The Rangers just announced that Ryan Dempster will miss his scheduled Saturday start against the Blue Jays because of undisclosed “personal reasons.”
Roy Oswalt will take his place, starting for the first time since July 30.
Dempster has been awful since coming to the Rangers in a trade from the Cubs, allowing 19 runs in 17 innings spread over three starts. And Oswalt wasn’t much better before being demoted to the bullpen, posting a 5.52 ERA in seven starts after joining the rotation in mid-June.
An impending free agent, Dempster signed off on a deal to the Rangers after the Braves and Dodgers also made a run at him prior to the July 31 deadline. Texas gave up minor leaguers Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks to get him.
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.