Justin Upton scratched from lineup with jammed thumb

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From Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic comes word that Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has been scratched from Tuesday night’s lineup against the Padres because of a jammed left thumb.

Upton suffered the injury Sunday while sliding into second base, trying to break up a double play.

“It’s not too bad,” he told Piecoro on Tuesday, a few hours before first pitch in San Diego. “[But] I went and took some swings and it didn’t feel right.”

It’s not clear whether the 24-year-old will be able to play in Wednesday’s matinee. He’s off to a 2-for-9 start this season after batting .289/.369/.529 with 31 home runs, 88 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 2011.

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.