Not that there was much doubt in the mind of anyone but Nyjer Morgan, but Ricky Nolasco made it pretty clear today that he didn’t intend to hit Morgan with a pitch earlier this week:
I don’t know what to tell Nyjer. I’m not trying to hit him. What’s happened last year is squashed. If I wanted to hit him, I’d hit him with the first pitch. And why am I going to hit somebody in my first start, trying to catch-up off an injury, on an 0-2 count to lead off the game? I don’t know what else to tell him for him to think differently. I don’t know. I can just tell you, “No, I did not try to hit him.”
I’m not sure how Nolasco actually said it, but I read “I don’t know what to tell Nyjer” in an exasperated tone, which is how a lot of people are increasingly feeling about Morgan on and off the field since around the middle of last season.
Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.
That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.
That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.