The Nationals were one of the big sellers at the deadline, purging Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, Brad Hand, Daniel Hudson, Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison from their roster. It stands to reason, then, that they'd have some openings to fill, and it turns out they also have some talent to fill it.
One such player, starting pitcher Josiah Gray, was acquired in a deadline deal with the Dodgers, but others were already waiting in the wings. And they're getting an immediate chance to show what they can do.
Josiah Gray SP
WAS Washington • #40 • Age: 23
Josiah Gray's first two starts with the Dodgers didn't do much to help the team to victory -- he allowed six earned runs and four home runs in eight innings -- but the number of swinging strikes spoke worlds of his ability. He had 33 on 156 pitches -- a 21.2 percent rate that compares only to Jacob deGrom -- and they were split almost evenly between his fastball, slider and curveball. Now that he's with the Nationals, he's not just an injury fill-in. As long as he performs, he'll stick in the rotation, making him more worthy of an investment. If his two starts this week go well, you may not get another shot at him.
WAS Washington • #67 • Age: 30
Kyle Finnegan's numbers wouldn't appear to be closer-caliber, but manager Dave Martinez seems pretty committed to the idea, using him like a closer in three of the team's past five games. He recorded a save on back-to-back days right after Brad Hand was traded and then worked the ninth inning of a tie game Sunday, picking up the win. He's not the sort of extreme bat-misser teams normally look to use in the ninth inning, but opportunity is half the battle. And he's been on a nice run lately, allowing two earned runs in his past 14 appearances for a 1.23 ERA.
Luis Garcia 2B
WAS Washington • #2 • Age: 21
Luis Garcia is one of those prospects whose production never lived up to the scouting reports, and when he failed to deliver in his call-up last year, losing rookie eligibility in the process, he became sort of yesterday's news. But he's only now 21, and at his time back at Triple-A this year, he finally broke out, showing the ability to hit the ball out of the park for the first time while striking out just 16.4 percent of the time. There's still a chance for a superstar outcome here, and with the Nationals having just moved both their shortstop and second baseman, Garcia could pick up eligibility at both positions.
Here's who else made a case to be added this weekend ...
LAA L.A. Angels • #43 • Age: 24
What more is there to say about Patrick Sandoval? He looks like he's right on the verge of being picked up everywhere, so consider this your last chance to claim the guy whose swinging-strike rate (16.4 percent) would rank first among qualifiers (worth noting that Jacob deGrom is himself not a qualifier). The lefty still struggles with walks, but his changeup and slider are both elite pitches and it's showing up in the numbers. Despite walking six in his latest outing Friday, he still allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings while piling up 20 swings and misses.
TB Tampa Bay • #62 • Age: 24
The rookie who has made headlines mostly for being one of the hardest-throwing left-handed starting pitchers in history has taken a little off in his past four outings, losing about 1.5 mph, but it seems to have made him more effective overall. He has a 2.57 ERA during that stretch, throwing 68 percent of his pitches for strikes. Despite that high rate, the walks are still an issue, but he misses enough bats to make up for them. His usefulness remains mostly a question of how hard the Rays push him.
COL Colorado • #7 • Age: 25
If you're worried about Fernando Tatis' availability for the rest of this season because of his shoulder, it seems like Brendan Rodgers should be your first target off the waiver wire. He's heating up again after a mostly quiet July, homering four times in his past seven games, and you see the overall numbers aren't bad. He hasn't even taken full advantage of Coors Field yet, batting just .259 with a .707 OPS there, which would suggest his best is yet to come. As a former No. 3 pick and top prospect, he may be on the verge of an All-Star breakthrough.
Logan Webb SP
SF San Francisco • #62 • Age: 24
It's taken a few months, a few injuries, a few return trips to the minors, but finally, Logan Webb is beginning to live up to the hype he built up in spring training. OK, so the hype then was more about a breakthrough changeup, which hasn't really panned out, but his swinging-strike rate is up to a respectable 11.3 percent this year. He's also gone from being a good ground-ball pitcher to a great one, with a rate that would make him a distant No. 1 among qualifiers. It all makes for a 3.11 xFIP that backs up what he's been doing lately, compiling a 2.25 ERA in five starts since his return.
Reid Detmers SP
LAA L.A. Angels • #48 • Age: 22
Yeah .. so Reid Detmers' major-league debut Sunday didn't go so well. He allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings while serving up two home runs to the Athletics. But it just means you have less competition for him, right? Logan Gilbert's debut was similarly unimpressive, but you'd like to have him now, wouldn't you? Detmers flashed six different pitches in this one, so he's pretty advanced. He was only drafted last year and was thought to have a high floor, but a jump in velocity this year has made for a high ceiling as well. He had 15.9 K/9 in the minors.
SEA Seattle • #13 • Age: 24
Whatever the Mariners saw in Abraham Toro-Hernandez when they traded Kendall Graveman for him has taken immediate effect. The 24-year-old has gone 9 for 18 with two home runs, three doubles, a stolen base and just two strikeouts since coming over, taking over as the everyday second baseman. He homered in his final two games for the Astros, too. Toro-Hernandez doesn't make particularly hard contact, but he does make a lot of it, having hit .352 in the minors this year and .324 there in 2019. He seems to be relishing more regular at-bats.
Kyle Farmer SS
CIN Cincinnati • #17 • Age: 31
Kyle Farmer just wrapped up a curiously productive July in which he hit .395 (32 for 81) with five homers and a 1.147 OPS, entrenching himself as the Reds starting shortstop and attracting all kinds of new attention in Fantasy. He's already 30 and hasn't shown much offensive ability in either the majors or minors, but then again, he hasn't elevated the ball as well as he did in July either, putting it on the ground just 36.4 percent of the time. It's probably just a prolonged hot streak, but if you need a short-term fill-in, you could do worse.