Hanley Ramirez batted second or third in the Marlins’ lineup for each of his 47 starts prior to landing on the disabled list with back problems, but Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that he’ll return from the DL tomorrow as Florida’s leadoff man.
Ramirez has been out since May 30 and the Marlins have dropped 13 of 16 games, falling to third place in the NL East at 32-32.
Prior to his being shut down with back pain so severe it kept Ramirez from being able to tie his shoes the Marlins were winning despite his hitting just .210 with four homers and a .615 OPS that’s 275 points below his career norm.
Ramirez told Spencer that his back “is better now” and explained that he’d be fine leading off, saying: “I love it. Anything for the team. It doesn’t matter. I’ll be 9, 8, 7, I just want to be out there.” About half of his career starts have come in the leadoff spot, where Ramirez has hit .311 with a .925 OPS while scoring 333 runs in 400 games.
Yadier Molina has two World Series rings, multiple Gold Gloves, Platinum Gloves, All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger award. He now has an all-time record too.
The record: the most games caught with one team. Last night he caught his 1756th career game with the Cardinals, with ties him with Gabby Hartnett of the Cubs, who last caught in 1941 and set the record in 1940, his last season with Chicago. Molina will break the record next time he dons the tools of ignorance, likely tonight against the Phillies.
Given how badly catchers get beaten up — and Molina has taken a beating at times in his career — and given how well mastery of the position leads to a catcher earning journeyman status, as it were, it’s quite a thing to catch that many games for one team.
Given that Molina is under contract with the Cardinals for two more seasons and has stated his desire to retire a Cardinal many times, he’s likely to put that record so far out of reach that it’ll likely take at least another 78 years to break it, if indeed it is ever broken.