Here’s a dose of positive news for the Red Sox.
Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports that third baseman Will Middlebrooks “should not need to have surgery” on his broken right wrist because doctors diagnosed the fracture as non-displaced.
He’s still probably done for the remainder of the 2012 season, but the wrist should make a full recovery and he has a good chance of being 100 percent healthy heading into spring training next February.
Middleboorks, a 23-year-old rookie, posted a .288/.325/.509 batting line with 15 home runs, 14 doubles and 54 RBI over his first 75 major league games this season. Boston has turned to Pedro Ciriaco at third base in his absence. Danny Valencia should also get looks at the hot corner down the stretch.
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.