Jayson Werth has a bum wrist and is expected to be placed on the disabled list. Not that interesting. More interesting? The guy they expect to take his place on the 25-man roster: top prospect Wilmer Difo.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nats are expected to promote Difo, who has only played 33 games above low A-ball. The infielder, who is 23, is as fast as anything and hit 14 homers last year. You can read a scouting report from the Baseball Prospectus folks here. Short version: he projects to be a good everyday shortstop for a contender someday.
What he is today is less-than-clear, at least on the Nationals. He has mostly played shortstop, but the Nats are unlikely to sit Ian Desmond. Danny Espinosa has hit really well. There has been talk of the Nats trading Desmond, but at the moment things are going well for the club. Maybe they’re concerned Anthony Rendon is never, ever coming back from the series of unfortunate events he seems to be suffering through.
Either way, and exciting prospect is heading to the bigs.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.