Horacio Ramirez resurfaces in majors with Angels

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The Angels demoted reliever Michael Kohn and replaced him with journeyman lefty Horacio Ramirez prior to Wednesday’s game, bringing the former Brave back to the majors for the first time in two years.

Ramirez was last seen with the Royals in 2009.  Despite a horrible March, he was named the team’s fifth starter out of spring training that year — Dayton Moore and company badly wanted a left-handed starter in the rotation — only to get demoted after one start.  He had a 5.96 ERA in 22 2/3 innings that season before getting cut in June.

Ramirez debuted in the Braves in 2003, going 12-4 with a 4.00 ERA as a rookie.  After four seasons in Atlanta, he was famously traded to Seattle for Rafael Soriano, a deal that was so clearly awful at the time that it still manages to standout in Bill Bavasi’s disastrous tenure as Mariners GM.  Ramirez didn’t even last the season in Seattle as he racked up as 7.16 ERA in 20 starts.  Since leaving Atlanta, he has a 6.32 ERA in 158 innings as a major leaguer.

Now he’s back after going 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA as a reliever for Triple-A Salt Lake.  Lefties hit just .222 off him in 63 at-bats, so he’ll get a quick look before the Angels decide whether they need to pick up another southpaw before the deadline.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.