Washington Nationals News: Nats face tough decision with Matt Belisle nearing return
Today’s District Daily features stories on the Washington Nationals’ bullpen and the importance of this week’s series against the Cubs.
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 discusses a difficult roster decision the Nationals have to make in the near future. As Ladson writes, Matt Belisle is nearing his rehab assignment limit — and manager Dusty Baker will have to decide who to demote to make room for him in the ‘pen.
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The problem, of course, is that the Nationals’ bullpen has been lights-out of late (with the exception of Jonathan Papelbon). Belisle’s replacement, Sammy Solis, has dominated since the team called him up in late-April, and it would be hard to justify sending him back to Syracuse.
At the end of the day, this is a good problem for the Nationals to have. The bullpen was a mess last season, and this year it has an excess of dominant arms. Nevertheless, Baker and the Nationals will soon have to make a very difficult decision.
Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell discusses the importance of this week’s series against the Cubs. As Boswell writes, the Nationals have been playing very well of late, but the Cubs are the best baseball team on the planet.
The series will be the final regular season meeting between the two teams, and it could give us a preview of what we might see in October.
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.
Nats face tough decision with Belisle near
WASHINGTON — On May 29, right-hander Matt Belisle was on a rehab assignment for Double-A Harrisburg when he said he was ready to come off the disabled list and pitch for the Nationals. Two weeks later, he is still on a rehab assignment, this time for Triple-A Syracuse.
So, when will Belisle, who has been on the 15-day DL since the end of April with a strained right calf, return to the Major League team? Even manager Dusty Baker doesn’t have an answer. Read full article here.
Nationals have reasons to be happy, but the Cubs could change that outlook
(Thomas Boswell, Washington Post)
The Washington Nationals are happy, jumping all over each other with glee after beating the Phillies on Sunday evening. The Nats are red hot, winning games because of everybody on their roster, not just big-name stars. The Nats are chasing old Jayson Werth far out into right field to swamp him, rip off most of his shirt and tousle his shoulder-length shaggy hair until, coming out of a pack of delighted teammates, he looks like a grizzly bear being dragged out of his cave.
(The Cubs are coming. Watch out.)
That’s the scene on a warm cloudless Sunday night, with most of the Nats celebrating nearer to the warning track than to the infield; and that is the mood after the oldest man on the team, Werth, 37, gets the toughest of clutch hits — a down-to-the-last strike two-run single, smoked into center field on a 95 mph fastball off Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez — to turn what would have a bitter one-run defeat on Sunday into a 5-4 win and a sweep of their three-game series. Read full article here.