Since the beginning of the season through yesterday, the Washington Nationals have been involved in 57 different roster moves which included many procedural transactions — but too many moves to the dreaded disabled list. It has been head spinning keeping up with all of the roster comings and goings. The Nationals will make three more roster moves today including promoting 19-year-old Juan Soto to the active roster which is now official with Moises Sierra DFA’d and Jefry Rodriguez optioned back to Double-A. Now we are at 60 roster moves for the regular season with many more to come.
A month ago, Soto was punishing South Atlantic League pitchers in Low-A before a promotion to the Carolina League High-A with the Potomac Nationals before his recent short stint with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.
Here is Juan Soto’s game logs this season:
- 16 games at Low-A Hagerstown Suns .373/.486/.814/1.300
- 15 games at High-A Potomac Nationals .371/.466/.790/1.256
- 8 games at Double-A Harrisburg Senators .323/.400/.581/.981
For Soto’s 39 games in the minor leagues in 2018, he has slashed a combined .362/.462/.757/1.218. Those are elite numbers. Now we have to see how those numbers translate to the Major Leagues. Soto came onto the scene in a big way from the Nationals complex in the Dominican Republic to be named the Nationals Gulf Coast League MVP for the 2016 season. It was his first trip to Nationals Park in September of 2016. Who could have foreseen a year and half later he would be playing on this same field.
In Spring Training, Juan Soto got at-bats with his Washington Nationals teammates and with some mechanical tweaks from hitting coach Kevin Long widening his stance with some bend in the knees that looked very much like an amalgamation of Albert Pujols and Daniel Murphy. Soto has always said that fellow Dominican star Robinson Cano was the lefty stance he tried to emulate along with his approach. Journalist Jon Heyman sees a comp for Soto to lefty Tony Oliva. Whoever Soto looks like or compares to — every player is unique.
Soto found his power stroke when he arrived in West Palm Beach for Spring Training. He was a pure hitter last year, but more of a line drive hitter. By getting his hitting plane lower with the widened stance, it has helped Soto’s launch angle.
Soto’s Double-A team was playing a doubleheader close-by in Richmond, Virginia. He was scratched from game 2 of the doubleheader and heads were spinning that he was going to get a call-up. His Harrisburg manager Matt LeCroy broke the great news to him of the promotion.
“The hairs on my arms stood up,” Soto said upon learning of the promotion.
Because the Dodgers are starting lefty Alex Wood, manager Dave Martinez will sit Soto for the beginning of the game.
In jersey numbers, Juan Soto's number 25 was already taken by coach Joe Dillon and Chip Hale is wearing Soto's second choice of numbers #10. He will settle for #22 for his first Washington Nationals jersey. pic.twitter.com/5xYGvO2vws
— TALK NATS ⚾ (@TalkNats2) May 20, 2018
The Nationals need to get back to their winning ways today and salvage this series against the Dodgers. Stephen Strasburg will get the start today. The last time we saw Strasburg he was fidgeting with his neck in a start that did not begin well but finished well as he beat the Diamondbacks while giving up just one-run in 6 2/3 innings.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:35 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market; MLB Network (out-of-market)
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
- Trea Turner SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Mark Reynolds 1B
- Matt Adams LF
- Michael Taylor CF
- Pedro Severino C
- Stephen Strasburg RHP
- Wilmer Difo 2B