Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Quickie

Like I said on Friday that homestand pretty much ruins any magical run to .500.   Now it would take a 14-4 finish for the Nats to hit .500 and the Nats aren't going 14-4.   They still are going to beat last year's win total (a 3-15 finish will do that).  Most likely... 8-10? 7-11?   So yeah - 75 wins.

Some notes
  • Give Lombardozzi time.  He's a 22 year old in his first week in the majors.  He may end up not being very good but it's been a handful of games.  It's not like he's a 25 year old with 1200 major league plate appearances or something. 
  • Ian Desmond just might be saving his starting role, or at least his "I'm the one to beat" seat with a average August and September. He's been actually decent since hitting leadoff.  The main problem with that is his OBP (.333) is still not what you want from a guy leading off.  This has all the makings of an issue to be in 2012. 
  • It's gonna be hard for Strasburg to get to 70 pitches if you don't let him get to 60.  Ok Davey, listen. The average inning in the NL is 16 pitches or so.  The average Strasburg inning is 14 pitchers or so.  Granted he looked worse against Houston but by pulling him 13 pitches away from his limit you are basically saying you have no faith you can get even a decent inning out of him. (Against the corpse of Carlos Lee, maybe ok Brian Bogusevic and career non-starter Matt Downs, no less)  At this rate Strasburg won't start any inning if he's within 20 pitches of 70. 
  • While everyone is waiting for Danny to break-out of his slump, WIlson Ramos quietly has picked himself back up.  .385 / .500 / .577 in September.  That is very important because Derek Norris really floundered in AA this year.  It's hard to see how he'd be up in the majors soon. 


Anonymous said...

Lombardozzi is awful, I feel like I've been saying it since he was born.

He will never be as good as Desmond. Sorry, won't happen.

Hoo said...

Jesus Flores has played himself into the backup role for next year methinks. Goodbye pudge, thx for the memories.

As for Strass, Boz said that Stras's body was bothering him. Boz thinks the Nats should shut him down for the year. Stras velocity was way down and he couldn't get lose. I'd probably let me start one more and if he can't get lose again in the first, he's done for the year. Why take a chance?

BTW, Dez is not Guzman so don't be hating as hard. Dez probably isn't a real lead off guy at all. But he's at least showing he can be a contributor. maybe not a key contributor but still a cog in a .500 team..and he's upped his trade value.

Lot of pieces Nats could move in the off-season with some value.

Anonymous said...

"Lot of pieces Nats could move in the off-season with some value."

Such as??? I can assure you that Desmond has little to no trade value. Lots of teams have middling SS prospects in their systems. Espinoza has bottomed out. Morse probably has some value, but teams won't be falling over themselves to get a 30 year old with 1 1/2 good seasons under his belt.

Outside of Storen, Zimm, and Strasburg, what pitcher has any trade value?

I consider this a break even season for the Nationals. Zimmerman and Strasburg returned and looked good. That's huge. And Morse should be solid at 1B next year. However, Espinoza, Desmond, and Bernadina flopped. And the team only has two capable SPs going into next year (Stras and Zimm).

Froggy said...

"Give Lombardozzi time."

...what, are you going soft on us Harper?

Sure, he's 22 give him all the time he AAA. In the meantime it's more important to get to 75 wins (IF that's even possible) and/or finish the season on an up-note than see more Not Ready for Primetime call-ups flounder at the plate. On the other hand, I guess you don't know someone sucks until you see them go Oh-for-September.

I think the Marerro look the past few weeks is seasoning to throw into a multi-player deal in the offseason.

bdrube said...

Love those ignorant comments about Lombardozzi's start. Way back in the bad old days of 1982, a rookie 2B started his first 9 games a horrifying 1 for 27 with just one walk (for a .033/.091/.033 triple slash). 23 years later, Ryne Sandberg entered the Hall of Fame.

Give the kid a chance, already.

Wally said...

Lombo and Marrero, I have no issue playing them even if we only get to 72/73 wins. I think the Nats will have some positive buzz going in to the offseason regardless of the final win total*. while I don't really think either will be an above average major league regular, it seems an obvious point that this is a very small sample (on top of being their first time up).

*Unless, of course, something happens to Stras. Then, nothing will create a good buzz. I admit to being worried about Strasburg's velocity drop yesterday. It probably is a function of just how good he is that it seems like hold my breath every time he pitches.

Donald said...

So what's your best guess on where the Nats finish in their division -- 3rd, 4th, 5th? Can they hold off the Marlins? Can they catch the Mets? I think if they can finish 3rd, it'll generate as much buzz going into next year as any individual player, but I'm not particularly confident in that happening. The 6 games left against Florida could be telling.

Froggy said...

Ok Lombardozzi doesn't suck anymore. (and I was a deek)

Monkey off. 1-16 and batting 0.063 and an RBI. If it were me, I'd be 0-16 so who am I to talk. Seriously, seems like a nice kid who deserves a chance to taste the bigs.

(Koolaid alert:) I guess we could win all of our remaining games and make one of the biggest comback in NL history no?

...ah, no.

But, winning say 10 out of the remaining 17 and catching the Mets for third place would have a nice impact going into the off season. Little victories and all.

Harper said...

Anon - maybe but right now that's like saying a high jumper won't clear 5 feet.

Hoo - Jesus maybe. They like having Pudge around and frankly back-up catcher is very low on the list of things to worry about as for Stras - if he's healthy now than taking a chance now is no diff't than doing it in April.

Hoo / Anon - Good trade value? Well ZNN of course. Espinosa still has it - a rookie hitting average and fielding great. Ramos. Clippard. Morse does have some though not equal to his production. A few other relievers have some. Desmond? I'd go with on the up side of "little" if that makes any sense.

Anon - being way harsh. Espinosa didn't "flop". He's been very good defensively and put up enough power and patience numbers to make him an average offensive force. and this is as a rookie. Desmond yes, Bernadina yes. As for the pitching - the Nats have several "capable" pitchers, unless you define capable as clear #3 or better. Which you may. I'd say "two starters who can excel".

Froggy - See Lombardozzi is awesome. 1 hit yesterday, 2 hits tonight, 4 the next night, 8 on Friday. He'll be breaking the hit record sometime early next year.

Catching the Mets would be nice. Let's see if they remember it's September and time to collapse.

bdrube - now now let's not go overboard, though point taken. First few games mean what any set of 5-10 means which is little in the grand scheme. Let's see how a month plays out.

Wally - I think you're right neither will be above average. Strasburg making it through the year is the only "gotta" now that ZNN is riding pine.

Donald - I'd say 4th if only because with roughly 17 games left if the Nats go 10-7 the Mets would have to go 7-10. Neither is crazy but something more toward the middle for both of them is more likely. This next series will be huge though.