The Nationals may be starting the postseason without many of their best players. With just six games remaining in the regular seasons, the Nationals who have already clinched the NL East, are crawling to the finish line.
Starter Stephen Strasburg is uncertain to pitch in the NLDS as of right now. Earlier this month, Strasburg suffered a strained flexor mass, and haunts pitched since September 7. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection and has been working his way back. He has resumed throwing, and is working his way back. The Nationals are being very cautious with Strasburg as he has already had Tommy John surgery, and don’t want to risk more severe injury. Strasburg’s status in the NLCS is also in question, but there is the possibility he could return as a reliever. The Nat’s will have a rotation of Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, and Tanner Roark, with the fourth spot still in question, Joe Ross is the lead candidate.
Tuesday the Nationals found out they will be without their All-Star catcher for the remainder of the season. Wilson Ramos suffered a torn ACL after jumping for a ball at home plate and landing awkwardly last night. Ramos was in the midst of a career year. He was hitting a stellar .307 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI’s. Jose Lobaton will replace Ramos, the positive is that he knows the rotation but his production will loom no where close to the incredible performance of Ramos this season.
On top of Strasburg and Ramos, MVP candidate Daniel Murphy hasn’t played since September 20 with a mild strain in his buttocks. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said earlier this week Murphy is expected to be back for the postseason but is still shut down. Slugger Bryce Harper is expected to return this week, but has missed time with a left thumb injury. Harper got x-rays this week, and they came back negative. Baker said he expects to have his slugger back in a couple of days.
The Nationals easily clinched the NL East this season, currently with a eight and a half game lead over the Mets. However, without three of their big bats and their ace in Strasburg, the Nationals may be in trouble in the first round against the Dodgers.