Hanley Ramirez expected to be out for 8 weeks

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to undergo surgery

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 stat

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.

It looked as though Gordon was headed to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Gordon, who appeared in 87 games last season, was the Dodgers’

starting shortstop last season until he underwent surgery on July 6

for a similar injury to his right thumb.

Cruz, a former shortstop, has been playing third base during the

spring. He was projected to be at third for the opener against the

San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.

If Cruz moves to shortstop and Gordon goes to Albuquerque, the

possibilities at third appear to be Juan Uribe, Nick Punto and

Jerry Hairston.

”Right now, I have no idea what happens at shortstop,” said

manager Don Mattingly, who got the news before the Dodgers boarded

a bus for Tucson and a game against the Chicago Cubs. ”At this

point, everything is hypothetical. I don’t know if I’m comfortable

with anything going on at shortstop right now.”

At the start of spring training, Mattingly said Ramirez at

shortstop was a key. He was at third base when the Dodgers obtained

him on July 25 from the Miami Marlins. About three weeks after he

joined the Dodgers, he moved to shortstop, his original

position.

Despite the injury to Ramirez, Mattingly said the WBC ”was

great for the game.”

”You’ve got to go back to what the WBC is all about. Just

because one of our guys gets hurt, doesn’t change that,” he said.

”The tournament, to me, was great, totally cool.”