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.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.