While the parent Nationals have a little more than a month to go - six or seven weeks if they can advance to the National League Championship Series for the first time in franchise history - the season in the minors ends tomorrow.
On a won-loss basis, 2017 was a disaster, nestled somewhere on the spectrum between "Ishtar" and Dan Snyder's tenure as an owner. Just two of the seven affiliates finished above .500, the rest finished (or will finish) in last place, lowlighted by the Syracuse...
Long time no see, Nationals fans! Sorry for the hiatus over the past couple of weeks, but have no fear, we are finally back with a new episode of the District 34 podcast!
The Nationals' magic number to clinch the National League East is down to 10, so they can theoretically clinch their second straight division title within a week. That's quite an accomplishment considering how many injuries this ballclub has endured throughout the season.
Byron Kerr and I run through the injury list and...
Manager: Don Mattingly (2nd season)
Last 10 games: 4-6
Who to watch: RF Giancarlo Stanton (.285 average with 52 HR, 111 RBIs); LF Marcell Ozuna (.307 average with 32 HR, 107 RBIs); CF Christian Yelich (.288 average with 70 RBIs; 145 hits); LHP Adam Conley (6-6, 5.02 ERA); RHP AJ Ramos (3.63 ERA, 20 saves)
Season series vs. Nationals: 6-10
Sep. 4: TBA vs. LHP Adam Conley; 7:10 p.m., MASNSep. 5: RHP Stephen Strasburg vs. RHP Odrisamer Despaigne; 7:10 p.m.,...
Bryce Harper is the most important player to the Nationals' success, yet his absence creates an opportunity for the Nationals to find out if they really need him. Ask yourself: How good does a player have to be to be worth what Harper is going to command in free agency, and will Harper really command that much.
The second part of that question is important because if the Nationals decide to offer Harper an extension this offseason, they need to be close to what he and his agent believe he is...
Anthony Rendon and Matt Albers have had their minds and hearts with Texas for the last few days as Hurricane Harvey has devastated parts of the state, including their hometown of Houston.
On Tuesday evening, the duo set up a YouCaring page, raising money to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, with proceeds going directly to the Houston Food Bank plus other area shelters. In less than 24 hours, the page surpassed the original $50,000 goal, which has now been raised to $80,000. More than 600...
How many injuries can the Nationals withstand and still maintain the second-best record in the National League?
Let's hope that question remains rhetorical.
But when an infielder who wasn't supposed to get out of the minor leagues this season and the 13th different man to play the outfield in 2017 are making key plays, it's not a bad idea to keep that question in mind.
At 27, AdriÃ¡n Sanchez had been knocking around the Nats' minor league system for 10 seasons. He'd been hitting .254 at...
For the first six seasons in D.C., Sept. 1 meant one thing for fans of the Washington Nationals: Let's see if any of these minor leaguers might make the team next spring. Like, for example, Ian Desmond in 2009, Wilson Ramos in 2010, and the trio of Steve Lombardozzi, Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock in 2011 (yes, it counts because Milone and Peacock were key pieces in the trade for Gio Gonzalez).
But this season, like the last five, the Nats are playoff contenders and the expectations for the...
A few years ago, Houston Astros mascot Orbit began a friendly squabble with MASN's Dan Kolko. Orbit is known around the league for getting into comical situations with fans, players and teams. He has done everything from tiger hunting to holding interventions to having his own hot dog eating contest to escaping police custody! The past few times that the Nationals and the Astros have met in Houston, there have been plenty of hilarious altercations in games (and on social media) between Orbit...
The Nationals have faced as much adversity possible for a team more than a dozen games up in their division in late August. There exists a subset of baseball fans that theorize that the teams that do best in the playoffs are those that have been battle-hardened by a tough division race or fight for the wild card. This is the typical type of adversity people think of, but the Nationals have faced a different kind and it may prove beneficial when they reach the playoffs this season.
D.C. is the...
For most of this century, the Nationals' full-season Single-A teams have been seeking new stadiums. Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown was built in 1930 and has been hosting professional ball for 61 of its 87 years. G. Richard Pfitzner stadium in Woodbridge was built in 1984 and has been home to the current Potomac franchise since its inception.
There is an axiom in engineering: fast, cheap or good - pick two. Well, both stadiums were built quickly and economically.
However, at the time they were...
Earlier in the year, the Nationals' Single-A affiliate, the Potomac Nationals, held a month-long fans' choice contest for the next big bobblehead idea. The winner, of course, was none other than the dual Jayson Werth and MASN's Dan Kolko bobblehead highlighting one of their most memorable postgame interviews together.
MASN is giving you the chance to win one with its caption contest on Facebook! Simply provide your best caption for this side-by-side photo on the MASN Nationals' Facebook...
Manager: A.J. Hinch (3rd season)
Last 10 games: 5-5
Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.362 with 171 hits, 29 SB), 3B Alex Bregman (.277 with 15 HR, 48 RBIs), OF George Springer (.303 with 28 HR, 70 RBIs), LHP Dallas Keuchel (11-2, 2.58 ERA, RHP Charlie Morton (10-5, 3.69 ERA).
Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (0-4 in 2014)
Aug. 22: RHP Tanner Roark vs. RHP Charlie Morton; 8:10 p.m., MASN2Aug. 23: RHP Edwin Jackson vs. RHP Mike Fiers; 8:10 p.m., MASNAug....
The Nationals can be viewed as either one of the luckiest teams in baseball or one of the unluckiest. But there is a third option and that is that general manager Mike Rizzo knows what he is doing. I would have said before this season that if the Nationals don't have a deep playoff run, Rizzo is as good as gone as GM. There are just some GMs, good enough to rebuild a team but not good at putting those final pieces in place to win it all. Rizzo has started to look like the latter, but this...
Manager: Andy Green
Last 10 games: 5-5
Who to watch: 1B Wil Myers (24 HR, 59 RBIs), LF Jose Pirela (.293/.344/.520), 2B Yangervis Solarte (.271/.347/.426), LHP Brad Hand (2.19 ERA, 10 saves)
Season series vs. Nationals: 1-2
Aug. 17: RHP Edwin Jackson vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin, 10:10 p.m., MASNAug. 18: RHP Max Scherzer vs. RHP Luis Perdomo, 10:10 p.m., MASN2Aug. 19: TBA vs. LHP Travis Wood, 8:40 p.m., MASN2Aug. 20: LHP Gio Gonzalez vs. TBA, 4:40 p.m., MASN2
With the minor league season winding down - Labor Day is the last day - thoughts start to turn to the Arizona Fall League.
In theory, the AFL, which runs from Oct. 10-Nov. 18 this season, is a finishing school for the top prospects. In practice, it's not quite that.
That's not to say that top prospects don't appear; they do, but not exclusively. Pitchers, for example, have a tendency to fit into one of three categories: injured, Rule 5 draft-eligible, marginal.
Consequently, the offensive...
Manager: Mike Scioscia (18th season)
Last 10 games: 7-3
Who to watch: CF Mike Trout (.341, 23 HR, 55 RBIs), DH Albert Pujols (17 HR), SS Andrelton Simmons (.301, 55 RBIs, 17 SB), LF Cameron Maybin (25 SB), RHP Bud Norris (18 saves)
Season series vs. Nationals: 1-1
Aug. 15: LHP Tyler Skaggs vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7:05 p.m., MASN Aug. 16: RHP Ricky Nolasco vs. RHP Tanner Roark, 1:05 p.m., MASN
Inside the Angels:
The Angels have hovered around .500 for most of the...
The Nationals have such a commanding lead in the division that it has the same feeling as a losing season. It is like the Nationals are playing out the string, but instead of the season ending with golf outings and vacation, it will become exciting again and the Nationals will be in the playoffs. For now though, the Nationals are playing out the string. I'd say it should be a feeling familiar to Nats fans, but how many really exist that suffered through the 2008 and 2009 seasons? Let alone...