Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was diagnosed with a left knee strain on Saturday after sliding too hard into the second base bag during a Cactus League game against the Angels. It was his first double of the spring and he was probably running too aggressively. But everything should be fine.
According to beat writer Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, initial tests have ruled out structural damage and Ramirez could be back in Cactus League games after “a few days” of rest.
“A slight strain right now is what they’re calling it,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters on Saturday night. “When he slid into the bag, it was the impact. They checked it out and they don’t think there’s any damage. It’s day to day and that usually ends up being more than just a day.”
Ramirez, 34, hit .300/.360/.540 with 27 home runs and 105 RBI in 149 games last season.
UPDATE, 10:55 AM: Todd Rosiak of the Journal-Sentinel reports that Ramirez was “limping noticeably” when he arrived back at the Brewers’ clubhouse on Sunday morning and has been sent for an MRI. “It doesn’t feel too good right now,” said the veteran third baseman, “but the good thing is it’s not swelling at all. It’s just sore.” The lack of swelling probably means that Ramirez has no major ligament damage.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.