The great Hanley Ramirez leadoff experiment didn’t last long.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Ramirez has been dropped to sixth in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Rays.
Ramirez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout out of the leadoff spot last night and is 1-for-13 with a double, one walk and five strikeouts since returning from the disabled list Tuesday. This will be his first ever start out of the No. 6 spot, though he does have four at-bats there during his career.
Dropping the struggling Ramirez in the order is one thing, but installing DeWayne Wise as the leadoff hitter in his place smacks of bizarro world desperation. Then again, the Marlins have dropped eight consecutive games and are 1-16 in June, so you really can’t blame Edwin Rodriguez for losing his marbles.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.