You may have forgotten that the Orioles have one of the top second basemen in the league. OK, maybe not. But it sure does seem like Brian Roberts has been sidelined for an eternity with back and lat muscle issues.
According to MLB.com’s Noah Rosentstein, Roberts has finally begun participating in light baseball activities. What does that entail, exactly? We don’t know. But neither does O’s interim manager Juan Samuel and he’s satisfied nonetheless:
“What that means, there’s no description to it, but he just added very
light [baseball activities],” Samuel said Saturday. “That’s what my
Roberts is probably jogging lightly, hitting off a tee, and possibly even fielding some slow-rollers. He has been on the disabled list since the first week of the regular season and the hope is that he will return during the month of July. Of course, the Orioles are already 24 games back in the American League East with a record of 22-52.
The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.
The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. 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.
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.