The Rangers are zeroing in on catching help on the heels of A.J. Pierzynski leaving Texas for a one-year deal with the World Series champion Red Sox.
While Kurt Suzuki was mentioned as a possibility earlier this week, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers and J.P. Arencibia are “progressing” toward a deal. Arencibia was non-tendered by the Blue Jays late Monday after the addition of Dioner Navarro made him expendable. The Rangers actually attempted to trade for Arencibia before Monday’s non-tender deadline, but the two sides were unable to get a deal done in time.
Arencibia hit 21 home runs this year, but he did so while hitting just .194 with a .592 OPS. This included a strikeout rate approaching 30 percent and a walk rate of 3.6 percent. He’s a flawed player, but the Rangers figure to at least use him as a backup to Geovany Soto in 2014.
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.