The Iowa Cubs announced Wednesday morning that Manny Ramirez has been added to the Iowa Cubs roster and will be activated in prior to Thursday’s doubleheader in Colorado Springs. OF Casper Wells was released to make room on Iowa’s roster for player-coach Manny Ramirez.
Iowa plays five games in Colorado (doubleheader Thursday, single games Friday, Saturday and Sunday) before opening a five-game homestand Monday against Omaha at Principal Park.
From the release from the Iowa Cubs: Manny Ramirez will meet with the Cubs media in a press conference on Monday, June 30 in the outfield skyboxes at Principal Park. The session will take place early in the afternoon prior to team workouts.
Manny Ramirez signed a minor league contract with the Cubs to be a player-coach for the I-Cubs on May 25. Ramirez was expected to be added to Iowa’s roster at the beginning of June to begin his career with the Cubs organization. Ramirez has been at the Cubs facility in Mesa preparing to play and working with the young players, such as Jorge Soler, while he was there.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer addressed when Ramirez would be reporting to Iowa last Friday. And indications were he would be reporting to the Iowa Cubs this week.
According to multiple reports Friday from Wrigley, Manny Ramirez will be joining the I-Cubs at some point in the coming week. Jed Hoyer did not have a timeframe on when Ramirez would report Thursday or Friday morning.
Theo Epstein told the beat writers that he has received “unsolicited texts and emails from a lot of the staff in Mesa” that have said Manny Ramirez “has been a breath of fresh air, the best thing that ever happened to the kids down in Mesa.” Epstein said he is “really pleased with the impact he’s making with the organization.”
Epstein added, “We’re not in a rush because he’s making an impact on young kids down there who are getting their first taste of pro ball as well as guys like Jorge Soler who are there rehabbing.”
Jed Hoyer was asked during his weekly segment on the Kap & Haugh Show (87.7 The Game) about how Jorge Soler and when will he be ready to play again. And the question on Soler led to an update on Manny Ramirez.
“He [Jorge Soler] is still in Arizona he has been working hard with Manny Ramirez there,” Hoyer said. “He’s getting there. It is a slow process and we’re really trying to kind of solve the problem. He’s had a hamstring pull in each leg and we’re really trying to get to the root of the issue. We’ve taken it slowly with him but hopefully we are not that far away from him coming back and playing and hopefully having a really good second half.”
As for when Manny Ramirez will report to Iowa, Hoyer told the Kap & Haugh Show, “We don’t know exactly yet. I think he’s a proud guy. He wants to make sure he is ready to perform at that level when he gets there. He also has a good report with Soler and that’s something we’ve talked about. That’s a good guy for Jorge to be around so if it takes a little longer for Manny to get to Iowa that might be worth it.”
Jed Hoyer also explained why he and Theo Epstein added Manny Ramirez to the organization last month during an interview on Inside Pitch (MLB Network Radio/SiriusXM). “Theo and I made that decision knowing Manny very well with our eyes wide-open. For all of the things people say about Manny, he is an unbelievably hard worker, probably the hardest worker I’ve been around from a hitting standpoint,” Hoyer told Jim Bowden and Casey Stern. “And not only a gifted hitter but a brilliant hitter and a guy that really likes to teach. Reports so far have been great. He’s been working with Jorge Soler a lot in Arizona while Jorge rehabs from a hamstring injury. I think fairly soon here he will end up in Iowa with that team. He has a lot to give back and he wants to give back to the young guys. There are not many guys that can talk hitting and talk preparation like Manny can. It seems like he has changed his life and hopefully we are the beneficiary of that change.”
Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are on record saying they are looking forward to working with Manny Ramirez and learning from him. Starting Thursday, they will get their chance.