Nine weeks into the 2013 season, the headline of the NL East has nothing to do with Harper, Upton, or Strasburg. The fate of the NL East thus far, is “depth”.
Coming into this season, the prediction by most experts was that the Nationals were the best team on paper and would be carried by their starting staff. However, despite the fact that the Nationals have only had 3 games started by someone outside of their top 5, they are still 7.5 games behind the Braves going into Wednesday’s game against the Mets.
The Braves have seen their top two relievers go down for the year, while also dealing with Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, and Jordan Walden missing significant amounts of time. Yet the Braves keep chugging along.
Meanwhile, the Nationals have seen Harper and Werth miss about 10 games each while Strasburg has missed a start or two, but that is about it. Yet the preseason favorite Nationals are still hovering right at .500.
Mainly because of the play of the “non-everyday” guys on the two rosters:
Evan Gattis- .270, 13 HR, and 33 RBI
Jordan Schafer- .306, 2 HR, 7 SB
Ramiro Pena- .321, 3 HR, .378 OBP
Tyler Moore- .151, 2 HR, 35 K, 6 BB
Roger Bernadina- .156, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Chad Tracy- .148, 1 HR, 3 RBI
If the Nationals don’t start getting more production from their “other guys” it is going to take an amazing performance from their highly talented rotation to get this team to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, things seem to only be getting better for the Braves. They get potential ace Brandon Beachy back after a few more rehab starts.
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