Reds activate Jim Edmonds and Mike Leake from the disabled list. Sort of.

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According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, the Reds activated both Jim Edmonds and Mike Leake from the disabled list today. Just don’t look for them to play prominent roles down the stretch.

Earlier this week, we thought that Edmonds’ career could be over after he revealed that he has a torn oblique muscle. That hasn’t changed, really. In fact, the news that he was being activated surprised both Edmonds and Reds manager Dusty Baker.

“I really wasn’t expecting to come off today,” Edmonds said. “[Walt
Jocketty] told me and that’s a good thing. Nobody wants to be on the DL
anyways. I’m here if it’s needed.”

“I was surprised myself,” Baker said. “Walt informed me. I saw him
moving around pretty good in the outfield. I haven’t seen him hit. So
far he’s been hitting off the tee.”

As for Leake, he was shut down two weeks ago due to right shoulder fatigue. That hasn’t changed, either, but Baker believes he can still help in other areas. 

“Leake will fit in to pinch-hit, pinch-run, pinch-bunt. Pinch
everything,” Baker said. “He told me two months ago if I needed an
emergency outfielder, he could do that too. That’s a real emergency.
He’s not ready to pitch. He wasn’t supposed to pick up a ball for two
weeks.”

I’m skeptical that Edmonds will contribute in any significant way, but the addition of Leake shouldn’t be overlooked. The 22-year-old rookie is batting .340 (16-for-47) with six sacrifices this season. I wish I could remember who brought it up first, but Leake actually has a higher VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) as a hitter than he does as a pitcher this season.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.