When Miguel Tejada entered for the final four innings of the World Baseball Classic final Tuesday night at AT&T Park, it felt like manager Tony Pena was giving the Dominican baseball legend a proper goodbye.
Tejada has competed for the Dominincan Republic in each of the three WBCs dating back to 2006, and at 38 years of age, it's unlikely he will be back for the 2017 tournament. So nothing seemed unusual when he replaced Hanley Ramirez with his team in the lead.
[RECAP: Dominican Republic 3, Puerto Rico 0]
But a day after the D.R. held on to defeat Puerto Rico 3-0, a Fox Sports report indicates that Tejada was called upon because Ramirez, slated to be the Dodgers every-day shortstop this year, suffered a jammed right thumb.
Ramirez, 29, was set for an MRI when he rejoined the Dodgers' spring training camp Wednesday. Results of the test are expected on Thursday.
"Until the MRI, we're guessing," manager Don Mattingly told the Associated Press. "He could be feeling great, we don't know. We're concerned enough to get an MRI. He's coming out of a game, a pretty big game -- guys don't want to come out of those."
Ramirez reportedly injured himself diving for a ground ball in the third inning, and though he asked to remain in the game, Pena yanked him for "precautionary reasons."
Cameras caught Ramirez celebrating on the field after the game, raising the WBC trophy with a braced right hand.
Luis Cruz started at shortstop in the Dodgers spring training game Wednesday, and Mattingly said he is the first choice if Ramirez is forced to miss time. Cruz was slated to play third base, opening the door for hot corner competition that includes former Giant Juan Uribe.
The news won't register too much concern with his Dominican team, which already was crowned champion, but it can't be a pleasant bit of news for the Dodgers, who are already dealing with multiple injuries to highly paid players.
Ramirez, who hit .271 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 64 games for Los Angeles last season, joins Carl Crawford and Zack Greinke who are questionable for Opening Day, and superstar Matt Kemp is coming off October shoulder surgery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report