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Hanley Ramirez sprains shoulder in first inning against Rays

A bad couple weeks for the Red Sox may have just hit critical mass. Hanley Ramirez is down, and he might well be out.

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Hanley Ramirez suffered a sprained left shoulder after crashing into the left field wall trying to make a catch in the first inning of Monday night's game against the Rays.

Ramirez was going full-bore after a slicing fly ball off the bat of James Loney, colliding hard with his left wrist and shoulder and losing the ball from his glove in the process. He went down in obvious pain after getting the ball back into the infield, and left the game immediately after, with his left arm pinned to his body.

Honestly, a sprain is not the worst news. It's not good, obviously. This is a shoulder that has been twice operated on, and by definition a sprain means a torn ligament. What's worse, it's the sort of word that leads to so much more after further tests--an early catch-all that portends disaster.

But--and maybe this is just me--I'm just relieved to hear it's not the wrist. When Ramirez hit the wall, the idea that all would be fine and dandy seemed nearly impossible. The shoulder is bad news, especially when it's one that's had issues in the past. But it's also something Hanley has overcome before. Wrist injuries ruin players, and even when they don't they have a tendency to linger.

We don't know just yet how long Hanley is going to be down for. Weeks? Months? The whole season? But at the very least it's somewhat less concerning for 2016 and beyond.

Silver linings to dark, dark clouds.