Nationals Baseball: I remember the season being not over

Friday, September 04, 2020

I remember the season being not over

 The Phillies swept the Nationals and the season is over. 

OK that's obviously not technically true, there is a month or so left. And it's not true as it would be in a normal year.  This year with 8 teams in .500 will get you a spot and in the NL where the top teams are shaping up to be more dominant, a couple games under could also work. Currently the last playoff spot would be held by one game under Colorado at 18-19.  

But still it's 5 games out with a month to go - which would be bad with a team you like. The Nats don't just have a bad record, they have one of the worst records in baseball. With only 25 games to go to get to .500 the Nats would have to go 18-7.  That's equal to their best months from last year. 

 If you want to be a brightsider - it is still possible, even some mediocre teams pull off a month like this. And honestly the Nationals aren't 12-23 bad as a team.  Pythag has them at 16-19 which feels more right. So it's not AS crazy for them to pull off a great month. 

But while last year you had your top 3 and the health of a line-up to point to as changes, this year you have nothing. Strasburg is out. The line-up is as healthy as it's going to be. The trade deadline passed and the Nats did nothing. This team, roughly a 16-19 squad, is what you have going forward and something like 12-13 over the last 25 is probably the most likely scenario.  24-36?  Bleh

What is there to watch then? 

  • Can Trea Turner stay hot? Is Trea finally going to break out? If not, say the homers fall, can he hold on to the batting average crown?
  • Where will Juan Soto end up? MVP level so far with no reason to think that won't hold up.  
  • Is Kieboom any good? He'll get a second chance pretty soon and the Nats are kind of depending on him
  • How does the new bullpen hold up down the stretch? 2021 will look brighter if Rainey and Finnegan keep performing through the end of the year. 
  • Can the Nats play spoiler to anyone else? 

That's what I got. 


Chas R said...

As always, good assessment Harper. 2020 continues to be bizarre and forgettable. Such a shame have a year like this and unable to even celebrate the 2019 Championship. I guess the big question is what will the Nats be like going forward? Do they have enough pieces to form the nucleus of another good team or do they need to completely re-tool?

Cautiously Pessimistic said...

The more I think about it, and it pains me to say it, I wish the Nats had traded Max.

As Chas questions, I don't know what kind of nucleus the team is looking at for next year. You've got something in Garcia it looks like, you've got Trea, Soto, and Robles, but Eaton, Suzuki, Harrison, Cabrera, MAT, probably Sanchez, and Doo will all be gone next year. Then after 2021, you lose Max, Thames, Gomes, Castro, Kendrick, Ross, Hudson, and Guerra.

I really don't like the look for next year without some significant moves, so I feel like hitting the reset button for 2022 would've been the way to go at the deadline. Dump Max, Hudson, one of the catchers for some decent return, then dump the rest for lotto tickets or cash. I feel like the Nats are on track to become the Giants who tried a little too long to keep the band together.

Harper said...

Next year is definitely a pass. They lose a lot of players that are mediocre but also not that expensive so there are lot of places to fill with something better than replacement talent but not a ton of money where you could scrimp here or there and pull in a star.

2022 will free up more money and is the target.

Honestly I think Rizzo/Nats want Max to retire here. I think they are hoping he signs for a relatively team friendly deal post 2021 and give them like 2 good years and a decent 3rd walk off.

blovy8 said...

If Manfred doesn’t screw them, they appear to be on the way to a top 5 pick next year. At least that’s something.

Sheriff69 said...

What is the worst winning percentage for a team following a ws?

Anonymous said...

how about some analysis of Kieboom's season? do we need to re-assess the role he is going to play for us going forward?

Treaples69 said...

Lets just suck and get kumar rocker or jack leiter. Right now we have 5th draft pick.

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