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29.8% of players on 2017 Opening Day rosters born outside the U.S., setting new record

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Major League Baseball announced on Monday that 259 players on rosters to open the 2017 season — 29.8 percent — were born outside the United States. That sets a new record. Those 259 players span 19 different countries and territories.

The previous record for total players born outside the U.S. on Opening Day rosters was 246 in 2007, and the previous record for percentage was 29.2 percent in 2005.

The Dominican Republic is the foreign nation with the most players on MLB rosters at 93. The only other countries with more than 10 are Venezuela (77), Cuba (23), and Puerto Rico (16).

The Rangers have the most foreign-born players on its roster with 14 players spanning six countries and territories. The only other teams with more than 10 are the Padres (12), Mariners (12), White Sox (11), Indians (11), Angels (11), and Phillies (11). The Royals have the most players from different countries and territories with eight.

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.