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Nats get Meyers back from Yankees

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Nats get Meyers back from Yankees

The Nationals have re-acquired right-hander Brad Meyers after the Yankees sent the Rule 5 draft pick back to Washington following an injury-plagued season.

Meyers, 27, was selected away by New York in last December's Rule 5 draft and was expected to spend the season on the big-league roster (per draft rules). But he landed on the disabled list with a shoulder cartilage injury prior to Opening Day and never returned.

Meyers wound up making only one professional appearance in 2012, giving up eight runs on eight hits in an April 9 rehab start for Class A Tampa that lasted only 1 2/3 innings. He was subsequently transferred to the 60-day DL, where he remained the rest of the year.

Because he spent the season on the DL, Meyers would again have to remain on the Yankees' 25-man roster in 2013 or else be offered back to the Nationals. The Yankees chose to offer him back.

Once considered one of the best pitching prospects in the Nationals' organization, Meyers was 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA in 24 combined starts at Class A Auburn, Class AA Harrisburg and Class AAA Syracuse in 2011.

A fifth-round pick in the 2007 draft who earned organizational pitcher of the year honors in 2009, he was slated to open last year at Syracuse and would have been among the pitchers considered for a promotion in the event of an injury on the big-league staff.

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Nationals coy about how starting pitching will lineup in World Series

Nationals coy about how starting pitching will lineup in World Series

WASHINGTON -- Mike Rizzo declined to say specifically Friday how the Nationals’ World Series rotation would line up. 

“Davey [Martinez] and I haven’t met officially yet,” Rizzo said. “I don’t think the pitching plans will come as any shock to anybody.”

Washington’s sweep of St. Louis in the National League Championship Series presents options. Everyone is rested. And, they needed it.

Despite the sweep, Stephen Strasburg is second in pitches thrown in the postseason, Max Scherzer fourth, Patrick Corbin sixth and Aníbal Sánchez 11th. Houston’s Justin Verlander is No. 1 following his Friday start in New York. Astros starter Gerrit Cole is third.

“You guys can figure it out,” Martinez said to reporters of the pending rotation. “You’ve been here all year. 

“For me, it’s making sure these guys are ready and healthy. These guys have pitched a lot. I want to make sure -- it’s not just about Game 1, it’s about Games 4, 5, 6, 7. We’ve got to make sure we prepare ourselves for seven games and that we do our due diligence on each one.”

The flat, and most likely, scenario is Washington simply decides to throw Max Scherzer in Game 1 and Stephen Strasburg in Game 2. Scherzer would be back in Game 5, if necessary, on full rest. Strasburg would return for Game 6 on an extra day of rest. They could also flip to give Scherzer the extra day. 

Here’s a wrinkle to consider: throw Aníbal Sánchez in one of the first two games. Why? 

Sánchez has been potent in the postseason. He has a 0.71 ERA in two starts. He’s struck out 14 and allowed five hits. Nothing about his ERA is a fib.

If he starts Game 1 or 2 in Houston, let’s say Game 1 for this what-if exercise, Scherzer is bumped to Games 2 and 6 -- with an extra day of rest. Strasburg opens Game 3 at home, then is in line to pitch Game 7 on the road on regular rest. Otherwise, the Nationals will have to massage the pitching later in the series to put their two best pitchers in the most important game.

Think of the argument this way: if the goal is a road split to start, what are the chances a Sánchez-Scherzer pairing could accomplish that? Based on the postseason so far -- and Sánchez’s 2.57 career postseason ERA -- it’s a reasonable consideration.

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What happened when everything stopped for the Nationals?

What happened when everything stopped for the Nationals?

WASHINGTON -- February 18 was the first full squad workout in West Palm Beach, Fla., eight months ago to the day of Friday’s on-field workout during the long break before the World Series. 

Since the entire team officially showed up at the spring training complex, 242 days have passed. That’s 35 weeks. The team has taken 34 days off during that span. 

Day after day. Flight after flight. A white greaseboard in front of the clubhouse informed observers what time certain groups needed to be on the field. Flat screens rotated through slides with departing bus times. Get up, go to the park, follow the schedule, play, repeat. Increase the intensity tenfold in the playoffs. Keep going. And going. Then sweep. And stop. 

What happens then? The next day, when everything stalls with the swiftness of a punch to the face? The season is not over, but the manic run is taking a break. It’s time to go home, if ever so briefly. For the Nationals, this was Wednesday, the first day after the clinch and the opener of a six-day layoff from games. It’s the day which is unlike the others. They didn’t have to come to the park. No workout, no in-stadium maintenance, no anything, really, for almost everyone.

“NOTHING,” Sean Doolittle said of what he did. “Nothing. I woke up at like 11. I took the dogs for a walk and grabbed some bagels from Bethesda bagels. Then realized I didn’t have anything to do, so I went back to bed and slept until 5:30. And then, my wife and I, we had to do some laundry because we moved out of our apartment and we’ve been living in a hotel. We hadn’t done laundry in like two weeks. It was gross. So, we did some laundry. Came back and I watched some ‘Stranger Things.’”

Doolittle’s answer of course included a tangent and demanded a follow-up. Why was he in a hotel? 

“Just the way our lease was set up.”

You, a multi-millionaire, couldn’t extend it? Or pay to have the laundry picked up, for that matter?

“We got a good deal on the apartment and we didn’t have to put a security deposit down,” Doolittle said. “But, they said Sept. 30 you’ve got to be out of there. The last week of the season was a little bit crazy, but it’s all good.”

Anyway.

Count Ryan Zimmerman and Davey Martinez among those who followed a portion of Doolittle’s plan. Unlike him, they have their living residence in order. But, they, too, found themselves a bit lost without a game or schedule, and also exhausted.

“I did nothing,” Zimmerman said. “I woke up and had some breakfast before my family left and went back to sleep until like 2:30 in the afternoon. Woke up, hung around the house with the girls. I think we watched a movie or something. It was rainy that day? Wasn’t it? Then we ordered Chinese food and I went to sleep. It was epic.”

“Wednesday, I was kind of numb,” Martinez said. “I didn’t do anything on Wednesday. As a matter of fact, by the time I settled in, it was 6 o’clock in the morning. I slept until 3. Had some dinner. Went back to bed. That’s how I spent my Wednesday.”

Friday, they were all back on the field. Washington held a light workout and took batting practice. More is to come over the weekend, however it will be conducted in private. The Nationals’ only workout session open to the media occurred Friday afternoon in a cool and breezy Nationals Park. They will simulate a game over the weekend before flying to Houston on Monday morning or venturing up to New York for World Series Media Day. 

The nothing day, so rare and fleeting, has passed. Work has begun again, this time with clean laundry in Doolittle's hotel room.

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