Red Sox hope Ramirez can play vs. Dodgers

Red Sox hope Ramirez can play vs. Dodgers

SEATTLE -- Hanley Ramirez no longer had a bandage on his ailing left wrist on Thursday, and the Red Sox are hopeful he can return to the lineup for the start of a three-game series against the Dodgers on Friday.

"He has increased almost to full range [of motion]," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's going to swing in the cage here today to continue to build some strength and test it out. Optimistically, hopefully he'll be available for the weekend when we get to LA against the Dodgers."

Ramirez injured his wrist falling down some steps in the dugout after Tuesday's game, but an MRI revealed no structural damage.

The plan was for David Ortiz to not start any of the three games against the Dodgers, when the Red Sox won't have the designated hitter. But Farrell left open the possibility that could change if Ramirez can't go.

The Dodgers will start lefties on Friday (Scott Kazmir) and Sunday (Rich Hill), so if Ortiz did make a start, it would likely be Saturday.

Ortiz hasn't played any defense this season, as the Red Sox try to protect his troublesome heels.

"I don't want to rule it out," said Farrell. "But there's a risk-reward factor that we would have to factor in heavily. No final determination has been made."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.