Manny Ramirez is expected to make his Chicago White Sox debut tonight in one of his former home stadiums, as the Sox face the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field.
The White Sox acquired the oft-injured outfielder from the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday on a simple waiver claim, meaning the Sox are responsible for the final $4 million owed to the slugger.
Ramirez still has some pop in that bat. The problem with ManRam is that he can’t stay on the field. He’s had three different stints on the disabled list this season, two because of strains of his right calf and the other for a pulled hamstring.
The 38-year-old Ramirez, who is hitting .311 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 66 games this season, will be able to somewhat protect his legs since he will primarily be serving as the team’s designated hitter.
However, Manny’s injuries have cropped up after he’s been running the bases. Not much the Sox can do to protect him in that regard.
Chicago is four games behind Minnesota in the AL Central. If Ramirez can stay healthy for the remaining month of the season, he should have a big impact on the race. He’s a definitive upgrade over the platoon of Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones. Can’t argue with that.
Ramirez’s addition makes an already interesting clubhouse that much more compelling. Hopefully, they put his locker next to catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s, somewhere near the office of manager Ozzie Guillen.
This should make for an entertaining five weeks.