We could choose many phrases to describe Jose Ramirez’s 2019 season.
Horrendously bland would not be one of them.
First, there was the slump — three mostly infuriating months.
Then, there was the explosive — some would say inevitable — hot streak.
For fantasy owners, there have also been important questions: Did you wait patiently throughout all of it? Did you trade for Ramirez at exactly the right time? Or maybe you were the fantasy owner who (understandably) couldn’t take it any more, and traded him away back in May or June.
Whatever the case, none of it really matters now. The timeline is out for Ramirez, and as expected, the news is not good for the Indians 3B, who will miss 5-7 weeks after undergoing surgery for the fractured hamate bone in his right hand. That ends the regular season for Ramirez, and means his hypothetical return could only take place during the playoffs.
The situation is especially maddening for those who weathered the storm because they knew Ramirez would wake up. And wake up he did. After hitting .214 with five home runs, 30 RBI (and 18 steals) through his first 80 games, Jose flipped the switch and hit .320 with 15 homers, 45 RBI and six stolen bases in 46 games since the start of July. The 26-year-old ends his letdown of a 2019 campaign still having surpassed the 20-20 mark for the second consecutive year, with a .254 average, 20 home runs and 24 steals. The less-than-scintillating combo of Yu Chang and Mike Freeman will take over at third base.
Heaney Stays Hot
Angels lefty Andrew Heaney and the Rangers got another chance to air it out on Tuesday night after Heaney's 14-strikeout gem against them last week. The 28-year-old backed it up by throwing six innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run with three walks and 10 strikeouts, generating 20 swinging strikes along the way. Heaney closes out his August with a 2-0 record with a 1.82 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 34/4 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings. Also of note for the Angels: Mike Trout hit his MLB-leading 43rd home run to stay ahead of Cody Bellinger and Pete Alonso (more on him in a second). Trout also reached the 100-RBI plateau for the third time.
AL East Arms Update
Meanwhile, Tuesday brought some significant news on high-profile arms in the AL East, including Luis Severino (lat), who threw two simulated innings on Tuesday, and told the Associated Press that he is ready to begin a minor league rehab assignment.
In fact, word has come down that he'll begin said rehab start on Sunday with Double-A Trenton, where he’s scheduled to throw two innings and 35 pitches. His teammate, Dellin Betances — also out with lat (and shoulder) trouble — is getting closer to a return as well, and is set to face live hitters on Wednesday.
In Tampa, Yonny Chirinos (finger) played catch again on Tuesday, Blake Snell (elbow) could throw his first bullpen session on Friday, and Tyler Glasnow (forearm) threw 15 pitches in a live BP session — and will start a rehab assignment at High-A on Friday. Glasnow will return in a relief role.
Also, David Price (wrist) is expected to return to the Red Sox rotation this weekend in Anaheim after throwing a successful simulated game on Tuesday. He’s been out since August 4.
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AL Quick Hits: More Yankees news: Edwin Encarnacion (wrist) could be ready to return “in the near future”, according to Aaron Boone, while Luke Voit (hernia) is on track to be activated Friday. … Andrew Benintendi (side) was out of the lineup again on Tuesday. … Niko Goodrum (groin) is expected to be sidelined for the next 10-14 days. … Yordan Alvarez homered twice (his 20th and 21st) and drove in four runs in a 15-1 win over the Rays. … Franmil Reyes now has four homers in his last three games after hitting a three-run blast on Tuesday night. … Adam Plutko struck out a career-high nine Tigers in 5 2/3 innings. … Michael Pineda struck out eight in five innings and has three wins against the White Sox in his last five starts. He also has a 2.87 ERA over his last nine starts, dating back to the end of June. … Marwin Gonzalez (abdomen, oblique) is considered day-to-day. … Lourdes Gurriel (quad) is expected to start playing in rehab games by early next week. …Hanser Alberto (head, neck) was back in the lineup on Tuesday and picked up a couple hits, while Renato Nunez (hamstring) returned and went 0-for-4. … Eddie Rosario (hamstring) returned to the lineup and went 1-for-4 with an RBI. … Carlos Correa (back) ran sprints and did some “rotational exercises”. … Lucas Giolito struck out nine to give him 203 Ks on the season. … Daniel Vogelbach went 0-for-3 and is hitting .164 in 34 games since the All-Star break. … The Angels activated Keynan Middleton (Tommy John). … Michael Chavis (shoulder) went 1-for-3 and played seven innings at second base in a minor league rehab game at Triple-A Pawtucket. … The Rangers placed Hunter Pence (back) on the 10-day IL, retroactive to August 24. … Byron Buxton has had a setback with his left shoulder, and there’s no longer any timetable for his return. … Kevin Kiermaier (rib) was out of the starting lineup again. … Miguel Cabrera left Tuesday’s game due to left biceps tightness. … Masahiro Tanaka struck out seven in seven shutout innings against the Mariners, and Aaron Judge went yard for the fourth time in five games, giving him 17 on the season. … Justin Verlander was ejected for arguing balls and strikes after throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings.
NL Quick Hits: The Giants released Scooter Gennett, and called up infield prospect Mauricio Dubon (.302 average, 20 homers and 10 steals at Triple-A). … Rockies OF Sam Hilliard (35 homers at Triple-A) went yard in his big league debut. … David Peralta is headed for season-ending surgery on his right shoulder. … Willson Contreras (hamstring) caught a bullpen and took BP on Tuesday. … Adrian Houser (five innings, one earned run) was pulled after 74 pitches due to left hip discomfort. … Ketel Marte hit his 28th home run of the season, but left early due to a right hamstring cramp. … The Nationals placed Hunter Strickland on the paternity list. … Roenis Elias (hamstring) threw another bullpen session. … Miles Mikolas struck out a career-high 10 batters against the Brewers. … Eugenio Suarez went 3-for-5 and hit his 37th dinger. … Anthony Rizzo (back) was out of the lineup for a second straight day. … Nick Senzel hit his 11th homer and stole his 14th base. … Yadier Molina homered twice and picked up a career-high 10 total bases. … Brian Anderson (finger) does not need surgery, but will miss the remainder of the season. … Robinson Cano (hamstring) took live batting practice on Tuesday and could actually return before the season is over. … Yu Darvish threw eight innings of one-run ball with one walk (his first since July 23) and seven strikeouts to beat the Mets. The lone run he allowed: Pete Alonso’s 42nd bomb of the season — a single-season Mets record. … Scott Kingery was out of the lineup due to a gastrointestinal issue. … Johnny Cueto (elbow) will make one more rehab start at Triple-A before joining the Giants. … Rich Hill (elbow) threw a 30-pitch bullpen. … Julio Urias (suspension) is joining Rancho Cucamonga to begin pitching in games. He’s eligible to return on September 2. … Meanwhile, Walker Buehler struck out 11 in six scoreless frames against the Padres. … Justin Turner has been suspended one game for making contact with home plate umpire Rob Drake on Monday (he’s appealing the suspension and will continue to be available until said appeal is heard, though he did not start on Tuesday). … The Reds optioned Jose Peraza to Triple-A and activated Joey Votto, who went 0-for-5.