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Is changing managers in the middle of the season a good idea?

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In honor of the firing of Bob Geren, The Common Man updates and re-presents his study from a year ago in which he examined whether changing managerial horses in midstream actually helps teams.  The short version: eh, not really, at least from a won-loss perspective.  But it’s entirely possible — and in the case of Geren, probable, based on what we’re hearing — that not changing him would have been way worse due to the risk of even more clubhouse strife.

Oh, one other random note on Geren: John Shea of the Chronicle tweeted a little while ago that Billy Beane said that one of the reasons the move was made now was because Bob Melvin was available.

Hey, good luck to Melvin and the A’s and everything, but he’s been available for, like, two years now, and he hasn’t exactly made anyone jump at him.  And I’m sure that, had Beane waited three months to fire Geren, Melvin would have been available then too.  So, nice not to throw Geren under the bus here, Billy, but there was a reason why he was fired today, and it had little to do with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snag The Bob Melvin.

Stephen Strasburg unlikely to pitch in the NLDS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals walks off the field after an injury in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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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.

A.J. Cole fined, suspended five games for throwing at Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Home plate umpire Jordan Baker ejects A.J. Cole #22 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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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.