Lower back pain forces Hanley Ramirez to the disabled list

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As expected, the Marlins have placed Hanley Ramirez on the disabled list with ongoing lower back problems.

Ramirez hasn’t played since May 29 and revealed that the back soreness is so bad that it kept him from being able to put on his shoes, calling it “the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life.” All of which makes it hard to believe he’ll be ready to come off the DL when eligible on June 14.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald notes that this is the first time Ramirez has been placed on the DL in his six-year career. He’s played in 806 of a possible 866 games since debuting with the Marlins in 2006, leading all MLB shortstops with an .889 OPS during that time.

However, Ramirez hadn’t been himself this season, hitting just .210 with a .615 OPS through 48 games, although even that is more or less the same as fill-in shortstop Emilio Bonafacio’s career .634 OPS.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.