In advance of the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays’ three-game set in the Rogers Centre, we talked to the SB Nation’s Jays site, Bluebird Banter, about the Nats for a Q&A that you can read in its entirety through the link below.
Here are a couple of the Qs & As:
Bluebird Banter: Your Disabled List has a dozen or so names on it. Can I ask on the status of few of them? What’s the status of Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Wieters, Howie Kendrick and Jeremy Hellickson?
Federal Baseball: Strasburg is home in D.C. while the Nationals are on the road, working out on his own while he waits for the inflammation in his shoulder to go away. Zimmerman is “getting better” Davey Martinez told us on Wednesday, and they want to get him through the week and reevaluate. Wieters, haven’t heard much recently, other than the fact that he was throwing recently, but a hamstring injury bad enough to require surgery will likely keep him out for a while longer. Hellickson, according to Martinez again, has thrown (Davey thought, he said on Wednesday), but he said they’re waiting for him to build up strength in his hamstring before he gets back on the mound. Kendrick tore his achilles tendon, and he’s likely done for the season, barring some sort of miraculous recovery.
Bluebird Banter: Can you guys stay in the race with so many players out?
Federal Baseball: They’re right there now, with a mix of surprising veterans (Mark Reynolds, Matt Adams) and young stars (Juan Soto), but it hasn’t been easy, or pretty at times. I think the injuries to the rotation (Strasburg and Hellboy) are the bigger issues, though Erick Fedde has shown signs of growth, Jefry Rodriguez impressed in a somewhat surprising spot start, and Austin Voth, who’s been up twice, but hasn’t made his MLB debut, give the Nationals some options, but I thought the pitching depth was thin before Stras and Hellboy went on the DL. Pitching has carried them while the offense has been on and off. Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy just got back, and look like they’re not quite 100% there, but the lineup is already different in the few games they’ve returned (Martinez noted the amount of pitches the team saw in NY was up at least in part because they got Eaton and Murph back). I still don’t totally buy the Braves, but they’ve made me look foolish thus far. I think the other teams in the division are starting to play as expected. I still think the Nationals take the NL East.