What Can Washington Nationals Do About Poor Play?

By Nick Comando
Evan Habeeb- USA Today Sports

The Washington Nationals sit today at 31-32, and are still looking for answers.

Boy, am I sick of writing that sentence, and sentences like that. It’s just getting old. In 2012, Washington won the NL East with 98 victories and never seemed to let any adversity affect them.

This season, they have had multiple key injuries to player like Stephen StrasburgRoss DetwilerJayson Werth, Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper. They have gotten essentially nothing out of Dan Haren, and have had one of the most inconsistent, yet overworked bullpens in baseball. They have tried calling up players such as Erik DavisAnthony Rendon and Ian Krol to try an fix their issues, but simply have not been able to overcome any adversity and injuries, which they were professionals at in 2012.

Everything went right in 2012, and nothing seemingly has in 2013.

So, let’s ask the question: what can Washington do to overcome these issues? A big trade? A big call-up? Sure, but, for now, Washington cannot really do anything. Two of their key starters are on the DL and are supposedly on their way back, and their Harper is going to rest his knee for a week after receiving treatment for it, so he will not be back for at least two weeks.

All Washington can do is sit back and wait for their players to get healthy, but they still need to be productive on the field and control what they can control.

One thing Washington can control is releasing, trading or placing Haren on DL. He really should not get another start in a Washington uniform. He’s looked off all year, and regardless of salary, GM Mike Rizzo is going to have to admit he made a bad investment and pull the plug. When Haren is down in the zone, he’s great, but he just is not doing it consistently.

The veteran may be liked in the clubhouse, but Washington has some young players producing in the minors. They already have Nate Karns on the major league roster, but he has not been any better than Haren. A guy that I believe deserves a chance is Danny Rosenbaum, who is pitching at Triple-A right now and is 5-3 with a 3.44 ERA. Rosenbaum could be a guy to provide a spark, and is young and controllable, and could even be flipped for someone more established at the trade deadline.

Washington’s hands are tied, there’s no two ways about it. Almost every player they’re playing right now is young and needed, though I would play Jeff Kobernus more than Roger Bernadina. All in all, Washington needs to get healthy. It’s frustrating and fans are impatient, but it’s a fact of life right now.

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