Manny being Manny has been a positive so far for the Chicago Cubs.
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein praised Manny Ramirez on Friday for his work with the Cubs’ minor leaguers in Arizona, and said the former major league star could join Triple-A Iowa next week.
Ramirez signed a minor league deal in May and reported to the team’s facility in Mesa to get some at-bats in extended spring training.
When Ramirez moves to Iowa, he will be a player-coach for Chicago’s top farm club.
The 42-year-old Ramirez is a .312 hitter with 555 home runs in 2,302 games covering 19 major league seasons. But the Cubs brought him in to serve as a mentor for some of their young players and insist he is not a candidate for a promotion to the major league club.
The addition of Ramirez was a bit of a gamble. He was suspended for 50 games in 2009 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers after testing positive for a banned drug. Then retired in April 2011 instead of serving a 100-game ban for a second positive test while with Tampa Bay, but later agreed to a reduced 50-game suspension and played in the minors for Oakland in 2012.
A-Rod drops lawsuit against team doctor
Alex Rodriguez dropped a lawsuit accusing a New York Yankees team doctor of botching his treatment for a hip injury, ending what had been a lingering piece of the slugger’s legal fight over his baseball career, his lawyer said.
Rodriguez abandoned the medical malpractice case four months after withdrawing two lawsuits against Major League Baseball over its investigation into whether he used performance- enhancing drugs. He is serving a season-long suspension.
Clearing the bases
The Arizona Diamondbacks designated former closer J.J. Putz for assignment. Putz had a career-high 45 saves while helping Arizona win the N.L. West title in 2011 but has battled injuries the past two seasons. … Alex Wood will take Gavin Floyd’s spot in the Atlanta Braves rotation, the latest pitching shuffle for manager Fredi Gonzalez in the aftermath of Floyd’s unusual elbow injury. Floyd was placed on the 15-day disabled list and returned to Atlanta, where team doctors were to examine the broken bone inside his throwing elbow.