Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez are back in the Dodgers’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Giants, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Puig will bat second and play center field while Ramirez will bat fourth and take his spot at shortstop. Matt Kemp starts in right field again.
Puig has played in one game since last Saturday, when he was hit in the hand with a Joe Kelly fastball. He has otherwise had a great year, slashing .308/.398/.519 with 12 home runs, 52 RBI, and seven stolen bases.
Ramirez hasn’t played since July 20, when he was hit twice by Cardinals pitchers: once in the fourth by Carlos Martinez, and once in the ninth by Trevor Rosenthal. The latter forced Ramirez out of the game, and out of the lineup for several days. (Kelly, by the way, broke one of Ramirez’s ribs with a pitch in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series last year.) Ramirez has been slowed by a litany of minor injuries this season, but has still managed to post a .273/.372/.463 slash line with 11 home runs, 49 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.
The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.
Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field. He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.
Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.