The Nationals designated starter Aaron Sanchez for assignment, the team announced after today’s doubleheader against the Rockies. Andres Machado, up as an extra man for the twin bill, will remain on the active roster. By DFA’ing Sanchez, the Nationals have opened a spot on their 40-man roster, which now sits at 39.
Given the options available to the Nats, Sanchez seemed a good bet to take on some of the innings load, but they’re moving on after six starts, 27 2/3 innings, and a 7.16 ERA/5.53 FIP. Those numbers don’t even include today’s start, in which Sanchez was pelted for seven runs over 3 2/3 innings, ballooning his ERA to 8.33. The 29-year-old could remain in the organization if he goes unclaimed by another organization.
To replace him in the rotation, the Nats could turn to an old stand-by in Paolo Espino or Josh Rogers. The more exciting option for Nats fans would be Cade Cavalli, the club’s top pitching prospect, who threw seven scoreless frames tonight in Triple-A, lining him up to take Sanchez’s spot in the rotation. The rotation has been a particular area of need for Washington. Erick Fedde is currently their only starter with a sub 5.00 ERA.
Machado, 29, has a 2.45 ERA/3.32 FIP in ten outings spanning 11 innings with the big league club this year. He emerged as one of manager Dave Martinez’s more reliable arms last season, posting a 3.53 ERA/4.63 FIP over 35 2/3 innings.