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⚾️⚾️ The Morning Briefing: Rutledge to make debut; Rizzo extended
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, September 13.
Good Morning Washington Nationals Fan,
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, September 11, 2023. My name is Haden Raymer, let’s dive into the news.
Leading today’s Morning Briefing: Jackson Rutledge will make major league debut
2019 first-round pick Jackson Rutledge is set to make his major league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rutledge once carried top 100 status, but injuries have hurt his stock early in his professional career. Rutledge still carries promise, ranking as the Nationals’ No.7 prospect by Baseball America and No. 13 prospect by MLB Pipeline. His upper 90s fastball is the driving factor for his stuff, but his breaking pitches show flashes to be plus pitches.
He got back on track in 2022, striking out 23.4 percent of the batters he faced while only walking 6.9 percent. Those numbers dropped this year as he’s climbed the minors, currently sitting at a 19.6 strikeout percentage and 13.3 walk percentage. The Rutledge we see tonight is far from a finished project, but this opportunity should provide him with a chance to grow, and give the coaching staff and front office a look at Rutledge against big-league hitters.
This comes after MacKenzie Gore was placed on the injured list, likely shutting him down for the rest of the season.
Mike Rizzo signs multi-year extension
In the background of all the chaos that has happened with the Nationals over the past two weeks was Mike Rizzo’s contract expiring at the end of the season. Nationals ownership and Rizzo formally announced his extension today. The full details were not announced.
Why it matters: This keeps Rizzo, one of the longest-tenured GMs in all of baseball, at the helm of the Nationals for the foreseeable future. Rizzo has his flaws, as does everyone, but we’ve seen him and the front office try to adapt and mitigate those flaws in recent years. Time will tell if Rizzo will get another extension after this, but there is no harm in letting the architect of this rebuild see it come to completion.
Nationals drop game two to the Pirates
Last night the Nationals lost 5-1 to the Pirates. Joey Meneses and Ildemaro Vargas provided most of the offense, both going 2-4 with a double. Joan Adon walked six batters over four innings while also allowing four runs.
Your Nats Report Player of the Game is Ildemaro Vargas because he drove in the only run. Game three is tonight, with first pitch at 6:35 p.m.
Down on the Farm: What happened last night with the Nationals Minor League teams
The Rochester Red Wings won game one of the series against the Lehigh Valey IronPigs 6-4. Seven of the nine hitters got a hit, with Jake Noll and Frankie Tostado doubling. Cory Abbott threw five innings of no-hit baseball, striking out six. Tanner Rainey struck out all three batters he faced.
The Harrisburg Senators won 5-4 over the Bowie Baysox. Dylan Crews went 2-4 with a double. Robert Hassell III got three hits. James Wood, Brady House, Trey Lipscomb, and Andrew Pinckney all went 1-4. Wood also stole a base. Dustin Saenz threw six innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out five. Cole Henry went 1.2 innings while striking out two and allowing two earned runs.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks season is over.
The FredNats season is over.
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