Even with the Marlins up 5-0 in the top of the fifth inning on Saturday night, no lead feels safe against the mighty Rays. Left fielder Harold Ramirez smelled a possible infield hit when he chopped the ball to the left side of the infield, so he busted it down the line at max effort.
His body failed him.
(Extended video available here)
Ramirez, consoled by teammates, laid on the ground near the first base bag for nearly six minutes until a cart arrived to drive him off the field. The worst possible early birthday present on the eve of his 26th.
Matt Joyce replaced him in left field for the remainder of the game.
The Marlins say it’s a left hamstring strain. Though that is “better” news than initially feared, the visible pain on Ramirez’s face and his inability to bear weight on the leg would suggest the severity of the strain will require a lengthy rest period.
This was the first major league game for Harold in six weeks—he had been on the COVID-19 related injured list, and allegedly performed well at the alternate training site in Jupiter prior to being reinstated. He made an instant impact by grounding a run-scoring single up the middle against former AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell in the plate appearance prior to suffering this seemingly severe injury.
Since debuting for the Fish in early 2019, Ramirez owns a .273/.311/.411 slash line and 91 wRC+ in 454 plate appearances.
The Marlins face an ongoing 40-man roster crunch as players come back from COVID-19. Right-hander José Ureña is expected to be the latest to rejoin the squad during the upcoming series against the Braves. Ramirez is all but certain to land on the 60-day injured list, removing him from the 40-man for the rest of the 2020 regular season.