Renteria hopes Manny Ramirez helps out prospects
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media June 26, 2014 10:16PM
nationals at cubs
The facts: 3:05 p.m., Ch. 9, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Tanner Roark (7-4, 2.79 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (6-5, 2.99).
Updated: June 26, 2014 11:33PM
Manny Ramirez will not be joining the Cubs’ major-league team. Team president Theo Epstein made that clear when he signed the controversial slugger May 25 as a player-coach for Class AAA Iowa and said Ramirez “is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs’ major-league roster.”
That doesn’t mean Ramirez’s exploits with Iowa won’t be watched by manager Rick Renteria.
“I think he’s always been known for being a very prepared individual, having a very methodical routine — something that maybe he’s going to be able to impart or share with the players that are there,” Renteria said. “From afar, we’ll just watch what’s going on.”
Ramirez reported to Iowa on Thursday in Colorado Springs after spending time in extended spring training.
“Well, he was brought on to be able to share his experiences with all the players that are there,” Renteria said. “And we’ll probably follow it more through 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.”
Hall of Famer Billy Williams took in batting practice and was sitting near Renteria’s spot in the dugout before Renteria’s daily pregame media briefing. Renteria invited Williams, 76, to stay and showed him the kind of respect he wants his players to emulate with Williams and other team greats.
Renteria also wants his players to learn from Williams’ example.
“I hope they’re very respectful, very understanding that when you have a gentleman that comes in here, a Hall of Famer who’s done a lot in the game who’s actually a really, really nice guy and see how he comports himself with not only the media but with the fans and with other players, that maybe they take a lesson from it,” Renteria said.
“And that they understand and appreciate the road that he’s taken and all the things that he has done.”
The right way
The Nationals’ Doug Fister made it 15 consecutive games for the Cubs against a right-handed starting pitcher.
They haven’t seen a left-handed starter since June 10 in Pittsburgh against Francisco Liriano, who went only three innings and was put on the disabled list the next day with a strained left oblique muscle.
That streak will end when lefty Gio Gonzalez starts the first game of the doubleheader Saturday.
The Cubs entered Thursday hitting .223 against righties but .265 against lefties.
Renteria said Emilio Bonifacio is “still in recovery mode” from the strained right oblique muscle that put him on the disabled list June 13. Bonifacio is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.
◆ Junior Lake left the game in the second inning after sliding into a metal door in right-center field trying to track down a Ryan Zimmerman drive. The Cubs said he suffered a bruised knee and head but didn’t show any signs of a concussion.