Hanley Ramirez hopes to return by the end of April

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Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez has been sidelined since mid-March after tearing a ligament in his right thumb sliding in a World Baseball Classic game for the Dominican Republic. He had an encouraging batting practice session prior to tonight’s game in Baltimore, displaying some impressive power according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wants Ramirez to go on a rehab assignment before returning to the Dodgers’ lineup, however.

“Stan [Conte, medical director] said we’ve got to get off the trip first,” Mattingly said. “[It is] at least a week before a rehab assignment. You want him to play at least a game or two. He hasn’t played a [Major League] game in six months. He needs to get out and prove himself.”

The Dodgers are giving away a Ramirez bobblehead on April 30 and the shortstop wants to be off the disabled list in time for that, tweets Dylan Hernandez.

Todd Helton cited for DUI following a crash

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Former All-Star first baseman Todd Helton has been charged with driving under the influence after a single-car accident in Knoxville, Tennessee.

According to the sheriff’s report, Helton’s car struck a telephone pole just before 6PM on March 18. He was not seriously injured, but was taken to the hospital for observation. Helton told deputies that he had taken an Ambien a few hours earlier. There was a cup in Helton’s car that “had the odor of an alcoholic beverage.”

Helton’s lawyer says that Helton has entered a treatment program. This was his second DUI arrest in the past six years. He was arrested in Colorado in 2013 while on the disabled list during his final season playing for the Colorado Rockies. He retired that year.

Helton, a five-time All-Star, played for the Rockies from 1997 through 2013, winning three Gold Gloves and collecting 2,519 hits and 369 homers. In 2000 he led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, RBI, doubles, total bases and hits.