Here’s some ominous news for the Twins.
David Dorsey of the Fort Myers News-Press reports that Scott Baker was pulled from a minor league rehab start with High-A Fort Myers this evening after throwing just 11 pitches. Baker is currently on the disabled list after being shut down earlier this spring with right elbow tendinitis.
According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said in a statement that Baker “just didn’t feel right” and “couldn’t seem to get loose on the mound.” The current plan calls for him to be reevaluated tomorrow, but Liam Hendriks may keep his rotation spot for a little longer than originally anticipated.
Baker had a career-best 3.14 ERA and 123/32 K/BB ratio across 134 2/3 innings last season, but was limited to just four starts and two relief appearances after the All-Star break due to a strained flexor muscle.
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.