Earlier this season Luis Ayala talked his way out of Minnesota by walking into manager Ron Gardenhire’s office and complaining about his role, suggesting that he should be the Twins’ eighth-inning setup man despite sporting a 4.18 ERA and .306 opponents’ batting average in 32.1 innings spent primarily in middle relief.
Here’s what Gardenhire said at the time:
When you walk into my office and tell me you don’t like your role, and he talked about his contract for next year, you lose me right there. I don’t deal with that. We’re talking about winning now. That’s why he’s out the door and another guy’s in there to pitch. And it’s not because he’s a bad guy. His theories are a little different.
After being released by the Twins he eventually signed a minor-league deal with the Marlins, who called Ayala up a couple times and let him go 0-3 with an 11.74 ERA in 10 appearances before designating him for assignment yesterday.
And naturally Ayala is now unhappy with how the Marlins treated him:
It was terrible what they did. I don’t know why they called me up if they were going to do this. I think it’s a lack of respect. I know it’s a business, but for me, it’s something they’ve handled poorly.
In fairness to Ayala, he’s more or less an expert on handling things poorly. Since the beginning of last season he’s been paid approximately $4 million to go 3-15 with a 5.68 ERA in 115.2 innings, and when not alienating his employers with his performance he’s burned bridges with his mouth. Or as Gardenhire put it: “His theories are a little different.”
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.