ABERDEEN, Md. - In years past, as the Nationals made deals at the deadline, it was some players from the Single-A level that were dealt to other clubs as Washington made a playoff push.
The table was turned this year – with the Nationals suddenly sellers with a season that has gone off the rails at the major league level.
This time, it was high Single-A Wilmington in Washington’s system which saw three new players join the system from Oakland, thanks to the deal that sent catcher Yan Gomes and infielder Josh Harrison to the A’s.
The Nationals acquired pitchers Richard Guasch and Seth Shuman and catcher Drew Millas from the Athletics in the late July deal.
Last night was fun...how about we do it all over again!?— Wilmington Blue Rocks (@WilmBlueRocks) August 18, 2021
Here's how the crew lines up for game two of our series with the @IronBirds!
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“It has been good; we have three new guys on the team from Oakland and those guys have come ready to work every day,” Justin Lord, the pitching coach for Wilmington, told Federal Baseball on Tuesday.
“It has been fun working with them and watching them and let them do what they are capable of doing,” he added.
After 10 years as a contender, the Nationals are now following a different script.
“It hasn’t affected us too much at this level,” Lord said of the organizational reboot.
“I have enjoyed working them. We didn’t trade any of our guys away but we did receive three new guys from Oakland.”
Guasch and Shuman were each expected to make their third starts since the trade with Wilmington this week.
Guasch, signed as an international free agent by the A’s in 2018, was slated to go Wednesday (weather permitting) at Aberdeen against Baltimore’s farm team, with Shuman slated to pitch Thursday, according to Lord.
Shuman was a sixth round pick out of Georgia Southern in 2019 by Oakland.
Millas was a seventh-round pick the same year out of Missouri State. He hit .333 in his first eight games with the Blue Rocks.
Guasch went 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA in 13 appearances for High-A Lansing this year.
Shuman went 2-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 13 outings for Lansing.
The switch-hitting Millas hit .255 in 59 games for Lansing.
Wilmington pitcher Zachary Brzykcy, who signed with Washington last year, said it has been interesting to have players from a different organization join the club.
The former Virginia Tech pitcher noted there are differences between the farm systems of Oakland and Washington, though he didn’t elaborate.
Despite those differences, general manager Mike Rizzo hasn’t hesitated to make deals with the A’s over the past several years.