Aramis Ramirez to undergo MRI on sprained left knee

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UPDATE: Adam McCalvy reports that Ramirez is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his knee tomorrow. It sounds like he could be dealing with an extended absence.

9:46 PM: According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Ramirez has a sprained left knee. As mentioned below, he dealt with the same issue during spring training, so this isn’t good news for the Brewers.

9:42 PM: The Brewers were already without Ryan Braun tonight due to neck spasms, but now they have lost another one of their important bats.

According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Aramis Ramirez was forced to exit tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks after just four innings. The exact nature of the injury isn’t clear, but he came up limping after he unsuccessfully tried to stretch a single into a double. Yuniesky Betancourt replaced Ramirez in the lineup to play first base while Alex Gonzalez was forced to make his first career appearance at third base. Yikes.

It’s worth noting that Ramirez was limited during spring training due to a sprained left knee. The Brewers will have to hope he didn’t aggravate things, as they are running out of bodies.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.