The struggles of Cubs third basemen Aramis Ramirez have been well documented this season, and it appears that Ramirez may see more time off this week as the Cubs continue to try and come up with different ways to get their slugger going again. For the past week or so, Ramirez has been struggling with a sore left hand that has been diagnosed as a bone bruise and sprain on his left thumb. And, that is the driving force of Lou Piniella deciding to give the slumping Ramirez a few days off.
"”I would think a few days would do him good, to get everything together,” said Piniella, who has capable replacements in Jeff Baker and Mike Fontenot. ”We don’t have to rush him back in. He’ll let us know when he’s ready.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES"
Despite the injury, Ramirez is not expected to go on the disabled list. Although, to be honest that may not be such a bad thing for the Cubs or Aramis Ramirez to do. Because, by doing so the Cubs would be able to utilize Mike Fontenot or even Jeff Baker, both of whom are very capable of filling in on a short-term basis and maybe see if they can give a little more production to the offense. And, with Ramirez it would not be the worst idea , if he takes a two week break from baseball and just tries to clear his mind.
With Ramirez hitting at .160, with 40 strikeouts their is concern rising in the Cubs front office. They are not at the point where they are looking for a replacement, but I would suspect that they may be doing some preliminary scouting on players that could be available through a trade. One name that I have heard on speculative matter was Mike Lowell of the Boston Red Sox, who is looking to be traded from Boston.
But, personally I do not see the Cubs making a trade for a third basemen anytime soon. I think they are hoping that Ramirez finds his stride soon, and that, that revival will boost the Cubs offense. However, the signs are pointing in the opposite direction as Ramirez play is rapidly declining. And, if the Cubs continue to get that effort from Ramirez, it will be hard for them to stay in contention for a playoff spot.