Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, a plethora of Major League players are adjusting to new teams, except the roster of the Washington Nationals, which remained unchanged.
Washington general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson said that they didn’t believe they needed to make a deal, and a glance at the standings and their active roster indicates why.
Entering Wednesday, the Nationals are 61-41, good enough for first place in the National League East. They own a 2.5 game lead over second place Atlanta.
The starting rotation is anchored by Stephen Strasburg (11-5, 3.12 ERA), left-hander Gio Gonzalez (13-5, 3.27 ERA) and Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 2.28 ERA). Even the back of the rotation with Edwin Jackson (6-6, 3.52 ERA) and Ross Detwiler (5-4, 3.24 ERA) is impressive.
The bullpen is deep and features closer Tyler Clippard (3.04 ERA, 20 saves) and set-up men Sean Burnett (2.08 ERA), Craig Stammen (2.17 ERA), Mike Gonzalez (2.45 ERA), Ryan Mattheus (3.22 ERA) and Tom Gorzelanny (3.42 ERA).
Whether or not the Nationals stick to their plans of keeping Strasburg on an innings limit remains to be seen. Washington has a rehabbing Chien-Ming Wang and left-hander John Lannan (who is pitching at Triple-A) available, and Rizzo said that he did not want to sacrifice prospects for a rental pitcher who would just be with the team for a couple months.
The Nationals were aggressive in the off-season, acquiring Gonzalez from Oakland and signing Jackson. Though they could pick up a middle infielder and a catcher this month, Rizzo feels comfortable with the team he has assembled, and Washington’s chances to play deep into October.