Jul 23, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see whose stock is rising or falling.
Team slash: .203/.277/.316
Team ERA: 3.83
Runs per game: 3.3
Yunel Escobar, 3B: .318 AVG / .591 SLG / .909 OPS
The Nationals have to hope that Escobar’s latest injury isn’t that serious, being that he’s been one of the few steadying forces in the lineup this season. Think about it: It’s gotten to the point where Escobar, who was thought more for his glove than his bat in recent years, has been hitting in the cleanup spot behind Bryce Harper lately. Of course, part of that is the because the club has been hit with a rash of injuries to key players. But the other part of the equation is that he’s having a career year, hitting .321 with a .366 on-base percentage in 84 games played. For reference, he hasn’t finished a season with a .360 OBP or better since 2011, and hasn’t finished with a .300 average since 2007.
Casey Janssen, RP: 3 GP / 1-0 / 0.00 ERA
There’s been much discussion among Nats fans about whether or not the team has a suitable bullpen option for the eighth inning. Most hoped it would be Blake Treinen (more on him later), but don’t sleep on Janssen, who’s quietly put together a solid case for manager Matt Williams. He hasn’t allowed a run in last four outings while striking out six, walking none and allowing just one hit. His control has been on point most of the season; he’s yielded only two walks in 21 appearances, both coming in his rough outing in Cincinnati in late May. Other than that, the 33-year-old righty has been every bit of the veteran presence general manager Mike Rizzo hoped he’d be.
Blake Treinen, RP: 1 GP / 0.1 IP / 4 ER
Treinen turned in his worst outing as a reliever Sunday afternoon vs. the Dodgers, coming into a 1-0 game and allowing four runs in the top of the ninth to squash hopes of a comeback. Even worse, the hiccup earned him a trip back to Syracuse, with the club promoting farmhand Abel de los Santos to replace him. What’s interesting about the move is that Treinen hadn’t allowed a run in his previous five outings prior to Sunday, and yet he’s back in the minors to work on his consistency. So the Nats really must not have liked what they saw in that one appearance.
Tanner Roark, RP: 2 GP / 2.1 IP / 5 ER
Two games after Treinen couldn’t hold the deficit to just one run, Roark winds up turning in an almost identical outing against the Mets. Coming into the ninth trying to keep the score 3-2, the 28-year-old right hander was charged with four runs in a third of an inning, giving New York more than enough breathing room for a win. Roark’s season has definitely been one of the wackiest of anyone on the pitching staff. He’s been asked to fill just about every role possible, from starter to long man to setup guy, even earning a save as a closer. But for as versatile as he’s shown himself to be, he’s not as consistent as he was a year ago, sporting an ERA of 4.97.
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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