Manny Ramirez is predictably still looking for work after MLB reduced his suspension from 100 games to 50 games and Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that he plans to hold a workout for MLB teams later this month.
Last offseason Ramirez signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Rays, only to retire after five games when his 100-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was announced.
Considering how limited his market was last winter and the fact that he hasn’t played since April it’s tough to imagine Ramirez getting a big-league deal at age 40, and at this point he may have a hard time convincing a team he’s worth a minor-league deal.
Ramirez’s last full season was 2010 and he hit .298 with 19 homers and a .949 OPS in 104 games for the Dodgers and White Sox. Under normal circumstances that would be enough to make him worth a low-cost flier, even at age 40, but because it’s Ramirez the over/under for teams attending his workout is probably around 2.5 (depending on how many scouts in the area are curious and/or bored that day).
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.