So this bit of info came up during the "Year in Statcast" show last night.
Short of it is - at the end of the season Bryce's arm died and as a result he started shifting in defensively. We all saw it, the shifting at least, but here is the arm strength evidence that backs that up. Will the team finally admit it now?
If a pitcher suddenly lost 4 MPH on his fastball you wouldn't just shrug your shoulders and move on. You can't just say "maybe it's a slump throwing the ball" as the Nats tried to do explaining away Bryce's drop in performance at the plate. Clearly he had a physical ailment that was negatively effecting his play.
Now of course that doesn't mean the Nats were lying about the shoulder. But they were almost certainly lying about him being healthy and being purposely misleading about the shoulder. Outside the actual shoulder joint you can get away with saying it's a neck issue, an upper back issue, an upper arm issue, or a chest issue. It's all connected.
What does this silly subterfuge affect in the grand scheme of things?. Not the play on the field. No team looked at Bryce and thought "Well he looks hurt and can't throw and can't get his arm up to hit but if the team says he's healthy we won't try to attack that". Not the support of the fanbase in a meaningful way. No fan looks up today and thinks "Oh, they lied to us about Bryce's health! I'm done with the Nationals!" Where it matters is probably in the relationship between the reporters and the team. They were fed a bill of goods and reported those back to us. The team made them look foolish. So further reports will probably be taken with far more skepticism and if the reporters are any good, will be followed with as much digging for corroboration as possible. All for what? I don't know.
Anyway tomorrow I'll tell you Anthony Rendon should start at third. Prepare your spit takes.