Jun 15, 2015, 10:53 AM EDT
Fister set to return this week – The Nationals’ rotation looked excellent this weekend with Joe Ross and Max Scherzer each turning in gems against the Milwaukee Brewers. But with the Nats’ staff struggling overall in recent weeks, getting Doug Fister back will certainly be a welcomed sign.
Fister threw six scoreless innings for Double-A Harrisburg on Friday night with just two hits and no walks allowed against the Trenton Thunder. It was his second rehab outing and he came out of it about as well as the Nats could have hoped. With Ross’ turn in the rotation coming up Thursday, that would seem a good spot for Fister to jump back into the mix.
Nats return home soon for lengthy stretch – The Nationals have two more games to go on their road trip as they play the first two of a four-game split series against the Tampa Bay Rays. After that they return home to play 14 of their next 20 games at Nationals Park.
That should be a good sign for the Nats, who are 16-12 at home this season and just 17-18 on the road. But the opponents they have coming to town will not make matters easy for them.
The homestand begins with two games against the 35-29 Rays, then three against 35-27 Pittsburgh, followed by three against the division rival Braves. They then go on the road to play in Philly and Atlanta before returning to host the 34-30 San Francisco Giants and the Reds, who are 28-34 but swept the Nats in late May.
Who is next in the Nats’ farm system? – Seeing Trea Turner finally join the Nationals’ organization on Sunday got me thinking: with all the prospects the Nats have called up to debut this season – seven of them so far – who is next to get their first experience in the majors?
The answer really isn’t very simple, as most of the top prospects who were close to MLB-ready before the season began have already debuted. Matt Grace, Felipe Rivero, Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole and Rafael Martin would be in that category. Then there were several who came up surprisingly early like Ross and Wilmer Difo.
Pitcher Lucas Giolito is still only 20 years old with 39 total minor league appearances. Catcher Jakson Reetz is only 19 and in his first season in the minors. Reynaldo Lopez looks to have a bright future, but he’s working as a starter and struggling at Single-A Potomac.
According to most top prospects lists, that leaves Austin Voth and Turner as the biggest names left who could potentially debut this year. Voth is also a starting pitcher and Turner plays a position that is very deep on the Nats’ roster right now. Neither would seem likely to debut this season, but you can never say never with how things have transpired for the Nationals so far in 2015.
NL East Standings
Offensive game of the week: Danny Espinosa 6/10 vs. Yankees – 3-for-5, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 R
Pitching game of the week: Max Scherzer 6/14 vs. Brewers – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 16 SO. 119 pitches, 69 strikes.
Quote of the week:
Brewers’ Carlos Gomez on his single to break up Max Scherzer’s perfect game bid on Sunday:
“I got lucky,” Gomez told MLB.com. “I mean, I don’t enjoy it. I would enjoy it if I hit a real base hit.”
Tweet (Instagram) of the week:
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) June 9, 2015
MON – 7:10 p.m. at Tampa Bay Rays (Gonzalez)
TUE – 7:10 p.m. at Tampa Bay Rays (Roark)
WED -7:00 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Zimmermann)
THU -7:05 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Rays (TBA)
FRI – 7:05 p.m. vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Scherzer)
SAT – 4:05 p.m. vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Gonzalez)
SUN – 1:35 p.m. vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Roark)
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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