The Royals had Chris Getz replace Alex Gordon in the leadoff spot Friday against the White Sox, but it proved to be a one-day experiment. Getz suffered a broken left thumb bunting in the fifth inning and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Getz was 0-for-3 in the game, leaving him at .275/.312/.360 in 189 at-bats for the year. He usually doesn’t start against lefties, but the Royals had him in there tonight because he was 6-for-11 lifetime against White Sox starter Chris Sale.
With Getz out, the Royals figure to turn second base over to Johnny Giavotella, who is hitting .323/.404/.472 for Triple-A Omaha. As much as it has to suck for Getz, the injury might benefit the Royals for the long haul: they need to let Giavotella play every day and see if he’s going to be their long-term answer at second base. He’ll get that opportunity now, and the Royals can determine this winter whether to go forward with him as a regular.
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.