“There’s aches and pains,” Nationals starter Dan Haren told reporters Saturday. “Nothing I haven’t pitched through in the past. Physically, I’m OK.”
But the club’s decision-makers seem to disagree.
According to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times, the Nationals are placing Haren on the 15-day disabled list. The right-hander did have back problems earlier this season and that’s likely the injury that will be cited when the transaction is made official. But this reads like more of a phantom thing, designed to get Haren some time off and a couple of starts against minor league competition.
Haren allowed six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings on Saturday against the Rockies and owns a brutal 6.15 ERA through his first 82 innings this season. He signed a one-year, $13 million deal this past winter.
UPDATE, 5:06 PM ET: Haren has a stiff shoulder, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.