The Chicago Cubs have placed third baseman Aramis Ramirez (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list due to a dislocated left shoulder. He was off to a solid start this season, batting .364 with four home runs and 16 RBIs over 18 games.
Ramirez suffered the injury Friday, May 8, while diving to snag a ground ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. After undergoing X-rays, it was determined Ramirez will miss four to six weeks. Ramirez has been hampered by calf and back injuries earlier in the season, but he hadn't suffered any significant shoulder injuries since playing with the Pittsburgh Pirates nine years ago.
Taking Ramirez's place on the 25-man active roster will be newly acquired utility man Ryan Freel (head), who will be activated from the 15-day disabled list in time for the Saturday, May 9, game against the Brewers.
It remains to be seen how manager Lou Piniella will approach this situation. He moved second baseman Mike Fontenot to third base and put Aaron Miles at second base in place of Fontenot Friday. However, he had Freel starting at third Saturday while Fontenot was moved back to second. Keep an eye on this situation moving forward to see how it plays out.
Reserve Ramirez on your disabled list. In a best-case scenario, he'll be back sometime in June. Shoulder injuries can sap hitters of some power, though.
Fontenot won't duplicate Ramirez in the counting stats but his average should improve enough so that it won't be a total loss. Fontenot has a career .282 average while Ramirez has a .285 average. Fontenot is hitting just .239 on the season, though. Why is that so low? A .242 BABIP has a lot to do with it. Two other encouraging signs: He has a good batting eye and makes decent contact. He is an option in deep mixed and NL-only leagues.
As for Miles and Freel, the latter is worth adding in NL-only setups if you are searching for at-bats. The former should be on your watch list.
About Jared Byrd
Byrd has served as a Hot Off the Wire Analyst with KFFL since 2003,
covering both the NFL and MLB. A recent graduate of the University of
Pennsylvania, he has played fantasy football since 1997, and fantasy
baseball, basketball, and hockey since 2001.
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