Hanley Ramirez will start Game 6 of the NLCS after all

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In the words of Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, shortstop Hanley Ramirez is “worse today”, tweets Jayson Stark. Ramirez has been playing with a cracked rib caused by a 95 MPH Joe Kelly fastball in the first inning of the first game of the NLCS. Ramirez has just two hits (both singles) in 16 trips to the plate in NLCS play after hitting Braves pitching at a .500 clip during the NLDS.

Mattingly was resigned to hoping Ramirez could pinch-hit at some point during Game 6, as Ramirez — at the time — didn’t  “feel like he can swing the bat right now”. Nick Punto was initially in the lineup to start in Ramirez’s place at shortstop, batting eighth, but Ramirez was added back into the lineup late.

The updated Dodger lineup for Game 6:

Carl Crawford, LF

Mark Ellis, 2B

Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

Hanley Ramirez, SS

Andre Ethier, CF

Yasiel Puig, RF

Juan Uribe, 3B

A.J. Ellis, C

Clayton Kershaw, P

The Cardinal lineup remains unchanged.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.