It is well-known that the Indians are looking for starting pitching as the July 31 trade deadline draws closer, but they weren’t willing to part with third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall for Cubs starter Matt Garza, reports Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. Chisenhall, still just 24 years old, has had an up-and-down year, spending a month with Triple-A Columbus between May 14 and June 16 where he dominated opposing pitching. In 183 plate appearances in the Majors this year, he has posted a .708 OPS. He was one of the top prospects in baseball in 2010 and 2011 and the team thinks he still has plenty of time and ability to figure things out.
The Rangers and Cubs were reportedly close to a Garza swap yesterday, but negotiations hit a snag. Reports still indicate the two sides are very close on an agreement, but the Cubs are still shopping Garza around to other suitors in the meantime. Garza is scheduled to make his next start on July 22 against the Diamondbacks, but he is expected to have a new set of laundry by then.
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.