Ricky Nolasco scheduled to start Game 4 of NLCS…for now

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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated earlier today that he could skip Ricky Nolasco and go with Zack Greinke on short rest if his team was facing elimination tomorrow, but it sounds like the idea isn’t dead even after Monday’s Game 3 victory over the Cardinals.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Nolasco is currently scheduled to start Game 4 and oppose Lance Lynn. However, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes that Mattingly continues to say that’s the plan “right now,” which could be a sign that things are subject to change. You see, Mattingly used the same “right now” description before he skipped Nolasco in favor of using Clayton Kershaw on short rest in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Braves last week. Don’t be surprised if we see another last-minute change.

Nolasco posted a 3.70 ERA and 165/46 K/BB ratio over 199 1/3 innings during the regular season, but struggled to the tune of a 6.66 ERA over his final six outings. He hasn’t pitched since a relief appearance on September 29.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.