ryan madson getty

Ryan Madson had a setback in his return from Tommy John surgery

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When the Angels signed Ryan Madson to be their new closer they seemed pretty confident that he’d be ready for Opening Day after missing all of last season following Tommy John elbow surgery, but suddenly that’s looking like a long shot.

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Madson experienced a setback in his recovery when he had elbow soreness during a mound session on February 1 and hasn’t thrown since then.

Madson beginning the season on the disabled list would open the door for Ernesto Frieri to serve as closer. Madson’s one-year deal with the Angels is worth $3.5 million in guaranteed money, plus another $3.5 million in potential incentives based on games finished and days on the active roster.

Remember when the Phillies were on the verge of re-signing Madson to a four-year, $44 million contract last offseason and, at least according to agent Scott Boras, had agreed to the deal? Does wriggling out of those negotiations now count toward the “Ruben Amaro Jr. is a ninja” evidence?

Stephen Strasburg unlikely to pitch in the NLDS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals walks off the field after an injury in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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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.

A.J. Cole fined, suspended five games for throwing at Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Home plate umpire Jordan Baker ejects A.J. Cole #22 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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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.