rad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Nationals have endured their fair share of injuries this season. Four members of their “full strength” lineup, two starting pitchers, and four relievers have all spent time on the disabledlList. Players that were not mentioned very much at the beginning of the season have been depended on for extended amounts of time and in big situations while their teammates work their way back to full strength. Among these players, four rookies have stood out among the rest as solid contributors on a team that is right in the thick of the pennant race in the middle of August.
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At the start of the 2015 campaign, no rookies were projected to crack the starting lineup, rotation, or bullpen. However, the offense has seen a whole lot of the likes of Michael Taylor and Clint Robinson, with both being given playing time as a result of the absences of Denard Span, Ryan Zimmerman, and Jayson Werth. While Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg‘s DL stints were not part of the Nationals’ plans, the emergence of rookie Joe Ross has opened eyes across the organization. Finally, with extended absences in the ‘pen by Aaron Barrett and David Carpenter, Felipe Rivero has taken his opportunity and thrived in the lefty specialist role.
The league as a whole has gotten younger, with All-Star teams stacked with players under 26. The Nationals are no exception, as they own four rookies that have made a huge impact in their quest for their third NL East crown in four years. With less than two months left in the season, just how important have these rooks been to the Nats staying in the race in the NL East?
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