Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie - Keep on Trucking

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Quickie - Keep on Trucking

You need the "g".  What am I some sort of philistine? Wait. Why do we say that... Hmmm that doesn't seem fair. Is this troublesome? Are you Millennials going to come after me now?

Anyway I continue to wander about the Southern United States like a vagabond with only what's in my bindle and my old hound Sherman to keep me sane. In the meantime, nothing has changed. The Nats have basically been a .500 team in June. That's not great but you have to assume it's their floor and in June they basically haven't lost any ground to any other team so it's just a shrug your shoulders thing. They aren't losing the division even if they go .500 here on out (which they won't barring injury).

Roark had another bad outing, as much as you want to look at the last several innings you can't ignore the first two.. Strasburg pitched poorly but everyone can have a bad game. Three in a row is basically where I get concerned. Speaking of three in a row Ross pitched well, but he's on a pattern where he pitches well every third game, basically to make me think he should stay in the rotation. The bullpen had a surprisingly quiet weekend so good for them. 

Offensively there doesn't seem to be much worry per se. Yeah Werth is still out but Michael Taylor and Brian Goodwin are doing their best Tyler Moore / Roger Bernadina 2012 impressions (sorry if you think there's more here). Yeah Bryce has been lukewarm for a while, but it's not like last year when he went cold. Yeah Turner isn't having the year you wanted, but he's hitting .300 in the past month. Yeah, Wieters has dissolved into a pile of nothing but... well you can't win them all! Regardless while there are little issues here they've all mostly been covered.

This is a quickie so I'm out. I've got a train to jump


Fries said...

Nats look ready to sign K-Rod...why is this bullpen such a dumpster fire??

Anonymous said...

Can we get a Rendon column? I was just perusing the fangraphs leaderboards and something major jumped out. Rendon, who's 6th in WAR on the year, has a career low BABIP of .298. His K rate is down, his walk rate his up, and he's leading the league in pitches/AB as FP likes to mention every time he bats. If his BABIP was up closer to .310 like his career norms have been, we'd be talking about Rendon for MVP

What's up with that??

Ole PBN said...

@Fries - Best deal they are going to get right now, or at least before the trade deadline. He's a better, more recently reliable, Joe Nathan. Upside is good, downside is... more of the same we've been dealing with thus far? And we'd only have to pay him a prorated portion of the league minimum for any time spent at the MLB level. What's not to like? None of the "stellar" arms going to be available until the trade deadline, or if they're available now, they'd cost an arm and a leg. Way more than we should be willing to pay in terms of $$$ or what few prospects we have.

Also, don't look now but the combination of Treinen, Romero, Albers, and Perez have posted a 1.66 ERA over their collective past 10 games.

dmvagb said...

Harper - I have a question: are the nats good? or lucky?

Gio - the nats have won 5 games w/ Gio as the starter by 3 or less runs during which during which he has an avg xFIP of 4.7 vs ERA of 2.6. Could easily have lost a couple here if Gio wasnt having the Luckiest Season in Sports History.

Ross - has an average run support of 10.4 compared the the Nats season average of 5.6 - the average runs against the nats in his starts is 5.1. They have won 7/10 of these games while expecting to win closer to 5.

MAT - The Walking Strikeout is playing out of his mind. FB%, HR/FB Rate (22.4%!!), Hard Hit Rate all 4.5-5% higher than his career average (which is already way higher than average). Murphy teach him about launch angle too?

Goodwin - Career minor leaguer drastically drops his K rate and also has an unsustainable HR/FB rate (18%)

Nats as a team have a top 3 softest SoS in the league by various metrics, possibly the easiest to date.

Yes, I'm cherry picking stats but this team seems like its running on luck, if some of that turned against them or anyone in the division was competent we would be freaking out about it. This team is going to get wrecked in Oct unless the Rizzo / Lerners finally go all in w/ Pitching (SP and Relief!) and an outfield you could actually depend on. Am I wrong?

JE34 said...

The good news is that the FO appears to be actively working to address the pen. Saw that they were interested in Pat Neshek as well, which would be nice.

G Cracka X said...

There are similarities to the 2012 bench, but I do see more, not just Moore. Here's my analysis:

2012 Bernadina/Moore: 432 PAs, 2.3 fWAR
2017 Taylor/Goodwin: 322 PAs, 2.4 fWAR

2012 Bernadina/Moore/Lombo/Tracy: 953 PAs, 3.5 fWAR
2017 Taylor/Goodwin/Drew/Lind: 497 PAs, 3.6 fWAR

Perhaps I am missing something here, but it seems like the 2017 bench has been just as valuable as the 2012 bench despite having a little over half of the PAs. I suppose you could argue that the half season works against the 2017 bench due to small sample size, and that all four players are likely to regress due to their histories.

If that is the case, maybe we should trade Taylor or Goodwin now while the value is potentially at its peak? It seems like you could trade one, and the other can play CF.

G Cracka X said...

Here are the rest of season projections: if you average Steamer, Zips, and Depth Charts, Taylor/Goodwin/Drew/Lind are expected to provide 0.9 fWAR for the 2nd half. So they project, at this point, to be 1 WAR better than the 2012 bench.

John C. said...

This team is going to get wrecked in Oct unless the Rizzo / Lerners finally go all in w/ Pitching (SP and Relief!) and an outfield you could actually depend on. Am I wrong?

You're wrong if you think that you can meaningfully predict the postseason based on whether the team sacrifices the farm system to go "all in" for this season. Injuries and hot/cold streaks (which aren't predictable) will say a lot more about what the team does in October. Putting aside the question of injury for the moment, teams have won the WS with worse starting pitching than the Nats could trot out right now (SF most recently, although Cleveland made it to extra innings of Game 7 on Kluber + ???). It's quite possible that the Nats could end up with better production from Werth, Taylor and Goodwin in the outfield than they would get from a trade acquisition. The bullpen ... OK, they do need to fix the bullpen.

Karl Kolchak said...

Taylor and Goodwin are both far more naturally talented than either Moore or Bernadina. Taylor reminds me a lot of Desmond as a hitter, and he's getting it together at about the same age Desmond did. Goodwin always underachieved in the minors--possibly because in the past he wasn't willing to work as hard as he could (i.e. refusing an assignment to winter ball one year), but he's improved considerably each of the past two seasons just as he's hitting his prime age.

That said, I'd use Goodwin as trade bait for a reliever, since his stock is sky high right now and the Nats have an abundance of young outfielders in the pipeline.

Also--have you noticed that Tyler Moore has rebounded and is having himself a very good year in Miami? He'll likely be trade bait for a prospect this year.

PotomacFan said...

If Taylor can continue to produce (and that's a big "if"), the Nats can slot him into CF for next year, and move Eaton to LF to replace Werth. That would free up a lot of money for other needs -- like a quality closer (if any are available) and/or a top 10 catcher. Nats look good on paper for next year, although no one should count on RZim to stay healthy. If I am correct, the entire infield (RZim, Murphy, Turner and Rendon), the "new" outfield (Harper, Taylor and Eaton), and the entire five-man rotation are all under contract for next year. Nats really just need a catcher and some more reliable arms in the bullpen.

I can see the Nats trading Goodwin (more likely) or Taylor (less likely) for BP help this year.

Dusty's Toothpick said...

Trade Goodwin for a nice bullpen piece!

BxJaycobb said...

Potomac Fan: Gio may not be under contract, depending on his innings. So they might need a starter, unless they're comfortable with Fedde.

Ole PBN said...

Looking at some intriguing BP pieces in Syracuse that may be getting the call soon:

Austin Adams, RHP: 2.73 ERA | 29.2 IP | 25 BB | 47 K | 1.55 WHIP
Wander Suero, RHP: 2.08 ERA | 34.2 IP | 10 BB | 41 K | 1.01 WHIP
Jaron Long, RHP: 2.74 ERA | 92.0 IP | 18 BB | 61 K | 1.20 WHIP
**Erik Fedde, RHP: 3.48 ERA | 20.2 IP | 4 BB | 25 K | 1.21 WHIP

**since going to the bullpen

We have the luxury of being up 8 games in a floundering division. Let's get these guys some looks instead of trotting out guys like Grace who we already know aren't anything special.