Game #26 Nats adjusting to empty stadiums

Turner scores again; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

The name of the game is baseball and you win by scoring more runs than your opponent. Trea Turner had just tied the Nats franchise record for scoring runs in eleven consecutive games — but the problem in those eleven games was that the Nats only outscored their opponents in six of those games. Other Nats have not been getting the job done on a consistent basis besides Juan Soto, Luis Garcia, and Asdrubal Cabrera.

Baseball is all about consistency over the season. For Soto, he only has 71 plate appearances, and he leads the entire Washington team in WAR. Turner is second most valuable for the and tied with Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer.  The following is the current FanGraphs WAR chart:

FanGraphs WAR as of games played through 8/23/2020

This is what the Nationals are up against in the NL East. Here is the current standings before play today:

This is the 60-man Player Pool we took from a Nationals graphic and updated with green lines to indicate players at the Alternate Training Site in Fredericksburg, red lines for the injured list players, gray lines for players who were DFA’d and no longer with the team, and the blue line are for opt-outs. The orange line is for Tres Barrera who is suspended. You will see players added to the 60-man roster like Drew Mendoza, Israel Pineda, Cade Cavalli and Taylor Gushue were all added after the original player’s pool.

Under the new rules, players who can be traded and named versus a PTBNL need to be on the 60-man Player’s Pool.

One interesting point in an interview with Adam Eaton was that he spoke about starting off slow and how he was affected by playing in an empty stadium and getting in a rhythm. One alternate theory was that it was an adjustment for teams who were used to playing in front of enthusiastic crowds. The other point was playing consistently and the Nats have had many early season cancellations. Some teams like the Marlins, Rays, Tigers, Royals, and Orioles have been used to playing in front of smaller crowds and perhaps that has helped them adjust to the 2020 season.

In roster moves, the Nats said Seth Romero broke his right hand and they have called up Ben Braymer to take his spot as the lone lefty in the bullpen.

The Nats have some clear needs at a week before the trade deadline but at what cost? They could use a lefty bullpen arm as well as a middle of the rotation starter to add some length with the Stephen Strasburg injury. The Nats could use an upgrade at 4th outfielder as well as at third base. Much of that is wish-list versus what would be reality.

“We’re here to win the World Series this year, and that never changes in my mind or in Davey’s mind or the owner’s mind,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “We’re here to win, and we’re very, very competitive. If we see a place to improve ourselves in a deal that makes sense for us, we’re never afraid to pull the trigger.”

Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals 
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch:  6:05  pm EDT
TV: MASN; FOX Sports Florida; MLB Network (out-of-market); MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:


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