Aramis Ramirez was lifted from the Brewers’ game Saturday against the Yankees after straining his left hamstring while ranging for a groundball on the infield and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday night’s series-opener versus the Pirates, according to Adam McCalvy at MLB.com.
It’s a standard hamstring strain — not minor, but not severe — and will likely sideline Ramirez for around three weeks. Mark Reynolds and Jeff Bianchi are expected to fill in at thrid base while he is out.
Ramirez, 35, has batted just .252/.309/.390 in 34 games played this season, though he does have five home runs and 21 RBI. He finished the 2013 campaign with a .283/.370/.461 batting line, 12 home runs, and 49 RBI in 92 games — missing a large chunk of time because of a left knee injury.
The Brewers are hoping Ryan Braun (oblique) can return from the disabled list Tuesday in a corresponding roster move. They’re clinging to a five-game lead in the National League Central standings.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.