Making official what was expected, the Nationals announced that Stephen Strasburg will start Game 1 of the NLDS against the Giants. It’ll be Strasburg’s postseason debut.
Jordan Zimmermann, fresh off his regular season finale no-hitter, will start Game 2 and Doug Fister will get the ball in Game 3. So far at least manager Matt Williams has not said what his plans are for Game 4. Gio Gonzalez is the obvious option, especially with Tanner Roark likely to work out of the bullpen, but the Nationals could also bring back Strasburg on short rest if needed and then use Zimmermann on normal rest in Game 5.
Strasburg’s win-loss record this season wasn’t great because of poor lineup and bullpen support, but he threw 215 innings with a 3.14 ERA and league-leading 242 strikeouts. Washington’s rotation depth is, on paper at least, pretty incredible.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.