Dealing with a rash of injuries, the Washington Nationals have stumbled out of the blocks and enter May with a 13-16 record. Bryce Harper made it abundantly clear that the return of some starters (namely Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy) will be quite welcome for the Nats.
Bryce Harper on Rendon and Murphy possibly returning soon: “It’s huge…We’re 13-16 with the Syracuse Sky Chiefs.”
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 1, 2018
Certainly, injuries have played a part in Washington’s struggles. Rendon hasn’t played since April 13, while Murphy has missed the entire season, thus far.
That said, the Nationals’ problems can’t solely be pinned on injuries. Ryan Zimmerman had a monster year in 2017. But in 2018, he’s stumbled out of the blocks, finishing April with a .184/.245/.378 slash line. Another regular, Michael Taylor, has also struggled in the early going, hitting .222/.294/.384.
This isn’t to say that Washington’s outlook won’t look brighter when the stars return. But this team’s early season struggles go beyond just getting some injured starters back. The healthy starters need to turn their games around, too.