On the season finale with the Angels, you have to wonder if they will be able to get their way into a wild card spot for the post-season. If they do, you never know if the Nats and Angels could meet in October. It is certainly a long-shot, and most likely this will be the last time that these two teams meet in 2017, and the next time they could play each other in other in the regular season projects to 2020. It gets you thinking what these 2 rosters will look like in 3 years, and Mike Trout would be in his final year with the Angels under his current contract. In 2020, Pujols would be 40-years-old and in his second-to-last season under his 10-year contract with the Angels. How time flies! Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg will hopefully still be pitching to them, and Trea Turner at shortstop and Adam Eaton in centerfield, but imagine how different these teams will look in 3-to-5 years.
Say what you want about Bryce Harper, but Trout is the perfect example of a superstar who has only been with his team once to the post-season and they were swept in 3 games in the 2014 ALDS and Trout batted .083. It is something rarely talked about in the Trout and Harper comparisons. You can see the Trout treatment. He seems to get the benefit of the doubt, but last night he was called out on strikes on a pitch that was millimeters from the top of the strike zone and Trout unloaded on homeplate ump Tony Randazzo who did not eject Trout. We have seen Harper called out on strikes for more egregious calls, and tossed out of the game for far less. There seems to be different treatment for these superstars.
Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia is putting in his own split-squad line-up today in a day game after a night game. Trout, Andrelton Simmons and CJ Cron are his only regulars in there today.
The Nationals will make a 40-man move today to move Brian Goodwin to the 10-day DL with a groin strain and will replace him with journeyman outfielder Alejandro De Aza. The corresponding move on the 40-man roster was to move Trea Turner to the 60-day DL which means the earliest Trea can now return would be on August 31st. The Nationals had literally run out of healthy position players on the 40-man roster except for Raudy Read and Jose Marmalejos. Many had hoped this would be the time to call-up Victor Robles, and the thought probably crossed Mike Rizzo’s mind for a split second before deciding that he did not want to start his MLB service time clock.
Once De Aza plays the outfield, he would officially become the 13th outfielder the Nationals have used this season which is the second most in the MLB. De Aza who is 33-years-old has now been with 7 MLB teams, and the Nationals are his 3rd team he has played for in the NL East. De Aza who is left-handed has been mostly used as a batter in matchups with right-handed pitching.
In other disturbing news, the issue with Ryan Madson’s finger is not a blister, but another issue that is being evaluated by doctors.
We discussed this morning the four positions that Howie Kendrick had never played before were
rightfield, shortstop, pitcher, catcher. It almost foreshadowed that Kendrick would debut in rightfield today because, why not with all the injuries. As analyst, it looks like a bad move given that today’s starter Tanner Roark is a finesse pitch-to-contact pitcher, and a corner outfield of Adam Lind and Howie Kendrick is not a top defensive outfield. We will see how it works out for Dusty Baker and the team. As we have seen in the past week that defense has saved many runs.
The Angels start righty Ricky Nolasco today, and the Nationals are familiar with him from his time with the Marlins. Jose Lobaton is a career .667 batter against Nolasco….in 3 at-bats. Howie Kendrick is a career .333 against Nolasco and most everyone else is looking forward to improving their lifetime stats against him.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network (out-of-market), FOX Sports – West, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® Sirius 216 XM 183 (Internet 869)
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
Here's how we're lining up for afternoon ⚾️. pic.twitter.com/eJVS4sXPt8
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 16, 2017