While the Dodgers lost 7-0 to the Cardinals last night and currently sit at 19-27 on the season, they aren’t about to rush Hanley Ramirez back from his left hamstring injury.
Austin Laymance of MLB.com reports that Ramirez ran curves, took batting practice and fielded ground balls before last night’s game. He estimated that he’s only running at about 85 percent, but he plans to test his hamstring by running the bases today.
Ramirez returned from a torn thumb ligament on April 29, but he strained his hamstring in his fourth game back on a slide into third base. While he hopes to begin a minor league rehab assignment “soon,” he was told by teammate Matt Kemp that he shouldn’t push himself too soon. Kemp should know, as he made it back from a left hamstring strain as soon as he was eligible last year, but aggravated the injury two days later and ended up missing six weeks.
“They know what’s happened before to guys that try to come back early and it didn’t work,” Ramirez said. “[Kemp] told me you have to be 100 percent and don’t try to come back early. By the time I get back, I want to make it all the way to the end of the season.”
Ramirez was originally given a timetable of 4-6 weeks, so he appears on track to rejoin the Dodgers in early-to-mid June.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.