Mike Nolan, Athletics Minor League P, Injured in Drive-By Shooting

Oakland Athletics minor league pitcher Mike Nolan was the victim of a drive-by shooting attack in New York on Friday.   

According to Lori Bordonaro of NBC 4 in New York, police officials confirmed Nolan was shot in the head and is listed in serious condition. 

"His father, Jimmy Nolan, identified the victim as Mike Nolan, a pitcher from Yonkers who was drafted last year by the Oakland A's," Bordonaro wrote. "He said his son, a Saunders Trades and Technical High School graduate, was also shot in the torso, and is now fighting for his life."

Nolan was said to be standing by his car when the shots were fired, with the suspect firing "five or six shots at the victim before driving off."

While no official motive was given, the report notes authorities believe there may have been a dispute earlier, but Nolan is believed to be an innocent victim in the case. 

Per Jane Lerner of the Journal News, Nolan's grandfather, Michael Maher, said the family has been told "there is nothing we can do but wait."

The 23-year-old Nolan was an 18th-round pick by Oakland in 2014 after pitching for Oklahoma State the previous three years. He was assigned to the A's rookie team in Arizona, but he has not pitched since being placed on the restricted list in July 2014. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Barry Zito Called Up by Oakland A’s: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

After spending the entire 2015 season in Triple-A, former American League Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito will join the Oakland Athletics for the final two weeks of the Major League Baseball season.   

According to the A's official Twitter account, Zito and Cody Martin were recalled from Nashville, and Jesse Chavez was placed on the 60-day disabled list. 

Zito last appeared this season September 7 with a perfect inning against Omaha. Nashville Sounds radio announcer Jeff Hem noted that it elicited an ovation from his teammates for what "could" have been his final appearance as a professional pitcher. 

Speaking to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Zito made it sound like he wasn't expecting to be called up by the A's and that the end was near: “I thought I did everything I could to get a call-up when I was going all right, but it just didn't work out. At least I know I gave myself the best chance I could.”

In 24 appearances with Nashville this season, Zito had a 3.46 ERA, 91 strikeouts and 60 walks in 138 innings. The 37-year-old last pitched in the big leagues with the San Francisco Giants during the 2013 season, posting a 5.74 ERA and 173 hits allowed in 133.1 innings. 

Zito won a World Series with the Giants in 2012, though his best success came in Oakland from 2000-06. He won a Cy Young Award in 2002 and had a ERA of 3.55 in 222 starts during that time frame. Even though the Athletics won't be getting the once-dominant Zito, at least this way he can presumably end his career where it started and get a nice send off from the fans in Oakland.

The A's are 62-83 with nothing to lose at this point, so letting the southpaw ride off into the sunset will be a good farewell to what has been an otherwise forgettable season in Oakland. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Mike Moustakas Knocks in 9 RBI vs. Orioles: Stats, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas' breakout 2015 season hit a new high on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles as he went 3-for-5 with two home runs and a career-high nine RBI in a 14-6 victory.

In addition to Moustakas setting a new single-game benchmark for runs driven in, Joel Goldberg of Fox Sports Kansas City noted the other marks the 27-year-old broke or tied:

Here was the blast that allowed Moustakas to hit the nine-RBI mark, via MLB.com:

Even though Moustakas and the Royals will have more opportunities to create lasting moments in October during the postseason, this game against the Orioles is a stellar way to cap what has been a dramatic turnaround that dates back to last year's playoff run. 

For instance, per Carrington Harrison, Moustakas' nine RBI on Saturday were more than he had in three different months last season:        

Things were so bad for Moustakas early in 2014 that the Royals sent him down to Triple-A in May. He did return at the start of June but never rebounded to save his slash line.

In April, Moustakas told Matthew DeFranks of Fox Sports Kansas City that the struggles early in his career helped him to make swing adjustments leading to the much-improved results this year:

I took my lumps. I took my bumps, my bruises. It's just kind of what happens in baseball. You're not always going to have success in this game. You go 3 for 10, you're considered a Hall of Famer in your career. Just trying to put all that in perspective. I was young. I wanted to do so good when I first got up here. Now, it's just all about the team.

Making Moose's effort even more impressive is all nine of his RBI came in the last four innings. He hit a two-run single in the top of the sixth, a grand slam in the top of the seventh and a three-run home run in the top of the ninth. 

According to Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star, Moustakas is the sixth player over the last decade with at least nine RBI. He also noted the player with the most RBI in a game during that span is Garret Anderson, who had 10 with the Los Angeles Angels in 2007. 

Kansas City has virtually been on cruise control this season, jumping out to a huge lead in the American League Central and only riding out the string until it officially earns a playoff berth. 

After reaching the World Series last October, Moustakas' offensive emergence adds another dynamic to a Royals team that's outstanding defensively and loaded in the back end of the bullpen.

Moustakas may not have another day like Saturday in his career, but his breakout game and season certainly make Kansas City look like it will be making another deep run in October.  

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

David Ortiz Records 500th Home Run: Highlights and Reaction

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has become the 27th member of the 500-home run club against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.

Ortiz's second home run of the game pushed the Red Sox starter into the distinguished club as MLB noted:

MLB provided the video of Ortiz's historic blast:

MLB also shared video of Ortiz's 499th home run earlier in the game:

As Big Papi was marching toward the milestone, Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo told Alec Shirkey of MLB.com that this was something everyone in the dugout was excited about seeing play out:

It's exciting for every one of us. He's downplaying it in his typical David humble way to not make a distraction. He doesn't want to make it about himself. He wants to make it about the team and how we're playing right now, but it's exciting for all of us to walk in every day.

It's bigger than a lot of things that are happening right now, and it'll be fun if he gets that 500th.

Ortiz is the first player to break the 500-home run barrier since Albert Pujols did so in April 2014. The 39-year-old is also the fourth player to hit the milestone wearing a Red Sox uniform.    

Unlike previous Red Sox sluggers Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Manny Ramirez, who had built legendary resumes as soon as they arrived in Major League Baseball, Ortiz's march toward 500 home runs was something no one saw coming. 

He was released by the Minnesota Twins following the 2002 season, signing a free-agent deal with Boston in January 2003, and he didn't become an everyday starter in Boston's lineup until June. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports weighed in on the value the Red Sox got from such a shrewd signing:

Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein told the Boston Herald (h/t ESPN.com's David Schoenfield) in early 2003 after Ortiz signed with the team that there seemed to be a good future for him with the franchise. 

"I think, our scouts think and our analysis dictates that he has a really high ceiling," said Epstein. "You're looking at a player that has a chance to be an impact player in the middle of the lineup in the big leagues. That's his ceiling and I hope he reaches it with us."

Ortiz found his calling in Boston, exceeding even the most optimistic projection that Epstein or anyone else might have had for him. He's hit at least 30 home runs in nine of 13 seasons with the Red Sox, made eight All-Star teams and has six top-10 AL MVP finishes.

In addition to all of his personal accolades, including the 500th homer celebration, he has helped lead the Red Sox to three World Series titles since arriving and was named MVP of the 2013 World Series after hitting .688 against the St. Louis Cardinals

Ortiz's journey to 500 is even more remarkable because there were times when it looked like age was catching up to him. He had a .222/.317/.416 slash line in the first half of 2009 and a .231/.326/.435 mark at the break this season. 

Adjustments have been a hallmark of Ortiz's long-term success, as noted by Rick Rowand of Sons of Sam Horn, who pointed out around early June that he started to put more weight on his back (left) leg to maintain his balance and power throughout his swing. 

Looking into Ortiz's post-playing days, 16 members of the 500-homer club have been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Frank Thomas did help break down a barrier in 2014, becoming the first player whose primary position was designated hitter to be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York. 

Given the way Ortiz is going, even as he approaches age 40, it will be a long time before the Baseball Writers' Association of America gets to put his name on a Hall of Fame ballot. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

David Ortiz Records 500th Home Run: Highlights and Reaction

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has become the 27th member of the 500-home run club against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.

Ortiz's second home run of the game pushed the Red Sox starter into the distinguished club as MLB noted:

MLB provided the video of Ortiz's historic blast:

MLB also shared video of Ortiz's 499th home run earlier in the game:

As Big Papi was marching toward the milestone, Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo told Alec Shirkey of MLB.com that this was something everyone in the dugout was excited about seeing play out:

It's exciting for every one of us. He's downplaying it in his typical David humble way to not make a distraction. He doesn't want to make it about himself. He wants to make it about the team and how we're playing right now, but it's exciting for all of us to walk in every day.

It's bigger than a lot of things that are happening right now, and it'll be fun if he gets that 500th.

Ortiz is the first player to break the 500-home run barrier since Albert Pujols did so in April 2014. The 39-year-old is also the fourth player to hit the milestone wearing a Red Sox uniform.    

Unlike previous Red Sox sluggers Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Manny Ramirez, who had built legendary resumes as soon as they arrived in Major League Baseball, Ortiz's march toward 500 home runs was something no one saw coming. 

He was released by the Minnesota Twins following the 2002 season, signing a free-agent deal with Boston in January 2003, and he didn't become an everyday starter in Boston's lineup until June. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports weighed in on the value the Red Sox got from such a shrewd signing:

Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein told the Boston Herald (h/t ESPN.com's David Schoenfield) in early 2003 after Ortiz signed with the team that there seemed to be a good future for him with the franchise. 

"I think, our scouts think and our analysis dictates that he has a really high ceiling," said Epstein. "You're looking at a player that has a chance to be an impact player in the middle of the lineup in the big leagues. That's his ceiling and I hope he reaches it with us."

Ortiz found his calling in Boston, exceeding even the most optimistic projection that Epstein or anyone else might have had for him. He's hit at least 30 home runs in nine of 13 seasons with the Red Sox, made eight All-Star teams and has six top-10 AL MVP finishes.

In addition to all of his personal accolades, including the 500th homer celebration, he has helped lead the Red Sox to three World Series titles since arriving and was named MVP of the 2013 World Series after hitting .688 against the St. Louis Cardinals

Ortiz's journey to 500 is even more remarkable because there were times when it looked like age was catching up to him. He had a .222/.317/.416 slash line in the first half of 2009 and a .231/.326/.435 mark at the break this season. 

Adjustments have been a hallmark of Ortiz's long-term success, as noted by Rick Rowand of Sons of Sam Horn, who pointed out around early June that he started to put more weight on his back (left) leg to maintain his balance and power throughout his swing. 

Looking into Ortiz's post-playing days, 16 members of the 500-homer club have been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Frank Thomas did help break down a barrier in 2014, becoming the first player whose primary position was designated hitter to be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York. 

Given the way Ortiz is going, even as he approaches age 40, it will be a long time before the Baseball Writers' Association of America gets to put his name on a Hall of Fame ballot. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Scott Feldman Injury: Updates on Astros P’s Shoulder and Return

As the Houston Astros continue their chase for a playoff spot, their starting rotation will be without a key piece the rest of this season thanks to Scott Feldman's shoulder injury. 

Continue for updates. 


Astros Shut Feldman Down

Friday, Sept. 11

According to the Astros' official Twitter, a sprained right shoulder will force Feldman to miss the rest of 2015. 

The 32-year-old right-hander last pitched on September 1 against Seattle, going just 2.2 innings and allowing five walks before calling the training staff out to look at him. 

Feldman made 18 starts this season, posting a 3.90 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 108.1 innings. He has started and pitched out of the bullpen in his career, which would have given Astros manager A.J. Hinch versatility with his staff down the stretch. 

Houston is currently 2.5 games ahead of Texas in the American League West. General manager Jeff Luhnow did add rotation depth before the deadline, acquiring Scott Kazmir to pitch behind Cy Young contender Dallas Keuchel. 

The Astros' rotation behind that top two will have to step up in Feldman's absence to ensure this surprising run has a happy ending in October. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Angels GM Search: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Vacant Position

The Los Angeles Angels have been without an official general manager since Jerry DiPoto stepped down in July, but with the season winding down, the search to fill the position is expected to pick up. 

Continue for updates. 


Angels Reportedly Favor Yankees' Assistant GM 

Friday, Sept. 4

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, New York Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler is "expected to be a strong front-runner" for the Angels' general manager position. 

The Angels know Eppler well, dating back to 2011 when the team hired DiPoto, as noted by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal:

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported on September 1 the Angels had finished conducting interviews with internal candidates Matt Klentak and Scott Servais and were preparing to interview additional candidates from outside the organization. 

After losing out to DiPoto for the Angels' GM job in 2011, Eppler was promoted to his current role with the Yankees by their general manager, Brian Cashman.

DiPoto resigned from the position this summer in part due to a contentious relationship with Angels manager Mike Scioscia, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Bill Stoneman, who was the team's general manager from 1999-2007, has taken over the role on an interim basis. 

The Angels are in a unique position to attract whoever they want to hire as general manager. Ownership has spent at least $137 million on payroll in each of the previous five seasons, per Cot's Baseball Contracts, and they have the reigning American League MVP Mike Trout signed through 2020. 

Any GM candidate would love to work for an owner who isn't afraid to spend money for a championship—not to mention having arguably the single-best player in the sport to build around.

This has been a difficult season for the Angels on and off the field, but there's a lot to work with heading into 2016.   

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Corey Kluber Injury: Updates on Indians Star’s Hamstring and Return

The Cleveland Indians rotation has suffered a huge loss, as reigning American League Cy Young winner Corey Kluber is dealing with an injured hamstring. 

Continue for updates. 


Kluber Out with Hamstring Strain

Friday, Sept. 4

According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Kluber will not make his scheduled start Friday against the Detroit Tigers with a strained hamstring that could keep him out for an additional start. 

The good news for Cleveland is Bastian did note Kluber is expected to pitch again this season, though did not specify a potential return date. 

Kluber exploded onto the scene in 2014 with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts in 235.2 innings, becoming Cleveland's third Cy Young winner since 2007. He has followed that up with another stellar season, leading the league in innings pitched (200.1) while posting a career-best strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.76). 

As the Indians were making their run to the playoffs two years ago, though, Kluber was on the sideline in September with a sprained right middle finger. He didn't have any issues last year, making 34 starts, so the 29-year-old is not injury-prone. 

Cleveland's rotation lost Carlos Carrasco to the disabled list with a sore shoulder at the end of August, so taking Kluber out of the mix leaves two huge holes for manager Terry Francona to work around. 

The Indians have climbed back to within striking distance of the second wild-card spot, entering play on Friday six games behind the Texas Rangers, so the loss of Kluber for even one start will make it difficult for them to have any hope of making up that difference with 30 games left. 

Even though the Indians have been a disappointment this season, Kluber has remained a rock at the top of their rotation. His absence will change the dynamic of Cleveland's rotation, even if the team's playoff hopes are slim at this point. 

 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Corey Kluber Injury: Updates on Indians Star’s Hamstring and Return

The Cleveland Indians rotation has suffered a huge loss, as reigning American League Cy Young winner Corey Kluber is dealing with an injured hamstring. 

Continue for updates. 


Kluber Out with Hamstring Strain

Friday, Sept. 4

According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Kluber will not make his scheduled start Friday against the Detroit Tigers with a strained hamstring that could keep him out for an additional start. 

The good news for Cleveland is Bastian did note Kluber is expected to pitch again this season, though did not specify a potential return date. 

Kluber exploded onto the scene in 2014 with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts in 235.2 innings, becoming Cleveland's third Cy Young winner since 2007. He has followed that up with another stellar season, leading the league in innings pitched (200.1) while posting a career-best strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.76). 

As the Indians were making their run to the playoffs two years ago, though, Kluber was on the sideline in September with a sprained right middle finger. He didn't have any issues last year, making 34 starts, so the 29-year-old is not injury-prone. 

Cleveland's rotation lost Carlos Carrasco to the disabled list with a sore shoulder at the end of August, so taking Kluber out of the mix leaves two huge holes for manager Terry Francona to work around. 

The Indians have climbed back to within striking distance of the second wild-card spot, entering play on Friday six games behind the Texas Rangers, so the loss of Kluber for even one start will make it difficult for them to have any hope of making up that difference with 30 games left. 

Even though the Indians have been a disappointment this season, Kluber has remained a rock at the top of their rotation. His absence will change the dynamic of Cleveland's rotation, even if the team's playoff hopes are slim at this point. 

 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Stephen Strasburg Injury: Updates on Nationals Star’s Back and Return

Stephen Strasburg has endured a difficult season for the Washington Nationals, and it doesn't appear like it's going to get better anytime soon, as he was lifted from a start against the Miami Marlins on Sunday with a back injury, per Chase Hughes of CSN.

Continue for updates. 


Doug Fister Replaces Strasburg After Four Innings

Sunday, Aug. 30

Hughes noted Strasburg is dealing with "discomfort in his upper back." Chris Johnson of MASN Sports noted Strasburg's velocity seemed to be down on Sunday and that it was the second time he gave up more than one home run in a single game this season.      

Strasburg has had a fascinating career arc, which started with Tommy John surgery in his rookie season four years ago. The right-hander showed no ill effects from the operation, making at least 30 starts in each of the previous two seasons and tying for the National League lead in strikeouts last year. 

Yet 2015 has seen Strasburg fall completely off track. He missed nearly one month in a stint on the disabled list and has never really recovered from those early-season woes. 

The Nationals are 5.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East and 7.5 games out of a wild-card spot in the National League. Strasburg has struggled this season, but losing him for the stretch run can hardly be seen as a good thing for a team that's struggled with consistency all season.    

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Stephen Strasburg Injury: Updates on Nationals Star’s Back and Return

Stephen Strasburg has endured a difficult season for the Washington Nationals, and it doesn't appear like it's going to get better anytime soon, as he was lifted from a start against the Miami Marlins on Sunday with a back injury, per Chase Hughes of CSN.

Continue for updates. 


Doug Fister Replaces Strasburg After Four Innings

Sunday, Aug. 30

Hughes noted Strasburg is dealing with "discomfort in his upper back." Chris Johnson of MASN Sports noted Strasburg's velocity seemed to be down on Sunday and that it was the second time he gave up more than one home run in a single game this season.      

Strasburg has had a fascinating career arc, which started with Tommy John surgery in his rookie season four years ago. The right-hander showed no ill effects from the operation, making at least 30 starts in each of the previous two seasons and tying for the National League lead in strikeouts last year. 

Yet 2015 has seen Strasburg fall completely off track. He missed nearly one month in a stint on the disabled list and has never really recovered from those early-season woes. 

The Nationals are 5.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East and 7.5 games out of a wild-card spot in the National League. Strasburg has struggled this season, but losing him for the stretch run can hardly be seen as a good thing for a team that's struggled with consistency all season.    

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Stephen Strasburg Injury: Updates on Nationals Star’s Back and Return

Stephen Strasburg has endured a difficult season for the Washington Nationals, and it doesn't appear like it's going to get better anytime soon, as he was lifted from a start against the Miami Marlins on Sunday with a back injury, per Chase Hughes of CSN.

Continue for updates. 


Doug Fister Replaces Strasburg After Four Innings

Sunday, Aug. 30

Hughes noted Strasburg is dealing with "discomfort in his upper back." Chris Johnson of MASN Sports noted Strasburg's velocity seemed to be down on Sunday and that it was the second time he gave up more than one home run in a single game this season.      

Strasburg has had a fascinating career arc, which started with Tommy John surgery in his rookie season four years ago. The right-hander showed no ill effects from the operation, making at least 30 starts in each of the previous two seasons and tying for the National League lead in strikeouts last year. 

Yet 2015 has seen Strasburg fall completely off track. He missed nearly one month in a stint on the disabled list and has never really recovered from those early-season woes. 

The Nationals are 5.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East and 7.5 games out of a wild-card spot in the National League. Strasburg has struggled this season, but losing him for the stretch run can hardly be seen as a good thing for a team that's struggled with consistency all season.    

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Hanley Ramirez Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Shoulder and Return

Hanley Ramirez's return to the Boston Red Sox has not been triumphant for either side in 2015, as the 31-year-old is out of the lineup with a shoulder problem.

Continue for updates.


Ramirez Dealing with Fatigue

Friday, Aug. 28

According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said Ramirez has fatigue in his right shoulder.

Ramirez, while immensely talented, has always been an inconsistent player. Injuries have been a big part of that, as he played in fewer than 100 games in 2011 and 2013 and hasn't played in more than 140 games since 2012.

That will be the case again this season, which has been the worst of Ramirez's career. He is hitting .249/.291/.426, though he's been only one of many Boston players to underperform in 2015. Dustin Pedroia has played in only 75 games; Pablo Sandoval has a .695 OPS. 

The Red Sox have gone through a difficult two-year stretch since winning the World Series in 2013, though they have been able to work in young talent like Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart because of injuries and the offensive struggles of players like Ramirez.

Considering Ramirez is in the first year of the four-year deal he signed in the offseason, the Red Sox should play things safe with the former All-Star so he can enter 2016 at full strength and prepare for a bounce-back season.  

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Hanley Ramirez Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Shoulder and Return

Hanley Ramirez's return to the Boston Red Sox has not been triumphant for either side in 2015, as the 31-year-old is out of the lineup with a shoulder problem.

Continue for updates.


Ramirez Dealing with Fatigue

Friday, Aug. 28

According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said Ramirez has fatigue in his right shoulder.

Ramirez, while immensely talented, has always been an inconsistent player. Injuries have been a big part of that, as he played in fewer than 100 games in 2011 and 2013 and hasn't played in more than 140 games since 2012.

That will be the case again this season, which has been the worst of Ramirez's career. He is hitting .249/.291/.426, though he's been only one of many Boston players to underperform in 2015. Dustin Pedroia has played in only 75 games; Pablo Sandoval has a .695 OPS. 

The Red Sox have gone through a difficult two-year stretch since winning the World Series in 2013, though they have been able to work in young talent like Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart because of injuries and the offensive struggles of players like Ramirez.

Considering Ramirez is in the first year of the four-year deal he signed in the offseason, the Red Sox should play things safe with the former All-Star so he can enter 2016 at full strength and prepare for a bounce-back season.  

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Hanley Ramirez Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Shoulder and Return

Hanley Ramirez's return to the Boston Red Sox has not been triumphant for either side in 2015, as the 31-year-old is out of the lineup with a shoulder problem.

After being held out of the lineup on Aug. 28, Ramirez remained out of action the following day against the Mets, Sean McAdam of CSN New England reported.

Continue for updates.


Ramirez Dealing with Fatigue

Friday, Aug. 28

According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said Ramirez has fatigue in his right shoulder.

Ramirez, while immensely talented, has always been an inconsistent player. Injuries have been a big part of that, as he played in fewer than 100 games in 2011 and 2013 and hasn't played in more than 140 games since 2012.

That will be the case again this season, which has been the worst of Ramirez's career. He is hitting .249/.291/.426, though he's been only one of many Boston players to underperform in 2015. Dustin Pedroia has played in only 75 games; Pablo Sandoval has a .695 OPS. 

The Red Sox have gone through a difficult two-year stretch since winning the World Series in 2013, though they have been able to work in young talent like Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart because of injuries and the offensive struggles of players like Ramirez.

Considering Ramirez is in the first year of the four-year deal he signed in the offseason, the Red Sox should play things safe with the former All-Star so he can enter 2016 at full strength and prepare for a bounce-back season.  

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Mariners GM Search: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Vacant Position

After announcing Jack Zduriencik had been relieved of his duties as general manager, the Seattle Mariners will need to secure the long-term future of their front office to make a playoff push for the first time since 2001. 

Continue for updates. 


Mariners' Plan for Next GM

Friday, Aug. 28

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Mariners plan to hire a general manager who has previous experience in the role:

Nightengale added on Twitter the Mariners will have a "slew" of top general manager candidates available to them, noting the team wants to hire someone before the regular season ends. 

Seattle's roster is in an interesting spot for the new GM, whomever that ends up being. Jonah Keri of Grantland pointed out in a recent article that the team has been bad at developing players, citing examples like Dustin Ackley, Nick Franklin, Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Mike Zunino. 

Because of the inability to bring up impact young players, Zduriencik and his staff spent a franchise-record $123 million on a roster in 2015 that's 10 games under .500 and in fourth place in the American League West. 

The good news is that with expiring contracts, Seattle's projected payroll for next season is $78.86 million.

As long as the next general manager hires a scouting and coaching staff able to develop major league-caliber players and the front office remains willing to spend money on free agents, the Mariners should be an attractive destination for many GM candidates. 

 

Contract information via Cot's Baseball Contracts

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Mariners GM Search: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Vacant Position

After announcing Jack Zduriencik was relieved of his duties as general manager, the Seattle Mariners will need to secure the long-term future of their front office to make a playoff push for the first time since 2001. 

Continue for updates. 


Mather Discusses Mariners' Plan for Next GM

Saturday, Aug. 29

"I want to avoid the, 'You can talk to him after the postseason,'" Mariners club president Kevin Mather said, per Bob Dutton of the News Tribune. "Sorry, we’re going to miss him. He’s not going to make my list. I’m not going to wait until November on this. I’d like to move this along sometime in late September to mid-October, so we can hit the ground running when the postseason ends."

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today on Aug. 28, the Mariners plan to hire a general manager who has previous experience in the role:

Nightengale added on Twitter that the Mariners will have a "slew" of top general manager candidates available to them, noting the team wants to hire someone before the regular season ends. 

Seattle's roster is in an interesting spot for the new GM, whomever that ends up being. Jonah Keri of Grantland pointed out recently that the team has been bad at developing players, citing examples like Dustin Ackley, Nick Franklin, Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Mike Zunino. 

Because of the inability to bring up impact young players, Zduriencik and his staff spent a franchise-record $123 million on a roster in 2015 that's 10 games under .500 and in fourth place in the American League West. 

The good news is that with expiring contracts, Seattle's projected payroll for next season is $78.86 million.

As long as the next general manager hires a scouting and coaching staff able to develop major league-caliber players and the front office remains willing to spend money on free agents, the Mariners should be an attractive destination for many GM candidates. 

 

Contract information via Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Shane Greene Injury: Updates on Tigers Pitcher’s Shoulder and Return

Detroit Tigers right-hander Shane Greene, currently on the disabled list at Triple-A, has been diagnosed with an artery issue in his shoulder. 

Continue for updates. 


Tigers' Trainer Issues Diagnosis

Sunday, August 23

Per James Schmehl of MLive.com, Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said Greene is dealing with an "arterial issue" in his shoulder that is causing a pseudo-aneurysm. The 26-year-old will visit a specialist Tuesday. 

On August 18, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told Schmehl that Greene was placed on the seven-day disabled list with "numbness or coldness" in his fingers. 

Injuries and inconsistent performance have derailed Greene's 2015 season. He had an MRI in May after feeling a tingling sensation in his right hand, though it didn't land him on the disabled list. The Tigers demoted him to Triple-A in June when Justin Verlander came off the disabled list. 

In 18 games this season, Greene has posted a 6.88 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 83.2 innings. His last appearance in the big leagues was on August 7 against the Boston Red Sox. He tossed one scoreless inning in relief. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chase Utley to Dodgers: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

For the first time in his career, Chase Utley will be wearing a new uniform after the Philadelphia Phillies' star second baseman has reportedly agreed to a trade that will send him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

USA Today provided details of the trade. 

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the trade has been agreed upon, but not finalized. The Phillies will receive a pair of mid-level prospects from the Dodgers, who will also receive $2 million to help offset the remainder of the $15 million Utley is paid this season.

One of the prospects is believed to be Darnell Sweeney, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. The Dodgers will also receive $2 million to help pay for the $6 million remaining on Utley's 2015 salary, per Mark Saxon of ESPN LA.

The Phillies are 46-73 in 2015, continuing the downward trend of the franchise over the last several years. 

General manager Ruben Amaro has already taken steps to add long-term assets for Philadelphia, dealing Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers and Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. 

Last summer, when there was a chance Philadelphia could go into sell mode, the then-35-year-old Utley told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that his no-trade rights made it difficult to see a deal going through if the team decided to start blowing its roster up. 

"Well, you’re creating situations that aren’t necessarily going to happen," Utley said. "I guess we’d have to see at that point, but I don’t plan on going anywhere. ... Last year, re-signing here was something I really wanted to do. Great organization. Nothing has changed since then. I mean, honestly, I haven’t thought about it."

Utley's no-trade clause became a focal point again after he cleared waivers, making him eligible to be dealt to any team before Aug. 31, as noted by ESPN's Buster Olney:

Playing-time assurances for Utley at this point in his career would seem hard to come by, as he's no longer the star who was a top-10 MVP candidate three times from 2006-09. 

Things have fallen apart for Utley and the Phillies in 2015. The 36-year-old is hitting a paltry .217/.284/.333 in 73 games. His fall has been stunning considering he posted a .270/.339/.407 slash line in 2014 and was worth 4.5 FanGraphs wins above replacement. 

Amaro ran into trouble earlier this season when he said Cesar Hernandez was the Phillies' best second baseman, per CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. That seemed to be the latest signal Utley was on his way out of town, though the only question was if anyone would take his contract. 

Utley's deal is structured with three separate vesting options for 2016-2018 that kick in if he reaches 500 plate appearances. It will take a lot of playing time down the stretch for him to reach that mark in 2015, so he could turn into a rental. 

The Phillies finished last in the National League East in 2014 and own a roster of aging, expensive players that prevents them from committing to a rebuild that has been on the horizon for years. They are going to do that again this season, though with more young assets to build around.

For the Dodgers, Utley will serve as a veteran presence whom they can't expect to do much given how bad he's been this season. However, with starting second baseman Howie Kendrick on the shelf for a few more weeks, the Dodgers will hope Utley can provide some sort of spark on both sides of the ball.

A change of scenery and leaving a volatile situation may rejuvenate him, as he's just one year removed from being a very effective second baseman.    

 

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chase Utley to Dodgers: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

For the first time in his career, Chase Utley will be wearing a new uniform after the Philadelphia Phillies' star second baseman has reportedly agreed to a trade that will send him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

USA Today provided details of the trade. 

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the trade has been agreed upon, but not finalized. The Phillies will receive a pair of mid-level prospects from the Dodgers, who will also receive $2 million to help offset the remainder of the $15 million Utley is paid this season.

One of the prospects is believed to be Darnell Sweeney, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. The Dodgers will also receive $2 million to help pay for the $6 million remaining on Utley's 2015 salary, per Mark Saxon of ESPN LA.

The Phillies are 46-73 in 2015, continuing the downward trend of the franchise over the last several years. 

General manager Ruben Amaro has already taken steps to add long-term assets for Philadelphia, dealing Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers and Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. 

Last summer, when there was a chance Philadelphia could go into sell mode, the then-35-year-old Utley told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that his no-trade rights made it difficult to see a deal going through if the team decided to start blowing its roster up. 

"Well, you’re creating situations that aren’t necessarily going to happen," Utley said. "I guess we’d have to see at that point, but I don’t plan on going anywhere. ... Last year, re-signing here was something I really wanted to do. Great organization. Nothing has changed since then. I mean, honestly, I haven’t thought about it."

Utley's no-trade clause became a focal point again after he cleared waivers, making him eligible to be dealt to any team before Aug. 31, as noted by ESPN's Buster Olney:

Playing-time assurances for Utley at this point in his career would seem hard to come by, as he's no longer the star who was a top-10 MVP candidate three times from 2006-09. 

Things have fallen apart for Utley and the Phillies in 2015. The 36-year-old is hitting a paltry .217/.284/.333 in 73 games. His fall has been stunning considering he posted a .270/.339/.407 slash line in 2014 and was worth 4.5 FanGraphs wins above replacement. 

Amaro ran into trouble earlier this season when he said Cesar Hernandez was the Phillies' best second baseman, per CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. That seemed to be the latest signal Utley was on his way out of town, though the only question was if anyone would take his contract. 

Utley's deal is structured with three separate vesting options for 2016-2018 that kick in if he reaches 500 plate appearances. It will take a lot of playing time down the stretch for him to reach that mark in 2015, so he could turn into a rental. 

The Phillies finished last in the National League East in 2014 and own a roster of aging, expensive players that prevents them from committing to a rebuild that has been on the horizon for years. They are going to do that again this season, though with more young assets to build around.

For the Dodgers, Utley will serve as a veteran presence whom they can't expect to do much given how bad he's been this season. However, with starting second baseman Howie Kendrick on the shelf for a few more weeks, the Dodgers will hope Utley can provide some sort of spark on both sides of the ball.

A change of scenery and leaving a volatile situation may rejuvenate him, as he's just one year removed from being a very effective second baseman.    

 

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com