Former Boston Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez is now a member of the Iowa Cubs, the Chicago Cubs Triple-A affiliate, as a player/coach.
Current general manager of the Cubs is a familiar face in the career of Manny Ramirez, that of former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. Epstein claims that Manny is there to offer his hitting knowledge to many of the young players in Iowa including top-prospect Javier Baez. Manny will also play sparingly, but not enough to take away any at-bats from a younger player trying to make the big-league roster.
So what happens if Manny starts hitting homers in Pacific Coast League stadiums all over the country? Epstein insists that Ramirez will not be playing for the Chicago Cubs at any point this season, but that this could help Manny catch on with another club at the Major League level.
We have seen Ramirez try this before, most recently with the Round Rock Express of the Texas organization. It didn’t work out probably how Manny wanted it to, but he seemed to enjoy his time in the PCL. A second go-round with a “coach” label can help his reputation and eventually land him a full-time hitting-coach gig with an organization.
The Iowa Cubs got Sacramento at the start of June to face the River Cats, the organization that I currently employs yours truly. I hope to see the dynamic that Ramirez brings to a club that has some of the best young hitters in the league, and if I am lucky, get to watch Manny be Manny for one game on the field, probably the place where he has felt most comfortable as himself.