Ramirez exits with cramped left hamstring

Shortstop, who never missed time for injury, plans to play Wednesday

Ramirez exits with cramped left hamstring

CHICAGO -- Don't blame the Padres for holding their collective breath when Alexei Ramirez was forced to leave Tuesday night's 8-7 loss to the Cubs with cramps in his left hamstring.

San Diego already has four infielders -- Cory Spangenberg, Yangervis Solarte, Alexi Amarista and Jemile Weeks -- on the disabled list with leg injuries and can ill afford to lose Ramirez, their starting shortstop.

For now, at least, it appears as though the Padres have avoided any major damage. Ramirez said after the game that he feels fine and expects to play on Wednesday. In his career -- the first eight seasons of which he spent with the White Sox -- he has never missed time due to injury.

"It was just a cramp. It happened to me once in Chicago, and luckily, it wasn't anything with the ligament, wasn't anything with the hamstring," Ramirez said. "I'm ready for tomorrow."

Ramirez was visibly upset after being removed from the game in the fifth inning following his RBI double, which plated Jose Pirela. He thought he could remain in the ballgame, but manager Andy Green wasn't taking any chances.

Ramirez's RBI double

"In that moment you're not quite sure [what the injury is]," Green said. "All of a sudden, someone smacks a single through the hole, and he's got to go second to home. [If] it was a strain, and he pops it -- we've just lost our shortstop for two months."

Ramirez immediately went to the trainer's room, where he regained full range of motion. After a few minutes out of the game, he fully understood Green's decision.

"Given the circumstances, given the other people with hamstring injuries, he was worried that that might be the case here," Ramirez said. "I get it, but luckily, I'll be good for tomorrow. It wasn't anything that we feared."

For the San Diego infield, that's the first good news on the injury front in quite some time. Solarte, Amarista and Weeks have all been out with hamstring injuries, while Spangenberg has missed three weeks with a strained left quad.

The Padres met recently in an attempt to diagnose the cause of their injury bug.

"We've had multiple meetings in the past week regarding the injuries we've had, and is there anything in the process that's wrong?" Green said. "Is there anything we need to do differently -- from hydration, to rest, to the way we're preparing for games?

"We ask those questions. A lot of these, you look at on an individual basis -- they've occurred in very unique situations. ... We've kind of looked at everything, and we're very introspective when it comes to things like that."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.