Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez had no major issues with his cracked rib in Monday evening’s NLCS Game 4 victory over the Cardinals, but he looked like a different person in NLCS Game 4.
Ramirez struck out in all three of his at-bats Tuesday before getting yanked prior to the top of the seventh inning. Hanley grimaced on pretty much every swing he took and at one point appeared woozy after a play in the field. Nick Punto replaced him at shortstop.
Game 5 of the NLCS is on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. local time in Los Angeles and we’d have to assume that Ramirez is not going to be in the starting lineup.
The Cardinals lead Game 4 by a score of 4-2 as the seventh inning begins.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.