MLB notebook: Cubs hire Manny Ramirez

The Chicago Cubs signed one-time star Manny Ramirez to a minor-league deal to serve as a...

The Chicago Cubs signed one-time star Manny Ramirez to a minor-league deal to serve as a player-coach with their Tripla-A team in Iowa. (REUTERS/Darryl Webb)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:07 PM ET

The Chicago Cubs signed Manny Ramirez to be a player and coach at their Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein made the announcement in a press release on Sunday.

"While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs' major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he's a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization," Epstein said. "Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects.

"If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the major leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference."

Ramirez, 41, is taking at-bats in extended spring training games at the Cubs' facility in Mesa, Ariz., before joining the Iowa Cubs.

"I'm at the stage of my life and career where I really want to give something back to the game that I love -- the game that has meant so much to me and done so much for me and my family," Ramirez said in the team's press release. "I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation -- both what to do and what not to do."

Ramirez, a 12-time All-Star, last played in the major leagues during a five-game stint with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011. He was suspended in 2009 and 2011 for testing positive for performance-enhancing substances. However, Epstein believes Ramirez will be a positive influence on the Cubs' prospects.

In 19 major-league seasons, Ramirez batted .312 with 2,574 hits, 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 when Epstein was the team's general manager.

NAPOLI OUT WITH FINGER SPRAIN

The Boston Red Sox placed first baseman Mike Napoli on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a sprained finger on his left hand.

The move is retroactive to Saturday.

To take Napoli's spot on the 25-man roster, the club recalled right-hander Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Napoli was in and out of the Red Sox's lineup last week with flu symptoms as well as hamstring, calf and finger pain.

Napoli has a batting line of .260/.390/.416 with five home runs and 22 RBIs in 43 games this year.

GIANTS' CAIN TO MISS START

San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain will miss his next scheduled start on Monday due to a strained right hamstring.

Cain sustained the injury during his last start against the Colorado Rockies last Wednesday. He left the game after the third inning.

The Giants planned for Cain to start on Monday, but he cut short a bullpen session on Saturday. The team believes he can avoid the disabled list since the injury is a Grade 1 strain -- the least severe.

Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit will start in place of Cain against the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Cain returned from the disabled list on May 10. He missed one start because of a cut finger. He is 1-3 with a 3.66 ERA in eight starts this season.

PHILLIES' ASCHE GOES ON DL

The Philadelphia Phillies placed third baseman Cody Asche on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained left hamstring.

To fill Asche's spot on the 25-man roster, the club recalled right-hander Justin De Fratus from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Asche was injured during Friday night's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was replaced in the lineup by Cesar Hernandez.

Asche is batting .258 with eight doubles, four home runs and 18 RBIs in 40 games.

De Fratus had a 7.20 ERA in four appearances with Philadelphia earlier in the season. He has a 4.50 ERA in 16 innings with Lehigh Valley.


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