As we wrap up another week of minor league baseball, here’s a look around the Washington Nationals’ farm system and some players making headlines.
Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League, 27-22
Ross Ohlendorf (Starting Pitcher): On May 19th, Ohlendorf made a rehab start with the Chiefs in which he looked strong. Over five innings, he gave up just one hit, one walk and struck out four en route to picking up the win. On Sunday, he took the mound again and pitched three innings of one-hit baseball. Ohlendorf is rehabbing a back injury.
Xavier Cedeno (Relief Pitcher): Last Sunday, Cedeno pitched a scoreless frame en route to picking up the win for Syracuse. It was his first game back on the mound since May 1st. At the end of the 2013 season, Cedeno became a regular out of the bullpen for the Washington Nationals.
Brock Peterson (First Base): While there appears to be a conundrum on who will be playing first base in the future for the Nationals, it’s due to a lack of talent at the position. Peterson did well in Spring Training, and he’s carrying that success into the regular season. On Sunday, he went 2-for-4 with a homer and 3 RBI. This May, he’s hitting .274 with an .849 OPS.
Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League, 17-31
Adam LaRoche (First Base): LaRoche made a pair of rehab starts with Potomac and Harrisburg before joining the Nationals on Sunday. After going 0-for-2 at single-A, he went 1-for-3 with a walk in his lone start with the Senators on Friday. He then rejoined the team on Saturday before taking the field with the big-league club on Sunday afternoon.
Matt Skole (First Base): We’ve checked in with Skole several times over the last month as he’s been struggling, but it looks like things are starting to turn around for one the hardest hitters in the system. He’s picked up a hit in seven of his last 10 games and went 3-for-4 on Sunday afternoon.
Kevin Keyes (Right Field): Keyes is starting to settle in nicely at right field for the Senators. While his averages are nothing to write home about (.234/.287/.447), he has hit three homers in the clubs last 10 games to go along with 8 RBI in that stretch.
Potomac Nationals, High-Class A Carolina League, 25-23
Oscar Tejeda (Second Base): Playing single-A ball, Tejeda is doing well for himself. In Potomac’s last 10 games, he’s picked up a hit in all but three of them and went 3-for-4 with a double on Sunday. Tejeda now has 11 doubles on the year with 30 RBI.
Bryan Harper (Relief Pitcher): Anytime you get Bryce Harper to come watch you play, you must be doing something special. On the same night Adam LaRoche was in town, Bryan’s brother Bryce was in attendance. On the season, Harper has a 1.89 ERA through 19 innings with an opponents batting average of .236.
Will Piwinica-Worms (Outfielder): Without question the best name in the organization, Piwnica-Worms hit his first homer of the season on Sunday afternoon. He’s struggled throughout the season, but maybe that first jack is all he needs to turn things around. We’ll keep you posted.
Hagerstown Suns, Low-Class A South Atlantic League, 35-13
Jefry Rodriguez (Starting Pitcher): In his first start for the Suns this year, Rodriguez went five innings and gave up one run on six hits while striking out four. For the 2013 GCL Nationals, he went 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA. On a team already stacked with young talented arms, Rodriguez is another to watch in Hagerstown.
Nick Pivetta (Starting Pitcher): Through his first nine starts of the season, Pivetta is 7-2 with a 3.27 ERA and 32 strike outs. His numbers are skewed by three outings in which he gave up three, four and five runs. In his other six starts, he’s been lock down.
Brennan Middleton (Shortstop): Middleton has had an average season for the Suns, but his most recent game on Sunday gives him the spotlight on this list. The 23-year old went 3-for-4 with an RBI to bring his season RBI total to five. This month, he’s batting .286 with 10 hits in 11 games.
Brian Skinnell is a sports writer born and raised in the Washington, D.C.-metro area. He’s had work published on Yahoo Sports and Rant Sports, and has made several radio show appearances across the country to discuss his works. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+!