The Nationals, yet again, drafted a starting pitcher with upside in the first round. Now, let’s check on Seth Romero... who’s sidelined with Tommy John. Well, at least Mason Denaburg, uh, has yet to throw a pitch in a game professionally?
Here’s the news from Nationals Park:
‘Just a labor of love’: Inside the inquisitive mind of the Nationals’ Howie Kendrick (The Athletic)
Kendrick is an elusive interview, a scholar of the game, a player who saw himself as just another guy transformed into a veteran leader, a card collector, the most interesting man on the team who could be a manager one day.
Mike Rizzo: Jackson Rutledge possesses "skill set we really go after" (MASN)
“He’s got a good package for a starting pitcher,” Rizzo said. “He’s a big, physical guy with a good arm action. He’s got a quick arm, he’s got power stuff. We had scouted this guy a lot since his Arkansas days. We had to have seen him about 12 games this year start. He never missed a beat. His stuff never wavered.”
Nationals draft Jackson Rutledge in first round (MLB.com)
Rutledge, 20, a St. Louis native like Scherzer said on MLB Network after being selected: “I want to be teammates with Max Scherzer as soon as I can.”
Nationals select junior college right-hander Jackson Rutledge with No. 17 pick in MLB draft (WaPo)
Rutledge—granted, in JuCo—had a 0.87 ERA with 134 strikeouts. The Nats think he's "just scratching the surface," though he has technically committed to play for Kentucky in 2020.
Nationals nab yet another pitcher in the first round of the MLB draft (NBCSW)
These Nationals have always been a team that leans on stellar starting pitching — but they've struggled to develop top-line starters since Stephen Strasburg left town. They'll hope to change that with the (very tall) Rutledge.
Jessica Mendoza isn't counting the Nationals out just yet (NBCSW)
Mendoza thinks the Nats' starters can keep them in the race for long enough — and if the bullpen comes around or the team actually goes about fixing things up, there may be hope yet.
'Love is love': Sean Doolittle shows off special Pride Month cleats (NBCSW)
Night OUT is tonight, and if Sean Doolittle enters, he'll come in wearing cleats with flags representing his support for the LGBTQ community.
It just became easier to sign Craig Kimbrel, which doesn’t change much for the Nationals (NBCSW)
Nobody will have to give up a pick to sign Craig Kimbrel, but they will have to give up something far more important to the Nationals' ownership: cash that they want to spend on Anthony Rendon, though it could still work if the margins are perfect.
Nationals offense major part of recent 7-2 run (MASN)
The Nationals are now a mere seven games back in the NL East. But they are winning more games, in part due to a reawakened offense led by Juan Soto.
The 30: The calendar flips to June, trades are on the horizon and a nearly untouchable rookie is on the mound for Atlanta (The Athletic)
"It’s not clear that the Nats will do the right thing and trade Rendon if they’re hanging on the outer fringes of the pennant race. That could thrust [Howie] Kendrick into another unlikely role: Washington’s most desirable trade candidate."