Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see which player's stock is rising or falling.
Team slash: .269/.339/.426
Team ERA: 5.17
Runs per game: 6.2
Max Scherzer, SP: 2-0, 12.2 IP, 18 K
Another start, another win for Scherzer, who continues to make his case for the NL Cy Young Award. In fact, the Nats have won the last nine starts he’s made, while he’s posted a 2.87 ERA and 69-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio over that span. In Sunday’s season finale, the 31-year-old right hander will get a shot to earn his 20th win, a feat that would put the finishing touch on a stellar second season in D.C.
Reynaldo Lopez, RP: 1-0, 5.1 IP, 6 K, 0 ER
Given the circumstances, Saturday’s outing by Lopez might have been the finest of his rookie season. Coming in relief of Joe Ross in the third inning, the 24-year-old flamethrower tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings against the Pirates on the night that clinched the NL East title for the Nats. The performance was so impressive that Dusty Baker said after he’d consider adding Lopez to the playoff roster as a long man.
Yusmeiro Petit, RP: 2 GP, 0-1, 2.0 IP, 5 ER
The Nats have a little over a week to configure their 25-man playoff roster, and the hardest part of the process might be putting together the bullpen. As mentioned earlier, Baker is considering adding Lopez as a potential long man. If that’s the case, would it come at Petit’s expense?
Lucas Giolito, RP: 1 GP, 2.0 IP, 4 ER
The Nats starting rotation — especially when healthy — was obviously one of the driving forces of the team’s NL East title. That said, one of the more disappointing developments of 2016 was Giolito not emerging like the club hoped he would this year. Whether it was in a starting role or out of the bullpen, the 22-year-old prospect never quite showed the elite fastball he was said to have in the minors. Instead, he's throwing his heater in the low 90s, not fooling anyone in The Show. Of course, there's plenty of time for Giolito to progress and become the top-line starter the Nats expect him to be someday. But for now, there seems to be a larger-than-expected gap between what he is and what he could be.
Tim Tebow started his professional career Tuesday with the New York Mets instructional league team with a game against the Cardinals in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
He had about the best start you can think of, hitting the first pitch he saw over the left center field fence.
Tebow decided to take a swing at the major leagues after his pro football career flamed out.
The Denver Broncos picked him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and he played in 23 games for them, one of them a dramatic win over the Steelers in the first round of the 2011 playoffs.
He couldn't find his rhythm the next season and was traded to the Jets in March 2012. He was released the next year, then eventually spent short stints with the Jets and Patriots.
He tried his hand at broadcasting, taking a job at ESPN as a college football analyst in 2013 before taking one last shot at the NFL. He signed with the Eagles in 2015 but was released after their fourth preseason game.
There was a bit of controversy surrounding Tebow's move to baseball, a sport he hadn't played full-time since 2005. People questioned whether the former Heisman Trophy winner actually had what it takes, or if he was only getting a shot because he's Tim Tebow and the Mets wanted publicity.
So far, so good.
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