Mike Florio

Lance Berkman "is on the phantom disabled list" and "has been healthy for a while"

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Chad Jennings of the New York Journal News reports that Lance Berkman will definitely be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible next week and in fact writes that “Berkman has been healthy for a while.”
According to Jennings “he could have played this week” and “is on the phantom disabled list so that Eduardo Nunez has a roster spot.”
When placed on the DL last week Berkman made it pretty clear that he felt healthy enough to play through the ankle injury, but obviously “phantom disabled list” is a much stronger way of phrasing it.
Berkman hit just .179 through his first 12 games with the Yankees and they didn’t feel like playing short-handed for even a handful of days, so they put him on the shelf and called Nunez up to serve as a utility man. Jennings calls it “amazing … how easily he talks about the situation” and says Berkman has “no bitterness, no frustration.”

Manny Ramirez is out of Dodgers' lineup for day game after night game

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Manny Ramirez is not in the Dodgers’ lineup this afternoon, but it likely has more to do with manager Joe Torre resting him for a day game following a night game than it does his waiver wire status.
However, if he doesn’t come off the bench as a pinch-hitter this afternoon there’s a slight chance that Ramirez has already played his last game as a Dodger. His time on the waiver wire reportedly expires tomorrow afternoon and the Dodgers don’t play until tomorrow night, although they do have until early next week to work out a deal if he’s claimed.
If he is moved before tomorrow night Ramirez went out on a high note, going 2-for-2 with two doubles and two walks in a 5-4 victory. He’s now hitting .313/.407/.513, which is good for a .920 OPS that ranks fifth in the league. That’s pretty damn good considering how many people are acting like Ramirez is all washed up.
Beyond that the Dodgers are now 5.5 games back in the NL Wild Card race and the White Sox, who reportedly plan to place a waiver claim on Ramirez, are 3.5 games back in the AL Central. Seems like if Ramirez and his .920 OPS can help Chicago he can also still help Los Angeles, doesn’t it?

Triple Crown Watch: Albert Pujols vs. Joey Votto

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Last night Albert Pujols went 0-for-4 in a loss to the Pirates while Joey Votto went 4-for-7 with two homers and four RBIs in a wild extra-inning win over the Giants, so here’s how the Triple Crown picture looks right now:

BATTING AVERAGE
JOEY VOTTO        .326
Carlos Gonzalez   .320
ALBERT PUJOLS     .319
HOME RUNS
ALBERT PUJOLS      33
JOEY VOTTO         31
Adam Dunn          31
RUNS BATTED IN
ALBERT PUJOLS      92
JOEY VOTTO         90
Carlos Gonzalez    84

As noted earlier this week, Omar Infante still lurks as a possible roadblock to the batting title for Pujols or Votto. After going 1-for-5 with a homer last night Infante is now hitting .347 and he’s inching closer to the plate appearances needed to qualify.