Not the busiest afternoon here on MLBTR, so let's get the Review up a little sooner than usual:
- The latest superstar to be tied to performance enhancing drugs is Manny Ramirez. Ramirez will miss 50 games after testing positive for HCG – a women's fertility drug that can be used to restart natural testosterone production following a steroid cycle. Ramirez claims it was prescribed by a physician and has issued an apology. His suspension will save the Dodgers $2.7MM this year. Can the Dodgers stay in first place without Manny? Despite the big loss, I'd say they should be there when he returns.
- More changes in the NL West – The Diamondbacks fired manager Bob Melvin and replaced him with A.J. Hinch. Melvin's Diamondbacks were off to just a 12-17 start to the 2009 campaign.
- Trades do happen early in the season, and here's proof! The Orioles sent an unhappy Ryan Freel to the Cubs in exchange for Joey Gathright. Freel's versatility should get him more playing time in Chicago than Baltimore.
- The A's and Rays had a swap of their own, as Oakland sent minor leaguer Joe Dillon to Tampa for Adam Kennedy. The A's infield has been decimated by injury, so Kennedy will provide them some depth in a return to the AL West.
- If you're a reliever in Washington, don't get too comfortable The Nationals will make even more changes to their bullpen over the coming weeks in an attempt to come up with a solution to their late-inning woes. Can anyone out there figure out something to help what's been a complete disaster so far in 2009?
- 2010 Option Series updates: Mariners, Athletics, Angels, Twins, and Royals.