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Wire Taps: Adrián Sanchez remaining patient; Anthony Rendon’s hot start; Can bullpens improve?

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of their series with the Giants.

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The biggest hole in the Nats’ lineup thus far is not Ryan Zimmerman, in a surprising turn of events — instead, it’s Brian Dozier, who’s put up -0.5 bWAR and hit a paltry .159. If Anthony Rendon’s late-April breakout of 2017 proves anything, it’s that making conclusions right now is a poor decision, but it sure would be nice if either Dozier or Zimmerman picked up production.

Here’s the news from N Street:

Scherzer makes adjustment; Martinez glad to give Taylor start (MASN)
Max Scherzer implemented a mid-game adjustment on Sunday after giving up three in the first three innings, relying on his curveball more. In the meantime, MAT looked promising in his first game back from injury.

Gammons: It’s been a tough start to the season for relievers, but bullpens can shift fast (The Athletic)
In the final season of unregulated bullpen use, reliever appearances are up, and their ERAs are pretty high too — the Nats, for what it's worth, have a 7.75 bullpen ERA. But everyone, Peter Gammons included, thinks the long season will sort things out after an abbreviated spring training.

After 1,000 minor league games, all with the Nationals, Adrián Sanchez remains patient (WaPo)
Last week, Adrián Sanchez played his 1000th minor league game. Most players never make it to 1000 professional games for one franchise — 1000 in the majors or minors combined. Most in the minors never make it nearly as far. But Sanchez has hopscotched from Syracuse to Harrisburg to Fresno after Mike Rizzo uncovered him in a small Venezuelan stadium. And he does feel like he's stuck — but he feels like he's stuck in his home, where one of these days, he might just break through.

Anthony Rendon hot start (
Nobody knows why Tony Two-Bags has never earned a trip to the Midsummer Classic, but if he keeps up this start—a 13-game hitting streak with a .400 average—it'll be hard to deny him a spot, let alone the NL MVP. That's right: in a contract year, Anthony Rendon could finally cement his spot in baseball's elite tier thanks to a huge increase in hard-hit balls, a high contact rate, and a little bit of luck. Alternatively, this could very well be fun with small sample sizes.

Nationals Sign Dan Jennings To Minor League Deal (MLBTR)
Jennings pitched 64.1 innings of 3.22 ERA ball for Milwaukee last year, but struggled with Anaheim this March.

MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week (
Tres Barrera is hitting .538 over seven games! He had a multi-homer game! He may be a decent catching prospect!

Power Rankings: Hot, cold starts shake it up (
Somehow the Nationals are number six overall. Which is four spots higher than their number ten spot from last week.

Cabbage Smash Kids: Why the Nationals celebrate big wins with a leafy, green vegetable (WaPo)
The Nationals passed the cabbage *again* on Saturday. They're currently 1-1 post-cabbage.

Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie (Sweetspot — Nationals Baseball)
The silver lining of this mediocre start is that the Nats actually aren't that bad, but are instead a very good team hampered by a very bad bullpen and a few guys who may look like holes in the lineup.