Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen had a problem with Hanley Ramirez alright, but it had nothing to do with the former Rookie of the Year’s attitude or demeanor. The Sun-Sentinel’s Juan C. Rodriguez has the quote:
Hanley Ramirez had a great attitude with bad performance for me. From Day 1 when we talked to today he was great with me. What he was in the past? That’s their problems. I’m not saying this because he just got traded. I wish he had a bad attitude and produced. I would take that.
If Ramirez was a clubhouse cancer, as some have claimed, Guillen surely would have gone ahead and fired with both barrels here. He’s not one to hold back. Many expected Ramirez would sulk after being switched from shortstop to third base to make room for Jose Reyes, but he didn’t, at least not outwardly. Whether some disappointment or frustration took a toll on his performance is anyone’s guess. Guillen would have put up for some surliness in return for an extra 30 points of average and a dozen more runs batted in.
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.