Nationals Baseball: Good News - Bad News

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Good News - Bad News

Good News: The Nats have passed the Diamondbacks and now only have to worry about what's in front of them if they keep winning.

Bad News: What's in front of them is still 7.5 games away, thanks to the Cardinals choking against the Reds. It's almost to the point where you'd root for the Reds to sweep the Cardinals because the Nats have their own last shot at St. Louis coming up. But at this point the difference between 9 games and 7.5 games is meaningful so still root for the Cards to win. We'll think about it again tomorrow.

Good News: ZNN's July is in the rearview. It looked for a while like Jordan was losing it posting a 7.18 ERA in July with a WHIP just under 1.60.  When you thought he might be back in form he gives up an 8-spot to the Cubs. The Cubs! But it turns out that was the exception. August ends with a 3.86 ERA overall, and that's with the Cubs debacle. In his last 3 non-Cubs starts his WHIP is back down to 1.07.

Bad News: Dan Haren is back to his old tricks. For a month he tried to tell you that things were back to normal and he put up a string of 6 good appearances over 7 games. The last two have been poor though. He tried to play off the Royals game as one bad inning (Why "My shirt was uncomfortable!" didn't get more play as a whiny excuse I do not know), but you know what? Those innings count, too.  Last game was just terrible. You probably give him the next start to see if he's truly lost it, but another bad start and its back to "pull him from the rotation" time. You can't afford a loss and Haren looks to be reverting back to the Haren that already cost the Nats too many games.

Good News: It's call-up time! Extra arms and extra bats never hurt.

Bad News: Slim Pickens' ghost came by yesterday thinking the Nats were summoning him by how people were talking about these call-ups.

Erik Davis : A fair relief arm but older, gets hit and walks too many. A mop-up guy right now.
Ian Krol : You've seen him. Got sent down and got hit in AAA as well. There might be something there especially as a lefty specialist but probably a year or two away from dependability.
Sandy Leon : Good glove who broke out in 2012 and broke back in this year. Emergency3rd catcher.
Zach Walters : Early fan fav because of the home runs. Strikes out WAY too much, never walks, can't hit for average. Makes Tyler Moore look like Bryce Harper. Don't expect much and if you do get much, think Kevin Maas. (kids, look up the Baby Bomber.)
Corey Brown : Not quite able to get over the last hump in the minors, because of his contact issues (Ks too much) could be Bernadina II for a couple years. Also, probably a terrible person
Jeff Kobernus : Kind of an outfield Lombardozzi. So sneakily useless.
Eury Perez : He's... actually a pretty interesting prospect. Still kind of young, adapted well to AAA. Ks reasonable which hint at being able to keep up with major league pitching. Let's see this guy play! (which of course means Corey Bown will play more)
Xavier Cedeno : Converted starters with a live arm but no control. H-Rod re-visited. Still useful if used correctly (spots where you need a K but a walk doesn't kill you).

15 comments:

Froggy said...

I am not even looking at how many games the Nats are behind the 2nd WC until the last series of the season.

Head down...one game at a time. It's the only way to keep sane.

As to some of the GN / BN stuff...I for one was NEVah fooled by Haren. If I could be GM for a day the problem would be sitting in the minors somewhere or would have been hopefully solved on waivers. But sadly, I'm not in charge.

As to the Corey Brown comment, I don't know if he is NOW a good person or not, but I think it is sad and no doubt a big mistake that can never be condoned, but it was 9 years ago and is part of his past when he was a minor as well. Still sucks.

If you want to rail against someone, how about that narcissistic adult, ARoid and his despicable, cheating, and blatant lying behavior to everyone around him? Now that is a great person to emulate.

Harper said...

Froggy - that might be silly when they are 9 games out with 8 to go and you're telling your friends "Just gotta take it one game at a time"

The good thing about Haren is that I don't see any way he's back now. I didn't see any way then either but now it's gotta be Nats management proof right?

As for Brown, I did say "probably". That's about the leeway I'll give for something like that. (and I wouldn't call an off-handed comment a "rail")

Clip&Store said...

Dang where did you dig that dirt on Brown? That's impressive investigating, albeit pretty random.

Strasburger said...

Yeah, it really is too bad the Reds are playing the Cards. I root for whichever one will have a better end to their season, beating the team that will end up being catchable.

Hopefully the reds lose? But, who has a tougher schedule going forward? Looks like Cinci by a long shot, so you gotta hope the cards can win tonight.

Hopefully its not error-city out there tonight.

Kenny B. said...

So basically, our system is tapped out, and we don't have much of a future to look to if 2014 reveals the 2013 Nats to be the real Nats. We would then need to "rebuild." Again.

Really hoping these late August/Early September Nats are just an unfortunately late return to the team's predicted talent level. Otherwise the future is pretty bleak.

Froggy said...

I'm in a rosy, one-game-at-a-time Nats fantasy world I know...

And you are correct, your subtle Corey Brown dirt comment doesn't really qualify as 'railing', but it was effective. Regardless, he did hit a bomb last night though!

Harper said...

C&S - looking up stuff on the trade that brought him here and one had an off-handed comment about it. After that digging was pretty minimal.

Strasburger - Reds have the tougher sched but like we discussed before head to head games mean a lot. So if the Reds win again tonight and the difference between the two is only a 1/2 game I gotta switch over to rooting for them

Kenny B - There's an off chance that the starting pitching might coalesce into something amazing. Cole, Solis, Purke, Giolito. If more than one can break out enough in 2014 then you may be looking at an absolutely killer rotation in 2015. That's the best case. The worst case still isnt' bad with Stras Gio and ZNN and enough arms you're sure to find an OK #5 to go along with one good FA signee.

The offense is a different matter. The Nats offense has been dependent on the idea that Bryce would be a superstar and now that Rendon will be very good. There's no way around needing that to happen as the minors don't have that exciting bat or have something cover for that (Eury Perez or Span being All-Star worthy, Ramos becoming best or 2nd best catcher in the league).

cass said...

Lying and taking PEDs don't come close to the level of rape in my book.

Froggy said...

Cass- Could not agree more. One does not equal the other and neither are excusable.

blovy8 said...

The parent team might need some pointers from those guys from the Gulf Coast - THEY know how to win.
If they can go 49-9, how can the Nats get shown up by not going 19-4 the rest of the year?

There's a good interview with Walters on FanGraphs that makes him sound like he's got more of a shot at adjusting than you'd think. Essentially, Davey told him he looked like he could hit more homers if he altered his approach a bit, and maybe it wasn't much different than the Desmond pep talk. The glaring issue that did not come up was the defense.

mwyche said...

One minor league bat we have that has been hurt most of the year but will see time in AFL this year is Matt Skole. You also hope B. Goodwin can improve on this year and possibly Michael Taylor could get his bat together to go with his great defense in CF. But yeah other than that all of our potential bats are a long way away and even those guys I mentioned don't really profile as star players.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a young woman has whored it up, only to scream rape the next morning when she is embarrassed with what she has done. You do not know they whole story about this man's role in the incident. Also, let's not forget this was ten years ago, when he was a minor. Dirty pool mister.

RB said...

Classy anonymous comment

John C. said...

I don't know the facts behind the Corey Brown rape allegation, which took place when he was 17 and even from the story seems murky. Suffice it to say that rape is NEVER OK. I haven't the foggiest idea what happened that night, nor am I ever likely to.

I'm not that concerned about the Nats future. There's a lot of upside still even if they don't make the playoffs this year. There is a LOT of pitching in the pipeline. And even some bats (Skole, Souza, etc). Below the AAA "taxi squad" the minor league systems were GREAT this year. Harrisburg is playing for the championship of their league. Potomac just won the Carolina League title tonight. The GCL Nats had an epic season (52-9, counting sweeping three playoff games). Best of all, the GCL team was (finally) age appropriate and made up of players feeding out of the Dominican League. And even with that talent going to the GCL, the DSL Nationals finished well above .500. Only Auburn (short season low A) disappointed.

To say the minor league system is tapped out based on a (frankly) glass-is-half-empty assessment of the September callups is a mistake, IMHO.

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