Nationals Baseball: Travel Day

Monday, June 03, 2019

Travel Day

for me.   Nats did what they have to in first series.  Only 4 to go.

48 comments:

G Cracka X said...

What is a 'No Cabbage Zone'? What happened to Whoseianders and Whatisglories?

G Cracka X said...

Fangraph projections for the NL East are calling for a close race: Braves 86, Phillies 85, Nats 82, and Mets 81. Per FG, its anyone's division (well, except for the Marlins....) Nats FG Playoff odds now at 36.8%.

538 is more skeptical, giving the team only a 24% chance to make the playoffs. It is also more bullish on Philly, calling for 88 wins for them.

Braves fans will be apopletic if Kimbrel signs with the Phillies, right?

Ole PBN said...

Good piece from Svrluga on the poor draft results of the Nats in recent years:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/when-it-comes-to-the-mlb-draft-the-nationals-need-a-turnaround-there-too/2019/06/02/c6fc31ac-8548-11e9-a491-25df61c78dc4_story.html?utm_term=.3d893db9448f

Glad someone took the time to look through the numbers behind it like Barry did. "[from 2011-2015]... there have only been 18 Nationals draftees to reach the Majors (with any team) in that span — tied for second-fewest in MLB." That blows. So its a cross between bad selections and poor player development. Nice.

This article is the most valid/substantial argument for Rizzo getting canned. Not botching the Rosenthal/Dozier deals.

JWLumley said...

@Ole PBN I think this is definitive evidence that Svrluga reads the comments of this here blog and I would just like to say to him: You're welcome. Although, he was more generous than I am giving them credit for Rendon. If you subtract Rendon, the results get really really bad.

Nattydread said...

Good to see our pitchers can double as hitting coaches:

“It was awesome,” Scherzer said of the key hit. “I’ve been telling Dozier left and right, RBIs are on the right side of the field. I’ve been joking with him for a while, just saying ‘Go over there. They’re shifting so much, just use it.’

“So, for him to be able to get a huge hit in that situation and get a couple of RBIs by going the other way, that’s just huge. It gives everybody a little bit more breathing room for us to go up 4-1 in that situation, allows me to be more aggressive to their hitters. Everybody feels that when everybody has success. It’s great for him to have a great AB in that situation. I’m glad he was able to come through.”

Anonymous said...

It's funny, the stubbornness of guys who want to hit through the shift. Which player do ya'll think is more valuable to his team?

Player X: .338/.400/.425/.825 OPS (6hr, 95 RBI, 80 K)
Player Y: .229/.270/.630/.900 OPS (25hr, 62 RBI, 190 K)

coolsny said...

Hey only 7 games back now...we were 10 games back last week!

Ric said...

Yeah, nice that we played the worst and third worst NL teams while Phillies played the best two NL teams on the road. If that schedule is maintained, Nats should catch Phillies soon!

coolsny said...

Just for the sake of argument, and avoiding work -

in what world are the Cardinals one of the top two NL teams? Believe they hadn't won a series since they last played the nats.

and Braves/Reds are neither the worst nor third worst teams in the NL.

Think the phils are turning out to be quite mediocre.

Anonymous said...

^Let's not forget the Nats of early May split at Dodger Stadium. Next series up against PHI should be telling...

BxJaycobb said...

Phillies offense is very good. I think Braves have a better team, due to pitching advantage .

Ric said...

@coolsny:|

Since the Nats were ten games back of the Phillies, here are the scheduling facts:

Besides, the Cardinals, the Phillies played the Dodgers and the Brewers, currently the top two teams in the NL.

Besides the Braves, the Nationals played the Marlins and the Reds, the FOURTH and the worst team in the NL. (The Nats are the third worst team in the NL, so good catch.)

The Phillies are quite mediocre. But they are still better than us. But agreed, we should actually be focusing on the Braves, who I suspect will pass the Phillies in the standings soon.

JDBrew said...

I don’t think that the Svrluga article states much. It seems like more fun with arbitrary end points. Leaving out any prior success (pre-2011) and any recent success (post-2015) and only focusing in on a small sample size. Is 18 out of 400 really bad? I read somewhere that only .5% or drafted players ever reach the ML. (Maybe that stat was saying something else, not really sure, and too lazy to verify) And Svrugla conveniently leaves out what league average is, pointing to one worse team and one tied. But how many teams had 19? 20? What’s the best result? 25?

Not to mention the fact that their best draft spot during that time was 16th. They typically had late round picks, and didn’t have a 1st round pick in 2 of those drafts.

Not sure and not saying they’ve drafted well, just saying that there’s a lot of missing data (that I’m too lazy to look for) to say that anything is definitive. Seems like clickbait crap. Cherry picking stats to say whatever you want them too. I hate analysis like that. If you’re gonna give numbers, give me depth or nothing at all. Cherry picking data and passing it on as fact is BS.

JDBrew said...

I’m sorry, I mistyped. 18 out of 200.

JDBrew said...

Oh and the team that tied the Nats’ 18, is the Brewers. The same Brewers currently leading the NL central. And doing it mostly with players they DID NOT draft.

Just food for thought.

JDBrew said...

Article also stated that “a good draft produces 3 Major Leaguers.”

Well, 5 drafts equaling 18 Major Leaguers. So.... 3.6 Major Leaguers per Nats draft class? But that’s terrible...right?

coolsny said...

agree..i don't think it is significant. and as for the nats farm system, the issue is very obvious and simple...we've been a team in contention for most of the past decade, and made many deadline trades in order to upgrade our team for a WS run. of course hindsight is 2020 and we would have been better off keeping those prospects and developing them but..what are you gonna do? at least the lerners try and field a competitive team every year, which is more than you can say for some franchises.

also @Ric

i have to nitpick because i have to root for this team until NFL preseason starts. i want to believe. and then when the dwayne haskins/case keenum starter controversy starts, i will switch over and ignore baseball until the winter meetings.

anderiffick said...

@JDBrew...
Thanks for your comments. I snuck behind the paywall to read the article and had the SAME conclusions.
Thanks for saving me the time to write about why I don't pay for tripe like that article.

anderiffick said...

I would also recommend to anyone reading the above mentioned article to read the comments below it.
AS USUAL, the readers know more than the "journalist".

Anonymous said...

@JDBrew

"any recent success (post-2015)"

I don't mean to sound snarky, but would honestly like to know which of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 drafts you consider as a success.
Not that I would call any of them total failures (though in hindsight 2017 in particular is not looking good), I think Svrluga's right in that it's too early to call either way.

(You might be thinking about Soto and Robles, but they weren't drafted)

Jon Quimby said...

I actually thought the article was pretty accurate. Svrluga did a decent job of comparing the success of the Nats through the draft versus other teams and to me it didn't seem to be particularly slanted to try to make his point. Maybe I'm just not as smart as the rest of you. I'd be surprised if Rizzo was pleased with the outcome from those years. I understand the point that part of the reason we did comparatively worse is due to trading away picks and having lower picks, but we're not the only team in that situation. As the article points out, a single great pick can really sway the overall success by a great deal (Betts, Rendon, etc).

I am intrigued by this year's first rounder. Rutledge seems like a relatively safe pick.

Anonymous said...

@Jon Quimby.

What Svrluga left out was that, by design, teams have wildly uneven access to the draft.

During the 5 year period in question, the Nats had 12 top 100 picks (tied with the CWS for 2nd least) and 4 top 30 picks (tied with several teams for 4th least, LAA/DET/PHI are the teams with only 3).

But, when you take that into account, the Nats don't become a "good" drafting team during those 5 years period (at least not by rate of effective picks - Rendon brings us up in total WAR analyses).

Oakland, for example, was also below average in draft access (15 top 100 and 5 top 30), and they've drafted more MLBers than anyone. And the LAD had the least access during those years (only 8! top 100 and 3 top 30), and they've still generated as many as the average team. The Cardinals, who share the A's position of praise in the article, are less impressive: they had 20 top 100 picks and 7 top 30 picks during the 5 year period - no wonder they found some guys.

Anyway, the fair read is that we had "slightly below average" success during that period, and not "one of the worst in the league". I'd say that honor goes to Tampa Bay, who had 1 player over 3 WAR and 6 over 1 WAR despite 25 top 100 picks and 6 top 30 picks.

Anonymous said...

Rendon was a a top 10 pick who we lucked into as he was injured when he was drafted and dropped from #1-2 (he was potentially coming out the year we drafted Bryce, and was in the conversation to compete for that pick - it's another no brainer). We haven't had that in near a decade, nor the volume to make up for the likely misses in the back half of the first (or second for that matter, see this year). You're going to have randomness and noise in these numbers, the sample size is too small to say one team is statistically better than others (it's just a rounding error in success rate for latter half picks). I agree with the slightly below average take - we really don't scout college position players well, and the only thing we seem to scout well is power starting pitchers.

But we still have a solid young core (sans relievers), and I'm not overly indexing this element of the game

Ole PBN said...

Found an interesting video on Giolito's mechanics. For anyone interested in this stuff, its spot on and definitely worth a watch, as it gives insight into his success in 2019. I was one of the naysayers on Giolito from the moment he debuted. Poor mechanics, long arm action creating zero deception, little pitch movement on a downward plane, and inconsistent control. Trade him away. And they did, and I supported it UNLESS he was able to change his mechanics, which is no small feat.

Seem like he did, and the results are showing. I might be eating crow on this one. My mistake for thinking that the Nats player development crew tried everything with this kid... shame on me. Considering the investment we had in this kid, I'm surprised none of what you see in these videos materialized while he was a Nat. Bravo White Sox:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oYbXfd7E5M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CX3MsUVTxo

Jon Quimby said...

@Anon611: Fair points. I agree that "one of the worst..." is exaggeration.

@Anon624: If Rendon was a no-brainer, why did he go 6? Five teams passed. Several of those top 10 picks that year were total busts, including a couple picked before Rendon. Harper and Strasburg were gifts, Rendon was a smart/lucky draft pick.

@Ole PBN: Same sort of deal for Treinen, no?

Ole PBN said...

@Jon Quimby - can't find any evidence of Treinen. I'd imagine its a similar situation. But at least Blake had success as a Nat in 2016. His meltdown in 2017 before he got traded could have been mechanics, nerves, or god knows what.

The Giolito thing pisses me off because you can actually see the difference, rather than looking at stats alone (Trienen). Plus, Treinen is a reliever. Giolito is a potential ace/#2. Much more value there. How the hell were we not able to apply these fixes to such an investment? Poor coaching is my only guess.

Jon Quimby said...

I'm frustrated that I can't find the Treinen article, but I remember reading an analysis of some slight adjustments so that his pitches are more deceptive. IIRC it had something to do with a larger variation in speed between his pitches.

Anonymous said...

"How the hell were we not able to apply these fixes to such an investment? Poor coaching is my only guess."

I think poor coaching is one of several plausible explanations (and probably multiple explanations account for this). For me they are: (1) it takes some young guys time to develop good/consistent mechanics even with the best coaching; (2) it takes some very tall guys time to develop good/consistent mechanics even with the best coaching. Giolito was very young and very tall when he was drafted and when he was traded. Perhaps poor coaching by the Nats was involved (there were certainly reports that at the time saying the Nats had made bad changes to Giolito's delivery), but these other two factors were DEFINITELY involved.

But the simple fact that it's taken Giolito MORE THAN TWO YEARS with another organization to have the good stretch he's having now suggests that the fix was not simple. It took some combination of coaching/player improvement over the course of more than two years for Giolito to improve. And two caveats: (1) his improvement has come over a fairly small sample. It certainly looks real - his peripherals are very good - but it could be fleeting; and (2) it wasn't like he was "okay but not living up to the potential of his talent" over 2017-18. He sucked - he was one of the worst starting pitchers in the AL!

It's one thing to blame Treinen on coaching: he improved immediately upon changing orgs. It took Giolito a long time, and we're not yet certain the improvement is real. The player must bear some responsibility for poor performance over a lengthy period, which Giolito has had.

For me, I like the simple explanation: some young guys don't figure it out right away, and this goes double for young guys that are really tall like Giolito.

Ole PBN said...

@Anon, Age really shouldn't have much do to with that, so long as they've hit puberty/stopped growing lol. But I'd agree that fixing the delivery of a taller pitcher is more difficult. He's really shortened that arm this year, compared the that behind-the-back looping arm action you saw since he was drafted. That, combined with the rest of his delivery, and fixing his gate has all contributed the results you see in 2019. The mechanics and the stats support each other. But the fact is that he was a Nats for four years, Chicago for two. His first two years in Chicago, he looked the same as he did for us, and pitched the same as well. Sometimes it's just a different voice, and it clicks. It's just frustrating that it seems to be a different voice and not our own, for our former players.

Giolito is the one throwing the ball, and the one with crap mechanics. Not the Nats fault, but if they (like Chicago) want to find a way to get the most out of their investment, its on them. They didn't. Looks like Chicago has maybe found a way to do that. Good on them. I seriously doubt that Chicago picked up the coaching/player development where the Nats left off and carried Giolito across the finish line. I'd bet both organizations had the same goal in mind to revamp this kid and one failed in four years. The other has found success in two.

coolsny said...

nats were in "win now" mode in those many years that it took for giolito to develop...one can argue about whether or not adam eaton was the right person to trade for, but one can't blame the intent behind the nats trading away a slow developing prospect for an immediate impact player.

hindsight is 2020

Anonymous said...

@Jon Quimby - Reply Rendon, the other teams didn't want the risk. He had an ankle injury at the end of both his freshman and sophomore season, and then a shoulder injury derailed his junior year pre-draft. The prior two seasons though he was incredible, so it was a bet against bad luck on an otherwise can't miss player. We have won that bet a lot in early round picks, missed on some later ones (e.g., Matt Purke the same year).

Anonymous said...

^That's also why I think you ship him if this season doesn't rebound. I really want the long term deal with him, I think he adds more value even than Bryce at current playing level, but the injury risk is very real with him.

JDBrew said...

@Anon 3:03am

The ‘post-2015 success’ I mean is that he is keeping that out. Therefore making an arbitrary end point. Not saying that the end point isn’t understandable, but still arbitrary. Plenty of players crack the big leagues in their first 3 years and leaving that number out, unfairly skews the numbers. Maybe in this case it skews the numbers to be favorable to the Nats. Regardless it’s still an unfair skewing of the numbers, hence arbitrary end point.

@Jon Quimby

My biggest issue with his comparison is that he doesn’t compare their success to any other team with any range. He simply says they were tied for last. But by how much are we talking. It’s entirely possible that there were 15 teams with 19 players to crack the majors in that span, and 12 with 20, and the best with 21. My problem is the number is much less meaningful if 1 or 2 players move the needle THAT much. I, as a reader, am not obligated to research the information myself. I simply take the data presented and make a conclusion from that. In this case, the conclusion that I reach is there is not enough data presented to reach a determination, therefore the article itself is not telling me anything at all. It’s like saying Nats players received 14 speeding tickets this year. The worst team received 15. Therefore the Nats are terrible drivers. That’s not true, what team received the least speeding tickets? What was the median and the average? It’s making an inference from an incomplete data set. Which means it’s totally useless.

If you have no data set to compare it to, a .300 hitter doesn’t seem special because you don’t have a starting point to begin a comparison.

My other point was, Svrluga clearly stated that 3 big leaguers out of a draft class is a successful draft. (At least as far as scouts are concerned, evidently). Well the Nats had that. 18 in 5 draft classes is more than 3. Therefore, successful. I’m not arguing that they have had great success in the draft, just arguing that the data set presented doesn’t illustrate that they haven’t. His discussion of the average WAR coming from those classes is a MUCH more valid discussion.

The other point that isn’t touched on is that more Minor League players will reach the big leagues on bad teams. The Nats have not had bad teams in that stretch. So they would have promoted less players, as they were already set at many of those positions. So that data set is even more muddied than it was if all else was equal.

Anagramsci said...

Pedro... Severino... three... homerun... game...

JE34 said...

^^ and the first one was a pretty good pitch too. Still *very glad* he's not catching for the Nats pitchers.

JE34 said...

Agree w/all the comments about Svrluga cherry picking stats. Let's not forget that Oakland will have more MLB players from the draft because they hate spending money.

coolsny said...

ill take the suzuki rennaissance over pedro any day!!!

Ole PBN said...

Phils lost McCutchen for the year. I think Bruce will fill in adequately though, if not better (at least offensively). But hey, we're only 6.5 back and Rainey is looking good.

In the words of John Fogerty, "keep on chooglin'"

Anonymous said...

Back to .500 in the next 2 weeks. The division is ours to lose.

JWLumley said...

This is actually encouraging because the bullpen is getting outs. Still, having to use your closer with a 4 run lead isn't good. At this point, the Nats have two pitchers they can count on in Rainey and Doo and would really need at least 2 more to make a run. Maybe one of the lottery tickets (Rodney, Venters etc.) will pan out, but they're close to having to make a decision on Rosenthal which will be interesting.

Personally, I'd still most likely sell, but I'd wait a week or two to see if they can catch some breaks and go on a tear.

coolsny said...

The Suzuki Renaissance continues!!

Josh Higham said...

With no evidence whatsoever, I think Doolittle probably told Davey he wanted to pitch yesterday if it made any sense at all--he's one of MLB's most outspoken LGBTQ allies and Night Out is a big deal for him personally. Doesn't change that the rest of the bullpen has to be trusted if the team is going to make a sustained run.

JWLumley said...

Hey Rainey has been good, let's use him every single day. - Dave Martinez, probably.

JWLumley said...

When you only have 2.5 decent relievers, you have to use them everyday you have a lead. Makes winning streaks a lot harder. I don't know what the numbers are, but it seems like every time Suero pitches two days in a row, the second day is not good.

Robot said...

Suero needs to wander back to AAA.

JWLumley said...

The guy DM trusts high leverage spots to, Wander Suero, has a 6.31 ERA. Typically that would get someone DFA'd.

Josh Higham said...

Suero's FIP, coming into today, was in the low 3s, I think. Not what you hope for from the 8th inning guy on a contender, but fine. And the Nats at this point aren't a contender.

coolsny said...

its okay we just need to score 6 runs a game to have a chance. doable, totally doable.