Your cleanup hitters tonight: Matt Diaz and Wilson Ramos

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The Pirates and Nationals have released their lineups for Monday’s much-anticipated matchup in Washington, and those fortunate enough to be there will have the pleasure of seeing Matt Diaz and Wilson Ramos cleaning up for their teams.

It should be an epic showdown.  One-quarter of the way through the season, Diaz is hitting .239/.260/.310 with no homers and five RBI in 71 at-bats.  Like a true No. 4 hitter, though, he always makes an effort to bring in those baserunners: he’s walked just one time all year.

In the grand tradition of Mike Piazza and Buster Posey, Ramos is one of the very few rookie catchers to serve as a cleanup man.  He’s outslugged Diaz with a .267/.333/.419 line, and he has two homers and seven RBI in his 86 at-bats this season.  Of course, he is off to a 4-for-33 start this month, but that probably just means he’s due.

So forget about the Yankees-Rays and Phillies-Cardinals.  Watch the titans face off in D.C. tonight.  You won’t regret it.

Red Sox trade Roenis Elias back to the Mariners

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The Boston Red Sox announced this afternoon that they’ve traded lefty Roenis Elias to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later or cash.

Boston had acquired Elias in the same trade that netted them reliever Carson Smith in exchange for Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro back in December of 2015. Since that time Elias has not been a part of the Red Sox’ plans, pitching in just four big league games — eight innings total — in all of 2016 and 2017 and not making an appearance for the big club this season. He was pretty solid for Pawtucket in 2016 but 2017 was largely lost to injuries.

Now he’s headed back to Seattle where, once upon a time, Elias posted a 3.85 ERA in 29 starts as a rookie for the Mariners.