No. 4 prospect works seven scoreless innings

June 29th, 2022

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Rutledge delivers seven scoreless innings (June 28)
Jackson Rutledge
showed his potential.

The Nationals’ No. 4 prospect had a rough outing in his last start, allowing five runs on eight hits in four innings. The 23-year-old bounced back, striking out eight while allowing no runs on three hits across seven innings in Single-A Fredericksburg's 8-0 win over Delmarva.

Rutledge was dealing at the end of his outing, retiring the last 12 batters he faced. He threw 89 pitches (58 strikes) in his start.

The righty lowered his ERA to 6.35 and brought his K tally to 31 in 34 innings this season. -- Edwin Perez

Top prospects House and Henry sidelined (June 24)
Brady House
, the Nationals’ No. 1 prospect, was placed on the seven-day IL with back soreness, the Fredericksburg Nationals announced. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said he should return between 7-10 days.

The shortstop hasn’t played a game since June 11. Prior to being placed on the IL, House had a slash line of .278/.356/.375 with an OPS of .731 and three home runs.

Right-hander Cole Henry, the Nats' No. 3 prospect, was also placed on the seven-day IL with shoulder tenderness, Rizzo said June 24.

“Because of [Henry’s] injury history, we’ve been extremely careful with him,” Rizzo said. “He’ll be no-throw for about a week, and then we’ll ramp him back up.”

Through nine appearances this season between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A ​​Rochester, the right-hander has compiled a 1-0 record and 1.71 ERA. -- Arianna Vedia

Lara builds up innings (June 16)
Single-A Fredericksburg right-hander  reached six innings for the second time this season on June 15 against Myrtle Beach. Lara, ranked as the Nationals’ No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, fanned six and allowed one run on three hits and one walk. 

Lara also tossed six frames on June 3. The 19-year-old is 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA in 11 starts. His 53 strikeouts are tied for second on the team. -- Jessica Camerato

Rutledge punches out 4 in career-long outing (June 10)
Jackson Rutledge's Minor League career to this point could be described as a rocky road, but it was smooth sailing for the right-hander as he picked up his first win of the 2022 season in Triple-A Fredricksburg's 4-3 win over Lynchburg.

Washington's fourth-ranked prospect held the Hillcats scoreless over six innings, marking the longest outing of his career. He scattered three hits and struck out four, tying a season high in the latter category.

The canceled Minor League season in 2020 and injuries in 2021 have prevented Rutledge -- a first round Draft pick in 2019 -- from finding his footing as a professional, but it's nights like these that remind the Nationals why they selected him where they did. -- Jacob Resnick

Cavalli fans 10 as he secures first career complete game (June 4)
Cade Cavalli was on a mission to both start and finish the game.

The Nationals’ No. 2 prospect entered play with no complete games in his 33 career outings. The 23-year-old broke that streak, striking out 10 while allowing five hits and one run in his first start-to-finish outing, keying Triple-A Rochester’s 5-1 win over Buffalo.

Cavalli struggled early with over half of the opposing lineup reaching base safely within the first two innings. After giving up his lone run of the day in the second inning, the righty locked in, retiring 14 straight batters before giving up a single in the seventh, which marked the final frame due to the doubleheader.

The Tulsa, Okla., native was zoned in, throwing 64 of his 93 pitches for strikes. It allowed him to get his season-high 10 strikeouts, bringing his strikeout tally to 47 and lowering his ERA to 4.94 in the 47 1/3 innings he has pitched this year. -- Edwin Perez

Cavalli cruises through seven strong for Red Wings (May 28)
Coming off one of his best starts of the year last week, second-ranked Nationals prospect Cade Cavalli set a new standard.

Baseball's No. 50 overall prospect went seven dominant innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out six, as Triple-A Rochester blanked Syracuse, 8-0.

Cavalli was perfect into the fourth, retiring the first 10 batters he faced, two via strikeouts, before issuing a walk to Syracuse's Khalil Lee. The right-hander responded by sitting down the next seven men before Jake Mangum broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single to center in the bottom of the sixth. Cavalli then got some help from his defense in his final inning. After Nick Dini singled with one out in the seventh, he was thrown out by Rochester right fielder Donovan Casey while attempting to stretch the hit to a double. Cavalli whiffed Daniel Johnson for the final out of his night.

The 22nd-overall pick from 2020 needed just 75 pitches (47 strikes) to breeze through his seven frames. The start marked Cavalli's first time going seven innings since he matched that feat last Aug. 11 with Double-A Harrisburg against New Hampshire. -- Tyler Maun

Henry back on dominant footing (May 28)
Cole Henry didn't give up a single run through the month of April. After allowing one in each of his first two May outings, he was back on track in his third.

Washington's No. 3 prospect tossed four perfect innings and struck out four -- dropping his ERA to 0.76 from its season-high mark of 0.92 after his last outing -- as Double-A Harrisburg lost a no-hit bid late but still outlasted Altoona in a 3-2 walk-off win.

Henry utilized just 40 pitches to mow through Altoona's lineup, with only one Curve hitter lasting longer than six pitches in an at-bat against him. The righty struck out the first two batters he faced, the last one of the second and the leadoff man in the third. Otherwise, he equally distributed outs with two on the ground, two on the fly, one on a line drive and the final three on infield pop-ups to the right side.

The outing was the third hitless appearance of the year for the Nationals' 2020 second-round pick to go along with his final two April starts. In 23 2/3 innings this season, Henry has allowed just five hits and two runs with 28 strikeouts and nine walks. -- Tyler Maun

Denaburg returns after two major surgeries (May 25)
Mason Denaburg is finally back on the hill.

Since Washington drafted him 27th overall in 2018, the right-hander has thrown just 20 1/3 innings in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, all in 2019. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder that October and then had to recover from Tommy John surgery performed in March 2021.

Denaburg had last pitched professionally on Aug. 3, 2019, and the 22-year-old made his first start in nearly three years for Single-A Fredericksburg against Salem. The Nationals' No. 29 prospect went just two innings, giving up four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out his first batter in three seasons. -- Ethan Sands

Cavalli has much-needed bounce-back outing (May 22)
Coming off his worst outing of the season in which he didn’t make it out of the first inning, Cade Cavalli bounced back in a big way. The top prospect fanned four batters over five one-hit, one-run innings while striking out four in Triple-A Rochester’s 4-2 loss to Lehigh Valley.

After walking the first batter of the game, the 23-year-old quickly settled down and set down the next 12 batters in order while picking up three strikeouts. He allowed two walks, a single and a sacrifice fly in the fifth before retiring the final two batters of the inning, striking out Matt Vierling for the final out. He caught three batters looking at fastballs and got one swinging on a breaking ball. The 22nd overall pick of the 2020 Draft, Cavalli has amassed 31 punchouts over 33 1/3 innings this year.
-- Stephanie Sheehan

Infante cranks two homers, De La Rosa ties career-high hits (May 21)
Sammy Infante and Jeremy De La Rosa were key in Single-A Fredericksburg's 5-4 win over Delmarva.

Infante, Washington's No. 21 prospect, crushed two homers for the third time in his career, while De La Rosa, Washington's No. 14 prospect, tallied four hits in the victory.

Although De La Rosa walked away with more hits, going 4-for-5 with three singles and a double in the contest, Infante's eighth inning solo shot wound up being the game-winning run that the Nationals needed.

The third baseman has been hot all season long, tallying seven multihit games and nine homers on the season.

The designated hitter has been on the slower side, but there are not many better ways to increase production and get back on track than tying his career-high hits in a game. -- Ethan Sands

Millas notches three hits in three-RBI day (May 15)
For the second straight game, Drew Millas notched three hits for Double-A Harrisburg.

The No. 20 prospect singled three times and drove in three runs in the Senators’ 12-1 win over Richmond. The catcher got the scoring started with an RBI knock to center in the first frame, and he bookended it by driving in the 12th and final run in the eighth on a liner to right. He also singled in the seventh and came around to score the 10th run of the game two batters later.

The 24-year-old is hitting .300/.440/.350 with five RBIs and five walks in his first five Double-A games. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Pineda plates 5 for Wilmington in double dip (May 8)
Israel Pineda is blooming in May after a rainy April.

Washington's No. 25 prospect has started the second month of the season on a six-game hit streak.

The designated hitter extended his run with a 3-for-4 performance in High-A Wilmington's 6-5 win over Bowling Green and then went 1-for-4 in the second game of a doubleheader.

Pineda singled to third base in the first inning for his first RBI of the game. He smashed a two-run homer to left-center field in the third to give the Blue Rocks their first lead of the game. The Venezuela native's most timely hit might have come in the eighth when he drove in the game-tying run while beating out a single to the mound. Pineda extended his streak in the nightcap with an RBI single to right in the bottom of the eighth.

In May, Pineda has elevated his batting average from .203 to .276. -- Ethan Sands