Bill Ladson of MLB.com says that the Nationals don’t intend to pursue to Prince Fielder in free agency this winter. Normally this kind of thing wouldn’t be terribly significant, especially in August, but it probably matters here.
As we’ve seen these past few years, the Nationals have become Scott Boras’ huckleberry. If he’s got a guy who needs signed or drafted, Mike Rizzo will pick up the phone. Fielder is a Boras guy. Boras’ biggest guy this winter. Given the recent track record, it would not be at all surprising for people to speculate the Nats are in the bidding.
Indeed, it’s not at all hard to believe that Boras and whatever media surrogates he can muster will do their best to spread the word of the Nationals’ totally serious interest in making a big splash. They’ll point to the improved Nats’ team. The prospect of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper on the horizon. The fact that, as the Jayson Werth deal showed, they’re not afraid to spend money. They’ll use that to try to convince some other team who may be interested in Fielder that they had best bid high or not bother.
And with this report — assuming it’s true — it seems like the Nats are unwilling to be party to those kinds of games.
Today’s play of the day wasn’t made by a professional athlete. Rather, it was made by a fan in the second deck on the first base side at Miller Park during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Diamondbacks and Brewers.
Phil Gosselin fouled off a 1-1 fastball from Will Smith to the right side. A fan wearing purple — perhaps in support of the D-Backs? — leaned over the railing of the second deck and snagged the ball with her bucket hat.
The Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 6-4. They took three games out of the four-game series. Heading into the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline, they’ll host the Pirates for three games.
The Royals announced on Thursday evening that reliever Luke Hochevar has been placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 25) as he’s showing signs of thoracic outlet syndrome, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports. Reliever Brooks Pounders has been recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
Thoracic outlet syndrome, simply put, is the compression of blood vessels and nerves between the neck and the shoulder. As we’ve seen lately, the fix for this often involves surgery to remove the pitcher’s upper rib.
Hochevar, 32, has compiled a 3.86 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who can become a free agent after the season if either he or the Royals decline his 2017 option, was a potential trade candidate recently mentioned by Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.