Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga penned a lengthy but must-read column on the dysfunction that has arisen within the Nationals’ clubhouse, including a heated incident between Jayson Werth and manager Matt Williams. As the Post’s James Wagner wrote last night, Williams briefly commented on the column prior to his team’s game, though he offered little beyond the fact that perhaps the whole story wasn’t told. “I think you have to have all the facts. I mean, all of them,” the manager said. “That being said, I’ll hold my comments for now because all of the facts aren’t out there. It doesn’t feel good to have all of these words said. But, it is what it is and we move on from today. I would say that we have a few games to play and we need to play. That’s what I’m concentrating on now, and we’ll deal with it at the appropriate time.”
A few more late-season notes on what looks like a soon-to-be-changing Nationals roster…
- Jordan Zimmermann has most likely made his final start with the Nationals, writes Wagner in a second column. Zimmermann himself acknowledged the strange reality that he may be with a new team next year, admitting that it weighed on his mind a bit in the days leading up to last night’s start. Zimmermann noted that any team will “have a shot” in free agency and it remains to be seen if the Nats will come calling. He sounded like a man not expecting to return, however, telling Wagner, “I made some great friends along the way. I’m going to miss these guys.” Teammates Wilson Ramos, Gio Gonzalez and Ian Desmond all offered the utmost praise for Zimmermann, with Ramos saying, “It’s pretty hard. I want that guy on this team,” and Gonzalez referring to his longtime rotation-made as a “…bulldog, a workhorse, a top-of-the-rotation son of a gun.”
- Doug Fister will also probably be with a new team in 2016, as the Post’s Chelsea Janes writes. Though he struggled in 2015 and was eventually demoted to the bullpen, Fister doesn’t feel that the move to the bullpen is permanent. “I still think I have a starting role somewhere, whether it’s here or somewhere else,” he explains to Janes. The two sides discussed a contract extension at one point in the past, per Janes, but even a qualifying offer now may seem too risky a proposition for the Nats. Fister says he feels no regret over not signing a multi-year deal previously and hasn’t given much thought to free agency just yet, with the exception of the fact that he’d like to sign somewhere that will give him an opportunity to return to the rotation.
- Matt den Dekker has reworked his mechanics at the plate, writes MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, leading to greater success in his latest recall from Triple-A and perhaps helping him factor into the team’s 2016 plans. According to den Dekker, he’s added a leg kick which helps his timing and pitch recognition. Williams praised den Dekker’s ability to play all three outfield positions and the power he’s shown in 2015. As the manager notes, the Nats’ lineup is very right-handed, so den Dekker’s left-handed bat could be of use going forward.