Manny Ramirez has been equal parts injured and ineffective at Triple-A, going 9-for-37 (.243) with zero extra-base hits while missing multiple games with leg soreness.
He was eligible to return from a 50-game suspension last week, but the A’s quickly ruled that out and today general manager Billy Beane told Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News that … well, basically no one has any idea when Ramirez might be back in the majors:
Until he’s on the field on a regular basis and we see where he’s at from a baseball standpoint, we’re really not in a position where we’re ready to make a decision. We said from Day 1 that nothing is set in stone.
Beane went on to hint that the A’s may simply decide that Ramirez is no longer worth the trouble, admitting: “As you get deeper into the season, that is a question you’ve gotta ask yourself.”
On the other hand they can basically re-start the 30-day rehab window at any time because he’s been injured, extending his stay in the minors, and the A’s will only be on the hook for $500,000 if they do decide to promote Ramirez at some point.
Right now, though, he can’t even stay in the lineup at Triple-A, let alone beat up on Triple-A pitching.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.