Yet another Kelvim Escobar update

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Kelvim Escobar says he’s doing fine. Kevin Kernan writes the following:

Despite the hysteria of last week, he is right on time in his rehab,
according to the Mets and, more importantly, according to his
representatives. The plan from the beginning was not to rush Escobar . . .  Escobar insists he will be ready by the start of the season, but the
Mets are not counting on that and are taking it slow with his rehabbing
shoulder. That is why there is so much emphasis now on trying to find
an eighth-inning pitcher.

I can’t seem to find a story from back when he signed in December, but I’m pretty sure that the Mets did not say he was doubtful for Opening Day back then, which makes their claim that he’s “right on time” on his rehab a little hard to swallow.  Something has obviously happened with him.

I’m perfectly willing to admit that I was wrong about Escobar last week, but as I said at the time, I don’t think the Mets get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to shooting straight with respect to injuries these days.  I’ll believe that he’s not injured when he actually pitches.

Stephen Strasburg unlikely to pitch in the NLDS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals walks off the field after an injury in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.

Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.

The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.

A.J. Cole fined, suspended five games for throwing at Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Home plate umpire Jordan Baker ejects A.J. Cole #22 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.

Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.

Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.