Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs have acquired hard-throwing right-handed reliever Henry Rodriguez from the Nationals in exchange for minor league pitcher Ian Dickson.
Rodriguez was designated for assignment by the Nats last week after walking 16 batters over his first 18 innings. He has an exciting arm but has struggled with his command in the bigs — currently holding a 4.23 career ERA and 1.48 career WHIP.
Dickson, a 6-foot-5 22-year-old, was a 35th-round pick of the Cubs in 2011. He has a 6.88 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 32/15 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings of relief this season at the Single-A level.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: The Nats beat has become a bit unreliable today. No, Espinosa has NOT been optioned to Triple-A, contrary to one report. He’s been DL’d:
That’s better. No, I’m not updating again. I don’t care if someone reports that the Nats are calling up Lastings Miledge or Elijah Dukes. This post is final.
UPDATE: Wow, this is crazy. Espinosa has not been placed on the disabled list. He’s been sent down!
So one of two things happened: the Nats are still in denial about Espinosa’s injuries and think some time in the minors will, I dunno, fix his wrist and shoulder. OR they want Espinosa to have surgery or something, he won’t and they’re, in effect, doing away with him like this.
Pretty unexpected, though, that’s for sure.
UPDATE: Kilgore reports that Jayson Werth is in the lineup. And that Henry Rodriguez was seen packing things in a bag and that Danny Espinosa’s locker was empty. Sounds like big moves afoot for the Nationals.
3:39 PM: A day after the Nationals were torn a new one for being too cavalier about player injuries — with second baseman Danny Espinosa’s wrist and shoulder injuries mentioned front and center — a new face has shown up at Nats Park:
No official announcement yet, but it would seem that Rendon has been called up. And, one would presume, Espinosa has ben DL’d. But we’ll have to wait for something official to know for sure.
It seems like forever ago, but Henry Rodriguez began this season as the Nationals’ closer.
And he’ll end it on the disabled list, as the team announced that Rodriguez had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow and will be sidelined for at least three months.
Rodriguez has actually been on the DL since August 2 with a back injury and previously missed a month after slamming his finger in a door around midseason.
In between all the injuries he threw 29 innings with a 5.81 ERA and 31/22 K/BB ratio, showing the combination of high-90s velocity and incredibly shaky control that has been the story of his career.
Brandon Phillips came back and played Monday after leaving Sunday’s game with a cramp in his left calf, but it appears he made the injury a whole lot worse tonight.
MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon has the quotes from the Reds second baseman:
The calf is no bueno right now. I tried to play [Monday] because the [10-game] win streak was gorgeous and I wanted to keep it going, so I tried to man up and go out there and play. I hurt it [Monday] just playing, period.
To tell you the truth, I’m not going to be playing for a while. Dr. [Kremchek, Medical Director] looked at it and he said it was worse than what they expected. I didn’t know. I just knew it felt bad.
The Reds are already without their best player in Joey Votto, and now their second best could join him on the DL. Of course, they haven’t missed a beat without Votto, but Phillips will be a bit more difficult to replace at second base. Light-hitting veterans Wilson Valdez and Miguel Cairo are the team’s fallbacks at the position.
If Phillips lands on the DL, 22-year-old second baseman Henry Rodriguez could be called up to make his major league debut. Triple-A Louisville’s other middle infielder, Didi Gregorius, is a more promising prospect, but his experience at second base consists of one appearance in a minor league game in 2009.
The last time we checked in on Drew Storen, he just resumed throwing off a mound following April surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. Now he’s ready to take the next step.
According to Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com, Storen is scheduled to throw live batting practice tomorrow for the first time since surgery. He’ll start out by throwing all fastballs. The 24-year-old right-hander threw his slider off the mound for the first time yesterday and estimates that he’s currently throwing at about 85-90 percent.
“I’m still making progress every day and I’m having no pain,” Storen said. “I’m starting to get the feeling that I felt before I got hurt, so I’m really happy with where I’m at, but it’s still a day-by-day process.”
Storen still has a few hurdles to cross, including a minor league rehab assignment, but the Nationals are hopeful that he’ll be ready to return around the All-Star break. Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez were each given chances to close games in Storen’s absence, but Tyler Clippard has emerged as a dominant closer recently, going 10-for-10 in save chances. The 27-year-old right-hander has logged 13 1/3 scoreless innings dating back to May 16.