Manny Ramirez played his second game at Triple-A last night, going 0-for-1 with a walk before exiting after four innings in what ended up being a rain-soaked 15-inning marathon.
Ramirez walked on four pitches to lead off the game and then grounded
out to shortstop in his second plate appearance, making him 0-for-3
with a walk through two games with Albuquerque.
He’s scheduled to play seven innings there today before moving on to
Single-A Inland Empire, where he’ll play as many as four more games
leading up to his July 3 return from suspension.
“I’m getting ready to play the game physically and mentally,”
Ramirez said. “The first thing is getting my legs ready to play. I have
to get used to the speed of games. I didn’t play for a long time.”
So far Ramirez has missed 43 of a scheduled 50 games, with the
Dodgers going 26-17 (.605) in his absence while extending their lead in
the NL West from 6.5 games to 7.5 games. You know, just like we predicted.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.