They don’t yet know who they’ll be facing, but the Nationals and Reds have set their NLDS rotations.
According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, the Nats will go with Gio Gonzalez in Game 1, Jordan Zimmermann in Game 2, then either Edwin Jackson or Ross Detwiler in Game 3.
Gonzalez, a candidate for the NL Cy Young Award, was an obvious choice for Nationals manager Davey Johnson. The left-hander posted a fantastic 2.89 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 32 regular-season starts for the NL East champions, fanning 207 batters in 199 1/3 innings. He’ll match up well against anyone.
For the Reds, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, it’ll be Johnny Cueto in Game 1, Bronson Arroyo in Game 2 and Mat Latos in Game 3. Homer Bailey will be available for a potential Game 4.
Cueto was also an easy pick. He had a 2.78 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 170/49 K/BB ratio in 217 frames this year.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.
Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.
Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.
Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.
It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.