Hanley Ramirez had to leave last night’s game after being plunked twice

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Already missing Yasiel Puig last night due to his being hit by a pitch on the left hand, the Dodgers had to finish last night’s win against the Cardinals after Hanley Ramirez was . . . hit on the left hand. And it wasn’t the first time he was hit. Earlier in the game he got plunked in his left shoulder. Tough night at the office.

The good news: a preliminary exam showed no major injuries and he told reporters that he expects to start today’s game in Pittsburgh. Don Mattingly may keep him out of the game for precautionary reasons, but it’s good to know it’s not as bad as it could’ve been.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.