Giancarlo Stanton ruled out through Friday due to knee injury

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Giancarlo Stanton missed his fourth straight game this afternoon due to a left knee injury and Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that the Marlins have already ruled him out for Friday’s game.

Stanton underwent an MRI earlier this week which revealed a loose body in the knee. He took batting practice in the cage today without any issues, but the real test will come tomorrow when he goes through full pre-game activities.

Stanton will likely need to have the loose body removed at some point and the 22-year-old slugger even raised the possibility that he could undergo arthroscopic surgery during the All-Star break. The Marlins will do everything to avoid that, of course, so it’s possible he’ll sit out the rest of the weekend and maybe even the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.

Stanton is hitting .283/.364/.555 with 19 home runs, 50 RBI and a .918 OPS in 78 games this season. He has amassed 75 home runs through his first 328 major league games.

Report: Hanley Ramirez “eyed” in federal and state investigation

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Former Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez is reportedly being “eyed” in an ongoing federal and state investigation, per Michele McPhee of ABC News. McPhee did not elaborate on the exact nature of the investigation itself, but provided a few more details during an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub on Friday:

“Obviously, I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime,” McPhee said. “And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”

McPhee further clarified that she thinks the suspect — who was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine — was tied to “a sweeping federal case involving a substantial ring that’s being operated out of Lawrence, Massachusetts.”

Ramirez, the Red Sox, and Major League Baseball have all denied knowledge of any current investigation. According to the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Red Sox VP of media relations Kevin Gregg insisted that Ramirez had been dropped from the team for baseball reasons alone and had not been made aware of an investigation at the time of his release.

“Hanley has no knowledge of any of the allegations contained in this media report and he is not aware of any investigation,” the infielder’s agent, Adam Katz, added Friday.

The 34-year-old Ramirez was designated for assignment on May 25 and became a free agent on June 1. Prior to his release, he batted .254/.313/.395 over 195 plate appearances, 302 shy of the 497-PA threshold he would have needed to cross in order to activate his vesting option for 2019. He’s still owed the remainder of his $22 million salary for 2018.