Nats Stop Slide, 8-5 over Mets; First Cuts Announced

The Mets posted a picket fence in the middle innings but the Nats knocked it down with a four-run 5th en route to an 8-5 victory that stopped a three-game losing streak.

Stephen Strasburg made his second outing but was strafed for two runs on three hits and two walks over three and 1/3rd innings. He did, however, strike out five and hit 99 on the (more than likely juiced) stadium gun while throwing 63 pitches, 39 for strikes. Austin Adams came on to stop the bleeding as he got the last two outs in the 4th, issuing a walk, fanning one, and stranding one.

Jose Marmolejos was the only Watchlist player to get the start, as he played 1B but went 0-for-3 with two whiffs.

Here’s how the Watchlist players did yesterday:
   ●   Victor Robles took over CF from Brian Goodwin and drove in two with an 8th-inning single. He was 1-for-2 overall.
   ●   Kelvin Gutierrez subbed for Anthony Rendon at 3B and reached base twice with a single in the 7th and a walk in the 8th.
   ●   Andrew Stevenson followed Bryce Harper in RF and scored in the 8th on Robles’s single after drawing a walk.
   ●   Pedro Severino was the second catcher after Miguel Montero and grounded out in the 8th.
   ●   Wander Suero threw two pitches in the 8th and was removed due to “left side tightness”

Prior to the game, Washington announced Austin Voth had been optioned to Syracuse while Osvaldo Abreu, Jimmy Cordero, Brady Dragmire, David Goforth, Taylor Gushue, Roman Mendez and Cesar Vargas were reassigned to minor-league camp. Today is the first of two scheduled off days in Florida (a third is the day before an exhibition against the Twins on March 27th).

Tomorrow, the Nats play the Astros yet again as the road team in West Palm Beach. Gio Gonzalez is expected to pitch while the game will be broadcast locally on WJFK 106.7FM and (*sigh*) 1580AM after the start of the Caps game.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

10 thoughts on “Nats Stop Slide, 8-5 over Mets; First Cuts Announced”

  1. Stevenson playing almost every day is an indication that the Nats think either Eaton or Taylor won’t be ready Opening Day. That puts Goodwin in the starting lineup and opens a spot for the 4th OF. Stevenson and Sierra (more of a long shot) are competing for that spot. Suero wasn’t going to come north with the Nats anyway, although he looked to be one of the first RHP callups, if not the first.

    1. Goodwin only plays everyday if Taylor is out. Eaton’s replacement would be Adams, and Goodwin knows it, which is likely why he popped off to the press the other day. In fact, the signing Adams and resigning of Kendrick seems to indicate that the Nats don’t believe in Goodwin as an everyday player.

      1. Everything is still in flux right now. The chatter is still that Eaton will be ready, or close to it, but I imagine they’ll give him a relatively easy workload through the first month.

        Goodwin really seems to be pressing this spring, for some reason. You would have thought that he would feel like he could relax a bit. Goodwin was as good or better offensively last year at the MLB level as Taylor in a lot of stats. He looked like he belonged. Of course Dusty was a mentor and hitting coach for both of those guys, so they may not get as much direct positive energy now.

        I do think Adams will get some time in LF, but FWIW, Goodwin hits LHP a lot better than Adams does. I would bet that Kendrick is going to be full time at 2B until May.

        Stevenson had a lot to prove this spring after flailing so much in his MLB trial last season. He’s done well thus far this spring, but to what end I don’t know. When they bring back a stiff like De Aza who hits from the same side of the plate that you do, you have to wonder.

        All of this said, if the Nats start the season with Eaton or MAT on the DL, my bet would be that the additional OF on the roster would be Robles. I know that’s going to complicate their efforts to get him to the Super Two level, which is going to take about three months in the minors this season, and I know he still needs some polishing, but they’re not going to keep the Porsche in the minor-league garage all summer.

    1. Maybe Ward finally makes his inevitable migration across the diamond to 1B? Although Marmolejos may be holding down that position.

      I’m still not convinced that Gutierrez’s future is at 3B, unless he can find some power. The Nats do seem to think more of him at present than they do of Ward, though. It’s a big year for the future of both of them.

      1. I can see him being converted to the OF; his range and arm would be wasted at 1B, which is where Ward belongs. Marmolejos will probably play 1B and LF for Syracuse so that shouldn’t be an issue.

  2. Does anyone know whether Severino still has an option? That’s an issue I haven’t seen discussed. He has been on the 40-man the last three seasons, as he has made MLB appearances during all three. If he was only added at the end of the 2015 season and not sent down, he wouldn’t have burned one then, though.

    1. Yes. Severino was added to the 40-man in September 2015. His first option was used in 2016. His second option was used last year. I’ve corrected a couple of places on this, as it seems there are fantasy sites that are probably using algorithms to generate out-of-options guys.

      1. Thanks. My hunch is that it’s Montero’s job to lose, unless Sevy has a spectacular last couple of weeks of camp.

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