Albert Pujols out of the lineup with sore elbow

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Albert Pujols, troubled by a sore left elbow the past three weeks, will get Tuesday off after receiving a cortisone shot Monday night.
Felipe Lopez is making his first career start at first base in his place.
Pujols originally injured his non-throwing elbow making a play on defense against the Pirates last month. A couple of swings last night further aggravated the condition, and it was decided that a cortisone shot was the best course of action.
Manager Tony La Russa said Pujols could be available off the bench tonight. A return to the starting lineup on Wednesday seems likely.
Pujols is the National League leader with 39 homers and 104 RBI this season.

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.