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Washington Nationals Roundup: Anthony Rendon placed on IL, leads to roster changes

Washington Nationals Roundup: Anthony Rendon placed on IL, leads to roster changes

The Nationals dropped the first two games of the home series against the St. Louis Cardinals to wrap up a rough month of April. Two more games against the Cardinals remain as they turn the calendar over to May.

Here's the latest news on that Nationals:

Player Notes: 

NATIONALS:

3B Anthony Rendon was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 27, with a left elbow contusion. Rendon was hit in the left elbow by a pitch on April 20 and tried to give it a go on Friday, but he's still not 100 percent. The earliest he'll be able to return is on May 7. Dan Jennings will take his spot on the active roster.

Nationals purchased LHP Dan Jennings contract from Double-A Harrisburg after sending Rendon to the IL. In his first game with the club he was thrown into action with two-thirds of an inning pitched with one hit, one walk and striking out one batter.  Jennings put up a 3.22 ERA in 72 appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers last year and allowed one run over his first 3 2/3 innings in Double-A this year.

RHP Austin Adams was designated for assignment to open a spot for Jennings on the 40-man roster. Adams allowed one run in his lone appearance with the Nats this season, though he had an impressive 2.70 ERA and 20/3 K/BB ratio through his first 10 innings in Triple-A. It's possible he'll draw some interest.

OF Adam Eaton homered and added a single Tuesday against the Cardinals. Eaton hit the first of back-to-back homers off of Adam Wainwright in the third inning, yanking one down the right field line and just over the wall. It was just his second long ball so far this season, as Eaton hasn't been hitting for much extra-base pop. He's getting on base plenty, though, with a .357 OBP.

OF Victor Robles followed Adam Eaton's solo shot against the Cardinals to lead off the bottom of the third inning with a dinger of his own, as he lifted a towering blast into the bullpen. Robles' rate stats haven't been great, but he's been excellent so far from a counting stats perspective, especially considering he's spent most of the year batting ninth.

SP Anibal Sanchez fanned seven but allowed three runs over five innings of work Tuesday in a loss to the Cardinals. Sanchez was cruising through three, facing just one above the minimum while notching six strikeouts. He then got into some trouble in the fourth, allowing a two-out single to Jose Martinez and walking Molina in a nine-pitch at-bat to load the bases. Kolten Wong then laid down a perfect bunt to push in a run and Harrison Bader followed with a two-RBI single. He’s now 0-4 with a 5.91 ERA. Sanchez has a tough matchup in Philadelphia on Sunday.

CARDINALS:

OF Dexter Fowler was out of the Cardinals' starting lineup Tuesday because of the flu. He should be fine after a day or two of rest. Jose Martinez took his spot in right field and batted fifth Tuesday against Sanchez. Martinez was 2-3 with a walk and scored a run. 

RP Luke Gregerson is scheduled to throw a live batting practice session Wednesday at Nationals Park after a minor league rehab assignment due to a shoulder injury. Gregerson posted a 1.64 ERA with 10 strikeouts over 11 while in the minors. He should be activated off the injured list before the end of the week and could pitch against the Nats.

3B Matt Carpenter struck out in his first four plate appearances before drawing a walk to finish his Tuesday night against the Nationals. He wore the golden sombrero and narrowly missing donning the platinum sombrero when a Dan Jennings 3-2 offering in the ninth missed. The Cardinals' offense has been red-hot but Carpenter has yet to get in on the fun, as he doesn't have a single extra-base hit over his last nine contests. Remember, he was awful last April too, before taking off for a four-month run.

RP Andrew Miller recorded his first save as a Cardinals by retiring the only two batters he faced in Tuesday's win over the Nationals. Jordan Hicks was unavailable after throwing in three straight. Miller came on with a runner on in the ninth to get a strikeout and popout to end it. Missing bats hasn't been an issue, but Miller has had trouble throwing strikes this season. Still, he's surely second in line for saves behind Hicks.

Injuries:

3B Anthony Rendon: Elbow, 10-Day IL

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Plantar Fasciitis, 10-Day IL

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-day IL

RP Trevor Rosenthal: Flu, 10-day IL

SS Trea Turner: Finger, 10-day IL

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 10-day IL

Coming Up:

Wednesday, 5/1: Cardinals @ Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park 

Thursday, 5/2: Cardinals @ Nationals, 4:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park 

Friday, 5/3: National @ Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET, Citizens Bank Park

Source: Rotoworld

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Reports: MLB owners approve deal on coronavirus-induced measures for 2020 season

Reports: MLB owners approve deal on coronavirus-induced measures for 2020 season

Major League Baseball’s team owners have reportedly voted to approve a labor agreement between the league and its players union that implements a series of measures designed to help baseball weather the coronavirus outbreak.

Several changes were reported Thursday evening before the owners ratified the agreement.

Among them were a transaction freeze, the assurance that players’ service time clocks would be unaffected by any suspension or cancellation of the season, a reduction in the number of rounds in the next two amateur drafts, a potential delay to the international signing period and the adjustment of arbitration rules to avoid penalizing players for lower counting stats during a shortened season.

More details emerged Friday as reporters collected information surrounding the deal.

- According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the 2020 season will not begin until three major thresholds are met: 1) The bans on mass gatherings in states with MLB clubs are lifted, unless MLB decides to host games at neutral sites or without fans instead. 2) There are no travel restrictions. 3) Health experts deem it safe for both teams and fans to attend games.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that signing bonuses for players drafted over the next two years will not increase as was originally outlined in the current collective bargaining agreement. It’s a decision that agent Scott Boras has called “unconscionable.”

- Passan also added that MLB would consider running a combine for amateur players ahead of the next two drafts and that drug-related suspensions will be still served in 2020—but if the season is cancelled, then those suspensions would be waived.

- While not clear if part of the agreement itself, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reported that the commissioner’s office has “an understanding with all 30 teams” that their non-player employees would be paid through April 30. A decision has not been made as to what will happen after that.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated that it’s unlikely MLB will be able to play a full 162-game season, but that both the league and its players hope to play as many games as possible—with ideas like scheduled double-headers and fewer off days on the table.

No firm date was given as to when MLB hopes to begin its season.

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Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña are earning comparisons to MLB greats. What can we expect in Year Three?

Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña are earning comparisons to MLB greats. What can we expect in Year Three?

Juan Soto ventured into enemy territory last summer when his friend and contemporary Ronald Acuña emerged from the visitor’s dugout at Nationals Park and began to chirp at him.

The pair hit it off when together for the MLB All-Stars in Japan during the 2018 offseason. When they exist as rivals -- at least by the standard of being in the same division -- they still joke, hug and admire. Any comparison of the two will not be centered on vitriol. They’re having too much fun hammering baseballs in their early 20s.

Should the season restart, Soto and Acuña will start their third year in the National League East. It won’t be a full season. We already know that because of the current hiatus, but it may be enough to have another reputable look at next steps for each. And where they already are is comparable with any young duo in the history of the game.

Here are the totals from their first two years in the league:

Acuña: 67 home runs, 130 OPS-plus, 9.9 WAR.

Soto: 56 home runs, 140 OPS-plus, 7.4 WAR.

Acuña is 22 years old. He has a Rookie of the Year Award and fifth-place MVP finish on his ledger.

Soto is 21 years old. He finished second to Acuña in Rookie of the Year voting in 2018. He finished ninth in MVP voting last year.

Their mutual beginnings are so potent, a recent pairing to compare them to is Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

Sounds ambitious. If not flatly hyperbolic. And, when it comes to Trout, it is.

He compiled 19.4 bWAR in his first two full seasons at age 20 and 21. That’s more than Acuña and Soto combined. Trout was intertwined in a who-is-the-best debate with Harper at that point. That discussion is long over.

Harper’s 8.9 bWAR the first two seasons (age 19 and 20, respectively) falls right in line with Acuña and Soto. He was essentially the average of the pair.

Let’s dial back to other young stars.

Mickey Mantle finished with 12.2 bWar across 1952 and 1953, when he was 20 and 21 years old, respectively. Willie Mays pulled together 14.4 bWar in 1951 and 1954 combined. Mays was 20 years old in his first full season. His 21-year-old season was abbreviated, and 22-year-old season non-existent because of military service. Hank Aaron compiled 7.6 bWAR in his first two years when playing in his age-20 and age-21 seasons for the Milwaukee Braves. And, just as a head-shaking aside, it’s always fun to point out Mays was a 24-time All-Star and Aaron a 25-time All-Star. Decent efforts on their part.

So, what came in Year 3 for everyone listed above?

Trout was named MVP after a 7.7 WAR season at age 22. Harper was hurt, then put together his best year, his MVP season in 2015 when 22 years old.

Mantle had a strong 6.9-WAR season when he was 22 years old.

Mays, then 24, went crazy his third full season in the majors: 51 homers, 13 triples, a 1.059 OPS, .659 slugging percentage, 79 walks and 60 strikeouts. Put it another way: Mays had more combined homers and triples than strikeouts in 1955 when he was 24 years old. And yet, he finished fourth -- fourth! -- in 1955 MVP balloting behind Roy Campanella, Duke Snider and Ernie Banks.

Aaron finished with a .923 OPS and 7.2 WAR in year three.

Soto and Acuña will be hard-pressed to reach similar WAR totals in a shortened season. However, they still have another decade for future comparisons and to keep chasing the ghosts of the greats.

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