The Braves designated reliever Anthony Varvaro for assignment on Monday to make room for infielder Alberto Callaspo on the 40-man roster. Now it looks like they have a taker for him:
Varvaro has posted a 2.74 ERA in 123 appearances over the past two seasons. In 2014 the right-hander averaged 8.2 strikeouts per nine and only walked and 2.1 batters per nine, while inducing ground balls nearly 50% of the time. In short: he’s a pretty useful reliever.
In return, the Braves are getting minor league righty Aaron Kurcz and cash. Kurcz pitched pretty well in Double-A last year, striking out over 11 dudes per nine, but he missed all of 2013. Which, I presume anyway, means he had surgery of some kind.
Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler made a critical catch in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Nationals. With the Cardinals leading 5-1, the Nationals were threatening with runners on first and second with one out against lefty Andrew Miller. Asdrúbal Cabrera worked a full count before serving a 3-2 outside slider to right field. The ball had home run distance, but Fowler tracked it, leaped at the wall, and robbed Cabrera of a three-run home run.
Carlos Martínez relieved Miller, getting Victor Robles to ground out to end the inning. The Cardinals would go on to win 5-1.
The game had playoff implications on both sides. The win bumped the Cardinals’ hold on first place in the NL Central to 2.5 games while the Nationals’ lead over the Cubs and Brewers for the first NL Wild Card shrinks to just one game.
The Nationals will close out their final road trip of the regular season with three games against the Marlins before hosting the Phillies for five games and the Indians for three. The Cardinals, meanwhile, begin their final road trip of the regular season with four against the Cubs followed by three against the Diamondbacks before closing out the season at home with three games versus the Cubs.