Nationals Baseball: Prediction

Monday, April 06, 2015

Prediction

93 wins.
NL East Champions.

As always I don't predict playoffs because there's no point. Might as well predict who's getting the most hits today in the game. I can make an educated guess that's barely better than the other guesses.

I think the season will unfold slowly with the Nats going back and forth with someone through Memorial Day, but right when the story shifts to "This is a fight the Nats didn't expect to have" the Nats start pulling away and get some breathing room by the All-Star break. They end up finishing about 5 games ahead of 2nd place whoever (Marlins) but that's closer than it seems.

Of course this is dependent on injuries but everyone's season is dependent on injuries.

What about the recent bench changes? Nothing to note. I didn't hate Frandsen. He was a contact singly guy with the ability to play (but not necessarily play well) multiple positions. He's Lombo, a useful last guy on the bench but anyone can take that role. Uggla over him is probably mostly because Rizzo drafted and loves Uggla but whatever. Last guy on bench is last guy on bench.

Robinson, Reed Johnson, Matt den Decker? Placeholders. There is no real improvement here. Werth should be back in a week so one of these guys gets dropped then. Only question is does one get hot and do the Nats try to unload McLouth in that case to save another couple bucks.

Any questions?

Edit : As I do annually, here's where I let you know I am on twitter. harpergordek. If you are in to such things.  Mostly Nats stuff, even though I don't necessarily want it to be, that is how it turns out.

27 comments:

Bote Man said...

I like the way you think.

Hey, can somebody wake up the guy who used to write Nationals Institute of Health? I think he might be busier than a one-eyed cat at a fish fry with all the injuries to the Nats starting out.

Harper said...

Why is a one-eyed cat at a fish fry particularly busy?

Anthony Rendon said...

Finally it's here opening day!!!

Harper said...

Not for you.

Bjd1207 said...

Bless you Harper for asking that

Anonymous said...

Opening Day commemorative pins today! Woo hoo!

'I'm like a one-eyed cat peeping in a seafood store'

...I know...makes no sense.

Anthony Rendon said...

True Harper, but you probably wish it was.

Chaz R said...

Ya'll are all up early today! Loved watching Mike & Mike on ESPN 2 from Nats Park this morning.

Chinatown Express said...

Uggla has to have some upside, right? Give him a few weeks until Rendon is back. If he works out, start shopping him. Or keep him as your hairy-chested bench bat. That's not really an option you have with Frandsen.

On a separate note, a good friend of mine is a lifelong Braves fan. He's a real southerner too, not one of those people who caught Maddox fever in the 90s from TBS. After the Kimbrel trade went through last night, he texted me to say he's officially on the Nats bandwagon after five years as a DC resident. He'll be at the park today in a Braves Uggla jersey with some strategically placed masking tape.

Harper said...

AR - Definitely.

CXP - The upside issue with Uggla is that he's 35. He had power that compensated for lack of ave for a few years. But in 2012 his power was only ok, and last year it was non-existent. So you're betting that 2013 was "real" while 2012 and 2014 and the general trend is not. The "hit in the head" idea is fine until you realize he was hit early in 2013 (after being hit mid 2012) and that season produced a generally good but declining power season. Didn't seem to cause something unusual. Spring didn't offer any surprise return to prodigious power either. I suppose you put him out there hope he hits a couple out in a week and flip him? It's not a good bet.

Your good friend is a bandwagon traitor. It's not like the Braves have done him wrong for a decade. They decided to sell off for 2015 hoping to rebuild for 2017 after years of success. Watch your back CXP. You could be next.

WiredHK said...

I probably missed this in the news somewhere, but what happened to the "Uggla doesn't want to be a bench guy" line we were hearing? Is he suddenly ok with this for the season? Just curious...

Harper said...

WHK - Nothing he's a starter (or no worse than a platoon) now and will be until Rendon comes back. When Rendon does come back quite likely he'll be released or traded if possible. This is almost a favor to Uggla, IMO.

WiredHK said...

Makes sense, thanks Harper. Looking forward to a lot of 2-1 and 3-2 games this first month or so. Yay injuries!

:(

JWLumley said...

@Harper - I don't think it's as simple as 2014 didn't count, but 2013 and 2012 were the real Uggla narrative. Sounds like the guy had a legitimate injury, got some help and who knows. Perhaps it's too little too late, but there's a reason guys in baseball get Lasik and wear contacts to have 20/10 vision: eyesight matters a ton in baseball. I mean haven't you ever seen Major League? As for Frandsen, never liked him, but probably only because FP loved him and because of his stupid Harper-Rendon comparison interview. Oh yeah, and the fact that he was replacement level with zero upside. Even if he got hot, you're only going to get 10 singles in a week.

Whatever, who cares it's 71 degrees today in the hometown of Ryan Zimmerman, supposed to get to 76 and I'll be sitting on the beach watching Nats baseball this afternoon. Life is so good, I might not even yell at Bob Carpenter while I'm doing it. Happy Opening Day everyone!

JWLumley said...

@Harper Mostly agree, but if Uggla hits 5 dingerz the first 2 weeks, then I think Escobar could find his way to the bench when Rendon returns. The team has never seemed to be in love with Escobar.

KW said...

The best part of the Uggla story, no matter what he does, is that he's still costing the Braves $13 million! We're playing with house money. I'm actually coming to think he has some upside, though. We'll see. As terrible as Espy was in the spring, I'm glad we've got another option at the moment.

While we're bashing our "friends" to the south, I don't think the Braves are playing for 2017, or any time in the foreseeable future. They've done a gutting job worthy of the Marlins. Fat Freddy may walk 600 times this year because there's no reason to pitch to him.

The Nats will win 98 this season, and the Braves will lose more than that. Perhaps the Phillies will as well. Karma.

Chinatown Express said...

@Harper- I found a Quisling and I'd like to keep parading him through the town square until first pitch. Stop raining on my traitor parade.

The Nats will be equivalent to the Braves when they gut the team and move the stadium to Falls Church. Sooooo, 2022?

Harper said...

JW - So based on 2012/2013 the real Uggla is someone who will struggle to hit .200 with declining power and nothing else? That's the best long-run case? Ok let's concentrate on that short run then. Dingerz!

KW - I know people like to think playing with house money is the time to make stupid gamble but no. playing with any money is the time to make smart gambles and try to get more money.

I think the Braves have a plan... not sure what it is though. They can't open a park with a terrible team - they can look to DC to show that's not a good idea.

CXP - Nats will take over and renovate FedEx when the Skins get their new stadium. It's simply fiscally responsible.

Kenny B. said...

Happy Opening Day, gang. Today, we're all undefeated, except of course for the Cubs. I'm unable to attend the festivities because work, but I'm here in DC and glad for the sunshine. It definitely feels like opening day.

I will note that it's weird to not have Strasburg open the season.

And I always kind of liked Uggla, just because he looks like a cartoon baseball player from that Ken Griffey Jr. Super Nintendo game.

Anonymous said...

I promise to ignore all predictions this year, and enjoy watching a good baseball team.

Anthony Rendon said...

Kenny B
Have the cubs ever been undefeated? Or even 500 for that matter. True no Stras will be weird. Cartoon characters are always better than real life.

Zimmerman11 said...

I can't believe I've been reduced to rooting for Dan Uggla... here's hoping he starts the season on fire.

Kenny B. said...

Oh Desmond. I suspect we'll se him lead the league in errors again until the middle of the season.

Anonymous said...

I mean I know that people are putting them in the playoffs, but that doesn't mean they have to play like they are in the the playoffs.

Dominate pitching. Check.
Harper hitting. Check
Everyone else getting owned by an old guy. Check
Untimely errors leading to runs. Check.

JWLumley said...

So all of you clamoring for a Desmond extension...Danny Espinosa is also capable of going 0-4, but he'll play great defense. I know Desmond is very valuable, but something inside of me, say my gamery grit gene, just can't stand SS's that are poor defensively. Give me Ozzie Smith over Derek Jeter.

Bjd1207 said...

Lol come on JW the cherry-pick to end all cherry-picks.

I'm just as pissed at Desmond as you are, but to say you'd rather see Espinosa as our everyday is just the rage talking

JWLumley said...

@bjd I readily admit my bias toward slick fielding SS's, but it's not cherry picking, feel free to peruse past comments and I've never been a huge Desmond guy. I've never been in favor of the big Desmond extension because I don't think he'll age well. Desmond's defense is not good, often erratic and he's a free swinger. He's one of the top 2-3 SS's in the game right now, but he won't stay that way, IMHO.