The Astros can be mathematically eliminated tonight

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You know the season is truly entering its final act when teams start getting mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. It seems to matter, even when we’ve known for months that they were practically eliminated already.

Anyway, Bob Timmermann keeps track of such things with his MLB Death Watch feature which he has tweeted about for a couple of years, but is also posting on The Portable Griddle (RIP old Baseball Toaster Griddle).

First up for oblivion: The Astros, who will be officially out of playoff contention with a loss to the Giants combined with either a win by either the Dodgers or a win by the Cardinals.

Godspeed, Houston Astros. Godspeed.

The Red Sox to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. 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.

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.