Tampa Bay has designated Reid Brignac for assignment, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, dropping the one-time top prospect from the 40-man roster ahead of a potential trade or trip to the waiver wire.
Brignac ranked among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, but has hit just .227 with a .586 OPS in 256 games as a big leaguer and spent most of last season at Triple-A.
He’s a good defensive shortstop and still just 27 years old, but Brignac has never really even produced much at Triple-A. It’ll be interesting to see if the Rays can find a team willing to give up a little something in trade or if they’ll end up simply waiving him.
UPDATE: Tampa Bay also DFA’d Elliot Johnson, another good-glove, no-hit infielder who’s played quite a bit for the past couple seasons.
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.