No one is going to feel bad for the Washington Nationals. After all, the Atlanta Braves are missing first baseman Freddie Freeman, whose .340/.389/.519 career line against the Nationals and 9 for 24 (.375/.464/.500) history vs tonight's starter for the Nats, Jordan Zimmermann, would be nice to have in the lineup, but the Nationals are banged up.
Ryan Zimmerman's working his way back from the plantar fasciitis that landed him on the DL. Jayson Werth's been able to shag flies with his glove on the left hand after suffering small fractures in his wrist on a HBP last month.
Anthony Rendon is out resting a quad injury.
Denard Span's been dealing with a back problem. Bryce Harper's hamstring has been a problem in recent weeks.
As Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier this afternoon in his weekly spot on the Nats flagship station, however, their bench players and backups like Michael Taylor, Clint Robinson, Dan Uggla and Tyler Moore have enabled them to stay afloat while they wait for everyone to get back in the lineup.
"They're big league players," Rizzo said. "They're [some] of the 750 best players in the world. If you're a big leaguer, you're one of the greatest players on Earth. So, we have high confidence in those guys when they play.
"They're a testament to great scouting by our professional scouts. Doug Harris did a great job of signing Clint Robinson. We saw what he did in the minor leagues for his career hitting-wise. We knew that he had a good, compact, simple approach that would tend to have success off the bench. Those type of approaches do.
"Danny Uggla had been a guy that we've watched from the other dugout for a long time.
"We knew his competitive streak and the damage he can do against teams because he did it against us for years.
"That's two of just a few guys. You go down the line and everybody has contributed. Jose Lobaton, [Tyler Moore] and of course Michael Taylor has been outstanding for us."
The Nationals had Span and Harper available for one of the two games in Philadelphia on Sunday, and though they sat out the second game of the doubleheader, William said barring any unforeseen issues they would be back in the lineup for the series opener in Turner Field tonight.
• When the lineup was released this afternoon both were back in for the first of three with the Braves: