Manny Ramirez set to make Triple-A debut for Cubs as 42-year-old player/coach

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One month after signing a minor-league contract with the Cubs to serve as a Triple-A player/coach Manny Ramirez is ready to make his Iowa Cubs debut.

Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that Ramirez will be in Iowa’s lineup Thursday and the team released journeyman outfielder Casper Wells to make room for him on the roster.

Cubs president Theo Epstein has made it very clear all along that there’s no chance of the 42-year-old Ramirez being called up to the majors, but explained that “he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization.”

That now includes stud prospect Kris Bryant, who was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A last week, joining fellow top prospect Javier Baez in Iowa.

Ramirez played 30 games at Triple-A for the Rangers last season, hitting just .259 with three homers and a .698 OPS, and in 2012 he wasn’t any better at Triple-A for the A’s.

Charlie Morton exits start with discomfort in right shoulder

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Astros pitcher Charlie Morton left Sunday’s start against the Angels after just one inning due to discomfort in his right shoulder, the team announced. Morton yielded a one-out double to Justin Upton, who later scored on a wild pitch. He averages about 96 MPH on his fastball but sat in the 92-94 MPH range in his one inning of work.

Morton, 34, went on the disabled list with right shoulder discomfort on August 29 and returned on September 8. It’s bad news for the Astros, who may have to go into the playoffs without him. If that is to be the case, Lance McCullers would take Morton’s spot in the rotation. It’s also bad news for Morton, who is a free agent after the season and figures to be one of the more sought-after starters.

Morton entered Sunday’s start 15-3 with a 3.15 ERA with a 195/63 K/BB ratio in 163 innings of work.