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Nationals Minor League Report: May 18, 2016

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Welcome to the latest installment of the 2016 Washington Nationals Minor League Report.

All the information listed here, and linked below, reflects games played through May 17.

Organizational Record: 81-65 (.555, 5th in MLB)

Organizational Top Performer: OF Victor Robles – Hagerstown Suns

OF Victor Robles is pacing the strong Hagerstown Suns offensive attack…Through May 17,
the 18-year-old outfielder is hitting .338 (44-for-130) with two doubles, three triples, four home runs, 19 RBI, 10 walks, 12 stolen bases and 31 runs scored…He has posted a .424 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage…His .338 batting average is second in Washington’s system and ranks sixth in the South Atlantic League…He also ranks among South Atlantic League hitters in runs scored (2nd, 31), on-base percentage (5th, .424) and stolen bases (T5th, 12).

In 13 games from April 20-May 5, Robles went 22-for-51 (.431) with two doubles, one triple, two homers, 10 RBI, six HBP, five stolen bases and 13 runs scored…Robles is in his third professional season after signing as a non-drafted free agent, July 2, 2013…He entered 2016 as the No. 3 prospect (No. 33 overall) in Washington system, per Baseball America.

It’s Voth, not Voth

Through seven starts, RHP Austin Voth is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA (12 ER/39.1 IP) and leads Washington’s Minor League system (ninth in the International League) with 41 strikeouts…In addition, his 2.75 ERA is good for second among Nationals farmhands…Voth also ranks among International League leaders in strikeouts per nine innings (9.38), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4th, 6.83) and walks per nine innings (5th, 1.37)…Voth entered the 2016 season as the No. 9 prospect in Washington’s system, per Baseball America.

Eastern League Player of the Week

INF Neftali Soto was named Eastern League Player of the Week for the week of May 9-May 15…He hit .387 (12-for-31) with one double, two home runs, 13 RBI, three runs scored, one stolen base and three walks in seven games during the week…Soto reached base safely in all seven games and recorded six RBI on two separate occasions, May 10 at Richmond (SFG) and May 13 vs. Akron (CLE)…On the season, Soto is hitting .256 (22-for-86) with four doubles, three home runs, 21 RBI, eight walks, one stolen base and seven runs scored in 23 games for the Senators.

For more information & notes on the Nationals’ Minor League system, view the full Minor League Report here:

 

Bryce Harper plays Catchphrase on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

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Nationals RF Bryce Harper joined supermodel Gigi Hadid and actor Andy Samberg on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday night to play a hilarious game of Catchphrase.

Watch the video below to see who wins, and be sure check out a few behind-the-scenes pictures from the show!

Seventh Annual “A Night at the Park” raises more than $225,000 to fight MS

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The seventh-annual “A Night at the Park” – hosted by Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and the ziMS Foundation, was held at Nationals Park last night. The event included cocktails and dinner, live and silent auctions, and an acoustic performance from Marc Roberge, Richard On and Jerry DePizzo of O.A.R.

The sold-out experience raised more than $225,000 for the ziMS Foundation. Founded 10 years ago by Zimmerman, the ziMS Foundation has raised more than $2 million to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

Bill Ladson, who covers the Nationals for MLB.comwrote a summary on last night’s event, which can be found here.

 

Get to know the Nationals 2016 Honorary Bat Girl: Corinne Irwin

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Corinne - Opening Day 2015

Major League Baseball announced the winners of the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl contest last week, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease.

The Honorary Bat Girl for the Washington Nationals is Corinne Irwin of Washington, D.C. She will be recognized on NatsHD and will be announcing play ball before the team plays the Miami Marlins on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

Corinne was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2012, and endured five surgeries, 18 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. Throughout treatment, Corinne and her husband watched the Nationals’ 2012 postseason run. Corinne is a four-year cancer survivor and is now an advocate dedicated to providing support for other women battling the disease. During her treatment, she set up a blog to let her family and friends know about her progress and how she was doing physically, emotionally and spiritually, which she now shares with newly-diagnosed women.

“I can carry that with me every day…to remember this really is a wonderful world, full of wonderful people who are very caring and pull for you whenever you need it,” said Corinne.

Corinne now works to raise awareness of Lymphedema and how it affects many survivors, and makes chemo caps for Knots of Love, a charity that distributes caps to cancer treatment centers throughout the country.

The Nationals are inspired by Corinne’s strength and positivity, and wanted to get to know her better…

Who’s your favorite Nationals player?

Oh no- I have to pick! This is so hard. Can I say a few? I’ve got such a soft spot for the 2012 players who are still with the team: Jayson Werth, and Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Gio, and Strasburg, Ramos and Danny, because I really did get to know the team that year, and I just love watching them all play.

Have you always been a Nationals fan, or did the 2012 postseason really “get you on board”?

We’ve always been fans; we were actually at Opening Day in 2005. My husband was a big Senators fan, and I must admit, even though I grew up here, I really didn’t know about the Senators (also because I was too young). We’ve both been going to games since the team came back. So, I say we’ve always been fans, but in 2012, we got to see so many games because I was sick. Watching them on the television upped our bonding with the team.

What are some of your favorite hobbies and what do you like to do in your free time?

I’m an avid gardener and especially interested in native plants and sustainable gardening, and I volunteer with organizations like the Anacostia Watershed Society to do environmental work. I’m really excited about the 11th Street Bridge Park, which of course is going to be right near Nats Park. I’m excited for the environmental angle of that, and also the equitable development angle.

For cancer-related things, I crochet my caps, and also do blankets for the neonatal intensive care unit for the same organization, Knots of Love. For me, it’s just a small way to give back.

I started doing it because, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of my cousins, who unbeknownst to me had been making chemo caps with Knots of Love for years, made and sent me five chemo caps. It was just one of the early blessings, and I also crochet, so I thought, why not? I started making them every time I had a chemo session, because that takes 5-8 hours, so I would just make caps, and I’ve done it ever since. It’s a small thing, but I also know how important it is when you’re sick, to get something that helps you feel beautiful, and covers your bald head, and makes you feel loved.

How has being a breast cancer survivor affected your outlook on life?

Really positively. I think anyone who goes through a severe illness is really happy for the life they have, and I certainly am. It was amazing how friends and family, and extended friends literally around the world and literally of every major world religion were pulling for me and praying for me through this illness.

You know, even if things hadn’t turned out as well as they did, to be able to experience that was wonderful. And I can carry that with me every day from now on to remember this really is a wonderful world, full of wonderful people who are very caring and pull for you whenever you need it.

What is the advice you give to women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer?

The biggest advice I have to somebody who was recently diagnosed is to breathe, and to know that most women survive breast cancer today, and to have faith in that.

There’s going to be a whole lot of information that comes at you in that first month. I tell them just to trust that it’s going to get better after that first month, and it won’t be so overwhelming. And, to pay attention to making the decisions you need in that first month. But any decision you don’t really need to worry about yet, just set that aside, so things like: what if I have a reoccurrence? Don’t worry about that, because right now you’re just getting diagnosed and treated. Put the long term stuff aside and just focus on what you do need to know now. Write down all of your questions so every time you go to an appointment, you can ask and get answers. But don’t worry too much about questions you don’t need answered yet.

Thank you, Corinne for all that you do and we look forward to honoring you at the ballpark tomorrow!

Spring Cleaning: Fans encouraged to participate in the Youth Baseball and Softball Equipment Drive on Sunday

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There’s no better way to get a jump start on your spring cleaning than by donating items to the Nationals’ equipment drive for D.C.-area youth baseball and softball players on Sunday, May 15 at Nationals Park.

Fans are encouraged to donate both new and used equipment, and can drop items off outside of Center Field Gates or by the entrance of the youth baseball parade line near right field. Items will be collected through the second inning of Sunday’s game against the Miami Marlins.

Items needed include:

  • Bats
  • Batting gloves
  • Catcher’s equipment
  • Youth batting helmets
  • Bases
  • Baseball pants
  • Cleats
  • Baseballs
  • Softballs

Check out a few images from the 2015 equipment drive, and don’t forget to bring your items to the ballpark on Sunday!

Nationals Game Notes: May 11 vs. Detroit

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Detroit Tigers (15-17) vs. Washington Nationals (20-13)
RHP Jordan Zimmermann [5-1, 1.10] | RHP Max Scherzer [3-2, 4.60]
Wednesday, May 11 l Game #34 / Home #15 l Nationals Park l Washington D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

TRADING PLACES
The Nationals will face off against former teammate RHP Jordan Zimmermann Wednesday night as the Tigers see their former teammate, RHP Max Scherzer, on the mound for Washington…Scherzer won 82 games, four division titles and a Cy Young Award (2013) with the Tigers…Zimmermann earned 70 victories in a Nationals uniform, celebrated two division championships and threw the first no-hitter in Nationals history (2005-present).

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time two pitchers with at least 70 wins for the opposing team have faced off since Roy Oswalt and Brett Myers did so on Sept. 12, 2011…Oswalt, who pitched for the Phillies that night, won 143 games for Houston from 2001-2010, while Myers, who pitched for HOU, won 73 games for PHI from 2002-2009.

HOMER HAPPY
Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman clubbed two home runs on Tuesday night vs. DET, the 15th multi-homer game of his career…Zimmerman, who is the first Nationals player to post a multi-homer game this season, clubbed his second home run of the season in the fifth inning (two-run shot) and his third of the year in the seventh (solo shot).

TWO HITS A NIGHT IS THE NEW NORMAL
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the Major Leagues with 17 multi-hit games this season…The Nationals’ second baseman, who went 2-for-5 with a run scored on Tuesday night, has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games, going 22-for-50 (.440) with five doubles, three homers, 11 RBI and 13 runs scored in that stretch…He has posted multi-hit efforts in seven of those 12 games and has recorded at least one RBI in seven of the 12.

  • Murphy leads the Major Leagues in batting average (.398) and also ranks among MLB hitters in on-base percentage plus slugging percentage (OPS) (3rd, 1.090), on-base percentage (4th, .439), slugging percentage (5th, .650), and doubles (T6th, 12).
  • On the season, Murphy has hit safely in 27 of his 32 games played.

Nationals Game Notes: May 10 vs. Detroit

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Detroit Tigers (14-17) vs. Washington Nationals (20-12)
RHP Michael Fulmer [1-1, 6.30] | RHP Joe Ross [3-1, 1.23]
Tuesday, May 10 l Game #33 / Home #14 l Nationals Park l Washington D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 99.1 WDCH & Nationals Radio Network

lineup 510WALK IT OFF
The Nationals overcame deficits of 2-1 after the fourth inning and 4-1 after the fifth to snap their four-game losing streak in walk-off fashion last night against the Detroit Tigers…Tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, pinch hitter Clint Robinson clubbed his first career walk-off home run, taking a 1-0 pitch from Mark Lowe just over the right field fence.

  • Robinson’s blast was just the second pinch-hit walk-off home run in Nationals history (2005-pres.) joining Michael A. Taylor (9/3/15 vs. ATL) and the second in Major League Baseball this season (SEA Dae-ho Lee, 4/13/16 vs. TEX).

MONUMENTAL DAY
The Washington Nationals agreed to a seven-year contract extension with RHP Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday…Strasburg will remain under contract with the only professional organization he has ever known through the 2023 season…The No. 1 overall selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Strasburg has a career 59-37 record with a 3.07 ERA…An All-Star (2012), as well as a Silver Slugger (2012), Strasburg is currently 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA this season – the 12th-best mark in the National League.

  • Since he entered the league in 2010, among pitchers with at least 800 innings under their belts, Strasburg ranks in the top 10 in fielding independent pitching (2nd, 2.80), strikeout-to-walk ratio (3rd, 4.70), opponent on-base percentage (4th, .280), opponent batting average (4th, .227), opponent slugging percentage (5th, .348), hits per nine innings (5th, 7.58), and ERA (7th, 3.07).
  • Since his Major League debut on June 8, 2010, no one in the Major Leagues has struck out more batters per nine innings (min. 800 IP) than the Nationals’ right-hander…Strasburg’s career 10.45 strikeouts-per-nine-innings in that time span sits atop a list that follows with CWS LHP Chris Sale (10.20), teammate Max Scherzer (9.94) and LAD LHP Clayton Kershaw (9.89)…Strasburg also ranks second all-time among starters with at least 800 IP in K/9.0 IP, behind Hall of Famer Randy Johnson (10.57).

HITS ON HITS ON HITS
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy collected his 16th multi-hit game of the season on Monday, going 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and one run scored..Murphy’s 16-multi-hit games are tied with Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte for the most in the Major Leagues…The Nationals’ second baseman has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games, going 20-for-45 (.444) with five doubles, three homers, 11 RBI and 11 runs scored…He has posted multi-hit efforts in six of the 11 games and has recorded at least one RBI in seven of the 11.

  • Murphy leads MLB in batting average (.398) and also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (2nd, 1.102), doubles (T5th, 12), OBP (5th, .441) and slugging percentage (6th, .661).
  • On the season, Murphy has hit safely in 26 of his 31 games played.

Nationals Game Notes: May 9 vs. Detroit

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Detroit Tigers (14-16) vs. Washington Nationals (19-12)
RHP Anibal Sanchez [3-3, 5.87] | RHP Stephen Strasburg [5-0, 2.36]
Monday, May 9 l Game #32 / Home #13 l Nationals Park l Washington D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN / ESPN l Radio: 106.7 FM & Nationals Radio Network

lineup 59HOME SWEET HOME
The Nationals return to Nationals Park tonight after their first 10-game road trip fo the 2016 season, carrying with them a 5-5 mark from a trip that took them to St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago (Cubs)…Tonight’s contest vs. Detroit will start a six-game, seven-day homestand for Washington.

  • At 8-4 (.667), the Nationals have the second-base home record in the National League (T3rd in MLB), behind only the Cubs (11-3, .786).

WALK THE WALK
Nationals OF Bryce Harper walked 13 times in the Nationals’ recent four-game series with the Chicago Cubs, including six walks in Sunday’s 13-inning finale…With his many free passes to first base, Harper’s day, and series, were incredibly unique:

  • Via the Elias Sports Bureau, Harper set a modern MLB record (since 1900) on Sunday for the most plate appearances without an at-bat in a single game: in his seven trips to the plate, Harper walked six times and was hit by a pitch.
  • With 10 walks, a HBP and a sacrifice fly in his last 12 plate appearances, Harper’s current streak of consecutive plate appearances without an at-bat is also a modern MLB record.
  • Harper’s 13 walks in the series are the most any player in MLB has collected in a four-game series dating to 1913, per STATS Inc., which is as far back as their research allows…Harper broke a record that had been in place for nearly 86 years, dating back to Max Bishop (Philadelphia Athletics vs. NYY, May 21, 1930) and Eddie Joost (Philadelphia Athletics vs. STL, June 21, 1948)…Bishop and Joost both walked 12 times in the four-game set.
  • Also via STATS, Harper is the first player in at least 40 years to receive two intentional walks in extra innings with first base and second base occupied each time.

HARPER NEARING A ANOTHER RECORD
Entering tonight’s game, OF Bryce Harper has reached base safely via hit, walk and hit by pitch in nine consecutive plate appearances…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he joins OAK Josh Reddick for the longest streak this season…Reddick’s streak is also intact entering play tonight.

  • The longest streak in Nationals history (2005-pres.) is held by Nick Johnson (10; 6/18-20, 2009) and Rusty Staub holds the Nationals/Expos record (10, 9/24-27, 1969).

Nationals Game Notes: May 8 at Chicago

Washington Nationals (19-11) at Chicago Cubs (23-6)
RHP Tanner Roark [2-2, 2.35] | RHP Jake Arrieta [6-0, 0.84]
Sunday, May 8 l Game #31 / Road #19 l Wrigley Field l Chicago, Ill. l 1:20 P.M. CT
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 FM & Nationals Radio Network

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD
The Nationals wrap up this 10-game, three-city road trip today with an afternoon matchup against the Chicago Cubs…Following the game, the Nationals will head back to D.C. where they will begin a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers tomorrow night at Nationals Park.

  • Washington looks to avoid its first road sweep of the season and first four-game sweep since Aug. 13-16, 2015 at San Francisco.

WELCOME BACK, BEN!
The Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated OF Ben Revere from the 15-day disabled
list Friday…Revere missed 27 games after suffering a right oblique strain on Opening Day in Atlanta…He appeared in five rehab games with Triple-A Syracuse…To make room on the 25-man roster, the Nationals optioned OF Matt den Dekker to Syracuse.

  • Revere collected his first in a Nationals uniform, a leadoff double in the bottom of the third inning…He added to that with a triple in the seventh to finish the day 2-for-5 with two runs.

 

Nationals Game Notes: May 7 at Chicago

Washington Nationals (19-10) at Chicago Cubs (22-6)
LHP Gio Gonzalez [2-1, 1.15] | RHP Jason Hammel [4-0, 1.24 ERA]
Saturday, May 7 l Game #30 / Road #18 l Wrigley Field l Chicago, Ill. l 3:05 P.M. CT
Television: MASN / Fox Sports 1 l Radio: 106.7 FM / 99.1 FM & Nationals Radio Network

MURPHY’S LAW?…NOT SO MUCH
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy collected his second four-hit game (4-for-4, 2B, 2 R) in three
days in yesterday’s 8-6 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Cubs…He has now hit safely in
seven of his last eight games, going 16-for-33 (.485) with four doubles, two homers, eight
RBI and nine runs scored…He has posted multi-hit efforts in four of the eight games and has recorded at least one RBI in six of the eight

  • Murphy ranks among MLB hitters in batting average (1st, .406), OPS (2nd, 1.113), on-base percentage (3rd, .452) and slugging percentage (5h, .650).
  • On the season, Murphy has hit safely in 24 of his 28 games played, including 14 multi-hit efforts, the most in Major League Baseball.

THE DEFENSE (NEVER) RESTS
The Nationals have committed the fewest errors (9) in Major League Baseball and their .992 team fielding percentage is the best in MLB ahead of the Texas Rangers (.990) and Boston Red Sox (.990)…The Nationals also rank tied for ninth in MLB (tied for fifth in the National League) with 29 double plays.

  • According to Baseball Prospectus, the Nationals rank second (.730) in the National League and third in Major League Baseball in “Defensive Efficiency” (the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs) behind only the Chicago Cubs (.749) and the Cleveland Inidans (.732)…In comparison, the 2015 Nationals ranked 21st in MLB in Defensive Efficiency at .700.
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