Quick Links

Nationals roster review: Aaron Barrett


Nationals roster review: Aaron Barrett

Age on Opening Day 2016: 28

How acquired: 9th round pick, 2010 draft

MLB service time: 1 year, 144 days

2015 salary+bonuses: $514,200

Contract status: Likely arbitration-eligible (Super-2) in 2017, free agent in 2021

2015 stats: 40 G, 29.1 IP, 28 H, 15 R, 15 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB, 35 K, 1.193 WHIP, 3-3, 4.60 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 0.0 WAR

Quotable: "It stinks, obviously. But I know the return rate is good. I was in good care with Dr. Andrews, and I know that I'm going to come back even stronger." — Aaron Barrett

2015 analysis: On the heels of an eye-opening rookie season, Barrett figured to hold a prominent role near the back end of the Nationals' bullpen. But as was true of most members of that group, he never found a groove and couldn't solidify his key role.

Barrett actually pitched better than the numbers suggested, though. Despite a hefty 4.60 ERA, he cut his walk rate in half from his rookie season (from 4.4 per 9 innings to 2.1 per 9 innings) while continuing to strike out batters at a good pace (10.7 per 9 innings).

Turns out his problem was physical. Barrett ultimately admitted he was pitching in pain most of the season. He landed on the DL in June with a biceps strain, then finally spoke up in August after being told he was being demoted to Class AAA Syracuse. An MRI revealed a torn elbow ligament, bone chips and a bone spur. He underwent Tommy John surgery and now faces a long road back from the injury.

2016 outlook: Barrett won't figure into the Nationals' plans for the majority of the season. It's possible he won't even return to pitch at all in 2016, if his timeline for recovery falls around the latter stages of the typical 12-to-18 month prognosis.

The track record for full recovery from Tommy John surgery is strong, and certainly the Nationals have guided many pitchers through the process. But it will be long, tedious road for Barrett, who probably won't begin playing catch until shortly before spring training and won't throw off a mound until the rest of his teammates have returned north for Opening Day.

If all goes well, Barrett could go on a rehab assignment next summer and then possible rejoin the Nationals' rotation in August or September. How effective he is, and what role the club gives him at that point, remains to be seen.

Quick Links

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

Quick Links

The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.