Washington Nationals news & notes: Mitchell Parker vs the Rays in 3-1 loss; James Wood to join Nats in D.C.? (2024)

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Mitchell Parker gave up three singles and a run in the first inning of his outing back on June 22nd in Denver, Colorado, and a one-out walk, single, and then a three-run home run on an 89.4 MPH fastball up in the zone and over the middle that went out 436 ft to center field in Coors Field.

“It was just a really bad fastball,” Parker said of the home run pitch, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, after the game.

“A really, really bad fastball.”

“Minus the home run, I thought I did a decent job,” Parker added.

“I’ve got to limit the number of bad pitches, and then we’ll be really good from there.”

His six-inning, two-walk, four-run outing against the Rockies left Parker with a 3.30 ERA, a 3.55 FIP, 17 walks (2.08 BB/9), 58 Ks (7.09 K/9), and a .229/.274/.348 in 13 starts and 73 23 innings pitched in the 24-year-old, 2020 5th Round pick’s rookie campaign.

Washington Nationals news & notes: Mitchell Parker vs the Rays in 3-1 loss; James Wood to join Nats in D.C.? (1) Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

His manager talked before Parker’s 14th start of the season about what’s allowed him to stay calm and poised out there on the mound as he navigates his first run in the majors.

“It’s his personality,” Martinez explained.

“We talked a lot like when I first met him how he really has — doesn’t have a heartbeat. He kind of slows everything down, and he takes that to the mound. So he doesn’t seem to get overly rattled, and that’s a great thing.

“The other day we talked a lot about pitching in Colorado, how tough it can be, but once you find yourself, find your groove, you can make good things happen, and he did that.

“He found his breaking ball, and that was the key for him.”

“We want [Parker] today again — the key for him is to attack the strike zone,” the manager added.

“Get the ball in the strike zone. When he does that he’s really good and he’s very effective.”

Parker threw 59 of 92 total pitches for strikes on Friday night in Tampa Bay, with a walk, six hits, and two earned runs allowed in 5 IP, striking out five and giving up a home run on a 1-1 slider low and in to Jose Siri the Rays’ center fielder hit 405 ft to left in Tropicana Field.

Make it double digit dingers for Jose Siri in 2024. pic.twitter.com/4udiJlknsO

— Tampa Bay Devil Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 28, 2024

The second run off the lefty came on an RBI single by Isaac Paredes an inning later, but that was all Parker gave up in the start, in what ended up a 3-1 loss for the Nationals (their 4th in a row overall). He collected 13 swinging strikes (eight on his fastball) and 13 called strikes in the appearance, (seven on his four-seamer and five on his curve).

He finished his outing with a 3.32 ERA and a 3.60 FIP in 78 23 IP on the year.

Martinez pointed to Parker’s work to get out No. 3 in a bases-loaded, two-out jam after he gave up the second of two runs he allowed in the outing in the bottom of the third inning, while reiterating how poised the southpaw has been following the series opening loss.

“We talked about that earlier, right, how he just stays in the moment, doesn’t try to do too much, and gets big outs,” Martinez said. “So, he threw the ball well. His pitch count got up there a little bit, but he kept us in the ballgame.”


He’s coming. James Wood is finally coming up to the majors. Grant Paulsen (106.7 the FAN & MLB Network Radio) cited a source on Friday afternoon who told him the Nationals’ 21-year-old outfielder would join the major league club in the nation’s capital on Monday for his MLB debut.

Sources: James Wood will be called up to debut in DC with the Nats on Monday. The long wait is over. Wood will play his first big league game against the Mets at Nats Park in three days.

One of the best prospects in baseball, Wood is hitting .346 with a 1.036 OPS in Triple-A.

— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) June 28, 2024

Wood, a 2021 2nd Round pick by the Padres, acquired in the deal which sent Juan Soto (and Josh Bell) to San Diego in 2022, had a .346/.458/.578 line on the year, going into play Friday, with 13 doubles, 10 home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 11 attempts), 39 walks, and 41 Ks in his 51 games and 225 plate appearances on the year.

James Wood will make his MLB debut Monday for the Nationals vs. the Mets, source confirms. Makes perfect sense: Top prospect returned from hamstring injury 10 days ago, has proven himself healthy again at AAA. Nats open 8-game homestand Monday. (First reported by @granthpaulsen)

— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) June 28, 2024

Wood returned to play six games after an IL stint for a hamstring injury at Triple-A, before the news broke last night, and he hit three doubles in a 14-7 win for Rochester’s Red Wings (for whom he now has a .353 AVG and 1.058 OPS) after it did, though the Nationals haven’t yet confirmed the reports.

The #MLBNOffBase crew reacts to No. 3 overall prospect James Wood being called up and what this means for the @Nationals. pic.twitter.com/xaxJtwnrlO

— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 28, 2024

When he returned to the lineup at Triple-A, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters the No. 3 prospect in the organization (on MLB Pipeline’s rankings), would concentrate on a single defensive position, though he’s played all three outfield spots this season.

“I think for now they’ll probably focus on one position,” Martinez explained, which ended up being left field.

“We’ll see how that goes, but you never know what our needs are going to be here.”

Martinez said then they wouldn’t rush Wood, or any other prospect, but would bring him up when he was ready.

“We made it this far with not trying to rush these guys. We’re going to continue to do that and make sure they’re ready. The big thing is to get them up here and have them stay up here.”

Wood will get his shot on Monday ... or maybe sooner ... considering Jesse Winker got hurt and left last night’s game early.

Martinez reported after the game the injury wasn’t as bad as it initially looked.

“He’s going to be okay,” Martinez said in his post game press conference.

“He kind of bruised his knee, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. But it looked worse than what it was. So that’s a good sign for us. He banged his knee pretty good though. I thought he actually twisted his ankle. But his ankle is fine, he’s just got a little contusion.”

Washington Nationals news & notes: Mitchell Parker vs the Rays in 3-1 loss; James Wood to join Nats in D.C.? (2024)
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