Contrary to the nightmare scenario of our last post, Dodgers fans will not be subjected to Michael Young at shortstop. After testing his rib fracture by fielding grounders and taking batting practice, Hanley Ramirez told reporters that he will be in the lineup tonight for Game 3 of the NLCS against the Cardinals.
Courtesy of the Dodgers’ Twitter account, here’s a look at the padding that Ramirez will be wearing under his uniform:
There’s no official decision on Andre Ethier yet, but Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register passes along word that he tested his ankle this afternoon and plans to tell Dodgers manager Don Mattingly that he wants to play. Having both Ramirez and Ethier back would be a big boost for a lineup which hasn’t scored a run in 19 innings.
UPDATE: It’s official. The Dodgers just announced that Andre Ethier will also be in the lineup.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.