More bad news on the season-ending injury front.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Thursday that catcher Russell Martin is unlikely to return from the disabled list this season.
The catcher suffered a labral tear in his right hip while crossing home plate on Tuesday night and will require crutches to get around for the next three weeks. Even if he begins rehabbing immediately after that, it’s a longshot that he will be ready by late September or early October.
The Dodgers currently sit seven games back of the Padres in the National League West and would have to leapfrog the Giants as well to reach the postseason. Andre Ethier is coming around at the plate and Vicente Padilla turned in a great performance on Wednesday night, but it may be time to count Los Angeles out of this year’s playoff picture.
For now, A.J. Ellis and Brad Ausmus will fill in behind the plate for the Dodgers. Martin, 27, turned in a .248/.347/.332 batting line, five home runs and 26 RBI over 331 at-bats this season. He should be ready to go by the start of spring training next February.
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.
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.