Left field hasn’t been kind to Hanley Ramirez this season.
He’s struggled mightily defensively in left after making a move from the infield and on Monday suffered an injury while playing the position. Thankfully, though, it appears at the moment that he’s avoided a serious ailment.
Ramirez was diagnosed with a left shoulder sprain after colliding with the side wall after trying to make a running catch. The Red Sox will wait to see how he recovers over the next couple days, but manager John Farrell said “there’s no clear-cut DL at this point” with Ramirez’s situation.
“In the short run we’re going to miss [Ramirez],” Farrell told the Boston Globe. “Hopefully this doesn’t turn into something more than at least the initial exam [indicates].”
Worth noting is that Ramirez had his left labrum repaired in 2007 and had an operation on the same shoulder in 2011 after suffering a separation. Farrell, though, says that it doesn’t appear this is an aggravation of an old injury.
“Based on the exams and the images tonight, I don’t have anything that suggests that there’s a reoccurrence of an old injury,” Farrell said. “Over the coming days we’ll have a better read on how he can recover and we’re hopeful that he won’t miss significant time.”
Ramirez hasn’t been the quickest healer in the past, and the club will likely be extra cautious given that he has a history of ailments with the shoulder. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald suggests that the Red Sox will rest Hanley until this weekend and make a decision about a disabled list stint then based on how he’s progressed (or not progressed).
Obviously losing Ramirez for any period of time is a blow. He’s batting .283/.340/.609 this season and trails only Nelson Cruz with his 10 homers. Allen Craig took over in left after Hanley was injured and will share time in left and right field with Brock Holt and Daniel Nava while Ramirez and Shane Victorino (hamstring) are out. The Red Sox could also recall Jackie Bradley if they decide they need more depth.
Editor's Note: Think you have what it takes to beat Rotoworld expert D.J. Short in one-day fantasy baseball? Compete against him for real cash tonight! Enter now for $3
Tommy John Surgery for Ottavino
He ended up getting the worst possible news when he was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Ottavino will receive another opinion from Dr. James Andrews, and if the renowned surgeon concurs with the previous opinion, the reliever will undergo Tommy John surgery.
"If he agrees, then I'll just get the surgery right then and there," Ottavino told the Denver Post.
It’s really a bummer for Ottavino, as he was named the Rockies’ closer a couple weeks ago and was showing signs of a true breakout campaign, tossing 10 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and striking out 13. Now, the 29-year-old will likely be sidelined until around midseason next year.
John Axford has assumed the ninth-inning duties since Ottavino went down and has fared well for the Rox this season, spinning five shutout frames with a 6/2 K/BB ratio. Axford, of course, has plenty of closing experience from his time with the Brewers and also for a while last season with the Indians. The veteran reliever has always been able to get swings and misses even when he was struggling, as he’s struck out at least a batter per inning every season. However, with a career 4.3 BB/9 rate, including a 5.9 BB/9 mark last season, he could be a ticking time bomb at Coors Field.
So who would be next in line should Axford falter? Former closer LaTroy Hawkins could eventually get another shot if he recovers from a biceps injury. For now, though, it would surely be Rafael Betancourt, who picked up a save last month and boasts a 1.69 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio over 10 2/3 innings. Betancourt has plenty of closer experience of his own and has been successful as a ninth-inning man at Coors Field. While he doesn’t have Axford’s velocity, he also gets plenty of strikeouts with a career 9.5 K/9 rate. Unlike Axford, Betancourt has excellent control (1.6 BB/9 rate as a Rockie).
Some bad news for the Dodgers is that they blew a 3-0 lead to the reeling Brewers on Monday with Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Some good news is that their new leadoff hitter keeps crushing the ball.
Joc Pederson launched a hanging Kyle Lohse changeup well over the right-field wall to lead off the game Monday. It was Pederson’s lone hit of the night, although he also drew a walk as he continues to get on base at a terrific clip (.421 OBP).
One reason to have some reservations about Pederson coming into the season was his proclivity for the strikeout. That hasn’t gone away, as he’s whiffed 31 times across 96 plate appearances. It’s something that’s likely to keep his batting average down (he’s hitting .270 now). However, he’s also drawn 19 walks, which is a major reason why manager Don Mattingly felt comfortable moving him up to the leadoff spot.
Pederson sports a fantastic .270/.421/.622 batting line with seven home runs and 16 RBI through his first 25 games this season. Four of those longballs and seven of those RBI have come in his five games since being moved to the leadoff spot. That Pederson has just one stolen base is his only blemish thus far. He doesn’t have any since Opening Day, going 0-for-3 since April 7. However, that part of his game should pick up given that he averaged over 30 swipes per season in the minors.
It will be interesting to see what Mattingly does with the lineup when Yasiel Puig (hamstring) returns, which is expected to be on Sunday. Jimmy Rollins has held down the top spot in the lineup when everyone was healthy, but his OBP is currently 164 points lower than Pederson’s. The Dodgers would be better off hitting him lower in the order, but so far Mattingly has hit the veteran first or second in every game.
No matter where he’s hitting (and it’s almost surely never going to be eighth again), it’s clear that Pederson is ready to do some damage.
National League Quick Hits: The Brewers hired Craig Counsell to replace Ron Roenicke as manager ... Anthony Rendon (knee) will be shut down after being diagnosed with an oblique strain while on his rehab assignment ... Madison Bumgarner flirted with a no-hitter and wound up tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings in Monday’s win over the Padres ... Jean Segura (head) is expected to return to the Brewers' lineup on Tuesday ... Mark Reynolds went 2-for-3 with a walk and a grand slam in the Cardinals’ comeback win over the Cubs Monday ... Yunel Escobar went 5-for-5 and had a go-ahead, two-run single in Monday’s win over the Marlins ... The Diamondbacks are hopeful that Jake Lamb (foot) will be ready to return by the end of their next homestand that concludes on May 13 ... Chris Denorfia (hamstring) will be placed on the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game ... Carlos Martinez was touched up for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings but escaped with a no-decision in the Cards’ win over the Cubs ... Jeff Francoeur went 4-for-5 with an RBI double and RBI triple in Monday’s win over the Braves ...
American League Quick Hits: Alex Cobb (forearm) has been shut down from throwing after experiencing a setback ... Stephen Vogt finished 3-for-5 with a grand slam and an RBI double in Monday's loss versus the Twins. ... Felix Hernandez limited the Angels to one run over seven innings in a victory Monday ... Nelson Cruz launched his 14th homer of the season on Monday ... Dallas Keuchel spun eight frames of one-run ball Monday but took a no-decision against the Rangers ... Jake Odorizzi held the Red Sox to one run over seven innings on Monday ... Chase Whitley delivered seven shutout innings but took a no-decision as the Yankees lost to the Blue Jays on Monday ... R.A. Dickey didn’t have a strikeout but went eight frames allowing only a single run in a win over the Yankees ... Chris Taylor was recalled by the Mariners on Monday and is expected to receive the bulk of the starts at shortstop over Brad Miller ... Austin Jackson landed on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain ... Oswaldo Arcia was placed on the disabled list a with right hip flexor strain ... Nick Swisher (knees) will be activated from the disabled list Tuesday ...