Many machinations just took place over the All-Star break to get some extra arms to Dusty Baker’s bullpen until a 5th starter is needed on Tuesday. All indications will be that Edwin Jackson will be activated and start that game on Tuesday after an easy 3-inning tune-up last night for Triple-A Syracuse. In the meantime, Dusty Baker will have an 8-man bullpen for the next 4-days as Trevor Gott and Austin Adams with the 7.3 BB9 were both brought in to take Joe Ross’ spot who was put on the 10-Day DL with an elbow injury and Sammy Solis was optioned back to Triple-A.
Austin Adams has 6 walks in his last 5 games in Triple-A against 8 strikeouts, but he has only given up 1-run in the last 30 days. Adams, who is right-handed, has really been a righty killer this year holding opponents to a .167 batting average, but don’t let him around lefties who have a 2.31 WHIP against him.
The Nationals return from the All-Star break and will be playing without Daniel Murphy. It could be a “rest day” for Murphy so we will have to see what’s what. Last year at this time, Murphy returned from the All-Star game with a leg injury.
Tonight’s starters are Gio Gonzalez against righty Tim Adleman. The Nats have never faced Adleman before.
Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo can use this time in Cincinnati to talk to Reds’ general manager Dick Williams about doing a deal. The Reds have several players who could solve some of the Nats more pressing issues.
As we mentioned over a month ago, Raisel Iglesias is an under-the-radar closing candidate. The Nationals also need a back-up catcher who can hit off of the bench and Tucker Barnhart could be that player. He comes with team control, and hits at Nationals Park better than any other ballpark in the Majors where he has a .571 batting average in a sample size of 23. Yes, small sample size, but regardless Barnhart is a .273 hitter this season and could be a starter for about 20 teams including the Nationals. Also consider that Matt Wieters has an opt-out after this season and Barnhart is team controlled for a few more year. In addition, Zack Cozart is having one of the best seasons for any shortstop and just played in the All-Star game and the Reds must trade him before he leaves for Free Agency. With Cozart, the Nationals could move Trea Turner back to a rover spot to play some centerfield and also available if needed in the infield. With Turner’s right wrist injury, playing centerfield will be easier on his throwing arm.
Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds
Stadium: Great American Ball Park,100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
1st Pitch: 7:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, FOX Sports Ohio, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 186 Sirius 134 (Internet 869)
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Brian Goodwin CF
- Wilmer Difo SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Stephen Drew 2B
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Matt Wieters C
- Chris Heisey LF
- Gio Gonzalez LHP