Believe it or not, Manny's Return represents an opportunity for the Rockies

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The conventional wisdom went that anyone who had any plans of catching
up with the Dodgers in the NL West should have made their move while
Manny Ramirez was on suspension. Troy Renck of the Denver Post thinks that wisdom gets it exactly backwards:

Manny Ramirez returns Friday. That’s when the Rockies need to make
up ground. I know it doesn’t make any sense that the Dodgers will be
worse with their best player back. But hear me out. Ramirez isn’t
returning after missing a few days with a strained hamstring or sore
knee. He will have missed 50 games for cheating — a lengthy,
humiliating absence that’s foreign to him. When Ramirez rejoins the
lineup Friday, it might as well be March 1. That’s how far he will be
behind.

“It’s not like he’s going to hit five home runs in the first 10
games,” Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa said. “It’s going to take
him a few weeks to get going.”

I can see the logic there, and it’s made even clearer by the schedule,
which has the Rockies facing the Diamondbacks, Nats, and Braves — who
Renck sadly but accurately calls “mediocre” — facing Colorado in the
first ten days post-Manny.

Granted, any talk of a post-Manny return Rockies run would be
meaningless if it wasn’t for the fact that the Rockies made a hell of a
run while Manny was gone,
but the point remains a good one: whether the NL West becomes a real
race as opposed to a Giants-Rockies wild card sprint may very well be
decided as Manny Ramirez clears his throat over the next two weeks.

Report: Teams have inquired with the Angels about Hector Santiago

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 20:  Hector Santiago #53 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 20, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.

Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.

Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.

We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.

Prince Fielder will undergo season-ending neck surgery this week

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 10: Prince Fielder #84 takes a swing during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won the game 7-5. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.

Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.

Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.