In Davey Johnsons media session before Mondays game, the Nationals manager revealed two injuries that sound relatively minor at this point. Outfielder Michael Morse was absent from the lineup card and Johnson confirmed it is another issue with his hand. Davey said he didnt know which hand and really had no specific information.Im not really 100 sure. I know he came into the training room after the game he was having trouble with his hand. I think he was looking forward to getting a shot or something so Im just going to stay off of him.Johnson said he will know more once Morse visits with a team doctor.The other injury news deals with relief pitcher Christian Garcia who is now dealing with bicep soreness. Davey said the right-hander felt fatigue in his arm after an appearance in the ninth inning of Saturdays game against Milwaukee. Garcia allowed a two-run homer to Taylor Green and afterwards may have tried too hard to respond, at least in Johnsons opinion.I think he was just out there on cruise control until that home run. Then he turned it up probably a little higher and it probably fatigued him.Johnson added after discussing the injury his plans to convert Garcia into a starter over the offseason. He said nothing will change until the spring where the team may work Garcia to get him ready to begin next season as a starter. It is a decision based on his stuff, but also his injury history of two Tommy John procedures.
I think he could be able to start. You can get a better base in the arm and he has three pitches like a starter would have. Hes got a changeup, curveball, good hard fastball. He would be a candidate for me to start next year, Johnson said.Rotation moving forward:Johnson said he will go with Ross Detwiler, John Lannan, and Gio Gonzalez against the Phillies this week to match them with lefties. He said he wants to go with three right-handers vs. St. Louis in the following series which means likely using Chien-Ming Wang for one more start as part of a six man rotation.On clinching the division:Johnson said he hasnt really thought about the playoffs and the new format and subsequent schedule. He did say, however, that if the team locks up the division soon he will rest his starters down the stretch. On criticism of maybe helping out the Cardinals who are in the pennant race? I really dont give a rats ass what somebody things about my club and who I put on the field to either help somebody else or Im not supposed to rest my regulars after we clinch it, Im resting my regulars. End of conversation. he said.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke on Jayson Werth as a leadoff hitter:You look at their lineup, you look at what Werth is doing. I know hes a scary hitter because he can drive the ball, but hes got like a .395 on-base percentage. If you go through the league and look at lead-off men, there arent that many guys that can do that. Hes doing that and driving the ball with power. Thats really good.
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez became the first former Nationals player (2005-present) to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He was inducted in his first year of eligibility, marking the 52nd first-ballot hall of famer in history.
Rodriguez, who was the first free agent signed by current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, played the final two seasons of his career with Washington in 2010-11. During his time in D.C. he hit .254 six homers and 68 RBI. Pudge's greatest contribution to the Nationals came from his leadership and work ethic. He guided Stephen Strasburg through his rookie season and also helped develop Wilson Ramos so he could pass the torch to him.
During his 21-year career, Pudge made 14 all-star teams, won 13 gold gloves, won seven silver slugger awards, led his league in caught-steeling percentage nine times, and was named American League MVP in 1999 with the Texas Rangers. He became a World Series champion in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. Pudge's 13 gold gloves are the most ever by a catcher, and his 2,844 career hits are the most ever by a player who appeared in 50 percent or more of their career games as a catcher.
In addition to Rodriguez, former Montreal Expos great Tim Raines was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Raines is the franchise leader (Expos/Nationals) in walks (793), runs (947), stolen bases (635) and triples (82). Raines was an all-star seven times and he won a silver slugger in 1986 with the Expos. He is the only player in MLB history with at least 100 triples, 150 homers and 600 RBI in a career, and the only player to steal at least 70 bases in six consecutive seasons.
Related: Bryce Harper wants Nationals to spend money on players, not team store
Bryce Harper isn't one to keep his opinions to himself. The Nationals slugger is outspoken about what he wants, whether that's to "Make Baseball Fun Again" or to make at least $400 million on his next contract.
On Wednesday, he gave his take on how the Nats should be investing their money this summer. Here's Harper responding to a tweet from ESPN's Jim Bowden.
Harper's message: Players over everything else. Sorry, gift shop.
It's plain to see where the 2015 NL MVP is going with this. Obviously, he wants as much talent around him as possible for a chance to win the World Series.
Matt Wieters, a four-time All-Star catcher, and Greg Holland, a two-time All-Star closer, could be significant additions to Washington's roster.
Harper is set to become a free agent in 2018, at which point an organization like the New York Yankees will be prepared to offer him both a massive salary and a massive investment in the players around him.
The slugger probably hopes his current team will try to surround him with winning pieces in an effort to keep him. But if a report about the Nationals' reaction to his contract demands proves accurate, they may have another agenda.
There's Harper drama around the Nationals? Just a regular Wednesday here in Washington.
MORE NATIONALS: Nationals avoid arbitration with Harper, three others