Aaron Gleeman

Meet the Nationals’ fourth-round pick Mariano Rivera Jr.


Mariano Rivera’s son, Iona College right-hander Mariano Rivera Jr., was drafted by the Nationals in the fourth round. He was previously drafted by the Yankees in the 29th round last year and decided to go back to school for another season, which worked out pretty well.

Rivera Jr. doesn’t throw a cutter, which seems like a shame, but he does have a fastball that reaches the mid-90s and what James Wagner of the Washington Post describes as a “power slider.”

Here’s what Nationals scouting director Kris Kline told Wagner about the team’s new pitching prospect:

The fact that Mariano’s kid is as good as he is right now, I’m sure his father had a lot to do with that. He has the genes there. He’s not a tall kid, but he’s got big shoulders, long arms, big hands, and that really helps as far as the durability for his size.

Rivera Jr. figures to sign for around $400,000 and told Wagner he doesn’t regret not ending up with the Yankees because “any team that picked me, I’d be loyal to them.”

(Check out the rest of Wagner’s well-done profile for more on Rivera Jr.)

John Jaso hoping to rejoin the Rays by the All-Star break

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John Jaso has been on the disabled list since injuring his wrist on Opening Day, but the Rays designated hitter is optimistic about rejoining the lineup by the All-Star break.

Jaso hasn’t started a minor-league rehab assignment yet, but Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports that he’s been cleared to swing off a tee and may not require a lengthy rehab stint.

Concussions forced Jaso to stop catching, but he’s good enough offensively to help in the DH role. Jaso is a career .272 hitter with a .793 OPS versus right-handed pitching.

Yankees expect injured closer Andrew Miller to miss one month


One day after placing left-hander Andrew Miller on the disabled list with a strained forearm muscle Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated that he expects the closer to miss around one month.

Cashman told Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News that Miller will be completely shut down from throwing for two weeks before resuming a throwing program, leaving stud setup man Dellin Betances as the Yankees’ closer for the remainder of the first half.

Miller converted 17 saves with a 1.03 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 26 innings while holding opponents to a .090 batting average in the first season of a four-year, $36 million deal signed this winter.