Aramis Ramirez was lifted from the Brewers’ game Saturday against the Yankees after straining his left hamstring while ranging for a groundball on the infield and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday night’s series-opener versus the Pirates, according to Adam McCalvy at MLB.com.
It’s a standard hamstring strain — not minor, but not severe — and will likely sideline Ramirez for around three weeks. Mark Reynolds and Jeff Bianchi are expected to fill in at thrid base while he is out.
Ramirez, 35, has batted just .252/.309/.390 in 34 games played this season, though he does have five home runs and 21 RBI. He finished the 2013 campaign with a .283/.370/.461 batting line, 12 home runs, and 49 RBI in 92 games — missing a large chunk of time because of a left knee injury.
The Brewers are hoping Ryan Braun (oblique) can return from the disabled list Tuesday in a corresponding roster move. They’re clinging to a five-game lead in the National League Central standings.
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?