|The Nationals and Reds completed a minor trade that had the big-picture effect of creating playing time for a top Cincinnati prospect. The Reds sent left fielder Jonny Gomes to Washington for 26-year-old Double-A corner outfielder Bill Rhinehart and low Class A lefty Chris Manno.
With the departure of Gomes, the Reds recalled 24-year-old Yonder Alonso from Triple-A Louisville and guaranteed him steady playing time. He batted .296/.374/.486 with 12 homers in 91 games for the Bats while learning to play left field on an everyday basis. Alonso compiled an .842 OPS in 854 plate appearances in the International League during this season and last.
The Nationals, who acquire cash considerations in the deal, add a righthanded hitter to complement lefty-swinging left fielder Laynce Nix, who has a career .503 OPS versus same-side pitchers. Gomes has a similar issue with righty pitchers, against whom he’s batted .226/.308/.429 in 1,758 plate appearances.
|Bill Rinehart, rf
Age: 26. Position: RF (41 G), LF (17 G), 1B (6 G).
Born: Nov. 22, 1984 in Orangevale, Calif.
Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 202. Bats: L. Throws: L.
Career Transactions: Selected by Nationals in 11th round of 2007 draft; signed June 18, 2007.
With 21 home runs, Rhinehart trails only Harrisburg teammate Tyler Moore (24) for the Eastern League lead in long balls. He has spent part or all of the past four seasons in Double-A, batting .246/.317/.442 with 42 homers in 1,120 plate appearances for the Senators. This is his first 20-homer season. Rhinehart likes to look for something on the inner half he can pull for power, and he struggles against pitchers who can locate away. He receives below-average grades for his range and throwing arm.
|Chris Manno, lhp
Born: Nov. 4, 1988 in Brooklyn.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 170. Bats: L. Throws: L.
Career Transactions: Selected by Nationals in 26th round of 2010 draft; signed June 10, 2010.
Manno has enjoyed a sick year as closer for low Class A Hagerstown, converting 12 of 13 save opportunities while leading South Atlantic League relievers in strikeout rate (14.3 per nine innings) and opponent average (.135). Manno sits in the high 80s with his fastball, relying more on movement and natural deception in his herky-jerky, across-the-body delivery than overpowering velocity. He throws two breaking balls: a soft, low-70s curve and a harder slurve that tops out near 80 mph. Manno has held lefties to a .107 average, but his OPS against is better against righthanded hitters (.434 vs. .556 against LHH).
|Jonny Gomes, lf
Age: 30. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: Approximately $583,000 ($1.75 million salary for 2011; eligible for free agency after the season).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.