The Cubs made a very curious decision to option reliever Neil Ramirez to Triple-A Iowa on Saturday despite his 0.96 ERA in 28 innings, but now ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the option has been voided and Ramirez has been transferred to the 15-day major league disabled list with a sore triceps.
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer acknowledged to Rogers on Tuesday that he had “talked to the Major League Baseball Players Association, as resting a player by demoting him to the minor leagues could be viewed as an attempt to save on a major league salary.”
Those are Rogers’ words, not Hoyer’s. Perhaps the MLBPA threatened to file a grievance?
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”