Okay. Before we get to the quote unquote “news,” let’s start with maybe the most important headline of the year:
THE NATS ARE ADDING A BULLPEN CART
Sean Doolittle is going to TRICK THIS THING OUT. (Hopefully.)
Now that we have that out of the way, here’s the beat from South Capitol Street:
Mike Rizzo Is Taking a Chance on Himself (Washington City Paper)
"It’s Rizzo’s team, and it’s fighting for its life. The pressure will be on, and we know how that goes with Rizzo's teams.'
Rosenthal: Dusty Baker opens up on the Nats, his career, racism, the state of the game and the ‘smell of collusion’ – (The Athletic)
"You follow the Nationals? I follow ’em every day. What has happened? I don’t know. I’m not there. I can’t straighten ’em out."
Jeremy Hellickson will undergo MRI on Friday, could make a start next week (WaPo)
Hellickson felt sore, but the Nats think there's a chance he starts within ten days. In the meantime, Erick Fedde will rehab Monday, and Joe Ross threw three scoreless in Potomac yesterday.
Wander Suero is beginning to look like a future Nationals bullpen staple (WaPo)
The Nats thought Wander Suero would be a one-inning lefty specialist, but he's been able to get batters from both sides of the plate over multiple innings.
Injury updates on Jeremy Hellickson, Joe Ross (MLB.com)
Martinez said there's a decent chance Ross joins the Nats in September.
Did the Home Run Derby 'fix' Bryce Harper? (ESPN)
Harper denies the Derby turned his season around -- but even if it didn't have a direct effect, the change in numbers since is undeniable.
NL East called. (Nationals Baseball - Sweetspot)
"The Nats have lost the last 4. The Braves have won the last 5. The NL East deficit is now at 9 games. The Nats are not making up 9 games. The NL East is not going to be won by the Nats."
After rehab start, Ross on track for September return (MASN)
Joe Ross may have come back too late to help the Nats make the playoffs in 2018, but his return is an extremely promising sign for 2019.
NL East players who are possible game-changers (MLB.com)
If Trea Turner turns it on down the line, then watch out.