In a matter of a few hours Monday: cuts, a trade, and suddenly the Nats roster is down to 25 and looking a little old around the edges (see Cora, Alex; Stairs, Matt). Roger Bernadina sent back to AAA in favor of Laynce Bleeping Nix. A feel-good story (see Broderick, Brian) at the expense of Collin Balester.
And the Alberto Gonzalez-for-Erik Davis trade provides an opportunity to revisit The Erik Davis story --you know by now: the one where Davis got drilled in the face with a line drive in a 2007 Cape Cod League game and went on to pitch a mere 2 months later? H/T to Washington Times Nats beat reporter Amanda Comak (@acomak) on that. Riveting video above via CSTV, we promise -- the complete opposite of video of Livan Hernandez talking about his gator skin luggage posted earlier today in this space.
Busy day. To sum it up, here are the press releases from the Nationals; first announcing moves to get the roster down to 26; then 25:
NATIONALS TRIM ROSTER TO 26
The Washington Nationals today optioned left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler, right-handed pitcher Collin Balester and outfielder Roger Bernadina to Syracuse of the Triple-A International League and re-assigned infielder Brian Bixler to minor-league camp. Additionally, the Nationals placed right-handed pitcher Henry Rodriguez on the 15-Day Disabled List and right-handed pitchers Chien-Ming Wang and Elvin Ramirez on the 60-Day Disabled List. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.
The Nationals currently have 26 players in their big league camp.
...and a few hours later:
NATIONALS ACQUIRE RHP ERIK DAVIS FROM PADRES IN EXCHANGE FOR INF ALBERTO GONZALEZ
The Washington Nationals today acquired right-handed pitcher Erik Davis and cash considerations from the San Diego Padres in exchange for infielder Alberto Gonzalez. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Davis is 32-9 with a 3.49 ERA in 73 games/51 starts spanning three seasons in the Padres system, posting an impressive .780 winning percentage with 8.5 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (278 K/293.2 IP).
The 24-year-old has posted 30 wins over the last two seasons, which is tops among all minor-league pitchers. Davis went 14-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 27 starts last season with Triple-A Portland, Double-A San Antonio and Single-A Lake Elsinore. He finished tied for the Single-A Midwest League lead with 16 wins for Fort Wayne in 2009.
Davis played collegiately at Stanford University, where he was teammates with Nationals right-hander Drew Storen in 2008, and was selected by San Diego in the 13th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
Gonzalez, 27, batted .247 with five RBI in 114 contests with Washington last season.