Alex Rodriguez has struggled mightily in this ALDS against the O’s, managing just one hit while fanning seven times in 13 plate appearances. So Yankees manager Joe Girardi finally decided to take action in the ninth inning of Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Raul Ibanez entered as a pinch-hitter in A-Rod’s spot with the Yankees trailing the Orioles 2-1 and promptly swatted a game-tying solo home run to right field. The dinger sent a charge through Yankee Stadium and pushed Game 3 into extra innings.
Rodriguez was the first to greet Ibanez when he returned to the dugout and the two exchanged a double high five. The Orioles were just retired in the top of the 10th inning, so the Yanks now have a chance to win it.
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.