Phillies designate reliever J.C. Romero for assignment

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J.C. Romero has been in the Phillies’ bullpen for the past four-and-a-half seasons, but today they designated him for assignment to make room on the roster for tomorrow’s starter, Vance Worley.

Romero remains very effective against left-handed hitters, but his inability to be even decent against right-handed hitters and overall struggles to throw the ball over the plate have severely limited his usefulness.

During the past three-plus seasons he’s held lefties to a .185 batting average, including .208 this season, but righties have gotten on base at a .431 clip against Romero that basically limits him to left-handed specialist duties. Toss in his 92 walks in 128 innings during that time and letting him go, while surprising, isn’t much of a loss for the Phillies’ bullpen.

Plus, there’s a decent chance Romero will pass through waivers unclaimed anyway, as taking on the remainder of his $1.35 million contract may scare teams off if the southpaw’s performance hadn’t already.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.