September 20, 2019

Washington Nationals exersize option on Span; decline LaRoche and Soriano

According to multiple sources, the Washington Nationals exercised their $9 million team option on Denard Span on Thursday, ensuring the team’s leadoff hitter and Gold Glove caliber center fielder will remain on the roster for at least the next year.

Span, who will be 31 on opening day, hit .302/.355/.416 last season, leading the Nats in hits and setting team marks for hits and multi-hit games. He was 31-for-38 in stolen base attempts and hit five home runs to boot.

Bringing Span back reduced the Nats decisions on potential free agents down to five (ages on opening day).

Adam LaRoche (35, .259/.362/.455, 26/92): LaRoche had a mutual option for ’15 of $15 million with a $2 million buyout, but declined the option. With Ryan Zimmerman’s limitations in the field, it would be very surprising if the Nats re-upped with LaRoche.

Rafael Soriano (35, 4-1, 32 svs, 3.19/1.129): The veteran reliever looked like the Nats’ All-Star rep at the break, but was atrocious in the second half before going lights-out in the playoffs in a very limited role. Team option for $14 million was declined and considering the way things ended, very unlikely he re-signs in DC.

Asdrubal Cabrera (29, .229/.312/.389, 5/21 in 49 games for Nats): Cabrera became free agent at conclusion of World Series. Was excellent defensively and had a couple of offensive highlights, but his age and already diminished results suggest Nats will let him walk.

Scott Hairston (34, .208/.253/.299, 1/8): Hairston has outlived his usefulness as a Major League Player. That might sound harsh, but it happens to everyone. Was once known as a “lefty-killer” (even if it wasn’t entirely true, but his .293 OBP against lefties this season seal his fate.

Nate Schierholtz (31, .195/.243/.309, 1/4): The “other” Nate, Schierholtz was a waiver wire pickup midseason when Nate McLouth went down for the season to injury. Schierholtz was even worse than McLouth at the plate overall, though did chip in in the playoffs. With another $5 regrettably due McLouth, Schierholtz rides off into the sunset.

Washington Nationals Game 135 Review: Harper homers twice, Nats fall to M’s

HARPER GOES YARD TWICE, NATS STILL FALL TO MARINERS

On Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field, the Washington Nationals’ attempt to sweep the Seattle Mariners fell just short, as the Nats fell 5-3 despite a big day from young outfielder Bryce Harper.

Washington put the game’s first points on the board, scoring in three consecutive innings. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 124 Review: Nats trampled in loss to Cubs as NL Wild Card slips further from view

Jordan Zimmermann allowed eight runs over five innings as the Washington Nationals fell 11-1 to the struggling Chicago Cubs Monday night at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs are 16 games below .500 and yet they completely dominated against the Nationals’ ace, knocking in three runs in the first inning alone. With the blowout, the Nats are no1 10 ½ games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second NL Wild Card slot with only 38 games left to play.

It all began with a double by Junior Lake in his first at-bat against the Nationals to lead off the bottom of the first. Lake took third on a sacrifice bunt by Darwin Barney and Dioner Navarro walked to put runners at the corners.

Then, Zimmermann (L, 14-7) allowed the first of three home runs the Cubs would go on to tally against him. On a 2-2 count, Nate Schierholtz launched one to right to put Chicago up 3-0 early.

Zimmermann pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the second, with each of the three outs recorded on ground balls. In turn, the top of the third marked the third consecutive inning in which the Nationals singled off starter Jeff Samardzija (W, 7-11), and only singled.

 But, yet again, the Cubs capitalized on their own suddenly hot hitting in the bottom of the inning. [Read more…]

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