Ho hum just another rainout on the Nats 2017 home schedule yesterday. It’s an inconvenient way to get a day off. More rain today in the D.C. region is expected, but the weather service shows a good chance tonight’s game will be played. Tanner Roark will stay on schedule and pitch tonight. The Nationals as you most likely read or heard acquired Howie Kendrick last night in a trade, and he is expected to be in uniform tonight which will require a player to be removed from the Nats roster as well as from the 40-man roster.
One name that wasn’t on anyone’s trade radar was Howie Kendrick who has only appeared in 39 games this year due to an abdominal injury, a hamstring injury, and earlier this week a hand injury.
The Nationals traded a low-level prospect in McKenzie Mills for Kendrick. The potential was there for the lefty Mills who was just promoted this week to High-A Potomac, and it will be up to the Phillies to further develop him.
In return, the Nationals get a strong right-handed bat to upgrade that part of the roster for the Nationals that has been weak. Kendrick has a .400 lifetime batting average against lefty Clayton Kershaw and .500 against lefty Jose Quintana. To the sample sizes aren’t large however this is the value Kendrick brings as he hits good pitching and especially lefties who he is hitting at a .918 OPS this season. There’s many other lefties that Kendrick hits well, and you can see a pattern here of what Mike Rizzo and staff saw. In his career Kendrick is also fine against righty pitchers.
There could also be a bigger picture angle here in the acquisition of Kendrick that becomes the precursor for the next move so we will wait and see and let Mike Rizzo do his thing before making final judgments.
“It’s great, because you always get an opportunity when you are going into a [pennant] race or being traded to a team in first place already,” Howie Kendrick told the Philadelphia media as he departed. “You have a good chance to make the post-season, and that’s what you live for. Our ultimate goal as players is to win a World Series. I couldn’t think of a better place to be going to.”
Howie Kendrick comes in with a familiarity of Dusty Baker and respect which should add to the clubhouse.
“I’ve known Dusty Baker for quite a while now, and I’ve always been an admirer of his,” Howie Kendrick told the Philadelphia media as he departed. “I’ve spoken to him on a few occasions and said that I would like the chance to play for him at some point. It was kind of cool that I could play for Dusty and play for the Nationals.”
The Nationals placed Stephen Drew on the 10-day DL to make room for Howie Kendrick. Matt Skole was designated for assignment (DFA) to clear up 40-man. Drew has been suffering from an abdominal strain.
This 3-game series with the Colorado Rockies is between post-season contenders, and the Rockies are also making trades to better their team. They had just acquired Pat Neshek from the Phillies to bolster their bullpen. Both teams could make additional trade acquisitions before the series is completed tomorrow during the scheduled doubleheader.
This is also Rockies manager Bud Black’s first trip to Washington D.C. since he interviewed for the Nationals’ vacant managerial position after the 2015 season.
Black is a leading candidate for NL Manager of the Year along with Craig Counsell of the Brewers and Torey Luvello of the Diamondbacks. Dusty Baker is sure to get some votes also, but you usually don’t win when you’re expected to win your division.
Tanner takes the mound tonight to kick off our series against the Rockies. pic.twitter.com/KnDW5F64oH
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 29, 2017