The Nationals have made yet another move in the outfield after losing a player to injury. As Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post first reported (via Twitter), Washington will select the contract of veteran Alejandro De Aza and place Brian Goodwin on the DL with a left groin strain.
To open a 40-man spot, the Nationals moved shortstop Trea Turner to the 60-day DL. That placement won’t impact his anticipated timeline to return to the active roster. He has been out since the end of June with a broken wrist but has recently resumed batting practice.
While the Nats aren’t in need of wins down the stretch, given their healthy NL East lead, the club nevertheless continues to face significant injury concerns, particularly in the outfield, as it looks forward to the postseason. Washington’s entire original starting outfield — Adam Eaton, Bryce Harper, and Jayson Werth — currently resides on the DL, though the latter two are expected back by the end of the year.
Michael Taylor only just returned from his own DL stint, joining summer addition Howie Kendrick, the lumbering Adam Lind, and youngster Andrew Stevenson in the current mix. That group will now be supplemented by De Aza, who had signed on with the organization on a minor-league deal in mid-June after failing to crack the Athletics roster in the spring.
When he makes his debut with the Nats, De Aza will appear in his tenth MLB campaign with his seventh organization. The former White Sox regular owns a lifetime .261/.328/.398 batting line. Over his 212 trips to the plate this year at Triple-A Syracuse, De Aza has slashed .280/.368/.403. He obviously hasn’t hit for much power this year, with four home runs, but has drawn 25 walks against just 30 strikeouts.
The Nats will hope that De Aza can help hold the line in the same way Goodwin has. A former top prospect, the 26-year-old Goodwin has turned in surprisingly strong numbers since being thrust into an unexpectedly significant role. In his 278 plate appearances this year in the majors, he’s batting .251/.313/.498 and has launched 13 long balls to go with six steals. Goodwins .247 isolated slugging mark and 16.5% home run per flyball rate headline a notable power outbreak for a player who had never seemingly harnessed his tools in the upper minors.