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Jose Fernandez hurt, Nationals floundering and more

The Miami Marlins have been a massive disappointment. Miami was supposed to compete with the likes of the Washington Nationals and New York Mets in the National League East, and at the bare minimum get after a wild card spot.

This was a team that was getting ace Jose Fernandez back relatively early in the season from Tommy John surgery and had acquired Mat Latos and Dee Gordon in the offseason, bolstering both the starting rotation and top of the lineup. Everything was exciting and lining up for the Marlins to make the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series back in 2003 with Josh Beckett and Co.

Instead, Miami has gone through an absolute nightmare. Gordon made the All-Star team and Giancarlo Stanton is still an all-world slugger, but promising youngster Marcell Ozuna was so bad he needed to be sent to the minor leagues. Additionally, Latos was injured and when healthy, he was terrible. Henderson Alvarez was also supposed to be a breakout star in the rotation, but instead has been injured throughout the campaign.

Now, the latest blow. After making only seven starts for the Marlins after returning in July, Fernandez is back on the disabled list with a strained right biceps. Fernandez was 4-0 with a 2.30 earned run average before going down with another injury, potentially putting him down for the season. With Miami sitting at 44-68 coming into Tuesday night’s action – the worst record in the Majors – why would the Marlins bother rushing him back? At this point, it seems that letting Fernandez rest would be the best move.

Miami seriously needs to reevaluate if this group is the team it wants moving forward. It appears there is plenty of talent to make a run if healthy, but to go 44-68 and be the worst team in baseball? Injuries are not the only problem with this team.

Nationals sitting in second

The Nationals appeared like they would run away with the NL East while the New York Mets were busy scoring approximately one run per week. Now, suddenly, the Mets are rolling and Washington is simply trying to stay in the race.

At 58-53, Washington is two games back of the Mets and only 4-6 in the last 10 games. The best path to the playoffs is unquestionably winning the division. The Nationals are currently eight games off the pace of the wild card-leading Pittsburgh Pirates, and four and a half games behind the Chicago Cubs for the final playoff spot.

If the Nationals don’t make the playoffs with a rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez, manager Matt Williams should be fired before he walks off the field after Game 162.

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