After reports that the Texas Rangers were considering bringing Manny Ramirez to the big leagues after the All-Star break, many believed that it was only a matter of time before the legendary slugger was in the batter’s box in Arlington. However, tuesday’s report by ESPNDallas.com seems to believe otherwise.
Todd Willis is reporting that Ramirez will be in Round Rock over the weekend, and despite Nolan Ryan’s references to Ramirez as an “option” following the break, the team needs more time to evaluate Manny before going to the 41-year-old in a real role. Ramirez has 2 home runs in his last 3 games, but it has been 3 full years since he contributed in a meaningful way in the big leagues.
There is a significant camp that believes that Ramirez can still hit, especially against left-handed pitching, even at his advanced age. He posted a .869 OPS in 2010 at age 38, and while it would be in a very specialized role, I believe we could (and likely will) see Ramirez in a Rangers uniform before the end of July.
Once he appears in Arlington, I’m not sure there will be a long leash for Manny, but when you hear terms like “hitting savant” associated with a player, that type of skill doesn’t just disappear with age. Stay tuned.