The Nationals just issued a release saying that they’ve signed GM Mike Rizzo to five-year contract extension. That’s nice job security, and the added title is nice too: Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. This, essentially, means that he’s filling Stan Kasten’s old job and means that he has one less person to answer to when it comes to baseball moves.
The last two drafts were nice for Rizzo, which is expected when you get the top picks. But it takes more to make a winning team than just adding a couple of blue chippers. By giving Rizzo the extension and the promotion, the Nats have some added stability at the top that could, if the purse strings are loosened, make the team a more attractive destination for free agents. At the very least, it ensures that Rizzo will be able to carry out whatever plan it is he’s come up with to lead the Nats to respectability and ultimately contention.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.