As of August 28th, the Washington Nationals still own the worst record in the MLB, but there are signs of life as they have gone 6-8 in the past two weeks. Currently, sitting at 43-85, the Nats are already looking toward next season, and who could blame them? While they did some of this to themselves by trading some of their best players, it makes one wonder if this was part of the plan all along. While we are not saying that is the case, it is not unheard of for sports teams to sell off their better and more expensive players, have a rough season, and look to make a fresh start at the next draft. Truthfully after the 2021 sell-off, all that was left was really just Juan Soto and Josh Bell to trade and that leads to the turn-around.
While things don’t look great at the moment with the MLB product, the Nats have been making some moves in stocking the farm. More specifically, they got themselves a handful of hopeful draft picks that could soon help to turn around. With their first pick in the draft, which was the 5th overall pick, they took Elijah Green. Green is their highest draft pick since they signed Bryce Harper in 2010.
2022 Draft Picks
Alongside their draft picks, thanks to their worst record in the MLB, they also get first dibs on the waiver wire. That means anyone who comes through the wire has to make it through the Nationals before the other teams in the league can even consider them. This gives them the good potential to pick up at least one more decent player to help improve things.
The Washington Nationals really just need to focus on getting through the season and keep looking toward the future. This is a major rebuild season for them and the odds are surely against them, but only for the moment.
Facing The A’s
Going into the series against the A’s tomorrow, the Nationals are currently -115 (money line) on BetOnline.ag. The Nats have only won 6 of their last 14 games and against the A’s in Washington, the bettors’ odds are for the home team in this one. However, if you have some faith in them or know something the rest of us don’t, you may like having the odds against you in some upcoming series.
While the odds are for the Nats in this game, don’t expect the A’s to just roll over and take it easy. The Nats have been rebuilding and have had some success with calling up players from the Minors. The Nats will be looking to turn things around before the end of the season. Could the A’s be the team they face where the Nats finally get things going for them? It’s anybody’s guess now and while the odds are in their favor, only time will tell.
Minor League Call Ups
The Nationals are also making use of their minor league system and calling up quite a few players as of late including Cade Cavalli who will pitch on Wednesday in his second career start, and Luis Garcia returned to the team on Friday. With such a big rebuild going on, they will have to see who is going to work best for them, and at the moment, they surely are not short on choices.
Recently, the Nats called up Alex Call, but now they have seemed to be going with Victor Robles and Lane Thomas, and Joey Meneses has been starting every game and mostly in the outfield. The team’s hottest player right now would probably be Ildemaro Vargas. The infielder has three home runs since his callup, and all have been go-ahead home runs, and two were the game winning RBIs. Both Vargas and Meneses are at +0.7 WAR, and that is impressive with players under 100 plate appearances.
C.J. Abrams was also recently called up and while he also had a slow start at-bat, his first hit for the Nats will be one he will always remember. They were down by 1 run in the 10th inning when he hit a single to drive in the tying run. It didn’t result in a win, but expect Abrams to figure it out with the bat. With the glove, he has shown great range.
Can The Nationals Turn Things Around
Well, we sure hope so, and to be frank, they have been doing everything they need to to try and get things turned around with a stocked farm system that is in the upper half of MLB and just today, two Nats players got Player of the Week honors in Class-A it was T.J. White and in Double-A it was Andrew Young.
Now, it is up to the coaches and player development personnel to get the players on board and make sure they are progressing. While I am sure they all know it will be no easy feat to get back to winning ways, the players need to be on board with the process and trust that the coaches and the club as a whole are making the right moves.
We are already starting to see one or two of their recent call-ups help try and turn things around so hopefully, with a bit of luck and hard work, the Nats can look forward to a much better 2023 MLB Season.