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Hanley Ramirez out with sprained shoulder
The Red Sox signed shortstop Hanley Ramirez this offseason, with the thought that he would play left field this season, and probably take over as their full-time designated hitter once David Ortiz retires. The Red Sox did what the Marlins and Dodgers should have done with Hanley a few years ago, and that is move him off shortstop. But moving to left field from shortstop isn't always an easy move for some, and Hanley has proved to be one of the worst left fielders in the game in the early going of the 2015 season.
Last night, Ramirez injured his shoulder running into the wall near the stands in left field and was removed from the game. Here is more from Peter Abraham from the Boston Globe:
Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez left Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the top of the first inning with what the team announced was a sprained left shoulder.
Ramirez crashed into the padded wall along the left-field line chasing a ball off the bat of James Loney. He initially made the catch, then lost the ball when his arm hit the wall.
Ramirez, wincing in pain and holding his left arm, retrieved the ball and flung it in. Teammates came to aid immediately followed by manager John Farrell and an athletic trainer. Ramirez walked slowly off the field and directly into the clubhouse.
Allen Craig replaced Ramirez in the linuep.
Ramirez has twice had surgery on his left shoulder. He suffered a separated shoulder on Aug. 2, 2011, while trying to make a catch for the Florida Marlins in 2011 and underwent surgery on Sept. 15.
Ramirez was having a great start to the season before the injury, hitting .283-.340-.609 with 10 home runs, 17 runs scored and 22 RBI. It sounds like he will need a stint on the disabled list, and we will probably learn more about the injury in the next day or two. Manager John Farrell announced after the game that Hanley will be re-evaluated and the hope is he will avoid the disabled list.
As Abraham reported, Allen Craig replaced Ramirez in left field, and should get plenty of playing time while Ramirez, Shane Victorino and Rusney Castillo are on the DL. Castillo and Victorino should be back soon though.
For more on Ramirez's injury and the Red Sox, make sure you check out Over the Monster, SB Nation's Red Sox dan site.
Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann didn't start the season on a positive note, as he put up a disaster start in his second start of the season, giving up 8 runs, 7 of which were earned, on 9 hits in 2.1 innings vs the Red Sox. Since that start, he has pitched pretty well, but has earned just one win. Last night, where he limited the Marlins to 2 runs, one earned run, on 6 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts, leaving with a no-decision. He is now 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and a 22-6 strikeout to walk rate in 34.2 innings. Since his blowup start in early April, Zimmermann has given 8 earned runs on 24 hits in 26.1 innings, cutting his ERA in half. The wins will come. If you have an owner who is panicking over Zimmermann's velocity loss, make an offer.
Zimmermann isn't the only National League starter who has disappointed owners early this season. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, fresh off his MVP and Cy Young award last season, has pitched well, but appears to more hittable this season. He has given up five home runs already this season, after giving up just nine in 2014. He held hitters to a measly .289 slugging percentage last year, but that has jumped to .417 prior to Monday's start. In Monday's start in Milwaukee, Kershaw gave up 3 runs on 5 hits, no walks and 8 strikeouts over 7.1 innings. He was removed in the eighth inning with the lead, but reliever Chris Hatcher proceeded to give up the tying and go ahead runs. Kershaw is now just 1-2 with an un-Kershaw-like 3.73 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and a 51-7 strikeout to walk rate in 38.2 innings.
The Ramirez injury wasn't the only injury news of the day, just the biggest. The Nationals received more bad news on third baseman Anthony Rendon, as he was flown back to Washington DC to get his left oblique injury looked at. Rendon is currently rehabbing his knee injury, but has not played many games due to soreness and the oblique issue. Mark Zuckerman reported late last night the following update on Rendon:
MRI shows oblique strain for Rendon. Shut down til it heals.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) May 5, 2015
Rendon will be shut down indefinitely, and I don't expect to see him till early June, but that is probably optimistic.
Heading into Monday's start, Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez was coming off four quality starts in a row, giving up just five earned runs in 25 innings That came to a screeching halt last night as Martinez lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up 7 runs on 9 hits, 4 walks and 4 strikeouts vs the Cubs. As I write this, the Cubs are up 6-4 in the sixth inning, so if they go on to win, CMart's record will move to 3-1 with a 3.64 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 28-14 strikeout to walk rate in 29.2 innings. The blow up start should not come as a surprise, as most young starters will suffer through several starts like this their first few times through the league.
Atlhetics shortstop Marcus Semien was one of my favorite sleepers coming into the season. Given the starting shortstop job in Oakland, I felt that he had the potential to put up a 15 home run, 15 stolen base season. So far, he appears well on his way to meeting or exceeding that projection. Last night, Semien went 1-4 with a run scored and is now hitting .271-.316-.430 with 3 home runs, 15 runs scored, 12 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 113 plate appearances. According to ESPN, he is on pace to hit 18 home runs, scored 90 runs, drive in 72 runs and steal 24 bases. That would put him in the conversation as a top 3 fantasy shortstop.
Semien's teammate, catcher Stephen Vogt, is enjoying a breakout season to date. Last night, Vogt went 2-4 with a grand slam home run, going 3-5 and 5 RBI in the A's game vs the Twins (Twins lead 8-6 in the 8th inning as I write this). The big night at the plate raised his slash line to .372-.462-.718 with 7 home runs, 15 runs scored, 25 RBI and an excellent 11-13 strikeout to walk rate in 90 plate appearances. Vogt has now hit 3 home runs and driven in 9 runs in his last two games. He is currently ranked in the top 4 in five statistical categories in the American League, including home runs, RBI, SLG, OPS, batting average and ranks 10th in walks.
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