Nationals Baseball: I feel like a major league starter... also Desmond

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I feel like a major league starter... also Desmond

It seems like every 4 days is just a training and warming up until the next important day. Strasburg. On my continuted quest to prove that I'm right about practically everything, Strasburg's 32 Ks currently has him tied with Scott Olsen for 2nd among Nats starters, a mere 8 flailing Royals away from Livan. Then it's just a dead sprint to see if he can catch Clippard (53) by the All-Star break as I said he would.

Should be a fun game with Strasburg against another B-level major league team. The Royals are like the Pirates, a non-threatening contact hitting team. Didn't work out so well for Pittsburgh so I wouldn't feel enthused if I was a Royals fan. (Unless Rizzo starts demanding ground balls or else it's AA for Strasburg!) If you are somewhere you can watch the game (in other words - not where I am) skip out of work early - get some dogs and a beer and enjoy the show.

The team as a whole has slid its way out of contention of anything interesting while I was battling poison ivy (the plant, not the Batman villan). It's a bit early to write off .500, true, but I'll wait till after the All-Star break to see how that's coming along. Everything that is going on are things we touched upon before. The three player led offense has been terrible. They've hit an abysmal .227 / .276 / .378 in the past two weeks and somehow an even worse .201 / .243 / .320 in the past 7 days. But that will happen when your three players are struggling. The only thing I find interesting is the hard and fast fall of Ian Desmond.

April: .201 / .243 /.320
May: .272 /.296/ .402
June: .239 /.301 / .343

When Desmond was struggling in April the thought was basically he had to get his "sea legs" under him. Get used to the speed of the game at the major league level. His acceptable May was supposedly a sign that he had it together to some degree. Now he's tumbling dangerously low again and that's with a quick decent run real early in the month. He's hitting .162 /.205 / .270 in the past 2 weeks, .105 /.105 / .158 the past 7 days. A slump? Possibly. Scouting catching up to him? Possibly. He's not getting unlucky (BABip .298, LD% 17.9% seem to be in line) I'll tell you that.

The good thing from Desmond (keeping certain jerkfaces from sending him down to AA - because he is certainly not giving the team the best chance to win everyday I don't care if he's Ozzie Smith out there) is that Guzman stinks and Kennedy stinks and the Nats AA/AAA middle infield stinks. It's Ian's slump to work out of. If he does, great. If this continues through to the All-Star break... well then the Nats are stuck, but I'd rather be stuck starting a 24 year old and hoping he catches on than stuck starting a 30 year old and hoping for a miracle. Like in center. (Hey Milledge is hot! He's almost back to average! Did I ever mention that he's only 6 months older than Desmond? I did? Over and over? Hmm. I know you guys don't like him. Don't care. Milledge 4 eva. )


Bryan said...

If just one of Dukes/Milledge had worked out - at all - think of how much better off this team would be. Then you could reasonably trade Wham and not fear making your team into a giant black hole in the outfield.

Battling the Batman villian would have been more fun. And made for a better story, frankly.

This team was "hot" - well, "hot" for a Nats team - for a while. Winning one, losing one, winning 2 losing one. Its not wonder that they are now in a little slump.

I fully expect them to on some kind of tear. Maybe win 15 of 20 at some point and climb into .500 contention.

Harper said...

Really one of those should have worked out shouldn't it? I still don't see how Dukes isn't somewhere. Maybe this is one of those Jordan-esque "time offs"

I only battle Batman villians featured on the classic 60's TV show. Sorry. ON the plus side I beat up Chandell and the Minstrel before getting into work.

12-8 is their best 20 game stretch so far.. 15-5? I guess that's doable.

Hoo said...

Pirates got the better of the trade but Nats came off better than I expected. Morgan is pretty much nothing (and I'm still baffled that Morse sits while Morgan is at center. It's not like Morse isn't superhot at a time where the team batting is so great).

I really liked Hanrohan but his confidence was done, Burnette has survived and even thrived for stretches. And Milledge is yet another disappointment. But it's much more fun having a guy who's a bit disappointing at 24 vs. 30...Nats just about had to get rid of them as Milledge was a cancer at Joel was lost.

BTw, I'd throw Kearns in the OF should have worked out as well. Nats should have been able to get the '10 Kearns this season and suddenly we're a lot better at the plate.

I still understand the Hammer trade scenario but the holes in the OF would be huge.

As for Desmond...he's pretty much would you could expect right now. Learning but usually competent. I think the Nats can survive Desmond at short easier than a hitless, CS waiting to happen 30+ center fielder next year!

Harper said...

I know I know. Sometimes deals makes sense for other reasons than talent (as much as the straight numbers guy in me pains to say that). The only way this is even being talked about still by me is because Nyjer has failed so spectacularly this season. Even mediocre play would have been enough.

I do wonder how much Desmond's learning, but lucky for him (and us) he'll get the whole year. One way or the other we'll know pretty well where he stands come September.

Hoo said...

Trade will be interesting in another year too as Morgan is a role player and Milledge is still starting! Ditto in 2013 when Morgan is out of baseball and Milledge is....

I still hate the trade of giving up on a loser, but young and talented headcase for an older mediocre player. Milledge always had a chance to be a contributor to a Nats playoff time. Morgan never will (unless he gets hot and gets traded soon!).

Anonymous said...

There's a gaping hole in Strasburg's game that no one seems to be talking about, but it could very well cost him a number of wins this year: he can't hit homeruns.

Seriously though, where's the offense?