July 21, 2018 / 4:29 AM / a month ago

MLB notebook: Nationals activate Strasburg, Zimmerman

The Washington Nationals officially activated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 10-day disabled list before his scheduled start Friday evening against the Atlanta Braves.

Jul 20, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Manager Dave Martinez told reporters on Tuesday that Strasburg, who last pitched June 8 and is returning from right shoulder inflammation, would start the second-half opener on Friday.

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman was also activated, from the 60-day DL, after he had been out since May 9 with a right oblique strain. Zimmerman was not in the starting lineup Friday, as Matt Adams got the nod at first base.

The moves are a big boost for the Nationals, who ended the first half 48-48, 5 1/2 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.

— Around the same time the Los Angeles Dodgers officially activated newly acquired shortstop Manny Machado, the four-time All-Star bid farewell and thanked the Baltimore Orioles and their fans.

Machado, who was dealt to L.A. on Wednesday for five prospects headlined by outfielder Yusniel Diaz, wrote a lengthy post on Instagram to the team he spent more than eight years with and the fans who cheered him along the way.

“I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn’t an easy way to do it,” Machado wrote. “I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could’ve imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I’ve enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart!”

—The Seattle Mariners announced they have reached agreement on a multi-year contract extension with manager Scott Servais. Terms were not disclosed.

Servais, 51, was hired in 2016 following 10 years in player development roles. The Mariners are 222-199 (.527) during his tenure, making Servais the fourth-winningest manager in franchise history. He has the fifth-most wins of any manager in the majors since being hired.

Seattle entered the All-Star break with a 58-39 record, second to the Houston Astros in the American League West while also occupying the second wild card spot in the AL.

—Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader made good on his word, apologizing to his teammates after years-old racist and anti-gay tweets surfaced during Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Hader had apologized when speaking to reporters Tuesday night about the controversial comments, and he said he intended to apologize to the team.

Hader also met with Billy Bean, Major League Baseball’s vice president for social responsibility and inclusion, for roughly two hours to begin sensitivity training mandated to him by the league. “That’s a young man who is in a tremendous amount of pain,” Bean said of Hader.

— The New York Mets activated outfielder Yoenis Cespedes prior to their game at the New York Yankees.

Aug 20, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) scores after a base hit by starting pitcher Max Scherzer (not pictured) against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

Cespedes has been on the disabled list since May 14 due to a hip flexor. He will bat second as the Mets’ designated hitter in his return.

The club also announced the recall of right-hander Drew Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas, while optioning infielder Dominic Smith and right-hander Corey Oswalt to the same club.

— The Baltimore Orioles designated struggling right-hander Chris Tillman for assignment, perhaps signaling the end to the 30-year-old’s tenure with the club.

The former All-Star was just 1-5 with a 10.46 ERA before going on the disabled list with a back injury after two disastrous outings in May. He was also shelled during his rehab starts as minor leaguers batted .333 against him. He compiled an 0-3 mark and 6.75 ERA in six starts at four different destinations.

Tillman went 56-30 from 2013-16 before falling on hard times. He suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder late in the 2016 campaign and never regained his form. He went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 24 appearances (19 starts) for the Orioles in 2017 before this year’s struggles.

—The Texas Rangers placed outfielder Nomar Mazara on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right thumb, retroactive to July 17.

In a corresponding move, the Rangers recalled outfielder Willie Calhoun from Triple-A Round Rock.

Mazara was injured prior to the All-Star break in a game at Baltimore last Saturday. He finished that game but sat out Texas’ final game before the break last Sunday. The 23-year-old is hitting .272 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 91 games this season.

—The Detroit Tigers placed right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.

The Tigers also activated outfielder Leonys Martin from the disabled list, optioned outfielder Mikie Mahtook to Triple-A Toledo and recalled pitcher Victor Alcantara from Toledo.

Fulmer was set to start Sunday against Boston and was considered a top trade target for teams looking to add starting pitching. Now he is unlikely to be moved prior to the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline.

—The Chicago White Sox activated outfielder Nicky Delmonico prior to their game against the Seattle Mariners.

Delmonico was placed on the 10-day disabled list on May 19 due to a fractured right hand suffered the night before.

The 26-year-old batted .224 with one homer and seven RBIs in 37 games prior to the injury.

—Field Level Media

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