Nationals Baseball: Monday Super Duper Quickie

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Super Duper Quickie

Not good enough. 

Not bad, just not good enough. Sure, it's
 all relative. .500 by end of May when the Braves go 35-15 wouldn't cut it. .500 in same time frame when the Braves go 29-21?  That's ok all things given. But 5-6 at home? That's not keeping the .500 goal. That's trouble. 

I can't believe I'm calling for Detwiler but I'm calling for Detwiler

35 comments:

Eric said...

Fister will be here soon...

Fister, Gio, Roark, SS, and Zinn will be a pretty incredible rotation, methinks.

I just hope McClouth's BABIP finally starts turning around. It just became critical that it does. The HR was nice to see.

Anonymous said...

Roark. Harper, granted what he did was against the padres but look at his MLB career line in 86.1 innings: 9-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Time to start thinking he's the middle class man's Maddux? or need a larger sample size.

blovy8 said...

Harper, 5-6 is good enough unless you put money on your predictions, certainly within any statistical variance. It's just not exciting, but if you've tempered your expectations, you realize this incarnation is a 500 club unless someone gets hot enough to make a difference. Roark did that the other night, for instance. Rendon before that, etc. Of course, as always, the other team generally also tries to win.

Detwiler still doesn't have anything but a fastball he can really throw with confidence. You can chalk up yesterday to the stupid way they've using him, but at least that expense has paid for finding out Taylor Jordan probably isn't consistent enough to be in the majors yet. Fister is pretty close to coming back.

You can begin to get the sense that Williams is too set in the bullpen roles, to serve his actual staff the best. Det should be used as a loogy sometimes even just for keeping the dust off him. They have enough guys who can go more than an inning if need be. Stammen has already done that 3 inning extras stint the guy is supposedly there for, and probably was better at it than Detwiler would have been. If he's only around for injuries and blowouts, that's moronic.

Detwiler's not even getting enough innings to actually develop that out pitch he desperately needs. We find out nothing about the guy in this role except that he's a good egg.

BooyahSuckah! said...

Well, if it makes anyone feel better (I know it doesn't make me feel much better, but I'm trying), the Nats RPI is second in the majors, as is their strength of schedule. The usual pushover-y NL East has turned out to be pretty good thus far and we've faced some of the better pitchers on the planet. And the team has managed to keep their heads above .500 despite the ever-growing list of injuries. All in all, I might not be encouraged, but at least I'm not destroyed.

And I got to be there for Roark's CG on Saturday. What a pleasant surprise he's turned out to be.

On another note, though, just once I'd like to have an injury turn out to be LESS serious than our totally inept training staff thinks it is initially.

Anonymous said...

Is it totally un-seamhead-ly to say that I switched over to the WIZ game b/c their win odds were better?

BooyahSuckah! said...

So my last comment made me wonder. The much-maligned NL East leads the majors with a combined .553 win percentage. Next closest is the AL Central at .507. And despite the early-season claims that the Nats were padding their early results by playing so many in-division games, I'd argue the opposite. 15 of 26 games against currently the toughest division in baseball, plus 4 against the Cards. Given the injury list, I'm actually okay with this. It doesn't make the games any less painful to watch, but my long term hopes are still alive.

Kenny B. said...

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 Washington Nationals.

Eric said...

BooyahSuckah, I'm generally with you. I don't know what it is, exactly, but something gives me the sense that they're on top of this thing. They've weathered a rather alarming rash of injuries that started opening day, are playing out a 5th starter competition on company time, haven't yet premiered their blockbuster off-season acquisition, but are well-positioned to be 4 games over .500 at the end of April. I'd be pretty pleased with that first-month outcome, all things considered.

That said, I would really like to see us put together a late-2013 type run starting in mid-May at the latest.

DezoPenguin said...

Thankfully, as Eric said, Fister is almost back to replace Jordan, and Roark hasn't done anything this year to make me worry about him. Maybe he's not as good as he's shown, but for a #5 "not as good as the #2 he's pitched like" isn't an indictment.

The Braves...I mean, surely they can't go all year with their entire rotation being made up of clones of 1968 Bob Gibson, can they? CAN THEY??? And they're going to get their putative #2 back next month. Gah! Unless they get some regression pretty fast, we'll be thinking about the Wild Card no matter how hot we get.

And, of course, injuries. We now have three out of eight position players on the DL, plus missed Span for a week and Espinosa just took a HBP off the knee yesterday so who knows if he'll miss time. Ian's not hitting, the backup catchers aren't hitting, and no one expects ALL of LaRoche, Espinosa, and Rendon to stay this hot all year (Rendon probably the best bet, but...)

With the Astros and Phillies up next, we *need* to win these games, because we can't afford to miss chances against bad teams, because our half-strength team isn't likely to be able to beat good teams.

Eric said...

Yeah...a five game winning streak on the road would be pretty awesome.

But, I'll make my hope 4 - 1: sweep the Astros and take two in Philly. I think a more realistic goal is 3 - 2, with the personal preference of a split in Houston and taking two in Philly. Going 3-2 on the road would mean a sweep by the Dodgers would land us at .500, not below, so I think 3 - 2 is getting into critical territory, especially with Kershaw almost back and Greinke pitching like an ace.

JWLumley said...

@DezoPenguin I wouldn't say anyone "missed" Span, but he didn't play for a week. He's just as horrible offensively as I remember. But hey, let's make sure he gets the most PA's on the team.

As for Detwiler, why didn't they trade him? If he was just going to be the last guy in the bullpen and never get enough work to stay sharp, get what you can for the guy and move on.

Donald said...

Something Boz said in his chat today helped put the Nats start in perspective. At the start of the season, a lot of people picked the Cards and Dodgers to be the two best teams in the NL. Both are 14-12, just like the Nats. And I don't think anyone thinks they are out of any races yet. Plus, I don't think they've had nearly the number of injuries that the Nats have had.

Jay said...

I'd have to agree with Donald. I wish they had a couple more wins. MW worries me bc he sort of goes all Riggleman-like sometimes and sort of gives up on games. I had the distinct feeling yesterday with Detwiler and Barrett both imploding that MW figured - who cares, we won the last two games.

Anyway, I still believe the Braves have to come back to earth at some point. I mean Harang isn't going to win the Cy Young. The Braves May looks awful. 6 games against Giants and Cards with 3 against Cubs, and then another 6 against Giants and Cards. I'm hopeful they will bring them back to the pack then. The trick is for the Nats to be close enough to pass them if they do. Just catching up when they have a rough stretch isn't enough.

Last thing. I agree the Nats need to figure out a way to go 4-1 on this road trip. Not sure they will, but it would be nice. Houston is horrible and Nats need to show that. Of course splitting 4 games with one of the worst offenses in the league at home = not so great.

DezoPenguin said...

@JW: Bad as Span's been, McLouth's been even worse to this point, and Span's defense is excellent. It's not so much that he's a great player, but that he was replaced by even worse players.

I agree, though, that a sweep isn't necessary. 4-1, though, I think is. 3-2's the kind of thing that can happen with some bad bounces, but we don't need bad bounces.

Chaos said...

Harper out 'til July?!? Okay, now I'm definitely feeling cursed. Can Espinosa play LF once Zim comes back?

DezoPenguin said...

Come to think of it, can ZIM play LF when he comes back? I'd rather have Rendon at 3B and Espi at 2B with a learning permit in the outfield, then Zim at 3B, Rendon at 2B, and a learning permit in the outfield.

...Of course, seeing as how Zim's major problem at 3B is throwing the ball, the outfield doesn't seem like the best place for him...

Jay said...

Ouch. I guess we can try and spin it as a July trade deadline feel. I saw Pedroia played with a similar injury??

I'd try Zach Walters out there or Souza. I agree Mcclouth and Span out there OF = not enough offense.

Also, is this is 2 out of 3 years that Harper misses huge chunks of the season.

John C. said...

Ankiel's problem was throwing the ball, and he ended up in the outfield. Not endorsing the "Zim to LF" narrative, just sayin' :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least Lobaton started to hit. He's gotten hot and is hitting a .733 OPS.
I like the suggestion of moving an infielder to left once Zim comes back. Maybe Espi if they think he can play the position- at least to spell McLouth against LHP.

Chaz R said...

I have to say this is my fav Nats blog. I have been travelling today and just getting around to checking out the news. Awful about Bryce. The other main Nats blogs (to remain nameless) are on fire with balme and judgement of Bryce and MW. Incredible... almost makes me feel there are some Braves trolls in there. You guys are so much more civilized and loyal. Must come with following a soulless automaton.

JWLumley said...

@Chaz - I blame MW, although I'll admit it's irrational, but I still blame him. Still, can't get on the kid too much for sliding head first, that's just a tough break.

The Nats starting pitching needs to get a lot better, real fast. Because this offense isn't good enough to overcome too much with 3 pretty automatic outs in Span, Lobaton (I know he's been hot, he's not a bad BACK-UP catcher) and McLouth + the pitchers spot.

Still, if Zim, Ramos and Fister can come back soon, they can survive without Harper for a few months, the pitching just needs to be a lot better.

JWLumley said...

Well, looks like the national media has picked up on MW's ineptitude and there's more info on Harper. Keith Law is reporting that not only was Bryce nursing a quad when he failed to hustle, he also had the flu. If true, perhaps Rizzo should just go ahead and trade him to the Yankees now because if MW doesn't do a 180 this is the type of thing that will ensure Harper leaves as soon as he hits free agency...and also before he hits his prime.

While Rizzo has done a great job of putting a roster together, he seems lost when it comes to handling personalities and people. Whether it's the Storen/Clippard issues last year, the different issues with Harper, the handling/demotion of Detwiler and Espinosa or the handling of Strasburg, someone always seems to be pissed off at management. Each time though, from the outside looking in, they seem to have a point. Running Storen out there with a 103 degree fever to essentially wear one last year before sending him to AAA was the epitome of classlessness. Even the way Espinosa was handled while he wasn't producing probably did more to retard his growth than to further it. I mean, Espinosa, like most of the Nats, is a young man and what us old folks would call a kid. So they're going to act like kids at times, but the Nationals seem to be lacking adults in their organization to calm the kids down, be stern when appropriate and build them back up when appropriate. Perhaps it's the reason why none of their young players have agreed to long term extensions. The thought of leaving DC just doesn't scare them.

The Nationals have the most talented team in baseball, but if they're continued to be mismanaged in this way it won't matter.

Kenny B. said...

Some sad thoughts:
- This team will now go to at least July without ever having been full strength for even one single day. And of course the odds that everyone else will stay reasonably healthy until then are basically zero.
- The most durable outfielder on the team so far is Jayson Werth.

At what point do you start looking for OF trades? I can't bear to watch Nate McLouth out there for half a season.

Donald said...

I'm all for giving Steven Souza a shot in the OF. The league has figured out Walters. He needs to adjust to the off-speed pitching or he's going to just keep striking out.

JWLumley said...

@Donald I agree. As far as prospects go, most people believe Souza has more upside. John Sickels even called him a sleeper who could really blossom if he figures out his personal crap (got into a good deal of trouble). Walters has been known to have plate discipline issues and problems hitting off speed stuff. Given his versatility, he could blossom into a nice bench player, but that's pretty much his ceiling. McLouth is pretty much Denard Span with a little more pop and lot less defense.

John C. said...

Anytime there are calls to be made about what a roster should look like, who starts, etc., people will be pissed off at management. It's pretty much par for the course.

Most of the posters that I've seen who go on about the atmosphere in the clubhouse, the internal dynamics of the club, whose feelings are hurt and how one player or group feels about another player or group literally know nothing about what they are talking about. Fans don't like Soriano so they say he's unpopular with teammates. Fans don't like the way they think Harper is being treated so they think that Harper has a problem with it, or that his teammates have a problem with it. OTOH people who dislike (Bryce) Harper manufacture their own story lines.

The fact that these story lines are often mutually inconsistent doesn't matter much, since apparently they are gathered through means as reliable as tea leaves and telepathy. Really it's all stuff pulled out of some oriface, and says more about the person making the observation than it does about what is actually going on with the team. Once a post wanders into mind reading territory, I pretty much move on to the next post.

John C. said...

It's not too early to be looking at possible trades and moves, and you can bet that the Nationals are doing that as a matter of due diligence. But remember that Rizzo plays things close to the vest (as he should) - so don't expect to see any stories.

But it is too soon to pull the trigger on an OF trade. A platoon of McLouth against RHP and some combination of Frandsen, Hairston and Moore against LHP should suffice for the short term.

Moore is a hard case. He hasn't gotten much time at 1b, but then again ALR has done little to leave Moore an opening - in a small sample size ALR has posted a split of .294/.429/.353 against LHP, and that includes some very big hits against LH relievers. But he hasn't shown the ability to come off the bench very well. Look for him to get at least one (against a LHP) start at DH in Houston, and possibly both starts.

John C. said...

Moore coming off the bench and likely DH'ing in Houston ... still looking for the edit function! :-)

blovy8 said...

It seems to me that the Nats are just treating the players like they're being honest when they say they can play. If Harper's quad issue were serious and known to be so, it would be pretty classless of MW to call him out for not hustling. It's more logical to assume it got worse, or that he was hiding the severity, which guys who are still learning their capabilities are wont to do.

Williams has not been shy about resting players with minor issues, anyway. Maybe it's the same thing as what happened with Espinosa last year. We can argue about the training staff, but just look at the injury list and guys who are underperforming for every team, it's not just in DC. I appreciate that they are DLing these guys instead of waiting to see if they can play and having a short bench or bullpen.

The bench was designed to have that fourth OF who gets 400 plate appearances be decent, so this is just seeing if McLouth was worth that now. Now with the Nats' luck, he probably won't be, but that's about all you can plan for with a 4th OF unless you have a lot of interchangeable mediocre pieces to shift around to begin with and or you have some hot prospect forcing his way into the picture. It doesn't seem like Goodwin is going to be that guy anytime soon. Souza is a reasonable prospect, but he's looked just as bad against soft stuff as Walters in the couple of atbats I've seen, but yeah, I know he's barely played enough to really know and he will take a pitch at least. I guess it doesn't hurt to find out if he can adjust, I suppose, but I still expect Frandsen and Moore to get those starts against LH pitching. We'll have to see if Williams is any more willing to play a rookie than Johnson was, I would guess not, but he has gone with the hot guy, so there's that.

Bjd1207 said...

What are the chances Moore gets sent down with a bad series in Houston? I know we're already short on bats but if he can't produce at the plate he's essentially useless to the team. I trust Frandsen to play the corner and can serve as a platoon partner for ALR (if he cools off). McLouth/Frandsen/Sousa available for the outfield, Walters utility.

Looks better to me, but I don't know that they'd be willing to send Moore down

Anonymous said...

Blov8: when Williams benched Harper and used the no hustle excuse my first thought was that he indeed suspected Harper was hurt, and was aware of Harper playing hurt all last year in situations when he may have needed to sit. However I have no evidence to support that and I still believe it was dumb, if a player is playing hurt and won't disclose it what choice do you have. Of course it is a little far-fetched and the simplest answer is usually the right one.

Bjd1207 said...

Add on comment - looking ahead to this series.

Lotsa righties on the Astros, should we be worried about Gio tonight?

blovy8 said...

I'll take a glass half full approach and say that ballpark in Houston should help the offense more than hurt the pitching.

akın sürmeneli said...

Cinsel hayatınızı tatlandırmak ve partnerinizi heyecanlandırıp daha fazla mutlu etmek için sitemizi ziyaret etmenizi öneririz, sitemizde en seçkin sex shop üreticilerinin en çok tutulan seks shop ürünlerini bulabilir ve bütün erotik shop ürünlerini kapıda ödeme seçeneği ile güvenle satın alabilirsiniz.

necmettin karadağlı said...


10 yılı aşkın bir süredir sex shop ve erotik shop sektöründe faliyet gösteren firmamızda dünyanın en ileri gelen markalarının seks shop ürünlerini güvenle alabilir ve kullanabilirsiniz
yurtiçi ve sürat kargo ile teslim alırken ödeme yapabilir ve isterseniz kargolarınızı ikamet adresinizden yada seçtiğiniz kargo firmasının size en yakın şubesinden teslim alabilirsiniz.