Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman is remains on the disabled list, but they still weren’t impressed enough by Manny Ramirez to give him a shot in the majors and instead have released the 41-year-old from Triple-A.
Ramirez hit .259 with three homers and a .698 OPS in 30 games for Round Rock, including a measly .282 slugging percentage in 22 games since the All-Star break.
As general manager Jon Daniels explained to reporters in announcing the move: “Based on our evaluation, there was not a spot on the club for Manny at this time.” And since “this time” for a 41-year-old tends to be as good as things are ever going to be again, it’s probably safe to say the door is shut on Ramirez’s big-league career.
Ramirez has obviously become a sideshow recently, but if he’s done he finishes as a .312 career hitter with 555 homers and 1,329 walks in 2,302 games for the ninth-best OPS in baseball history. Laugh all you want, but the guy was an absolute monster for 15 seasons.
When Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez returns from the disabled list, likely some time next week, he will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Martínez has been on the disabled list since late July with a strained right shoulder. The plan is still for Martínez to start in 2019 and beyond.
GM John Mozeliak said, “If you’re going to go down that starting path and you’re starting at ground zero, the likelihood of him being back would be sometime in mid-September. And we’ve done that twice this year and ended up in the same place after a few starts.”
Martínez, 26, has a 3.41 ERA and a 98/49 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings across 18 starts this season. The Cardinals’ rotation currently features Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, John Gant, Luke Weaver, and Austin Gomber.
The Cardinals entered play Monday 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League, so adding Martínez to the bullpen — or, subtracting him from the rotation, depending on how you look at it — could make a significant impact on the club’s playoff chances.