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So yeah, it looks like the Nationals aren't messing around anymore

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USA TODAY Sports

So yeah, it looks like the Nationals aren't messing around anymore

Well, it looks like the Nationals aren't playing around anymore.

In a season where they've struggled to stay near .500, had Trea Turner fail to run out a bunt against the Brewers, had Bryce Harper not running out a ground ball against the Mets, reports of the clubhouse being "a mess", and Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg getting into a shouting match in the dugout, it looks like the Nats have finally had enough of the trend this season.

After trading Brandon Kintzler to the Cubs, a player quietly seen as a clubhouse disruptor, the Nationals have now designated reliever Shawn Kelley for assignment, one day after he threw a tantrum on the mound after giving up a home run in the Nats' 25-4 beat down of the Mets Tuesday night.

"You should never throw your glove. We should act like adults," he said afterward. 

The Nationals selected the contract of righty Jimmy Cordero, who comes up to the majors for the first time. He has a 1.67 ERA in 38 appearances for Triple-A Syracuse in 2018.

It's pretty obvious now the organization is sending a message. What's happened up to this point is unacceptable, and you'll be held accountable for it.

Although, it's a little convenient to do it now.

It's a whole lot easier to make examples of Kintzler and Kelley, as opposed to Harper, Turner, Scherzer, or Strasburg, but it's better than letting the water continue to boil over.

It's no secret the Nationals have been the biggest disappointment so far in baseball. When you have World Series expectations, but can't seem to keep your head above .500, you're bound to have tension around the organization. Fresh off hosting the All-Star Game and seeing the franchise superstar win the Home Derby, the Nationals had tremendous momentum heading into the second half. 

Then Strasburg and Scherzer got into. Then Turner didn't run out the bunt. The clubhouse rumors soon followed.

There were reports that said Kintzler was identified by the Nationals as the anonymous source to those reports that painted the Nats' clubhouse negatively. 

As Chelsea Janes wrote in the Washington Post, "Some within the organization speculate the deal was as much about Kintzler’s willingness to speak his mind in the clubhouse as his performance. Kintzler was open about the effects his usage and workload had on his performance, though he was pitching to a 3.45 ERA in 45 appearances this season. He was a major presence in the clubhouse, leaned on by veteran starters and less-experienced relievers alike for advice on mechanics and approach."

If you don't like the power a player has within a locker room or clubhouse or the message he's spreading, the obvious decision is to send him away.

This morning on The Junkies, Rizzo was asked about why he traded Kintzler: "Would it be fair to say the phrase 'loose lips sink ships' would be a fair characterization as to why Kintzler was moved?"

"No, I don't think that's a fair characterization," Rizzo responded. "There was a lot of reasoning for trading Kintzler. One was that our bullpen depth has really grown since we acquired him and signed him as a free agent. We've got a big-three back end of the bullpen with Doolittle, Madson and Herrera. We've got great bridge guys, such as Justin Miller stepping up the way he has and Matt Grace pitching the way he has."

"We've got Wander Suero, who we believe has earned a chance to get to the big leagues, and has pitched wonderfully when he's up in the big leagues and great when he's down in the minor leagues, so he's earned a spot. We've got Koda Glover, a guy that we really liked and is going to be a good big-league pitcher for us back from rehab, so he's an option for us. We've got a kid named (Jimmy) Cordero down there that throws 100 miles an hour, that's really taken the next step up, so we may see him soon. So we had great depth."

If you notice, Rizzo never mentioned Kelley in that long answer. Shortly after his appearance on 106.7 The Fan, the Kelley news broke. 

Rizzo did go on to say that they "want players who care about the name on the front of the jersey more than the name on the back of the jersey. That's the demand that I make of them and if we don't get that then we have an issue."

It all makes sense looking back on it now. 

Will it work? The Nationals have 56 more regular season games to find out. 

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Austen Williams lands on 10-day IL

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Austen Williams lands on 10-day IL

The Washington Nationals fell to the Miami Marlins 3-2 Friday night. Here's the latest Nationals and Marlins news:

Player Notes: 

NATIONALS:

Anibal Sanchez took the loss against the Marlins Friday, allowing three over 5 1/3 innings. Sanchez is now 0-2 on the season and holds a 4.91 ERA. 

Second baseman Brian Dozier went 1-for-4 Friday night with a solo home run, his second long ball of the seaon. Meanwhile, Anthony Rendon extended his hit streak to 17 games with a sixth inning double. Rendon's streak is now the longest in the majors this season. 

Washington placed reliever Austen Williams on the 10-day injured list with a sprained AC joint. The Nationals called up RHP Austin Adams from Triple-A Fresno to take Williams' place in the bullpen. 

MARLINS: 

Starting pitcher Caleb Smith kept the Nats' bats mostly quiet to earn his second win of the season, pithching six innings of one-run ball for the Marlins. Smith struck out eight and walked none, the only run he allowed coming on a Juan Soto RBI single in the first inning.

Closer Sergio Romo needed just 10 pitches to sit the Nats down in order in the ninth and record his second save of 2019. 

Left fielder Curtis Granderson went 0-4 with three strikeouts Friday night, but it was Granderson who was hit by a Matt Grace pitch in the sixth inning to force home a run and give Miami a 3-1 lead. That run proved to be the difference, as Washington only scored once more on Dozier's solo blast in the seventh.

Injures: 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-Day IL

SS Trea Turner: Finger, 10-Day IL 

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 10-Day IL

RP Justin Miller: Back, 10-Day IL

Coming Up: 

Saturday, 4/20: Nationals @ Marlins, 6:10 p.m., Marlins Park

Sunday, 4/21: Nationals @ Marlins, 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park

Monday, 4/22: Nationals @ Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field 

Source: Rotoworld

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What to watch as Nats continue three-game series against Marlins

What to watch as Nats continue three-game series against Marlins

This is the Nationals’ first time in Miami this season, and the team finished with a 3-2 loss against the Marlins on Friday night. Here are a few things to look for as they enter the second game of the three-game series against the Floridians: 

  1. Friday night’s situational hitting was poor, NBC Sports Washington’s Todd Dybas reported. The Nats left 10 runners on base in a 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.However, the Nationals’ offense has changed this season. This was exemplified in Friday’s series opener against the Marlins, in which both Adam Eaton and Victor Robles bunted to get hits.
  2. Eaton singled on a bunt in the first inning, eventually scoring on a Juan Soto RBI single, while Robles also reached base safely in the third following Eaton’s strategy and then stole a base. These creative plays helped get men on base, but again, more often than not they stayed there. Brian Dozier hit his second home run of the season in the seventh inning, a solo shot which gave the Nats their second and final run of the night. Dozier had a rough start to the season, and after Friday’s game, he has just two RBIs – both via solo homers. He has a batting average of .182, and he’s lost playing time to Howie Kendrick as the season has moved forward. Kendrick has a batting average of .477, the highest on the roster.
  3. Anthony Rendon continued his hit streak, extending it to 17 games with a double Friday. This is the longest hitting streak in the MLB this season, as well as the third baseman’s personal record. Within the organization, Rendon is chasing Hall-of-Famer Heinie Manush’s record, which stretched to 33 consecutive hits in 1933. Can he get another on Saturday?

 

Download the MyTeams app for coverage from NBC Sports Washington of the Nationals/Marlins game on Saturday. The game broadcast will be at 6:10 PM ET on 106.7 the Fan and MASN2. 

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