Nationals Baseball: What to expect in the second half

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What to expect in the second half

Who's gonna fall?
Laynce Nix is hitting way more balls out of the park than you'd expect and on the ones he's not hitting out he's getting on base at a rate that's probably unsustainable.

Also watch out
Jerry Hairston who's putting up his second highest BABIP since 2004 while striking out more than usual. Given his age it could be a real rough crash.

Who looks like he might crash but probably won't?
While Mike Morse may seem like an easy target, his numbers aren't terribly out of line with his career ones, sample sizes being what they are. A slight dip is more expected.

Who's gonna rise?
Werth and Zimmerman are both well under expectations for BABIP and HR% rates. Now Zimm could be injured and Werth could be broken, but I'd bet on big second halves for both.

Anyone else?
Nope. Pudge or Desmond have a chance but I think Pudge has fallen off his cliff and Desmond's previous numbers were the ones not to be trusted.

Espinosa and Ramos?
Well we don't really know what those guys are gonna do. You're talking 3 months of data here.

What about pitching? Who's cruising for a bruising?
Clippard, Storen, Kimball, Mattheus all have out of whack BABIPs, and Clippard's LOB % is crazy.

That sounds like the whole bullpen
Pretty much. Maybe Sean Burnett will pitch better. But then again, that's 50/50 to be for someone else.

And the starters?
They are pretty much right on-line. Twist my arm and I'd expect ZNN (more HRs) and Gorzelanny (more hits and more runners scoring... for as long as he's out there) to get slightly worse and Marquis (fewer hits) to get slightly better. Livan is right on target and I never ever bet against John "Brow's he do it?" Lannan.

So overall?
I'd expect a slight increase in offense with a big dip in relief pitching. So... about the same wins and losses as in the first half but more blowout wins and late losses than in the first half. 70 games left so.. 33-37? 79-83 overall? Pending deals and call-ups of course.


JDBrew said...

I agree with most of this, except the bullpen failing. The nats 'pen has pitched very well. They have made pitches. It doesn't seem like luck, they seem like they are just making big pitches. The left on base percentage for clippard is good, because he's coming in when there's runners on and killing rallies. Storen looks like he's only getting better. Matheus may crash some, but I doubt Kimbals numbers will drop any seeing as he won't be pitching any more this year. And I could see desmond putting up a decent second half. He's looked a lot better the last couple weeks, been hitting the ball hard. I could see a rebound.

bdrube said...

Kimball can't get a bruising because he's out for the year. Storen in essence just finished his rookie year and is still learning the game.

I also think Desmond COULD rise, his minor league numbers were much better than what he's been showing. If not, he'll be gone by next year.

DCNatty said...

Also...with bigger leads (with increased offense) itll mean less of a chance to blow the game. Hopefully they can get 3-4 run leads and give the bullpen a break.

80 wins and Im happy. Huge improvement. Then go get Fielder and CC. HA!

Anyone see the ESPN clip on how Clippard and Rodriquez have 2 of the highest putaway pitch % in the league?

Basil said...

"Brow's he do it?"


Donald said...

On a different note, why don't they pitch Zimmermann in the Atlanta series? He's only going to pitch in 7-8 more games. Why not pick the most important ones. Dragging his time out doesn't really help anything.

calindc said...


Because losing 2 out of 3 to ATL and winning 2 of 3 in HOU keeps everything nice and balanced.

Anonymous said...

Too much stats not enough knowledge of the game here. Do you watch the games Billy Beane wannabe? The With the exception of Burnett, the relief pitchers are universally amazing. They throw strikes and they have great stuff. This BABIP nonsense doesn't determine good pitching.

Watch a few games and you'll realize that this is top 5 bullpens in baseball. Clippard's numbers are ridiculous, not because of luck, but because he is the best non-closer in baseball and could close for half the teams in the league.

calindc said...

@ Anon

Jon Venters from ATL is probably the best set-up man in baseball. Clippard is a close second, but I've watch a few baseball games, so what do I know.

Anonymous said...

Clippard is the best. This isn't a debate.

Harper said...

JDB - They're good just not THIS good. That's all I'm saying. Still the IP is low enough that bullpens can pull out better than should be years all the time. We've seen a couple in the Nats time in DC. We'll see about Desmond. Hopefully he'll get the at bats.

bdrube - Kimbrall - this is why I should write posts right before bed. Desmond's minor league numbers aren't conclusive. 2004-2008 suggest someone that might not make it in the majors, but he's too young in a lot of those years to be sure. 2009 suggests he can do it, but it's only one year.

DC Natty - Didn't see it but I can buy it. The Nats have stocked up on great arms, if not great pitchers. (we'll see about that)

Basil - Liked it better than "Browza!"

Donald / Cal - cal makes sense IF the don't care about the playoffs. A win here is the same as a win there. If they are interested in the WC then yeah - you pitch him in ATL. Maybe the team is telling us something (or maybe they are hoping to go all year with ZNN and one less start could help them do it)

Anon - usually only 1 or 2 guys a season get over 90% in LOB% in a year and Clip is sitting at over 99%. SO either you have to believe he's the best relief pitcher EVA or there's some luck involved. It can hold up (over 90%) for a year but over the course of even two years you don't see it. Look at last year Joaquin Benoit and Andrew Bailey had the two best numbers for this. Bailey is still very good this year. Benoit had been bad.

Clippard is a great reliever. But his being dominant is about catching a few breaks here and there. it almost always is.

Anonymous said...

You're just a hater.

Wally said...

I have been thinking about Desi and the concept of using this year to see which young guys are pieces of the playoff team.

So, my question is, if Desi rebounded and put up a second half line of .280/.330/.430, would it be enough to convince you he's a keeper or would you think that is the fluke? What if it came with a .360 BABIP? What would it take to convince you?

If that wouldn't change your mind on him, shouldn't they consider dealing him now where the Giants, Cards, Reds and maybe Brewers could use SS help?

Not sure where I come out, just noodling on it.

Donald said...

If ZNN did pitch tonight in Atlanta (or on Sunday against Jurrjens), it sure would send an interesting message to the team and the league, though.

I don't get the rationale for trying to drag out his time though. He's going to pitch in 7-8 more games or whatever. Why is it better to drag it out and have one of them be in September? I think to use him most effectively, you pitch him when you need your ace to come through.

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