Delpercio: National League East Recap

Graphic for NL East Column. - Graphics Editor / Julia Quennessen

Another week of baseball down means another week of craziness in the NL East, so let’s check out everything the division had to offer us from Monday, August 1, to Sunday, August 7. 

Welcome to the Show 

The division saw two players make their debut this week. The Washington Nationals called up 30-year-old first baseman Joey Meneses to the majors on Tuesday after their recent trade with the San Diego Padres. Meneses had spent ten years in the minor leagues up until Tuesday and made the most of his MLB debut, hitting a solo home run for his first career hit. 

With Miami losing Avisail Garcia for some time due to injury, the Marlins called up Peyton Burdick to try and give their offense a spark. Burdick, the 25-year-old outfielder, posted an OPS north of .840 in the minor leagues but struggled in his MLB debut, going 0-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. 

Bring Out the Brooms 

This weekend, the Philadelphia Phillies slugged their way to a four-game series sweep of the Nationals, hitting a franchise record 14 home runs in the four games, breaking last year’s record of 13 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Rhys Hoskins was a huge catalyst of this offensive explosion that saw the Phillies score 36 runs, as he went yard in every game and drove in six runs himself. 

With how hot the offense was, it’s easy to overlook the starting pitching performances that the Phils got this weekend, but they were dominant. Noah Syndergaard, Kyle Gibson, who flirted with perfection, Ranger Suarez, and Aaron Nola led a pitching staff that gave up 12 runs and only one home run across the four games. 

Meanwhile, for Washington, they continue to trend in the wrong direction, being owners of the worst record in the MLB at 36-74. 

Jacob deGrom Returns

After being sidelined since July 7, 2021, Jacob deGrom finally made his return to an MLB mound on Tuesday. The New York Mets game plan entering Tuesday was to limit deGrom to only 75-80 pitches but he was so efficient that they opted on the side of caution and pulled him after 59 pitches. deGrom’s efficiency allowed him to pitch six innings of one-run ball, six strikeouts, and zero walks against the Nationals.

The Mets however, weren’t able to get deGrom his first win of the year, as they lost the game 5-1. 

Welcome to Slam Diego 

The Juan Soto sweepstakes came to a close early on Tuesday when the San Diego Padres made a trade to acquire the 23-year-old phenom and first baseman Josh Bell from the Nationals, but not before giving up the farm.

The Padres had to give up five prospects, including C.J. Abrams and MacKenzie Gore, two of their top 5 prospects entering 2022, and Robert Hassell III and James Wood, two prospects inside the Top 100, along with veteran first baseman Luke Voit to acquire both Bell and Soto.

Soto ends his career with the Nationals with 569 hits, 119 home runs, two Silver Slugger awards, and a World Series ring. 

Deadline Deals 

The Juan Soto deal wasn’t the only transaction that was made within the division, as the Atlanta Braves, Mets, Marlins, and Phillies all got involved in Tuesday’s trade deadline. 

The Braves were able to acquire outfielder Robbie Grossman, starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, and reliever Raisel Iglesias at the deadline. Atlanta did have to part ways with reliever Will Smith to get Odorizzi and pitchers Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson to get Raisel Iglesias. 

The Marlins made a tiny splash, sending relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop to the Toronto Blue Jays to acquire infielder Jordan Groshans. Groshans was the Blue Jays’ fourth-ranked prospect and hit .296 with a .644 OPS with Toronto’s Triple A team. However, we probably won’t see Groshans make his debut with the Marlins until 2023. 

The Mets were able to pick up reliever Mychal Givens from the Cubs and first baseman Darin Ruf from the San Fransisco Giants. The Mets had to send JD Davis, Thomas Szapucki, and two prospects to get Ruf but now have a righty bat to platoon with Daniel Vogelbach in that designated hitter slot.

The Phillies were able to address their needs at the deadline, getting outfielder Brandon Marsh and starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard from the Los Angeles Angels along with reliever David Robertson from the Cubs. Philly did have to part with some talent in their farm system, however, sending one of their top prospects in Logan O’Hoppe and former top prospect Mickey Moniak to the Angels. They also sent starting pitcher Ben Brown. 

Injury Update

On Wednesday, the Marlins announced that they placed outfielder Avisail Garcia on the 10-day IL with a left hamstring strain. 

Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud injured his right leg in Saturday’s game against the New York Mets. His x-rays came back negative and he is listed as day-to-day. 

With August officially here, let’s take a look at some guys who started this month off hotter than the weather, some guys who stayed too cool, and the standings entering the dog days of August. 

Who’s Hot 

Pete Alonso (New York Mets 1B) – .367 AVG, 1.206 OPS, 5 XBH, 10 RBI, 16.7 K%

Francisco Lindor (New York Mets SS) – .379 AVG, 1.078 OPS, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R

Jeff McNeil (New York Mets 2B/LF) – .400 AVG, 1.053 OPS, 5 XBH, 12.9 K% 

Darick Hall (Philadelphia Phillies 1B/DH) – .471 AVG, 1.118 SLG, 1.644 OPS, 5 XBH

Luis Garcia (Washington Nationals SS) – .360 AVG, .880 OPS, 6 RBI 

Who’s Not 

Marcell Ozuna (Atlanta Braves LF/DH) – .160 AVG, .480 OPS, 0 BB, 9 LOB 

Starling Marte (New York Mets RF) – .194 AVG, .479 OPS, 5.7 BB%, 18 LOB, E9

Miguel Rojas (Miami Marlins SS) – .056 AVG, .198 OPS, 0 XBH, 1 RBI 

Taijuan Walker (New York Mets SP) – 1 GS, 1.0 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Patrick Corbin (Washington Nationals SP) – 2 GS, 5.0 IP, 10 ER, 4 K, 3.00 WHIP 

Standings (As of August 8, 2022) 

1. New York Mets 70-39 

2. Atlanta Braves 64-46 (6.5 GB) 

3. Philadelphia Phillies 60-48 (9.5 GB) 

4. Miami Marlins 49-59 (20.5 GB) 

5. Washington Nationals (34.5 GB)

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