Can the Marlins win without Hanley Ramirez?
They might have to find out. Ramirez had a huge game Wednesday night, belting two home runs in his first two at-bats against the Astros, but he left the game in the fifth inning with a lleft shoulder strain, and was listed as day-to-day, but the Marlins can only hope their best player returns this season. Ramirez appeared to hurt his shoulder when he struck out in his third at-bat.
The Marlins have 11 games left after tonight, and they still believe they have a chance to reach the playoffs, but that slim chance – and it is incredibly slim – looks even slimmer without Ramirez.
Ramirez was replaced in the lineup by Cameron Maybin, who played center field. Center fielder Alfredo Amezaga took over for Ramirez at shortstop. It was Maybin’s first appearance as Marlin. He promptly singled up the middle in his first at-bat as a Marlin.
Then Maybin made a running catch in deep center on Hunter Pence’s sixth-inning drive. The Marlins haven’t seen anyone run like that in center field since Juan Pierre left.
Maybin would be the logical choice to replace Ramirez as the leadoff hitter with Amezaga taking over at shortstop and hitting at the bottom of the order. Ramirez, who has 32 homers and 33 stolen bases, was leading the majors in runs scored with 119 and he was leading the Marlins in hitting (.294), hits (168), walks (90), and stolen bases -- and he was tied with Mike Jacobs for the lead in home runs.