Bobby Valentine: Mike Aviles has the “DNA” of an everyday shortstop

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It’s not clear who will get the most reps at short in Boston this year. But yesterday Reds Sox’ manager Bobby Valentine said that Mike Aviles has the “DNA” of an everyday shortstop.

Fact: Mike Aviles was born in New York City in the spring of 1981.  Fact: the “everyday shortstop” of the Yankees at the time of Aviles’ conception was Bucky Dent.

Theory: If Aviles has the DNA of an everyday shortstop, that must mean* that Bucky Dent is his real father, and Aviles has now been delivered to Boston as part of a generations-spanning plot by Bucky Dent to punish the Red Sox even further than he already has.

Unless of course he plays really well, in which case it is Bucky Dent making amends with Red Sox fans for that home run he hit in 1978.

Or it’s possible that Aviles is actually the son of Frank Taveras, who started 141 games at short for the Mets in 1980.  But such speculation would be silly.

 

*Note: it must not mean any of this actually.

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.