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Wire Taps: Cracks showing in Mike Rizzo’s team; Nationals’ slipshod play causing concern; When will Nats make a move?

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

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MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The definition of insanity (paraphrased) is doing something over and over again and expecting different results. For instance: expecting that a horrible bullpen and an incompetent offense will suddenly come around for a weeklong stretch at once night after night would qualify as insanity.

Here’s the news from Nats Park:

Cracks showing in Nats’ foundation, and Mike Rizzo may not have a fix (WaPo)
Mike Rizzo has control over almost every aspect of this team save for the places where the Lerners insert themselves. This year, that's a team that lacks a competent bullpen and a roster that can barely take a punch. The bullpen is an old story, meaning the Nats have depleted their prospects year after year to fix the holes that inevitably manifest themselves; in the meantime, there aren't really any prospects of note in the Nats' system anymore. In short: things are falling apart.

Why has the Nationals’ bullpen struggled so much? Preparation might play a part. (WaPo)
Derek Lilliquist and Davey Martinez at least gave the impression that they were preparing their bullpen adequately for the season. But while the organization may have been there, the stamina-building and real-life simulations weren't. Most importantly: many of these pitchers may just not be good at their jobs.

There’s a lot more to the Nats than injuries and ineffective relief. Three jarring (bullpen-free) stats and what they mean moving forward (The Athletic)
The Nats haven't strung together more than two wins this season. The starters are putting up some of the best pitching in baseball and aren't getting rewarded for it, largely because of slipshod defense and poor offense. The offense is on pace to strike out 1,615 times. This is definitively not looking good.

The 30: The Astros soar into first and the Twins continue their impressive ascent (The Athletic)
The Nationals are in 24th place, directly below the White Sox, whose jump surrounds the strong performance of Lucas Giolito.

When will Nationals make key moves in 2019? (
The Nats are in an odd position: they think they're good, but their record suggests otherwise, and there are few teams willing to give up pieces to help them get better. They're also essentially out of prospects to trade — meaning that any turnaround will come from players returning from injury and to form. (Another question: where's Michael A. Taylor going to be by the end of the year?)

Nats positive they can build off competitive series split with Dodgers - (MASN)
Brian Dozier called it a success that the Dodgers didn't sweep the Nats. Hear me out here: that may not be a winning mentality.

Monday’s News & Notes (Nationals Prospects)
Kyle McGowin is continuing to shine in Fresno. Beyond that, things were pretty much rained out this weekend.