Ramirez left the Cubs' game against the Brewers in the third inning after sustaining the injury diving for a ball, and he now faces a trip to the disabled list and an unclear timetable for return. The 30-year-old third baseman, already hampered this season by a left calf injury, headed back to Chicago after the game for an MRI.
"He'll have an MRI done tomorrow, but he's definitely going to be DL'ed," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said after the team's heartbreaking 3-2 loss. "Period of time, we don't know.
"I've never seen anything quite like this," Piniella said, referring to his injury-laden ballclub. "Every day, it seems to be something different."
Ramirez made a diving play in the third to prevent Ryan Braun's grounder from trickling down the left-field line. He corralled the ball but instantly yanked off his glove and began writhing in pain.
It was an injury similar to one he incurred on Aug. 28, 2000, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, after which Ramirez missed the rest of the season. The likely timetable for return is four to six weeks, pending the results of the MRI.
"They say once you dislocate it, if you dive or something, it could happen again," Ramirez said. "But I've been playing for nine years. I dove 3,000 times maybe [since then], and I never felt anything. It's one of those things that's going to happen."
Despite appearing in just 18 of the team's first 29 games, Ramirez was still hitting .369 and reaching base at a .423 clip.
Aaron Miles entered the game at second base, and Mike Fontenot shifted to third base. The Cubs are already short-handed on the infield, with first baseman Derrek Lee missing a third consecutive start Friday because of a sore neck. The team traded for former Reds and Orioles utility man Ryan Freel before the game, and his importance to Chicago had already increased before his Saturday arrival.
"It seems like everybody," Ramirez said. "D-Lee's been out, myself, [Milton] Bradley, [Carlos] Zambrano ... I don't know. Something's strange, I guess. We aren't going to put the whole team together, yet. Hopefully I get back soon."
X-rays taken at Miller Park showed the shoulder had been returned to the socket without additional damage. Ramirez suffered a hyperextension of the same shoulder in 1998 before the subluxation -- meaning the shoulder popped back in by itself -- in 2000.
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.