Roy Halladay, Denard Span have tough first innings today

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UPDATE: Denard Span tweets that his mom is doing OK.

Spring training is winding down poorly for a couple of players. In the space of about 15 minutes:

  • The Twins’ Denard Span smacked a foul ball into the stands that hit his own mother, who was sitting just above the dugout.  Mom seems to be OK — she wanted to stay at the game but left to go to the hospital for tests — but you have to figure Span is going to be grounded for a while.

And with that news, I think spring training has gone on quite long enough, thank you.

The Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox activated Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they made to make room for him on the roster was a big one too: they designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup. At the moment the Red Sox have the second best offense in all of baseball despite Ramirez’s performance.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however and, long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.