Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics

Giants showing interest in Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba

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Sources have informed Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Giants are still on the hunt for a catcher and have shown interest recently in the Rangers’ Yorvit Torrealba.

San Francisco’s hunt for a new backstop began in late May, shortly after Buster Posey broke his leg in a collision at home plate with Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins. The search has not been fruitful to this point, but the Giants seem to have found new motivation with Eli Whiteside (elbow, quad) banged up and Chris Stewart batting .156 with a .417 OPS.

Torrealba has never been a great offensive player, but he’s easily a better hitter than Whiteside and Stewart, and he could bring some stability to the position for the Giants. The Rangers may be open to offers once Mike Napoli (oblique) returns from the disabled list. Giants setup man Guillermo Mota is said to be available, and Texas could use the bullpen help.

One possible hangup: Torrealba is owed $3.25 million next season and Posey is expected to be fully recovered by the start of spring training. There’s a chance that the Giants will balk at that math. Then again, they could use Torrealba as a highly active backup in 2011 and give starts at first base to Posey with the idea of keeping his knees healthier. That might justify the $3.25 million salary.

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.