Nationals manager Matt Williams “pissed” at the thought of demoting scuffling Bryce Harper

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Nationals manager Matt Williams was asked on Wednesday evening whether there has been any talk of sending struggling outfielder Bryce Harper to Triple-A Syracuse. CSNWashington.com has the video:

So, yeah … not gonna happen. Harper is hitting .207 with a .616 OPS since July 4 and .249 with a .692 OPS overall, but this isn’t a typical slumping 21-year-old. It’s a 21-year-old with 1,299 career plate appearances in the major leagues and a world of raw talent. He’s going to have to figure it out in Washington, not Syracuse.

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.