Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
Major League Baseball released a statement today saying that it had completed a review regarding the passing of Nationals Dominican prospect Yewri Guillen, an 18-year-old shortstop who died in April after contracting what was thought to be bacterial meningitis. MLB's review determined that the cause of death was in fact not bacterial meningitis, as originally diagnosed, but an infection in the brain that was the result of an aggressive sinus infection.
In his first six starts of the season, Tom Gorzelanny he was averaging at least 6 2/3 innings, opponents were hitting just .163 off him and he had a 2.87 ERA. In the last three he's failed to make it past the sixth inning, he has a 7.63 ERA and opponents are hitting .358 off him with a .419 average on balls in play. There's a clear discrepancy there. The one constant throughout all nine starts by the left-hander this year? He strikes a lot of guys out and he has a penchant to give up a homer or two... or three.
An MLB spokesman confirmed that Major League Baseball has completed it's investigation into a verbal altercation between Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and the umpires from the Nationals 1-0 loss to the New York Mets last Thursday.
The Nationals kept saying that their prized right-hander Stephen Strasburg was close to reaching the next milestone step in his recovery from his September Tommy John surgery. "Any day now," he'd throw off a mound, general manager Mike Rizzo and pitching coach Steve McCatty said last week. Strasburg announced via twitter Monday afternoon that that day had finally come.
Adam LaRoche will be shut down from all baseball activities for a few weeks and reevaluated to see if the rest will have a positive impact on the torn labrum in his left (throwing) shoulder. At this point, surgery is still not being considered but if the rest – and subsequent attempt to rebuild strength in the shoulder – are ineffective, other options would have to be brought to the table. The first baseman said Sunday that while he does not experience the same pain swinging the bat as he does throwing, he feels a lack of strength in his swing may be related to the tear. The move is retroactive to May 22.
If the Nationals and first baseman Adam LaRoche don't get good news from the doctors who are reexamining the torn labrum in his left shoulder, the lineup the Nationals are using today could be one they implement for the foreseeable future.
The Nationals have assigned outfielder Rick Ankiel to Double-A Harrisburg to begin a rehab assignment tonight.
If the Nationals are using recent history as their guide, there's no team they'd rather see right now than the Milwaukee Brewers -- the same Brewers they swept out of Nationals Park in April. But the Nationals have lost the last five games they've played at Miller Park, the Brewers are winners of their last three and they own a 16-6 mark at home this season. Still, last time the Nationals faced right-hander Yovani Gallardo, Ivan Rodriguez and Danny Espinosa both hit three-run homers and they chased him from the game after just 5 1/3 innings in the first game of a doubleheader and series sweep. Here's a look at how they've done in the past against Gallardo:
A host of notes on Jim Riggleman's ejection, Jordan Zimmermann's curveball, Roger Bernadina's day, praise for Wilson Ramos and Adam LaRoche heading to get his shoulder reexamined.
Concerned with a lack of strength in his swing, Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche will see a doctor Sunday night or Monday morning for another look at the torn labrum in his left shoulder. LaRoche, who has the second worst average in the major leagues at .172, was diagnosed with the tear at the end of spring training but has only felt pain when making throws in the field. He is still not experiencing pain when swinging, but he's feeling an inability to power the ball the way he normally does, unable to get his top hand to the ball, and it has gone on long enough to prompt some worry.
With yet another new lineup combination, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman will given Adam LaRoche a day off from first base and has removed Matt Stairs from the designated hitter spot after a 1-for-8 showing in the first two games of the series
The Nationals best scoring opportunity in a 4-2 game Saturday came after Laynce Nix walked and Jayson Werth singled to center field with one out in the sixth. The Nationals looked to be getting to Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie and designated hitter Matt Stairs -- still searching for his first hit in the series and third of the season -- was coming to the plate with a prime opportunity to reward manager Jim Riggleman for allowing him to be the DH. Instead he rolled over on a first-pitch changeup, hit into a 4-6-3 double play and ended the inning. Here's what he had to say about it:
Pitching coach Steve McCatty said the only thing that has changed for Henry Rodriguez the past few outings is the results.
The Nationals offense will take on right-hander Jeremy Guthrie this afternoon, three days after the Orioles used Guthrie in relief during a 15-inning game with the New York Yankees. Guthrie was scheduled to start Wednesday against New York, but because he was needed Tuesday night (for only a few pitches) he was pushed back to today.
To no one's surprise, after a record-setting night offensively, the Nationals are sticking with the exact same lineup in the middle game of their three-game set with the Orioles. Chances are, the Nationals 17-run, 19-hit outburst will not be duplicated, even if the lineup is. But it has to be encouraging for manager Jim Riggleman to get to the ballpark today and not have to even think about who he's running out there. Before we get to the full lineups, a few things that may have gone overlooked last night:
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years