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Wang takes over fifth spot in rotation

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Wang takes over fifth spot in rotation

After a rough stretch of four starts, and the timely return of Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler is headed back to the bullpen. Davey Johnson informed reporters of the move after the team's win on Saturday.

Wang was the original plan for the fifth spot in the rotation and will now return to the role. Wang pitched three innings on Friday, his first appearance of the season, and earned the win after allowing three hits and a solo home run.

Detwiler took advantage of the opportunity early on this season and held a 1.64 ERA through the month of April. Since, however, he has allowed at least three earned in his last four games. His walk totals are up and he has been pulled earlier in games.

Detwiler is 3-3 on the year with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.274 WHIP. He will take the role of long relief, a spot he had mixed results in last season. Johnson said he realizes the former sixth overall pick still has a high ceiling, but that Wang brings more experience and a more accomplished rsum as a starter. Wang twice won 19 games as a member of the New York Yankees.

Wang has been a starter his entire career and has little experience pitching out of the bullpen. He is known for warming up extensively before starts and being a slow starter in games. In 11 games with Washington last season he went 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA.

Johnson had Wang slotted fifth to begin the year, but on March 15 he suffered an injury to his left hamstring. He sprained the hamstring while fielding a ball and running to get a player out at first during a spring training game. The 32-year-old Wang was placed on the disabled list and has since made rehab appearances at Hagerstown, Potomac, and Syracuse.

Wang is a seven-year MLB veteran, he spent five seasons with the Yankees before sitting out 2010 with shoulder injuries. The Nationals signed him in February of 2010, but didn't see him fully recover and pitch for them until July of 2011. He re-signed with the club in November for a one-year, 4 million contract.

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Will Mike Rizzo continue to shape the Nationals? The Junkies believe he's too valuable to lose

Will Mike Rizzo continue to shape the Nationals? The Junkies believe he's too valuable to lose

Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Gio Gonzalez and Matt Wieters aren't the only important guys within the Nationals organization becoming free agents in 2019.

President of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo is also becoming a free agent when his contract expires on October 31st.

In the final year of his five-year contract, the 57-year old is set to make $2.5 million.

RELATED: HOWIE KENDRICK RETURNING TO NATIONALS

Since joining the organization, Rizzo has turned the team into a legit World Series contender. They've won four division titles in the last six years under his guidance, but have been unable to get over the NL Division series hump. And even though that's a glaring red mark on his resume, Rizzo knows the success he's brought to the organization. 

When you look at what we accomplished,’’ Mike Rizzo said in a recent interview, “it’s really unsung and underappreciated. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished here. I like it here. I love the city. I love the team I put together. I like being a GM in the NL East. And I want to stay here. I just think I deserve to be treated like some of the best GMs in the game are, too.

Rizzo is talking about GM's like Cubs' Theo Epstein and Yankees' Brian Cashman, who've received big paydays over the last year.

I know we haven’t won the World Series, but I get tired of hearing how we can’t win the big one, or we can’t get out of the first round. We haven’t had that many chances.

Does Rizzo deserve an extension? The Sports Junkies think he does, but with GM's like the ones above cashing out, they can also see him wanting to test the open market.

"Why wouldn't they?", said Jason Bishop, noting his track record.

"There's a sense he wants to test the market," said Eric Bickel. That's the vibe I'm getting from him."

Rizzo is a weekly guest on the Junkies and has said that the organization will figure it out. However, the 2018 season may be the last time for a long time the Nats have a real shot at making a run before they lose some of their stars to other teams. If Rizzo does take that into consideration and decides to go elsewhere, the Junkies don't see him having any issues finding employment.

"If there was a time to roll, it would be after this season when you get your last run with this group," said Eric Bickel. And then If they don't pay you what you think you deserve, he'll be snatched up in 22 seconds."

RELATED: BEST OF NATS' RACING PRESIDENT TRYOUTS

If they do decide to sign him to an extension, will it be a long, drawn-out ordeal? The Junkies disagree on that one. 

"He is too valuable, Jason Bishop said. He's too valuable. You gotta ink him to a deal sometime during the season."

Luckily for D.C. sports fans, long, drawn-out extension talks aren't foreign to them.

To see their full discussion, click the media player above. 

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Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years

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Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years

WASHINGTON  -- The Nationals have agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with outfielder Howie Kendrick, a deal subject to a successful physical.

Agent Pat Murphy confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Monday. USA Today was first to report the deal.

Kendrick, 34, hit .293 with seven home runs and RBIs in 52 games with Washington after he was acquired from Philadelphia. The versatile right-handed hitter got just three plate appearances off the bench in the playoffs.

In 12 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Dodgers, Phillies and Nationals, Kendrick is a .291 hitter with a .755 OPS. He's now primarily an outfielder for Washington after playing left field, second base, first base and other positions throughout his career.