Matt’s Bats Nats News: Trades, Injuries, Podcast, Every Nats Game’s A Story
First, the trades:
- Backup catcher Sandy Leon was traded to the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations.
- The Nats signed Reed Johnson to a minor league deal, after he was let go by the Miami Marlins.
- And the biggest news– the Nationals traded lefty reliever Jerry Blevins to the New York Mets for Outfielder Matt den Dekker. Keep reading for a little bit of background to get to know den Dekker.
Matt den Dekker was born on August 10, 1987, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He played high school baseball at the Westminster Academy, where many baseball players went, including Kevin Chapman, an Astros pitcher (and den Dekker’s cousin) and Nats minor league outfielder, Michael A. Taylor, who happens to be the guy den Dekker is fighting for the Opening Day centerfield position. Interestingly enough, den Dekker and Taylor played together in their high school years.
Den Dekker went to college at the University of Florida. As a sophomore, den Dekker hit .333 and was perfect in stolen bases/stolen base tries. Entering the 2009 draft, Baseball America ranked den Dekker as the #92 best prospect in all of the USA, in a list that included Giancarlo “Mike” Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Jordan Zimmermann, and others. The Mets drafted him in the 5th round in 2010, and assigned him to the Gulf Coast League Mets. After 5 games down in Port Saint Lucie, he was promoted to the Savannah Sand Gnats (now he’s played for two Nats!). He started 2011 with the St. Lucie Mets, who also play down in Florida, and shared that season with the Binghamton Mets. He played for the Las Vegas 51s in 2013 before getting called up to New York on August 29. He hit his first home run off Ross Ohlendorf on September 1st against the Nats. And now here he is, playing for the Nats throughout the season.
I think we’ll see a breakout year from den Dekker this year. Last year he looked like a volcano ready to explode, and this year it just may happen.
Next the injuries:
- 3B/2B Anthony Rendon, who has been on the bench with a knee injury, will go see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. I hope he doesn’t need surgery or a long DL stint!
- Newly signed reliever Casey Janssen has rotator cuff tendinitis and will not be ready for Opening Day.
- Drew Storen left a training game early because he had a blister on his toe.
Finally, my interview and article:
I was interviewed over the weekend, along with other Nats and Orioles commentators, for the Nats GM Show podcast. Check it out here.