Hanley Ramirez has avoided the disabled list so far, but the Dodgers shortstop continues to have discomfort a week after injuring his right shoulder.
“Hopefully it’s not something I have to deal with the rest of the season,” Ramirez told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. “I’m just worried if I am going to keep feeling that every time I throw the ball. If I have to play like that, I’ll play.”
He has shown some improvement and Shaikin reports that the Dodgers’ trainers have assured him the injury will continue to get better, but Ramirez remains bothered by the jammed shoulder despite sitting out seven straight starts.
Ramirez has started just 47 of the 117 games this season, but when healthy enough to be in the lineup he’s been fantastic while hitting .359 with 11 homers and a 1.050 OPS to top his 2012 production by nearly 300 points.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.