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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Hanley Ramirez says he'll play Friday

By Mark Saxon

SAN FRANCISCO – Hanley Ramirez was not in Thursday’s lineup. The swelling in his left hand where he was hit by a Ryan Vogelsong fastball had subsided after frequent icing, but not sufficiently for Ramirez to grip a bat pain-free.

That doesn’t mean Ramirez will miss this weekend’s series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, however.

“I’m not going to try. I’m going to be in there,” Ramirez said Thursday morning. “I’m going to be in there tomorrow.”

The issue of protecting Ramirez arose in Don Mattingly’s pregame discussion with reporters. Ramirez was hit in the ribs by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly in the first inning of Game 1 of the National League Championship last season, rendering him largely ineffective the rest of the series.

At the time, Ramirez said he did not think Kelly was throwing at him on purpose. He also didn’t think Vogelsong was intentionally targeting him.

“I get protection. Everyone in here has got my back,” Ramirez said. “Everyone knows it wasn’t on purpose.”

Mattingly wouldn’t elaborate on the team’s feelings about Vogelsong’s pitch much other than to say, “We’ll protect our guys. It’s the same thing with us. If we need to pitch a guy inside and it happens to hit a guy, that’s just part of the game. We’ll be trying to pitch inside like they would do.”