Dodgers make Tommy Lasorda honorary coach on birthday

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Tommy Lasorda’s 84th birthday is Thursday and the Hall of Famer will celebrate by serving as an honorary Dodgers coach against the rival Giants.

Lasorda, who managed the Dodgers from 1976 to 1996, told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he was thrilled to get the invite from current manager Don Mattingly:

I am so deeply honored and grateful that Don would ask me to do this. I loved every minute of managing during my 20 seasons with the Dodgers, and it is always outstanding to put on the Dodger uniform.

Hopefully it goes better than the time Lasorda was the NL’s third base coach during the 2001 All-Star game. Incidentally, I saw Lasorda on last night’s episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX and his 10-second appearance predictably involved a conversation about pasta. Type casting!

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.