Riggleman: Morgan out of lineup because "he'd get hit"

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Worried that Nyjer Morgan might “get hit” because of his unnecessary shove of Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson on Saturday night, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has opted to keep the outfielder out of the lineup Sunday. 

Riggleman stood up for his outfielder in a chat with Gene Wang of the Washington Post on Sunday, but did acknowledged that Morgan made a mistake:

“I think he was just having a day like where he was upset about some
things and did an unprofessional thing. He went after the catcher,”
Riggleman said. “So I certainly don’t condone that, but we’ve all made
mistakes. I think that’s not Nyjer’s style of play to do something like
that. That’s totally uncharacteristic. I think the culmination of the
day, when I called him in, told him I was going to hit him eighth
instead of leadoff, and I think it just was building up all day. I think
he thought I was wearing that equipment there at home plate.”

Riggleman said he spoke with St. Louis manager Tony La Russa about the matter, but it seems possible that Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright might direct his anger toward another member of the Nationals lineup today.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.