This can’t come as much of a surprise, given that he’s missed a number of games this year with various strains and aches, including a bone bruise in his thumb, but Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez is now making clear that he hasn’t been healthy this year. He hopes – as we do – that it explains his poor performance at the plate.

”I’m not going to say specifically what it was, but I wasn’t healthy,” said Ramirez, who eventually went on the disabled list in June after battling a badly bruised thumb for several weeks.

”Not only the thumb, just injuries in general. I wasn’t healthy, put it that way. It’s tough enough to play when you’re healthy.”

Ramirez also was sidelined a few days last month because of a rib-cage injury and earlier this month missed time because of a quadriceps injury.

It’s one of the reasons he’s optimistic about his chances for rebounding with a big season next year and helping return some firepower to a lineup that likely will open the season younger, if not cheaper, than this year’s.

”I missed like 40 games this year so far,” he said. ”Hopefully, I get back to what I did [in past All-Star seasons] and just stay healthy.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

The twin black holes in the 3 and 4 spots in the lineup earlier this year did as much to doom the 2010 Cubs as anything else, so a return to productivity for Ramirez would go a long way to getting the 2011 Cubs on track.



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