Hanley Ramirez in Dodgers' lineup
DENVER, Colo. -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly saw enough pop in Hanley Ramirez's step to keep him off the disabled list and give him the start in Thursday night's 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.
Ramirez, who was 0-for-2 with two walks, has nursed a sore shoulder and a painful calf in the last few weeks, but Mattingly eventually decided not give his ailing shortstop an extended All-Star break.
The Dodgers skipper, who called Thursday the "drop-dead date" to make a decision on whether to put Ramirez on the DL earlier in the week, said the player's ability to run at 100 percent proved to be the deciding factor.
"He had to come out here and pretty much run at 100 percent," Mattingly said a couple hours before the surging Dodgers opened a four-game set with the slumping Rockies. "I think that was the biggest deal, is he going to be able to run at 100 percent."
It was Ramirez's second start in the team's last 11 games.
Ramirez, who spoke to media before the game, said he was glad to stay off the DL after becoming a frequent visitor there in 2013.
"I haven't gone on the DL yet (this season), knock on wood," said Ramirez, who played in only 86 games last year after multiple DL stints. "I went on it twice last year, so -- I'm one of those guys who believes everything happens for a reason."
When asked if he felt he could stay healthy and return to those 2013 numbers going forward, Ramirez side-stepped the question and chose to focus on his team's recent success instead.
"Everybody [is important]. We aren't playing tennis," said Ramirez, who is batting .269 in 77 games after hitting .345 a year ago. "There are 25 guys, not just me."
Mattingly said he will play Ramirez easy until the All-Star break, saying they'll evaluate him "day to day."