10:50 p.m. EDT update: X-rays were negative on Ramirez’s thumb, and he’s considered day-to-day with a bruise.
Hanley Ramirez had to come out of Saturday’s game against the Rockies after three innings with a right thumb injury.
Ramirez wasn’t in any obvious pain initially after grounding out into third, but once he returned to the dugout, he was in obvious pain and shaking his right hand. After a few minutes, he tried gripping a ball and a bat to see if he could continue, but he didn’t take his position in the fourth.
Making the incident particularly scary is that it’s the same thumb Ramirez injured on a head-first slide in the World Baseball Classic last year. He suffered a torn ligament then and needed surgery, which sidelined him for 5 1/2 weeks.
If Ramirez requires another DL trip this year, it will be interesting to see what the Dodgers do. Dee Gordon has settled in nicely at second base, but he’s a natural shortstop, and Cuban defector Alex Guerrero has hit .424/.525/.818 in his first 10 games in Triple-A, striking out just once in 33 at-bats. Calling Guerrero up to play second and shifting Gordon to short would be a possibility.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.