Once again, it has been a very busy week for the Nationals.
Unfortunately, it has not all been that positive. While the focus should be on the on-field performance of the team and some of its young players performing well, it is the Front Office and Scouting departments that are stealing the spotlight.
Before we dive into that, here are the latest headlines from the actual team:
CJ Abrams Joins 40 Stolen Base Club
Cj Abrams may have cooled off a bit from his scorching July performance, but he is still making noise on the base paths.
Abrams joins Trea Turner and Alfonso Soriano as the only players in Nationals history to steal 40 bases or more. Since Abrams was moved to the leadoff spot in the lineup, he has been on a 90 steal pace. When he gets on, he steals and he's more often than not safe. It got so easy that he's even been stealing third base more.
Jacob Young Walks It Off For Nationals
Jacob Young needs more attention.
The kid has had, quite frankly, a meteoric rise through the Minor Leagues this season, going from High A to the Major Leagues in 2023 alone. Now? He's coming through with a walk off hit to snap the Nationals' losing streak.
Since joining the Nationals, Young is hitting .294 with a respectable .790 OPS while making some highlight plays in Centerfield. Oh, and he also has an 8 game hitting streak going.
Young was a 7th round pick in 2021 and just recently cracked the organization's top 30 prospects, sitting at #29. He is a bright spot for a team that has had their fair share of issues developing prospects.
Luis Garcia Is Being Recalled From AAA Rochester
With the Nationals having an off day today as they return home for a weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, we don't have much more information than what Jesse provided in his tweet. Garcia is already on the 40 man roster, so no one would necessarily have to be DFA'd or moved to the 60 Day IL to facilitate this move. Riley Adams had an injury to his left hand after fouling off a pitch yesterday, so with Drew Millas already on the roster, Adams could be looking at an IL stint for some rest as to not worsen the injury.
Garcia was sent down to Rochester somewhat unexpectedly (very unexpectedly), but now gets a chance to prove himself once again. According to reports, it was more about Garcia's preparation and routine than his actual performance. Hopefully Garcia has things straightened out and can earn an everyday starting spot.
Nationals Let Go Of At Least 10 Scouts
Here's where the news turns sour.
This comes off the heels of Johnny Dipuglia's unexpected resignation last week. The Nationals have now effectively fired at least 10 of their scouts, which depending on your perspective, could be a good or a bad thing.
It's no surprise that the international scouting efforts have not been great, but this doesn't feel so straightforward as a performance-based decision.
We need more information on whether or not these positions will be replaced, but it comes down to this:
If the Nationals are firing scouts to replace them with scouts who hopefully can do better, then it is a good move.
If the Nationals are firing scouts as a cost-cutting measure because the Lerners do not care to further invest in the team, then it is nothing short of a travesty.
Stephen Strasburg Retirement Press Conference Postponed as Nationals Opt To Renegotiate
It is worth mentioning that a player cannot official retire until the details regarding the remainder of his contract are discussed, but this does feel like a bit of backtracking by the Nationals, regardless of the reason.
This is also a story that we need to let develop before we jump to conclusions, but here are my initial thoughts:
Stephen Strasburg gave everything he had and has permanent injuries from doing so. Baseball contracts are fully guaranteed anyways, but Strasburg absolutely deserves to be paid out the contract he signed. He isn't retiring because he wants to. He's tried for 3 years to get healthy and it just hasn't worked. If there is a lesser amount paid or even the remaining amount voided, it should be because Stephen Strasburg offered to do so and not because the Nationals are trying to play the leverage card. Strasburg deserves to be celebrated anything less is an absolute disgrace to someone who would probably have been a hall of famer had he stayed healthy.
With this news and the firing of scouts, it is very difficult not to assume the Lerners are just cutting costs wherever they can within the organization.