During an appearance on Saturday’s Mets-Dodgers game on FOX, Ken Rosenthal said that Phillies prospect right-hander J.C. Ramirez was a healthy scratch from his Sunday start for Double-A Reading.
This could mean nothing, of course, but it is especially curious during this time of year. Rosenthal noted that the Phillies remain in talks for Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren.
Ramirez, 21, was acquired from the Mariners in last December’s Cliff Lee trade. He is 6-5 with a 4.36 ERA in 18 starts between High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading this season, averaging 7.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Featuring a fastball that touches the low-to-mid 90s, he was ranked as the Mariners’ No. 18 prospect by Baseball America over the winter.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.