This afternoon the Nationals held a press conference to introduce Adam LaRoche to the local media, who naturally asked general manager Mike Rizzo about the team’s various failed attempts to improve the starting rotation this offseason.
They failed to sign Cliff Lee and Jorge De La Rosa, have apparently dropped out of the bidding for Carl Pavano, and fell short in trade attempts for Zack Greinke and Matt Garza.
Asked about those misses, Rizzo noted that top-of-the-rotation starters “are very difficult to obtain” and described his state of mind as “more frustrated, but a bit disappointed.”
Rizzo has tried to make big splashes since taking over as GM, but ultimately the Nationals might be better off that they didn’t acquire any of those big-name, high-priced starters this winter.
Washington is likely several years away from being serious contenders and their need for a top-of-the-rotation starter in the meantime is iffy. And by the time the rest of the team is good enough to warrant going after top-of-the-rotation starters, they’ll hopefully have one in Stephen Strasburg and perhaps a second one in Jordan Zimmermann. Free agent pitchers and trade partners spurning Rizzo’s offers has forced him to be patient and that might not be such a bad thing.
NEW YORK — With star outfielder Adam Jones nursing a tender hamstring, the Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Julio Borbon from Double-A Bowie and optioned pitcher Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk.
Borbon was inserted in the starting lineup for Baltimore, batting ninth against hard-throwing New York Yankees rookie Chad Green.
“We had some other center field options,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Borbon is our best option at this point.”
Jones left Friday’s game in the second inning with a left hamstring strain. He departed the previous night’s game at Washington in the ninth inning with hamstring cramps and aggravated the injury hustling down the first base line on a soft grounder to third.
“I got a feeling that if he hadn’t had that first swinging bunt, it might not have been a problem,” Showalter indicated. “He’s not going to trot to first base as much as I talked to him about it before the game.”
Although Jones was unable to talk his way into Saturday’s lineup, Showalter speculated that he might be available to pinch-hit.
The 30-year old Borbon was 2 for 9 in five games with the Orioles earlier this season, but was designated for assignment on July 26. To create room for Borbon on the 40-man roster, pitcher Logan Ondrusek was designated for assignment on Friday.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.