Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see which player's stock is rising or falling.
Team slash: .301/.371/.444
Team ERA: 2.51
Runs per game: 6.3
Daniel Murphy, 2B: .421 AVG, HR, 5 RBI, 1.259 OPS
Ho hum, just another solid week for Murphy, who continues to build his case for National League MVP. Of his 80 RBI on the season (a single-season best in his career), 24 of the have put the Nats ahead — most of any player in the majors. The question is no longer how long Murphy can keep this up; instead, it’s more about whether or not his numbers will trump those of the NL’s other top hitters.
Anthony Rendon, 3B: .357 AVG, HR, 8 RBI, 1.031 OPS
Don’t look now, but Rendon is starting to resemble the guy who finished fifth in NL MVP voting two seasons ago. In his last 10 games, he’s hitting .342 with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBI. The hot streak's helped Dusty Baker’s find a nice sweet spot in the batting order for Rendon, placing him in between Murphy and Wilson Ramos. If the 25-year-old continues to produce like this down the stretch, the middle of this lineup can be as dangerous as any contender in the NL.
Trea Turner, CF: .300 AVG, HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB
At long last, the Nats may have found their leadoff man. As if you needed any more proof that the Turner is ready for the job, look at what the he’s has amassed in just 19 games this season: a .312 average, four triples, eight stolen bases and a mammoth home run to left field that measured in at 450 feet. The 23-year-old speedster can do it all, including making the switch from second base to center field, where he’s looked increasingly comfortable by the day.
Yusmeiro Petit, RP: 2 GP, 0-1, 2 ER
Okay, perhaps this is a little nitpicky, because Petit hasn't been poor by any means. But he was put in a tough spot last Saturday against his old team, the San Francisco Giants, coming into the game and having to pitch multiple innings after rookie Reynaldo Lopez only lasted just four frames. Petit pitched two scoreless innings until losing steam in the seventh, yielding the game's decisive runs on two hits, a walk and a sac fly.