Dodgers get Justin Ruggiano from Mariners

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The Giants’ division rival also got a minor deal done late tonight, as the Dodgers just announced that they have acquired outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Ruggiano was designated for assignment by the Mariners back in June after batting just .214/.321/.357 with two home runs and three RBI over 81 plate appearances. After clearing waivers, the 33-year-old was sent to Triple-A Tacoma, where he has batted .296 with 10 home runs and an .899 OPS over 49 games.

This is mostly a depth move for the Dodgers, who currently have Yasiel Puig and Enrique Hernandez on the disabled list. Ruggiano has a history of producing against left-handed pitching, so he could carve out a role down the stretch. Because he was acquired by August 31, he would be eligible if the Dodgers wanted to carry him on a postseason roster.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.