MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan has the scoop: Ivan Rodriguez will retire a member of the Rangers as part of a pre-game ceremony prior to Monday’s game with the Yankees.
Rodriguez, 40, didn’t want to go out yet, but no one offered him a starting job or anything close to it after he hit .218/.281/.323 in 124 at-bats for the Nationals in an injury-plagued 2011 season. Rodriguez was hoping to play another two or three seasons and get to 3,000 career hits. He’ll finish his career at 2,844.
Of course, Pudge didn’t need 3,000 hits to add to his Hall of Fame qualifications. Rodriguez was the 1999 AL MVP, he was named to 14 All-Star teams and he won 13 Gold Gloves. He finishes his career with a .296/.334/.464 line, 311 homers and 1,332 RBI. His 2,427 games caught is a major league record.
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Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.