MLB Washington Nationals

5 Players Washington Nationals Need

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5 Player Washington Nationals Need

Evan Habeeb- USA Today Sports

The Washington Nationals stand today at 31-31 and are back in second place in the NL East, 7.5 games back of first place Atlanta. After an impressive doubleheader sweep yesterday of the Minnesota Twins, where we saw Washington overcome a deficit of more than two runs for the first time all year in game 2, and beat the aforementioned Twins, 5-4, Washington has some good vibes going into today's off-day and on their flight to Denver, where they will start a series with Colorado.

Health has been a major theme for Washington this year. They have seen many key players hit the Disabled List, which, coupled with a slow start, is a little less than heartening for both the organization and fans. However, Washington did sweep yesterday's twin bill, which is something they did not do in their magical 2012 season, splitting all three doubleheaders they played, and somehow managing to score as many runs as they allowed. Overcoming a poor start in the second game from Nathan Karns, along with the aforementioned deficit that Washington overcame is not necessarily cause for celebration, but it does show the Nationals seem to be headed in the right direction.

Because of the aforementioned injuries and lack of player production, Washington has had to make some changes to their roster, as we saw yesterday with Tyler Moore and Chris Marrero essentially switching places in the organization. About week or so ago, we saw six roster moves made in one day. With that said, here are five players Washington could really use, either back healthy or from the Minor Leagues.

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Corey Brown: .270/.333/.571 10HR, 25 RBI in Triple-A

Derick Hingle- USA Today Sports

Brown hasn't fared well when he has been on the Major League Roster, with a .179 average over two call-ups, but with Roger Bernadina's 2013, Washington can not do much worse, and will probably not flip flop them, a la Marrero for Moore. If Brown is called up, he'll stay. Or, at least, that will be the plan.

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Ryan Mattheus: 0-0/4.96 ERA/16.1 IP/12 K/.303 BAA

Evan Habeeb- USA Today Sports

Mattheus will be the first to tell you he should have kept a better temper in San Diego, when he punched his locker, breaking a knuckle. Mattheus is probably the only reliever besides Craig Stammen where you feel good about him pitching more than one inning. Mattheus coming back will allow Washington's other relievers to have nights off more often.

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Ross Detwiler: 2-4/2.76 ERA/45.2 IP/23 K/.306 BAA

Brad Mills- USA Today Sports

Bringing Detwiler back is obvious, but he's actually a huge key to the Nationals rotation. Having him back splits up Dan Haren and Stephen Strasburg, and Detwiler is able to keep his team in games.

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Stephen Strasburg: 3-5/2.54 ERA/74.1 IP/58 H/73 K/.216 BAA

Daniel Shirley- USA Today Sports

Strasburg is the "ace" of Washington's staff. So any time he's out of the rotation, the Nationals need him back. He evens out the rotation and dominates hitters, there's really nothing else to say.

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Bryce Harper: .287/.386/.587 12 HR/23 RBI

Ed Szczepanski- USA Today Sports

Washington is 6-13 without Harper in the lineup. 6-13. Batting him third allows Davey Johnson to have total balance in his lineup, or at least go Lefty/Righty/Lefty/Righty/Lefty/Righty with his first five hitters. Harper's first full season has shown what many considered him when he was drafted: a player who could be an X-Factor on his team. So far, he has shown that in 2013.