Jorge De La Rosa and the Rockies are talking contract

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Last week Colorado general manager Dan O’Dowd called re-signing Jorge De La Rosa “a top priority” for the Rockies and now Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that “there are strong indications” the two sides “began contract talks” this week.
According to Renck the Rockies offered De La Rosa a two-year, $8.75 million deal last offseason, but he turned it down and then was limited to just 122 innings this season because of injuries. When healthy he was very solid, posting a 4.22 ERA in 20 starts despite calling Coors Field home, and De La Rosa is 34-24 with a 4.49 ERA and 434/200 K/BB ratio in 437 total innings for the Rockies during the past three seasons.
Renck speculates that he “could reach the neighborhood of $10 million per season on the open market,” but for someone with a 5.02 career ERA who has never posted a mark below 4.22 that seems pretty optimistic considering John Lackey was the only free agent starter to get more than $10 million per season in a multi-year deal last offseason (although Randy Wolf came very close).

Dusty Baker expects Stephen Strasburg to make his next scheduled start

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”

Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.

Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

John Lackey hit four White Sox batters today

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Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.

Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.

So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.