Hanley Ramirez, the National League’s other extremely disappointing superstar, was held out of Monday’s lineup after leaving Sunday’s game with lower back soreness. He told the Palm Beach Post the discomfort there and in his upper left leg “the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life, in my career.”
Ramirez said the back has been bothering him for “maybe a month,” but that he kept it secret from everyone except manager Edwin Rodriguez.
I feel it doing anything. I can’t even put my shoes on. To get up from bed I have to take 10, 15 seconds. I have to do everything slow. That’s the worst pain Ive ever had in my life, in my career, that back…
I’m getting tingles in my (upper left) leg. That’s not a good sign. That’s what we’re worried about right now, to get this thing out of my leg.
Incredibly, Ramirez still hasn’t seen a doctor about the problem, though it looks like he’ll finally be forced to now. An MRI also seems likely.
The back isn’t necessarily the root of Ramirez’s problems: he’s actually played quite a bit better this month than he did in April. Still, it’s definitely an issue and the Marlins may want to stash him on the DL to see if he can come back at 100 percent in a couple of weeks.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.