On St. Patrick’s Day, Jeremy Hellickson signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals, and he started the season for the Nationals in extended spring training with the minor leaguers and no guarantee he would ever be called up. As it would turn out, Hellickson has become a key piece of a starting rotation looking for consistency. He has been exceptional on the road this season with a 2.83 ERA and even better on regular rest where his ERA is 2.76. Couple that with Hellickson’s pitch count, he is very good up to 75 pitches. The 31-year-old’s consistency is defined narrowly as a pitcher who is very good when his analytics are adhered to.
Those Hellickson analytics will dictate when his outings should be cut short. First time through the order, his opponents are held to a sub-Mendoza .191 followed by a .236 batting average the second time through the order. The third time through the order is a “Splendid Splitter” slashline that must be avoided and that is Hellickson’s issue that opponents hit him at .400 when they face him a 3rd time in a game.
Whether or not that 3rd time through the order has more to do with stamina or the hitters seeing him better is up to debate, but modern analytics have made it so a pitcher like Jeremy Hellickson can thrive when he pitches to his strengths. With a day-off tomorrow, manager Dave Martinez has the luxury of pushing his bullpen a little harder today.
After yesterday’s disappointing loss, today feels like a must-win — and expect another line-up that will be unique to these 2018 Nationals. This 4-game series should end about 48 hours before the July 31st 4pm trade deadline. Our sources confirm that the Nationals would like to acquire J.T. Realmuto, and it could be completed today if the teams can agree on the package. Our sources also tell us that general manager Mike Rizzo is also talking to the Tampa Bay Rays. Is management waiting on the outcome of today’s game to decide? Maybe that is what the dynamic is.
The Marlins have right-handed Jose Urena pitching today. Ryan Zimmerman is a career 0-6 against him and Matt Adams has one hit against Ureña — a long home run. Anthony Rendon has used up his 3-days of paternity leave allowed by MLB. Will the new papa be in the line-up today? We should know shortly when line-ups are posted. Dave Martinez’s media session is set for 11:30 am.
Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins
Stadium: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB.TV app out-of-network
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: