Latos signed a minor league deal with the Nationals on Wednesday, Bruce Levine of MLB.com reports. Latos went 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA and 0.82 WHIP through his first four starts of the season with the White Sox, but reverted back to his below-average ways in his next seven games, posting a 7.25 ERA and 1.89 WHIP, leading to his designation for assignment. The 28-year-old will now join the Nationals organization, although it will most likely be to serve as pitching depth as their rotation is already one of the best in the league, ranking third with a 3.44 ERA.
Latos has been designated for assignment Thursday, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports. Even though Latos has a record of 6-2 for the White Sox in 2016, over the past seven starts he has allowed four earned runs six times and couldn't reach the seventh inning in any of those games. In 60.1 innings on the mound this year, he has given up 31 earned runs and 63 hits, with a 32:25 strikeout to walk ratio. With the recent acquisition of James Shields, Latos will be bumped from his spot in the rotation and designated for assignment.
Latos was rocked for six runs on five hits and four walks in just 4.1 innings in Tuesday's loss to the Nationals. He struck out one batter. Latos struggled to find the zone Tuesday, throwing just 52% of his pitches for strikes, and he was punished as he routinely fell behind in the count. The loss was just Latos' second of the season, but he has seen a noticeable drop-off since his hot start to the season and has a 7.25 ERA over his last seven starts. There were whispers that the acquisition of James Shields could bump Latos from his starting spot, and Tuesday's result did nothing to quell that notion. He is currently scheduled to start Sunday versus the Royals, but it remains to be seen if that will hold up through the weekend.
Latos will remain in the White Sox's rotation and will start Tuesday against the Nationals, the Chicago Tribune reports. James Shields' arrival threatened to bump Latos to the bullpen, but manager Robin Ventura said he would rather move Miguel Gonzalez to the 'pen. That said, the margin for Latos to err may be slim, and a few bad starts could see him removed from his role.
Latos could be in danger of losing his rotation spot after the White Sox acquired James Shields on Saturday, the CSN Chicago reports. General manager Rick Hahn said either Latos or Miguel Gonzalez will face the squeeze after the Shields addition. Latos began the year strong, but he just saw his ERA jump from 1.84 to 4.02 over the course of five May starts, and opposing batters have hit .335 against him over his last 37.2 innings. If Latos does lose a rotation spot, he could slot in the bullpen.