Pudge Rodriguez was scratched from Thursday’s lineup after straining his oblique during batting practice, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson described the injury as “not good,” though the veteran backstop will be reevaluated today before a decision is made about placing him on the disabled list.
“I’ve never experienced this kind of injury,” Rodriguez said. “It’s never happened to me. See what happens tomorrow. If tomorrow is not better, we need a catcher. But let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Rodriguez, 39, is batting .214/.276/.325 over 129 plate appearances this season.
It’s a forgone conclusion that Derek Jeter will reach 3,000 hits at this point, but Pudge is next in line with 2,842. His role has diminished considerably with the Nationals due to the presence of rookie catcher Wilson Ramos, so he only has 25 hits this season. With his career trending downward, 158 more suddenly sounds like a pretty tall mountain to climb.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.
Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.
Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.