Nationals Baseball: Melancon Q & A

Monday, August 01, 2016

Melancon Q & A

We could talk about the road trip but it's progressing like the Nats season has progressed for 100+ games now. Solid play making you think the Nats are about to finally put the rest of the NL East behind them followed by some slip-ups to make you worry just a teensy little bit. Like you can see worry coming, but it's not here yet. In the grand scheme of things the Nats played the homestand a couple games worse than I would have liked, but are likely to come out of the road trip at least a game better than I expected. Basically don't get swept in these three games and it's passable road trip, albeit one with a sad finish.

But who wants to talk about that. Let's talk about trades! Like last year I'll do it in self-questioning format.

Q: Same opening question - does this make the Nats better? 

Yes. Losing Rivero isn't nothing but Melancon has been one of the top relief pitchers in baseball for four seasons now. The question of "who is going to close" may be a silly one but it's one that matters because it seems to have a psychological effect on the bullpen, the manager, and possibly the team. This answers that question with no uncertainty. Melancon, who is a great closer, will close. This lets Kelley fall into the much-hated by me but a fact of current baseball life "set-up role" and then let's Dusty do his match-up magic, with a more than competent collection of arms in the 7th and if necessary the 6th.

Q. What happens to Papelbon now? 

I'm not exactly sure. He knows he's likely out as closer and he seems at peace with that idea. I assume that means he can feel something is up with how he's pitching, because he doesn't seem the type to accept this type of move if he thought he still "had it".  Of course if you shift Papelbon into the set-up role you are simply moving the problem, not eliminating it. The best move and best guess of what happens now is that Kelley sticks in 8th and Pap joins the group of other guys for use whenever is necessary. There hasn't been a situation yet which would confirm this, but Papelbon was warming in relief of a losing game yesterday and Kelley was not. If that is his role, can he adapt to it and will he take to it? He may have been fine with the Melancon addition assuming he would be set-up.  Also - as you can probably guess, Papelbon will not be back next year.

Q. Melancon for Rivero and a minor leaguer! Steal! Rizzo did it again! 

Sort of. The Pirates were in a peculiar situation. They are still in contention for a Wild Card so they didn't want to give up on the season entirely, which trading Melancon for prospects would have been signifying. So they dangled Melancon out there with the price tag of "decent young middle relief arm already producing". That is a far cry from Melancon but it's also a hard piece for contenders to give up. You bring in Melancon you make your pen immediately much better. You bring in Melancon but give up a good young middle reliever you've been using, and that improvement is dulled. And that's even if you have a good young reliever. I looked around and found maybe 3 other arms on contenders that may have beaten a Rivero deal. If the Nats were willing to part with Rivero it was almost certain they would get Melancon. But still kudos to Rizzo for doing it.

Q. Did we lose too much? I keep hearing Rivero is great now that he's gone. 

This is what it has come to. A 24/25 year old middle reliever with a 4.00+ ERA is considered too much for a rental closer. Look, if you go by value nearly ANYTHING is going to be too much for a rental closer. So if you buy that you can skip to the next paragraph now. Everything is too much for you in this kind of trade. If you are still around I'll tell you that relievers of the quality Rivero has shown so far are pretty fungible. He does seemingly have all the skills to be better. He doesn't get hit a lot, doesn't give up a lot of homers, has decent control and can strike people out. It wouldn't take much improvement for him to be elite. But that improvement still has to happen and he's starting to get into his peak years. If he doesn't do it say, in the next two years, I would be very doubtful that he will ever be anything more than another good pen arm. One of the things that concerned the Nats is that he seemed to wear out. He was ridden pretty hard by Dusty though so I'd be willing to bet that a lighter touch keeps him effective and ironically if the Pirates do make him a set-up or closer guy soon he should get less work. Arms though, who knows?

Q.  What about this Hearn kid? 

Taylor Hearn is a 5th round draft pick of the Nats last year. He was actually drafted four times, once by the Pirates, but kept staying in school for a better situation and got it. He was a starter but his middling results in low A, and live but fragile arm (multiple college injuries) made the Nats move him into a long relief role. He's a project who the Pirates are going to have to decide whether to keep trying as a starter or try to work into a reliever. Complete roll of the dice, but the physical ability means he's not a throw-in, he's a piece.

Q. So who gets lefties late in the game now that Rivero is gone? 

Same guy that did before. Perez.  Rivero wasn't actually great versus lefties this year. I'll chalk that up to small sample size, etc. but the fact is Perez was the LOOGY guy. Rivero was the full inning guy who could get out both. That's lefty is who needs to be replaced and the question right now is if Sammy Solis can do it. I don't personally think so but I also don't worry too much about it because the 8th and 9th look very good right now and the Nats have three arms right now in Stras, Max, and Roark who minimize the need for 7th inning help.

Q. What about the money! The Lerners added payroll, right? 

Ummmm maybe? They got cash back from the Pirates but early rumors (and someone point me to an official source if you know one) is that it wasn't enough to cover all Melancon's remaining salary. Even factoring in what they don't have to pay Rivero, that still means they may be adding 2.5 - 3 million dollars. That's the most they've ever added and while it still leaves the payroll comparatively low, I can't complain too much. However, if this is indeed the case we do have to see the rest of the season play out. The 2nd most money they added in-season, a mere 1.5 million for Hairston way back in 2013, was wiped out by a dump waiver trade of Suzuki later that year. Could the Nats find a team to take a similar deal? They would LOVE to do it for Papelbon I bet and he'll be out there. They'll try this I guarantee and there goes the "added" salary. If Turner keeps playing it's also not crazy that Revere could be gone as well, though I'll admit it's doubtful.

Q. This is a lot of words. Would you do this deal? Do you think it's good?

Yes and yes. I think it makes the Nats pen better for 2016 and solves a current baseball problem. Should a closer be a big deal, probably not. But it is! You can't deny reality just because you don't think it should be that way. Rivero is good. I liked him. I'm sure the Nats started with "How about Treinen?" in talks with the Pirates. But I'm also sure the Nats are fine rolling with Kelley, Petit, Treinen, Glover and maybe a resigned Belisle to start 2017's pen. That's a decent base to which we'll see what the Nats add.

Q. What about the Marlins deal? 

Eh. I'll tell you this, it makes it possible that the Marlins win the NL East. Not that it was IMpossible before. Sports are too unpredictable for that to be true. But before the trade the Marlins would have to go through August and September with the offense crushing it, Fernandez cruising, and the rest of the rotation not screwing things up. Given the quality of the rotation it was just as likely, if not more, that if the offense crushed and Fernandez cruised, the rest of the rotation would collapse and Miami still would be completely out of it.  Now (if Rea is ok sooner rather than later) I don't see the rotation collapsing. It won't be good, but it just needed not to collapse to keep the Marlins in the playoff hunt and give them an outside chance of the East depending on what the Nats do. So basically the trade means the Nats can't put it into cruise control just yet. This Marlins team could end up with  90 wins (or 82!)

Q. What are you looking at today? 

I want to see if Mets get Lucroy or Bruce or someone else to help an offense that desperately needs it. Last year the Mets and Cespedes immediately reacted to that deal to push the team through the last two months. There could be that muscle memory there if they make a similar deal.  I want to see if the Marlins snag another blah rental starter (about what they can afford with that minor league system)


Chas R said...

All of that makes sense Harper. I suppose it's possible to sign Melancon to an extension at the end of the season and keep him for next year as well since we will have the same problem again next year.

I take it you don't see the Nats doing any more deals? Do you think they will try to ride out Zim full-time at 1B, CRob filling in at 1B, and some combination of Revere-Turner in CF?

Anonymous said...

Zimm hurt and struggling. Murphy hurt. Harper completely and utterly lost. Espinosa back to his normal self. Dusty restiung guys too much and hurting the ,lineup even more (minor complaint, I think he's been outsanding overall).

Mets looking like garbage then pull out a miracle win. Trade deadline approaching, they're making moves for a big bat while we seem content with a closer. I don;t like it. At all. I can only pray that the slience out there is pure Rizzo magic, that he knows we need another piece and that he will make it happen. Otherwise, melancon will pitch for us maaaaybe 15 times and we'll lose to the Giants in the NLDS, scoring about 5-6 run over the 4 games.

We've needed a bat for YEARS to make the leap. It is so blatantkly obvious I just cannot fathom how Rizzo and the Lerners appear to be moissing this. Every single fan with a modicum of interest can see it.

Please prove me wrong, Mike Rizzo, you're our only hope.

Froggy said...

Lobaton is hurt right? Zimmerman is hurt / sucking right?

Crazy thought...Lucroy can play 1b too right?

Ole PBN said...

Just looking at some of our farm numbers. What are the chances that Brian Harper (Bryce's bro) gets a shot this year? He's been doing well at Syracuse. Especially since I'm not sure who is beyond Perez and Solis in terms of LH relievers...

mike k said...

@ anon - And where does this bat go? You're not replacing Zim or Werth. CF seems to have been solved by Turner - maybe you say Turner replaces Espinosa and you get an OF bat? Good luck trading for a big bat CF. Most likely Harper slides into CF in that scenario. Also, who will you give up? A marginally good bat, like Jay Bruce, is just more of what the Nats currently have. They need to go All Star or nothing at all...and hauls for players like that are bigger than the Miller/Chapman hauls.

@ Froggy - my understanding is Lucroy nixed the trade to Cleveland because he didn't want to play first. But that's just speculation.

Zimmerman11 said...

muscle memory? really? that only works in conjunction with veteran moxxy and sticktuitiveness.

Anonymous said...

I hope you all complaining about a bat realize that our "godsend of an MVP" is hitting .238 right? Its never enough for you all, but if we had him performing even close to last years levels we'd be on pace for 100+ wins. I think Rizzo was relying on Harper not sucking this year. Was that crazy of him to think?

NotBobby said...

update on post all-star wins and losses. Fries and I put the expected win total at 16 from break until Orioles series. Currently at 8 wins of the 16 needed to stay in a good position.

my expectations of the wins and losses until Orioles: 1 of 3 against Dbacks on the road (bc it is a west coast series), 2 of 3 from Giants at home, 1 and 1 with Indians at home, 2 of 4 in Braves series, 1 of 3 from Rockies on the road, and 2 of 4 from Braves on the road. That puts Nats at 16 wins coming into Orioles series. There is plenty of room in that prognostication to do better or worse. I hope the Melancon acquisition puts the Nats on a tear and they do better, like 18 wins.

prolestes said...

@ mike k - Lucroy nixed the trade to CLE b/c they wouldn't waive the team option for next year (VERY team friend @ like 5.2mil).

Andrew Louder said...

For some reason, I don't think Jay Bruce will have the same impact as Cespedes...Lets hope!

mike k said...

@ prolestes - Not saying you're wrong, since my information was based on an article that was mostly speculating. But to me that doesn't make any sense. The Padres already aren't going to waive the team option, so why make that a deal breaker for waiving the no trade clause? Perhaps Lucroy is banking on another team willing to do it, and the Padres still willing to trade him despite the drastically lower haul they will get in that scenario. Wishful thinking, methinks. Not wanting to play 1B makes more sense because it dramatically lowers his free agent value. But again, if you read otherwise you're probably right.

Anonymous said...

Lucroy? Padres? Huh?

mike k said...

whoops. whatever. I stand by what I said.

Froggy said...

I was thinking more along the lines that when Lucroy wasn't playing 1b he he would spelling Ramos behind the dish. But having two catchers of that caliber would be redundant.

Jay said...

I would vote for a corner OF and move Harper to CF. I'd move Turner to SS and trade Espinosa and Revere for anything. I'd trade them so Baker can't start running them back out there everyday in two weeks when he has to "put the best possible line up out there". Because face it. Espinosa and Revere plain stink.

However, as anonymous pointed out earlier, that if Harper ever stops worrying about marketing for UA and actually plays baseball. That would be all the improvement they would need. The Nats have done pretty well the last few weeks despite absolute stinkers put up by Reynaldo Lopez x 2 and Giolitto x 1. Those guys are going to be something someday, but it is not this day.

Having written all of that. I don't think the Nats do anything else, and I'm a little disappointed. Everyone else has gotten better at the deadline in multiple areas. The Nats did improve the bullpen, but it sure looks like they need another bat. It feels like last year where we are waiting for Harper, Zimmerman, Espinosa, and Revere to "get hot". That didn't happen last year and the Nats took on water fast. We'll see they are up by 4 games this year and 6.5 on the Mets. I'm not convinced Miami has enough SP, and I'm not convinced the Mets are close enough. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

So anon, is Harper were hitting to his norms we'd be a 100 win team? Was it reasonable for Rizzo to expect that? Sure!

But, he's not, and he hasnt been since April. Zimm hasnt all year and may very well be hurt. Murph is now hobbled by the same hammy that bothered him a few weeks back. We're struggling to score runs, its plain as day. unfortunately, given the current trajectory looks more like we're going to conintue to struggle rather than all of a sudden start clicking.

If we do not add a bat, we might lose the division and absolutley will be elimiated quickly if we squeak in.

Also, I dont care where the nbig bat plays or how bad the defense is. Irrelvqant. We need to score runs, we're good enough already at poreventing them.

Chas R said...

I don't think we need to replace Zim or Werth or Revere. We just need a much better option off the bench that play both OF and 1B to substitute for them. Heisey and CRob have been awful replacements. Turner can play some CF to help out there.

Anonymous said...

A lot of talk about how the offense failed us last year. I don't disagree, but I think the bigger contributing factor was the bullpen collapse. Storen was a huge head case who couldn't handle a role change for the betterment of the team. Papelbon wasn't that great. Stammon was on the DL. Jenson sucked. Treinen was far less capable than he is this year. Thorten needed more downtime between starts than usual. I don't see that happening a collapse happening this year.

Anonymous said...

bwwwwaaahaha. We do NOTHING....again. Didn't learn a single thing from 2015. Wait until the Mets sweep us by a bludgeoing 7-2 score for a sweep. Can't wait to see the look on Rizzo's face.

Melancon? I'll eat my hat if he pitches more than 17 innings for us the rest of the year. I'm thinking this has got to be a $ thing with the Lerners, it just has to. I cannot believe that Rizzo looks at this lineup and thinks it sufficient to wina wordl series. i simply do not believe that. maybe the goal is just to be very good and hope you get lucky while keeping yoiung prspects to keep costs down?

I'm not privy to all that, but this is a bummer. We lost a channce at the World Series today, folks. Rationalize it awya, but we were a piece oir two away.

See ya in 2017.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:27 - THE SKY IS FALLING

You say we're struggling to score runs and the current trajectory signals struggle instead of success. Espinosa, in four games, went 7-18 with 5 HR (2 grand slams) and 15 RBI. Everyone was cool on keeping Turner down, cuz Danny is da man! ... and now people are calling for him to sit again. Point is, there are ups and downs that you can predict. Bryce being BRYCE would put us over the top, was my point, and the contracts of Werth/Zim are not going to sit for anyone we can get. So what do you recommend getting? "Anyone, and I don't care where they play!" Hmm, and if not, your vote would be to blow the whole roster up and start over? Ha, I swear if some of us had Rizzo's phone we would have released Zim, signed him back, traded him, traded for him, and sold him for a hot dog and then do the same to about a dozen other players on this current roster. Knee-jerk reactions at its best. Funny how we give some guys a break and others just relentless criticism until they succeed for a week - then ya'll are their biggest fan. But hey, thats the nature of being fans and I'm guilty of it too. Just don't make such outrageous claims that take up comment space.

JE34 said...

What are the odds that (bryce) stays (bryce) through September? I say those odds are low. I don't expect BRYCE, but I do expect Bryce.

BTW, does anyone know a hitting coach who can tell him to stop pulling so bad towards first base? The free world can see it plain as day. Can Rick Schu get him to focus on murdering pitches to the opposite field? He will see more pitches to pull if he punishes stuff away from him... but he's gotta stay in the dang batters box to do it. (Side note: I have not seen Ian Desmond this year, but I'm willing to bet that he's either laying off the slider down and away, or he's hitting it to right field... two things he seemed nearly incapable of last season.)

As for the other guys:

Zim had a pretty good week at the plate. Here's hoping he can build on it.

Ditto for Werth.

Murphy, Ramos, Turner, and Rendon -- all producing at least reasonably well now. We have heard about Murphy's legs getting tired over the length of a season, and they're working to manage that.

Espi has officially reverted to form.

Revere was red-hot in spring training, got hurt, and has been below replacement all year.

The Nats have nice flexibility to be able to avoid reliance on both Espi and Revere at the same time, when Murphy is healthy. A deal to strengthen the offense in lieu of these two would be great. Steve Pearce woulda been nice, except now he's an Oriole.

Ole PBN said...

All coaching in my opinion. Mike Maddux has done a great job with the pitching staff - much better than the complacent Steve McCatty has done. Rick Schu's lineup is struggling to score consistently. Very similary to last years hitting headed up by Rick Sc... wait a minute! Same dude is still here after little success during his tenure in the Nats dugout. Failure to improve seems to be proving failure. To answer your question JE34, yes there is a hitting coach out there that can help Bryce. And it ain't Rick.

For example, Redskins offensive line was like night and day this past season compared to the one before. The difference? Brought in Bill Callahan, the best in the game for coaching o-linemen. Here's another one: Nats running game was non-existent last year. Exit stage left fist-bump extraordinaire Tony Tarasco, and bring in Davey Lopes. The result? 27th in stolen bases last year and 6th so far this year. Oh wait, theres more! Can't manage a bullpen or a clubhouse? Beat Matt Williams! Welcome Dusty Baker. Yes there is such thing as a good hitting coach. Find him and sign him.

Anonymous said...

"bwwwwaaahaha. We do NOTHING....again. Didn't learn a single thing from 2015"

Didn't you learn anything from 2015? That team wasn't going anywhere. They had no chance of winning the World Series. The bullpen was shot - far from a one reliever fix. The vets never picked up their hitting. The $200 elite ace was inconsistent. The manager looked like a beaten dog that wanted to go home.

Rizzo's "dont just do something, stand there" was totally validated. Thank heavens he didn't give away valuable future trying to prop up that team. They were cooked.

Jay said...

I've wondered about replacing Schu as well. Seems that the only person that has a game plan at the plate is the one guy new to the team - Murphy. Everyone else seems pull happy. I remember when they hired Schu his mantra was "hunt the fastball". Seems to me most of the Nats now do that and over swing on everything. I think that was Dusty's point a while back. He mentioned the Nats hitters needed to change their approach in RBI situations. We don't need 5 run homers. We need to move the runner and drive runs in. That is how the team ends up ranked high in HR numbers - they hit mistakes. But when they face good teams or even bad pitchers having a some what ok day they struggle.

Froggy said...

If anyone is curious what 'all in' means just take a look at the Texas Rangers, and the Cubs.

The Lerners on the other hand are more about running an 'in the black' business when it comes to baseball. If a world series falls out of the sky then great, but I really think their metric for success ends at winning the division and not necessarily going deep into the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Don't think 'all in' is the optimal strategy in baseball for winning World Series.

Because baseball is more random than other sports like basketball, the better team in MLB is less likely to win a given series than it would in the NBA. The best strategy to continually put your team in the post season lottery over multiple years than to go all in one year and sacrifice the future years.

Josh Higham said...

Several things.

A) I don't see the appeal of Harper's blogs to the knee-jerk masses. His message is always "patience, look at stats, don't get too excited," and all the while, the comments section is full of "THE SKY IS FALLING, THE NATS WILL NEVER WIN ANOTHER GAME."

B) I don't know if anyone has noticed, but the SFG method of winning in the playoffs is: build a good bullpen, trust the manager, plug offensive gaps with guys in the farm system. Rizzo seems to be following that pattern as best he can given the owners.

C) I love how we are somehow unhappy with turning a mediocre arm with great upside into an elite closer.

Froggy said...

I don't think it is an either or situation necessarily. But it is interesting to note that the Rangers are already the best team in the AL, and rather than say 'we can't get the SP we want' and be satisfied, they double down on their 1-9 lineup offensively.

Meanwhile, regardless of how the Nats do this season, it's pretty much a borderline rebuilding year in 2017. So the choice is to spend money now to reinforce their current position (of strength?) or look for deals in the offseason to address aging Werth, ZNN, and Espinosa, CF, SP, bullpen holes. Either way they will be spending money in the FA market.

Fries said...

Can we please continue to b*tch and moan about the offense? It seems that whenever we do, the Nats offense blows up. Can't move the runner? See the 1st, 2nd, and 8th innings. (bryce) is sucking, he at least goes out and gets 3 runs for the team. Offense sucks, how about our pitcher with the ugliest swing goes 3 for 4 to raise his average to .200. So let's continue Robot's anti-curse

JW said...

The Rangers are not really the best team in the AL. Their division is the weakest by a good margin. And I'm not sure I buy the argument that adding to an existing strength is equal to addressing existing needs. They are a very good team that ensured that they stay very good. But there are still holes there.

I don't get the angst over the Nats failing to do anything other than add a closer to stabilize the bullpen (which everyone should agree was a big need). What players that were moved made sense for the Nats? Beltran -- a 39 year old outfielder? We already have an older corner outfielder that can't move. Lucroy? Either sit Ramos or play him at 1B (a position he hasn't played regularly)? Reddick might have made the most sense but he's still only a rental and would require moving Bryce to center. Aside from additional relievers, I don't see the need for concern.

Chicago is the team to beat. They were the team to beat and clearly still are. But the postseason in baseball is not a magic formula. The Nats have been home-field favorites twice and haven't made it out of the division. Keep doing the good things and try to adjust to address the bad.

prolestes said...

@ mike k - read it in a story on sbnation:

and tweeted out by jeff passan:

It makes sense to me b/c it's gonna be a fairly weak market for catchers this offseason. Lucroy will most likely get significantly more than 5.25mil next year if he's allowed onto the open market.

Sammy Kent said...

I was hoping for Miller, and I was willing to give up Lopez or Giolito for him. In retrospect, hearing more details about the deal we got and what the Yankees were asking for, this is a good deal for the Nats. None of the Nationals' relievers have been worth a dang in the last month, so to essentially go one-for-one our bad reliever for your pretty good closer is a deal I can live with. I would have just as cheerfully handed the Pirates Trienen, Perez, Belisle, Kelley, or the Bum for Melancon straight up.

I'm just not sure it's enough. Rizzo simply will not make any big deals at the deadline. We still have no good answer for bridging the gap between the starter and the closer. We still need another bat. I would have made a deal for Jay Bruce and put him in right and moved Bryce to center. Look who got him: the Mets. They have a GM with enough cajones to make a deal to get a big bat for the stretch run. They did it last year while Rizzo stood pat and the Mets wound up winning the division going away. I'm not convinced this lineup has enough firepower to outslug the Marlins or the Mets when September rolls around. Getting 14 runs and 19 hits last night virtually guarantees a three hit stinker tonight. Geico could make a commercial about it. "If you're the Washington Nationals, you score ten runs one night, and get two hits the next. It's what you do."

Ole PBN, yes there's a GREAT hitting coach out there, but he wouldn't come cheap. I've said for years, since Eckstein was here in fact, that if I were Mr. Lerner I'd find out what it would cost to get Lou Piniella out of retirement (Cincinnati now) to be my batting coach and I'd pay it. There's a reason the man retired with a .291 batting average, and why almost every teams he coached or managed made the playoffs and hit for sometimes record numbers.

NotBobby said...

@Sammy Kent

I agree that one more RP move would have been great. Going to get a LOOGY would have been my preference (Abad, Smith...).

Completely disagree with your want for Bruce though. We know he is a defensive liability and to put him in the OF with Harper having to pick up the slack (bc he would de facto be the CF) would probably ensure that BRYCE does not show up. Those legs would be taxed by all of the running around he would be doing. And when it comes to the bat, he is swinging it now, but Bruce is one of the streakiest bats in MLB. He is great when it is going well for him, but he turns ice cold when it isn't. I would not want to give up something valuable for a guy who may be a big fat zero when he is needed most. I mush more prefer a steady-eddie bat that i know will at least put good at bats up pretty much every time. ]

And am definitely in the camp that says Schu needs a change of scenery.

Jay said...

Everyone does realize they have the second best record in MLB behind the almighty Cubs. They are 1/2 game behind Texas (5 game lead vs 5 1/2 game lead) for second largest division lead. They are 7 1/2 games up on the Mets (7 in the loss column). The Marlins have a pretty bad SP rotation with Andrew Cashner brought in to "bolster" it. The Mets have the lowest RISP in the league thus they got Bruce. Bruce has nice RBI totals in a bandbox of a stadium. He also is like Grandson in that he is bad defensively, hits for low avg and low OBP. Plus, Granderson in CF is pretty scary. Bruce does however have good power numbers. But if the Mets can make up 7 games, which isn't impossible, then they deserve to win the division. I don't see it.

Also, remember that we actually have a manager this year unlike ol' PBN last year. MW was pretty awful as a manager. I was reading a review of his BP usage in game 5 against the Giants back in the day - cringe worthy. Plus, Dusty's teams have always hit. Give him time. I'd bet he will either get this team hitting or bring in another coach himself. He has already talked about piling runs on and changing your approach in RBI situations.

Bjd1207 said...

@Sammy Kent - I feel in fairness like I have to provide the glass half full angle. First, relievers for the past month. Have not been ALL worthless. Rivero, Belisle, Treinen, and Solis have comined for an ERA under 2.00 in 37 innings. Petit has been decent over that stretch (2.84). Kelley, Perez, and Papelbon have all been bad and its probably skewing our impression that those 3 are the "back" of the bullpen and in higher leverage situations.

Also I'll take the other half of your best on 3 hits tonight. I'll even spot you some and say we score more than 3 runs tonight.

Lastly, Bruce's power numbers are above his head right now, and even with those he's only posted a .7 WAR on the year because his OBP still sucks and he can't play defense. If he had played a lick at first or if we had time to transition him then I could see making the deal to spell Zimm, but otherwise the only position Bruce would be serviceable is LF and Werth's actually been more valuable on the year.

I think Rizzo did just fine by standing pat, and the Melancon deal was great. Cubs and Dodgers both just sold off a ton of prospects so we gained ground in the futures outlook even by doing nothing

Sammy Kent said... happy to be wrong about last night's game. First time in seems like forever that the Nationals haven't followed up a big offensive explosion with a dud.