Washington has signed third baseman Ian Stewart to a minor-league contract.
Stewart posted some solid, Coors Field-inflated numbers with the Rockies early in his career, but he’s had trouble staying healthy and producing in recent years.
He spent most of this past season at Triple-A and also got into 24 games for the Angels, hitting just .176. Despite seemingly being around forever Stewart is still just 30 years old, but he’s even struggled at Triple-A recently and seems like a long shot to win a bench job with the Nationals.
Earlier, D.J. Short wrote that Angels third baseman David Freese was hoping to avoid a stint on the disabled list after suffering a non-displaced fracture on his right index finger suffered when he was hit by a Colby Lewis pitch on Friday night. Freese will be disappointed, as the Angels have indeed placed him on the 15-day DL according to the team’s official Twitter.
It’s unfortunate timing for Freese. He opened the season about as cold as a hitter can get, but was starting to turn things around, carrying a six-game hitting streak into Saturday night’s game against the Rangers. In 28 plate appearances since April 23, Freese was slashing .360/.429/.520.
Luis Jimenez will start at third base against the Rangers in Freese’s absence tonight. MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes that the Angels will play the match-ups and platoon Jimenez with Ian Stewart at the hot corner.
I wrote yesterday about how Ian Stewart wasn’t making any friends with the Cubs by basically taking a 72-hour vacation from the Triple-A team and today they outrighted the third baseman off the 40-man roster.
That means Stewart went unclaimed on waivers by the other 29 teams and will remain Cubs property at Triple-A, minus the 40-man roster spot. That makes a call-up even less likely, because they’d have to create a roster spot first.
It’s a non-issue for now because Stewart has hit .091 in 13 games so far and his $2 million contract made clearing waivers a no-brainer.