Lucas Giolito was discussed as a possible No. 1 overall pick before a sprained ligament in his elbow ended his senior season with Harvard-Westlake High School in California, but concerns over his health and bonus demands caused him to drop to the Nationals at 16th in June’s First-Year Player Draft. However, it appears the elbow issue is now behind him.
Giolito’s father, Rick Giolito, wrote on his Twitter account yesterday that the 18-year-old right-hander will make his first pro start Tuesday with the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate.
The Nationals ended up exceeding MLB’s slot recommendation by giving Giolito a $2.925 million bonus, but the upside is undeniable if he’s healthy. His fastball was clocked at 100 mph prior to the injury.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.