Nationals pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is readying his return from a foot injury, but with Ross Detwiler continuing to pitch well it seems the once-number five starter has no place on the team's roster. Washington isn't interested at this point in making either play a relief pitcher and Detwiler is finally living up to his potential as a former 6th overall pick.
With two number five starters essentially, and another proven big league pitcher in John Lannan, the Nats may be forced to make a move with one of them. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, however, trading Wang at this juncture is not an option.
Stark spoke to a scout who recently saw Wang pitch for the Syracuse Chiefs and says "he's ready now." He continues to write the Nationals stalling with Wang in order to wait and find a fit for him in their staff. They seem content to wait and, with all the injuries they have seen this season, can't take depth at any position for granted.
"One source who passed through Syracuse tells Rumblings the Nationals also have had feelers from other clubs about Wang. But that's one option they don't seem interested in exploring," he writes.
Wang proved last season by going 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 appearances he is back to form after battling major shoulder problems during the 2010 season. There is also loyalty on both sides as the Nats gave him a chance to recover his career.
Keeping Wang makes sense for the Nationals who seem to lose a player every time trade rumors come up based on depth at a position. They at one point had a plethora of closers, then Drew Storen and Brad Lidge went down. Jesus Flores was rumored as a trade chip, then Wilson Ramos tore a ligament in his knee.
Washington is a winning ballclub this season because of their pitching and Mike Rizzo likes to stockpile arms, if they let Wang go they could regret it soon. Also, with Stephen Strasburg's suspected innings limit, Wang could be needed for the stretch run if they are still in contention.
ht Federal Baseball
The Washington Nationals recently released the dates of their promotional days and giveaways this season, and there are some real gems in this schedule.
Among the standard bobblehead giveaways — Daniel Murphy on April 14, Trea Turner on May 12 and Tanner Roark on June 9 — and the highly recommended Pups in the Park days — April 29, May 13, June 10, June 25, September 7 and September 30 — pick the right game and you could get a snow globe, an American flag shirt or even a fedora. Seriously.
On May 24’s game against the Mariners, the first 25,000 fans will get a Max Scherzer snow globe, which has the potential to be the coolest knickknack in your house. Or on June 14 against the Braves — oddly not closer to the Fourth of July — Budweiser is behind the first 15,000 21-and-up fans getting an American flag tank top.
But truly the most unique item on this list is the Nationals-themed fedora, which will go to the first 25,000 fans at the Brewers’ July 26 matchup. How the Nats landed on this promotional item remains a mystery, but if you like hats beyond a traditional baseball cap, this is the game to attend.
Other cool or oddball promotions include the Nats Magic 8-Ball game April 3, the Chewbacca Koozie day May 27, Bryce Harper action figure day August 29 and Oktoberfest beer stein day Sept. 29.
Here's the complete list of the team's promotional days and giveaways.
MORE NATS: Bryce Harper knows why he didn't play well in 2016
Bryce Harper struggled by his standards in 2016 and he says he know why it happened last year. While it was rumored last season that he was playing through injuries, Harper never really missed significant time, nor did he really say that his injuries were the reason for his disappointing numbers.
Speaking with the media today at spring training, Harper hinted at his injuries from last season as he said he was just trying to stay in the lineup every day.
Although Harper's statistics dropped off dramatically from his MVP season in 2015, his numbers weren't entirely awful last year. He still hit 24 homers, drove in 86 runs and he had an .814 OPS.
With a full offseason to heal up, Harper will be a prime bounce-back candidate as he looks to help the Nationals win their third NL East title in the last four years.
Related: Sorry D.C. sports fans, Bryce Harper is a Dallas Cowboys fan