Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for the start of the series with the Braves…
Cade Cavalli, Washington’s top draft pick in 2020, Jackson Rutledge, the Nationals’ top pick in 2019, and Cole Henry, a 2nd round pick by the club in 2020, are the top prospects, 1-3 on MLB Pipeline’s list. All three were assigned to the Wilmington Blue Rocks’ roster for the start of the 2021 campaign on Monday, ahead of the season opener for the Nats’ High-A affiliate.
“I think you can include [Joan] Adon in there as well,” Assistant GM, Player Development, Mark Scialabba told reporters in a Zoom call on Monday, adding the pitcher ranked 16th in the organization according to MLB.com’s scouts to the list of pitchers to watch with one of the club’s two new affiliates.
The group in Wilmington have been working together for a while now, over at the Alternate Training site in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at Spring Training in West Palm Beach, Florida, and now in Delaware.
“It’s a group of pitchers that have been working out together for some time now,” Scialabba explained, when asked about keeping them together.
“Most of them were at the Alternate Site and now they go to big league camp to get some experience, the progression right now is to get them into some — obviously the live competition and continue their development together. We think that breeds some competition, but it’s a friendly competition, and we believe that each and every one of those players belongs there first and foremost, but it is going to be a fun and exciting group to watch. Not only in the starters that are there in Rutledge, Cavalli, Henry, Adon, and we have Evan Lee (No. 24 on MLB Pipeline’s list) who is starting to come on the radar now, pitched extremely well at Instructional League and then carried that into our Spring Training league camp, and then relievers like Holden Powell (20) and Todd Peterson (not in the Top 30) and Matt Cronin (No. 10).
“You have a group of guys and there’s some others there as well that hopefully will surprise us and show what they can do as well. So it’s a very, very exciting, electric group.”
All the minor league rosters were released on Monday. There are links to all of them below.
Go read your links…
— Wilmington Blue Rocks (@WilmBlueRocks) May 3, 2021
Why isn’t F.P. Santangelo on Nationals broadcasts? MASN, Nationals won’t say. – (WaPost)
After missing the Nationals’ weekend series, the color commentator isn’t expected to be back in the booth for the team’s next game Tuesday. His absence is not health-related.
Neither MASN or the Nationals will provide a reason for why F.P. Santangelo hasn’t been on recent broadcasts. It’s also not clear whether Santangelo will return for Tuesday’s game against the Braves: https://t.co/E3HrePUZr5
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) May 3, 2021
Diminished role hasn’t dulled Zimmerman’s production – (MASN)
“Zimmerman’s opportunities have perhaps been fewer and farther between than initially expected.”
Max Scherzer’s wife Erica announces birth of son Derek – (NBC Sports Washington)
“Hours before Derek’s birth, Scherzer struck out nine hitters and walked one in a 106-pitch outing that lasted just two hours and 37 minutes.”
Max and Erica Scherzer welcome third child, Derek Alexander – (Washington Times)
“At 3:42 p.m. Sunday, Max Scherzer whizzed his 106th and final pitch past Corey Dickerson, putting the finishing touches on the Washington Nationals starter’s complete game victory.”
Washington Nationals Max Scherzer baby NL East standings – (wusa9.com)
“Nationals No. 2 hitter Josh Harrison got on base three times in four plate appearances on Sunday versus the Marlins. He’s reached base in 15 of the 17 games he’s played this season.”
The Nationals survived bad breaks to reach first place in the NL East – (WaPost)
After a hellish April, the Washington Nationals should have been buried by their bad luck. Baseball’s gonna need a bigger shovel.
Nationals set minors rosters: Rutledge, Cavalli, Parra among players assigned – (NBC Sports Washington)
“The Nationals’ top pitching prospects are headed to High-A Wilmington and most of the minor-league players on their 40-man roster will be a short flight away at Triple-A Rochester…”
Allow us to introduce you to YOUR Fredericksburg Nationals!
— Fredericksburg Nationals (@FXBGNats) May 3, 2021
Minor league rosters set on eve of long-awaited opening day – (MASN)
“It’s been an astounding 20 months since official Minor League Baseball games were last played, an interminable length of time for prospects, staff members, and fans in communities large and small across America to wait since the end of the 2019 season.”
Where Nationals’ top prospects are starting 2021 – (MLB.com)
“Cavalli, Rutledge and Henry should make as strong a top three of a rotation as can be found anywhere else in the Minors, and the competitiveness of having the trio together could push them to further heights.”
— Rochester Red Wings (@RocRedWings) May 3, 2021
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies, Brewers took different approaches to building roster in offseason – (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“One team prioritized offense. The other improved its up-the-middle defense. It’s too early to draw definitive conclusions, but Milwaukee’s approach has yielded better results so far.”
Can the Mets trust Edwin Diaz to perform all season long? – (SNY – YouTube)
“After a rough outing on Sunday night, giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th, John Harper explains whether or not the Mets can trust Edwin Diaz to be their closer for the rest of the season.”
Marlins pitcher Paul Campbell suspended after positive PED test – (MLB.com)
“Marlins rookie right-hander Paul Campbell was suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone…”
Braves option reliever Nate Jones to Gwinnett site – (AJC.com)
“The Braves demoted veteran relief pitcher Nate Jones on Monday, optioning him to the team’s alternate training site at Gwinnett.”