Passan: No Manny Ramirez callup on the way


Sources tell Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan that the Rangers have no plans to call up Manny Ramirez, even with regular designated hitter Lance Berkman making little progress with his leg problems and weighing retirement.

Ramirez went 1-for-4 on Thursday and is hitting .250/.318/.417 with three homers in 15 games for Triple-A Round Rock as he attempts a major league comeback after playing in Taiwan earlier this season.

“This isn’t Manny Ramirez,” a scout told Passan. “This is a 41-year-old still trying to play baseball and not doing it very well.”

At least, he’s not doing it very well two-thirds of the time. Ramirez has actually destroyed left-handers so far, hitting all three of his homers off them. He’s 7-for-21 against southpaws, compared to 8-for-39 with just one extra-base hit (a double) against righties.

But even if Manny could still hit lefties in the majors, there just isn’t much room for platoon DHs on teams with 12-man pitching staffs. The Rangers probably won’t give him a look unless they think he can handle a bigger role.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.