The Nationals have designated Jake McGee for assignment, per a team announcement. His spot on the roster will go to catcher Israel Pineda, whose previously reported selection to the big league roster has now been announced by the club. Catcher Keibert Ruiz was placed on the injured list, as expected, after taking an unfortunately placed foul ball to the groin during yesterday’s game. The Nationals announced that Ruiz has a testicular contusion.
It’s the third time this season that McGee has been designated for assignment. He opened the year with the Giants, the second season of a two-year free agent deal. After posting a 2.72 ERA across 59 2/3 innings in year one, the veteran southpaw only managed a 7.17 mark in 21 1/3 frames before being cut loose in mid-July. McGree cleared waivers, leaving the Giants on the hook for the bulk of this year’s $2.5MM salary while giving other teams a chance to add him for only the prorated portion of the $700K league minimum.
The Brewers took that opportunity, signing McGee to a major league deal. He allowed four runs in only 5 2/3 frames with Milwaukee before being DFA, and the last-place Nationals surprisingly added him off waivers. The 36-year-old spent a month in D.C., working 10 innings through 12 outings. He allowed another seven runs, including a pair of homers, while striking out ten and issuing five walks.
It’s been a tough go for McGee at all three stops, and he owns a cumulative 6.81 ERA through 37 innings. His 15.3% strikeout rate and 8.5% swinging strike percentage are each below league average, and they’re markedly down from last year’s respective marks. McGee has continued to average a solid 94.4 MPH on his four-seamer, but his results have taken a major step back.
The Nationals will place McGee on outright or release waivers within the next few days. The veteran would have the right to test the open market if he goes unclaimed, so there’s little distinction between the two in his case.