Washington Nationals News: Rotation questions loom for the Nats

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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, Federal Baseball’s Patrick Reddington discusses some key decisions that manager Matt Williams and the Nationals will soon have to make regarding the team’s starting rotation.

As Reddington notes, Stephen Strasburg is set to return from the disabled list, and when he does, the Nationals will have to decide whether to keep dominant young starter Joe Ross in the rotation or send him down to the minors. Of course, if the Nationals choose the former, another starter has to leave the rotation—and Doug Fister would likely be the odd man out.

Needless to say, this is not an easy decision for the Nationals to make. Ross has been great in his short rookie campaign, whereas Fister has struggled all season long. But stats alone likely won’t influence Williams’ decision. As noted in the article below, there are several other factors that could be in play.

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For starters, Ross is a young pitcher with relatively little experience. The most innings Ross has thrown in a season was 122 1/3 in 2013. He’s rapidly approaching that mark this season, logging 115 frames. It’s also worth considering that Fister, who is a free agent after this season, has been dominant at times for the Nationals and won 16 games just last season.

For the Nationals, the fact that Strasburg is returning from the disabled list in the near future is great news and should provide a major boost for the rotation. But the ripple effects of his return might alter the Nationals’ rotation for the rest of the season. Or, they might not. One thing’s for certain, this isn’t a bad problem to have if you’re the Nationals.

Also in today’s Daily, ESPN’s Jayson Stark compares the starting rotation of the Nationals and that of the first-place New York Mets.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Washington Nationals’ rotation: Do Nats stick with Doug Fister or Joe Ross when Stephen Strasburg returns?

(Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)

Washington Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg appears to be close to returning, so do the Nats stick with Doug Fister in the rotation when he does, or do they make the bold move of keeping Joe Ross in the rotation going forward?

In his second rehab start with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, as he works his way back from a left oblique strain, 27-year-old Washington Nationals‘ right-hander Stephen Strasburg struck out 11 batters in 5 ⅔ innings pitched on Monday.

“Five and two-thirds, 85 [pitches]. He gave up four hits, two runs, struck out 11. It was a good outing,” Matt Williams told reporters in the nation’s capital on Monday night.

“The plan going forward?” he was asked. Read full article here.

Which rotation is baseball’s best, Nationals or Mets?

(Jayson Stark, ESPN)

It was just four months ago, on the eve of Opening Day, that a dope who looks a lot like me wrote these words about the sure-to-be-awesome rotation of the Washington Nationals:

  • It’s [Max] Scherzer who pushes this rotation to another level, that level in which it becomes fun to start measuring this group, potentially, against the ’71 Orioles, ’86 Mets, 2011 Phillies, etc.

Uh-oh. The 1971 Orioles? The 1986 Mets? The 2011 Phillies? I think that means I was comparing these guys to the greatest rotations of modern times. Oops.

“And now,” one longtime National League scout said to me, laughing, the other day, “they’re not even the best in their own division.” Read full article here.

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