Thursday, August 9, 2018
So...they're not bad. But...I think we're all expecting better this time of year from the Washington Nationals. Bryce Harper has a WAR of 1.0. MATT ADAMS is playing better than he is.
The once-strong bullpen is now injury-laden, the infield now has too many options thanks to players coming back from injuries, and some players who are doing well, like Adam Eaton and Mark Reynolds, are relegated to bench positions due to lineup overflow. Their two options for catcher, Matt Wieters and Spencer Kieboom, aren't the greatest, and their current fifth starter, Tommy Milone, hasn't especially impressed. The priorities are scattered, the standouts can only do so much, and the Braves and Phillies are just far better teams at this point.
So who IS working? Well...Juan Soto and Max Scherzer, for one. Soto is gonna get a ton of Rookie of the Year votes, and Scherzer might just get his third Cy Young award in a row, unless some support for Jacob deGrom comes around. And yes, Anthony Rendon is still one of the most versatile players in baseball, and is making more waves on a team that's becoming less and less of an ensemble.
Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman have been fine coming back from injuries, but the team has been using them less. Wilmer Difo as starting 2nd baseman...not the GREATEST idea in the world, let's just say. At least Matt Adams has been a formidable and entertaining replacement at 1st, with Mark Reynolds as a swingman. But...what once was a strong, constant lineup is beginning to give way to an uneasy identity. I don't know about what this team will look like when Zim, Murph, and Harper are gone. And who the Nats will have to replace them.
Still, for the rest of the season, I imagine the Nats will try to squeeze into the already-bursting NL Wild Card race, but...I don't know how successful they'll be.
Coming Tomorrow- One of those guys that gets injured a lot, but when he's on? Watch out.