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NL East Beat Report: June 19 – July 2

With the All-Star break next week, teams around Major League Baseball are starting to get a feel for where their respective seasons are heading — and whether or not they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

In June, the Braves were the best team in baseball with a 21-4 record. The Marlins and Phillies weren’t as good as Atlanta but were both impressive, as Miami went 19-8 and Philadelphia went 18-8 in the season’s third full month. It’s safe to say all three of those teams currently look like they’ll be buyers come the August 1 trade deadline. As for the Mets (7-19) and Nationals (9-16), their Junes were not that great and both are currently trending as teams that will end up as sellers by the end of July.

With that, here’s what happened in the NL East over the last couple of weeks.


Notable News and Transactions

Braves

June 25: After being designated for assignment, INF Charlie Culberson has elected free agency.

June 26: RHP AJ Smith-Shawver has been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett and RHP Dereck Rodríguez has been recalled.

June 27: RHP Seth Elledge and INF Charlie Culberson have been signed to minor league contracts.

June 28: Dereck Rodríguez has been optioned to Triple-A and LHP Koby Allard has been activated from the 60-day injured list. Allard will start today’s game.

June 30: After optioning LHP Jared Shuster yesterday, RHP Michael Soroka has been recalled from Triple-A. Also, LHP Dylan Lee has been transferred to the 60-day injured list, while C Tradwick Tromp was optioned and INF Charlie Culberson was added to the 40-man roster and had his contract selected.

Marlins

June 20: CF Jazz Chisholm Jr. will begin a rehab assignment tonight. Chisholm, who will need offseason surgery, has been out since mid-May with turf toe.

June 24: According to Craig Mish of the Miami Herald, RHP Eury Pérez may be given some time off sooner rather than later.

June 26: In a set of roster moves, Jazz Chisholm Jr. and INF Jean Segura have been activated from the injured list. Meanwhile, INFs Jacob Amaya and Garrett Hampson have been optioned to Triple-A.

July 1: RHP Archie Bradley has been designated for assignment.

July 2: RHP Jeff Lindgren’s contract has been selected.

Mets

June 19: RHP John Curtiss has been optioned to the Syracuse Mets and RHP Grant Hartwig has had his contract selected.

June 23: With RHP Tylor Megill being optioned to Triple-A Syracuse yesterday, RHP Vinny Nittoli has been recalled.

June 23: INF Eduardo Escobar has been traded to the Los Angeles Angles for RHPs Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux.

June 24: INF Danny Mendick has been recalled from the Syracuse Mets.

June 25: RHP Reed Garrett has been claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles and was optioned to Triple-A.

June 26: LHP T.J. McFarland’s contract has been selected from Triple-A and LHP Josh Walker has been optioned. RHP Drew Smith has also been reinstated from his suspension.

June 27: LHP David Peterson has been recalled from the Syracuse Mets to make tonight’s start and Vinny Nittoli has been optioned.

Phillies

June 19: 1B Darick Hall has been activated from the 60-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. To make room for Hall on the 40-man roster, OF Dalton Guthrie has been designated for assignment.

June 22: Dalton Guthrie has been traded to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations.

July 2: INF Kody Clemens has been optioned to Triple-A and 1B Darick Hall has been recalled.

Nationals

June 21: OF Victor Robles has been placed on the 10-day injured list with back spasms and OF Derek Hill has been recalled.

June 21: RHP Carl Edwards Jr. has been placed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation and LHP Joe La Sorsa has been recalled from Triple-A.

June 24: RHP Chad Kuhl has been designated for assignment and RHP Paolo Espino has been recalled.

June 26: With RHP Amos Willingham being brought up to the big leagues, Paolo Espino has been optioned.

June 26: Chad Kuhl has been released.


Top Performers

Braves

At the plate, it’s hard to mention just one or two players for Atlanta that were the club’s top performers as their entire lineup hit well during the month of June. As a team, the Braves led the big leagues in runs (175) and home runs (61), while their slash line of .307/.372/.572 featured the top batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage of any team in the game. Ronald Acuña Jr. continued to strengthen his MVP case as he hit .356/.429/.683 in June with nine home runs and a 201 OPS+. He also stole 14 bases.

On the mound, the Braves starting staff had some struggles in June with a 4.82 ERA. But the bullpen was very good with a 2.53 ERA — the second lowest in the majors. Relievers Michael Tonkin (1.42), A.J. Minter (2.25), Kirby Yates (2.25), and Joe Jiménez (1.08) all posted sub-2.50 ERAs last month.

Marlins

At the plate for the second-place Marlins, Luis Arraez continued his fascinating season as he slashed .406/.448/.509 in June. Meanwhile, Jorge Soler hit five home runs and posted a .821 OPS and Joey Wendle hit six doubles while putting together a .836 OPS.

In Miami’s starting rotation, standout right-hander Eury Pérez made five starts that totaled 28 innings with a 0.32 ERA last month. Lefty Braxton Garrett also made five starts and pitched to the tune of a 2.22 ERA in 28 1/3 innings.

Mets

Brandon Nimmo and Tommy Pham were New York’s top hitters last month. Nimmo slashed .255/.360/.500 with seven home runs and Pham hit .349/.387/.640 with seven doubles and six home runs.

On the mound for the Mets, Justin Verlander pitched 27 innings in June with a 3.33 ERA and 27 strikeouts. In the bullpen, Brooks Raley made 13 appearances and allowed just two earned runs (1.74 ERA).

Phillies

Nick Castellanos continued his bounce-back 2023 campaign in June. Philadelphia’s right fielder hit .351/.387/.567 last month with five home runs and 21 RBIs. Meanwhile, Kyle Schwarber slugged .515 with eight home runs and 17 walks.

The Phillies starting rotation posted the lowest ERA (2.73) as a group in the big leagues in June. The staff was headlined by Ranger Suárez (1.08 ERA and .960 WHIP in 33 1/3 innings) and offseason acquisition Taijuan Walker (1.50 ERA and .889 WHIP in six starts).

Nationals

Washington’s lineup featured two players who put together strong performances throughout June. Lane Thomas slashed .340/.374/.640 with 10 doubles and six home runs while Jeimer Candelario posted an .823 OPS with 11 doubles in 100 plate appearances.

Jordan Weems (2.25 ERA in nine appearances), Kyle Finnegan (0.79 ERA in nine appearances), Mason Thompson (0.82 ERA in 12 appearances), and Hunter Harvey (2.79 ERA with four saves in 11 appearances) all put together strong months out of the Nats bullpen in June.


Current Standings

TeamRecordGB
Braves56-27
Marlins48-379.0
Phillies44-3912.0
Mets38-4618.5
Nationals34-4922.0
Standings after play on July 2, 2023.

Featured Photo: Twitter / @Braves

Bailey Digh

I've been writing for Diamond Digest since July 2022. I'm also currently a contributor for Phillies Nation. You can find me on X @bailey_digh.

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