11:34 PM: And so it begins. Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post hears that Hanley Ramirez is “distraught” over the prospect of changing positions to make room for Jose Reyes.
6:25 PM: We’ve heard plenty of speculation that Hanley Ramirez could force his way out of Miami following the signing of Jose Reyes. It may happen eventually, but the Marlins appear committed to trying to make things work.
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said this afternoon that he considers Ramirez “part of the plan, part of the core.” Furthermore, he expressed confidence that Ramirez will be amenable to a move to third base.
“Hanley is a super-professional,” Loria, the Marlins owner, said Monday. “We will work with him, make everything comfortable for him.”
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com hears that Ramirez has a “strong preference” to remain at shortstop, but that he will handle the matter professionally. And it would behoove him to embrace the move if he wants to be part of a winner. But if he sulks a couple of months from now and forces a trade, the Marlins may end up taking one step forward and one step back.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.