Results tagged ‘ Manny Ramirez ’

2/25 Here’s Manny


Cubs assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske and new consultant Manny Ramirez meet before Wednesday’s workout in Mesa, Ariz.

2/25 Manny on Manny

Manny Ramirez was in uniform Wednesday, ready to start his new job as a hitting consultant with the Cubs. But he didn’t rule out possibly playing baseball again. Has Ramirez retired? He laughed.

“Not yet,” he said, holding court in the middle of the Cubs clubhouse. “If I’m here, I don’t know.”

Could he keep playing?

“Yeah, why not?” he said.

First priority was to get on the field and work with the young Cubs hitters. Ramirez, 42, couldn’t wait.

“There’s so much talent out there — I’m just happy to be a part of that,” Ramirez said. “There’s so much talent. This is the year. We’re going to improve little by little but we have so much talent, the guys only know what’s going to happen.”

Ramirez has had his share of troubles. In January 2011, he agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with Tampa Bay. But on April 8, Ramirez abruptly retired after going 1-for-17 in five games. He had reportedly tested positive for a banned performance enhancing drug in his Spring Training test. Ramirez apparently didn’t personally inform the Rays about his decision to leave but did talk to Joe Maddon, now the Cubs manager. Ramirez tried to make a comeback in 2012 with the Athletics, but first had to serve a 50-game suspension.

“When I came here [to the Cubs last year], the first thing I did was go to the theater with all the Minor League players, and I had a meeting,” Ramirez said. “I went in and shared all the things that I went through so they don’t go through that. Some people grow faster than others and the good thing is you learn from your mistakes and you move on. You can go and tell these young players, ‘Hey, don’t do this, don’t do that, this has consequences’ and that’s what I did.”

Ramirez did play in the Dominican Republic this winter but said that was just for fun.

“The thought [of returning] was there,” Ramirez said. “In my career, I learned how to trust in God and put all my dreams to him. That’s it. I was just going to go and I went and played and had fun, and I couldn’t find a team so I’m here to help out.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/24 Cubs hire Manny, Youkillis

The Cubs have hired Manny Ramirez as a hitting consultant and Kevin Youkillis as a scouting and player development consultant.

The team also announced the establishment of the mental skills program, which will include noted sports psychologist Dr. Ken Ravizza as a consultant. Ravizza, a professor of applied sports psychology at Cal-State Fullerton, has worked with Cubs manager Joe Maddon since the 1980s. Ravizza met with the Cubs pitchers and catchers for the first time on Tuesday.

* Ramirez joined the Cubs last season as a player-coach at Triple-A Iowa. A two-time World Champion and 2004 World Series MVP, he played 19 Major League seasons with the Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers, White Sox and Rays. In his new role with the Cubs, Ramirez will continue to work with the Major and Minor League hitters on the “fundamental and mental aspects of hitting.”

Ramirez, 42, played in the Dominican Republic this winter, and batted .313 with six home runs in 41 games. While at Triple-A Iowa last season, he batted .222 in 24 games, but was credited with helping Javier Baez and others on the team.

* Youkilis, 35, recently retired after an 11-year Major League career with the Red Sox, White Sox and Yankees. In his role, he will assist the front office by scouting amateur and professional hitters in northern California and will work with hitters in the Minor League system under the direction of the hitting coordinator.

— Carrie Muskat

8/29 Cubs injury roundup

* Outfielder Justin Ruggiano is done for the season after undergoing a debridement on his left ankle. In his first season with the Cubs, Ruggiano batted .281 in 81 games with six home runs, 13 doubles and 28 RBIs. He was placed on the disabled list Aug. 23, and had returned to Dallas to see a specialist, where he had the procedure done.

* The Cubs had more encouraging news regarding outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who was headed to Arizona to begin a rehab assignment at the team’s complex. Sweeney has been on the DL since Wednesday with a left hamstring strain.

* Manny Ramirez, who was a player/coach at Triple-A Iowa, was placed on the Minor League team’s disabled list with a knee injury. GM Jed Hoyer said they were impressed with how Ramirez mentored the young players, particularly Jorge Soler and Javier Baez.

“We feel really good about the way that the entire experience went,” Hoyer said. “He was outstanding in Iowa. People focus on Soler and Baez, but Kris Bryant, [Chris] Valaika, and the coaching staff sing his praises. I don’t know what our relationship will be going forward. It’s too early to speculate on that. I’m really happy for Manny. It seems like he’s in a really good place.”

Would Ramirez consider being a full-time hitting coach? Hoyer said the 42-year-old outfielder still wants to play.

“Until a guy is willing to admit he’s done, it’s hard to have those conversations [about coaching full time],” Hoyer said.

— Carrie Muskat

8/20 Minor matters

Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 4-2, to Salt Lake. Dallas Beeler gave up three runs over seven innings. Junior Lake posted his first four-hit game and Kris Bryant returned to the lineup and hit a double and drew a walk. Iowa plays at Reno on Wednesday.

Addison Russeel hit a grand slam but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee lost, 7-6, to Montgomery. C.J. Edwards struck out seven over five scoreless innings. Russell hit his second home run in as many games.

Daytona beat Clearwater, 4-3, in the first game of a doubleheader. Kyle Schwarber tied the game with a two-out home run in the seventh and the Cubs won on a walk-off error in the eighth. It was Schwarber’s fourth home run, and he is batting .270. In the second game, Schwarber had two more hits, but it wasn’t enough as Daytona lost, 10-8.

Trey Martin hit his third homer in his last five games in Kane County’s 4-3 win over Burlington. Jacob Rogers drove in two runs. Zak Hermans picked up the win in relief.

Kevin Brown had three hits but it wasn’t enough as Boise lost, 2-0, to Vancouver. Charcer Burks finished with two hits, including a double.

Justin Steele gave up one hit over three innings and struck out four in Mesa’s 7-0 win over the Giants. Varonex Cuevas had three hits, and Eloy Jimenez drove in his 22nd run, second most on the team to Gleyber Torres, who has 26 RBI. Carson Sands threw three scoreless innings for the win. He’s given up one earned run over 16 innings.

7/23 Extra, extra bases

* With Mike Olt optioned to Triple-A Iowa, Luis Valbuena will get the majority of playing time at third base, manager Rick Renteria said. Valbuena made his 51st start at third on Wednesday; Olt had started 47 games at third.

* Olt will play first base and be the designated hitter while at Iowa. He was batting .139 in 72 games, but did lead all NL rookies with 12 home runs. He also has struck out 84 times in 187 at-bats.

“He acknowledged he’s gotten into a few bad habits at the plate, and bad habits that he couldn’t break out of at the big league level,” Theo Epstein said Wednesday. “I think playing every day down there will be good for him.”

* Cubs pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa, on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa, struck out two of the three batters he faced Wednesday. Fujikawa, who had Tommy John surgery in June 2013, threw 14 pitches, nine for strikes, in his second outing with the team.

* Manny Ramirez, a player/coach at Triple-A Iowa, was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a right calf strain. Ramirez pinch-hit on Wednesday and was batting .176 (6-for-34) in 11 games with the Minor League team.

— Carrie Muskat

7/1 Minor matters

Kris Bryant hit a grand slam, Manny Ramirez belted a two-run homer and Josh Vitters hit a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning in Iowa’s 7-6 win over Omaha Monday night. Ramirez went 3-for-4, hitting a two-run homer in the seventh. Bryant connected with two outs in the eighth off former Cubs pitcher Casey Coleman. It was Bryant’s 28th home run of the season, and sixth with Iowa. He finished 2-for-4, and was batting .333. Javier Baez also had two hits.

* Think about this: Bryant was 1 years old when Ramirez made his ML debut on Sept. 2, 1993.

Montgomery scored in the top of the 10th to beat Tennessee, 3-2. Elliot Soto had two hits. Matt Loosen did not get a decision, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks over six innings. It was his fifth quality start.

Daytona had the day off and returns to action Tuesday against Brevard County.

Kane County’s game was postponed because of rain. The Cougars return to action Tuesday against Peoria.

Tri-City scored nine runs in the final two innings to beat Boise, 11-5. Rashad Crawford had two hits and three RBIs.

Mesa had Monday off and will play the Reds on Tuesday.

6/26 Manny joins Iowa

Manny Ramirez joined the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa team in Colorado Springs on Thursday, and the next phase of his career as a player-coach was to begin.

“He was brought on to share his experience with all the players who are there,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “We’ll probably follow it more to how some of the kids are responding, some of the conversations that are had, some of the aspects of how he prepares on a daily basis.

“He’s always been known for being a very prepared individual and having a very methodical routine, which is something he can share with the players there,” Renteria said. “From afar, we’ll just watch what’s going on.”

The Iowa team was playing a doubleheader on Thursday to make up for a game April 27 that was postponed. Ramirez was in the lineup for the second game.

— Carrie Muskat

6/25 Manny to join Iowa Thursday

It’s time to see what Manny Ramirez can do as a player and a coach. Ramirez will join Triple-A Iowa on Thursday when the team opens a doubleheader against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. The Cubs signed Ramirez, 42, to a Minor League contract to be a player-coach, and he’s been working out at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa, Ariz. Ramirez was working with some of the young Minor Leaguers there, coaching them on hitting.

He has a lifetime .312 batting average, 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 Major League seasons. He last appeared in the big leagues in five games with the Rays in 2009. A 12-time All-Star, Ramirez won the 2002 American League batting title, and was named the World Series’ Most Valuable Player in 2004 while with the Red Sox. Last season, Ramirez played 30 games with Triple-A Round Rock, and hit .259 with three home runs.

In a corresponding move, the Cubs released outfielder Casper Wells. He .197 with two doubles and six runs scored in 26 games with Iowa.

6/21 Manny being Manny

Manny Ramirez has yet to report to Triple-A Iowa, but Theo Epstein says the 42-year-old is having an impact on the young players in Mesa, Ariz., where he’s working out.

“I’ve gotten unsolicited texts and emails from a lot of the staff down there saying he’s been a breath of fresh air, the best thing that ever happened to the kids down in Mesa,” Epstein told reporters Friday in Chicago. “I’m really pleased with the impact he’s making on the organization.”

Ramirez was signed to be a player-coach at Iowa, and will likely join the team sometime next week, Epstein said.

“We’re not in a rush because he’s making an impact on young kids down there who are getting their first taste of pro ball as well as guys like Jorge Soler who are there rehabbing,” Epstein said.