Ricky Nolasco was diagnosed with a torn right meniscus over the weekend and scratched from his scheduled Sunday start in favor of Andrew Miller. With such a serious diagnosis, and with the Marlins well out of contention, it felt like Nolasco might be done for the season. But, alas, he could be ready to pitch again by Saturday.
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports that Nolasco will play catch on Monday and throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. If those go well, he is likely to be cleared to start against the first-place Braves this weekend.
“He wants to pitch, and he says he’s feeling much better the last two
days,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “At this point of the season, pretty much
everybody’s hurt. Nobody’s 100 percent. If he says he’s 90, 95 percent, I
think it’s good enough.”
Nolasco, 27, struggled through the first half of the season but he’s limited opponents to a .237 batting average and has racked up 53 strikeouts in 45 innings since mid-July. Through 25 total starts this season, he owns a 14-8 record, a 4.22 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 147 strikeouts.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.