For the first time since his rookie season of 2006, Hanley Ramirez is hitting somewhere other than first or third.
The Marlins moved their slumping superstar from the third spot up to the two hole on Monday, with usual No. 2 hitter Omar Infante getting dropped to eighth .
According to the Miami Herald, manager Edwin Rodriguez weighed trying Ramirez as a No. 6 hitter instead, but that would have made John Buck the No. 8 hitter and Rodriguez didn’t want that.
Ramirez is hitting just .213/.302/.298 with two homers and 14 RBI in 141 at-bats this season. His career-worst OPS in five seasons is .833, but he’s at .600 right now.
While batting him one spot higher doesn’t necessarily seem like the best way to attack his slump, it does serve to get the disappointing Infante away from the top of the order. A year after hitting .321 for the Braves, the 2010 All-Star has a .230 average and a .268 OBP in 152 at-bats this season.
Logan Morrison, who returned last week after missing three weeks with a sprained foot, will take over for Ramirez in the three hole. He’s been Florida’s best hitter with a .328/.418/.642 line in 67 at-bats.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.