We’re really good at noticing when someone is accused of something in this country, but we’re pretty bad at noticing when their name is cleared. Such is the case with Giovanni Ramirez, who was arrested in connection with the beating of Bryan Stow last year but … didn’t do it.
He’s a free man now, but the accusation will stick with him forever. He talked about it with J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. Daily News:
In the meantime, Ramirez’s life was predictably affected by the public reaction to his arrest. At the time, he said, he was about to start work at a tattoo parlor. Now the 31-year-old father of one is looking for work again. He said the tattoo parlor doesn’t want him.
“My family and friends were given the cold shoulder at work just because they were associated with me,” he said. “It caused a lot of damage. It was very stressful. A lot of grief. A lot of time lost.
“That’s almost a year of my life I lost.”
The guy is certainly no angel — he has a lengthy criminal history — so it’s not necessarily the case that the false accusation was what has cost him work. But in a world where it’s really damn hard to turn your life around once you’ve made missteps, it couldn’t have helped.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.