Earlier this week all indications were that Stephen Strasburg’s final start of 2011 would come Friday against the Braves and the Nationals would not bring him back on normal rest to pitch the season finale on September 28.
However, yesterday manager Davey Johnson told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he’d like to see Strasburg start the finale “if I don’t get anyone to fight me too hard” among the team’s higher-ups.
Strasburg has been brilliant in three starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, throwing 14 innings with a 1.29 ERA and 11/0 K/BB ratio.
He’s just 12 months removed from going under the knife, so Washington has kept him on a limited pitch count of around 60 for each outing. For now rookie Brad Peacock is penciled in for the Nationals’ final game, so it’ll be interesting to see if Johnson gets his wish.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.