Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin sidelined with injuries

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Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin were forced to leave Friday’s game against the Cardinals due to injury, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

Just one day after being activated from the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Ramirez left after the first half-inning due to a tight right calf muscle, the very same injury that forced him to the disabled list in late-April.

Ramirez, 38, is batting .317/.409/.516 with nine homers and 39 RBI in 186 at-bats this season. Come to think of it, we’ve probably written more about Ramirez’s various injuries than anything he has done on the field this season, if that means anything.

Martin left after an at-bat in the eighth inning due to a swollen left thumb. According to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com, he failed to informed the team’s medical staff of the injury, even though it had been bothering him for several days.

“I remember catching a ball and kind of having a stinging sensation in
there, but I didn’t really feel it that much,” Martin said of the moment
he initially felt something after catching a particular pitch earlier
this month. “It’s always a possibility, where you mis-catch a ball or
take one off your thumb. But it kind of flared up, and that last time up
[in the eighth inning], I felt it swinging the bat.”

Martin is currently in the middle of his second straight disappointing season. The 27-year-old backstop is batting just .241 to go along with a .328 slugging percentage, five homers and 22 RBI.  

Neither player is in Saturday’s lineup against the Cardinals. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, they are both expected back in the lineup early next week.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.