The Nationals suffered a blow this weekend when Brian Lawrence was lost to a shoulder injury. According to the Washington Post, he had a torn rotator cuff and labrum repaired on Sunday. Who will replace him in the rotation? Well, hopefully Tony Armas, but just in case he's not up to the task, the team also signed Pedro Astacio to a one-year deal, pending an examination:
He struggled to a 2-8 record and a 6.04 ERA for the Rangers in 2005 before being released in June, but he pitched well for the Padres, going 4-2 with a 3.17 ERA in 12 appearances (10 of them starts) and helping them win the NL West.
RFK Stadium was notoriously kind to pitchers last season, and Astacio's success at a similar pitcher's park in San Diego last year bodes well for his immediate future. He could be an interesting sleeper at the right price. Draft him too early, though, and he could easily become a liability, so be careful.
Here's what Federal Baseball had to say:
The decline in homers is pretty easy to explain: Astacio took a real shining to Petco Park, allowing zero homers there in 32.2 innings pitched. You may choose how to regard this turn of events---whether the good news is that he's headed to similarly power-repressed RFK Stadium, or whether the bad news is that, as a Padre, he still surrendered long balls at a rate greater than one per every seven innings pitched.
If you remember, Robinson was none-too-pleased a couple of weeks ago when he heard Bowden was recommending that Robert Fick and Matt LeCroy be the primary backup catchers, saying, "I would think that would be something coming from the manager, wouldn't it? I'm not going to comment and second-guess the general manager."
Don't you just love the fireworks?
Nats Acquire Pitcher Astacio [Washington Post]