Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is out of the lineup tonight for the third straight game, as manager Mike Redmond goes with rookie J.T. Realmuto behind the plate.
Saltalamacchia made it clear that he’s not happy with the benching, but told Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post that he’ll avoid making a big fuss publicly:
Am I mad? Yeah I’m mad, I want to play. I’m not going to hurt this team. I’m not going to be the reason that causes a distraction. No hard feelings whatsoever. I want to win. My job is to help the team win so whatever I can do to help is what I’m going to do.
That’s just about a perfect response, so credit to Saltalamacchia for that, although Redmond did say that their private conversation was “touchy.”
He’s in the second season of a three-year, $21 million deal, but has struggled defensively while going 2-for-22 this season and hitting .213 in 121 games for the Marlins overall. If the Marlins want to play the 24-year-old Realmuto trying to trade Saltalamacchia would make more sense than forcing him into a backup role.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.