It’s another week!
The Washington Nationals are playing great baseball (thanks, Doug Fister), and that should continue this week. Check out the latest links from around the Interwebs before a very important week of games/activities kicks off.
Nats appear poised to stand pat at Trade Deadline
CINCINNATI — One has to wonder if the Nationals are going to make a move before Thursday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. At first, it seemed they didn’t have to make a major move, until Ryan Zimmerman injured his right hamstring against the Rockies last week.
Although nothing has been announced, Zimmerman is expected to be out a long period of time. That’s prompted the Nationals to inquire about Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, but the Nationals were rebuffed, according to two sources.
With Zimmerman out for a while, Anthony Rendon will play third base, but the Nationals could try to trade for a second baseman. For now, Danny Espinosa will get most of the time at second, but he hasn’t given Washington much offense, Kevin Frandsen and Zach Walters are just backups. Read full article here.
Giolito remains atop Nationals’ updated Top 20 list
[Lucas] Giolito was considered to be the top prep pitcher in the 2012 Draft class until a sprained ulnar collateral ligament shut him down in early March. The Nationals made him the No. 16 overall pick anyway, signing him to a well-above slot deal. Giolito made one professional appearance before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned to the mound in July of 2013 and showed the same premium stuff that first got the attention of scouts.
Giolito has gotten stronger as he gets further away from his surgery and has as much potential as any pitcher in the Minor Leagues. He showed as much in 2014, making the Futures Game.
Giolito throws his fastball in the mid- to upper-90s, often reaching 100 mph. He throws a hard, 12-to-6 curveball that is almost as good as his fastball. His changeup isn’t as well developed as his other two pitches, but it has the potential to be a third above-average Major League offering. He has good command and an advanced feel for pitching. Read full article here.
Rizzo has pride in Thomas upon HOF induction
CINCINNATI — White Sox great Frank Thomas‘ career was celebrated when the slugger was inducted into the Baseball of Fame on Sunday afternoon. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, the person who signed Thomas to his first professional contract, was unable to attend the ceremony because of the upcoming non-waiver Trade Deadline on Thursday.
“I talked to Frank and told him how I proud I am of him,” Rizzo said. “Sunday comes at a really busy time for us here in baseball where you have Trade Deadline stuff to worry about. I felt it was more important to be here with the team. I will be [with Thomas] in spirit, and I will watch Frank’s acceptance speech and have a lot of pride.”
In 19 big league seasons, Thomas hit .301 with 521 home runs, 1,704 RBIs and a .419 on-base percentage. He also won two American League Most Valuable Player Awards (1993-94). Rizzo called Thomas one of the best right-handed hitters of all time. Read full article here.