Thankfully for Nationals fans, F.P. Santangelo isn’t Rob Dibble

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Rob Dibble was fired as the Nationals’ television analyst following comments he made about Stephen Strasburg, but before that he’d more than earned the firing with various other “controversial” statements and, most importantly, awful announcing.

Included among Dibble’s many faults as an announcer was that he referred to “we” and “us” while openly cheering for the Nationals. It’s one thing to be a homer, as many local announcers are, but it’s another thing to be a grunting cheerleader who doesn’t even pretend to have any sort of objectivity.

All of which is why Nationals fans should be pleased to hear how much different the team’s new television announcer, F.P. Santangelo, plans to be in the broadcast booth. Here’s his response when Kristen Hudak of MASNSports.com asked “when is it OK to use ‘us’ or ‘we’ while broadcasting?”:

It’s never appropriate. I’m not wearing a uniform, so it’s not we. It’s absolutely against everything I’ve been taught as a broadcaster to ever say “we” because I’m sitting up here with makeup on and a coat and a tie. So it’s the Nationals and it will always be the Nationals on every broadcast I do. I was taught by some of the best announcers in baseball–Jon Miller, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow and Dave Flemming, the broadcast crew for the Giants. One of the first things I learned was that you say “we” when you’re wearing a uniform. I’m not wearing a uniform anymore so it will never be “we.”

Santangelo discussed a whole bunch of other stuff in his lengthy interview with Hudak. I haven’t heard him call a game yet, but I already like him more than Dibble.

Twins’ top prospect Nick Burdi will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Twins’ right-hander Nick Burdi is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team announced on Friday. Burdi made 14 appearances for Double-A Chattanooga before succumbing to a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is not expected to make his major league debut until mid-2018 at the earliest. A UCL tear doesn’t always require Tommy John surgery — less severe cases can be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections, for example — but Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the press that surgery was unavoidable as Burdi had sustained a “full thickness tear” in his elbow.

Entering the 2016 season, Burdi was widely considered a top ten prospect in the Twins’ system. His exceptional velocity and potent fastball-slider combo made him a fearsome relief option as he came off of his first season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2015. During the 2016 season, however, the 24-year-old experienced a significant setback after a bone bruise cut his season short in late July. Prior to Friday’s diagnosis, he appeared to be staging an impressive comeback with the Chattanooga Lookouts this spring, decorating his efforts with a sparkling 0.53 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 17 innings.

It’s a tough break for the Twins, whose farm system was ranked 21st in the league by Baseball America. “Obviously he’s proven when he’s healthy he’s an absolute premium prospect, and the Twins are treating him that way,” Burdi’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. “We just want to make sure everything we do ultimately leads to the goal of getting him back on the field as quickly as he can.”

Brock Holt has been shut down from game activity

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Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.

According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.

Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.