December 15, 2017

Washington Nationals add utility infielder Stephen Drew to mix

According to multiple reports, the Washington Nationals signed utility infielder Stephen Drew to a one-year, $3 million deal, with $1.25 million available in incentives. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com had it first.

Drew, a left-handed hitter, has experience at second, short and third and is a better fielder than recently signed second baseman Daniel Murphy.

With Murphy, Drew and Danny Espinosa all under contract, it seems there is no room on the roster for rookie Trea Turner to start the season on the roster, unless he beats out Espinosa at starting shortstop. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 157 Review: Turner homers but Nats fall to Braves

In a game watched by almost no one in person, Trea Turner hit his first Major League home run but the Washington Nationals lost to the Atlanta Braves 2-1 in nearly-empty Turner Field in Atlanta.

Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski homered twice against Nats starter Tanner Roark twice to provide the difference. Pierzzynski went 3 for 3 on the evening.

Braves starter Matt Wisler gave up one earned run on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

In off-field news, the team announced that Ryan Zimmerman would not play again this season due to the strained oblique muscle that has kept him out of the lineup the past several weeks.

Roark (L, 4-7, 4.63) allowed just the two earned runs on five hits and one walk over 6 2/3 innings and 104 pitches — his longest appearance of the season.

Turner, who played second base and hit second in the order, went 2 for 3 with a walk. In very limited opportunities Turner is hitting .292/.393/.458.

The Nats managed just five more hits, including Reed Johnson’s pinch-hit single in Roark’s spot late in the game.

 

 

Washington Nationals Game 147 Review: Nats Beat Marlins on a Sacrifice Fly in Extra Innings

The Washington Nationals made things interesting on Friday night and ended their night with a 5-4 win  over the Miami Marlins on a sacrifice fly hit by Catcher Jose Lobaton. The fly ball hit by Lobaton sent outfielder Jayson Werth home to score and secure the victory.

Starting pitcher Max Scherzer stayed strong through seven innings pitched despite a minor hiccup of a two-run homer hit by Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich in the first inning. Scherzer threw 104 pitches and 70 strikes while giving up five hits and two runs. He walked two, struck out two, and threw one wild pitch.

The Nats offense caught up with Miami the next inning by scoring a run on a solo homer hit by Clint Robinson off Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez making it 2-1 through two innings played. Fernandez lasted five and two-thirds innings while giving up five hits and two runs to the Nats.

Washington tied it up at 2-2 in the sixth inning when outfielder Bryce Harper scored on a wild pitch thrown by Fernandez but the Marlins pulled ahead 3-2 in the eighth while facing reliever Felipe Rivero.

A throwing error made by second baseman Anthony Rendon with reliever Blake Treinen on the mound in the eighth tied it up 3-3  before the Nats pulled ahead by a  run after in the bottom half of that same inning. Wild pitches thrown by Marlins reliever Jose Urena resulted in movement along the base path for the top of the Nats order. Pinch runner Trea Turner scored on a on a sacrifice fly hit by shortstop Ian Desmond to center field to tie it up and Harper scored on a clutch single hit by outfielder Michael A. Taylor giving the Nats a 4-3 lead.

Miami caught up with the Nats to tie it back in the top of the ninth against closer Jonathan Papelbon, whose been ill the past few days with a fever and wasn’t 100% according to Manager Matt Williams. Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas tied it up by scoring off a sacrifice fly hit by Miami’s lead off man Dee Gordon but the Nats would take the game in the tenth inning on Lobaton’s sacrifice fly off reliever Brian Ellington as redemption.

HERO: Lobaton for the sac fly in the tenth.

GOAT: Papelbon for blowing the save.

NATS NOTES:

  • The Nats are 8-2 in extra innings this season now.

UP NEXT: LHP Justin Nicolino (3-3, 3.81) and the Miami Marlins face RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.51) and the Washington Nationals in Washington, D.C. at 4:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Game 126 Review: Nats Squeak by Padres, Injuries Arise

The Washington Nationals beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Thursday night in D.C. but suffered quite a blow in regards to injuries.

Outfielder Michael A. Taylor and third baseman Yunel Escobar were down for the count by the end of the night but Washington still managed to sneak by the Padres.

Taylor ran into the outfield wall tracking down a fly ball and came up lame and needed help get off the field with a knee contusion. Escobar was hit by a pitch in his wrist — which drove in a run — and left the game.

Starting pitcher Joe Ross threw six innings of one-hit, one-run ball while walking two batters and striking out seven for the Nats. He threw 77 pitches and 48 strikes. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals call up No. 2 prospect Trea Turner

The Washington Nationals promoted SS Trea Turner from Triple-A Syracuse and placed 1B/OF Tyler Moore on the disabled list, reportedly because he stepped on a ball during batting practice Thursday evening and sprained his ankle.

To make room on the 40-man roster, Aaron Barrett was transferred to the 60-day DL.

Turner, 22, was hitting .314/.353/.431 at Syracuse with three home runs and 15 RBIs and 14 of 16 steals in 205 plate appearances. He’s had three stops in the minors this season and is a combined .322/.370/.458 in 500 plate appearances.

Turner came to the Nats in the Steven Souza trade, along with Joe Ross, from the San Diego Padres. Up until the last two days, Turner had exclusively played shortstop as a professional. He’s played the last two days at second base in Syracuse, presumably to ensure he could be used as a utility player at the big league level for now.

It’s hard to envision where Turner will get playing time in the bigs at this point, other than pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. Ian Desmond was once a strong candidate to be benched, but he has hit .262/.331/.500 with eight homers and 21 RBIs since the All-Star break. Yunel Escobar continues to hit, and between Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa, second base is already pretty crowded.

Turner is athletic, fast and has good baseball instincts. His batting average is propped up by a pretty high BABiP, one that’s unsustainable at the MLB level, but his speed allows him to reach base on a high number of infield hits. He has the range and arm strength to stick at shortstop and while he might not be the second coming of Ozzie Smith, he should play MLB-average defense at the position.

With the Nats still carrying an extra pitcher, this move leaves the Nats with a bench of Jose Lobaton, Clint Robinson, Espinosa and Turner.

Washington Nationals Minor League Update and Prospect Report for August 17

Here is a look around the Washington Nationals farm system.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS

AAA-INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE

Week: (4-2) Season: (54-69. 5th in IL North. 15.0 GB )

Matt Skole: Week: 5-20, 3 runs scored, 3 walks, 3 RBIs.  Season: .228/.337/.409 with 16 homers and 70 RBIs.  106 Ks and 62 BBs.

Trea Turner: Week: 7-20, 4 runs scored, 3 walks, 1 RBI.  Season: .319/.369/.456 with 8 homers and 54 RBIs.  95 Ks and 38 BBs.

HARRISBURG SENATORS 

AA EASTERN LEAGUE 

Week: (1-5) Season: (57-64. 5th in EL East. 12.5 GB)

Lucas Giolito: In his start on Friday against the Bowie Baysox, the number one prospect in the Washington Nationals organization threw 7 innings and struck out 11 only allowing 1 hit and 1 walk as he earned the win.  Season (High-A, AA): 4-6, 3.09 ERA with 109 Ks and 31 BBs in 93.1 innings pitched.

Wilmer Difo: Week: 9-24, 1 run scored, 1 home run, 1 walk, 6 RBIs.  Season:.294/.338/.414 with 4 homers and 43 RBIs.  71Ks and 18 BBs.

POTOMAC NATIONALS 

HIGH-A CAROLINA LEAGUE

Week: (4-3) Season: (55-64. 3rd in CL North. 5.5 GB)

Austen Williams: Week: In his start on Friday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks he pitched 6 innings and struck out three while allowing 3 hits and 3 walks.  Season: 12-5, 2.41 ERA with 90 Ks and 26 BBs in 115.2 innings pitched.

Grant DeBruin: Week: 10-24, 2 runs scored, 9 RBIs.  Season: .312/.364/.409 with 3 homers and 57 RBIs.  52 Ks and 29 BBs.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS

LOW-A SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE

Week: (4-2) Season: (60-57. 4th in SL North. 11.0 GB)

Osvaldo Abreu: Week: 4-19, 6 runs scored, 3 home runs,3 walks, and 3 RBIs.  Season: .278/.357/.419 with 5 homers and 40 RBIs.  72 Ks and 40 BBs.

Jose Marmolejos-Diaz: Week: 10-22, 4 runs scored, 1 home run, 4 walks, and 6 RBIs.  Season: .308/.488/.844 with 10 home runs and 73 RBIs.  72 Ks and 27 BBs.

 

 

 

 

Giolito, Turner star in MLB Futures Game

One of the best parts of the MLB All-Star festivities in the Futures Game the Sunday before the All-Star break. This year, tow of the Washington Nationals top prospects — pitcher Lucas Giolito and shortstop Trea Turner — participated in the event and impressed, as they have throughout their minor league careers.

Giolito and Turner are both listed among Baseball America’s Mid-season Top 50 prospects, with Giolito the top pitcher and No. 2 overall and Turner at No. 9.

Giolito started for the U.S. team and pitched two innings, allowing two singles and no walks while striking out one. Turner came on for J.P. Crawford at shortstop and went 2 for 2 with a two-run double in the U.S.’s five-run sixth inning.

Giolito, 20, was the Nats first round pick (16th overall) in the 2012 Amateur Draft. He made one appearance in the Gulf Coast League that year before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned in late 2013 and made 11 appearances between the GCL and short-season Auburn, posting a 2-1 record with a  1.96 ERA and 9.6 K/9.

In 2014 for Low-A Hagerstown, Giolito went 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA in 20 starts with a 10.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. So far this season for High-A Potomac he’s 3-4 in 11 games (nine starts) with a 2.76 ERA, 11.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.

Turner, 22, came to the Nats — along with Joe Ross — from the San Diego Padres in the Steven Souza, Jr. trade this off-season. He was the “player to be named later” and joined the Nats in June once he was eligible to be traded (ed. note: players are not eligible to be traded until one year past their draft date.).

Turner hit .323/.406/.448 between Low and High A last season in the Padres organization and so far this season he’s hit .318/.368/.472 with seven homers and 17 steals between Double-A and Triple-A.

Giolito will more than likely start next season in minors but could very well factor in the Nats plans in the big leagues later in the summer. Turner should compete for a roster spot in spring training depending on how the Nats shake out their middle infield situation.

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