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⚾⚾ The Morning Briefing: Juan Soto Returns to Nationals Park
Good Morning Washington Nationals Fan,
Welcome to this morning’s briefing. Today is May 24, 2023, and I am Hadren writing this morning’s briefing. You can find me on Twitter at @thehadenraymer. Today’s top Nationals story is Juan Soto’s return to Nationals Park against MacKenzie Gore.
Leading today’s Morning Briefing: The Return of Juan Soto
Juan Soto returned to Nationals Park for the second time since the trade, facing off against MacKenzie Gore, a key piece in the package the Nationals received for Soto. Gore allowed two hits to Soto but struck him out in the second plate appearance.
Gore’s night outside of that was a mixed bag. He had flashes where he looked dominant over hitters but had trouble locating his fastball, which led to trouble putting away hitters, especially Jake Cronenworth, who walked three times against Gore. Gore’s overall line was 4.2 inning pitched with seven hits allowed with three earned runs, four walks, and five strikeouts.
Shortstop and the Nats Report Player of the Game C.J. Abrams and outfielder Lane Thomas attempted to spark a comeback victory, going as far as to tie it with home runs, but failed to keep the lead as a Fernando Tatis Jr. sac fly scored the winning run. Chad Kuhl made his first appearance since coming off the injured list and threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
In the end, the Nationals lost 7-4, falling to a 20-28 record. Tonight right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams takes on lefty Ryan Weathers at 7:05 p.m. on MASN2.
Nationals provide injury updates
Bobby Blanco of MASN reported on injury updates from across the Nationals organization. He reports that left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle has progressed to throwing on consecutive days. Doolittle was shut down in Spring Training after signing a minor league deal with the club this past offseason.
Additionally, the Nationals provided no significant update for Victor Arano or Victor Robles. Arano has been shut down with a strained shoulder since early March and Robles has been on the IL since May 6.
Blanco also provided updates on prospects Israel Pineda and Cole Henry, which you can read below.
Down the Farm
The Rochester Red Wings started a series against the Detroit Tigers AAA-affiliate Toledo Mud Hens with a 5-3 victory in the 10th inning. Freshly promoted catching prospect Drew Milas tripled for his first AAA hit. Jake Alu hit a home run and earned an outfield assist. Former Nationals Sam Clay threw a scoreless inning for the Red Wings.
The Harrisburg Senators enjoyed an 8-5 victory over the Reading Fightin’ Phils, the AA affiliate of the Phillies. Top 45 prospect Robert Hassell III had two hits with a double, a walk, and two runs scored. Former Yankees’ first-round pick Blake Rutherford went 3-4 with a home run and a walk.
High A affiliate Wilmington Blue Rocks were shutout in their game against the Hudson Valley Renegades, losing 4-0. In a rehab stint, Jackson Tetreault allowed three earned runs on six hits in three innings pitched. Top 10 prospect James Wood went 2-4. Dusty Sanez continues to dominate High A, throwing six innings of relief, allowing one earned run over five hits while striking out eight.
The low A Fredricksburg Nationals allowed a ninth-inning comeback against the Salem Red Sox, losing 4-3. Brady House went 1-4 with a double and Elijah Green struck out in all four of his plate appearances. Jake Bennett continued to excel, not allowing a single earned run over six innings while striking out five.
Other Quick Links
Barry Svrluga on Juan Soto Returning to the Nats ($)
Sam Dykstra reports that Cole Henry was promoted to High A
Here is Grant Paulsen reporting on Drew Milas being called up