Mike Florio

Mannywood no more: Dodgers agree to send Manny Ramirez to White Sox

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Our long national nightmare is over.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the White Sox will acquire Manny Ramirez tomorrow, which means his Dodgers career ended with his coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter and being ejected in the middle of an at-bat for arguing balls and strikes this afternoon.
There’s no word yet on whether the White Sox will send anything back to the Dodgers in exchange for Ramirez or if they’ll simply assume his remaining contract, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com confirms that the 12-time All-Star is headed to Chicago.
This offseason the White Sox chose not to re-sign Jim Thome and instead turned the designated hitter spot over to a rotating cast led by Mark Kotsay. Not surprisingly they’ve gotten some of the worst DH production in the league, so while adding Ramirez can’t get back all the runs and games lost by not keeping Thome it does provide a big upgrade to the middle of the lineup.
Ramirez has hit .311/.405/.510 this season, which is good for a .915 OPS that ranks fourth among all NL hitters with at least 200 plate appearances behind only Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, and Carlos Gonzalez. Whether there’s enough time left for Ramirez to make a big impact on a team 4.5 games out of first place is questionable, but there’s no doubt that the White Sox’s lineup just got a whole lot more dangerous.

Is Albert Pujols the greatest right-handed hitter of all time?

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Albert Pujols smacking his 400th career homer last night got me thinking about where he ranks among the greatest right-handed hitters in baseball history.
My favorite stat for across-era comparisons is adjusted OPS+, which puts a hitter’s production into the context of the leagues, ballparks, and run-scoring environments he played in. In other words, a .300 batting average, 25 homers, and an .850 OPS were a lot more impressive at Dodger Stadium in 1968 than at Coors Field in 2010.
Here are the all-time leaders in adjusted OPS+ among right-handed batters with at least 5,000 career plate appearances:

Rogers Hornsby      175
Albert Pujols       172
Jimmie Foxx         163
Mark McGwire        162
Hank Greenberg      158
Frank Thomas        156
Dick Allen          156
Hank Aaron          155
Willie Mays         155
Manny Ramirez       155
Joe DiMaggio        155
Frank Robinson      154

Based on that list you can certainly make an argument for Pujols as the greatest right-handed hitter of all time, but looking at career totals isn’t quite fair to all the retired guys because Pujols is still in his prime and has yet to experience a late-career decline that will likely bring his numbers down a bit.
So instead of career totals let’s take a look at adjusted OPS+ through Pujols’ current age, 30:

Rogers Hornsby      175
Frank Thomas        174
Albert Pujols       172
Jimmie Foxx         169
Dick Allen          164
Hank Greenberg      160
Jeff Bagwell        159
Joe DiMaggio        159
Willie Mays         158
Hank Aaron          157
Manny Ramirez       156
Mike Piazza         156

That paints a similar picture, although this time Pujols is slightly behind both Rogers Hornsby and Frank Thomas (which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who read my piece earlier this season touting Thomas as the most underrated hitter in baseball history). So, is Pujols the greatest right-handed hitter of all time? It’s probably too early to give him that crown, but that’s the path he’s definitely on.

Reds place Mike Leake on disabled list with fatigued shoulder

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Earlier this week the Reds hinted about possibly shutting Mike Leake down for the season and this afternoon they placed the 22-year-old rookie on the disabled list with a “fatigued right shoulder.”
Leake has already thrown 138.1 innings this season after skipping the minors to join the Opening Day rotation, so the Reds moved him to the bullpen last week in an effort to limit his workload. Leake struggled in two relief outings, including giving up six runs while recording one out Tuesday.
Since going 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA through his first 11 starts Leake has allowed 55 runs in 66 innings, during which time opponents have hit .336 with a .560 slugging percentage. Toss in the Reds’ sudden logjam of capable starters and giving him a break was a pretty easy call.
It’ll be interesting to see if they give him a shot to contribute at some point next month or if the Reds no longer have Leake in their playoff plans.