The Dodgers’ decision-makers must be overjoyed with what they’ve seen from Hanley Ramirez since his arrival from the Marlins at last month’s deadline.
The 28-year-old shortstop and third baseman belted two home runs and finished with four RBI in Los Angeles’ 6-2 defeat of the Braves on Saturday night in Atlanta. He’s now batting .330/.392/.549 with four homers and 27 RBI in 23 games with his new team, and has a 1.025 OPS so far in the month of August.
Ramirez was sporting a weak .246/.322/.428 slash line in 395 plate appearances with the Marlins before the four-player trade, which sent 22-year-old starter Nathan Eovaldi and relief prospect Scott McGough to Miami. Randy Choate followed Ramirez out west.
Eovaldi looked sharp while tossing 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball Saturday against the Rockies, but Ramirez is capable of making the Dodgers a big winner if he can keep this pace. L.A. has won 10 of its last 15 and will enter play Sunday just a half-game back of the Giants for first place in the National League West.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.