be the case for the rest of the year, one wonders whether Ramirez is best placed in a run-producing spot in the lineup.
But even more frightening than the lack of power is the general hurt. It’s clear when you watch Ramirez swing, and he has now confirmed it.
”I won’t be at full strength this year,” Ramirez says. ”I’d have to take another month or so, month and a half, but that ain’t going to happen. I’m good enough to play, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
”I thought [how I felt] was going to be better,” he says. ”To be honest with you, I thought it was going to be a lot better. I played three games of rehab and felt great. Then I started playing every day, and that’s a lot of swings, a lot of stuff, a lot of games. I’ve just got to battle through it now. It’s good enough to play. I won’t do anything stupid, but if I’m good enough to play, I’m going to play.”