Skip to content

State of the Nats: Deal or no deal?

Jul 28, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

Photo by The Associated Press Photo by The Associated Press

Top storylines:

Trade deadline - Much of the focus this week will be on Thursday’s trade deadline, at least around the league. There are star players such as David Price and Matt Kemp who could be on the move. The Phillies could blow it all up and clubs such as the Mariners could be looking for a boost ahead of the pennant race.

The Nationals, at least at this point, are not expected to do much of anything this time around. Sure, there are things they could use: namely help on their bench, another option at second base or perhaps a lefty reliever. But the more they win, the less they may feel inclined to make a change.

For all that has gone wrong this season – at least in terms of their slow start plagued by injuries – the Nats have never really bottomed out. The depth Mike Rizzo added to both their bench and bullpen has paid dividends this season as the dropoff from starters to reserves hasn’t been nearly as stark as it was in 2013. Mark went into this in his post this morning, but the Nats have been relatively consistent all year.

Because the Nats do not appear to need anything major at the moment, it’s more likely they wait until August to see what they can get on the waiver wire. In 2012, if you remember, they scooped up Kurt Suzuki on Aug. 23 and that worked out pretty well.

Zimmerman’s timeline - Once again we find ourselves wondering what the specific timeline for a Nationals player is, as Ryan Zimmerman has begun his rehab from a right hamstring strain. He left the team’s game on July 22 and is coming up on the second week of his recovery.

Hamstring injuries can be tricky to nail down a timeline for and Zimmerman’s is apparently significant. But this week the Nats hope to know more when Zim is reevaluated after a week’s rest. How he progresses over the next week will not completely determine whether the Nats make a trade, however, it has to at least be a factor.

Zimmerman has been among the Nationals’ best players this season when healthy with a .282 average, five homers and 36 RBI in 53 games. The Nats are 34-19 in games he plays. If they find out he can’t return until September, for example, how will that change their outlook? The Nats are 1 1/2 games up in the division with only two months left. The margin for error will get smaller and smaller.

What will the Phillies look like this weekend? - The Nationals play at the Miami Marlins this weekend before returning home to host the Phillies for four games. The timing of that series could make things interesting, as the first game is on Thursday, a.k.a. the 2014 trade deadline. The Phillies have long been speculated to be sellers this month, but have yet to pull the trigger on any big moves. It would seem wise for them to at least trade some of their parts, given their franchise state, but it has yet to happen.

Ryan Howard has already been benched and this week could see more significant changes for the Phils. When they travel to Nationals Park, will Cliff Lee still be in the rotation? What about A.J. Burnett? The Phillies could also look to trade Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Papelbon or even Chase Utley.

If and when the Phillies do break up, it could represent a sort of symbolic shift in the NL and the NL East. Yes, the Phillies haven’t been very good over the last three years, but as recently as 2011 they were a powerhouse. Whenever their current era does come to an official end, it will deserve some retrospectives on one of the best teams (at least at their peak) that we have seen in the National League in quite some time.

NL East Standings

source:

Offensive game of the week: Ian Desmond 7/21 vs. Rockies – 5-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R

Pitching game of the week: Doug Fister 7/27 vs. Reds – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, BB, 5 SO, 104 pitches, 76 strikes.

Quote of the week:

Ryan Zimmerman to MLB.com on whether he will return by the end of the regular season:

I think so. Like I said before, it’s really hard for me to tell. Honestly, we haven’t talked to the team doctors yet. I haven’t gone over there. I’m going to let them examine me. I just got home today and we have the weekend. It’s tough to say. I wish I had an answer for you. It’s too early to put any sort of timetable on it because we really don’t know.

Tweet (or Instagram) of the week:

Just Lucas Giolito with a monkey…

The caption was great too:

Got to live one of my dreams tonight by playing with a monkey! Great win for the suns tonight that was perfectly capped off by Cowboy Monkey Rodeo!

Road ahead

MON – 7:10 p.m. at Miami Marlins (Zimmermann)
TUE – 7:10 p.m. at Miami Marlins (Strasburg)
WED – 12:40 p.m. at Miami Marlins (Roark)
THU – 7:05 vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Gonzalez)
FRI – 7:05 vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Fister)
SAT – 7:05 vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Zimmermann)
SUN – 1:35 vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Strasburg)

  1. unterp - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    deal…

  2. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    I want to talk about Span some:

    Span’s a career .284/.350/.388 hitter. This year, Span is hitting .288/.344/.396. His walk rate (certainly aided by yesterday) is 8%. Career is 8.8%, it was down to 6.3% last year. His strikeout rate is the lowest in the NL. He averages 20 stolen bases per year, but he already has 18 this year (on pace for 29). What’s impressive about that is that he’s only been caught twice (90%) whereas his career success rate is closer to 75. Oddly enough, both CS were on pickoffs, he’s never actually been thrown out.

    Just wanted to give him some love.

    • unterp - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      +

    • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      +1, I’m a huge fan of the guy based on defense alone. Love seeing him produce like this on offense, as well.

    • NatsLady - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      DId you see where he is in my list of best players (by WAR) for July? Third.

      Also, off-topic, this list appeared on Twitter.

      • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        Cool!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      He deserves it because he has turned around his season and was looking like the odd man out at the end of May which makes this a tremendous turnaround.

    • dcwx61 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      ++1

    • scmargenau - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      I’ve been on fence with span cuz of lower obp and lack of power at CF.

      I have jumped the fence and have become a huge fan. He has great character. He could have made a big deal about Bryce’s comments, but chose the high road.

      I’d love to see either a trade for 2b or to give Walters, konerberus(sp?) a real chance. (A full month)

      • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        Kobernus is on the 60-day DL at the moment…

    • kozmo50 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      I’m with you!

    • Sonny G 10 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      +1

  3. Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Carrying forward from the last thread:

    Eric, given on how bad the injury looked, and the lack of a timetable yet, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s out until late September if he comes back at all. But that’s truly a guess. I don’t even know what a Class 2 hamstring pull is.

    My understanding is:
    Grade 1 Strain = a few torn muscle fibers (probably what most of us think of as “pulling a muscle”)
    Grade 2 Strain = partial tear
    Grade 3 Strain = complete tear

    8 weeks = September 16. I think that’s a reasonable outside return date, but yeah, hard to say with so little info.

    • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Thanks, Eric.

      And we also see that Grade 2 is a wide range. “partial” can mean anything from x% to y% (I have no idea what x and y are, but I’m guessing they are not particularly close to each other), so, the estimated recovery time (even aside from considered the different recovery rates among different patients) is only going to be a rough estimate.

      • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Agreed, although I suspect there’s a point where % torn is so high that treatment is about the same as grade 3 (i.e., surgical repair). My hope is that % torn is relatively low, hence a time frame of weeks, not months, and no mention of potential need for surgery (yet?).

    • mwstatsguy - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Eric-
      A grade 1 usually means about 10% of the fibers are torn, and a grade 3 usually means that greater than 90% are torn. Everything between is a grade 2. If the grade 2 is just worse than a grade 1, recovery usually takes 2-4 weeks, but if it’s almost a grade 3, it’s more likely to be 8-10 weeks. I’d sure like to see him back in playing shape for the playoffs!

      GYFNG!

      • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Good stuff, thanks! From that I’m inferring that initial MRI results showed Zim to be a bit north of 50% torn. Sounds…painful.

  4. Section 222 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Here’s one thoughtful take on Rizzo’s attitude on making a move.

    http://natsbaseball.blogspot.com/2014/07/for-rizzo-time-is-never-now.html

    I know many folks here a generally reluctant to give up valuable prospects for fear of “selling off the future.” And it may be that we can muddle through without Zim until he gets back. But at this point we are in the sweet spot of the Stras, JZnn, Gio, Desi, Harper, Zim, Werth, ALR era. When Zim, Werth, and ALR start to decline and JZnn and Desi possible depart, there’s no guarantee that those prospects will pan out to replace them. This could be one of our better shots to win a World Series. How badly do you want to win one? Or is being competitive good enough? Is the best approach to keep going on the same path and hope the stars align this season or sometime in the future? Or is making the moves necessary to give the best chance of winning this year your preference.

    I’m not asking these questions rhetorically. They are tough, and I don’t think there’s an obvious right answer. I think we’re all fine with having given up Krol and Robbie Ray. Nate Karns, too, isn’t really missed. So sometimes a trade for current value makes sense, right?

    • unterp - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      sometimes, you have to go all in, but not go all in. just take a chance because chances don’t always come along…

      • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        I agree, so long as it isn’t being done solely to indulge a desire to control the outcome of the season. When you’re doing well, I think it’s important to consider the idea that you actually have all the right people in place, as well whether any moves will constitute a meaningful improvement.

    • chaz11963 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      I think we really need to be all in at this point- win now approach. I wouldn’t have any problem using any of our prospects not named Giolito and Souza to make a trade that would help ensure a division title and WS appearance.

      • unterp - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        + exactly…

      • Steady Eddie - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        Except you have to be a little more discriminating about holding onto the top ceiling guys, and I think you have to add at least Cole, Voth, Michael Taylor, and maybe a couple more of the lower level prospects to the list of untouchables (e.g. Tony Renda).

        Obviously this is not an exact science — Roark has to be exhibit A — but Rizzo has a good track record, especially at pitcher, of knowing and holding onto high ceiling, good character guys.

        The Karns deal shows you don’t have to give up the top prospects to get value back, especially if you have solid floor but uncertain ceiling guys who’ve shown capability at AAA or AA.

        Treinan, Taylor Hill, Taylor Jordan are examples of guys who could maybe fetch a solid IF bat if packaged with some decent but limited tools position players like Eury Perez, Sandy Leon, and Kobernus, and blocked guys like TMo..

        Trade guys who are good enough but not likely to be starters in a projected future Nats lineup/rotation, keep the guys who have a clear potential to be starters like the ones I listed at the top.

      • Danny - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        Might add Cole to the untouchable list. He has had a great year.

      • unkyd59 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        Very solid comment, Eddie! I’ll just add that you can not buy the championship. We could populate the bench and the bullpen with all-stars, and still have no guarentee of ultimate success. So Deuces is spot on… It’s not a science, sometimes the winner is determined by how the ball bounces. I anticipate a shrewd move, for someone who shores up the bench and provides middle infield depth….

      • donniebenth - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        Sadly, in baseball, no trade can ensure anything. But, I think you are right, this may be the year to throw in a few more chips.

        I think everyone realizes we don’t need a blockbuster to get/stay in the mix for a title. But, our “long” lineup is particularly prone to struggles when we lose a piece or two to injury. Without a bopper or two in the middle, we need 1-8 to be at least reasonable productive.

        So, I don’t know if it is smokescreen, but I’d be a bit disappointed if it is true that we haven’t inquired about Prado. I think he could slide in now as our every day second baseman and then be our primary utility guy if/when RZ comes back.

        I think we have a number of younger pieces that just won’t fit here (TMo, Perez, Jordan), but who could be attractive to a trading partner.

    • David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      It’s all a balancing act. You don’t want to become so obsessed with the future that you miss out on a big opportunity today. But, you don’t want to sell the farm and mortgage the future. The playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot by nature. Your best chance of winning a World Series is to get to the playoffs as many times as possible. How many examples of win-now moves have actually paid off? History isn’t too kind.

      So if a piece makes sense to acquire, I’m willing to give up prospects. Teams overvalue prospects. But I’m not willing to give up elite level prospects (read: Giolito) that jeopardize sustained success to go all-in. It all depends on the acquisition cost and how much you think it moves the needle. There’s no perfect answer and that’s why Rizzo is making the big bucks.

    • scmargenau - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      +1

  5. Danny - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    7 against the Marlins and Phils. Time to beat up on the NLE.

    • scnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Hope to take 6 of 7 – a tall order – and start putting room between us and the Braves. At least 5.

      Remember there is a chance we face a gutted team in Philly this weekend.

    • David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      Don’t overlook Miami. They’ve won 7/8 and they can pitch. And Stanton owns us

      • rayvil01 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        Agreed
        Thry gave the Braves fits last week in ATL. Fernandez injury really hurt them. But they have a good nucleus Not a team to take lightly..

  6. dcwx61 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    from mlbtraderumors

    The Royals, Dodgers and Nationals are the latest known suitors for reliever Andrew Miller, according to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes and Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com. (Edes reported the Royals’ interest while Gammons reported on the two NL teams.) Boston is known to be shopping Miller, with the Braves and Pirates also amongst the clubs checking in on the lefty. Miller has posted an outstanding 2.45 ERA, 14.5 K/9 and 5.0 K/BB ratio over 40 1/3 relief innings for the Sox this season.

    • David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      Kilgore confirmed our interest in Miller (and also floated Uehara). We’ve also talked to the Royals and Astros about a reliever.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        No secret on Miller but Nats are way down on the list. Boston asking for a lot.

        Could go to waiver claim.

  7. chaz11963 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Looky here- ESPN has the Nats this week as the best team in the NL:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/powerrankings

  8. Doc - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Hard Hit Rate: Ahead of the A’s, Dodgers, and Angels, and everybody else. Good to know!

    What a stat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just when you think that baseball has exhausted the stats machine, another great one gets pumped out!

    A little like the the hockey stat for fastest shot.

  9. veejh - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Just get Miller. Blevins ain’t cutting the mustard. He will be oh so valuable when we need that trusty lefty in the playoffs.

    • David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Problem is the Braves want him, too. If the Sox are smart (they are), they’ll turn it into a bidding war between division rivals. Have to be careful about that.

    • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      I wouldn’t mind an upgrade over Blevins; however for some reason I feel that upgrading Hairston is more important, but I have no idea how to evaluate that in a meaningful way.

  10. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Just saying

    “@AdamKilgoreWP: Some evaluators think Aaron Hill would be ideal for the Nats. But the Nats haven’t asked Arizona about him or Prado. http://t.co/Df4Ojd5WBL

  11. veejh - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    So much for the HR derby screwing up your swing….Cespedes w a 8 game hit stteak w 3 HRs 9 RBIs…. .353BA and .706SLG

  12. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Jason Lane, former outfielder and owner of a near 5 ERA at AAA, is shutting the Braves out through 5. And you thought WE made scrubs look good.

  13. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Looking at the last two weeks, Harper has been far from hopeless. In 34 PAs:
    .296/.441/.444 wRC+ = 157
    Scored 5 runs.

    Just goes to show you how perception is everything.
    Here are the stats, injuries and preview for the Marlins Series. Injury Daze and Marlins Series Preview

    • scmargenau - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      That’s shocking to me. Perception can be super deceiving.

      But small sample stats are unreliable.

      • NatsLady - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Absolutely agree. Everyone is judging Harper on the small sample size since he got back… and the small sample size of two baserunning mishaps, etc.

  14. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Make that 6 scoreless for Lane…

    • knoxvillenat - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      And Gattis homers in the seventh, 1-0 Barves.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        -1

      • natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        -2, as Gattis bats in a run with 2 out in the bottom of the 8th. Daggnabbit.

      • natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        And Kimbrel does not blow the save. Consarnit. We now return you to our regularly scheduled taking care of our own business programming. :-)

  15. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Just saw this. Jayson Heyward left the game.

    http://www.sportsinjuryalert.com/2014/07/braves-injury-update-jason-heyward.html#.U9aMYvldXng

  16. micksback1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Wonk

    below I copied your post to me on Ramos and will now respond, but first back to McClouth…what then is the point of signing him to 5 mil or plus this season, second;y, MW stated clearly in spring training that he wants to rest players to keep them fresh, McClouth, Span and Bryce are all lefties, so your post to me was for the purpose of trashing me, as it does not make sense both conceptually or even theoretically. again, what is Bryce’s Ba since the break and Hairston’s, posting McClouth bats 183 was just plain ridiculous

    If you want to talk about your views about MW’s use of Ramos, however, I will:

    First, while you don’t want Ramos to be used every day, it does seems the case that every time he is rested you complain about it.

    no, that is what yo think, in fact, i posted on the same thread,”unless Ramos said he was tired, then may be that is why MW is sitting him” of course, your cherry picking missed that.

    Secondly, I have no idea why you want to rest him on the first game against Miami so much. Miami is one hot team right now — they’ve won four straight, and seven of the last eight (including 3-of-4 from the Braves). I’d rather have Ramos to start the first two against Miami, than to play three straight against the slumping Reds.

    Why, because it s the first game of a series, it gives him time to also rest after the flight so he is fresh for game two and slumping Reds, the Reds won 1-0 and series was 1-1, hello

    Thirdly, many players say that the games after a series in Colorado are hard on the body. Perhaps that factored into Ramos’ rest.

    as I said, maybe Ramos state he was tired

    Fourthly, did it occur to you that the reason why Ramos is so hot, and our only .300+ hitter is precisely because MW rests him so much.

    so that should apply to all players who are hot as well, i have no problem with that, and sitting him for the first game of marlis would have worked too

    Fifthly — you do recall that Ramos has had many problems with his hamstring, right? It’s better to underplay him by a bit than to overplay him.

    yes indeed, an again, after a plane flight and a 1 day and night rest he would be rested

    And, finally, we have no idea how tired Ramos might have been after the Reds’ second game — only guys in the dugout know.

    yes, posted “maybe he said he was tired to MW

    And so, I think the gut reaction to excoriate MW for resting Ramos on a day game following a late-afternoon-twilight game is a bit short-sighted. Truth be told, wins against a hot Miami (in our division) might matter a bit more than wins against the slumping Reds (not in our division).

    disagree for the reasons I have given

    and finally, I did not know the stat about Fister and Lobaton, but it appears you did not either because as the expert you are, all you had to do was post that the day the issue came up and I am totally fine with MW’s decision. In fact, it appear none of us posted this on the game thread until after Mark posted it

    • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      “again, what is Bryce’s Ba since the break”

      Per NL above:
      “Looking at the last two weeks, Harper has been far from hopeless. In 34 PAs:
      .296/.441/.444 wRC+ = 157
      Scored 5 runs.”

      Break ended just over 1 week ago, so I suppose it doesn’t strictly answer your question, but I do seem to recall he was rather productive prior to the Reds series.

      • micksback1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        my point was a response to wonk’s snarky post about McClouth. My point was why not rest Harper along with Span and Werth, both Span and Harper are left handed. It also made no sense when Hairston played over McClouth when nats face a south paw and Hairston has not hit since the turn o the century. i also posted “is McClouth in the dog house” my post made sense and frankly as I said McClouth was pretty damn productive before the break as well.

      • NatsLady - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Everyone’s batting average since the break (qualified batters). If you want to get on someone’s case, get on Rendon’s.

      • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        My suspicion is that Hairston is in place to rest Harper (Hairston in left, Harper to bench) and Span (Hairston in left, Harper in center, Span to bench) and McClouth is there to rest Werth.

        As for Hairston/McClouth, Hairston’s sole purpose on this team is to hit LHP, so that’s probably why he was played over McClouth when a lefty was going. I’m not sure how Hairston has been doing lately, but it seems possible that he’s being given last chances before we replace him.

      • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Here’s the chart NL linked with Minimum PAs set to 0 (so it includes McClouth and Hairston):

        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2014&month=31&season1=2014&ind=0&team=24&rost=&age=0&filter=&players=

    • jd - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Mick,

      Mc.Louth has had 155 plate appearances this year. It’s not like he’s not had a chance. He’s an expensive bust at 5 mil a year.

      Last year everyone complained that our bench stinks because Rizzo went cheap. So this year we have someone making $5 mil to get a -0.3 WAR. Another (Hairston) $2.5 mil for -0.3 WAR Frandsen while still pretty crappy is only -0.2 WAR but he’s only earning $900k.

      Just think we could have had an equally inept bench and probably better with everyone making the league minimum (Souza, Moore, Walters?)

      For $8 mil you can have Cody Ross and his -0.9 WAR

  17. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    The Padres pushed it with Lane, need to take him out. OK, they are taking him out.

  18. Chazz - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Monkeys are cute when they’re little, and funny to watch.

    How they get there, not so much.

    http://www.peta.org/features/monkeys-go-jungles-labs/

    Pretty much the same trip for “show” monkeys, but they do get their teeth pulled out (with anesthetic, if they’re lucky) first.

  19. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Watch this guy Thayer with the Padres. He’s a tradeable reliever.

    • David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Gives up a walk and a run to the Braves.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        That’s probably why they want to trade him. ;)

  20. Smyrcok - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    The Padres are just bad. Remember when they thought they’d be competing for something this year? At least they beat the Braves once this series.

    • jd - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      And they are playing them again next weekend.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        They get 7 games and didn’t have to face Headley at all and Yonder Alonso for only 2 games.

  21. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Rizzo is “in” on Andrew Miller and what’s interesting is that the Nats don’t necessarily need that player but want to drive the price up.

    Just about 3 full days left before the deadline passes and the Phoolies haven’t sent one player packing and they have at least 6 players to trade.

    • jd - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      That’s because they are hard to trade. No one wants to go near Howard, Lee is a huge risk, Paplebon makes too much money and is a pain the ass, Uley has a no trade and wants to stay (insane I know). So that leaves you with Hammels which they don’t really want to move and Rollins which they do but who is not that attractive. They may move Burnett but he wants to to Pittsburgh and they will only take him if they are off the hook for next year (they want him to promise to retire at the end of the year).

      They are a fine mess and it looks good on them.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        Byrd is easy to move and Utley is in demand

      • jd - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        Byrd makes $8 mil a year and is signed for next year also. It’s not crazy but it’s not bench player money either. he may get you a half a game from now until the end of the year. He may be movable but I wouldn’t call it easy and Utley is in huge demand but he has a full no trade so that’s an obstacle to be sure.

  22. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Espinosa earns another start.

  23. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Here’s a cool video on Lucas Giolito: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q6CYkYGHiE

  24. Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I think I’ve figured out the mystery of the Word(Salad)Press:

    A couple of days ago I posted a comment as a nested reply, but it ended up at the bottom of the thread. When I saw it down there, I noticed that it said “Awaiting moderation” at the top of my post.

    I just went back and noticed that the post has apparently been approved, as the “Awaiting moderation” note is gone and it is nested where I originally intended for it to go.

    Also, I just went back to the last NI article (Consistency propels Nats to NL’s best record) and noticed that a number of posts that were out of order at the bottom have now moved back into their nested positions.

    I have no idea why some posts are “awaiting moderation” and others aren’t (maybe it has to do with posts being reported?).

    Even more perplexing is why “pending” posts display publicly.

    • Section 222 - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      That’s impressive sleuthing. Hopefully Mark will notice this and can let us know what’s up. Thanks!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.5
Through Tuesday's games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter