Time has a way of making even the best players look average, or sometimes worse.
In 21 games for the Round Rock Express, 41-year-old Manny Ramirez is hitting .266 (21-for-79) with 3 HR and 12 RBIs. Sixteen of his 21 hits are singles. At least two of the home runs he has hit were on pitches under 90 mph. And Express hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh isn’t shying away from talking about Manny’s slower bat.
"Manny’s diligently put in the work," Coolbaugh is quoted as saying in an American-Statesman newspaper story. "When you’re 41, though, the bat speed isn’t the same as when you’re in your 20s. You can be a smarter hitter, but you still have trouble catching up with the 92-94 mph fastball.
"I think he still can do it in the big leagues if you use him against most left-handers."
Even that sounds a bit optimistic at this point.
The American-Statesman article says scouts at the Dell Diamond are also noticing Ramirez’s slower bat, saying he’s a singles hitter who cannot play the field. And it quotes Texas general manager Jon Daniels, who wonders if Ramirez can even handle Triple-A pitching.
The article goes on to cite a report that says the Rangers are considering pulling the plug on the Ramirez experiment.