Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie - hanging around

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Quickie - hanging around

1 0 2 1 1 0 2 2

Those were the runs given up by the Nats during their 8 game win streak.

1 0 0 0 0 0 2 2

Those were the runs given up by the Nats' starters during the same stretch

Gonna win a lot of games when you pitch like that.

The only real complaint I have about the weekend was the use of Roark as the spot starter. Roark started the year and the "emergency - break glass" guy who could take over if a starter went down for a few weeks. Right now though that spot has to go to Joe Ross. Not because Ross is guaranteed that much better a pitcher, but because Roark is being used and is needed elsewhere. What if you need an arm just for one day and you don't want to through Ross off kilter? Use whoever. Just don't start Roark and effectively make him unusable for 3-4 games.

I can see stretching him out again if, god forbid, two starters are out again for extended periods of time. He's better than the AAAA Jordan or the not quite ready Cole. But otherwise? Roll the dice with anyone else.

Meanwhile the Mets are hanging around, taking four in a row. It doesn't concern me in a "Look out! Here comes the Mets!" way. It's more of a way to keep the Nats on their toes and a reminder that this year's Mets are better than last year's Braves. A healthy Nats team should still win the division easily, but a banged up Nats team with the healthy guys playing below expectations? That team at least has to worry about luck and timing working against them - as you saw over the first 60 games or so.  If the Mets make a move and the Nats take another big injury? Things change. But just as easily it could work in reverse and the Nats would be on cruise control.

Starting tomorrow the Nats can pretty much end Atlanta's division hopes before they hita series of tougher games heading into and then out of the All-Star break. San Fran, Cincy (not a good team but did sweep the Nats earlier), Baltimore, BREAK, Dodgers, Mets, Pittsburgh, Miami, Mets.  I don't get the sense that this team will put the pedal down, but I expect this week as they play Atlanta, SF, and Cincy that they'll put more room between them and the Mets (Cubs, Dodgers, Giants) and then it'll just be a matter of slowly pulling away from the Mets. We'll see how large those two Mets series loom when we get closer to them, tiny chance they are huge, better chance the first one is the Mets last gasp, small chance they barely matter at all.


Todd Boss said...

Ross threw 5 innings on 6/25. He wasn't available to start on 6/28. If this game had been planned or known about, the Nats could have manipulated his AAA starts so as to be available.

As it turned out, the AAA starter who was on regular rest for sunday was Taylor Jordan, who hasn't exactly lit the world on fire in his two MLB appearances this year (10+ip, just 5 strikeouts, 16 hits and 10 earned runs).

I think the Nats' strategy was sound; Roark > Jordan right now, so that's who they went with. They just got an uncharacteristic outing from him.

Anonymous said...

Is is a reach to say that the Nats with a bench lineup are still a better team than the fellies because the starters are so much better? Seems like over a season the phillies lineup should preform better than den dekker, tmo, and the backup crew but by how much?

SM said...

Looks so far like an open forum. So I'll take a chance to raise two (2) totally unrelated matters, the first one technical.

1) If Ryan Zimmerman went on the 15-day DL on June 10, and Aaron Barrett on June 12, why is neither on the 25-man roster? Are baseball days different from calendar days?

2) Has anyone noticed that from a certain angle, Yunel Escobar looks like Denzel Washington? But from another angle looks like Adam Sandler?

Can't figure out which Escobar grounds into the double plays and which one has five-hit games.

NG said...


The first one is easy: the 15-day DL means a minimum of 15 days on the disabled list. You stay on that list (and off the 25-man roster) until the team activates you. A player theoretically could get hurt on opening day and spend the entire season on the 15-day DL.

I can't answer the second one :-)

SM said...

Thanks, NG.

Theoretically hurt on Opening Day and spend the entire season on the 15-day DL? Oh, oh.

Donald said...

I'm probably just looking for silver linings, but with the amount of time Werth, Zimmerman and Rendon are spending on the DL, I'm hoping they are much fresher at the end of the year. We *could* have one of the most well-rested line-ups heading into the play-offs.

KW said...

The Roark question would have been a moot point if the Phillies had not insisted on starting Saturday's game, which burned Gio. Otherwise, it would have been Gio and Stras on Sunday. It's unbelievable that in this day and age, the home team still gets to make the call on whether to begin a game. Matt W. was furious, and rightly so.

Harper said...

Todd Boss - the loss doesn't bother me. I'm more bothered by the fact Nats likely won't use Roark until after ATL series. Is he better than Jordan? Sure, but I don't know, I feel the best time to use a AAAA Jordan type is a game vs the worst team you'll play all year.

Anon #1 - I'd give the edge to the Phillies. If we're going all bench : Lobaton, Moore, Uggla, uhhh Difo at short?, who's at 3rd?, Robinson, Taylor, den Dekker. That's a painful lineup over 162. Phillies are bad but I can see that averageing 2.5 runs. I could try an figure it out though...

SM - 2) no. though I hear if you look at him from directly above he's the spitting image of almost every other player on the field.

SM/NG - 1) which is why you'll see things like "15-day DL retroactive as of . That way if you want to move someone to the active roster for just a week you can.

Donald - sure. why not?

KW - As opposed to who? The umps? MLB? I think either would have started the game too. The rain hit earlier than expected (and they tarped earlier than needed). I think there was enough chance of an official game in the 60-90 minute window they thought they might have (especially way Phillies hit) to go for it.

KW said...

Bob & F.P., who were looking at the weather radar, were amazed they started Saturday's game and didn't expect it to go long, certainly not long enough for an official game. Matt Williams was furious, along the same lines. That's what I'm going on. If the call belongs to the umpires/MLB, there's a lot less cause for controversy. The days of local teams trying to safeguard their box office are long, long gone . . . as are the days of the Phillies having any crowds.

Harper said...

KW - I was basing it on Charlie and Dave who seemed not surprised. Given the choices of course I defer to C&D but they might have been going on old info and not the current radar.

"Controversy"? I don't know about all that.

Anonymous said...

Missed this. Trea got moved up to Syracuse last week........I'd still be shocked if Desmond gets moved anywhere, since the Nats will still get a sandwich pick for him if they make an offer in the off-season but you never know. Of course, if he doesn't start to hit, he won't bring anything but salary clearance in a trade.

Froggy said...

I have always been a fan of Desmond's but this is a performance league and unless he goes on some sort of Titanic tear before the AB, it's time to cut him away. He is simply not helping the team with his bat or glove. Bring up Turner or put Danny there.

Chinatown Express said...

Chaos: Are you sure we get a compensatory pick? Will the Nats really extend Desi a QO? Will he really reject it? Will another team really sign him despite the lost draft pick? Right now, I'd answer no to all those questions.

Robot said...

Yeah, I've been a fan of Desi for years, but this is a critical year for the Nats, and he's not performing. I hate to see his tenure here end like this, but that's the nature of the business. I doubt he gets a QO from the Nats, personally.

mike k said...

I think the Nats will offer Desi a QO, and he will reject it (unless he is traded or the Nats extend him). He's doing poorly this year, but he has a decent track record. And except for an injury riddled Tulo, there just aren't any good hitting SS in the league right now...and very few good hitting MI. Some team will offer him a very good long-term contract, even if he struggles all year. Mega contract if he climbs up to merely average.

Not that I'd want to be the team to offer him that contract. I remember Harper did a post a while back about his decline at the plate, which was very good for my confirmation bias ego. His value is that he has power (even potential power) and speed at a position that is barren in the MLB right now. Some team will pay.

Anonymous said...

Desi will get signed because he is not far removed from being a really good SS, which is a shallow position. I'm most worried about him accepting a qo and being done.

mike k said...

If he's done, he shouldn't accept the qo, he should test the market and get the longest deal possible. Only if he thinks he'll turn it around should he take a one year deal.

Of course, this is assuming he has an objective view of himself.

Robot said...

Most people don't have objective views of themselves.

That said, I think a lot of Desi's problem is between the ears, like the has the contract-year yips or something. Yeah, he's getting older and some decline is to be expected, but his cratering the way he has strikes me as something more.

I would like to see him get it together. But I would like to see the Nats make the World Series even more, so if he doesn't soon, something needs to be done.