After missing the past four games with a hand infection Hanley Ramirez is back in the Marlins’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Braves.
However, manager Ozzie Guillen has dropped Ramirez to the sixth spot in the batting order for the first time this season. Ramirez previously hit there twice in 2011 and once in 2006. And that’s it.
He’s hit third (64 times), second (19 times), or fifth (7 times) in every game this season, but Ramirez is in a prolonged slump that’s seen him bat just .200 with a .605 OPS in 38 games since early June.
Meanwhile, rumors are swirling about the Marlins shopping Ramirez and the Red Sox, A’s, and Blue Jays are among the teams said to be interested.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.