Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was a late scratch from Wednesday’s game against the Reds due to irritation around the AC joint in his right shoulder and he is sitting out again Thursday …
That is Miguel Rojas starting at shortstop in the Dodgers’ series finale at Great American Ball Park.
Hanley told reporters late Wednesday that the right shoulder discomfort bothers him more on defense than offense — specifically when he tries to throw — so maybe he’ll be available as a pinch-hitter Thursday.
Ramirez is batting .255/.345/.455 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI in 63 games played this season for Los Angeles. The 30-year-old is currently scheduled to hit the free agent market after the 2014 World Series.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.