Washington Nationals News: Ben Revere expected to rejoin Nats Thursday

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Mar 16, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Ben Revere (9) follow through on an rbi base hit against the Miami Marlins during the game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Ben Revere (9) follow through on an rbi base hit against the Miami Marlins during the game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories on Ben Revere returning to the Washington Nationals on Thursday and why we should (and shouldn’t) worry about Jonathan Papelbon.

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, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson gives us an update on injured Nationals center fielder and leadoff hitter Ben Revere. As Ladson notes, Revere has recovered from his injury and is expected to rejoin the Nationals when they kick off their four-game set against the Cubs on Thursday. It’s not yet clear if and when the Nationals will activate Revere from the disabled list.

Revere has been out since Opening Day, when he strained his right oblique on his first swing of the season. The Nationals are off to a hot start but have missed Revere’s presence at the top of the lineup. His replacement, young outfielder Michael Taylor, is batting just .185 out of the leadoff spot this season.

Here’s what manager Dusty Baker had to say about Revere’s importance to the team, via Ladson’s article:

"“[Revere] is our igniter. That’s why we brought him here,” Baker said. “We brought him here as a leadoff man to start our engine. We will add another dimension to our team and our offense to go along with what we have now.”"

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg discusses Jonathan Papelbon’s struggles in the closer’s role so far this season. As Greenberg notes, Papelbon surrendered three runs in last night’s loss to the Royals and the veteran right-hander has struggled to fool batters with his pitches this season.

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.

Revere expected to join Nationals on Thursday

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

KANSAS CITY — Nationals center fielder Ben Revere is expected to return on Thursday for the opener of a four-game set against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Manager Dusty Baker declined to say whether Revere would be activated from the disabled list and start in Thursday’s game, but he said the speedy outfielder would be a welcome addition to the top of Washington’s lineup. Revere missed almost a month of action because of an oblique strain. Baker is hoping that Revere will not be in Spring Training mode.

“[Revere] is our igniter. That’s why we brought him here,” Baker said. “We brought him here as a leadoff man to start our engine. We will add another dimension to our team and our offense to go along with what we have now. Read full article here.

It’s time to worry, but not panic, about Jonathan Papelbon

(Neil Greenberg, Washington Post)

Jonathan Papelbon blew his second save of the season on Tuesday night. The defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals scored three runs off five singles in the ninth inning, the second time in Papelbon’s career he allowed at least five hits in an outing.

All closers blow saves at some point during the season, and not all of Papelbon’s underlying numbers show cause for long-term concern.

Next: Washington Nationals: Three Takeaways From 7-6 Loss To Royals

He has issued only one walk to the 51 batters he’s faced this season, and hitters are enjoying an abnormally high batting average on balls in play (.375) compared with his career (.280) and MLB (.293) averages. The latter tends to regress to the average over the course of the season, meaning Papelbon won’t see as many batted balls drop for hits. Read full article here.

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