Continuing with the up and downnature of their season thus far, the Nationals split a two game series with the Mets; winning the first in the 9th and losing the second by nine. Roster moves finally came with the DFA of Zack Duke and Henry Rodriguez and the placing of Danny Espinosa on the DL. In their place, Jayson Werth returned to the active roster and relievers Ian Krol and Fernando Abad were recalled. In further injury news Stephen Strasburg was placed on the 15-day DL for his lat strain. The move was retroactive to June 1 so Stras is eligible to return on June 16. Rainouts and the likely return of Ross Detwiler next week should rid the Nats of needing to call up another starter to fill out the rotation. A rainout on both Thursday and Friday should leave the Nats well rested and ready to get their record to over .500 and begin the process of whittling down the Braves lead in the NL East.
The Twins come to Washington sporting a 26-31 record, having won seven of their last ten but most recently dropped two straight to the Royals. Their offense ranks 22nd in OPS at .700, and they have a bunch of hitters who as a team walk nearly 9% of the time, good for 6th in MLB but they also strike out 20.8% of the time which is in the bottom 1/3 of MLB. Offense is where the positives tail off for the Twins, their starting rotation has the third worst ERA (5.27) and sixth worst FIP (4.84) while having the worst K/9 in baseball at 4.33. The Twins also rank last in defense, having posted a -18.5 UZR as a team through the first 1/3 of the season.
On to the matchups...Read More