Looking at Jose Ramirez‘s end-of-the-season numbers in 2022, you will see more of the same performance that made him an all-around star a few years ago.
The Cleveland Guardians star slashed .280/.355/.514 with 29 home runs, 126 RBI, 91 runs, 20 stolen bases, and 6.2 Wins Above Replacement (WAR).
A closer look, however, allows us to learn that he had a .944 OPS before the break and a .778 mark in the second half.
The explanation behind the big difference in performance is that Ramirez was playing hurt.
He has had a torn UCL in his right thumb since June but opted against surgery at the time.
Ramirez Was Playing With A Torn UCL In His Thumb Since June
Nobody knows where the Guardians would have gone without Ramirez for an extended period of time, but we do know that he was instrumental in their playoff run even though he wasn’t 100 percent healthy.
Now that the Guards’ season is over, Ramirez went under the knife.
“Cleveland #Guardians All-Star 3B Jose Ramirez underwent right thumb surgery today to repair the ulnar collateral ligament, an injury he suffered back in June. He’s expected to begin baseball workouts by January and be ready for spring training,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted.
Cleveland #Guardians All-Star 3B Jose Ramirez underwent right thumb surgery today to repair the ulnar collateral ligament, an injury he suffered back in June. He's expected to begin baseball workouts by January and be ready for spring training.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 9, 2022
Ramirez will go into spring training with no limitations because of his thumb.
Now that he will be closer to full health, it’s fun to think about his offensive upside.
He has put together some really impressive seasons in a Guardians uniform but has never won the MVP award.
Could that be in store for him in 2023?
Only time will tell: for now, he is expected to lead Cleveland back to the playoffs in what will be a tougher AL Central division.