Nationals Baseball: How is everyone doing?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How is everyone doing?

Cold? Hot? It doesn't really matter as (1) we really can't quantify when these streaks begin and end and (2) even if we could there is a lot of down time between game 162 and the next game you play nowadays so there's plenty of time for a reset. Still it's nice to know who has been doing well and who has been doing poorly because it could be a measure not of a hot or cold streak but of something more. Injury? Fatigue? Something clicked?

Who's hot
Werth : . 324 / .478 / .479  Sept; .462 / .588 / .692 in last week
Rendon :  .337 / .429 / .506; .333 / .500 / .583
LaRoche : .263 / .352 / .539 (7 homers); .375 / .444 / .563
Span : .321 / .394 / .488; .500 / .545 / .600

The LaRoche one is the most important to me as he was ice cold in July and hit a measley .235 in August (with decent patience and power though). When LaRoche is off that's 1/3rd of the LHB that you like, and your best source of power, taken from the lineup. It's good to see it doesn't appear to be age slowing him down at the end of a long season.

Who's warming
Desmond : .277 / .351 / .458; but .286 / .421 / .571 in past week

Another good sign because when Desmond is off he can be a black hole with his propensity to strike out.

Who's cold
Espinosa : .250 / .323 / .286;  .231 / .286 / .231
Ramos : .203 / 323 / .286;  .200 / .200 / .200
Cabrera : .217 / .290 / .361; .133 / .278 / .200
Zimmerman : .188 / .235 / .188 past week

Boz talked about how nice it would be to have a rested catcher ready, but I'm not sure that extra days off is going to matter here for Ramos. Despite the lost time this is still the most games Ramos has played in since 2011. There is no good answer at 2nd and AssCab is showing why the Indians would deal him for Adam Dunn v2.2.

The Zimm thing is most worrying to me though.  Ramos has to play and we knew 2nd base would be an issue, but Zimm is a choice. He's been slow to warm up from injury before. Do the Nats feel forced to use his bat because of what it might bring? If so - it only makes sense right now to move Espy/Drubal out to make it happen, and that means Rendon to 2nd. All it will take is one 0-4 for Rendon at the keystone for fans to rebel on that plan.

Anything else?
Bryce is doing fine. Just didn't fit in this line of thinking. A little better recently but not enough that I I'd put him in "warming"

Bench-wise Scheirholz and Moore are doing the best which GOD I hope doesn't effect bench choices. Both Hairston and Frandsen are rounding into form, and by that I mean they aren't embarrassing. The only bench guy looking like a nothing is Lobaton, but you can't leave him out.

Pitching? You know the starters are all doing really really well. Either overall (for everyone not named Gio) or more recently (for everyone).  How are the relievers doing? I'll note these "recent" numbers are very rough. Don't take it to be end all be all - this is far more "just noting" than what we were looking at with the batters.

Hot :
Storen 0.00 ERA 0.811 WHIP, in Sept; 0.00 ERA, 0.833 WHIP recently (2 weeks because 1 week is unworkable).
Barrett 0.00 ERA, 0.857 WHIP; 0.00, 1.00 WHIP

There hasn't been a lot of great pen work this past month. I didn't include Thorton even with his low recent ERA because of a high WHIP and a tiny IP (3.1). Even Barrett is pushing it at 7IP

Warming : 
Blevins : 3.00 ERA, 1.111 WHIP; 0.00 ERA, 0.462 WHIP

He might have kept himself on the roster. Although I'll warn you again that anything in the two weeks even is dealing with single digit innings - very big variance. One bad outings really screws with those numbers.

Cooling : 
Detwiler :  3.52 ERA, 1.174 WHIP; 10.13 ERA, 2.625

Case in point. Detwiler - this catches his getting beat up in the ATL game. I did leave him out though because his next two appearances weren't great either. a one out affair where he gave up a walk and a 1.1 IP where he gave up 2 hits.

Cold :
Stammen : 7.94 ERA, 2.118 WHIP;  22.50 ERA, 3.00 WHIP

The funny thing with Stammen is that all the runs here come from a single terrible Marlins blow up. However Sept before that wasn't perfect - he pulled a couple of escapes from sticky situations he set out himself. and man that was a bad last outing. That's not a taste you want left in anyone's mouth. 


Carl said...

"All it will take is one 0-4 for Rendon at the keystone for fans to rebel on that plan."

To say nothing of a Zim 3B throwing error leading to unearned run(s).

Harper said...

Carl - or that. Or definitely that.

Donald said...

I would echo Carl's comment. I won't blame a position shift on Rendon's hitting at all. But as soon as Zimm airmails a throw over LaRoche's head, or lobs the ball over there and lets the runner leg one out, I'll be cross. I'd be very surprised if he plays 3b at all though. I think the batton has been handed off and he's fine with that.

But Zimmerman has always handled pressure well and he'd definitely be my first pinch-hitter off the bench in most cases, even with a rightie on the mound. I'd rather have him than Schierholtz.

I do hope LaRoche is warming up. For whatever reason, he seems like the one guy in the line-up who has carried the offense on his own.

In regard to Harper, I saw that he wants to steal more. I'm nervous that he's going to decide to be super aggressive on the bases and end up getting thrown out on dumb plays.

JWLumley said...

I know everyone is wondering whether the Nats will keep Hairston or Frandsen, but I think they ought to keep Souza. If you're just talking about talent, he's the best and it's not close. Since none of these three is likely to be used for defense having keeping Souza would also mean that he can be used to pinch run. I'm almost positive that there's no way this will actually happen, but I'd really hate to see a roster spot wasted on Frandsen and all of his replacement-level grit. Another thing is that Souza is finally healthy and has been an absolute beast. Think about it, even against a lefty where you have two out in an inning and want a righty to give you one AB where they might be able to take someone deep, who would you rather have: Souza or Hairston? For me, I'm taking all 440 ft. of Souza.

Anonymous said...

I think the Bullpen selection will depend on who we play. The Pirates really only have 3 players that can hit left handed on the starting depth chart. The Giants on the other hand could start 5-6 lefties. If we play the giants I think you'll see the Detwiler, Blevins and Thorton all make the team. If we play the Pirates, they could again - but one may be out looking in. Obviously the benches of both team would probably have 1 or 2 more lefties.

Froggy said...

AssCab? Ouch.

I share the same arm trepidation that others do, but one reason to keep The Z Man is for DH if we get that far.

Good points Annon about lefties on Giants v Pirates.

Anonymous said...

JWLumley - yea I agree on Hairston, but I think you need to include Frandsen simply for all the positions he can play. I'm not so sure it shouldn't be Taylor or Kobernus for speed-pitch runner could be very valuable.

My bench bats looks like this Zimmerman, Lobaton, Frandsen, Espinosa Shierholtz(although I don't really want to take him - but as a lefty- argh)..but if you take the best combo of defense, speed and hitting out of Souza, Taylor and Kobernos- which might actually be Souza...but this position is basically a pinch runner - fastest/best baserunner. Taylor/Kobernos?

JWLumley said...

@Anon Which position can Frandsen play that someone else who will be on the bench not play better? Frandsen plays 1B, I'd rather have Zim. Frandsen plays 2B, I'd rather have Espinosa. Frandsen plays 3B, I'd rather have Zi....Rendon can play every inning. Frandsen plays LF, Souza is much, much better as is Taylor. Souza and Taylor can both play CF and RF as well, while Frandsen not so much. This way, Frandsen can play the position he's best at....the hoop.

Anonymous said...

JWLumley - I'm not saying I would play Frandsen at any of those position before the guys you mentioned - but a defensive substitution is different than pinch hit. The ability to play that many position means if you've already made some of those changes - like zimm to 1st - and you need a pitch hit in the 9th - I'd rather hit Frandsen than Espinosa, Sheirholtz - who would I rather play defense - Espinosa. But as a massive util guy that can play 4 position (maybe not as well) - that has a better bat than Espinosa, Hairston, Scheirholtz - he makes the team.

In my roster line up - it really doesn't matter because the 25th spot is going to either Souza, Taylor or Kobernos.

My bullpen is depending on the match up - against the Giants I take Detwiler and leave Stammen off(w/storen/clippard/thorton/blevins/roark/barrett) - against the Pirates I take Stammen and leave Detwiler off.

This is what I would do - the last position between Souza/taylor/Kobernos would depend on the match up as well.

Zimm is obviously your first bat off the bench, but then I trust Frandsen over Espi, Scheirholtz,Labaton

My bench has 6 bat/7 arms

Anonymous said...

screw it, I'm not taking Schierholtz. dude can't even hit lefties. Detwiler/Stammen both make the squad...with Souza or Taylor taking the last spot replacing Schierholtz as OF replacement.

Froggy said...

Anons (same person?), I agree Det/Srammen. you have to take Frandsen bc he hits better (esp the last month) and in case of multiple defensive subs.

bsimon24 said...

Asdrubal is pretty damn clutch though, right?

JWLumley said...

@Anon I get what you're saying, but Frandsen has less power than Gio....and that's not hyperbole. Sure, he might get base hits more often off the bench, but he doesn't really walk so I'd rather have someone who can hit the ball out of the park so I leave him off. Also, Espinosa is a better bat than Frandsen against lefties and there's less need for the double switch in the playoffs when off days aren't a factor. Come to think of it, though, I'd probably keep Hairston AND Souza.

Donald said...

@Anon -- in support of not taking Schierholtz -- he's 0-8 against Mark Melancon. He is 1-1 against Santiago Casilla, though. But Espi is 2-2, so there's always that option. Here's how both closers have matched up against the Nats.

Anonymous said...

same anon:

Here are the season slash lines and L/R splits and K% - make up your own mind.
Hairston .208/.253..299- Avg vs L: .250 Vs R:.120 K%29.9%
Frandsen .259/.299/.309 Vs L:.303 Vs R:.236 K% 11%
Espinosa .228/.299/.387 Vs L: .301 Vs R:183 K%33.5

Hairston doesn't make it over Frandsen.

JWLumley said...

Oh wow, ESPN channeled their inner Bob Carpenter and went into full jinx mode. Sorry boys, no way the Nats win the WS, ESPN has just jinxed them out of that.

DaveB said...

I'm glad to see someone pointing out that Ramos has not looked good at all recently. Hope he's not hurt ... Droobs / Ramos at the bottom of the order is looking pretty weak right now.

JWLumley said...

Harper, I would like to see a story of some sort about this

I think this guy actually lacks Natitude.

Froggy said...

Really kind if comes down to how hot the two chicks are verses the seat location.

JWLumley said...

@Froggy I can't help but picture Diedrich Bader in Office Space every time I look at that.

Froggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cass said...

Nats confirmed that Fister, Gio, and Roark will pitch multiple innings on Wednesday, so that guarantees that Strasburg and Zimmermann will start Friday and Saturday. Also leaves open the possibility of Roark over Gio still.

Anonymous said...

Lets play a game called pitchers in the NL who wouldn't make the Nats rotation!!

Giants: Vogelsong, Petit, Hudson, Peavy
Dodgers: Ryu, Haren
Cards: Masterson, Lackey, Lynn (see Roark)
Pirates: Cole, Liriano, Locke, Volquez

I count Bumgarner, Kershaw, Greinke, and Wainwright as the only pitchers that would make the Nats rotation...

Kenny B. said...

To quote the incomparable Tom Petty: "the waaaaaiiiiiiting is the hardest part."

KW said...

Just to add something else to the mix while we're waiting, (and waiting, and waiting), RZim pretty much said on the Junkies this morning that he can't play 3B. He didn't come right out and say that he wouldn't, but he said that his leg doesn't support the explosive first step he needs toward the ball. So his options are going to be limited.

There has been talk of Zim playing against LHP in place of Harper or ALR. If someone looks at the the 2014 splits, that decision is easy--Harper vs. LHP: 263/333/432; LaRoche vs. LHP: 204/284/336. Hmm, a 145-point difference in OPS.

But really, Zim is going to be in the PH role more than anything, which does make you wonder why they need to keep Hairston. Souza or Taylor would offer so much more as a defensive replacement or PR and could take at least as mighty hacks.

KW said...

I meant to add a bit about Souza. Several folks have said he looked like a receiver going after the ball on Sunday. When he briefly walked away from the Nats a few years ago, he was actually going to go play receiver for Washington State. Destin Hood was also recruited by Bama as a receiver. There were some pretty serious athletes in the OF in Syracuse this year (also including Goodwin and then Taylor late in the season).