R.I.P. Marlins: Uggla says Ramirez doesn't care

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ramirez_hanley_090902.jpgWell it was a nice run while it lasted, Marlins fans.

As the Fish continue to slide in the standings — five back in NL wild-card race, 9 1/2 behind the Phillies — the level of frustration is on the rise, witness what happened in the clubhouse today: (via AP)

A frustrated and injured Hanley Ramirez said Wednesday that he “got some people upset” for leaving the game early the night before with an injury, then teammate Dan Uggla openly argued with the NL batting leader in the clubhouse.

Uggla accused Ramirez for a lack of desire and effort to win. He also said Ramirez wasn’t caring because he’s already secured a $70 million, six-year contract.

Ramirez has played with a tight hamstring for most of the season, and has still managed to put up an NL-best .355 average to go with 19 home runs, 85 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. But on Wednesday he said it was more than just his hamstring, but also his calf that was bothering him.

He makes $5.5 million this season, just $150,000 more than Uggla. But Uggla is on a one-year deal and not eligible for free agency until 2012, so there could be some lingering jealousy over money that boiled to the forefront during the Marlins’ recent struggles.

Either way, it doesn’t bode well for the Marlins’ playoff hopes that their best player is not only battling injuries, but potentially unhappy and lacking respect in some corners of his own clubhouse. When asked if he thought the reaction to his injury was unfair, Ramirez told the Palm Beach Post:

“Yeah but it’s OK. It hurt my feelings.”

As if chasing the Giants, Rockies, and Braves wasn’t difficult enough.

******

If you Twitter, and have hurt feelings, follow me at @Bharks.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.