Hanley Ramirez hasn’t played a whole lot this season, but when he has, he’s been knocking the cover off the ball.
Ramirez singled and hit a screaming liner off the left-field foul pole for a two-run homer in Tuesday’s win over the Giants. I’ll let you determine whether Tuesday’s dinger or his longball Saturday versus the Padres left the park faster.
Hanley has a hit in each of his last eight games and has gone deep four times while driving in 10 runs over that stretch. Overall, he’s now batting .361 with five homers and 13 RBI over 61 at-bats this season.
With both Ramirez and Matt Kemp over their hamstring issues, Carl Crawford expected back from his before the All-Star break and Yasiel Puig setting the world on fire, a Dodgers offense that’s been very disappointing this season is suddenly looking pretty formidable.
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Craig Gentry was placed on the disabled list over the weekend with a fractured hand, but even before the injury he was already falling out of a platoon with the red-hot Leonys Martin.
Martin entered Tuesday’s game against the Yankees in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak that’s seen him bat .419/.471/.516 over that stretch. He extended that streak to 10 games in his first at-bat, lining a laser into the right-field seats off of Hiroki Kuroda. In his second at-bat, he went deep again.
The Cuban defector’s average is now up to .289, tying his high-water mark for the season. Martin’s power/speed combo was slow to come around, as in the first 32 games he had homered just twice and was still looking for his first stolen base. Since then, he’s upped his homer total to five and exploded for 12 thefts over 33 games.
Martin is hitting just .226 against southpaws this season after striking out against Boone Logan Tuesday. He’s also started a game hitting higher than eighth in the order just once, though he’s certainly making a case to be moved up, at least against righties. However, even if he remains towards the bottom of the lineup, he offers a nice power/speed option that could still be on your waiver wire. The 25-year-old is on pace for 11 homers and 25 steals, and it’s fair to up his stolen base expectation given what he's done in that area over the last month.
Ackley in the Outfield
Franklin Gutierrez landed back in his familiar spot on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained hamstring. The Mariners called up an outfielder to take his place on the roster. His name? Dustin Ackley.
Yes, the man who not long ago was supposed to be the team’s long-term answer at second base has made the move to the outfield. Of course, roaming the outfield is not totally foreign to Ackley. He played some outfield in college and was drafted as an outfielder before making the move to second.
Ackley could still see some time at second base, but with Nick Franklin playing well, most of his playing time will come in left and center field.
"He's been good," manager Eric Wedge told MLB.com of the reports from Triple-A Tacoma on Ackley's outfield defense. "He's played free and easy, he moves well, reacts well. Again, I have not seen it, but I have no hesitation to throw him out there."
Wedge added that Ackley is “going to play... we're going to get him in there.” With both Gutierrez and Michael Morse on the disabled list, there should be plenty of at-bats to be had in left and center. The former No. 2 overall pick was hitting just .205/.266/.250 with one homer and one steal when he was demoted last month, but he responded with a .365/.472/.500 line with two homers at Triple-A.
Ackley is certainly capable of turning things around at the big league level, and the soon-to-come multi-position eligibility won’t hurt. He’s worth a shot in deeper leagues.
National League Quick Hits: Jeff Locke’s surprising season continued Tuesday, as he held the Mariners to two runs over seven frames, which actually raised his ERA from 2.01 to 2.06 ... Bryce Harper (knee) went 1-for-1 with a double and a walk in his first rehab game Tuesday and reportedly looked comfortable on the basepaths ... Rickie Weeks went 3-for-4 with two home runs Tuesday and now owns a .429 average with an OPS over 1.200 in June ... Allen Craig went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBI Tuesday and has now driven in 61 for the season ... The Brewers have recalled Johnny Hellweg, who will make his major league debut on Friday ... Trevor Cahill had another poor outing Tuesday and has seen his ERA rise from 2.88 to 4.29 since the start of June ... The Padres are hopeful that Everth Cabrera (hamstring) can be activated from the disabled list on July 2 ... Mike Adams' season is likely over after he was diagnosed with two tears in his right labrum and one in his rotator cuff ... Rafael Betancourt (groin) will be activated from the disabled list on Friday ... Corey Hart will visit a specialist this week with his surgically-repaired left knee still bothering him ... Marco Estrada (hamstring) had a minor setback during his rehab start Sunday ... The Cubs designated Carlos Marmol for assignment ... Matt Kemp went 1-for-4 with a run scored and made a nice catch to end the game in his return from the DL Tuesday ...
American League Quick Hits: The same day Will Middlebrooks was optioned to Triple-A, new Red Sox third baseman Jose Iglesias went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored to push his batting line to .434/.484/.575 ... Josh Hamilton went 3-for-5 with three runs scored in his return to the lineup Tuesday ... Chris Sale struck out 13 over eight innings of three-run ball against the Mets Tuesday ... Jason Kipnis singled, homered and drew two walks Tuesday ... Justin Maxwell left Tuesday’s game with a mild concussion ... Asdrubal Cabrera (quad) is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Wednesday ... Sergio Santos (elbow) is hoping to be activated around the All-Star break ... Mark Teixeira (wrist) was scheduled to be examined by team doctors Tuesday and could be facing season-ending surgery ... Jason Vargas will undergo surgery this week to remove a blood clot from the area of his left armpit ... Brett Lawrie (ankle) will begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday and should be activated early next week ... Clay Buchholz (trapezius) will resume throwing from a mound on Wednesday ... Peter Bourjos (thumb) is hoping to return to action on Wednesday ... The Yankees are considering giving Ivan Nova another start ...