Everyone is Sick

Denard Span and Bryce Harper are both sick with “flu-like” symptoms, creating a fascinating dynamic where only two position players are available for tonight’s game against the Marlins.

Assuming “flu-like symptoms” is not a synonym for “hungover” in this case, this is an inconvenience rather than a catastrophe.  Chad Tracy, the Nats’ most reliable pinch-hitter is available, as is the backup catcher Jhonaton Solano (not a typo).

Besides the obvious (why is that guy’s name spelled “Jhonaton”?), the question of the night is: who plays the field in case of injury?  And who pinch-hits after Tracy is no longer available?

I assume Solano will stay on the bench, unless Suzuki is injured.  Burning through a backup catcher is always tempting fate to injury.  Harper is probably the team’s emergency catcher (he was drafted as a catcher out of college), but he is, of course, unavailable.

The Nationals beat reporters are suggesting Craig Stammen is the choice to play the field in case of emergency.  And don’t forget that Stephen Strasburg won the Silver Slugger as the league’s best-hitting pitcher last year.

Maybe we should hope for another complete game from the starting pitcher.  But don’t bet the mortgage.  Tonight’s starter, Dan Haren, averaged 4.5 innings in his two starts.

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