What If the Nationals Injured Players Played the Healthy Ones?
Article By James O’Hara
Looking over the numerous players the Nats have had on the DL so far this season, I noticed something: they all play a separate position and together, you could field an entire lineup just from these injured players. So then I had an idea – in a hypothetical one-game scrimmage where everyone was healthy between Nats who have been injured and Nats who have not, who would win? To form the DL team I had two rules: the players must be a part of the 40 man roster and they must either be currently on the DL or have been on the DL at some point this season. Without further ado, here are the lineups:
Team DL Team Healthy
Rendon SS Desmond SS
Ankiel CF Lombardozzi 3B
Zimmerman 3B Harper RF
Morse LF LaRoche 1B
Werth RF Espinosa 2B
Ramos C Bernadina CF
Marrero 1B Flores C
DeRosa 2B Nady LF
Wang P Strasburg P
Bullpen: Kimball, Lidge, Storen Bullpen: Burnett, Clippard, HRod, etc.
The first thing that stands out is how much better Team DL’s lineup is than Team Healthy’s. The 3-6 spots are incredible while the other four guys are as good if not better hitters than their counterparts on Team Healthy. The three-man bullpen of Kimball, Lidge, and Storen for Team DL is quite excellent and should be more than enough for a one-game scrimmage. However, they are missing a left hander which could come back to hurt them against Team Healthy’s two lefty power hitters LaRoche and Harper. Really the only thing that Team Healthy has going for it is Stephen Strasburg, who is light-years ahead of Chien Ming Wang in the pitching department, but Strasburg still struggles to get deep into games and Team DL should be able to hit well against Team Healthy’s bullpen. Defensively Team DL has a significantly better outfield, while Team Healthy is a bit better in the infield despite not having Zimmerman. As Rendon is out of position and LaRoche is one of best defensive first baseman in the game. All in all, in spite of having Strasburg on the mound for Team Healthy, Team DL should be a heavy favorite because you need to score runs to win and Team Healthy just is not going to be able to do that.
In my opinion the game will start with a classic pitcher’s duel. As Strasburg will go out for Team Healthy and give them seven strong innings scattering three hits and giving up one run on a Michael Morse bomb while striking out 7 and walking none. While Wang will induce grounder after grounder from Team Healthy finishing with a bend but don’t break six innings, giving up seven hits but only one run on 4 strikeouts and a walk as Team Healthy just doesn’t get the clutch hitting needed to push more runs across. As the game turns to the bullpens Team DL’s Cole Kimball is able to craft a perfect bottom of the 7th shutting down the 9-1-2 hitters of Team Healthy’s order. In the 8th the bottom of Team DL’s order is helpless against All-Star reliever Tyler Clippard, while Brad Lidge uses his wealth of experience to hold down Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche in the bottom of the inning, sending the game to the 9th tied 1-1. In the 9th the lack of an experienced closer comes back to bite Team Healthy as Henry Rodriguez is unable to escape without giving up two runs on Mr. Clutch Ryan Zimmerman’s two run homer making it 3-1 heading to the bottom of the ninth where Drew Storen shuts the door with little drama. Chien Ming Wang is the winning pitcher, while Henry Rodriguez gets the loss and Drew Storen the save. Player of the game is Team DL’s Ryan Zimmerman who drove in the game winning run in the top of the ninth.
James is a student at Virginia Tech studying Computer Science and Math. Baseball is his favorite sport as he has been playing it since the age of three. However he has a passion for nearly every other sport one can imagine as well and this has led him to attempting to contribute to a sports blog despite average writing grades in school. He is the main person tweeting behind the name @nextyeardc and gets way too excited whenever he sees he has a new mention.