Aramis Ramirez’s drive to the wall in left in the eighth inning of an ugly loss to the Nationals today didn’t do much for the Brewers, but it did make him the first player since 2009 to reach 50 doubles in a season.
Ramirez, who was robbed of another potential double on a nice catch from Bryce Harper in the first inning today, became the 86th player since 1901 to achieve a 50-double season. The Orioles’ Brian Roberts and the Royals’ Billy Butler were the last to do it, with both getting to the plateau in 2009.
Kansas City’s Alex Gordon, currently at 49 doubles, also figures to reach 50 this season. Albert Pujols, with 46, has an outside shot.
Ramirez became the second Brewers player to reach 50. Lyle Overbay had 53 doubles for the club in 2004.
Ramirez’s previous career high for doubles was 44 from 2008. Quietly having a superb season batting behind Ryan Braun in Milwaukee, he’s batting .298/.360/.536 with 25 homers and 98 RBI in 543 at-bats.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.