The Nats should have known that Carlos Alvarez wasn't who he said he was

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Remember that big stink in early 2009 in which the Nats gave a big signing bonus to a guy who was found out to be four years older than they thought he was?  And that he was, you know, a totally different person than they thought he was.  Boy, was that embarrassing! But it gets worse: Nats’ personnel knew he was a fraud and didn’t say anything after they found out:

Carlos Alvarez, who was 20 when he passed himself off to the Nationals as 16-year-old prospect Esmailyn Gonzalez, testified in June in a Dominican appeals court that he told [Nats’ DR coordinator Jose Baez] that he wasn’t in fact Gonzalez after he had signed with the team. Alvarez told the court that he confessed the fraud to Baez because the family who provided him with fake documents had tried to blackmail him. Nelson Tejada, the investigator for Major League Baseball who discovered the fraud, testified that “Baez told me that he knew of this name change” and that Baez’s mistake was “knowing [of the fraud] and not reporting it.”

Former GM Jim Bowden’s right-hand man Jose Rijo knew about it too, Alvarez testified.  The FBI has been investigating this matter too, by the way, to see if any Nats employees committed fraud, so that’s fun too.

Just something to remind Nats fans that Mike Rizzo has a lot more to rebuild in this organization than just the major league roster.

Michael Fulmer likely headed for Tommy John surgery

Detroit Tigers v Houston Astros
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Michael Fulmer was the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year Award winner. Last year he had his worst season as a major leaguer, finishing 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA and a 110/46 K/BB ratio in 132 1/3 innings. This spring he has been utterly lost in eight innings of work, getting hit hard and exhibiting diminished velocity. A few days ago, the Tigers shut him down and said they’d work on his mechanics.

Now comes the news that no one wanted to hear: the Tigers have announced that Dr. James Andrews has recommended that he get Tommy John surgery.

Fulmer is said to be seeking a third opinion — before Andrews he had an MRI and team doctors feared the worst — but let’s be real about what’s gonna happen here: Fulmer is going to miss the entire 2019 season and, in all likelihood, a good chunk of 2020 as well.

Tough break for Fulmer, one of the few good pitchers the Tigers had developed in some time.