No official announcement has been made yet, but Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Stephen Strasburg is expected to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Nationals’ rotation Saturday against the Rockies.
Strasburg has been out since early July with a strained oblique muscle, but convinced the Nationals that he’s ready to return by racking up 11 strikeouts in 5.2 innings at Triple-A in his most recent minor-league rehab start.
Strasburg was a mess before the injury, posting a 5.16 ERA in 13 starts, but his strikeout, walk, and home run rates all remained fairly close to his career norms. If healthy he could provide a big boost to the suddenly scuffling Nationals.
It’ll probably be too late to save their playoff chances, as the Tigers were sellers at the trade deadline and currently sit at 52-55, but Miguel Cabrera is close to returning from the disabled list.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told James Schmehl of MLive.com that it “wouldn’t shock me” if Cabrera rejoined the Tigers by August 19, which is the end of the team’s next road trip.
Cabrera has been out since early July with a strained calf that was initially expected to keep him sidelined for six weeks, so he’s right on schedule.
Cabrera was having a typical–which is to say MVP-caliber–season before the injury, hitting .350 with 15 homers and a 1.034 OPS in 77 games. Since his injury the Tigers are 12-16, but their runs per game is actually slightly higher (4.5) compared to when Cabrera was in the lineup (4.4).
David Ortiz is 10 plate appearances away from his 2016 option vesting for $11 million, keeping him with the Red Sox for a 14th season at age 40.
Of course, the Red Sox would have picked up their half of the option anyway. After a rough first two months of the season Ortiz has turned things around in a big way, hitting .262 with 15 homers and a .907 OPS in 53 games since June 1. His overall OPS is above .800 and he’s on pace for 30 homers.
Or as Ortiz said to John Tomase of WEEI.com:
I earned it. That’s why I’m playing next year. Because I earned it. That’s the way we pretty much agreed to do things. You know me, I get greedy when it comes down to performance. I want to put up numbers. I agreed to do it that way, because if I don’t put up numbers, what would be the reason to continue playing?
His salary for 2016 can rise from $11 million all the way up to $16 million based on how many more plate appearances he tacks on to his current total of 415. Next year he’ll also be joining the 500-homer club, as Ortiz is at 487 right now.