Closer Jonathan Papelbon expressed his frustration with the Phillies' situation after Sunday's loss, saying the organization will have to undergo changes from the top down if the team continues to struggle.
"I definitely didn't come here for this," said Papelbon, who signed a four-year, $50 million contract in November 2011. "I would like to stay here. But if I'm going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don't want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?"
At this point, Papelbon has pretty much forced the Phillies hand prior to Wednesday's deadline. There are a few teams that are in a playoff run that could use his services, but will likely have to each a lot of his remaining salary. In terms of fantasy if he does in fact get traded there is no way a team would pay his premium and not use him as their closer. So his fantasy value should be safe either way. For all the latest bullpen news, be sure to follow @MLBDailyBullpen on Twitter. ANALYST: Matthew Beck
Looks like $50 million doesn't buy you much loyalty. Tell you what Mr. Papelbon, why don't you go suck an egg. You make $12 million a year to play a game. Ninety-nine percent of folks will never make that amount in their entire life. They work for much less money under much greater work stresses than you do. How about your just keep your mouth shut and do your job. Thus ends our public service announcement. ANALYST: Ray Flowers
Ian Desmond was 2-for-3 with a solo home run on Saturday for Washington.
In the midst of a lost season, Ian Desmond is suddenly on track to hit 20 home runs again this year. With his solo shot on Saturday, Desmond now has 17 this year and eight in the month of August. Although Desmond is only hitting .235 for the season, he is 30-for-97 (.309) in August with eight home runs, 25 RBI and five stolen bases. Since Desmond is hot and faces left-hander Brad Hand against whom he is 3-for-12 (.250) with a double and three walks, he deserves a look in daily play on Sunday. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Ryan Zimmerman was 1-for-4 with a solo home run on Saturday.
Ryan Zimmerman has been a case study in bad luck. His hard contact percentage is up this year but his .225 average does not reflect it. Zimmerman hit his 12th home run of the season in 87 games and now has 59 RBI for the Nationals. But keep Zimmerman on your targets for Sunday as he is 6-for-8 (.750) with four doubles against Marlins starter Brad Hand. Zimmerman has six home runs in 27 games in August with a .259 average which is more in line with his career stats. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Anthony Rendon was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored on Saturday.
If the Nationals are going to make a run at the Mets, Anthony Rendon will need to be a part of a hot streak for Washington. In an injury riddled season, Rendon is only hitting .267 this year but is showing signs of life. Rendon is hitting .256 in August but has all three of his home runs this month with 14 RBI in 24 games. He should be able to build on Saturday’s effort on Sunday against Brad Hand as Rendon is 5-for-11 (.455) against him with two doubles, a triple and four runs scored. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Justin Bour was 1-for-4 with a solo home run on Saturday.
Justin Bour had a very underrated first half for the Marlins as a Rule V selection. But in the second half, the regression has taken a toll on Bour. He is hitting .225 in 36 games with three home runs since the All Star Break. Bour is 3-for-8 lifetime against Stephen Strasburg who will start on Sunday but he cannot be trusted for daily games in this match-up. Analysis: Greg Jewett
Lorenzo Cain was 1-for-3 with two runs, an RBI, two walks and a stolen base on Saturday.
Lorenzo Cain continued his breakout season reaching base three times with two walks and a hit on Saturday. Cain also drove in a run and stole his 25th base in the game. He has already established a career high in home runs with 12 this year and is now within three of tying his career high in steals for a season. Cain is hitting .312 this year and could be establishing a baseline of 15 home runs and 30 stolen base seasons going forward. Analysis: Greg Jewett