Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.
In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses how the Nationals can improve despite the recent onslaught of injuries they have suffered along with the ones they suffered earlier in the season.
As Wagner notes, the Nationals already have Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon on the disabled list, and there’s a good chance Denard Span will be joining them there shortly. With the injuries, the Nationals are forced to play with a lineup that is half of what they hoped it would be going into the season. But, as Wagner writes in his article, there are still ways for the Nationals to improve.
For one, the bench has to continue to exceed expectations. The Nationals’ bench, which was one of the team’s biggest concerns going into the regular season, has been surprisingly solid this season and has helped make up for some of the injuries. While the bench has been far from perfect and there’s certainly room for improvement, the likes of Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson have been crucial for the Nationals this season, and their continued success will be essential down the stretch.
While the bench is able to keep the team afloat with all of those key players out, the Nationals could also look outside the organization to improve the team. As Wagner notes, there are several players the Nationals could go after, such as the Athletics’ Ben Zobrist.
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But the Nationals don’t necessarily need to make a trade to help make their situation better. After all, the team is safely in first place in one of the weakest divisions in baseball and the players it has should be enough to help it survive this recent string of injuries. Plus, the Nationals have been carried by their starting pitching all season long, and the rotation should still keep the team competitive no matter how many other players are out.
As Wagner says in his article, the Nationals can only hope that their injured players return soon. After all, getting Zimmerman, Werth, Rendon and Span back in the lineup for the second half will do more to help the team improve than any trade possibly can.
Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Ben Raby has a very interesting article on the most memorable moments in the history of the Battle of the Beltways. Be sure to check out his article below, it’s definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.
With all the injuries, how can the Nationals improve?
At some point later Friday, the root of Denard Span’s back spasms should be known, along with a plan for getting healthy, which could likely need a stint on the disabled list. If he does indeed land on the disabled list, Span would join fellow everyday position players Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon, meaning four of the Nationals’ top five hitters are out with injuries.
Ian Desmond, Wilson Ramos, Bryce Harper and Yunel Escobar are the only Nationals everyday projected starters to have avoided the disabled list. Desmond and Ramos, oddly enough, are the only two that haven’t, at least publicly, dealt with any injuries beyond nicks and bruises this season.
If Span needs to be inactive to heal up soon, more strain will be put on the Nationals’ bench, which has been carrying a heavy load already for the past month-plus. Read full article here.
The most memorable moments in the history of the Battle of the Beltways
Local bragging rights will be up for grabs this weekend as the Nationals close out the unofficial first half of the season with a three-game series in Baltimore. The Orioles own a 29-21 all-time edge in the Battle of the Beltways, which dates back to 2006, the Nationals’ second season in D.C.
Here are the five most memorable moments from past Nationals-Orioles matchups (in chronological order):
Belliard’s walk-off homer
June 29, 2008
Before 39,824 at Nationals Park (the largest crowd during the stadium’s inaugural season), Ronnie Belliard hit a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning off George Sherrill to give the Nationals a 3-2 win and a series victory. Read full article here.