We may be looking at one of the biggest squanderings of talent in the history of sports.
Alright, that may be a bit dramatic but the Nationals have been an epic disappointment this season.
It’s August 2nd, and the Washington Nationals, a team that was supposed to contend for a World Series title this year, are barely above .500 with a record of 54-53.
This year was supposed to be different. The world has become accustomed to the Nationals blowing it in the postseason, but not this early in the season. This was the year that Bryce Harper was going to explode and show everyone why he deserves to be baseball’s first $400 million dollar man. This was supposed to be the year of five aces, with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, and Jeremy Hellickson stifling opposing batters all season long. This was supposed to be the year that Adam Eaton and Trae Turner could finally show what they could do given a full, healthy season.
The Nationals hopes and dreams seemingly fell apart with the first name I mentioned; Bryce Harper.
Harper is hitting a putrid .226 on the year. He’s on pace to set a career high in strikeouts as well. Sure, he has 25 home runs and is leading the NL in walks, but no one in front or behind him is producing either.
Another factor is the injuries, oh boy the injuries. Stephen Strasburg, Matt Wieters, Ryan Zimmerman, Sean Doolittle, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, Howie Kendrick, Matt Adams, and Jeremy Hellickson have all spent time on the DL this season. Strasburg, who has a long history of struggling to keep healthy, has been the most costly loss for the Nationals so far this season. When healthy, Strasburg is one of the best pitchers in the entire league
The Nationals are 5 games back and have no rumors circulating about potential trades that will better their team. It may be time to do a hard reset. Bryce Harper is a free agent after this season and will likely command an ungodly contract. The same can be said for Daniel Murphy, Gio Gonzalez, and Sean Doolittle. Harper is reportedly being shopped at this moment. Now is the perfect time. Harper’s not coming back, Gio will get good money, as will Murphy. It’s time to replenish the farm system, while still hanging on the major contributors like Strasburg, Scherzer, Turner, and Soto.
The Nats window is closing by the second. The Phillies and the Braves are cementing themselves as the new kings of the division for years to come. The Nationals aren’t getting any younger.
I said the same thing to the Mets, and I’ll say it again to Mike Rizzo. Blow. It. Up.
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