Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Strasburg done for season; is this the dagger that ends the Nats in 2020?


Will Crowe gets the call.   Photo via SportsTalk

Will Crowe gets the call. Photo via SportsTalk

Word today that Strasburg is having surgery on his wrist and is heading to 60-day DL, effectively ending his season.  Wil Crowe becomes the latest Nats top-10 prospect (behind Kieboom, Garcia, Romero ) to get called up this season and attempt to keep the team afloat.  By most rankings, the Nats current #1, #2, and #4 prospects are now active (plus wherever you think Romero ranks, anywhere between 10 and 14 on most boards).  Suddenly its looking like a youth movement in Washington.  (side note: our farm system is going to be dead last next year if all these guys exhaust rookie eligiblity).

Is Strasburg’s injury unsurpassable for this team?  Eh, probably not; he was already hurt but in his absence the team is sputtering along playing about .400 ball.

Of course, in the 2020 crazy season, .400 ball only puts them like a game out of the wild card.  Eight teams out of the NL make it, meaning that ST Louis (currently sitting at 7-8) is in playoff position.  So the Nats at 9-13 are … 1.5 games back?  My math is a little fuzzy on “games back” logic right now given differing numbers of games played.  So a weekend sweep suddenly rockets the team back into play off position.

The larger question is this: The Nats are losing piece after piece, and I wonder how long they conintue to hold on.  Both lefty relievers are done, their #2 starter done, their FA second baseman signing done.   They were already down a 5th starter thanks to Joe Ross‘ opt out.  I mean, i’m glad to see all these prospets coming up; its great to be able to actually see these guys play.  But man, can this team hold on?

Luckily for the Nats … the “class” of the division (Atlanta) is just 4 games ahead, and themselves seem to be falling apart too.  Maybe its a race of attrition until October.

Written by Todd Boss

August 22nd, 2020 at 3:19 pm

58 Responses to 'Strasburg done for season; is this the dagger that ends the Nats in 2020?'

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  1. It’s almost like football, where there’s a big advantage for teams that aren’t decimated by injury.
    So many teams this year have huge injured lists.

    Could be worse, the Phillies bullpen has a 7.97 ERA.
    The big problem for the Nats are these games where they look so lifeless, Don’t know why.

    Except for the Dodgers, there are no dominant teams in the NL. The Nats have a good a chance as any this year.

    Mark L

    23 Aug 20 at 6:28 am

  2. Top two teams in each division make the playoffs, plus the next two best records in each league. No third-place team in the NL has a record above .500. There are going to be some teams in the playoffs with not-good records.

    Also, for as badly as it feels like the Nats have sucked, the Phils have sucked worse and are half a game behind them.

    So . . . yes, there’s still a very viable playoff path for the Nats. And with every first-round series just a best-of-three, the Nats have Max and Corbin for two of those.

    Saturday late game — Crowe wasn’t bad, not great, but not bad. He and Romero had a combination of bad luck and “bad baseball” (per F.P.) go against them. And Gomes’s long fly looked for a minute like it might have salvaged an otherwise mediocre effort.

    All in all, it still feels like the Nats are sleep-walking. What’s it going to take to flip the switch? Of course losing Stras was a big blow. So was losing Castro, who was one of their most effective hitters. Howie hasn’t been healthy all season.

    On the flipside, there’s a lot of promise in this bullpen, all the more if Doolittle can get healthy. Can the starting pitching hold up? If Sanchez sucks again today, it really might be time to start looking at the trade market. Fedde has been surprisingly good, although his 5.59 FIP argues that one shouldn’t put great faith in the 2.55 ERA.

    We’ll see. This team, despite the obstacles, certainly is good enough to make the watered-down playoffs. Everyone should be disappointed if they don’t. But at some point, there’s GOT to be more energy, more urgency.


    23 Aug 20 at 12:21 pm

  3. Someone please remind me to diss Sanchez before all of his starts. If we get seven innings of one-run ball out of him every time, we won’t have to worry about our playoff chances.

    Also, all of those folks who were losing sleep over the Sterling Sharp Rule 5 pick can catch up on your winks now. I never saw what was supposed to be so great about him. I was much more worried about possibly losing Fuentes.


    23 Aug 20 at 9:30 pm

  4. Sterling Sharp was the #9 starter in the pecking order of the Nats. It was always better to have him around for inventory but you can understand the f.o.’s logic.
    Completely agree on Fuentes.

    Mark L

    24 Aug 20 at 7:41 am

  5. Gotta say, in my opinion, Crowe did not look great. I saw very few missed bats, which suggests to me we’re looking at a back-end rotation guy or a long reliever. There’s value in a guy who can throw strikes and eat innings, and maybe Crowe is that guy. And we shouldn’t overreact to one start. But Romero, for example, got a bunch of swinging strikes during his much shorter outing over the weekend (when the defense and BABIP gods did not smile upon him). Fangraphs has Romero’s swinging strike rate as three times higher than Crowe’s – 18.2% to 6.3%.

    I agree that one or more teams with a poor record is likely to make the playoffs, and the Nats could very well be one of those teams. I’ve long thought the playoffs are a crap shoot – just get in to the tournament and you have a chance. I have a hard time seeing them win the crap shoot without Stras, but I guess it’s possible. Perhaps counterintuitively, I think Stras’s injury doesn’t have a huge effect on the Nats’ playoff chances, but it does make me think the probability of winning the WS has taken a big hit.


    24 Aug 20 at 9:34 am

  6. Here’s my issues with the Sterling Sharp decision: the Nats are STILL not at a full 40-man roster, and are carrying around two players (Noll and Williams) who to me clearly do not factor into their future plans. At the point of the rule5 draft they had somewhere between 7 and 10 open spots on the 40-man roster. Right now they still have Barrett and McGowin on the roster having passed them both up multiple times for rookies to come up. I just find it confounding that they couldn’t find one more spot for a promising home grown guy in Sharp.

    Yes he’s struggled so far in his debut; which rookie doesn’t? You roster him, then see what happpens.

    Todd Boss

    24 Aug 20 at 9:43 am

  7. I never understood the buzz/love for Sharp. The Nats had a number of pitchers perform better at AA in 2019 than he did, including Bourque, who they did add to the 40-man, not to mention Crowe and Fuentes, who they have in the 60-man camp, and Mario Sanchez, who isn’t. So I doubt Sharp was actually even in the Nats’ top 10 starter pecking order. Also, Sharp went on a bridge-burning Twitter binge after being Rule 5-drafted about the Nat organization disrespecting him, etc., leading one to wonder about his “makeup” (not to mention whether he understood the right-of-return part of Rule 5!).

    While I get Todd’s point about the Nats obviously having plenty of space on the 40-man, adding guys before Rule 5 is sometimes more of a Catch-22 than adding them to the 40-man. The chance of a team having to DFA a marginal guy on the 40-man, and thus expose him to easy waiver pickup by another team, is at times more risky than taking the small chance of leaving someone exposed for Rule 5. Austen Williams passed through Rule 5 multiple years but probably would be picked up by another team if DFA’d now because there’d be no obligation to keep him on the MLB roster, as with Rule 5.


    24 Aug 20 at 11:59 am

  8. Derek — Crowe actually was pretty much what I expected. I’ve always thought the Tanner Roark comp was a reach. I will note that Crowe struggled mightily in his first outings at AA but improved significantly the next year, so he does seem to learn and grow. There won’t be much opportunity for on-the-job training at the MLB level, though. One does wonder why Crowe got the call-up over McGowin, who had some flashes of being decent at times during his MLB appearances last season. Did they just want to see what they have in Crowe, or do they truly see him as #6 now in the starter pecking order?


    24 Aug 20 at 12:19 pm

  9. For those interested, scroll down past a lot of Caps’ stuff to see Boz’s takes on Garcia, Kieboom, Crowe, Robles, and the Nats’ chances in general this year:


    24 Aug 20 at 2:34 pm

  10. Jeez, Romero breaks his non-pitching hand while falling down the stars. Let’s hope his replacement (Braymer) does well.


    24 Aug 20 at 4:22 pm

  11. Un frigging believable. Romero breaks his hand. If you had asked me to wager, if told that he broke his hand, I would have wagered my mortgage that he was in a bar fight.

    big board up to date;

    Todd Boss

    24 Aug 20 at 4:42 pm

  12. It’s 2020, y’all. That’s all I’ve got. Frankly, I thought Braymer would be up before Romero anyway, based on experience. Cronin, anyone? We don’t have many more in the next-lefty-up category.


    24 Aug 20 at 5:02 pm

  13. Does anyone think Romero was sober when he failed. Me neither.

    Mark L

    24 Aug 20 at 5:15 pm

  14. Todd Boss

    24 Aug 20 at 5:27 pm

  15. Ha! The Marlins must be under the illusion that they’re contenders. If they had been smart they would have stashed him as the 28th man.

    Let’s bring him back and let Paul Menhart work with him. Stay tuned.

    Mark L

    24 Aug 20 at 8:42 pm

  16. Do I believe that Romero actually slipped? The cynic in me of course says no, based on all past evidence of his behavior.

    However. I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt just based on how much he’s clearly committed to fitness and being a pro athlete.

    Todd Boss

    25 Aug 20 at 8:39 am

  17. I think Romero has earned the skepticism most of us probably have. I’m inclined to believe this story for a few reasons, however: (1) they haven’t sugarcoated his transgressions before. why start now? (2) if he was in some sort of fight, that probably means he was “out” somewhere, which would be a bigger story now than breaking his non-pitching hand given what happened to Clevinger, etc.


    25 Aug 20 at 9:53 am

  18. I sorta feel sorry for Romero. I’m laughing at Sharp, who really was a hot mess on Twitter when he left the organization. That won’t be forgotten. It’s pretty bad when a team won’t even stash you for 60 days.

    Can the Nats as a team just opt out of the rest of the season? Spare themselves, and us, the pain?

    I’m really disappointed in Voth. He was pretty solid last year. But 2020 seems to change everything.

    The bats finally showed some life. Suero looks back to 2019 form. I guess we cling to what few positives we can find.


    25 Aug 20 at 10:22 am

  19. I was just looking at the standings. There is only one team in the NL pretty much out of the playoff picture — PIT. The Nats, Phils, and D-Backs are all just one game out of playoff position, and CIN is 1.5 out of the last playoff spot, currently held by SF (at 14-16). So hardly anyone in the NL will be trading.

    It’s a completely different story in the AL. BOS, KC, DET, TEX, SEA, and LAA all look somewhat out of it. I say “somewhat,” because with so few games played, a run of 10-12 wins over 15 games could flip any teams chances right now, even the lowliest of the low.

    I seriously doubt the Nats will be selling, but will they be buying very much? With the Yankees and Braves (among others) trolling for starting pitching, the price is likely to be high. With Romero going down, the odds seem to have gone up that the Nats will try to pick up a lefty reliever. They could certainly stand to upgrade OF reserves as well. I’ve suggested a Brian Goodwin reunion. MLBTR is suggesting that another former Nat farm hand, Robbie Ray, might be available as a reliever after being awful as a starter this year and about to be a FA.

    We’ll see. I can’t see the Nats really giving up much in future assets right now with their current chances having dimmed.


    25 Aug 20 at 1:46 pm

  20. I would not advocate buying at the deadline (I wouldn’t advocate selling either – the only pieces they could sell are Howie or AssCab-like – old guys on one-year deals – who could fetch something, but not much of something). There’s way too much variance to think that one or two additions is going to make the difference between making the playoffs and not. And I don’t think *this* team ought to try to improve to be better in the playoffs: the loss of Strasburg is too significant. So, I’d stand pat and hope to have a good enough record to make the playoffs at the end of the season.


    25 Aug 20 at 3:08 pm

  21. The most expensive decision the Nats have to make is whether to try to add a starting pitcher. With all the teams in contention and in need of pitching, that’s going to be both an expensive proposition and a crap-shoot.

    I see that Ghost is advocating that they add a 3B, but I don’t see that happening at all. Kieboom is really struggling, but they don’t have too many other options, particularly with Cabrera also struggling from the left side of the plate.

    My bet right now would be one lefty reliever and an OF reserve. Well, unless Braymer blows Harper away a couple of times during this series!


    25 Aug 20 at 4:40 pm

  22. Now we know how Red Sox fans felt last season. It’s really hard to look at the Nats as they currently stand and see any remnants of championship caliber. We cling to the thought that they turned it around last year after an awful start, but it’s harder to believe with no Stras, Rendon, Zim, or even a Baby Shark. I really have reached my May 23d moment for this season, where it’s getting hard to watch, or maintain hope.

    Sigh. Maybe Corbin and Max can stem the tide, and they go to Boston and start getting well against a possibly even-worse team than they are. They’re hitting the halfway mark this weekend, though, and if there are reasons for optimism, they’re pretty darn difficult to see right now.


    26 Aug 20 at 10:42 am

  23. There aren’t many reasons for optimism, other than the fact that (a) they’re only five games below .500; and (b) the new playoff format pretty much guarantees that a team close to .500 is going to make the playoffs. Right now, the last WC in the NL has a 13-15 record. Would anybody be surprised if the Nats won the next five games? Or something like eight of ten? I wouldn’t. But I also don’t expect it to happen, and I wouldn’t commit any resources that might be valuable in the future in an effort to make it happen.


    26 Aug 20 at 12:02 pm

  24. Yes, the weird everyone’s in playoff format keeps hope alive. Eaton and Gomes are now hitting, and Turner and particularly Soto are having very good seasons. The Nats are only four games behind the first-place Braves in the loss column. So there certainly are paths to recovery.

    I sure don’t look at that team right now and see a group playing with any urgency, though. And there are still a lot of guys really struggling — Kieboom, Thames, Harrison, etc. The biggest obstacle I see to ripping off a nice run, though, is the substandard starting pitching. Yes, the ball is probably a little juicy, and we’re in a DH league now. But unless the starting pitching gets better — and that includes Max (4.31 ERA) and Corbin (3.99) — they’re going to continue to flounder.


    26 Aug 20 at 1:48 pm

  25. I’m just shocked that Kieboom has been optioned to Fredricksburg. They must think he needs ten days to work on something; it’s impossible to think they believe there’s someone more capable to play every day on the roster.


    26 Aug 20 at 3:11 pm

  26. Yeah, that’s surprising. I thought they might limit his time (and probably should have been for a while) and give Cabrera some starts at 3B, but that was complicated while Kendrick was injured. There’s no doubt that Kieboom is lost at the plate. How he fixes that in sim-games vs. minor-league pitchers, I don’t know. It’s really gonna suck if they play Difo at 3B, though. A lost Kieboom is pretty comparable to everyday Difo.

    I really can’t see the Nats investing in a trade for a 3B, though. First of all, they don’t have the trade chips for a quality player. And second, they’ll have Kieboom and Castro for next season, so they don’t really need someone long-term.

    Corresponding move is Doolittle coming off the DL. Does Davey trust him enough to face Harper the a game on the line? (Likely more than he would trust Braymer.) First, let’s just get to the point where we actually have a game on the line . . .


    26 Aug 20 at 3:21 pm

  27. If they think Difo is suitable to play every day (for reasons other than injury), they’re crazy. This just doesn’t make any sense to me…


    26 Aug 20 at 3:48 pm

  28. You’re surprised by an unproven guy who looked overwhelmed last year and this year with a .200 slugging percentage, and whose ab’s look even worse than that being sent down?


    26 Aug 20 at 7:36 pm

  29. I simply don’t agree that Kieboom’s “ab’s look even worse than” a .200 slugging percentage. His OBP is above .360, which suggests he’s taking some good ABs.

    Could Kieboom use more seasoning? Of course. The question for me is whether there’s anybody in the organization who is likely to produce better results than Kieboom at 3B. There isn’t, which is why I hope they view this as “ten days for Carter to get himself straight because he’s coming back either way.”


    27 Aug 20 at 9:24 am

  30. Well, the Nats acted like they seemed to care on Wed. night. They just didn’t care enough to play good baseball, with bad defense and bad situational hitting costing them yet another game. Man, you’ve got to love Howie going all in to get the double in the bottom of the 9th with his sketchy hamstring, though.

    Kieboom actually has a fantastic 17.2% walk rate . . . to go with a frightening 31.3% K rate. His “luck” when he’s made contact has been pretty good, with a .323 BABIP. He has only a 22.6% pull rate, which indicates that he’s really been trying to use the whole field, but perhaps has lost power in the process. His pull rates in the minors ran 40-50%.

    I predicted before the season that Kieboom would be pretty up and down, like Robles was last year, but I’m surprised he has struggled this much. Yes, he had an uninspiring short MLB debut last year, but he subsequently did fine at AAA, albeit with a loss of power in the second half, as Sao has often reminded us.

    I’m just as surprised by Garcia’s success as I am Kieboom’s struggles. You could have won a lot of bets by predicting that Garcia would be the more successful hitter at this point.

    I don’t think the Nats will trade for a 3B. Sorry NatsTalk folks, but Kyle Seager is in his 30s and is still owed almost $40M. There’s just no way that contract makes any sense in this current market. He’s really not that much better than Cabrera or Castro anyway.


    27 Aug 20 at 10:44 am

  31. As far as Seager goes, he’s owed $33 million the next two years. His OPS this year is .875 but generally he’s a league average hitter these days.

    The word is Seattle is desperate to unload him so the question is how much of the contract they would chip in. He would help a lot this year and Cabrera has some extreme platoon splits.

    Davey Martinez was very pointed in his comments about Kieboom’s hitting, saying he was missing some very fat pitches. He has no power at this point.

    Another concern is Robles is not hitting this year at all.

    Mark L

    27 Aug 20 at 2:03 pm

  32. I can’t conceive how Seattle would/could pay enough of Seager’s contract to make it make any sense for the Nats. Yeah, he’d be a nice player to have. But the Nats already have Castro on board for 2021 at $7M to play 3B if Kieboom still isn’t ready.

    Completely agree that Robles’s bat is currently a significant issue. So is Thames’s. So is Cabrera’s from the LH batter’s box. Gomes and Eaton seem have come out of their funks, though.

    In other news, I guess it’s a good thing for the Nats to have tonight’s game postponed, considering their funk. The Bosox have been even worse, so maybe the Nats can start the healing in Beantown.


    27 Aug 20 at 4:26 pm

  33. I guess the equation on Seager is whether the front office is going to still try to win this year. Seager’s production is worth $10 million a year.

    Just don’t give up a decent prospect in addition.

    Mark L

    27 Aug 20 at 4:40 pm

  34. But if you want the other team to pay more of his contract, you have to give up more in the way of prospects. Also, I believe the Nats would still take the $16.5M cap hit for ’21 and ’22, no matter how much of it the Mariners would be paying (but I could be wrong about that).

    Amazing that Taijuan Walker went for just a PTBNL, though, and not even one in the 60-man camp.


    27 Aug 20 at 5:10 pm

  35. Buster Olney said yesterday that the Mariners are desperately trying to shred salary any way they can.

    Mark L

    27 Aug 20 at 5:13 pm

  36. Sharp officially returned.

    I wonder what impact his comments on his way out the door will have on his tenure. Kinda surprised the nats didn’t attempt to trade him for a bag of balls or something.

    Todd Boss

    28 Aug 20 at 9:32 am

  37. Thats the thing with social media, the youngsters say things right away instead of taking a deep breath and waiting.

    Mark L

    28 Aug 20 at 10:47 am

  38. Keith Law on Crowe: Wil Crowe was the No. 5 prospect in the Nationals’ system and had quite the path to the majors. A possible first-round talent out of high school, Crowe slipped to the 31st round on concerns over his knees and his strong commitment to South Carolina. While at SC, he had Tommy John surgery and missed his junior year, so he slipped again, this time to the 21st round, and chose not to sign. He returned as a senior and had his best season, going in the second round to the Nats. He’s made steady progress through their system, reaching the majors this year at age 25, working as a strike-thrower with just average stuff, which is what he showed on Saturday. Crowe was 89-92, and his best pitch was his changeup — that’s a trend in this column, apparently — coming in at 83-84 with good arm speed and some fading action. His slider was solid average, and generated three of his four swings and misses, with the last coming on the changeup. He can spin the ball well but his fastball is pretty ordinary and Marlins hitters didn’t have much trouble squaring it up, which probably limits him to a fifth starter or swing role.


    28 Aug 20 at 2:27 pm

  39. Interesting take on Crowe, and sounds pretty on the mark from what I saw. I never expected him to be the next Roark. He’s more in line to be the next Voth. Just wish we’d see more of the Voth of 2019.

    I’m glad to have Sharp back, but I never understood the excitement about him. He is one who is supposed to have a great spin rate, but it didn’t keep him from getting hit pretty hard at the MLB level.


    28 Aug 20 at 3:17 pm

  40. Yeah, not the most encouraging scouting report. And no surprise Crowe was optioned back the next day. Maybe he had a chance to supplant Voth as the #5 starter, since he’s been so iffy this season.

    Todd Boss

    28 Aug 20 at 3:28 pm

  41. Crowe was always seen as a low ceiling high floor guy. Maybe he turns in to the next Craig Stammen, which is a pretty valuable commodity.

    Mark L

    28 Aug 20 at 4:25 pm

  42. A few 60-man additions added recently:

    Latest additions: Sharp, De La Rosa, Mendoza and Cluff. Pineda a bit before that. So now we’re finally back at 60 on the 60-man for probably the first time since the beginning of the season.

    roster counts: 28/28 active, 39/40 on the 40-man with 2 on 10-day DL, 4 on 60-day DL, and 60/60 on the extended roster. There’s still seemingly some room for manuvers: Castro remains on the 10-day DL but I believe is out for the year. The team still has four players on its 40-man who have not been calledup and have been repeatedly passed over by others for promtion (Barrett, Noll, AWilliams, McGowin) and are probably the first 4 guys to make way for a transaction.

    Todd Boss

    29 Aug 20 at 8:04 am

  43. After the Nats finally had a good night on Friday, you don’t have to look too far to see a glass that’s still half full. They’re only two games out of a playoff spot, and only four back in the loss column to the 1st-place Braves. All they’ve got to do is put a good stretch together and stop beating themselves with bad defense and bad situational hitting.

    So . . . will the Nats make any trade-deadline moves. Sharp in particular might be an interesting trade chip for some teams. I really can’t see the Nats going big at the deadline, but I’d be surprised if they don’t pick up a lefty reliever at minimum.

    Guys on the bottom of the 40-man: I don’t know whether Crowe has truly passed McGowin in the pecking order, or if Crowe’s start was just a let’s-see-we’ve-got look. If they need another starter long-term, it still might be McGowin, who has more of a track record at the AAA and MLB levels. I think Barrett and Noll are pretty expendable, particularly since Snyder is a better hitter than Noll. I honestly don’t know about Austen Williams. He found magic in 2018 and had a blistering run through AA and AAA, then got hurt and barely pitched in 2019. Maybe the extended break gives him an opportunity to recover and get right.


    29 Aug 20 at 9:07 am

  44. Todd, this is in your wheelhouse.
    The last two years, after the completion of the 1st month of the season there were 44 & 39 pitchers on the DL.
    This year the number is 109 (!!!).

    This is why KW is right about the season, the NL East is wide open at the halfway point.

    Mark L

    29 Aug 20 at 10:28 am

  45. Mark, that’s an amazing stat . . . and also an indictment of the rush to get the season underway. Max just now looks like he’s rounding into season-ready form. (Of course the Red Sox also look really bad. Hard to believe they were champions just two season ago . . . and also a cautionary tale for the most recent champion. The last two WS winners are in last place as they play each other.)

    I mentioned that McGowin might be who’s next among the starters, but we don’t really know. It’s possible that Rutledge is dominating in Fredericksburg. That said, the quality of hitters the Nats have there is um, not even that of a good AAA team. I noted on Nats Prospects that I don’t understand why they keep adding hitters who are years away from the majors over guys like Banks and Freeman.


    29 Aug 20 at 12:19 pm

  46. Crowe over McGowin: how else can you read that move? Youv’e got an established MLB experienced starter on the 40-man in McGowin and …. instead of calling him up for a spot start you go through teh machinations of making the 40-man move, starting the clock, etc on Crowe? For me its clear as day. And i’m wondering why they bother to roster him anymore.

    # of pitchers on the DL; absolutely ridiculous. Clearly the re-started spring training was not long enough.

    Todd Boss

    29 Aug 20 at 1:27 pm

  47. It’s also possible that McGowin isn’t full speed for some reason or other. I think the only player completely dropped from the Fredericksburg camp because of injury was Sanchez, but there’s no way all the pitchers there are completely healthy, considering the track record at the MLB level. If they do think Crowe has moved ahead of him, that’s good news, as Crowe has been projected to be better than McGowin all along. But starting pitching depth of any kind is a valuable commodity right now. Because of that, I have a hard time seeing McGowin being DFA’d.

    The other thing with the Crowe call-up is that it could have just fallen at his point in the Fredericksburg rotation and not McGowin’s. If they’re smart, they’ve got those two spaced out by a couple of days if they’re the two best options to fill in at the MLB level. It would be interesting to know who the five-man starting rotation is at Fredericksburg right now.


    29 Aug 20 at 4:54 pm

  48. Yesterday’s moves: Holt added to 40 and 28 man. To make room, they put Braymer back to Fredericksburg, moved Castro to 60-day DL.

    Rosters now 28/28 active, 39/40 40-man, 60/60 extended with 5 now on 60-day season ending DL and 2 opt-outs (3 if counting non-40man Castillo) and a PED suspension.

    Interesting how they continue to keep one open slot on 40man.

    Todd Boss

    30 Aug 20 at 8:04 am

  49. When you see how poorly some Nats are hitting Castro to the 60 man DL hurts even more as he was very consistent with the bat.

    The Nats have defensively the 2 best centerfielders in baseball but neither is hitting at all with OPS’s of .600 & .660.

    Mark L

    30 Aug 20 at 9:06 am

  50. Todd Boss

    30 Aug 20 at 9:46 am

  51. Here’s hoping Holt’s offensive stats improve with the Nats, something that HAS happened with other arrivals.

    Mark L

    30 Aug 20 at 12:50 pm

  52. Holt is currently “hitting” .097. Unless they can sprinkle some magic 2019 Parra/Cabrera dust on him, he’s only a threat to, um, Brock Holt. But yes, he was a pretty decent player in ’18 and ’19.

    I’m really pissed about Sat. night (and not just about the MASN delay). Braves, Marlins, and Mets all lost but the Nats couldn’t score against a series of awful pitchers. The Nats have had so many chances this season and have wasted nearly every one of them.


    30 Aug 20 at 12:52 pm

  53. Its hard to maintain a win streak when 2/5ths of the rotation are 4-A guys who would be in AAA were it not for injuries and opt outs, and when your #3 starter suddenly has forgotten to pitch.

    Todd Boss

    30 Aug 20 at 9:18 pm

  54. Win streak? The Nats haven’t won back to back games in three weeks, Aug. 10-11. In fact, they’ve only done it twice this season, and never three in a row.

    Voth had a 3.30 MLB ERA last season, 3.79 FIP. I have no idea what’s happened so him, but something isn’t right. Despite Fedde looking better this year, his FIP is 5.65, and he’s only striking out an astoundingly low 2.38 per 9. Sanchez has sucked, too, so I’d say that 60% of the rotation is AAAA “quality” right now. Of course pitching in general sucks so much right now that the Braves traded for Milone, immediately started him, and watched him give up 7 in 2.1 IP. Arrieta opposing him gave up 7 in 1.1.

    I’m really close to being “done.” The Nats are just driving me crazy. Trea is on a fantastic run, but the rest of the team is just spinning its wheels right now. But they’re still just three games out of the playoffs. Is that really a reason for hope, though, or just a big tease?


    31 Aug 20 at 8:11 am

  55. Agreed, Sanchez forgetting how to pitch has aggravated everything.
    I foolishly thought Both might break through this year. NEXT!

    Mark L

    31 Aug 20 at 8:14 am

  56. Sell sell sell!!


    31 Aug 20 at 10:53 am

  57. Word seems to be that they’re looking to buy. (Robbie Ray as a wild and expensive LOOGY?) Can’t see them buying much, though. They do still need another bullpen lefty (as they have at every trade deadline for the last 300 years). Holt kind of fell to them as a free 3B/utility guy . . . if he can remember how to hit. They need a couple of starting pitchers, but the price in this market is probably too high for them to play. They could probably dump Sanchez (if teams are willing to trade for guys like Milone), but they’d get only a couple of broken bats in return.

    They could probably find takers for some guys — Kendrick, Harrison, Gomes, Suzuki, Cabrera — but considering their lack of field-position prospects, it would get REALLY ugly with some of those guys gone. And they’d only bring C-level prospects in return. If they traded any of those, my guess would be Cabrera or Harrison, but there’d be almost no savings associated with trading them.

    As for prospects to be traded, Sharp would be #1 on the list, although he didn’t help himself with his Marlin cameos. They have quite a number of mid-level pitching prospects who could move — Irvin, Schaller, Dyson, those types. And heck, Espino and Mario Sanchez are probably as good as guys that some teams are trotting out there right now as 5th starters.


    31 Aug 20 at 12:13 pm

  58. new posted on lack of activity on trade deadline.

    Todd Boss

    1 Sep 20 at 9:24 am

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