UPDATE: I guess I jumped the gun earlier when I said that the Manny-to-the-White Sox thing was a done deal as a straight waiver claim, because it’s only within the last few minutes that all of the reputable reporters are saying it’s confirmed. Maybe I dreamed it all.
Also, Nightengale has now backtracked from his earlier report: Manny was waiting for the deal to be finalized before leaving for Cleveland. He will still join the team sometime tonight, but won’t make it in time to be in the lineup.
11:03 A.M.: Bob Nightengale just tweeted that Manny Ramirez is en route to Cleveland as we speak and thus should be in the lineup for tonight’s White Sox-Indians matchup.
It will be cute to see national writers try to jam in some “Manny-returns-to-Cleveland” angle to this. Indians fans really don’t care much about him anymore. He left there after the 2000 season, for crying out loud. That’s ancient history for Indians fans. Sandy Alomar, Chuck Finley, Charles Nagy and David Justice played on that team. It was, like, 110 Manny-years ago.
By the way, it’s been confirmed that the transaction to send Ramirez to Chicago was a straight waiver claim deal with nothing going back to Los Angeles other than the salary relief Manny’s one month and change away from the team will bring.
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.