Juan Soto spent two separate periods in quarantine after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and then testing positive for the virus himself in the hours before the season opener.
Washington’s 21-year-old slugger was asymptomatic, however, and he returned to action as soon as he was cleared and ended up becoming the first Nationals’ hitter to win a National League batting title, even if it’s one for a 60-game pandemic campaign. He was still the top hitter in the NL for the games that were played this season.
“He worked diligently to get himself ready,” manager Davey Martinez said of the work Soto did to get in game shape once he was cleared to play.
“He felt like his legs were heavy in the beginning. He had not had time really, had no second Spring Training.
“He got at bats, saw a lot of pitches, was in the cage constantly working on his swing, was taking extra balls, running sprints, running in the outfield, to get himself ready to play while he was playing.
“It’s a testament to how important the game is to him and his family, and this team. He wants to go out there and do good every day and that’s what you see.”
It’s fun to watch. Go read your links...
Will Nats try to acquire lineup protection for Soto? - (MASN)
"Despite appearing in only 47 of the Nationals’ 60 games this season, Juan Soto reached base an astounding 96 times, fifth-most in the majors."
Nationals Fan Polls — Final Results - (Curly W Live)
"We want to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in our Fan Polls over the past 15 weeks and weighed in on all Nationals related topics — continuing to prove we have the best fans in the game!"
Just some fan mail today.....from one of the most influential people on the planet for 30 years. Humbled and honored. Proud of the #MASN crew. Thank you for the kind words Justice Kennedy. #TheDecider #Nats ❤️DC pic.twitter.com/mG8vM7cgtc— F.P. Santangelo (@FightinHydrant) September 30, 2020
Turner makes jump forward at plate, now wants to sharpen defense - (MASN)
"One Nationals player who stayed consistent on offense and made good contact throughout the season was shortstop Trea Turner."
Juan Soto’s national stardom took off a year ago in postseason - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Bryce Harper was gone, Soto was quickly evolving into an offensive force and future hopes were being piled onto his shoulders. He liked the attention."
Zimmerman honored for work with MS, says he’ll return to Nats in 2021 - (WTOP)
"''I could not let it end this way,' said Zimmerman. 'I missed it a lot this year. It was a tough decision but the right decision.'"
#Nats' 2020 draft picks on Instructional League roster:— David Driver (@DaytonVaDriver) October 1, 2020
Cade Cavalli, first round, RHP
Cole Henry, second, RHP
Samuel Infante, second, INF
Holden Powell, third, RHP
Brady Lindsly, fourth, C
Mitchell Parker, fifth, LHP@federalbaseball
NL EAST UPDATES:
Matt Klentak not the only Phillies employee facing job loss - Layoffs are ‘inevitable’ - (nj.com)
"Speculation is growing that the Phillies are ready to fire general manager Matt Klentak. But The Athletic reports Klentak might not be the only team employee receiving a pink skip this fall."
Shea Anything: Closing the books on the 2020 New York Mets - (Yahoo!Sports)
"Doug Williams and Keith Hernandez close the books on the 2020 New York Mets, and Keith closes the show with some recommended books for off season reading!"
Starling Marte available for Miami Marlins after hand injury, but not likely to bat - (ESPN)
"Miami Marlins center fielder Starling Marte will be available to pinch run or play defense in Game 2 of the National League Wild Card Series against the Chicago Cubs..."
Braves' offense made its presence felt at the end - (AJC.com)
"Without the eighth-inning rally, the Braves might well have won a second consecutive game by a 1-0 score."