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Dodgers get two big reminders of just what a mega-trade with Nationals costs in 8-3 loss

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts, center, runs to first as he hits a solo home run as Washington Nationals starting pitcher Josiah Gray, left, and catcher Keibert Ruiz watch during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts hits a leadoff home run in the initial inning as Washington Nationals pitcher Josiah Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz, both former Dodgers prospects, watch on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz, the ber prospects the Dodgers traded this past year to obtain Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, were the Washington Nationals‘ battery Tuesday night.

Watching them toil for the last-place Nationals within an 8-3 make an impression on the Dodgers, the questions were obvious even though email address details are not. At the very least not yet.

Which team won the offer? Or was it a wash?

At that time, it appeared as if a steal for the Dodgers. However they didnt reach the planet Series and Scherzer didnt re-sign. Turner, a free of charge agent following this season, is playing at the amount of a most effective player, but wouldnt the Dodgers have to win the planet Series for the trade to be worth quitting arguably their top two prospects?

Gray, a starting pitcher with electric stuff, strikes out greater than a batter per inning and provides up significantly less than popular per inning. Ruiz, a switch-hitting catcher, is solid defensively and makes contact at a higher rate from both sides of the plate. Both are under team control until 2028, cornerstones of the Nationals rebuilding plan.

Yet they will have a substantial blemish: Gray gives up way too many home runs. Ruiz doesnt hit enough of these.

Gray has been touched for an astounding 42 home runs in 167-2/3 career innings. Mookie Betts greeted him with a 404-foot blast to center field in the initial inning Tuesday the 14th amount of time in 18 starts this year Gray has surrendered a house run and Cody Bellinger hit a soaring drive to directly on the initial pitch of the fifth inning.

Betts thwarted a Nationals scoring threat in the fifth when he threw out Victor Robles at the plate on Josh Bells two-out single, but defense hurt the Dodgers in the eighth.

The inning began with second baseman Gavin Lux creating a throwing error, and Luis Garca homered against reliever Garrett Cleavinger on an 0-and-2 pitch with two out to provide Washington a 4-3 lead.

I left it up a little, Cleavinger said. Hung it in a negative spot. Discussing Luxs error, Cleavinger said, It happens to everybody. Were all human. Another 100 times hell make that play.

Cleavinger was called up from triple A prior to the game to provide what manager Dave Roberts called a brand new arm. Roberts stayed with him in the ninth because he wished to give other relievers the night time off, and the Nationals scored four insurance runs.

Ruiz, who’s batting .249, drove in another of those runs with an individual. However, he’s got only three home runs in 310 plate appearances. He doesnt strike out much but all too often makes weak contact on pitches out from the strike zone.

Dodgers' Mookie Betts blows a kiss toward the crowd as Washington Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz watches.

Dodgers’ Mookie Betts blows a kiss toward the crowd after hitting a solo home run as Washington Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz watches through the first inning on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

No matter their longball shortcomings, Roberts holds Ruiz and Gray in high regard.

On Gray: I love Josiah a whole lot. What sticks out may be the fastball; its a distinctive fastball. Its a minimal arm slot, there’s rise and there’s a slider within. Hes been excellent against right-handed hitters and had a tougher time against left-handed hitters.”

On Ruiz: Keibert will be an extremely good player for a long period. The crucial thing for him would be to undertake the catching duties and obtain familiarized with the pitchers. There’s never been lots of power but he’s got elite bat-to-ball skills from both sides of the plate.

The Dodgers and Nationals my work another mega-trade before this years Aug. 2 trade deadline. Washington is considering offers for superstar Juan Soto and the Dodgers have the enticing young players to swing a deal.

If which should occur, the Dodgers must win another World Series or three before Soto could turn into a free agent following the 2024 season. And the Nationals must successfully rebuild round the plethora of prospects.

Anything less from either team, and winner and loser ought to be an easy task to determine.

Dodgers change tune on Taylor

Weeks ago, Roberts managed to get clear that valuable utility man Chris Taylor would play only outfield all of those other season due to concerns about his right elbow, which as surgically repaired through the offseason.

Then Taylor continued the injured list July 5 with a fractured foot, and today is about to be on a league rehab assignment.

Will he play only outfield or will he mix in a few second base? Have the Dodgers changed their stance?

We’ve in the sense that the majority of it had been driven by the elbow and giving it time and energy to heal up, Roberts said. We just feel just like he is able to handle the various arm angles from the infield and outfield, so having him taking grounders in the infield gives us more options.

“I simply dont think there exists a large amount of downside so far as having Chris getting re-familiarized with second base.”

And when the Dodgers acquire Juan Soto at the trade deadline, Taylor wouldnt have an outfield spot. Reminded of this possibility, Roberts laughed and said, Thats right, thats right.

Heaney to provide it another go

Left-hander Andrew Heaney can make his fourth start of season and first since June 19 when he takes the mound contrary to the Nationals on Wednesday

Heaney made two impressive starts at the start of the growing season before missing 8 weeks with a sore left shoulder. His return lasted only 1 start, when again he was dominant yet reinjured the shoulder.

In 15-1/3 innings over three starts, he’s abandoned one run while striking out 23. His ERA is 0.59.

Roberts said Heaney will be limited to about 75 pitches Wednesday. Heaney has made only two appearances contrary to the Nationals in his nine-year career, quitting four runs in seven innings.

This story originally appeared in LA Times.

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