Fredi Gonzalez benched Hanley Ramirez last night and the Marlins won thanks in part to two RBIs from his replacement, but the manager said during a radio interview this morning that he “would be really surprised” if Ramirez isn’t back in the lineup tonight against the Cardinals.
It’s going to get resolved one way or the other today. I would be really surprised if he’s not in the lineup today. We’ll take care of it and he’ll be in the three hole and playing shortstop.
However, he said “not yet” when asked if Ramirez has followed through on Gonzalez’s demand that he apologize to the team.
I expect him to do it. I expect him to do the right thing, but I think he needs to address his teammates a little bit. When that happens, we are good to go.
Reading between the lines, that sure sounds like Gonzalez is still sticking with his demand that Ramirez apologize before playing again and is simply assuming the All-Star shortstop will comply by tonight’s game (and applying some subtle pressure in the process). Based on Ramirez’s actions so far that seems like a leap of faith, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.
Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.
Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.
Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.
Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:
Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.
Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.