Notes on Kieboom, Taylor, Barraclough and Scherzer

Nationals shortstop prospect Carter Kieboom made a couple of nice impact plays in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in Cleveland.

Kieboom scooped a grounder near the second base bag and threw the runner out to end the third inning and then followed that up with a single in his next at-bat in the top of the fourth. He came around to score the National League’s first run in a 2-2 tie after eight innings. Kieboom finished 1-for-2 with a run scored.

Kieboom-C-Throws-White-Sidebar.jpgKieboom has slashed .320/.431/.590 with 18 doubles, three triples, 14 homers and 61 RBIs in the minor leagues this season. The 21-year-old is building off his 11 major league appearances this season with game experience at Triple-A Fresno. Of course, his time with the Nationals didn’t go as well as he would have liked, but it is obvious he has the skill to play at the top level and is demonstrating he will be an important part of the Nats future where they have a need to build depth: at second base and shortstop.

* Michael A. Taylor returned to playing center field Sunday for Double-A Harrisburg after working as the designated hitter for a couple of games. Taylor collected a double in the Senators’ 7-5 loss at Bowie. He has had a base hit in two of the last three games and is trying to trim down his strikeout total. He’s fanned only three times in his last four games after a run of nine strikeouts in the previous six games.

Harrisburg first baseman Ian Sagdal is scorching the ball, hitting .361 with two homers and nine RBIs in his last 10 games. He has had four multi-hit games during this run.

* Kyle Barraclough blew the save Sunday in his first minor league rehab game for high Single-A Potomac, but the P-Nats rallied for a run in the bottom of the ninth to beat Fayetteville 4-3. Barraclough allowed a solo homer to left fielder Ross Adolph, but struck out three in his lone inning. He threw 17 pitches, 13 for strikes, pitching the bottom of the seventh. Barraclough has missed 18 games with a right radial nerve irritation.

* More from the Nationals clubhouse on Max Scherzer’s mistimed walk-off celebration in the bottom of the eighth Sunday afternoon. After Adam Eaton slid home face first for the go-ahead run, Scherzer ran on the field to high-five the right fielder and for a moment began jogging toward the field to greet teammates, only to quickly realize the game was not over.

“That’s Max. He’s a great teammate,” said second baseman Howie Kendrick. “He has some quirkiness about him, but it’s funny. I enjoy being around Max all the time. He’s probably one of my favorite teammates. All the guys around here, we give him crap, he gives us crap. But that’s just one of those funny things that happens. It keeps us loose, and we had fun with it.”

Could it be that Scherzer was just a little bit exhausted from a week of welcoming a new daughter and pitching seven shutout innings against the Royals?

“You know what? Max doesn’t let it show,” Kendrick said. “He’s a hard worker. I’m really happy that his baby came out well and he was really pumped about having his kid on the Fourth (of July). I think that’s really cool. As any father would say, you’re always happy to have healthy kids. He got back to us and threw a heck of a game and has done what he’s done all year. Like I say, when you’ve got a guy like that leading your staff and everyone else is following him, it makes it fun.”

When you go 7-0 with an 0.87 ERA in your last seven starts, you can dance on the field all you want.

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