Yadier Molina to undergo X-rays on sprained right thumb

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The Cardinals surely have their fingers crossed right now, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Yadier Molina is out of tonight’s lineup against the Rockies due to a sprained right thumb and is scheduled to undergo X-rays when the team returns home to St. Louis tomorrow.

Molina injured the thumb in an awkward slide into first base last night. He’s currently dealing with some swelling, which is naturally making it difficult for him to throw or hit. More should be known following the examination tomorrow.

Molina took a huge leap forward offensively last year and he has been even better this year, batting .310/.359/.506 with 16 home runs, 52 RBI and an .856 OPS in 91 games played. The 30-year-old backstop has also thrown out 44 percent of attempted basestealers (20-for-45), which leads all major league catchers. An extended absence would be a tough blow for the Cards, who enter play tonight 7 1/2 games behind the Reds in the National League Central and three games back in the Wild Card race.

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.