Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Start off your day with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.
While most of us are still trying to recover from last night’s painfully brutal loss to the Red Sox, there’s plenty of news to talk about as the early stage of the regular season rolls on. One topic that made headlines for the Nationals yesterday (for good and bad reasons) was the bullpen.
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As we know, the inconsistency of the ‘pen is one of the reasons the Nationals have struggled this season, as we saw last night with Blake Treinen‘s disastrous seventh inning performance. But the Nationals are taking steps to fix the bullpen, and they took a major one yesterday by designating left-hander Xavier Cedeno for assignment and selecting the contract of Rafael Martin from Triple-A Syracuse.
Cedeno had struggled mightily in his first five starts of the season, posting a 6.00 ERA and losing his spot in the bullpen. Since Cedeno is out of minor league options, the Nationals could not simply send him back to Syracuse. And while there’s still a chance he could return to the ball club at some point this season, it looks like his time with the Nationals may be at an end.
For Martin, however, his time with the Nationals is only just beginning. It’ll be interesting to see how long Martin sticks around in the big leagues and how successful he is against big league hitters. But who exactly is Rafael Martin? Learn more about the construction worker-turned big league pitcher in MLB.com’s Alec Shirkey’s article below.
Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga discusses Ian Desmond and how he is coping with his sluggish start to the season. Needless to say, things haven’t gone quite the way Desmond and the Nationals would’ve liked early this season. His defense has been atrocious and before yesterday his offense had yet to click.
Fortunately for Desmond, and more so for the Nationals, there’s still time to right the ship and fix the mistakes he’s been making. He’ll have to fix them soon, however, because while it’s still early, many teams dig themselves into holes in April that are difficult to get out of later in the season.
Be sure to check out the articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.
Former construction worker Martin arrives in big leagues
BOSTON — Once upon a time, Rafael Martin was a Californian construction worker who had no expectations of playing professional baseball. On Tuesday, with the Nationals selecting Martin’s contract from Triple-A Syracuse, the 30-year-old reliever will have the honor of adding “Major League pitcher” to his resume.
“I was kind of speechless,” Martin said after hearing the news on Monday night. “I was like, ‘Are you guys playing with me? What’s going on?’ I kind of looked around, everybody was just smiling, happy for me.”
Martin graduated from Jurupa Valley High School and worked in the construction industry for four years before he signed with the Saltillo Saraperos of the Mexican Summer League as a free agent in 2007. Three years later, he signed a Minor League free agent contract with the Nationals. Read full article here.
On baseball: Nationals’ Ian Desmond knows his slow start is just a slow start
BOSTON — Ian Desmond woke up Tuesday just as he woke up Monday just as he has woken up every morning of this young season, with one clear thought in his head: “This will be the day.” No more errors. Maybe a couple of hits, a couple runs driven in, a win. A comfortable, routine day as a big league shortstop at the height of his athletic career.
And yet . . . this. When the Washington Nationals shortstop arrived Tuesday at Fenway Park, he did so with a clean-shaven face and closely cropped hair, an acknowledgment — superstitious or not — that something must change. At that moment, he had five errors in seven games. Headed into play Tuesday, that was more than 16 teams. Those errors all came in losses. Four of them led to runs — seven unearned runs, in fact, more than just two teams had allowed. Read full article here.