The Dodgers activated Manny Ramirez from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. He is expected to be in the starting lineup against Jhoulys Chacin and the Rockies later tonight. Ramirez has been sidelined since April 23 due to a strained left calf.
Ramirez, who turns 38 in May, was batting .415/.500/.659 with two homers and 12 RBI over his first 41 at-bats before going on the DL. Take heed of small sample sizes, but Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. finds that the Dodgers have scored 6.53 runs per game with Manny in the lineup this season, and 3.93 runs per game without him. And this is with his replacements (Xavier Paul, Reed Johnson and Garret Anderson) batting a combined .415/.500/.659.
Anytime you can bring a bat like Manny back to your lineup, it’s a very good thing, but the Dodgers biggest problem right now is their starting pitching. Entering play on Saturday, Dodgers starters have combined for a 4.86 ERA — 13th in the National League. They are second to last in the league with 76 walks over 151 1/3 innings. Manny can’t fix that.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.