Questions about the health of Lucas Giolito’s elbow caused the 18-year-old right-hander to fall from potential No. 1 pick to the Nationals at No. 16 and now after one professional appearance he’s headed for Tommy John surgery.
Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that Giolito will go under the knife on August 31, with Dr. Lewis Yocum doing the honors.
He’ll miss essentially all of next season, perhaps making it back for a handful of late-season games if everything goes ahead of schedule.
Obviously this is bad news for everyone involved, but the Nationals knew they were taking a risk with Giolito when they drafted him (and gave him an above-slot $3 million signing bonus) and even with 12 months on the sidelines his long-term upside remains higher than anyone else available in the middle of the first round.
Even a fully healthy Giolito was years from potentially getting to the majors, so this simply makes the long road to the big leagues a little longer.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.