Washington Nationals News: Harper back in lineup, Ross impresses teammates


Good afternoon DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Get caught up on the latest Nats news with Washington Nationals news and links from around the web below.

We start off today’s Daily with some great news for the Nationals: outfielder Bryce Harper is back in the lineup and batting cleanup in today’s game against the Pirates. Harper, who suffered a mild hamstring strain after slipping on wet grass in Thursday’s game against the Rays, missed just one game after an injury that many feared to be much, much worse.

The fact that Harper is already back in action is by far the best case scenario for the Nationals. When the 22-year-old slugger crumbled to the ground holding his left knee, Nationals fans held their collective breath thinking the MVP candidate’s season could be in jeopardy. Fortunately for the Nationals, the injury was nowhere near as bad as it looked and he’ll be back in the lineup today.

While Harper will be in the lineup today, the Nationals will be without another key player as Yunel Escobar was scratched from the lineup at the last minute. According to the Nationals, Escobar is dealing with a stomach bug.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Jacob Emert discusses the success of rookie starter Joe Ross, who dominated in last night’s win over the Pirates. As Emert notes, Ross has been phenomenal since the Nationals called him up earlier this month and the young right-hander has greatly impressed his manager and teammates.

As Emert writes in his article, his teammates have praised his aggressiveness on the mound and how he is unafraid to face big league pitchers despite the fact that, prior to his call up, he had never pitched above Double-A. While Ross will likely be returning to the minors soon to make room for Stephen Strasburg, the right-hander has certainly impressed in his short stint in the big leagues.

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses the Nationals’ progress in signing their picks from the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. As Wagner notes, the Nationals have signed 23 of their 40 draft picks. The deadline to sign picks is July 17.

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.

Gem makes Ross’ coming-out party official

(Jacob Emert, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — From the manager to the catcher and all the way around the Nationals’ clubhouse, Friday night’s hottest question — What made starter Joe Ross so good? — kept returning the same result.

“He’s aggressive,” manager Matt Williams said after Washington’s 4-1 win over Pittsburgh.

Williams called Ross “aggressive” four times in as many minutes. Closer Drew Storen mentioned his “demeanor” and how he “attacked” hitters. Catcher Wilson Ramos brought up how the rookie didn’t pitch scared. Read full article here.

Nationals sign 23 of 40 draft picks

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

The Nationals announced Friday the signings of 23 of their 40 draft picks from the amateur draft earlier this month. The Nationals have signed eight of the first 10 picks, the rounds subject to the draft pool signing bonus. The Nationals’ allotment is $4,102,700.

The Nationals have signed their second overall pick, 69th overall pick and second rounder Blake Perkins, a high school outfielder from Arizona, and fourth overall pick, fourth rounder Mariano Rivera Jr., a pitcher from Iona College and son of the famous Yankees closer. Perkins signed for $800,000, under the slot value of $893,100, and Rivera signed for max slot value at $410,700. Read full article here.

More from District on Deck