Aramis Ramirez returns from disabled list as a question mark

Leave a comment

Placed on the disabled list earlier this month after struggling with a thumb injury all season, Aramirez Ramirez rejoined the Cubs today after taking two weeks off and going 1-for-6 with two walks at Single-A during a very brief rehab assignment.
Prior to going on the shelf Ramirez hit just .168 in 47 games, so it seemingly would have made sense for the Cubs to give him more than two games in the minors to make sure he’s up to speed. Instead he’s back in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the White Sox, playing third base and batting fifth against Jake Peavy.
To make room for Ramirez on the roster the Cubs got rid of the same guy they called up to fill his spot, designating Chad Tracy for assignment. Tracy started at third base for six of the 16 games Ramirez missed, but has hit just .250 with a .327 on-base percentage and .295 slugging percentage in 49 plate appearances.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.