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Braves claim Billy Hamilton off waivers from Royals

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The Braves claimed outfielder Billy Hamilton off waivers from the Royals on Monday. Hamilton, 28, was designated for assignment by the Royals on Friday.

In 305 plate appearances for the Royals this season, Hamilton hit .211/.275/.269 with 12 doubles, 12 RBI, 32 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases. Even by his standards, 2019 has been Hamilton’s worst offensive year in his seven-year career.

The Braves, however, could use the outfield depth with Ender Inciarte back on the injured list. Nick Markakis and Austin Riley are also banged up. Expect to see him used as a late-innings defensive replacement and pinch-runner.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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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.