Nationals Baseball: A second pass at Zimm and Koda's Korner

Friday, June 02, 2017

A second pass at Zimm and Koda's Korner

I said I'd look at Zimm again around Memorial Day. Well actually I said mid-June but I've already started down this path so we will look now and look then too. He didn't collapse, obviously, but how much of what we're seeing is remnants of April? 

Some.  Ryan finished May with a more reasonable line of .319 / .363 / .543 (compared to  .420 / .458 / 886 in April). Unsurprisingly he couldn't sustain what would have been the best BABIP of all time by a big distance (.450). His .366 BABIP for May is still high for a slow guy but in the realm of possibility.  Things were a little worse earlier in May but he has heated back up in the past week. Again - .500 BABIP but those are things you see all the time when you are looking at a handful of games.

One thing I asked about is what happens when teams start facing Ryan 2nd/3rd times and start pitching him differently.  Will he react with more patience?  Well at this point those types of teams are still a little few and far between. What I can say is that he has started to swing and miss more but hasn't struck out more, or walked significantly more. So it's possible there's the beginning of testing to see how much Ryan will chase but there hasn't been a full out shift on how to approach him just yet.

Right now I don't see any reason he couldn't keep a May type season up for the rest of the year, if he can be healthy.  It's still probably a little high average wise but it's more in line with his peak years, with the trade of some patience for power. I think everyone would sign-up for that right now right?


Koda Glover has taken over as closer and has been successful. That isn't a surprise. That's mainly because I still firmly believe most relievers would be fine as closers. Problems are (1) we don't want fine, (2) fine overall can't overcome lousy to start because impressions are set, (3) we vividly remember the 15% or so who can't do it.

But the Nats have had specific issues with their attempts this year. We can assume something is up with Blanton (and something could be - oh I'm too old now) and that Kelley is injured. But the real issue was trying Treinen. Treinen was particularly ill-suited to a closer role (wild, hittable, not completely stopping the longball). This is important because a team's approach in the final inning changes. You want to get on base first, then when a guy is on base you want to try to put the ball in play to move him over and/or score him. Treinen gave teams the perfect pitcher to attempt this against. What he excels at is forcing a ground ball. That's great if you have a couple guys on base with one out and a big hitter not looking to walk up. It gives you a real good chance at a double play. But with a light hitter looking to work a walk? He's got a good chance to get on base. With a man on second and no one out? He's got a good chance at being pushed to third. A Treinen type can work, but the margin of error is slim.

Glover doesn't have Treinen's issues with stuff. He is not particularly wild, and his K rate is expected to be higher. At worst, if he happens to give up long balls a little more than he should - see last year - is that he'll be ok. Now yes he wasn't ok last year but maybe that was injury, and maybe that was just learning curve. He wasn't striking out as many as you'd expect. He was walking more than you'd expect. Those are now both generally more in line. At best, if he controls that better - see this year so far - he becomes very effective.

Dusty wanted Glover over Treinen because he believes in make-up, but Glover over Treinen makes sense because of stuff as well. Given the other options are no options, let's hope this works long term like I think it should because if not I don't know where the Nats go.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Harper, seems like Ryan has been able to maintain his exit velo throughout May and as Joe Posnanski @ Joe Blogs points out via Statcast data for every 1 mph over 92 exit velo a batter can raise his BABIP by .25 points. Seems like Ryan (when not striking out) is always hitting 100 - 106 mph on BABIP. Since a healthy Zimmerman has always hit with a high exit velo wouldn't you agree he stands a good chance of doing what he has been doing without much drop off?

https://medium.com/joeblogs/fun-with-statcast-exit-velo-20e4ec314744

Harper said...

When I look at that BABIP and HR/FB rates I still see some room for drop off from his season numbers but I think he can keep doing May, with maybe a .300 average instead of .320. He's really hitting it where they ain't accross the board. BABIP for FBs and LDs are Top 10 (out of like 250) A lot of that is hitting it super hard but some of that is luck, so I tweak down just a smidge.

Bjd1207 said...

Are we asking for midseason end-of-pen drama again doing it this way?

If Koda works out reasonably well for the next couple months, doesn't that essentially put a soft cap on the caliber of reliever we're looking to acquire at the deadline? If we go get a top flight reliever, does that bump Koda out of the closer spot and all we hear about all offseason is about screwing up the "chemistry" and their "established roles"? Or do we get a top flight reliever and use them earlier? Or do we not look for a top flight reliever any more?

PotomacFan said...

I agree with Boswell's column today. It's too much to expect Koda Glover to be the playoff closer. Better to have him be the 8th inning guy, with an experienced 9th inning closer. The Nationals again have a team, at least on paper, that can go far in the playoffs. No reason to risk that by not having a proven closer. AND, not unimportantly, Glover has a history of injury -- and he'll be making a lot of appearances this year.

blovy8 said...

As far as I can tell Glover's hip is still going to be an issue, so there was/is a valid reason to be concerned about giving him a closer workload. For instance, have we stopped worrying about Zim's shoulder? It's still pretty ugly to watch him throw anywhere.

Ole PBN said...

I think we look for a top-flight reliever in whatever their current capacity is (set up/closer/whatever). Koda is great, but limited track record. Albers is doing well, but this must count as an outlier based on career numbers. That's it. We'll need an additional solid/reliable arm to be taken seriously in a micro-managed 5-game playoff series come October. However, I wouldn't be so quick to take a pass on Koda just because of the inexperience. Just saying, Kimbrel was that guy once. Let's see how long he can do this.

ssln said...

Everyone is a GM in June including Boswell. Robertson, Melancon, or Kimbrel. Everyone is delusional. Start thinking like the GM on the other side of the trade. That other GM knows the Nats are set up to win now so he will extract the best deal possible. You can get a salary dump guy but he won't be a big name. You want a big name? Okay, what package of players are you willing to put together for a Melancon? The asking price for any big name will start with Robles. Are you willing to do it?
Start dealing with reality. The salary dump guy may be more experienced than Koda but may not be as good. You want to take the ball from him if he is 27 out of 30 in saves?
Sounds like Storen II to me. The guys you want are going to cost. Day dreaming isn't going to land you one of them. What are you willing to give up?

Anonymous said...

I think you're targeting the wrong audience sir, we fans can daydream all we want. I think you hope that Rizzo isn't the one day dreaming. He also hasn't proposed any ridiculous trades that you speak of. Also, getting a solid bullpen arm (like a Brad Hand) may not require Robles in return, nor take the ball away from Koda is he's "27 out of 30 in saves." Barking up the wrong tree man - no one disagrees with you, and no one here can do any of the things you're asking for :)

ssln said...

To Anon;

Let me show you how to play the GM game using Brad Hand as the target. SD is willing to do the deal now. They want AJ Cole, Pedro Severino and the kid we select in the upcoming draft. They get to make the selection and the Nats pick the specified player since you can't trade a first round draft choice. Think of it as the Trea Turner deal in reverse.
Do you do the deal?
If Hand is available, other teams will want him. What are you willing to offer?

Anonymous said...

I would like to have a Robbie Ray back and would make a deal to get him.

Froggy

BxJaycobb said...

Ssln: none of the closers that will be available will take Robles. Robles is the kind of gleyber torres or Clint Frazier level prospect that you would need to headline a deal for a miller or Chapman (as they were last year). But nobody at that level of closer--or close to that level of closer--is available this year. Robertson isn't that level. Nor is Herrera or Hand. It's a year where there won't be a Wade Davis/Kimbrel/Chapman/Miller because those teams aren't selling. Just this offseason the Nats were offered Roberton for 2 low level prospects if we merely ate 10m of his contract and the Lerners wouldn't do it. We probably could get Melancon for very very little if we ate 2/3 of his money. For Herrera, it will take maybe Soto or severino+Fedde+low level prospect. But no none of the guys available this year will require a Robles unless you're talking about a Colome or Diaz, who have lots of years of control.

ssln said...

Bx

Good reply. So you are offered Colome or Diaz for Robles straight up. Take you pick. Do you do the deal?

ssln said...

I see that there were only two replies to my post about playing GM for a closer. BX was right on target so let's analyze what he said in context of Dave Sheinin's article in the post this morning. First, Bx said there isn't any great closer out there on the order of a Chapman or Miller. I fully agree so the idea of Robles or Diaz for Robles should be a non starter with a big IF. The if, is of course, that Glover seizes the job by the throat as Dusty likes to say and performs at a high level through the trade deadline. If that is the case, and it is a big if, you have to swallow hard and keep him. As Sheinin's pointed out manager's love experience in the closing role while GM's go with talent in these situations.
My view is that Boswell is wrong in this situation. If the Bear is performing for another two months he is you closer. period end of story. Why do I feel this way? Simple, you need to shore up the rest of the bullpen. Other than Albers you have a lot of question marks. Rizzo should concentrate on another 7th and 8th inning guy to get us to the Bear. They are cheaper, you can get them for Double A prospects and they fill a need. Fix what you need to fix and don't mess with what is working as long as it is working.
We will see if Rizzo agrees next month.

G Cracka X said...

So, looks like the Nats still need bullpen help and an OF. How about Herrera and Cain for Soto and Severino?

BxJaycobb said...

SSLN: re Diaz etc I personally would not. I would prefer to pick up a Brad Hand/Kahnle or Swarzak from White Sox....IOW a couple lesser known hot relievers than an up and coming star with control that requires me to ditch Robles.

BxJaycobb said...

I would make that deal. I don't know if Royals would do it. But I don't think it's crazy. Depends how much they like Soto.

BxJaycobb said...

IF glover works out, I think Brad hand is a great fit. Especially because we really could use a killer Lefty in playoffs to bring in against the Rizzos, blackmons, seagers,and Bellingers of the NL.

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