Reds claim infielder Jake Elmore off of waivers from the Athletics

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MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that the Reds have claimed infielder Jake Elmore off of waivers from the Athletics. The A’s designated Elmore for assignment on July 31. To make room for Elmore on the roster, the Reds designated pitcher Nick Christiani for assignment.

Though Elmore, 27, hasn’t done much at the plate at the big league level, he has historically performed well at Triple-A and can play any position on the diamond — he both pitched an inning of relief and caught in a blowout for the Astros last season.

Elmore slashed .282/.374/.365 with 18 RBI and nine stolen bases in 211 plate appearances with Triple-A Sacramento this season.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.