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Showalter supports Nats in shutting down Strasburg

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Showalter supports Nats in shutting down Strasburg

The Nationals and Mike Rizzo have taken a lot of heat recently for their plan to shut down Stephen Strasburg due to a team-imposed innings limit. Many in baseball and outside of it disagree with the move, instead believing they team should go for it all this year and ignore their research.

But now a proponent of their decision has emerged, and the name literally hits quite close to home.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked about the move and had this to say:

"'Its foolish if you dont have all this knowledge at hand of where the percentages of breakdowns are, and you dont put it into play," he told Rich Dubroff of CSNbaltimore.com of their own protection of pitchers.

Theyll make a good decision on whats best for him and the organization. Were doing some things all year where Bundys concerned and Gausmans concernedand all of our pitchers, Showalter said.

The Orioles are taking care of their young arms as he said and are expected to shut down Dylan Bundy at around 120.0 innings this season. It is a number they reached based on his workload in recent years on top of decades of research on young pitchers and arm injuries.

Dubroff notes that Showalter and Rizzo are close friends from working together with the Diamondbacks, and like his former colleague the Orioles are sticking with a plan they set before the season even began.

"We had an inning count coming out of spring training on them," he said.

For the full story go here.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.