The Nationals have made their trade deadline situation more complicated, which is mildly annoying: instead of a selloff being the clear right path to take, their record in the last 17 games — 12-5, a .706 winning percentage — shows that they could hypothetically make a run this summer with some luck and a few arms at the deadline. The only issue: what prospects could they possibly trade for the aforementioned arms? Would they have to part with Carter Kieboom? What arms are even out there? Just food for thought, but important food nevertheless.
Here’s the scoop from South Capitol:
Howie Kendrick Is Killing The Ball (MLBTR)
With a heavier emphasis on pulling the ball and putting it in the air, Howie Kendrick's launch angle and ISO have gone up, meaning he's hitting for power and getting on base way more often — though he is one of the slowest runners in the majors, apparently.
Imagining a scenario where the Nationals trade Max Scherzer (BtBS)
The Nats aren't out of it — yet. If they do trade Scherzer, he's got about 11 wins left in his contract, per ZiPS, meaning if the Nats want to get great prospects for him, they'll likely need to eat some of the deferred money on his contract. If they don't want to do that, it'll be quite hard to make a deal work.
Lucas Giolito is an early Cy Young candidate. Mike Rizzo ‘couldn’t be happier for him.’ (WaPo)
The Nats missed Lucas Giolito twice, and they're lucky: he's the reigning pitcher of the month with a 2.28 ERA, and looks like he finally grew into his own. Mike Rizzo wishes him all the best — except for when he pitches against Washington.
The Nationals are dancing their way back into the NL East race. Here’s how they’re doing it. (WaPo)
Tanner Rainey has found some consistency in the pen, Aníbal Sánchez and Brian Dozier turned it around, Howie Kendrick has hit phenomenally, and Trea Turner has kickstarted everything at the top. There could, very hypothetically, be a chance.
Patrick Corbin says his fastball, not his slider, is to blame for recent struggles (WaPo)
While everyone is noting that nobody wants to chase Corbin's slider, he's realized that without the fastball to set it up and get deep into counts, he can't convince batters to go after his money pitch.
Patrick Corbin struggles again vs. White Sox (MLB.com)
The Nats have won 12 of their last 17 — but three of the five losses came in Patrick Corbin starts as he's gone through something of a June funk.
Another Corbin dud ends Nats' road trip with a thud (MASN)
At this point, the Nats look like they have the tools to go on a sustained run. The only issue: a new problem has developed in the form of Patrick Corbin, who's given up twenty runs in his last three starts.
Matt Adams feeling better after oblique injury (MLB.com)
Adams' injury meant the Nats didn't have a true first baseman for their game in Chicago, so Gerardo Parra got the start, but Yan Gomes moved to first later in the game.
Nationals 2019 All-Star Primary ballot update (MLB.com)
Currently, no Nationals would qualify for election day, and it looks like Anthony Rendon's path to the game is essentially cut off by Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, and Justin Turner purely on name recognition alone.
Nationals keep Matt Adams off the injured list — at least for now (WaPo)
If Adams does end up on the IL, Adrian Sanchez will likely get the callup.
Adams avoids injured list for now (MASN)
“Actually, he’s a lot better than we anticipated,” Martinez said this afternoon. “He woke up today and he’s not as sore. We’re going to wait. The day off helps us. So right now he’s day-to-day, which is really nice.”
Umpire Chad Whitson Bloodied By Backswing Of White Sox’ Outfielder Ryan Cordell (Deadspin)
It's something about the Nats and home plate umpires these last few weeks, it would seem.