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Nationals prospect report: Triple-A pitching

Nationals prospect report: Triple-A pitching

The Nats are in a nice position. They have a handful of guys who, if called upon, could make a spot start on short term notice. Not only that, but a few of them are top of the line prospects. Not every team can say that. Here's a look at who's waiting in the wings in Syracuse. 

Lucas Giolito - RHP

Last start (7/31): 5 innings, 5 hits, 4 earned runs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts

Not Giolito's best. The righty has struggled in two of his last three starts at Triple-A, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits in a start on July 12th before a no-run, 7 hit performance on 7/19. He'll be back up in September, but these starts in Triple-A aren't the most encouraging. 

Reynaldo Lopez - RHP

Last start (7/24): 9 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 7 strikeouts

He hasn't started for Syracuse since July 24th, but got sent down when the Nats activated Mark Melancon. He didn't show much better stuff against major league hitters either, so some more time in Triple-A couldn't hurt. 

Austin Voth - RHP 

Last start (8/3): 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts. 

This was the best start for Voth since returning to the team in mid-July. He's still averaging almost 3 walks per game over his last 10 starts, something he didn't have as much trouble with last year. Still, he's getting better with each start since his return, which is all anyone can ask for. 

AJ Cole - RHP

Last start (7/28): 7 innings, 8 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts. 

Cole's been quietly putting together a nice little streak here. He's allowed 3 or less runs in each of his last 3 starts while going at least 6 innings in all of them. He has 6, 8, and 6 strikeouts in the last 3 starts, respectively, and has only walked 1 per game in those outing. He's been a much, much better pitcher the second half of the year. He's even gotten his ERA under 4. 

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Andy Martino of SNY refutes the reports that the Nats are out on Harper

Andy Martino of SNY refutes the reports that the Nats are out on Harper

Despite Mark Lerner's comments to NBC Sports Washington that the team hasn't been in recent contact with Bryce Harper and has filled out the roster, SNY's Andy Martino says not to give up hope.


"Do not believe that the Nationals are out on Harper," Martino said. "People I talk to around the situation are saying don't rule the Nationals out until the moment that Harper signs elsewhere."


Martino believes that the clearest options may not be what they seem.


"The Phillies of course are pursuing him, but I continue to hear they have a tough road to get Harper to come to Philly," he said. "The Phillies are possible but I don’t know that I would call them frontrunners."

After the news of Manny Machado signing with the Padres, all eyes turn to Bryce Harper and how long this continues to drag out. 

The clock is ticking.

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How to watch NBC Sports Washington's full interview with Nationals owner Mark Lerner

How to watch NBC Sports Washington's full interview with Nationals owner Mark Lerner

When Nationals principal managing owner Mark Lerner  see his team lose, he has a postgame ritual that rivals one of the most ordinary passionate fan.

“ I go into a closet and scream a little after,” Lerner told NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas in an exclusive interview in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Friday. “No, no. That’s one thing that’s good about baseball. You’re going to play the next day. But I go home. I’m totally depressed. I won’t turn on the sports news or anything and get up the next morning, it’s a new day, get up and go after it again today. When I’m sitting down there, I’m very passionate as a fan. I’m yelling at the umpires like everybody else. I want to win. I hate losing exhibition games let alone regular-season games.”

Lerner also spoke about Bryce Harper's future - or lack thereof - with the team, Anthony Rendon and what he expects from the team this season.

The interview is now available in full on the MyTeams app, which can be downloaded here.

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