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Washington Nationals

NL East


Washington Nationals RHP Will Harris, who's on the IL with a right-hand issue, threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Thursday. (Source: Mark Zuckerman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This is a step in the right direction for Harris who had yet to be cleared for mound work as of a few days ago. He underwent surgery to clear a blood clot in his throwing arm in the offseason and had been dealing with inflammation in his hand. A bullpen session is a step in the right direction. Now he can start to build up strength with an aim towards returning next month.

Category: Injury Updates


Josh Harrison went 2-for-2 with two walks and one RBI. He ended up on base all four times he came to the plate.

Fantasy Impact: What year is this? We have Ryan Zimmerman and Josh Harrison producing early for the Nationals. In 11 plate appearances, Harrison is hitting .600 with three RBI. If he keeps earning playing time, he's a name to monitor in 15-team leagues.

Category: Game Recaps


Juan Soto keeps producing with a two-hit effort in their 6-0 win against the Cardinals. Soto went 2-for-5 with two runs, one RBI, and one strikeout.

Fantasy Impact: On the season, Juan Soto has two home runs, nine runs, seven RBI, and one steal with a .375 batting average in 38 plate appearances. Nothing surprising, but Soto is crushing it with a 27.3% barrel rate and 72.7% hard-hit rate.

Category: Game Recaps


In Wednesday's 6-0 win against the Cardinals, Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run home run in the third inning off Adam Wainwright. He went 1-for-4 with one run, two RBI, and one walk.

Fantasy Impact: Ryan Zimmerman's home run off of Wainwright had an exit velocity of 101.1 mph. He's off to a solid start with a .346 batting average, one home run, three runs, and two RBI. Could the veteran be fantasy relevant once again in 15-team leagues? Possibly.

Category: Game Recaps


Joe Ross pitched six scoreless against the Cardinals on Wednesday. Ross allowed four hits and one walk with five punchouts.

Fantasy Impact: Joe Ross gave the Nationals what they needed after they allowed 14 runs in Tuesday's contest. Through two starts, Ross has yet to allow a single earned run with eight strikeouts and three walks in nine innings pitched. Ross doesn't have an arsenal that's super exciting, so he's only a deep-league streamer.

Category: Game Recaps


Nationals 1B Josh Bell isn't starting in Wednesday's game against the Cardinals. (Source: Washington Nationals on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: Bell made his Nationals debut Monday but will get the day off Wednesday. He reached base safely in both games and is hitting .167 with three runs, three walks, and two strikeouts during that stretch. Ryan Zimmerman is batting third and will handle first base duties for the Nationals in Wednesday’s game.

Category: Transactions


In his only two games of the season, Kyle Schwarber has four hits in nine plate appearances. Schwarber hit his second double of the season in Tuesday's loss.

Fantasy Impact: Kyle Schwarber crushed a double at 107.1 mph off Kodi Whitley. The power and home runs should come soon.

Category: Game Recaps


Stephen Strasburg lasted four innings after allowing eight hits, seven earned runs, and five walks with three strikeouts. He also gave up three home runs and didn't miss a ton of bats with an 11% whiff rate.

Fantasy Impact: In Stephen Strasburg's first start, he allowed zero earned runs across six innings against the Braves. Something to monitor - the velocity on all of his pitches went down over 2 mph in this game.

Category: Game Recaps


Washington Nationals LHP Jon Lester, who's on the IL following the team's COVID-19 outbreak, will throw around 45-50 pitches in a simulated game on Thursday. (Source: Mark Zuckerman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Lester has yet to make his season debut as he adheres to Major League Baseball's COVID-19 protocols. He threw a bullpen session on Tuesday so the next logical step is a simulated game. He'll need a little time to build his strength back up but he should join the Nationals' rotation as a back end starter later this month.

Category: Injury Updates


Victor Robles continues to lead off for the Nationals and hit his first triple of the season. Robles rocked that triple off of John Gant with a 104.5 mph exit velocity.

Fantasy Impact: Through 30 plate appearances, Victor Robles is off to a decent start with four runs, zero homers, zero RBI, and one steal with a .240 batting average. With their delayed start, the counting stats should start trickling in and we love seeing his .367 OBP while batting leadoff.

Category: Game Recaps


Tanner Rainey pitched one scoreless inning against the Cardinals on Monday but allowed two hits and one strikeout.

Fantasy Impact: It appears that Tanner Rainey and Daniel Hudson will share setup duty roles. Rainey still holds a solid four-seamer around 94-95 mph with a filthy slider.

Category: Game Recaps


Brad Hand earned his first save of the season but labored a bit with 26 pitches. Hand allowed one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.

Fantasy Impact: Although it's a small sample of 26 pitches, Brad Hand didn't record a single whiff on his slider in Monday's relief appearance. He'll hold down the closer role for now.

Category: Game Recaps


In Monday's start against the Cardinals, Erick Fedde went 4.2 innings and finished with two hits, one earned run, two walks, and five strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 8.53 in two starts.

Fantasy Impact: Erick Fedde isn't anything special with a 19% whiff rate and 25% CSW% in 77 pitches on Monday. Outside of NL-Only leagues, Fedde isn't fantasy relevant.

Category: Game Recaps


Starlin Castro went 2-for-4 with one strikeout in Sunday's loss against the Dodgers. Trea Turner and Castro totaled five of the seven hits for the Nationals, but the team didn't score a single run.

Fantasy Impact: In 24 plate appearances, Starlin Castro has a .292 batting average with four RBI. Castro played five games so far at third base, which means he should add 3B eligibility soon in most leagues to have the middle/corner infield flexibility.

Category: Game Recaps


Trea Turner led the Nationals with three hits and stole his first bag of 2021. He went 3-for-4 with one strikeout and one steal.

Fantasy Impact: Through 25 plate appearances, Trea Turner has two home runs, three runs, four RBI, and one steal with a .304 batting average. Turner scorched a couple of singles at 103.4 mph and 106.8 mph.

Category: Game Recaps


Max Scherzer allowed one earned run, three hits, and one walk with five strikeouts across six innings pitched. He took the loss against the Dodgers since the Nationals didn't score a run.

Fantasy Impact: Max Scherzer limited the Dodgers to one earned run after allowing four runs against the Braves in his first start. No major takeaways other than Scherzer didn't elicit as many whiffs versus the Dodgers with a 28% whiff rate compared to a 42% whiff rate against the Braves. He's still in the ace tier.

Category: Game Recaps


Nationals catcher Yan Gomes went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one strikeout. This was his second game of the season, but the first start of 2021.

Fantasy Impact: Yan Gomes should compile a healthy amount of plate appearances for a catcher, which makes him relevant as a second catcher in 15-team leagues. Volume and playing time matters in deep leagues, so lock him into a second catcher spot in deep leagues.

Category: Game Recaps


Patrick Corbin struggled in his start against the Dodgers. He allowed six hits, six earned runs, and three walks with five strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched.

Fantasy Impact: Patrick Corbin didn't use his slider as much as we're used to at 29% in Saturday's start against the Dodgers. Typically Corbin used his slider between 37-40% of the time. It still looked effective with a 55% whiff rate on his slider yet a 34% whiff rate overall. Against one of the top offenses, it's safe to expect a pitcher like Corbin to struggle a bit.

Category: Game Recaps


The Washington Nationals reinstated Alex Avila, Yan Gomes, Brad Hand, and Jordy Mercer from the COVID-19 injured list Friday and returned Carter Kieboom to the alternate site. (Source: Maria Torres on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Kieboom entered Spring Training with a chance to earn a roster spot but struggled to a .133 batting average and .426 OPS through 17 games. He made the big league roster by default after the Nationals started the year with a COVID outbreak and had to place nine players on the COVID-19 injured list. Now that they are starting to at least a handful of those players back, Kieboom is being returned to the team's alternate site to continue to work through his struggles at the plate.

Category: Transactions


Jordy Mercer (COVID-19) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list ahead of Friday's game. (Source: Washington Nationals)

Fantasy Impact: Mercer, along with several Nationals players, was placed on the COVID-19 injured list before the season began. Mercer was most likely a close-contact that has been cleared to return to action. He'll likely fill a reserve infield role for the team.

Category: Injury Updates