NATIONALS’ ROTATION QUESTIONS:
The Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that coming out of the break it will be Gio Gonzalez against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night, Max Scherzer on the mound in Great American Ball Park on Saturday, Stephen Strasburg vs the Redlegs on Sunday and Tanner Roark on Monday afternoon.
After that there's a question mark In the nationals rotation.
There is still no word on the results of the MRI Joe Ross took last week after he had an issue with tenderness in his triceps, but the way his first half ended, it’s safe to assume the 24-year-old right-hander might miss some time in the coming weeks.
So who is going to take over the fifth spot in the Nats’ rotation? A couple options:
Jacob Turner - Turner, 26, has made one start since he was DFA’d then sent to Triple-A Syracuse, after he made 18 appearances and two starts for the Nationals this season, posting a 5.08 ERA and a 5.87 FIP, 3.46 BB/9, and 5.31 K/9 in 39 IP.
Erick Fedde - Fedde, 24, started starting again, after about six weeks of relief work, so that, as Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes noted recently, so that he’s comfortable in whatever role the Nationals might need him in should he be called up. In two starts back in the rotation, the right-hander has had mixed resutls (5 H, 6 ER without retiring a batter and 3.0 scoreless).
Edwin Jackson: Signed to minor league deal last month, Jackson, 33, has made four starts for Triple-A Syracuse, tossing 17 1⁄3 scoreless innings over which he’s walked 10, struck out 20 and held opposing hitters to a .071 AVG.
Of course they could just bring A.J. Cole back up, or finally give Austin Voth a start... or there could be nothing wrong with Ross...
NATIONALS’ BULLPEN QUESTIONS:
The Nationals also have a question in their bullpen, after Washington announced on Thursday afternoon that Sammy Solis has been optioned to Triple-A, though as of now no corresponding move has been made. That will happen tomorrow at some point.
Will the Nationals gove Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez another shot in the majors after he struggled with the Detroit Tigers and was released before the Nats signed him to a minor league deal. Will E-Jax get a second run with the Nationals as a reliever this time? Will they just call Trevor Gott back up? We’ll find out tomorrow...
MASN TV RIGHTS UPDATE:
If you haven’t been paying attention to this story, friend of FBB Garrett Hooe has done some great work making sense of it all here, here and here and here and here.
But the latest development was big enough that the Nationals issued a press release on today’s ruling by a New York state appeals court, which we’ll reprint in full here to give you all the details since we’ve (I’ve) grown tired of this seemingly endless court battle:
WASHINGTON NATIONALS WIN MAJOR LEGAL VICTORY IN MASN DISPUTE:
“Today the Washington Nationals won a major legal victory when a New York State appeals court ruled the Nationals are entitled to have the amount of rights fees the team is paid for television broadcast of its games be determined by a committee of Major League Baseball owners and executives.
“The decision arises from a long-running dispute between the Nationals and the regional television sports network MASN, which is super-majority owned and wholly controlled by the Baltimore Orioles. MASN broadcasts both Nationals and Orioles games, pursuant to a 2005 agreement entered when MLB moved the former Montreal Expos to Washington. The agreement expressly provides that any unresolved fee disputes between the Nationals and MASN should be decided by MLB’s Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee (the “RSDC”), composed of three MLB team owners and executives appointed by the MLB Commissioner. The RSDC’s membership changes periodically.
“In today’s decision, the Appellate Division ruled that MASN and the Orioles are bound by the contractual commitment they made to have rights fees disputes arbitrated before the RSDC. This will allow the Nationals to proceed to a new arbitration before the RSDC of the rights fees for 2012-2016, as well as an arbitration to determine the fees for the forthcoming five-year period of 2017-2021. The disputed amounts exceed more than $100 million for each of these five year periods.
“‘The Nationals are gratified that the appeals court recognized the importance of enforcing contractual arbitration agreements,’ said Stephen Neuwirth of Quinn Emanuel, who argued the appeal for the Nationals. ‘We look forward to finally having the rights fees determined in the forum the parties chose.’”
“The case is In re TCR Sports Broadcasting Holding, LLP v. WN Partner, LLC, Index No. 652044/14, decided by the New York State Appellate Division, First Department, in Manhattan.”