The Nationals are tops in the NL East, mostly because of the work of several surprises. There are youngsters receiving praise down in the minors, and they could become a part of the next great Nats’ teams of the future. Read all about it below.
Nationals plan to let Roark keep pitching
PHILADELPHIA — After Monday night’s outing, Tanner Roark moved further past his previous high for innings in a single season. In 2013, the right-hander threw 159 1/3 innings between Triple-A Syracuse and the Major League club, but his six-inning effort Monday night gave him 166 2/3 innings with the Nationals this season.
Roark, who has gone at least six innings in 20 of his 26 starts and has pitched seven or more in 12 outings, has a 12-8 record, a 2.81 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 2014.
“We are in the business of winning games and we’re going to continue to give him the ball and have him pitch for us because he’s been really, really good,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “But we have to keep on eye where he gets to and how many innings he gets to.” Read full article here.
Severino, Rivero among Nats’ AFL-bound prospects
PHILADELPHIA — The Arizona Fall League announced its preliminary rosters for the 2014 season on Tuesday, and seven players in the Nationals’ organization will head west to compete in the six-week league that begins its season on Tuesday, Oct. 7.
“Approximately 60 percent of our players will reach the Major Leagues,” AFL director Steve Cobb said. “We want fans to know top young professional talent still will be playing baseball in October and November in Arizona.”
Left-handed pitcher Felipe Rivero, the Nats’ No. 17 prospect, and catcher Pedro Severino (No. 12) are among the AFL-bound prospects. Rivero has thrown 49 innings and made 13 starts in the Minors this season, compiling a 3.49 ERA and a 42/17 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Severino, meanwhile, has logged 89 games and 274 at-bats with Class A Advanced Potomac in 2014 and has a .248 batting average with eight homers and 31 RBIs. Read full article here.
Souza named International League MVP, top rookie
PHILADELPHIA — Before his callup to the big leagues on Aug. 3, outfield prospect Steven Souza Jr. was lighting up the International League with Triple-A Syracuse. On Tuesday, it was announced that his efforts — which included league leading marks for batting average (.354), on-base percentage (.435) and slugging percentage (.601) — earned him the league’s MVP and Rookie of the Year honors.
Souza, who is the first Chiefs player to win both MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season, also hit 18 homers, drove in 70 runs and swiped 24 bases. The Nationals’ No. 5 prospect is currently rehabbing from a shoulder injury at Class A Advanced Potomac, and seems poised to be added back to the Nats’ roster when rosters expand on Sept. 1.