JC Ramirez left Saturday’s start with forearm tightness

JC Ramirez
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The Angels are down to three healthy starting pitchers after right-hander JC Ramirez left his latest start with forearm tightness in his pitching arm. Ramirez told reporters that he felt discomfort during warm-ups on Saturday, but managed to persevere through a 55-pitch outing anyway. He issued five walks, two hits and two runs in the first two innings of the game before making a hasty exit prior to the third.

The 29-year-old righty is expected to undergo a full evaluation on Sunday, at which point the team will get a clearer sense of the nature of his injury. This could be the second serious setback Ramirez has weathered in less than a year, given the way his 2017 season ended with a partial tear in his UCL last August. He underwent stem-cell therapy to treat the injury and appeared to make a full recovery in camp, though he hasn’t looked particularly solid in any of his outings so far this season. Prior to Saturday’s loss, he lasted just 4 2/3 innings against the Indians with five runs, two walks, three home runs and three strikeouts in his season debut.

Even if Ramirez gets a clean bill of health following Sunday’s evaluation, the Angels will likely be looking to pull reinforcements from Triple-A Salt Lake. It’s not too farfetched to assume they’ll want to take things slow with the veteran starter given his history of forearm issues, though the rotation has already been hampered by the loss of Andrew Heaney (left elbow inflammation) and Matt Shoemaker (right forearm strain) this spring.

No lease extension, but O’s and governor tout partnership

orioles camden yards
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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.