A few notes on the Nationals after the team has just suffered a sweep at the hands of the Orioles…
- Danny Espinosa has a slight tear in his hamstring and will require four weeks to recover from the injury, Nationals manager Matt Williams told reporters, including CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman (Twitter link). As such, his 2015 season is over. Despite the disappointing results of his team, Espinosa can call it a year knowing that he did quite a bit to restore his stock as a valuable Major Leaguer in what was an excellent rebound campaign. Espinosa’s production at the plate — a .240/.311/.409 batting line — wasn’t stellar, but it came in just a bit below league average, which, when paired with his excellent glovework at second base, made him worth about two wins above replacement. It’s a dramatic turnaround from the combined .200/.255/.326 that he batted from 2013-14 and should be enough that the Nationals wouldn’t even consider non-tendering him — a concept that would’ve seemed plausible entering the season.
- General manager/president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo wouldn’t commit to retaining Williams when asked during a radio appearance on the Grant & Danny Show on 106.7 The Fan. As The Fan’s Chris Lingebach writes, Williams instead said that all evaluations will take place after the season. “We’re certainly going to evaluate this season when it’s over, and we’ll do everything we have to do to make the season in 2016 better than the season in 2015,” said Rizzo. Lingebach also offers additional quotes from Rizzo, stating that the organization will be evaluated “from general manager’s office all the way down to the 40-man roster.”
- Doug Fister sat down with MLB.com’s Bill Ladson to discuss his move to the bullpen and his upcoming free agency. Fister explained that while he was disappointed with the relatively short leash he was given in the rotation, he took the move to the bullpen with a positive attitude and is happy to have proved to himself that he can be a successful bullpen piece if ever needed. However, Fister said that his goal is to return to a rotation eventually, whether it’s with the Nationals or another team. Fister has a 2.25 ERA with a 15-to-5 K/BB ratio in 16 innings out of the bullpen.