The Washington Nationals fell back to .500 last night after a tough 5-0 loss in which they only mustered two hits. It was a tough blow to lose their second game in a row after they had won their previous four.
After only getting two at bats in the majors, and spending just 10 days on the roster, the Nationals sent down catcher Jesus Flores to get some more at bats in Triple-A. It's a logical move as the player who had sat out the last two seasons with injuries wasn't getting any playing time in Washington. It's possible that he could eventually return ot his old self, but that won't happen without at bats. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post suggests that infielder Brian Bixler will probably be called up in his place.
MLB Trade Rumors took a look at the Nationals contract situation yesterday. The most notable point was that in their minds Jason Marquis and Ivan Rodriguez seemed to be perfect trade candidates as this season gets going. As they point out, the Nationals can save $2.5 million if they trade Marquis around the deadline, which is quite a sum for a team that will want to attack the free-agent market this winter. Marquis has been very solid to start the season, and if he continues his success his trade value will be relatively strong. Either way, he doesn't project to be part of the future for the Nats at 33-years-old, so in our minds, a trade is likely.
As we suggested last week, with Joe Mauer out of the lineup the Twins may be kicking themselves that they traded Wilson Ramos to the Nationals for Matt Capps last summer. As each week goes on it appears more and more likely that Joe Mauer will not be a catcher for much longer, and Ramos would have been a nice replacement for the future. Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post, however, says the trade was worth it for the Twins as Capps is their closer once again now that Joe Nathan has failed to fully recover from surgery.
This big news accross Major League Baseball yesterday was that Milwuakee Brewers outfielde Ryan Braun signed a five year contract extension which will keep him a Brewer until 2020. The contract will pay him $105 million on top of the $36.5 million he is owed on his current deal. This of course sparked debate close to home about the pending contract extension looming for Ryan Zimmerman. In the past year several players, such as Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki have signed massive extensions and it's looking more and more like that is what the Nationals need to do with their franchise player. We'll have more on that here later.
Major League Baseball...cough...Bud Selig....thinks it will be a good idea to expand the playoff system from eight to ten teams in 2012. That would mean two wild-cards for each league, and a play in round. Of course, it would also mean more revenue for Major League Baseball...not that that has ANYTHING to do with it.
Lastly, while the Philadelphia Phillies may have a killer rotation, this just sucks: