Manny Ramirez went 0-for-4 in Triple-A player/coach debut


Manny Ramirez made his debut as a Triple-A player/coach for the Cubs last night, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts while playing left field and batting sixth in Iowa’s lineup.

After the game Ramirez told Cody Ulm of

It feels great just to be here … and to help the young guys just telling them my experiences and the things that I’ve went through. It’s a blessing just to be here.

Here’s video of Ramirez’s first Triple-A at-bat, in which he reached on an error:

Cubs president Theo Epstein has said repeatedly that Ramirez was signed strictly to help mentor the Cubs’ prospects in Iowa, namely slugging, high-upside infielders Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, so even if he actually plays well there at age 42 a return to the big leagues isn’t going to happen in Chicago.

In fact, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago the plan is for Ramirez to play “sparingly” at Triple-A and, if for some reason another MLB team wanted to sign him and call him up to the big leagues, the Cubs would gladly let him go.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.