In his second season in Boston, Hanley Ramirez is settling into a leadership role, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes. In the piece, Ramirez addresses a variety of topics, but perhaps the most interesting is his view of the Red Sox and Marlins franchises. “It’s way different,” he says. “Down there, we were just happy to be there and make it to the big leagues. We didn’t have that kind of pressure. Here, it’s about winning, it’s about success and winning.” Ramirez also describes how Mookie Betts looks to him for advice. Lately, of course, Ramirez has mostly led with his bat, hitting .356/.415/.746 in September even before his two-homer outburst today against the Yankees. After a torrid second half in which he’s run his season line up to .290/.361/.503, Ramirez’s current four-year, $88MM contract looks wildly more successful than it did this time last season. Here’s more from around the big leagues.
- Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir developed a blister on his finger after pitching a simulated game Sunday, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes. Manager Dave Roberts says he doesn’t yet know how serious the blister is, but it has to be an annoying development for both player and team. Kazmir has been out since late August with neck inflammation, and the Dodgers are trying to decide who will start for them in the playoffs besides Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda. Kazmir has a 4.59 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 135 1/3 innings so far this season.
- Another injured starter trying to return to action, Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals, played catch on flat ground Saturday, writes MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Strasburg suffered a flexor mass strain earlier this month and later told reporters he wasn’t sure if he would be able to return for the postseason. Playing catch on flat ground is dramatically different from pitching in a game, but it appears he’s at least taken a first step toward coming back. The 28-year-old has a 3.60 ERA, 11.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 147 2/3 innings in 2016.