AP NEWS

A.J. Cole designated for assignment by Nationals

April 21, 2018 GMT

The Nationals drafted right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole out of high school in 2010, eventually traded him to Oakland and then got him back from the A’s in another deal.

But the Nationals’ infatuation with the Florida native appears to be over, as he was designated for assignment prior to Friday’s game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Washington called up veteran right-hander Carlos Torres from Triple-A Syracuse to take Cole’s placeon the 25-man roster. Torres has pitched in 348 careermajor league games and spent the previous two seasons with the Brewers. He signed with Washington as a minor league free agent in late March.

Cole began this season as the No. 5 starter in the rotation, but lost that spot on Monday when veteran Jeremy Hellickson started in a win against the Mets in New York. Cole was then seen as a possible long man out of the bullpen for the Nationals but he gave up a grand slam on Wednesday to Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes as New York came back to win against the Nationals’ struggling bullpen.

Cole could be picked up by another team. If not, he could be released by the Nationals or sent to the minors. Cole, 26, has pitched in 26 games in his career for the Nationals, with 19 starts, and had a 5-8 record and 5.32 ERA.

“I just went out with a game plan,” Cole said after his start on April 11 at Nationals Park. “I worked on stuff I needed to work on.”

He allowed two home runs in that game which most likely was his last outing at Nationals Park with the team that drafted him eight years ago.