Stephen Strasburg continues to progress in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said Friday that the former No. 1 overall draft pick could make a start in September for the club.
Strasburg was pretty much written off for 2011 after undergoing surgery last Sept. 3, but his rehab is going extremely well. He threw to hitters for the first time Wednesday, throwing 45 pitches in Viera, FL.
If Strasburg does return this year, it’d likely be for one or two starts at the most, and any sort of setback at all would likely rule that out. The Nationals’ primary goal is to have him ready for 2012, and they’re only going to let him start in the majors in September if it makes complete and total sense.
Still, there wouldn’t be any real harm in letting it happen if his rehab progresses. The minor league season concludes at the beginning of September, so there’s not going to be anywhere else for Strasburg to pitch until the fall instructional league play starts up.
Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts as a rookie before getting hurt last year. He figures to join Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan in the Nationals’ 2012 rotation, with two spots still to be determined.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.