Doug Melvin says that Ken Macha isn't going anywhere

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Ken Macha headshot.jpgI’ve taken a few shots at Ken Macha in the past couple of days, mostly because teams that (a) are expected to contend; (b) lose nine games in a row; and (c) have an able and experienced bench coach like Willie Randolph hanging around tend to fire their managers.

But that’s not the case says Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin:

“I don’t see any reason. I
see reasons to work together and try to get some wins . . .Everybody wants to fire everybody, but I talk to Mark everyday and Ken
every day. You go about and do your business, and all
you’ve got to do is continue to work hard.”

I’m not going to call that a dreaded vote of confidence because of the “I don’t see any reason” line. That could later make Melvin’s judgment look poor in the event Macha is fired.  A true dreaded vote of confidence would be more passively-stated, in which Macha’s good qualities were listed, the situation generally but vaguely addressed, but no personal endorsement took place.

So I’ll lay off Macha now. This wasn’t the dreaded vote of confidence. This was a legitimate vote of confidence.

At least I think so.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.