Nationals Baseball: So what needs to change?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

So what needs to change?

Nats lose to the fantastic and lovable Zack Greinke (I refuse to speak ill of Zack because I desperately wish he'll sign with the Nationals in 2013) and like clockwork the first real slide far below .500 for the season* prompts to first signs of discontent in the clubhouse.

*The Nats had a 1-6 run earlier but it was after a 4 game winning streak and only dropped the Nats to 3 games under .500. That prompted "ok let's get it together" talk, which they did, winning 4 of the next 5 to get back to .even. This run comes after a mildly disappointing 2-2 homestand vs the Marlins and Phillies and drops the Nats to 7 under and making them the 4th worst team in the league.

Jayson Werth, the 126 Million Dollar Man, spoke out last night complaining that things needed to change. However he wasn't really clear on what he meant. The money quotes from Kill-Gore's post game wrap-up in the Post ("Post"-game wrap-up?) :
"I’ve got some ideas obviously, and some thoughts, none I really want to share with the world,” Werth said. “I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on around here... A lot of these guys are kind of still learning. We’ve got to make sure they continue to develop, regardless of if we’re winning or losing. I think that’s important for the future of this club. But things need to change"
The way I read it there are three possibilities for what he means.
1. Fire the coach
2. Stop playing these sucky youngsters.
3. "Things need to change"

Number one is always a possibility and since Riggleman and Werth have no real ties it doesn't seem like there is a reason he'd be supportive of Riggs. Of course there's no reason to think he wouldn't be supportive either.

Number two might be possible but then we have to accept that Jayson Werth is an idiot that thinks playing more Pudge, Ankiel, Hairston, and Cora would lead to more wins. I'd rather not think that.

Number three is just a generic griping at the situation which is fine and understandable. Things DO need to change. What things? I don't know. The things that keep us from winning. (Honestly the first thing that needs to change is Zimmerman needs to come back )

Whatever it is we're sure to hear it if the Nats keep losing more than they are winning... which means we're sure to hear it. What bothers me about this is that Werth is saying it at all. The guy sucked sucked sucked for the first month of the season, finally brings his numbers back to within shouting distance of where they should be and now he opens his mouth? Can we at least see more good weeks than bad from you before you pop off? (I wonder if Mike "Clubhouse" Rizzo is already plotting on how he can get rid of this terrible malcontent!)

It's early. They're frustrated. While it's fun to speculate on what it all means (especially because it keeps us from focusing on how lousy the team is playing... well sorta) for now it's probably best to leave it at that. Just some guys blowing off some steam.


Kevin Rusch, Section406 said...

Well, I don't know what Jayson meant, but I'd suggest the following changes:
1) "Quality veterans" who hit below .100 need to begin their coaching careers.
2) Maybe it's time to decide what to do with Marquis? He's been great this year; there's no doubt about that. But there are some kids in AAA who are lights-out, and Marquis' trade value will _never_ be any higher.
3) I'm no huge fan of Bernadina, but he seems to have a little more potential than Ankiel, who just isn't hitting worth a damn.
4) What's the point of having Jerry Hairston, Brian Bixler _and_ Alex Cora? Bixler's no prospect, and Hairston & Cora's defensive skills and weak bats are redundant. Again, if one of them wants to be a coach, fine.
5) The bullpen's OK. The "see if they can stick to the roster" guys are gone.

I can't see that much that Riggs has done wrong. I generally like where Rizzo is taking the team, but my confidence in him is eroding a bit with all these old guys hanging around.

Harper said...

1) I feel like we could come up with an OPS / age formula for this.

2) I think they knew what they wanted to do with Marquis. Let him pitch decently to good for a while and trade him. Unfortunately he's been bad in May, so right now they are riding him out (No blame to Rizzo though - who gets traded in April?)

3) Roger could, Rick can't. 100 to 1 odds, vs 100 to 0.

4) Hairston also plays OF? When Zimm comes back there won't be all 3. Ideally there would be someone young to bring up just to see but it's too early for Lombardozzi and Kelso. Most of AAA is filler. Best bet? Matt Antonelli who was a decent prospect before a terrible 2008 and a 2-year injury took him off the map. At 26 he's the most interesting fill-in type

5) Yeah they'll float in guys in the Kimball spot if he struggles but it's pretty much set for the year until guys start getting dealt

Lee said...

I mostly agree with Kevin.

The old guys have to go. The old guys need to go. Matt Stairs has only 3 hits through almost 2 full months. Even as a mostly full time pinch hitter, that's pretty bad if that's what you were hired to do.

Ankiel has been replaced. Bernie still has some (read: a lot) of room to improve, but he at least has the potential to do so. He also gives us a better lead off situation. So Ankiel can throw the ball... Big Deal. He's not on the mound anymore.

Not just Marquis. We should trade him and Pudge. We have some quality catchers down below too. Pudge's BA would be someone else's problem.