Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie - ST round-up

Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday Quickie - ST round-up

Spring Training ends today for the Nats so we can take a look at the stats once more and see if anything can be gleaned. And remember, by that I mean - did anyone do particularly great or awful but mostly how are the injury guys doing.

Particularly well? No one mashed a ton of homers so I'd say no one. Eaton, Soto, Gomes all hit well for what it's worth which is nothing so forget I said anything. Again - it's like two weeks worth of at bats against minor league competition. Austen Williams maybe? Hellickson looked good but you know, "see above".

Particularly poor? No one worth caring about (sorry Marmalade guy!) Basically the deep bench (Difo, Reynolds, Stevenson) had bad Springs but again - not worth anything. You can throw in some pen guys in that list. Doolittle, Barraclough, Miller had off Springs but not so bad I'm worried about it. If there is anything to worry about performance wise it's Fedde who gave up 22 hits in 12 1/3 and walked 6 to 8 Ks. But if you were hanging big hopes on Fedde, I don't know what you were thinking.

Ok I think I made it through that without making you think about these results too much. In fact if you forget them right now you are probably better off.  It's just hard not to talk about something you are seeing in front of you.

Injury guys?
In terms of guys hurt last year. Eaton looks fine.  Zimmerman, who isn't injured but you can't leave him out here, played sparingly but enough that you don't assume something's wrong (See! Not Hard!). Hellickson and Strasburg looked fine. Doolittle was fine - one bad outing. Rosenthal was healthy. So everything here is as well as can be hoped for.

Looking more current : The Nats had a couple injuries in the first half of Spring but managed to ward off any more after that. 
  • Kendrick only had 10 ABs and none since March 5th. He is looking at more rehab. Thoughts currently are he'll be back mid April.
  • Taylor hasn't hit since going down for injury, spraining his left leg pretty badly. Although the MRIs showed nothing big, we've only gotten sporadic word that he's rehabbing so no time frame. Expect a month, right now I'd say
  • Glover hurt his forearm and is likely out of a while. Again no good time frame and honestly I wouldn't expect this season until I hear he's throwing off a mound again. 
  • Tony Sipp isn't hurt but needs a little more time to get ready and is probable, but not definite for Opening Day
All in all this was a good Spring then. You are going to suffer injuries but the Nats didn't lose anyone they absolutely needed. The MAT and Kendrick injuries will test their depth early, but early is when you want it tested. Guys are fresh and days off are plentiful to start the season. Glover hurts the pen a little but wasn't one of your Top 3 guys.  All the injury guys from last year seem healthy. All your players that you care about didn't have unusually bad Springs.  This is good.

Pack it up. Move it North. Time for some ball.


Anonymous said...

Two interesting things here:

In a headline photo montage, Juan Soto is included with some of the best players in the league (Judge, Bregman, Betts, Justin Turner). That is pretty cool to see - I'm still surprised when people in other fanbases are excited about our Soto.

Second: yes these rankings, and especially preseason rankings, can be silly, BUT - Nats are #5 in their power rankings, and the phils are 10TH! Mets 13TH! Braves 14TH! Do people around the league really think that the Nats are going to run away with this division? Ridiculous

Ole PBN said...

Well, since the pundits seem to pick us for the World Series pretty much every year since 2013, and we haven't lived up to those standards (to put it delicately), I'd say it's probably an inside joke for other fans/writers/etc. I'd imagine people have a lot of fun approaching a bet against the Nationals in post season as a bet that you take EVERY time.

sirc said...

Harper, I assume that your annual baseball writers's picks post will be coming soon. Sports Illustrated just put their issue out and they picked Philly to win our division with 92 wins. They picked the Nats second in the division with 85 wins and 1 win out of the second wild card.

They also picked a Philly-Astros World Series, with Houston winning.

billyhacker said...

I like your cool head about the spring training results, but as your earlier post said, there's no way to replace MAT's defense. I thought he would get into many games as a late defensive replacement just to keep the others fresh. So with him out for maybe 1/4 of the season, I'd rate his injury as a bigger deal even though he was likely to be at or below replacement level.

JWLumley said...

@billhacker I don't think anyone thinks MAT will be out for 1/4 of the season. That being said, Stevenson is pretty good defensively and if Robles is as advertised, I don't think they're missing much--if anything at all--in losing the wildly inconsistent MAT.

Harper said...

sirc - maybe tomorrow. i'll have to see if all the picks are in.

billy hacker - depends on how the OF goes and how they compensate for MAT. If Robles, Eaton and Soto all do pretty well MATs time would have been limited to late inning D. And if Stevenson is the carried 4th, he's good enough in the corners that they won't miss MAT too much in that role. That's the ideal situation. Worst case Robles goes down early.

AceHammer said...

Brian Goodwin has been released by the Royals. I can see him coming back as our 4th outfielder until MAT is healthy.

sirc said...

The Royals just released Brian Goodwin. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up back with the Nats as known commodity depth in the minors.

sirc said...

Scooped! And only by a single minute.

Damn you robot verification!

BxJaycobb said...

@Harper: Do you think it’s fair to say that if this season’s success can be reduced to three people, it is going to come down to Strasburg, Robles, and Eaton. Like....the variability for those 3 players is ENORMOUS. Strasburg can be Cy Young good and he can have almost no value due to injury. Robles can be All-Star good—like 5 WAR—or he can be a failure and not ready. Eaton can be injured and crappy on defense and offense....or he can be an above average player with real value. I think if those 3 players have “successful” years relative to expectations, the nats will be a playoff team. If they’re not, I don’t see how they can break through.

Anonymous said...

@bx - Interesting thought, and you're right that those three guys have lots of variability, but really so do just about all ballplayers. You can say the same things about, for example:

Corbin: will we get 2018 Corbin, who's like another Strasburg, or the old version, who's more like Gio in a meh year?

Dozier: will we get last year's guy who didn't hit or field well, or the guy who hit 30-40 dingers and was an all-star for the Twins?

Doolittle/Rosenthal: will we get a pair of dominant R/L relievers shutting down the 8th and 9th, or will Doo miss half the season with injury and Rosie struggle after TJS?

(And I won't even talk about Zim, since I guess there we at least have Matt Adams insurance.)

Ole PBN said...

Anon - true, but I think Bx is referring to the players of most importance if they regress. 1) Corbin: if Corbin is like Gio, that is still 33 starts of decent pitching. 2) Dozier: if he sucks, Kendrick is perfectly capable at 2B, and maybe even Kieboom by season's end. 3) Doolittle/Rosenthal: now we're talking. If they go down or are ineffective, the yes. This spells big trouble. 4) Zimmerman: exactly, Matt Adams is the insurance that makes you not as worried. And that is what it this argument is centered around.

Eaton is our leadoff hitter, and solid bat and pesky on the base paths. When he's on and healthy, he's the catalyst for our offense. If he's hurt/ineffective, the drop-off is MAT (injured) or Stevenson (below replacement level). The same can be said for Robles, who was a huge reason why we were comfortable letting Bryce walk - our scouts are that confident he'll deliver. But if he doesn't? See Eaton, Adam. And where Corbin's drop-off, as you said, is Gio. Strasburg's drop-off is Fedde. Big difference.

So yes, the health and success of all 25 guys on our roster is important. But Bx is right, the three guys who have shown they can be effective, and then also are an injury risk, are the biggest x-factors for the overall success of our team.

NavyYardSteve said...

I have a potentially bad take: I am disregarding Harper's advice on not paying attention to spring training stats and declaring that assuming Kendrick starts the season on the IL, Jake Noll should get the last bench spot over Adrian Sanchez.

We all know what Sanchez is at this point, and maybe Noll gives the bench a bit more pop. If Sanchez makes the roster, there's a wide gulf between Adams and Suzuki(/Gomes) as late-inning bats and Difo/Stevenson/Sanchez. Noll at least maybe bridges the gap between the front and back end of the bench. Plus there is nothing Sanchez can do that Difo doesn't already do better.

If Noll's spring training was indeed a mirage, then he'll quickly be sent back to Fresno once Kendrick or Taylor returns from the IL.

sirc said...

It appears you may have gotten your wish NavyYardSteve. At least until Kendrick returns.

Johnny Callison said...

I think Robles will be okay, maybe very good. Hope he learns not to get HBP so much. Eaton worries me with the injury bug. I'm especially worried about Dozier. Does he have anything left.

This team has a BIG upside, but I guess after last year we are all cautious about expecting that upside to manifest. The BP worries me a lot. I predict Soto is at least a 30HR-100RBI guy. I think if we get a couple more guys with 100 runs and/or RBIs, the offense is probably okay. SP looks good. But, yeah, BP?

I like this Nats team and hope all goes according to plan with a few pleasant surprises here and there. Maybe Austen Williams comes back up and solidifies the BP. Maybe Noll is a supersub. Maybe Kieboom joins the teams in June or July and is a mini-Soto. And maybe Max-Stras-Corbin are all aces. Let the games begin.

Johnny Callison said...

Meanwhile just heard that poor Steven Souza is out for the YEAR already! Knee injury. Arggh on his behalf.

DezoPenguin said...

It sort of makes sense that the Nats would take Noll over Sanchez. Sanchez is basically Difo 2.0, a good-glove, no-bat player, the prototypical utility infielder. Whereas the injury was to Kendrick, whose value primarily lies in his bat and isn't the go-to guy if we have a desperate need for defense. So they keep the guy who might maybe hit over the guy who definitely won't. Whereas if Kendrick was healthy and Difo went down, I assume they'd bring up Sanchez.