The good news for Chien-Ming Wang is that what initially looked like a serious leg injury suffered during yesterday’s game turned out to be merely a strained hamstring.
The bad news is that manager Davey Johnson said today that he expects Wang to be out of action for “a couple weeks minimum.”
That will make it all but impossible for Wang to begin the season in the Nationals’ rotation, as he won’t have built up the necessary arm strength and pitch count even if he somehow returns to the mound sooner than expected.
By resisting the urge to trade John Lannan the Nationals have a capable fill-in waiting to replace Wang, but he was finally starting to look somewhat like his old self three years after shoulder surgery.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.