Only five games were played on Thursday, but it was not a 24 hours devoid of headlines.
First, the big one: Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigned after Thursday's victory over the Mariners -- the Nats' 11th win in their last 12 games -- due to a contract dispute with upper management. He wanted the front office to recognize the success that the club has enjoyed this season under his wing by exercising his option for 2012. But GM Mike Rizzo wouldn't budge, and refused to even have a conversation about the contract.
Riggleman rides into the sunset having led the Nationals to a surprising 38-37 start. He wants to manage again and seems likely to get offers this year.
Thursday's resignation might have brought forth character concerns, but major league teams are vultures. One of 'em will be seduced by the play of Riggleman's 2011 Nats.
This is Friday's edition of the MLB Daily Dose...
* Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt
had to be lifted from his Thursday evening start against the Cardinals due to renewed tightness in his lower back. He allowed four runs in two innings of work and admitted after the game that he's been having trouble "walking" and even "sleeping" due to the back discomfort that has plagued him since early May. It seems likely that he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list after undergoing an MRI scheduled for Monday. The Phillies have already scratched him from his next listed start.
Oswalt had a nice April and pitched well when he was healthy in May, but the results have worsened in June and there's now a chance that he will be sidelined for several weeks. If the Phillies indeed place him on the disabled list, they're not going to rush him back. Especially if their lead in the National League East stays strong.
Oswalt is worth shopping around in fantasy leagues. Snagging a low-end starter for him before Monday's MRI would be ideal.
* The Blue Jays got some tough news Thursday on top prospect Brett Lawrie
The 21-year-old third baseman was nearly promoted to the major leagues in early June, but he suffered a fracture in his left hand while finishing up his tenure with Triple-A Las Vegas and is still showing very little progress.
Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters on Thursday evening that Lawrie is unable to grip a bat firmly with his left hand and won't be able to play in live minor league games until early August. Accounting for the handful of weeks that he will need to get his offensive timing back, it could be late August or early September before we see the promising infielder in the major leagues. He's worth dropping in non-keeper leagues.National League Quick Hits:
Mets third baseman David Wright
has been cleared to resume baseball-related activities and could be two weeks from activation … Jonathan Broxton
(elbow) tossed a scoreless rehab inning Thursday for Triple-A Albuquerque … Giants ace Tim Lincecum
struck out 12 batters Thursday in seven scoreless innings against the Twins … Lance Berkman
clubbed a three-run homer in the Cardinals' 12-2 rout of the Phillies on Thursday evening … Chris Capuano
was pulled from his Thursday start against the A's due to right abdomen soreness … The Pirates are making plans to call up prospects Chase d'Arnaud
and Alex Presley
… Phillies setup man Jose Contreras
is out 4-6 weeks with a right forearm strain … Chris Carpenter
held the Phillies to one run Thursday over seven strong innings … D'Backs closer J.J. Putz
earned his 20th save Thursday in Arizona's win over the Royals … Adam Wainwright
is planning to play catch Monday for the first time since having Tommy John surgery … Francisco Rodriguez
earned his 20th save Thursday in the Mets' defeat of Oakland … Cardinals setup man Eduardo Sanchez
is going to be sidelined a few more weeks with shoulder inflammation … Jason Marquis
shut out the Mariners for eight innings Thursday in a no-decision.American League Quick Hits:
The Twins have activated Joe Nathan
from the disabled list but should continue to use Matt Capps
at closer … Josh Beckett
has been battling a flu-like illness for close to a week and won't return to the Boston rotation until Tuesday … The Blue Jays are moving Jose Bautista
to third base, opening playing time in the outfield for 24-year-old Eric Thames
… Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks
has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment … Bartolo Colon
, on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session on Friday … Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero
has been having "focus" issues at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre … The Tigers activated Brandon Inge
from the disabled list. … J.P. Howell
has been diagnosed with gout … Michael Pineda
pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out nine Thursday in a no-decision against the Nationals … The Rangers are still planning to move Tommy Hunter
to the bullpen … Derek Jeter
has played catch each day for the past three days and is on track for an early July return … Denard Span
(concussion) is expected to begin a hitting program this weekend … Josh Willingham
was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained left Achilles tendon … The Yankees are not planning to pursue Jose Reyes