It looks like Davey Johnson will get his wish.
From Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post comes word that the Nationals have decided to give right-hander Stephen Strasburg two more starts before the end of the 2011 season. The first will come this Friday night against the Wild Card-leading Braves. The second will be in the Nats’ season finale versus the Marlins on Wednesday, September 28.
Strasburg was originally scheduled to be shut down after Friday’s home start against Atlanta because the Nationals’ season finale is in south Florida and the club does not stand to make a significant profit. But the 23-year-old starter has displayed no signs of weakness or discomfort since returning from Tommy John surgery and should be able to put together two more outings with his prized right arm still intact.
Strasburg has posted a 1.29 ERA and 11/0 K/BB ratio in 14 innings since returning in early September.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.