Mike Piazza will take the helm for the U.S. club and Luis Gonzalez will manage the World team in the 13th annual Futures Game to be played Sunday, July 10.
As usual, MLB has gone with ambassadors, rather than minor league managers, to serve as the managers for the Futures Game. The staffs for each team will be made up of minor league personnel, including former players Brett Butler, Sal Fasano, Steve Buchele and Brian Harper.
The Futures Game rosters were announced last week and can be found here. MLB did announce one change Friday, saying former No. 1 overall draft pick Tim Beckham (Rays) would take the spot of Chase d’Arnaud on the U.S. team. D’Arnaud was called up by the Pirates last week.
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.
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.