MLB Notebook: Ramirez reports to minors, hopes to play next week

2013-07-05T00:00:00Z MLB Notebook: Ramirez reports to minors, hopes to play next weekThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

ROUND ROCK, Texas - Manny Ramirez reported to the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate on Thursday and said he could play as early as Sunday.

The Rangers agreed to terms on a minor league contract on Wednesday with the 41-year-old slugger, who hasn't played in the big leagues since 2011 with Tampa Bay.

Ramirez worked out with the Round Rock Express and told reporters he hopes to play Sunday or Monday.

"The expectation is to come here and play the game," Ramirez said. "Then hopefully I can move on and do what I always do."

Ramirez has twice been suspended for testing positive for banned drugs. The 12-time All-Star was suspended 50 games in 2009 while with the Dodgers after testing positive for a banned drug. He retired in April 2011 instead of serving a 100-game ban for a second positive test, but later agreed to a reduced 50-game suspension and played in the minors for Oakland in 2012.

"You have to go through the fire first," Ramirez said. "When you come out, that's when the blessing comes."

A lifetime .312 hitter, Ramirez is 14th on the career home runs list with 555. He hit 17 homers in the final 53 games of 2008 after Boston traded him to Los Angeles, but he has just 28 since then because of injuries and the suspensions. He was 1 for 17 without a homer for the Rays when the second drug suspension hit two years ago.

"It will be interesting to see if he can help this team win," Rangers outfielder David Murphy said. "From what I've seen in the past, it's hard to believe that he can't help us."

Inside pitch

• The Chicago White Sox optioned outfielder Jordan Danks to Triple-A Charlotte. Danks hit .135 in 32 games over two stints with the team. He was in nine games early in the year and then 23 more after being recalled June 2. During his second stay he was 2 for 22. White Sox manager Robin Ventura said the team would add a position player and not a pitcher.

• Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera was held out of the starting lineup for Thursday's game against the Blue Jays with a sore back.

• The Detroit lineup was also missing second baseman Omar Infante. He was knocked out in the fourth inning Wednesday with a bruised left shin after a hard slide at second base by Toronto's Colby Rasmus.

• Sore ribs and all, Troy Tulowitzki sent pitches soaring out of the park in a light round of batting practice on Thursday. The Colorado Rockies shortstop felt only minimal pain, too, and thinks he could be back soon, maybe even before the All-Star break. He has been on the disabled list since June 14 after breaking a rib diving for a ball in a loss to Washington.

• Chicago Cubs center fielder Brian Bogusevic left Thursday's game against Oakland with tightness in his left hamstring. Bogusevic struck out in his only at-bat and was replaced by Julio Borbon following the top of the third inning. Bogusevic is hitting .300 (9 for 30) since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa a little more than a week ago.

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