Ortiz in Favor of DH in the NL
David Ortiz found himself in a familiar territory once again when the Boston Red Sox visited Philadelphia for the first game of a three-game set Friday night.
His name wasn't penciled in the starting lineup since inter-league games played in National League ballparks don't allow teams to use the designated hitter.
Ortiz told Fox News Latino that the game of baseball is better off with the DH replacing the pitcher in the lineup.
"Who wants to see a pitcher batting? What's the point of seeing a pitcher batting?" Ortiz wondered.
"You're running the risk of a pitcher getting injured, running the risk that a lot of things happen. You'd like to see a hitter, someone that knows how to hit. There are a lot of situations, a lot of times when you lose a game because the pitcher is hitting."
Last season, the Red Sox played a stretch of nine straight games, all against teams in the NL. Ortiz just started two of those while first baseman Adrian Gonzalez volunteered and started right field, moving over to first last in the game.
Ortiz said he told manager Bobby Valentine of his preference of not having Gonzalez play right field during the series against the Phillies this past weekend but on Saturday night and again yesterday afternoon, Gonzalez started in right while Ortiz dusted off his first baseman's mitt and did not commit an error.
Chapman Excels in Relief, Would Like to Start
Aroldis Chapman went into spring training prepared to compete as a starter but it was back to the bullpen once the Cincinnati Reds found out that the newly signed, free agent Ryan Madson would need Tommy John surgery.
He told Fox News Latino that although he has been a starter throughout his career dating back to his days in Cuba, he's willing to help the team in any bullpen role.
"They think that in the bullpen I'm one of the pitchers that can help them out. They made the decision to put me in the bullpen. I don't have a problem. As long as I'm able to help out the team, I'm willing to do it," Chapman said.
"I know there were problems and circumstances that took me to the bullpen and I expect in the future or in the time to be in the rotation."
Chapman has been nothing but amazing on the mound this season, whiffing 39 of 84 batters faced and walking only seven in 18 appearances out of the pen.
He has a 0.00 ERA, allowing only one run, unearned, in 22 1-3 innings. He picked up his first save yesterday against the New York Yankees.
It's a complete turnaround after the Cuban lefty, who easily dials up fastballs that have been clocked over 100 mph, even hitting 105-106 mph, walked 41 batters and struck out 71 in 54 games last season.
"It's another year of experience," admitted Chapman. "I have more confidence when I'm called to pitch. ... I'm more relaxed. I don't have that much of a mental pressure."
Welcome Back Manny
The road back to the majors started Saturday night for Manny Ramirez.
Signed by the Oakland Athletics to a one-year deal on Feb. 20, the slugger who has hit 555 career home runs appeared in his first of 10 minor league games Saturday night with the club's Triple-A affiliate.
"When I retired, I was all over the place, you know, and a bunch of fans, they told me, 'We miss you. Why don't you come back? The game is not the same without you," Ramirez said according to MILB.com.
Ramirez went 0 for 4 and struck out three times for the Sacramento River Cats.
Fans at the home ballpark of the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Los Angeles Dodgers' affiliate, showered Ramirez with boos.
Ramirez is eligible to return from his 50-game suspension for the use of performance-enhancing drugs when the A's play at Minnesota on May 30.
Marlins Demote All-Star First Baseman
One day you're here, the next day you’re down in the minors. That's what happens when you fail to produce in the game and Miami's Gaby Sanchez is the prime example.
Sanchez has struggled this season, hitting just .197 through 36 games this season with just one home run and 11 RBIs.
He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans where with less pressure he should fine his hitting stroke again.
The first baseman was the Marlins' lone representative at last year's All-Star game. He benefited from a hot start as he hit .293 with 13 homers and drove in 50 runs but after the All-Star break his numbers dipped. He hit only .225 and had six homers and just 28 runs driven in.
Ozzie Guillen Joins Elite Club
Wonder what tweets Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen would have sent out after his 700th win.
Guillen, who retired from the Twitter universe last Thursday, became the 11th manager in baseball to reach the 700-win club as the Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians yesterday.
Al Lopez, who passed away in 2005, is the all-time leader among Hispanic managers with 1,410 wins. Felipe Alou won 1033 games as a skipper.