A.J. Ramos hopes he’s still with the Marlins when they travel to his home state of Texas next week to face the Rangers. It might be wishful thinking.
Ramos could be the next Marlins reliever to be traded.
“You never know if it’s your last day here at the ballpark with this team,” Ramos said Friday, one day after the Marlins dealt David Phelps to the Mariners for four prospects. “Definitely, you think about it a little bit. But you try to block it out.”
The Marlins are actively shopping Ramos in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
“You see it and try not to think about it too much because it’s not anything you can control,” Ramos said of the daily trade rumors. “We’re talking about stuff that’s not real so far.”
Ramos said friends and family members are holding off from buying tickets to the Rangers series because of the uncertainty.
“I’ve got a lot of family coming out,” Ramos said of the Texas trip. “That’s what everybody keeps saying: ‘Are you going to be in Texas?’ Well, I don’t know. I hope so. Nobody knows for certain.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Phelps boarded the Marlins’ charter flight before it left Miami on Thursday to say his goodbyes to teammates and coaches.
“It’s kind of cool he came to say bye to all the guys,” Ramos said. “He went out of his way. That shows what kind of guy he is, what he meant to the team and how we felt about him.”
Phelps then boarded another flight to take him to Seattle. If Phelps helps lead the Mariners to the postseason for the first time since 2001, it will leave the Marlins as the team with the longest playoff drought in the majors. The Marlins haven’t been to the postseason since 2003.
▪ Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Junichi Tazawa will likely inherit Phelps’ late-inning setup role.
“He’s been throwing the ball good,” Mattingly said of Tazawa, who struggled throughout the first half of the season but has looked much better of late. “He’s a guy that fits back there.”
Tazawa hasn’t allowed a run over his past eight outings, during which he’s given up just five hits and walked two.
Mattingly said he’s noticed a marked improvement in Tazawa’s splitter.
“For me, the split looks like it’s in the zone long enough,” Mattingly said. “The split that’s hard to lay off of is the one that looks like a strike. I think that, as much as anything, has been his biggest weapon.”
▪ Brad Ziegler is moving closer to returning to the Marlins’ bullpen. Ziegler, on the disabled list for a month with a right back strain, was scheduled to throw a practice bullpen session Friday and another on Sunday. Mattingly said Ziegler would likely be sent out for a “brief” minor-league rehab stint before joining the Marlins.
▪ Starting pitcher Edinson Volquez’s status remains uncertain.
“[The trainer] said he’s feeling better, doing more, progressing,” Mattingly said.
But there’s still no timetable on Volquez’s return from the DL.
▪ Shortstop JT Riddle is dealing with a sore left shoulder that kept him out of Friday night’s lineup. Riddle said he re-injured the shoulder on Wednesday while diving for a ball.
▪ Saturday: Marlins LHP Chris O’Grady (1-1, 5.23 ERA) at Cincinnati Reds RHP Robert Stephenson (0-2, 8.03), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (1-4, 7.92) at Reds RHP Sal Romano (1-2, 7.50), 1:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.