So, that thing about the Nationals’ projected Opening Day lineup finally being in place? Well, Denard Span sat out tonight’s game against the Padres with a sore back and Yunel Escobar was forced to exit in the sixth inning after he was hit in the right hand by a pitch.
Escobar was hit by Andrew Cashner with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning. It brought in the Nationals’ first run of the night and tied the game. The Nationals would score another run in the inning to take the lead. Escobar remained in the game initially before Danny Espinosa replaced him in the lineup and Anthony Rendon moved over to third. The Nationals should provide an update after the game.
Escobar has been all sorts of banged up this season and just missed some time last weekend with a hyperextended neck. The 32-year-old has still managed to be one of the Nationals’ best players, batting .308/.367/.423 with nine home runs and 42 RBI over 112 games.
The Padres went hog wild in December. Then they lost a lot of games and many people — present company included — assumed that they’d make a lot of noise at the trade deadline. Reports were that they’d trade Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner, Justin Upton and maybe James Shields. Maybe even more!
But that didn’t happen. In fact, they did nothing. Nada. Zip. Why?
I suppose stranger things have happened. Worth nothing, however, that they have a worse record than the Tigers, who are selling off. They are eight games back in their division and they seven and a half back in the wild card with five teams ahead of them, many of them pretty strong teams. It’s hard to see that happening.
But hey, in these awful times, is it not nice to see someone being optimistic? Padres fans? Do you agree?
Let me guess: it involves Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Steve Finley, Roberto Petagine, Brian Williams, Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, the bad Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier and Craig Shipley? No? Well, dang:
The Padres are said to be open for business, with Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, Tyson Ross, James Shields and Andrew Cashner, at least, available. The Astros have already made a huge splash at the deadline adding Scott Kazmir and Carlos
Gonzalez Gomez. They are, apparently, loading for bear. Or Angels.
Per Scott Miller of Bleacher Report, the Padres are ready to sell. They’ll use their four-game set against the Marlins as their last chance to cover some ground and head into the trade deadline as buyers instead.
The Padres entered play Saturday night with a 45-52 record, putting them in fourth place in the NL West. They were pundits’ sexy pick to win the division or at least win one of the two Wild Card slots following a busy offseason, but they’ve failed to live up to expectations.
Players the Padres could trade include Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, James Shields, and Craig Kimbrel.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres and Astros have discussed starting pitching, with the July 31 trade deadline looming. The 42-49 Padres still haven’t officially committed to selling, but a poor showing in the upcoming week could seal their fate. Lin notes that Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross are believed to have piqued the Astros’ interest.
Cashner, 28, has had a mediocre season, posting a 4.10 ERA with a 97/34 K/BB ratio in 109 2/3 innings. The biggest factor for him, though, is that he has been able to stay healthy. The right-hander is hoping to cross the 30-start threshold for the first time in his career. Cashner is earning $4.05 million this year and will be eligible for his third and final year of arbitration after the season.
Ross, 28, started off slow but has picked things up as of late. He owns a 3.34 ERA with a 118/55 K/BB ratio in 110 1/3 innings. The right-hander is earning $5.25 million this season and has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining.
The Astros are also believed to have significant interest in Reds starter Johnny Cueto, among others.