And now the latest in baseball/alcohol news

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I always love it when my two biggest hobbies converge:

Dateline Seattle:  ESPN’s Jim Caple reports that a brewery is using maple bats — actual maple bats owned by Seattle Mariners players — to flavor beer.  Yes, Caple makes the requisite “at least the bats are being used for something” joke.  Given the use of Mariners bats, assumptions are that the beer is weak.

Dateline Cleveland:  The Indians are basically taunting me now by holding a four-course bourbon-themed dinner in their Terrace Club.  The taunting part is by virtue of the fact that the dinner is next Tuesday, when I’ll be out of state on vacation.

Not so sure about the pairing on that dessert course, though.  I learned about Jim Beam new “Devil’s Cut” when I was down in Kentucky back in June.  I’m a little dubious.  I’d do it for a ballgame, though. But now, sadly, I cannot.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.