Fired as Cubs manager, Dale Sveum joins Royals as coach

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It didn’t take Dale Sveum long to find a new gig after being fired by the Cubs, as Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that he’s joined manager Ned Yost’s coaching staff with the Royals.

Sveum previously worked as a coach under Yost in Milwaukee and in fact stepped in as interim manager when the Brewers fired Yost in late 2008.

No word yet on Sveum’s exact role, but Dutton also reports that third base coach Eddie Rodriguez and bench coach Chino Cadahia were let go, with Cadahia being offered a different role in the organization. Bench coach seems like a good bet for Sveum, who went 127-197 (.392) in two seasons as Cubs skipper.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.