The Nats sign Miguel Batista

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Batista headshot.jpgWashington has signed Miguel Batista, late of Seattle, to a minor league deal. He turns 39 next month.  Last year he went 7-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 56 relief appearances for the Mariners. Before last year he had mostly been a starter, though he’s spent some time as a swingman and was exclusively a reliever in 2005 for the Blue Jays.

Recently the Nats said that they’re looking for “a Livan Hernandez type.”  Though they apparently don’t think Livan Hernandez fits that description, Batista is probably a reasonable facsimile in that he generally stays healthy and isn’t all that good anymore.  Oh, and I’m assuming his crime novels and poetry are better than Livan’s.

Cardinals move Luke Weaver to the bullpen

Luke Weaver
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Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver has been reassigned to the bullpen, manager Mike Shildt announced Sunday. Fellow righty Daniel Poncedeleon will take his spot in the rotation for the time being, though it’s still unclear whether Weaver’s demotion is a permanent one or not.

Still, it’s not the most surprising of moves, especially as the club advances toward a potential playoff berth in October. Weaver, 24, has struggled to find his groove this season after putting up a 6-11 record in 24 starts and a 4.67 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2018. During two of his last three outings in August, he was pulled before the fifth inning, citing mechanical issues with his delivery that may be impacting his fastball location and delivery and having an adverse effect on his results — and those of the team — as well.

Poncedeleon, on the other hand, appears primed to take on more responsibility following an impressive run with the Cardinals this summer. He maintained a sub-3.00 ERA through his first six appearances, issuing four runs, nine walks, and 10 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t handled more than one start in the big leagues, his track record in the minors speaks to his ability to get consistent results on the mound: he went 9-3 in 17 starts at Triple-A Memphis with a 2.15 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 92 innings. He’s scheduled to cover for Weaver on Tuesday against the Pirates and will presumably continue to pitch out of the rotation for the remaining six weeks of the season.