Nationals manager Davey Johnson isn’t happy with his team’s offense, which enters tonight’s series opener against the Phillies having averaged 3.38 runs per game, the second-worst rate in the league. Looking for a quirky way to motivate his team, Johnson says he will not shave until the offense makes an appearance:
The Nationals manager apologized for his scraggly appearance before Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, but he added: “I figured I couldn’t get any uglier, so what the heck.”
The 70-year-old Johnson says it’ll be hard to notice his facial growth because it’s gray and doesn’t grow fast.
Said Johnson: “Maybe I can change the luck.”
With the news of Danny Espinosa’s broken wrist, Bryce Harper getting banged up, and Jayson Werth on the DL until June, the Nationals are going to leaning even harder on Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond, two of their only sources of offense this year.
A number of teams are making calls about Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson these days, as is the general nature of the offseason. Per Jason Kinander of FanSided, there have been some preliminary trade discussions between the Dodgers and the White Sox, though a formal deal doesn’t appear imminent and any potential competition from other clubs is still unknown.
Pederson, 26, has enjoyed quite a run with the Dodgers over the last five years. A perennial 25-home run hitter (when healthy), he slashed .248/.321/.522 with 56 RBI, an .843 OPS, and 2.7 fWAR through 443 plate appearances during the 2018 regular season. Following the Dodgers’ unsuccessful postseason campaign, Pederson agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract in advance of the arbitration deadline, and is currently slated to remain under team control through the 2020 season.
Despite his relative affordability and clear value to the club, shedding Pederson from their roster would allow the Dodgers to pursue the kind of right-handed hitters they need to balance out their 2019 lineup. It’s not certain what the White Sox are prepared to give up, but Kinander mentions right-hander Carson Fulmer, lefty reliever Aaron Bummer, and recent draft pick/third baseman Bryce Bush as a few possibilities.