I cannot believe I am asking this question. How far have we come as a fan base where we can even consider missing a player like Jonathan Papelbon? I was at the exhibition game in Nats Park this year. You know the one, the first time Nats fans got to greet Papelbon after choking out the MVP in the dugout last year. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses. A good number of fans cheered to support our closer, and a healthy majority – to put it nicely – let him know how they felt.
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Danny Espinosa recorded 15 RBIs against the Cincinnati Reds this week, landing him tied for third most in a four-game series. Espinosa’s feat has as much inspiration and charm as a picture of Joe Biden in aviators eating an ice cream cone. On its good weeks, baseball doesn’t just impart inspiration and charm on the field, but off it too.
After Wilson Ramos was selected to his first All-Star Game on Wednesday night, he took to instagram to thank God, his family, friends, and fans. The post is not only on par with his great-to-excellent instagram game and an indicator that he’s ready to accept a Grammy, but it’s also a reminder that the ASG can mean more than home field advantage.
Quiero darle las gracias primeramente a Dios por esta gran bendición y sueño hecho realidad… A mi abuelo, que desde el cielo se que está muy feliz por este logro alcanzado, también quiero darle las gracias a mi hermosa familia, amigos y fanáticos por todo el apoyo que me brindaron para estar presente en mi “1er Juego de Estrellas”! Dios los bendiga a todos, “El Buffalo”. I want to said thanks god for bless me and help me to make this dream true… To my grandfather who i know he is very happy for this moment And my carreer also to my beautiful family, friends, fans for all the support you give it to me to be in my first “All Star Game” God bless everybody “The Buffalo”
Ramos earned his spot after losing his grandfather, to whom he was close and whose death caused him to take a week long bereavement leave early in the season. Ramos’ career in the big leagues also includes being kidnapped from his home in Venezuela after the 2011 season. Over the years since, the catcher’s playing time has soared and dropped and soared again due to injuries, while his offensive production plummeted in 2015 after a number of seasons near average.
But this year has been different for Willy: Since his pre-season Lasik surgery, his .340/.396/.563 triple-slash line, 155 wRC+, and 2.7 fWAR lead all qualified catchers in the MLB. Accordingly, he’ll play on a stage with the best in baseball, where he belongs. Plus, it’s a chance to possibly hear Ramos drop inspirational quotes that might rival “Willy, you’ve got to do this.”
Michael Taylor’s sometimes promising but largely inconsistent time in the majors was halted on Monday, when the Washington Nationals optioned the outfielder to Triple-A Syracuse. While the move was needed to clear space for reliever Jonathan Papelbon as he returned from the 15-day DL, it does raise some interesting questions about Taylor’s role with the team.
On Tuesday, Major League Baseball will announce the All-Star rosters for this year’s game. A handful of Washington Nationals figure to be locks for selection, while a few others are in the running as well. Here is a quick look at those who will likely represent the Nationals in San Diego on July 12.
Through the “down” of the tail end of a seven game losing streak and through the “up” of a sweep of the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals off-field exploits, as always, remained a constant. Here they are:
The Washington Nationals may be soon faced with quite a difficult choice. No, not Trea Turner versus Danny Espinosa — I think Espinosa’s seven-RBI performance against the Reds put that to bed for a little bit. The Nats have too many options and too few roster spots. With Stephen Strasburg’s imminent return to the roster and the solid debut from the number one prospect in all of baseball in the form of Lucas Giolito, the Nats now have six potential options for their starting rotation and only five roster spots. Compounding the problem for the Nationals, after a hot start, Gio Gonzalez has not performed well and his struggles and stuff are in stark contrast with Giolito, which makes him and easy target for demotion discussions. Decision time for the front office: Do they keep Giolito up at the major-league level and adjust the rotation or send Giolito back down to Triple-A Syracuse for more seasoning?
This week was highlighted by the promotion of Lucas Giolito to the majors, but that was not the lone transaction that reshaped the Washington Nationals organization. On Monday, the team announced several high-profile promotions within its minor league ranks, including Reynaldo Lopez and Chris Bostick to Triple-A Syracuse, Drew Ward and Andrew Stevenson to Double-A Harrisburg, and Victor Robles and Max Schrock to High-A Potomac.
The Nationals have a thing about calling up stud pitching prospects on Tuesdays in June. The OG of Nats pitching prospects, Stephen Strasburg, set the bar pretty high for MLB debuts. He went seven innings, had 14 sensational strikeouts against the Pittsburgh Pirates and allowed only two runs, both coming on a two-run home run. Despite a one-hour rain delay to start of the game, Lucas Giolito, the next Nats hyped pitching prospect, lived up to Strasburg’s lofty precedent before his night was cut short by yet another rain delay.
The wait is over, as Lucas Giolito is officially a Washington National. The prized right-hander will be promoted to start on Tuesday against the New York Mets, taking the place of Stephen Strasburg, who has been placed on the 15-day DL with an upper back strain.