Ramirez to miss start of the season

The Los Angeles Dodgers wanted Hanley Ramirez to be their Opening Day shortstop. That is not going to happen, because of an injury he suffered during the World Baseball Classic.

Ramirez will have surgery on his right thumb Friday and will miss about two months, the Dodgers announced Thursday.

"The MRI on Hanley Ramirez’s right thumb indicates that the ligament that stabilizes the thumb was torn," the team’s statement said. "… Dr. Steve Shin, a sports medicine hand specialist at Kerlan Jobe, will perform the surgery. Hanley will have the thumb immobilized for three weeks and is expected to return to competition in approximately eight weeks."

The Dodgers likely will move Luis Cruz from third base to short during Ramirez’s absence, though Justin Sellers and Dee Gordon are possibilities at short. Juan Uribe, Nick Punto and Jerry Hairston Jr. are candidates to play third.

Ramirez suffered the injury while diving for a ground ball at third base while playing for the Dominican Republic against Puerto Rico in the championship game of the WBC.

Mets third baseman David Wright was another star player who was hurt during the WBC, suffering a rib-cage injury. Wright, however, is expected to be back Opening Day, or close to it.

The injuries to Ramirez and Wright are virtually certain to reignite the debate over the wisdom of teams allowing their players to participate in the WBC.