It hasn't been the prettiest of starts for the Washington Nationals. Washington currently sits in dead last of the NL East with a 13-19 overall record, putting them 5.5 games back of the first-place New York Mets. What's worse? The Nationals now have a Brad Hand problem at closer.
The Nationals hoped to find a reliable solution at closer after signing Hand to a one-year, $10.5 million contract this winter. He got off to a blistering start, recording a 0.00 ERA in his first nine appearances this season.
But, it's more or less been a disaster since the calendar turned to May. Hand's ERA ballooned to 2.92 in his past 2.1 innings pitched. That's included a pair of blown saves and losses. Back-to-back losses against the New York Yankees and another loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday has raised some serious questions.
The Nationals have enough problems already this season. With that in mind, let's check out three internal team options to replace Hand as closer for the Nationals this season.
3. Wander Suero
Wander Suero has just been activated off of the injured list, and manager Davey Martinez could turn to the reliever to take over for Hand. He's allowed just 1 earned run across 6.1 IP while recording 5 K's to this point. Suero has one save to his name, earned in 2019, but he provides an option should Hand continue to be a liability.
2. Will Harris
Of Washington's relief staff, Will Harris owns some of the most MLB experience. He's 36 years old and a 10-year veteran of the league. Harris missed the first month of the season with right hand inflammation but has been brilliant in his three appearances since returning. It's a small sample size, yes, but Harris has given up just one hit in 2.2 IP. More importantly, he has prior experience as a closer -- which many of the Nationals' relievers don't. Harris owns 21 career saves.
1. Daniel Hudson
If Hand continues to struggle, then the Nationals will be forced to make a move at closer. Daniel Hudson is the best option to pull this off. The 12-year MLB veteran saw a tryout as Washington's closer last season. The results weren't great (10 saves and 6.10 ERA), but he seems to have turned a corner this season. Hudson has appeared in 11 games and owns a 1.69 ERA in 10.2 IP. He also strikes out 10.1 batters per nine and operates with a 3.00 strikeout to walk ratio. It's worth another audition at this point.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.