Nationals Arm Race

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

June 1st Roster Shakeups


So, apparently according to Nats brass, the amount of time a player needs in the minors to completely dominate a level before getting moved up is exactly … 2 months.

Because on June 1st, a number of players who have clearly shown they’re too good for the level they’re currently in were moved up. Lets take a look at some of the more notable prospect moves over the last few days:


  • Called up Evan Lee, gave him his first start
  • Re-called, finally, Luis Garcia after he slashed .314/.368/.531 the first two months in Rochester.

Yes, I know both of these were more about Lee/Garcia covering for injuries, but they were still merit induced and both may actually stick in the majors. Lee’s rotation spot won’t be there for long (not as long as Strasburg is pitching 6 nearly-no-hit innings in AAA), but Josh Rogers just hit the D/L with a very scary sounding “shoulder impingement” injury. We don’t know if this is season-ending, career-ending, or a two week stint. Meanwhile, Garcia steps in for Alcides Escobar, who hit the D/L with a hamstring injury but who probably should just be released after he posted a 61 OPS+ for the first two months.


  • Promoted Cole Henry from AA
  • Promoted Matt Brill from AA

Henry was a long time coming; In 7 starts/23 innings, he gave up a grand total of five (5!) hits and had a 28/9 K/BB ratio. Can we please stretch this guy out longer than an 9yr old little league pitch count restriction? Meanwhile, Brill is an under-the-radar RHP 8th/9th inning guy who was closing in Harrisburg and now can see if he can sustain his excellent numbers in AAA.


  • Promoted Jake Irvin from High-A
  • Promoted Zach Brzykcy from High-A

So, Irvin wasn’t nearly as dominant as Henry, but he still proved he had nothing left to prove at High-A. This is great news coming off of two lost seasons for him. Meanwhile, NDFA Brzycky continues climbing up the ladder for this team. Best $20k they’ve ever spent. Harrisburg also gets a RHP reliever named Edgar Garcia (at least for the next few days), who was pretty good for the last few years in Minnesota’s AAA team and who has MLB experience in three different seasons. Not really sure why he’s in AA, but Washington does this often with MLFAs it finds on the scrap heap


  • Promoted Rodney Theopile from Low-A

In the most obviously needed move of all, Theopile takes his dominant low-A stats (9 starts 1.29 ERA, 62/11 K/BB in 48IP) to the next level. It really is amazing how many times we see a pitcher scuffle at a level one year then dominate it the next. Add another example here.


nothing yet; they just activated Mason Denaburg to join the rotation, and they have a couple of starters sitting on the DL, so they’ll seemingly refill from within for now.

New Look rotations per level:

  • MLB: Corbin, Lee, Adon, Grey Fedde (at least for now: when Stras comes back probably Lee to Long Relief or back to AA)
  • AAA My guess is Cavalli, Sharp, Tetreault, Henry, and Verrett, with Jefry Rodriguez going to swing man and Abbott continuing to not be a starter.
  • AA: Fuentes, Kilome, Reyes, Gausch, Henry, with Troop continuing to be excellent long man. Carrillo still hurt, Herrera just put on the DL.
  • High-A: Cate, Parker, Cuevas, Theopile, then two from Shuman and Merrill
  • Low-A: Denaburg, Cacheras, Lara, Collins and Rutledge. I guess. Rutledge is now floundering in Low-A while Henry and Cavalli now sit on the AAA roster. Wow.

Written by Todd Boss

June 4th, 2022 at 9:07 pm

5 Responses to 'June 1st Roster Shakeups'

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  1. I noted on Nats Prospects how mortified I am at Garcia’s footwork and throwing. And it’s not just me — Franny and Bob are commenting about it on nearly every play now, even the routine ones, at both SS and 2B. This is a guy playing his sixth season in this organization, with technique in the field that would give any high school coach heart palpitations.

    There are also still questions about Garcia’s bat. At the MLB level the last two seasons, he has posted wRC+ of only 78 and 79, with a very mediocre .275 OBP with the big club last year. He has posted very good hitting numbers at AAA, and he only just turned 22. But they really need to find out if he’s an everyday player — and if he can actually stick at SS.

    Among the other promotions, I would say that Henry’s is the most significant. I’ve thought since he was drafted that he really could be something . . . if he can stay healthy.


    5 Jun 22 at 1:10 pm

  2. Nice to see a few reasons for hope. Denaburg’s 2nd start was better, but these short outings are nuts.

    kevin r

    6 Jun 22 at 1:26 am

  3. And Henry moves up to AAA and dominates. I’ve thought since they were drafted that he was more advanced as a pitcher than Cavalli is. Cavalli’s big velo may give him a higher ceiling, but Henry is looking very capable of being a mid-rotation stalwart, maybe even a #2.


    6 Jun 22 at 9:46 am

  4. Ten of the 16 NCAA regionals have gone to elimination games today, plus Auburn resumes its game with a 9-0 lead (Auburn scored 19 and 21 in its first two games). So 11 of 16 places still to be decided.


    6 Jun 22 at 9:55 am

  5. Both Maryland games yesterday were very exciting.

    Mark L

    6 Jun 22 at 11:41 am

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