With the Nationals holding a commanding lead in the NL East, their final two months are going to be spent tinkering with the roster to make sure it’s as strong as can be for October. With that in mind, they added veteran Howie Kendrick on Friday night.
Kendrick, who has missed time this year with an abdominal strain and a hamstring strain and is currently nursing a right hand bruise, has performed well in limited action, hitting .340/.397/.454 with a pair of home runs and 16 RBIs.
Although Kendrick is owed roughly $4.25 million for the rest of the season, the Phillies are expected to pay enough of that so the Nationals pay only the pro-rated portion of the league minimum.
McKenzie Mills, lhp
Friday was a busy day for Mills. He was promoted from low Class A Hagerstown to high Class A Potomac, then found out he was traded later in the day. The Nationals' 18th-round pick in 2014 out of high school in Sprayberry, Ga., had a 12-2, 3.01 record with 118 strikeouts, which tied him with West Virginia's Luis Escobar for the best mark in the league. Mills operates with a low-90s fastball that he can command to both sides of the plate as well as an average changeup that he can throw for strikes. His breaking ball has come along this year, and he has shown the ability to control his arsenal as well.
Howie Kendrick, if/of
The Nationals' outfield has been a little dinged up of late, leading to regular playing time for Brian Goodwin and an early promotion from Triple-A for Andrew Stevenson. Adam Lind, too, has been forced from first base into outfield duty. Outfielders currently on the Nationals disabled list include: Adam Eaton, Jayson Werth, Michael Taylor, Ryan Raburn, Chris Heisey and Rafael Bautista. At the very least, Kendrick's addition gives the Nationals some veteran stability in the outfield until someone can get healthy.
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