Aug 13, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
With all their wheeling and dealing complete, the Braves will play out the string and try to find bright spots to carry into 2016. For the next month and a half, that means seeing how their young pitching develops as well as getting their first glimpse of the recently acquired Hector Olivera. The 30-year-old Cuban defector is close to starting his rehab assignment and is expected to join the Braves by the end of the month. Considering what Atlanta gave up to get him, they have to hope he shows signs early that he could be the real deal.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get tougher for the Marlins following a bizarre trade deadline period, starter Jose Fernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right biceps strain. For a pitcher that has already undergone Tommy John surgery and rehab, this is the last thing that Miami wanted to hear. In his short stint since his return, he showed exactly why he’s considered one of the best young right handers in the game: In seven starts, he went 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 53 strikeouts, looking very much like the pitcher he was before surgery. While this latest setback appears to be a minor one, you’d hate to think that Fernandez could be an injury-riddled arm who never gets to realize his potential.
NEW YORK METS
Unfortunately for Nationals fans, the Mets just keep on rolling. They’ve won eight out of their last 10 and now have a 3.5 game lead in the division, and they don’t look like they’re slowing down any time soon.
Of course, not all is lost for the Nats. If there’s one thing D.C. fans should pay attention to, it’s how Mets manager Terry Collins will deal with his starting rotation down the stretch. With the young trio of Matt Harvey (who’s a year removed from of Tommy John surgery), Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, their workload will likely be closely monitored as September approaches to preserve their arms for a postseason run. Will that mean limiting the amount of innings pitched? Shutting down a pitcher or two if they’ve reached their max for the season? Who knows right now, but Collins has hinted that once rookie left hander Steven Matz comes back from injury in September, there could be a possibility of a six-man rotation.
Don’t laugh, but teams might not want to play the Phillies these days. That’s right, the team with the worst record in the majors has gone 17-7 since the All-Star break, suddenly playing inspired ball — though it’s far too late for them to salvage the season. But even if they can’t change the outlook on what’s been a down season, they’re certainly playing well enough right now to make life harder on pennant contenders. They have 19 games left against teams that are currently in vying for a postseason berth, so if they continue to play this way, they’ll could have a say on who gets to play in October and who doesn’t.
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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