With veteran Alcides Escobar sidelined with a hamstring strain, the Nationals had little choice but to turn to Luis Garcia, a former top prospect who came into the year sporting a 79 wRC+ through 386 career plate appearances. Despite a host of veteran signings that seemed to block Garcia from regular playing time, his time has come. Manager Dave Martinez has made clear that Garcia is his starting shortstop from here on out, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. Since taking over, Garcia has hit .352/.368/.519 over 57 plate appearances. That’s obviously above and beyond what the Nats can expect from Garcia, but even developing into an average regular would be a boon for a Nats team with few offensive building blocks beyond Juan Soto and Keibert Ruiz. Elsewhere around the National League…
- The Diamondbacks don’t yet know what their approach will be when it comes to the trade deadline, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. GM Mike Hazen wants to see a little more from his club, who at 30-35 sits 6.5 games out of a wild card spot. It does not sound like the Diamondbacks are willing to move any heralded prospects, no matter how the next few weeks go, but if they remain in the race, Hazen could augment his current roster around the periphery, certainly when it comes to pitching, Gilbert notes.
- Cubs prospect Caleb Kilian is going to be in the rotation for the foreseeable future, and while that’s certainly their long-term hope for him, right now it’s more about need than performance, per The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney. With Wade Miley, Marcus Stroman, Adbert Alzolay, and Drew Smyly all on the injured list, the Cubs are going to let Killian earn his keep in the rotation, at least for a while.
- As for Stroman, he played catch today for the first time since going on the shelf, per Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter). That puts Stroman still aways from a return. No timetable has been put on his official return schedule.