The Nationals have been clear they do not foresee making any significant changes at the trade deadline. By 4 p.m. Wednesday, we’ll know for sure if General Manager Mike Rizzo – who stayed in Washington as the Nationals traveled to Detroit – upgraded his bench or totally stood pat. Manager Davey Johnson expects the Nationals’ roster will be identical too its current form.
“I don’t think we’re going to do anything,” Johnson said. “I think we’re got the players we want here. They just need to do the things they’re capable of doing, and we’re fine.”
For about three false seconds, it appeared the Nationals may have been closing in on a major deal. Class AA Harrisburg outfielder Brian Goodwin, regarded as the Nationals’ best position player prospect, was scratched from the Senators’ lineup in Trenton, the kind of thing that sets off alarm bells on July 30. It turned out Goodwin had an apparently minor physical ailment. He’s not going anywhere.
If the Nationals do make any changes to their roster between now and 4 p.m. Wednesday, they will likely be minor. The main reason for that is, the Nationals still believe in that roster that has so far produced a 52-54 record.
“It’s not like you can point to one thing or one person or whatever,” Johnson said. “It’s not just the offense. It’s pitching. It’s everything. We’ve seen signs the last few days at home.”
After some initial tire-kicking of starters early in the month, the Nationals do not plan to be active in the market to acquire a starting pitcher. Taylor Jordan will be shut down once he hits an innings limit and Ross Detwiler will be on the disabled list into late August. But Dan Haren has stabilized in his last four starts, and Ross Ohlendorf has been a revelation.
Jordan, who picked up his first career win Sunday, has pitched 135 2/3 innings this season between the majors and minors combined. The Nationals are limiting his innings because he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011. They have yet to announce the precise number, but Jordan is scheduled to start Sunday in Milwaukee.
“We have a good idea,” Johnson said. “But it’s not something I need to talk about at this point. … He’s in the starting rotation. That’s all he needs to know.”