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.

Kris Bryant on Joey Votto: “He’s the best player ever … He’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

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The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.

As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”

Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”

Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.

Video: Daniel Descalso hits D-Backs’ third inside-the-park homer of the season

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Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.

It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.

As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.