Craig Robinson — in addition to being tastefully named and wearing very cool Shuron horned-rim glasses like all the other cool Craigs wear — is a genius. I’ve long enjoyed his work at Flip Flop Fly Ball, but his latest project may be my favorite yet: Lego figures of 1970s-80s baseball greats.
Craig lives in Mexico and doesn’t have the full panoply of Lego colors available to him that he might have here, but he’s done a fantastic job with Fernando Valenzuela, Andre Dawson, Pete Rose, Mark Fidrych, Randy Johnson, Barry Bonds and Dennis Eckserlsey. I think Fidrych is my favorite so far.
Only sad part: because Legos are expensive and he has a limited supply, he has to take each figure apart before building the next one. Which is preventing me from offering him my children’s college funds in exchange for the collection.
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.