Nationals Baseball: Some revisiting

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some revisiting

Before the bubbly gets broken into some looking back at some pre-season and mid-season predictions


I didn't do as many straight up predictions this year. I did worry about Soriano, say Sammy Solis wasn't going to help the 2014 Nats, and completely dismiss Tyler Moore for what feels like the 100th time.

I did some guesses based on fangraphs projections which I rightly guessed they were undervaluing Desmond (just barely though), ZNN, the pen, and Werth. On the flipside, I was too optimistic on Bryce and not optimistic enough about LaRoche or the Nats pitching health.

I loved the Fister deal (who didn't?) but did say that if you forced me, and you'd have to because I didn't feel sure about it, I'd guess both Porcello and Scherzer would have better years. The result right now? Personally I'd say they pitched similar enough to make any call impossible. You may want to bring ERA to the comparison, but if you do that I'm bringing wins. You could also say "well he didn't pitch in April because he was injured" and I would respond "Yes. He didn't pitch in April. How is that helping him?"  In the end Fister may have pitched just slightly better but pitched a month less. Draw your own conclusion.

I said the team defense wouldn't be great and it isn't (if you think it is you shut your eyes when balls are hit to the right side of the field)

And the big one?

94-68 NL East champs - this looks pretty good.  8-5 in their last 13 would do it. (fun looking back at that post and see Braves fans argue why Atlanta would easily take the East again)


Nailed all but one. I guess there is still time to be wrong though.

LaRoche's BA drops : .279 at the time, .259 now
Zimm HR rate goes up : 7.4% at the time, up to 8.2% then injured.
Soriano's ERA jumps : 0.97 to 3.20
Fister's ERA climbs a bit, Strasburg and ZNN's drop a bit: Fister dropped 2.90 to 2.55, ZNN dropped from 3.03 to 2.83, Stras dropped from 3.46 to 3.37


Dustin said...

I love the humble brag! Great work this season!

Strasburger said...

You were spot on, but your predictions were less risky then the past few years -

I put a $40 bet on the Nats to win it all, 3 to 1 odds. Reckless or tactful?

Harper said...

Stras - Yeah, I did a lot more "looking at the data, this is what is clearly being said" especially with the mid-season stuff. So it's predictions, but like predicting the weather later in the week as opposed to guessing if we'll have more snow in winter.

If you like that bet, you should go to Vegas because you can get better odds there.

Harper said...

dustin - thanks and thanks to me for being awesome!

Froggy said...

Before you dislocate your elbow patting yourself on the back Harper, you were clearly wrong about Span.

Other than that, you did and continue to do a great job with this blog. I think it is one of the best out there.

Question: does Soriano make the post season roster? Why and what would be a case for why not?

Jimmy said...

I predicted you would be the best continuous blog out there this year, how did I do?

Chaz R said...

Great job, Harper. I love reading your stuff. You need to get $$$ for your material!

Harper said...

Froggy - People seem to think I hate him but I said he should start and very early on said he should be re-signed for next year. But yes, I was big on dropping him in the order and there hasn't been a compelling reason to do so this year.

Soriano - Yes because Lerner's head will explode if the Nats lose late in a game and Soriano isn't even an option. You wouldn't because Soriano in a non-save situation seems to give less than 100% (that being said I hope he understands he's pitching for a FA contract)

Jimmy - If you narrow it down to sports blogs : baseball : Nationals : written by guys named Harper you almost nailed it. Better luck next year.

Chaz - thanks.

Bjd1207 said...

Wait did you mean Porcello and Scherzer or Porcello and Smyly? What does Scherzer factor into the Fister deal for? He was already ahead of him in the rotation, it was Smyly and Porcello we should be looking at. Then by ERA, wins, whatever, Fister's coming out on top. But like you said, we kinda already knew that.

And yea, Harper split the difference on the Span-span. Said he should be dropped in the order but def stay on the field, as did I. And we were the most SUPPORTIVE of span. Rest were practically calling for his head, but I let off my steam on that topic on the last thread.

On LaRoche I remember you saying something like he would never get 100 walks. But add in the games lost to injury and he gets might close lol, just something I've been watching. But yes his avg was bound to go down from .290, certainly did better than most pre-season projections though.

Harper said...

BJD : I meant Scherzer. I was thinking these were the 3 that could be dealt after 2013 by the Tigers (assuming they wanted to deal a pitcher). Take Away #1 : Tigers didn't make a mistake trading Fister instead of one of the other two. Take Away #2 : Tigers did make a mistake thinking they had the depth to trade away someone.

I wouldn't say we were MOST supportive. Def guys out there who liked him in the leadoff slot. (we'll see how they feel next yr...)

I actually said "Do you think LaRoche will hit .294 with 100 walks? Or that Rendon will finish the year in the Top 10 in XBH?" LaRoche won't get 100 walks (85 maybe) even scaled for games missed that wouldn't get to 100 but a lot closer than I thought he would. Funny splits. April/June/ August the guy walked a ton. May/July couldn't be bothered.

Might be right by technicality on Rendon too. 7th in XBH but only 2 above T11th. Bascially if he slumps I'll be "right" but worst case he's right there.

So I won't be claiming either of these.

JWLumley said...

Merry Clinchmas everyone. Also, great work this year Harper. We'll convert you from the Dark Side soon enough and make a Nats fan out of you.

Froggy said...

Harper - Earlier in the season (and last year) I begrudgingly would agree about Soriano and his seemingly lack of 100% effort if it wasn't a save situation. But the way he has been pitching in particular during second half of the season has me thinking he has let some of the Henry Rodrigquez demons into his head or he just can't pitch down low anymore. And dude, his slider has been BP-esque as of late it seems. Last night I was screaming 'wut in de flock of seagulls' is MW thinking? Fortunately he could hear me and brought in Drew.

And for the record, I jumped on the 'I believe in Span-wagon' last year...defensively at least.

Zimmerman11 said...

Strasburger... I'd put the Nat's odds of winning the WS at 12.5%, so you were taken for a ride!

That's the reality though, gotta win three series... against other very good teams.

It really does make the Yanks/Patriots/etc dynasties really impressive.

Richard Parker said...

The interesting thing is that the Nats would almost certainly have won the NL East this year with last year's record.

blovy8 said...

About the only thing I got right all along was believing that Span could match his career rates. I pretty much forgot that I had agreed with Harper about 94 wins early on, since the mediocrity of the club in the first half definitely discouraged me.