From this morning’s Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Unemployed outfielder Kenny Lofton played golf at Stonewater Country Club in Highland Heights on Friday. After his round, the guy who cleaned his clubs at the pro shop said, “This team [the Indians] could use you.”
Replied Lofton, “Tell them to call me.”
When Texas traded the .303/.380/.438-hitting Lofton to the Indians in July, in exchange for Class A catcher Max Ramirez, even the most Rangers-centric among us probably didn’t expect that, 11 months later, Lofton would be the one waiting for a big league call, while Ramirez was the one getting it.
Here’s something to worry about: As a pinch-hitter this season, Ramirez is hitting .000/.000/.000.
Of course, that’s in one at-bat.
Plus, Ramirez isn’t being called up merely to give Texas someone to bat for the pitcher in Washington and Houston. Gerald Laird is expected to miss about a month, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia won’t catch every day.
Said Ron Washington after last night’s game: “Ramirez is going to play. We’ll just wait and see when he gets here how much he’s going to play.”
Ramirez’s pinch-hitting split is the anomaly. Here’s what the Texas League’s leading hitter (.363) and leading base-reacher (.457) and leading slugger (.662) and leading home run hitter (17) has done in other situations:
vs. lefties: .406/.513/.750
vs. righties: .356/.449/.649
First base: .259/.444/.556
Bases empty: .308/.423/.600
Runners on: .430/.500/.738
It won’t be until Friday that most of us will get the chance to see Ramirez wearing Rangers white, but for the next five games we have the chance — along with Kenny Lofton — to grab a couch, tune in, and watch the big league career of one of the most exciting hitters in the minor leagues get underway.