New Marlins manager singles out Hanley Ramirez for poor play

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After losing 10-4 to the Diamondbacks on Thursday night, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez had the following to say:

“We need to get more offense, mainly from Hanley, in the middle of the order. We need more offense from Hanley. Danny Uggla has been swinging the the bat very well. The bottom half of the lineup has been swinging the bat very well, so we need to have more offense from the top part of the lineup.”

Or, you know, Edwin, you could maybe try rearranging the lineup?
And singling out Ramirez was such a ridiculous choice.
Ramirez, who has hit third all season, has had an off year by his own standards. However, since the beginning of May, he’s hit .297/.367/.515.
The far bigger problem is Jorge Cantu, who hasn’t budged from the cleanup spot despite doing little since the opening first two weeks. He’s hit .237/.292/.360 since May 1.
Cantu never projected as the Marlins’ second-best hitter, and the ridiculous devotion to batting him fourth is something Rodriguez apparently inherited from Fredi Gonzalez. If Rodriguez wants more production from the top half of the lineup, he should try putting his best players there.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.