Lopez appears to be the leading candidate to be recalled to start Saturday's game against the Giants.
He tossed a shutout with seven strikeouts on July 24 for Triple-A Syracuse, so he could take the ball Saturday with a couple extra days of rest. Lucas Giolito could also be an option, as he last pitched July 24 for the Nationals and has since been optioned to Triple-A. Lopez has proven that he is capable of racking up strikeouts against big league hitters, punching out nine in 4.2 innings in his lone start in the majors earlier this month. However, his command needs a lot of refinement, making him a high-risk/high-reward option if he does indeed take the ball for the Nationals on Saturday.
After a .265/.330/.500 June that was actually his worst month of the season so far, Murphy has rebounded with a .366/.377/.775 line through 71 July at-bats. This is now his first 20-HR campaign, but Murphy has plenty of time to take a run at 25 or even 30 homers given his continued and consistent excellence at the plate this year.
Turner went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI in Wednesday's game against the Indians.
Washington's been searching for production from the leadoff spot, and perhaps the club has found it with Turner. Hitting atop the lineup over the last three games, the 23-year-old sophomore is 6-for-13 with two doubles, one triple, three RBI, three runs and two stolen bases. Turner played the outfield for the second straight day in this one, but manager Dusty Baker wouldn't commit to playing Turner out there once the team returns to NL parks and loses the DH. If Turner does in fact earn an everyday spot, he's worth a pickup in most formats, especially if Baker inserts him in the leadoff spot.
Strasburg rebounded from his first loss of the season by twirling seven scoreless for just the second time this season (the first came on April 19 versus the Marlins). The win in Cleveland made him 7-0 in eight road starts this season, and improved his ERA away from home to an MLB-best 1.72. Among NL starters, Strasburg leads the pack with 14 wins, ranks fourth with 155 strikeouts and holds the fifth-best ERA at 0.99.
Drew has apparently been ill for about a week and was only showing minimal improvement, so the Nationals decided to deactivate him and send him back to Washington for further evaluation. Wilmer Difo was called up to take Drew's place on the roster.
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