Stephen Strasburg was fantastic Saturday in his fifth minor-league rehab start, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning, but the Nationals are resisting the urge to move up his return timetable.
MLB rosters expand Wednesday, so the Nationals could easily call up Strasburg and essentially have him replace Jordan Zimmermann in the rotation, but instead Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the former No. 1 pick will make another rehab start Thursday, likely at Double-A.
He’s slated to throw 75-80 pitches or six innings, which suggests another strong outing could convince the Nationals to activate him from the disabled list almost exactly 12 months after Tommy John elbow surgery. Not only has Strasburg’s mid-90s fastball already returned with 25 strikeouts in 14.1 innings in the minors, his control has been plenty good as well with just three walks.
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.