Blog Archives

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 5 – Apr. 2014

The Astros have helped pad the stats for teams like the A's, Rangers and Angels offenses and Run Differentials so far,  Having this cupcake team will definitely help your playoff chances with the weighted divisional play.

The Astros have helped pad the stats for teams like the A’s, Rangers and Angels offenses and Run Differentials so far in 2014, Having this cupcake team will definitely help your playoff chances with the weighted divisional play.  I will be amazed if they finish out of last in the American League this year, and maybe only the Chicago Cubs will challenge them for the 1st overall pick again for the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are now at the 13 – 14% pole of the MLB year.  Parity is reigning supreme on the standings.

For the record, while I love the Milwaukee start, they are just too many variables for them to keep up this pace.

Don’t get me wrong, i think this team is capable of making the playoffs, winning 90 games, but it could be eliminated as fast as they have compiled this record.

Ryan Braun’s thumb could require surgery. Ramirez’s knee’s could fail him.

Considering last night’s situation with Braun and Gomez, that could alter the playing field for the NL.

The suspension laid down for the brawl with the Pirates could also sway some momentum.  Good on Milwaukee for starting 18 – 6.  I just think the Cards will track them down in the next 138 games. Read the rest of this entry

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MLB Odds To Win Both Of The AL And NL Pennants In 2014: 5 Best Value Plays

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant.  The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year's lineup, and have decent pitching.  Boston is the reigning champs - and will be part of the race before all is said and done.  Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant. The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year’s lineup, and have decent pitching. Boston is the reigning champs – and will be part of the race before all is said and done. Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Rays are finally listed where they should be on the betting board.

3 teams start play today tied in the AL East in the Rays, Yankees and Jays.  Baltimore has struggled along with Boston.

I think it is way too early to shovel dirt on the Red Sox season.  While I think they may not take down another pennant, they are my 2nd favorite play in the AL Pennant Odd list for return.

The Yankees are my favorite odds pick right now with a +900 mark.

Yes they have injuries to old guys are their team, but the guys in the lineup can mash right now, and particularly at Yankee Stadium. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 3 MLB Baseball 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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A little rant before the power rankings this week

Well, another 7 days has passed in baseball for this year.

There are no more home openers, attendance is down, fans are scattering about their Easter business and the NFL Draft is around to swing its mighty sword on the sports landscape. Read the rest of this entry

Washington Nationals Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Washington Nationals have had an escalating salary structure for the last few years.  The truth is that their talent needs to be paid as time goes on.

In 2014, the Budget is looking to be around $130 MIL so far, after just being over $110 MIL.

The situation is more expensive next year, with 10 players under the Arbitration Eligible – highlighted by Stephen Strasburg for his 2nd year of it.

Among the others are:  Craig Stammen, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Clippard, Doug Fister, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Wilson Ramos, Jerry Blevins, Jose Lobaton and Ryan Mattheus. Read the rest of this entry

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo: January Man

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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It was an innocent enough radio interview. The standard with Mike Rizzo late in the off-season with nothing happening.

He was asked if everything on the checklist had been marked off and answered in the affirmative and then was asked if there were still moves left to be made.

To this question Mike Rizzo gave the standard and cliched GM answer of anytime we can do anything to improve the club that makes sense for blah blah blah. You get the idea.

There was nothing special at all about this interview. It was a time filler between Redskins talk on a local Washington DC radio station, but there was something in Mike Rizzo’s voice.

He sounded ecstatic while talking about improving the team. Reading between the lines it was as if he was smirking into the phone and really saying watch what I’m about to do. Read the rest of this entry

The Nate McLouth Signing Demonstrates A Lesson Learned For Washington About Bench Players

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013.  Heck, they didn't even qualify for the playoffs.  Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn't maximize their potential this year.  However, the club did go 24 - 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013. Heck, they didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn’t maximize their potential this year. However, the club did go 24 – 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot. Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.  But a most underrated facet of an NL club sometimes is their bench.  Washington hopes to have a better bunch of pine riders in 2014 – than they did in 2013.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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When the Nats built a bench on the cheap in 2012 it worked.

Steve Lombardozzi, Roger Bernadina, Chad Tracy, and Tyler Moore all had outstanding seasons, and the four of them combined cost less than half of what the Nationals will be paying Nate McLouth in 2014, but when they tried to do the same thing in 2013 it was a disaster.

The only back-up outfielder to have a higher than .700 OPS was Corey Brown and that was in 15 plate appearances. Hardly enough of a sample size to be trusted.

Nate McLouth gives the Nationals bench something it severely lacked in 2013, a reliable veteran. McLouth’s numbers aren’t great.

Nate McLouth Highlights in 2012 – Mature Lyrics So parental guidance is advised

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Hey Nationals Fans: Don’t Forget About Danny Espinosa As A Utility Infielder!

In 2011 Danny Espinosa finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting and was a 3.2 fWAR player. In 2012 he took a small step backwards offensively but was off the charts defensively and was a 3.4 fWAR player. As an offensive player his OPS was average to above for a second baseman and his defense was above average. He could also play short when needed and did so very well 2012 When Ian Desmond spent a month on the DL. Add it all up and for two seasons Danny Espinosa was a decent offensive middle infielder and played above average defense at two positions.

In 2011 Danny Espinosa finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting and was a 3.2 fWAR player. In 2012 he took a small step backwards offensively but was off the charts defensively and was a 3.4 fWAR player. As an offensive player his OPS was average to above for a second baseman and his defense was above average. He could also play short when needed and did so very well 2012 When Ian Desmond spent a month on the DL. Add it all up and for two seasons Danny Espinosa was a decent offensive middle infielder and played above average defense at two positions.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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The Nationals are currently in need of a utility infielder that can hit better and has more versatility than Steve Lombardozzi

In 2013, the Nationals considered Lombardozzi such a below average short stop and third baseman that they started Anthony Rendon and Chad Tracy at those positions when giving the starters days off.

Rendon looked good at second base and the advanced stats agreed, but he is not a short stop.

Danny Espinosa 2012 Highlights – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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September Callup Candidates For The Nationals: Washington With A Great 36 Game Sked To End 2013

The Nationals will need a massive collapse from either the Pirates, Reds or Cardinals in order to qualify for the Post Season in 2013.  Despite the struggles, the club still has to go about the business of preparing a 40 Man Roster in September.  Lets preview some of the news, injured players coming back, and recent performances of some of the guys in the Minor League System.

At 62 – 64 with 36 games left, The Nationals will need a massive collapse from either the Pirates, Reds or Cardinals in order to qualify for the Post Season in 2013 being 10.5 Games behind the playoff bar. Despite the struggles, the club still has to go about the business of preparing a 40 Man Roster in September. Lets preview some of the news, injured players coming back, and recent performances of some of the guys in the Minor League System.

By Sean Hogan (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

September is just 10 days away. With 9 games in those 10 days, a lot of things can happen with the Nats. They can still go on a run and get back into the thick of things in the Wild Card race.

The reason for this is easy…. The Pirates, Cardinals and Reds are play each other a pile in the last 5 weeks of the year, so all the Nationals have to do is to take care of business, and they can be back in the conversation for the playoff game at least.

The Nats also have a ridiculously easy schedule coming from now until the end of the year in their final 36 games. 

Coming up.  1 more @CHC, 3 @KC (they are struggling now), then a 6 game homestand versus the Marlins and Mets.   They should go 7 – 3 here.

From there, they have a 10 game road trip with 3 @PHI, 3 @MIA and 4 @NYM.  The team could go 7 – 3.

Followed by the road trip is a 10 game homestand:  3 VS PHI, 3 VS ATL (they may have clinched by then – or at least resting guys), and to vs the Marlins ends the stretch.  The team could go 8 – 2.

The Nats end up playing their last 6 on the road versus the Cardinals and Diamondbacks in 3 game series each.  If they win both series, it could be a 4 – 2 road trip. 

You could see the club win 26 of their last 36 games – to have them equal 88 wins.  The Pirates would need to win 15 games out of 36 in this scenario.

While it would still make it unlikely to be in the Wild Card Game, it could put some pressure on the 3 NL Central franchises.

The Cardinals would have to win 16 out of 36 games to stay ahead, and the Reds would need 17 wins out their last 35 games to stay head.

They could also go on a losing streak and drop out of the race just as easily. For the most part, the Nats’ September call-up candidates will be the same, but their eventual roles may differ.

The only player on the 40-man roster that I don’t think has a chance of making it to the Majors in September is Matt Purke, who has always struggled with injuries and is just starting to hack it in high A ball.

Jeff Kobernus – 1st Career HR

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How All Of The Nats Players Were Acquired: (Trade, Signed, Drafted, Waiver Wire) + Analysis

How All Of The Washington Nationals Players Were Acquired:

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future.  Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now.  Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season - the future is definitely bright in DC

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future. Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now. Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season – the future is definitely bright in DC.  The club has strong pitching in the Major Leagues – with some help coming  for more years to come.  They have potential ALL – Stars in almost every position.  Lets see how all of the players were acquired.

Tuesday July.23/2013

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Washington Nationals – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

The Rise of the Nationals

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The Washington Nationals Offense – Post Rendon At 2B + Going Forward

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Saturday, June.29/2013

The Nationals still rank next to last in the NL in runs per game, but it was known weeks ago that all the bad from April and May would take a long time to correct. The Nationals however are on the way to correcting it, and when analyzing the current team that is on the field it is important to look at the team that is currently taking the field. Since inserting at second base the Nats offense has scored 72 runs in 18 games, an average of four runs a game. That is much better than the overall season average of 3.55 and much better than the average with Espinosa at second of 3.40.

The Nationals still rank next to last in the NL in runs per game, but it was known weeks ago that all the bad from April and May would take a long time to correct. The Nationals however are on the way to correcting it, and when analyzing the current team that is on the field it is important to look at the team that is currently taking the field. Since inserting at second base the Nats offense has scored 72 runs in 18 games, an average of four runs a game. That is much better than the overall season average of 3.55 and much better than the average with Espinosa at second of 3.40.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Numbers before June.27/2013

Not surprisingly replacing a .158/.193/.465 hitter with a .354/.402/.887 guy – has had a marketable difference. The Nats offense hasn’t yet turned the corner, for in June, the Nationals left fielders have hit .228/.293/.616.

Surprisingly that isn’t the worst in baseball but it is pretty darn close. Soon the Nationals are going to replace those paltry numbers with the numbers of Bryce Harper who at the time he was placed on the DL was hitting .287/.386/.973.

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Washington Nationals Organization: Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Friday, June.21/2013

The Nationals were everyone's Preseason favorite to get to the 2013 World Series.  A litany of injuries, with a few slumps from some key Veterans - have caused them to only be hovering around .500.  They still have a chance to rundown the Atlanta Braves in the NL East if they can put together the kind of winning baseball they put forth during the 2012 campaign.  Even if it doesn't come to fruition this year, the club looks solid in the coming years.  Only a World Series Championship will forever cement their legacy as a great club.

The Nationals were everyone’s Preseason favorite to get to the 2013 World Series. A litany of injuries, with a few slumps from some key Veterans – have caused them to only be hovering around .500. They still have a chance to rundown the Atlanta Braves in the NL East if they can put together the kind of winning baseball they put forth during the 2012 campaign. Even if it doesn’t come to fruition this year, the club looks solid in the coming years. Only a World Series Championship will forever cement their legacy as a great club.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Nationals Organization clickhere

From Last To First – The Rise Of The Nats

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Anthony Rendon: The Nats New Second Baseman Is Proving A New MLB Thought Process About Fielding

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Friday, June.07/2013

There is some concern over Rendon's defensive stylings at second. He did make two errors in three games, but minor league errors can be deceiving. Error in general can be deceptive but minor league fields are not taken care of in the same way as major league fields and often times do not play true. It is also unknown how far he ranged to get to the balls that he made errors on or anything else about how they happened. What is known is that before he was recalled the Nats called AAA manager, Tony Beasley, and asked him if Rendon had the footwork to handle second base. The answer was yes.

There is some concern over Rendon’s defensive stylings at second. He did make two errors in three games, but minor league errors can be deceiving. Errors in general can be deceptive but minor league fields are not taken care of in the same way as major league fields and often times do not play true. It is also unknown how far he ranged to get to the balls that he made errors on or anything else about how they happened. What is known is that before he was recalled the Nats called AAA manager, Tony Beasley, and asked him if Rendon had the footwork to handle second base. The answer was yes.

By David Huzzard (of the Citizens Of Natstown Website, please visit here for an awesome Nats Website)

There is a scene in the movie Moneyball where manager Art Howe refuses to play Scott Hatteberg at first base because he has a first baseman in Carlos Pena and Hatteberg is not a first baseman.

Anthony  Rendon is not a second baseman and the Nats have a natural second baseman in Steve  Lombardozzi .

The chances that the Nats situation goes the way of the A’s situation is unlikely as Rizzo and Davey have often been in step when it comes to moves.

There have been some recent signs that maybe Davey isn’t too keen on the new guys.

Anthony Rendon Spring Training HR:

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Exploring The Nationals Depth: Organizational State Of The Union

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Sunday, May. 26/2013

Mike Morse was only signed through the 2013 season, while the brass felt that the Nationals had a playoff Roster of players.  From one injury after another, it is too bad the club didn't still have this guy to help the depth.  Morse has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .248/.311/.766 - with 10 HRs and 18 RBI

With Mike Morse  only being signed through the 2013 season, and the brass feeling that the Nationals had a playoff Roster of players without him, they dealt one of their best deep ball threats from the last couple of years. From one injury after another, it is too bad the club didn’t still have this guy to help the depth. Morse has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .248/.311/.766 – with 10 HRs and 18 RBI with Seattle this campaign.  The Nationals were not planning on resigning “Da Beast” past this season – and were able to replenish some pitching in the Minors by re – acquiring A.J. Cole.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt the 2013.

By Sean Hogan (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

I’ve recently complained that the Nationals’ lack of organizational depth is a major reason for their mediocre start to the season. Key contributors C Wilson Ramos (twice), 3B Ryan Zimmerman, RF Jayson Werth and RHP Ryan Mattheus have all gone on the disabled list while LHP Ross Detwiler and LF Bryce Harper have narrowly avoided their own stints. None of that is even to mention 2B Danny Espinosa, who is playing with a torn rotator cuff. 

Kurt Suzuki has filled in admirably for the injured Ramos, but out of that bunch, that’s pretty much the only bright spot. Anthony Rendon and Chad Tracy struggled at 3B filling in for Zimmerman while Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore have been downright awful in the corner OF spots. Super-sub Steve Lombardozzi has limped along to a -0.3 WAR, almost as bad as Espinosa’s -0.4. 

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As Nats Battle Tough Sked – A New ? Arises: Who Will Be The Future 2B: Rendon Or Espinosa?

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Wednesday, Apr.24/2013

Danny Espinosa had best start producing for this talented Washington Nationals club.  He has started the campaign at a 3 Slash Line of .176/.222/.556 even though he has cutdown his Strikeouts to start.

Danny Espinosa had best start producing for this talented Washington Nationals club – with the likes of Anthony Rendon looking for a position to overtake. The 25 Year Old has started the campaign at a 3 Slash Line of .176/.222/.556 -even though he has cutdown his SO so far.

During the course of a baseball season there are going to be ups and downs, and for the past week and a half I have written that reality far too much. The Nats started the season with a tough stretch that doesn’t end until June.

Consider for a moment that between April 1 and May 31 the Nats play 33 games against teams that were over .500 in 2012 – and only 22 afterwards. They play more games against team that had winning records the season before in the first two months of the season than they do in the final four.

That is an odd balance. Combine that with the unseemly amount of errors and irregular Bullpen play – and it is a recipe for a slow start, or exactly the start the Nationals are off to.

It was the effort by the Nationals in a while – and they ended up losing a one run game. During the course of the season those are the types of games that even out. It is unusual for a team, good or bad, to have a record much above or below .500 in one run games. Read the rest of this entry

The Washington Nationals Franchise Part 6 of 6: 2013 Team Payroll And Contracts Updated Mar.8

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Thursday, March.07/2013

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

Perhaps no team will have more of a chance to win the 2013 World Series with Harper and Strasburg will be another year older, while both Zimmerman’s can both have been healthy for the year.  They have two Mutual Options for them to re-sign which I mention on the next page.  They do have several Arbitration Eligible Players including Super ’2′ Free Agents Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.  The Nationals should try to lock most of these guys up as long as they can.  Especially guys like Desmond, Espinosa and Storen.  

Their price shall only skyrocket as they become older.  The Nationals will not have to worry about their starting outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper as they are all signed for next year.  Strasburg enters the final year of this entry-level deal and Gio Gonzalez also has a nice value deal for the salary part of it.

Kurt Suzuki had a strong finish in 2013, so you could see the club maybe trading away he or Wilson Ramos before 2013 Trade Deadline.  I suspect the Phillies to be stronger this year, so major improvements by Harper and rejuvenated play from both Zimmerman’s will be crucial to the clubs success.  Micheal Lerner has made it abundantly clear he wants a championship for this club ASAP.  He will spend any amount of money .  The rest of the lineup looks set and ready to mash in 2013!

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nationals top 25 Man Roster from 20o5-2012 click here

MLB 13 The Show – Bryce Harper Interview:

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Remember When: An A To Z On How Far The Nats Have Come In Washington

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Thursday, Mar. 07/2013

Livan Hernandez leads the 2005-2012 version of the franchise in wins and Innings Pitched.  The 2005 team started out competing for the NL East with an 81-81 record.  The next 5 years in wins went (71, 73, 59, 59 and 69 respectively.  They set a franchise win mark in 2012 at 98 victories.  They have a great shot at eclipsing this mark.  Only the Nationals and Mariners teams have never appeared in the World Series

Fromer #1 Nats pitcher Livan Hernandez leads the 2005-2012 version of the franchise in Wins and Innings Pitched. The 2005 team started out competing for the NL East with an 81-81 record before falling down the stetch. The next 5 years in wins went (71, 73, 59, 59 and 69) respectively. After 80 wins in 2011 – they set a franchise win mark in 2012 at 98 victories. They are one of the favorites to win the World Series in 2013. Only the Nationals and Mariners teams have never appeared in the World Series as an organization.  Hernandez in his prime might be the #5 starter on the 2013 club.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Remember when Buster Olney went on Baseball Tonight and predicted the 2007 Nationals would just be historically bad, but they would be lucky if they could win 42 games. Or remember when columns like this one from Jeff Passan were the norm with catchy little puns like, “National Disaster.” At times it is hard to even remember the bi-gone days when Jason Simontacchi, Mike Bacsik, and Micah Bowie were key figures in the Nats rotation.    ​

What makes it even harder to hold on to those memories of the bad Nats are columns like this about how the Nats could be historically good. In the terms of history five years is nothing. The build up of World War I started with the Bosnian Crisis in 1908 and didn’t officially start until Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914. The build up to historic events is a mention in a paragraph on the actual history itself. Those five years from 2007 until 2013 are throw away lines in the book that will be written if the Nats can manage to be historically good. ​

Wil Nieves used to have the Nationals Defining Moment…. Who?

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The Washington Nationals Roster for 2013: State Of The Union Updated Mar.7/2013

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Thursday March 7, 2013

The Nationals are one of 2 teams in the MLB (The Mariners is the other) that have never made a World Series Appearance.   Will this change in the Year 2013?

The Nationals are one of 2 teams in the MLB (The Mariners is the other) that have never made a World Series Appearance. Will this change in the Year 2013?

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer):  .

It’s clear that the Washington Nationals have turned the corner as a franchise on the rise. Their most recent high included a 2012 campaign that had them winning 98 games in the regular season, good for the most in the majors, but ended with heartbreak in a game 5 loss in the NLDS at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. Moving forward to 2013, the Nationals will certainly hope to make it deeper into the playoffs, but it will be easier said than done. The Nationals have shown patience in the past, but have made some aggressive moves this off-season.

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The 2013 Nationals Appear Primed to Make a Run at the World Series

Friday October 26th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Washington Nationals had a somewhat disappointing end to their season, losing to St. Louis in five ALDS games. Nonetheless, the Nationals had a tremendous season and should be pleased with where they stand heading into next year. With the NL East teams around Washington getting older and losing talent, there’s no reason why Washington can’t repeat as division champions in 2013. In fact, the Washington Nationals should be favored to make a World Series push in 2013.

Ever since the franchise moved from Montreal in 2005, Washington had yet to have a season over .500 and finish in the top two in the NL East. 2011 was a surprising season in which Washington won ninety-eight games, the most in major league baseball, and won the N.L. East. Their Pythagorean record (96-66) suggests that the Nationals 2012 season was not a fluke. Washington was led by Ian Desmond, rookie Bryce Harper and a tremendous young group of starting pitchers. 2012 wasn’t a fluke and Washington won’t be putting a team on the field in 2013 that is much different. So why can’t they repeat as division champs? Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

Washington Nationals-The Pitchers and Hitters: 2005-2012 Best 25 Man Roster (Part 5 of Expos/Nats Series)

Wednesday July 25, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Livan Hernandez leads the 2005-2012 version of the franchise in ALL-Time wins and innings pitched.

Chuck Booth (Lead baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I think it safe to say that the best days of the Washington Nationals are purely ahead of them.  They have a great nucleus of young talent with Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Mike Morse and Gio Gonzalez.  These guys are so good that they all made the ALL-Time 25 man roster for the 2005-2012 Washington Nationals.  I am a firm believer that these guys will be the best team in the National League within 2 or 3 years.  I like Ted Lerner’s attitude on spending for now.  This will ensure the money will be spent on the team to keep competing for the city of Washington’s 1st World Series Title since 1924.  I would venture to say that not many living  fans of the old Washington Senators saw the club hoisting the trophy 88 years ago. 

The Nationals Park went soaring up my ranks as a baseball venue to see in the 30 stadium circuit.  This place is now electric.  I was so elated when I was able to see Strasburg pitch and win for the Nationals back in April.  Next year I hope to see Bryce Harper play ball  when I go on another 30 park tour.   Next year is when I will have the official rankings of all of the ballparks posted here.  I can assure you that the President’s Race will probably be voted the most popular race of any in the Majors at the parks.  My humblest of apologies to the sausage race fans in Milwaukee and racing legend heads in Arizona.  I still follow the campaign to ‘Let Teddy Win’, however that may take all of the fun out of it if Teddy does win one of those races.

As a fan of the old Expos franchise, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Washington Nationals.  Playing meaningful baseball in September and October this year would be incredible to witness.  So without further speak, let us start with our 25 man roster for the best players in the last 8 years.  I picked the roster based on longevity or utter greatness for a couple of players.  If this team was to play an alumni game right now, all of the positions would be filled.  I don’t think I excluded anyone entirely crucial here.  Please feel free to let me know if I did on any social platform.  If you make a solid case for someone for whom I may have omitted, I could always add them later.

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 6 of the Article Series, The Nationals 2013 Payroll and Contract Statuses click here 

Here is the highlight reel from Stephen Strasburg’s debut at Nationals Park.  14 Strikeouts is amazing!

Read the rest of this entry

The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: (Part 4 of The Expos/Nats Series)

Friday, July.20/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Stephen Strasburg is the new face of the Washington Nationals. Will Bryce Harper and he be able to bring a World Series to Washington?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- At the beginning of 2005, MLB returned to Washington for the first time since 1971.  So how was this time going to be any different from the first two times in DC?  The Minnesota Twins first moved from the old Washington in 1961 and the Texas Rangers moved in 1971 from Washington a decade later.  The Washington Nationals (or Senators in the early 20′s where the won a World Series in 1924.  The first and only WS the city of Washington has seen) had hall of fame players such as: Goose Goslin, Sam Rice and Joe Cronin to accompany the great Walter Johnston.  By the time the team moved to Minnesota before the start of the 1961 season, the club had young phenoms Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison seen as their nucleus of a young Washington team before moving.

Washington’s second go around (in the American League this time) lasted from 1961-1971.  The Washington fans were granted an AL Expansion team by MLB-to hold ontotheir anti-trust exemption status.  The Los Angeles Angels were their expansion cousins.  These AL Washington teams were awful and only were saved by Frank Howard and his 6 foot 7 frame smashing home runs for the years of 1965-1971 as their first baseman/outfielder.  The team only managed one winning season in a decade and that was under the managerial guide of Ted Williams.  Bob Short had acquired the team with 9.4 Million Dollars that was all borrowed after the previous owner had died in 1967.  Short promptly named himself the General Manager.  Finances caught up to him and he eventually traded away some of the best talent before selling the club to the city of Arlington after the 1971 season.  Washington would be without baseball for 33 years until the Expos moved back into RFK Stadium and changed their name to the Nationals in 2005.

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos  Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, 2005-2012 Nats Best 25 Man Roster click here

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The 2012 Washington Nationals Are For Real

Friday April 20th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Washington Nationals have gotten off to a hot start and they’re currently in first place in the National League East. It is very early in the season, but every game matters and the Nationals have looked very strong so far. If the Nationals pitching lives up to expectations, and a certain outfield prospect can make the major impact he is capable of, I see no reason why the Nationals can’t win the N.L. East in 2012.

The N.L. East isn’t as strong as it has been in recent years. The Phillies lost their two superstar position players, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, for who knows how long. The whole Philadelphia roster looks like they’ve been suffering from the loss of those two guys. Still, they have one of the best rotations in baseball and a decent offense. The Marlins have a chance to contend this year, but they’re relying on Josh Johnson to get back to his old form, which is a risky business. The Braves have an abundance of young pitching, but a couple of their key aging position players can no longer be relied on to produce All-Star season. The one constant is the Mets. To no one’s surprise, they’re still terrible.

The Nationals are going to be an above-average baseball team in the coming years. The farm system is stacked with talent, and Stephen Strasburg is healthy. However, there is no reason why they can’t put in all their chips for this year. Let’s look at the Nationals major league roster, areas they can improve, and why they have a chance to compete in 2012. Read the rest of this entry

An Interview with Nationals Park Expert Ben Fallon

Monday, April.16/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I had the chance to talk to Ben Fallon recently.  Ben is one of the most hardcore baseball fans from the city of Washington.  We discussed food, the President’s race and the outlook for the young club.

CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Ben.  Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as a Nationals Fan?”

BF: “I am a New Jersey native and lifelong Yankees fan who moved to the Nation’s Capital back in 1995.  I came to Washington to work in politics, working both on Capitol Hill and in the Bush Administration before taking my current job with the Defense Department. I have been a Nationals Partial Season Ticketholder for every season but one since baseball returned to DC in 2005, attending 30-40 games per season. ” 

CB: “Describe your favorite part about being a baseball fan?”

BF: “I just love the game. I love the history.  I love the strategy.  I love being at the games in person and picking up on the signs, the body language and the small parts of the game you miss watching on TV.  I enjoy going to games with family and friends, its 3 hours of entertainment, stress relief, good times and famiily bonding all in one.”

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Spring Training is Almost Finished: Final Roster Decisions for Your 2012 Fantasy Baseball Team

Monday April 2nd, 2012


Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): The 2012 fantasy baseball season kicked off this past week with the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners two game set in Japan. What can we learn from this series? Even in a hitter friendly park, neither of these teams can really hit. They will both struggle to score runs all year. Therefore, Bartolo Colon will have a lot of value pitching in the friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum. Colon needs to be owned in all leagues, because he proved he still has something left in the tank last year. He is a must start option anytime he faces the Mariners and in most instances he pitches at home. The same is true with teammate Brandon McCarthy, who could perform to a near ace level this season. However, he does have an injury past, which also goes without saying with the old and portly Bartolo Colon. I also think this short series spoke volumes about the potential of Dustin Ackley, who can quickly emerge as a top ten option at second base.


With only two regular season games to reflect upon, let’s take a closer look at the end of spring training and its fantasy relevance. Henry Rodriguez is most likely available in your league, and the 100mph flamethrower will have the opportunity to close games as Drew Storen begins the season the disabled list. In 10 spring training innings, Rodriguez has allowed just four hits, but more importantly struck out nine batters compared to only two walks. The strike zone was the problem in 2011, when he still posted respectable numbers. But he seems to have found better control of the plate. He could be deadly and Zumaya-like. He should provide great value for strikeouts, and is great insurance for Storen owners, as I would not even be surprised to see him assume the closer role at some point during the 2012 season. Read the rest of this entry

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