Elvin Ramirez Rumors
Rick Ankiel could be nearing the end of his well-documented but still-surreal path through baseball, writes Joe Posnanski of NBCSports.com. Evoking the poet Dylan Thomas ("rage, rage against the dying of the light ... do not go gentle into that good night"), Posnanski notes that Ankiel's journey has taken one more incredible turn. In 42 plate appearances this season prior to this evening's game, Ankiel posted a remarkable 26:0 strikeout to walk ratio, but was slugging over .600 thanks to his five home runs and two doubles. While long known as a free swinger with contact issues, Ankiel appears to be bringing both those labels to heretofore unseen extremes for the struggling Astros. Elsewhere around the American League:
- It is time to wonder whether and when the Mariners will start firing people, writes Dave Cameron at U.S.S. Mariner. While Cameron is no fan of manager Eric Wedge, he feels that there is little to be gained from a mid-season firing of the team's skipper. And while the team might be tempted to can GM Jack Zduriencik, that could create major logistical difficulties with the upcoming draft and then trade deadline. Ultimately, says Cameron, Seattle will be hard pressed to avoid reaping what it sowed in a confounding offseason.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan says it was "just happenstance" that this offseason saw the club acquire a series of groundball-inducing righties (Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, and Kevin Correia), Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports. Ryan has a background in what Berardino describes as "old-school scouting principles." Nevertheless, the GM says that he does not make any decisions without consulting his statistics guru, Jack Goin, whose official title is manager of major league administration and baseball research.
- The Angels have outrighted right-handed Elvin Ramirez to Triple-A after the pitcher cleared waivers, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (via Twitter). Ramirez was acquired from the Mets for cash about a month back. The move means that the club has cleared a spot on its 40-man roster, Gonzalez also notes.
- After being designated for assignment to make room for Aaron Laffey, pitcher Ramon Ortiz has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Blue Jays, according to the club's Buffalo affiliate (on Twitter). He made one appearance for Toronto this year after spending all of 2012 in the Yankees' system.
The Angels have acquired minor-league righty Elvin Ramirez from the Mets for cash consideration, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter. Ramirez was one of the players mentioned yesterday by ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin as being shopped by the roster-spot-hungry Mets. Rubin notes on Twitter that this deal leaves 38 occupied spots on the team's 40-man roster.
For Los Angeles, they are acquiring a pitcher who has only thrown 21 1/3 big league innnings, over which he compiled a 5.48 ERA. In addition to that brief audition last year with the Mets, Ramirez logged a composite 2.13 ERA over 55 minor league innings in 2012, 42 of which were spent in Triple-A.
The Nationals announced that they returned Rule 5 selection Elvin Ramirez to the Mets. The right-hander spent the season on the 60-day DL after undergoing an operation on his throwing shoulder. The Nationals conserve 40-man roster space with the move.
Ramirez, 24, was sidelined all season and never pitched in a game for the Nationals or one of their affiliates. He posted a 4.16 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 in 80 innings for two of the Mets' affiliates before the Nationals selected him in last December's draft.
Players have to spend 90 non-September days on the active roster to become official property of their new teams. Otherwise, their Rule 5 status carries forward until the players spend 90 non-September days on the active roster. For a complete recap of the December 2010 Rule 5 draft, click here.
Livan Hernandez threw out the first pitch in Washington Nationals history, and tonight he's taking on the Brewers in his 456th career start. Let's recap the latest from the nation's capital...
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson hears that Adam LaRoche has a large tear in his labrum and some tearing in his rotator cuff (Twitter links). He'll rehab for two or three weeks, but won't swing a bat or throw.
- GM Mike Rizzo told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that his team is "playing terrific baseball except for the fact that we’re struggling with runners in scoring position." He's not looking for scapegoats though, and he's satisfied with the work of manager Jim Riggleman and hitting coach Rick Eckstein. As a team, the Nats are hitting .223 with runners in scoring position, fifth worst in baseball.
- Washington returned Rule 5 Draft pick Brian Broderick to the Cardinals yesterday, and Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post says they won't have to make a decision on their other Rule 5 pick, reliever Elvin Ramirez, for a while. The former Mets' farmhand had shoulder surgery and will be out for the season. The Nats can keep him through the offseason, but the Rule 5 Draft rules will still apply in 2012.
- Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com wrote about the team's outfield logjam now that Rick Ankiel has come off the disabled list. They need to figure out if and how Roger Bernadina fits into their long-term plans.
Jason Bay makes his season debut for the Mets tonight, and hopefully he can inject some offense into an offense that ranks 12th in the NL with 4.00 runs per game. The latest links involving the team:
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post talks about the Mets' need for Bay to add some life to the club, with the team's clubhouse already giving out a mathematically-eliminated vibe.
- Elvin Ramirez, the 23-year-old reliever taken by the Nationals from the Mets in the December Rule 5 draft, received a cortisone injection in his shoulder last week according to this tweet from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. ESPN's Adam Rubin attempts to decipher the situation, tweeting that Ramirez "must spend 90 non-September says active on 25-man roster to become Nats property."
- Commissioner Bud Selig said the $25MM the Mets borrowed from MLB is due back before the end of the season, and he's confident the team will make the payment, according to this tweet from Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal.
- The Nationals currently have 37 players on their 40-man roster after putting pitchers Chien-Ming Wang and Elvin Ramirez on the 60-day DL. The move buys the Nats extra time with Ramirez, a Rule 5 pick from the Mets who has little experience above High-A.
- The team's lone remaining 25-man roster decision is Alex Cora versus Alberto Gonzalez for a backup infield job, reports Ben Goessling of MASNsports.com. Cora would need a 40-man spot, as will Laynce Nix, Chad Gaudin, and Matt Stairs.
- Rule 5 pick Brian Broderick, a righty taken from the Cardinals, made the team according to Goessling (Twitter link). For much more on Broderick, check out Buster Olney's blog if you have ESPN Insider.
The latest on the Nationals, as John Lannan completes a strong spring start against the Astros...
- Rule 5 pick Elvin Ramirez, a reliever taken from the Mets, should start throwing light bullpens soon according to GM Mike Rizzo. The info comes from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, who suggests Ramirez could start the season on the DL and buy the Nationals some time. For my post on the latest on all 19 Major League Rule 5 picks, click here.
- The Nationals contacted the Red Sox about a potential Ivan Rodriguez trade, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, the Sox are only looking for veteran Triple-A depth at most. Previously, reports have indicated that the Nats are willing to move a catcher.
- The Nationals also have Roger Bernadina and Nyjer Morgan scrapping for a spot on the team, Rosenthal notes. Both players have minor league options remaining.
- Nationals fans, don't forget that you can follow the club's rumors via our Facebook and Twitter pages and RSS feed.