The most important question of delay, of course, revolves around Max Scherzer. Mad Max missed his start yesterday with tricep discomfort, but it’s a minor injury and nothing that should derail a potential trade, if there were to be one. No decision has yet been made on his next departure, by Dougherty.
Joe Ross will drop off the non-rehabilitation injured list to start tomorrow’s game against the Phillies, by Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty (via Twitter). Not much has been said about Ross in terms of the commercial market, but he has had a solid season – 4.02 ERA / 4.51 FIP in 87 1/3 innings – as he finally seems to be getting back in shape in as a guy who debuted with the Nats in 2015. He only makes $ 1.5 million and he still has one season of officiating eligibility. Scherzer is obviously the big fish in Washington, but for teams looking for a cheap, controllable helper in the rotation, Ross has a mid-rotation advantage.
It’s unclear whether Ross would be available or not. If indeed the Nats decide to sell, Daniel Hudson and Brad la main would likely be the two names of interest, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Hudson has been excellent again this year and could solidify a contender’s feather as he did for the Nats in 2019. The Blue Jays are among the teams to ask questions about the Nats back-arm pair, according to Jon. Morosi from the MLB network. (via Twitter).
Tanner Rainey begins a rehabilitation mission today, tweets Dougherty. Rainey has had a tough season so far – 6.93 RPM in 24 2/3 innings – and he’s less likely to be dealt than the names above. That said, if Hudson and / or Hand are moved, Rainey would be a prime candidate to take on high leverage roles.
If Scherzer and / or Ross are moved, the Nats will have to dig deep to find enough starters to complete their rotation. Etienne Strasbourg doesn’t seem any closer to making a comeback from a sprained neck and other miscellaneous ailments. He will see another specialist this week, according to Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com.