The Nationals could still make a run without Stephen Strasburg

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The Nationals enter today’s action with the best record in baseball at 85-53. Yet with the attention given to the unique situation involving the shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, one would think they would be doomed without him. That’s just not the case. And it’s really a discredit to a well-balanced ballclub.

Nationals starters are first in the majors with a 3.29 ERA, but as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post notes, their 3.31 ERA without him would still be the best. Gio Gonzalez (2.98 ERA), Jordan Zimmermann (2.99 ERA), Ross Detwiler (3.15 ERA) and Edwin Jackson (3.63 ERA) are all among the top 20 in the National League in ERA. Having Strasburg available would certainly enhance their chances of making a deep run in the postseason, but they are still pretty stocked in the rotation.

And that’s not even talking about the other areas of the ballclub. Nationals relievers rank fifth in the National League with a 3.34 ERA, even though Drew Storen missed most of the season following elbow surgery. The offense struggled early on due to injuries to Michael Morse, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth, but with their full lineup finally in place, they are first in the National League and second in the majors with 280 runs scored since the All-Star break.

If the Nationals lose during the postseason, this decision will be questioned. If Strasburg gets hurt next year despite the shutdown, this decision will be questioned. If the Nationals never get this close again, this decision will be questioned. And rightfully so. But regardless of your feelings on the situation, it’s important to recognize that this team is about more than one guy.

Report: Brewers to sign Brock Holt

Brock Holt
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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers have signed infielder Brock Holt. Contract details are not yet known.

Holt, 31, spent most of the last six years as a part-time player with the Red Sox, playing a little bit of a lot of positions. Last year, he hit .297/.369/.402 with 19 extra-base hits, 31 RBI, and 38 runs scored in 295 plate appearances. He spent a majority of his time at second base but also logged time at first base, shortstop, third base, and both corner outfield spots.

It will be interesting to see how the Brewers deploy Holt. His best chances at playing time would figure to be at third base and shortstop.