It is fitting that the newest addition to the Nationals team is like the old white pages of your C&P phone book if you are old enough to know what that means. Phone books had alphabetical listings from A-Z. Mike Rizzo added a player DE AZA who is the ultimate A-Z-A. This team is missing so many players that even backups to backups are now on the DL like Ryan Raburn and Rafael Bautista who is on the Minor League 7-day DL. Same with Trevor Gott. The following graphic (below) was the actual 2017 Washington Nationals opening day roster with an extra position player as Joe Ross was the 5th starter who wasn’t needed initially.
The Nationals now have 10 of their original 25 projected opening day roster on the DL which is 40% of the team and 12 of the actual opening day players are either on the DL, a DFA or traded which is 48% . The Nats entire opening day outfield of Bryce Harper, Adam Eaton and Jayson Werth is on the DL, their opening day shortstop Trea Turner, plus starting pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross. The entire back of the opening day bullpen is on the DL or traded. Reliever Blake Treinen was traded and Koda Glover, Shawn Kelley and Enny Romero are all on the DL. Bench player Chris Heisey was DFA’d from the DL and Stephen Drew is on the DL. Replacement outfielders Brian Goodwin and Ryan Raburn are both on the DL.
Look at that opening day outfield. Only Michael Taylor is on the roster currently, and he should still be on a rehab assignment but was hurried back when Bryce Harper was injured.
The reason Mike Rizzo had to look to Alejandro De Aza is because he did not have a healthy outfielder remaining on the 40-man roster. The only remaining healthy position players on the 40-man roster in the minor leagues were Jose Marmalejos and Raudy Read. That’s it.
Mike Rizzo does not want to trade for another “legit” starting outfielder as the team at some won’t have room for another outfielder as players return. That’s part of the good news. As you look at the list of the 12 players on the Nats’ MLB DL, every player should return this season except for Joe Ross.
From late last night, Koda Glover sent a message to his fans:
Great report from the doc! Gonna ramp up to get BACK!!
— Koda Glover (@koda_glover) August 17, 2017
But then we have this issue with Ryan Madson:
— MLB Daily Lineups (@DailyMLBLineups) August 16, 2017
Ryan Madson has not pitched since August 12th. That’s part of the problem. The Nationals have players on the roster who are banged up.
Beyond that, there is the on-going discussion why a player who has been on the roster all season has survived as a .153 batter. Yes, that would be Jose Lobaton. The Nationals have 2 starting pitchers with a higher batting average. When Lobaton starts, his team has lost 22 of the 32 games he has started. The team’s winning percentage when Lobaton starts this season is only .313. Manager Dusty Baker said at the All-Star break that the Nationals must improve in day games. Let’s face it, Lobaton generally starts in most day games after night games. But when you look at the 3-game series earlier this month in Chicago against the Cubs, all 3 games were day games and the Nationals won 2 of 3 with Matt Wieters catching.