Blog Archives

How Winning Teams Are Built: How It Applies To The Nationals In 2014

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.  Their Starting Pitching Staff could have 3 potential Cy Young Winners, and Rafael Soriano is among the top Closers in the game of baseball.

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. Their Starting Pitching Staff could have 3 potential Cy Young Winners, and Rafael Soriano is among the top Closers in the game of baseball.

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

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter:

Last week I wrote about the dangers of the WARpire (VoRPire) and why it is important to have a bottom of the roster that won’t cost a team any games, or to word it a different way won’t cancel out the contributions of the top of the roster.

Having a 5.0 fWAR player means nothing if there are enough negative players to cancel that out. The middle and bottom of the roster are the foundation upon which the stars stand.

A team needs that bottom of the roster in order to win because without them the stars cannot flourish. ‘

Think about the Red Sox and the changes they made going into 2013.

Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, and Jonny Gomes aren’t stars, but they aren’t negative assets either and their presence on the roster allows David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia contributions to matter. Read the rest of this entry

About these ads

Just How Good Is The Washington Nationals Rotation?

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

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter 

Around this time of year for the past three seasons this column has been written.

It was first sparked in 2012 when Davey Johnson said that the Nationals rotation was every bit as talented as the Phillies.

Then again in 2013, because Gio Gonzalez was coming off a third place Cy Young finish, Stephen Strasburg wasn’t being shut down, and the Nationals had signed Dan Haren.

This year it is time to once again explore the great question of how good is the Nats rotation because newly acquired Doug Fister says he believes them to be better than the Tigers.

This sounds a lot like Doug Fister believing in Doug Fister and that he was the key difference in making the Tigers’ rotation the best in baseball.  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): 

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter 

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): 

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter 

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

Read the rest of this entry

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): 

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter 

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

Read the rest of this entry

The Washington Nationals State Of The Union Part 1: Fall 2013 Through Spring 2014

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.  Here are some priorities for the winter.

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 in the Nationals League.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year. Here are some priorities for the winter.

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

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

1. Find a Manager

There are moves that can be made without a new manager in place, but this is the most important thing the Nationals have to do this off-season. Not having the leader of the team will make all the other moves more difficult.

Players want to know who they are playing for and the manager is going to have a lot of input into what free agents the Nationals go after for the bench and bullpen, which happen to be their two biggest needs personnel-wise.

It is also important to get the new manager in place early so that he has an entire off-season to communicate with the players already in the majors and to familiarize himself with the system and the minor leaguers that could help during the season.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Jordan Zimmermann Interview

Read the rest of this entry

The Washington Nationals Brand Of Baseball Is Hard To Watch Right Now

Like us on Facebook here

Saturday, Aug.10/2013

Surely a team with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper can at least be in the Wild Card Race being stocked with so much talent.  After an atrocious stretch, the Nats are 55 - 60 - buried 15.5 Games behind the Braves in the NL East.  They are even 9 Games behind the 2nd Wild Card team (Reds)

Surely a team with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper can at least be in the Wild Card Race being stocked with so much talent right? After an atrocious stretch, the Nats are 55 – 60 – buried 15.5 Games behind the Braves in the NL East. They are even 9 Games behind the 2nd Wild Card team (Reds).  This team was supposed to challenge for a World Series, and now it will take a small miracle now to make the playoffs.

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

Digging through numbers and searching through the rubble of the Nats season to find answers to what went so horribly wrong can numb the mind.

The reasons are right there spelled out in bold and painful numbers, but many of them raise more questions than they do answers. The Nats are awful in high leverage situations.

More than .040 points of OPS worse than the next worst team.

This could simply be a sample size issue or it could be an issue of the players internalizing all the pressure or it could be that the manager makes the moments feel more tense.

The main issue with trying to find the reason behind the numbers is that some of the possible explanations are beyond our ability to know.

The Nats Mindset 6 months ago

Read the rest of this entry

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

Like us on Facebook here

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.

Read the rest of this entry

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

Like us on Facebook here

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:

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Team Power Rankings

Like us on Facebook here

Sunday June.02/2013

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far;.  He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2ndi n AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind - blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played.  He is on pace for 51 HRs. 195 RBI and about 250 Hits.  He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence - and a lineup full of ALL - Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500.  It certainly isn't this 30 Year Olds fault.

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far; He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2nd in AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind – blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played. He is on pace for 51 HRs, 195 RBI and about 250 Hits. He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence – and a lineup full of ALL – Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500. It certainly isn’t this 30 Year Old’s fault.

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

Featuring the Podcasters the Big ticket Show in the Audio Portion

I will be doing a stat fueled rankings list on this Thursday.  These rankings will have some stats and  random thoughts of what I will be talking about in today’s podcast with the Big Ticket Show (AKA, Triple Play Podcast.)

Games Prior to Sunday June.02/2013

Cardinals 2013 30/30 Preview

Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to continue… or scroll past the Triple Play Podcast. Read the rest of this entry

Triple Play Podcast Ep #8 – Bucs And Nats Time In The Around The Horn Feature

Like us on Facebook here

Monday, May  13th, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – MLB Reports Nationals Correspondent David Huzzard of Citizensofnatstown.com ( and MLB Reports Pirates Correspondent Brad Cuprik

On a Mother’s day edition of the triple play podcast we heed the advice of our mother’s and turn the lemon of our original guest being unable to join us into the lemonade of Bard Cuprik of mlbreports.com  (Check out his latest Roster Tree piece – where he goes through the 6 degrees of separation of a how each pitcher arrived in a Bucs uniform here ) – and David Huzzard of the Citizens of Natstown podcast (and Writer) dissects the pitching and the Nationals start to the 2013 Season. Read the rest of this entry

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

Like us on Facebook here

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

Dan Haren Has Not Pitched Well For The Nationals!

Like us on Facebook here

Sunday, Apr.21/2013

Dan Haren signed a 1 YR/ $13 Million Contract over the winter with the Washington Nationals.  He was supposed to be a competent #5 Starter that would give the Nats an edge versus opponents #5 Starters.  The 32 Year Old is 1 - 2 with a 8.10 ERA and 2.03 WHIP so far - spanning 3 Games Started and 13.1 Innings Pitched

Dan Haren signed a 1 YR/ $13 Million Contract over the winter with the Washington Nationals. He was supposed to be a competent #5 Starter that would give the Nats an edge versus opponents #5 Starters. The 32 Year Old is 1 – 2 with a 8.10 ERA and 2.03 WHIP so far – spanning 3 Games Started and 13.1 Innings Pitched.

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

Dan Haren has not pitched well for the Nationals. There have been a multitude of issues, but the main and most important one is he has been getting hit hard. His line drive rate is up to 25.9% from his career average of 19.9% – and his ground ball rate is down to 25.9% from his career average of 43.0%.

Avoiding line drives and inducing ground balls is good for a pitcher. Most line drives are hits -while most ground balls are not.

Giving up more line drives and less ground balls is never good and it has led to Haren having a .420 BABIP so far on the season compared to his career average of .292, and this doesn’t include the five homeruns he has given up, but even if nothing else changes a 3.38 HR/9 is unsustainable.

MLB Talk on the Haren Signing at the Winter Meetings 2012:

Read the rest of this entry

Bryce Harper May Just Be That Strong!

Like us on Facebook here

Thursday, Apr.11/2013

In the 1st 8 games of the season, Bryce Harper has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .394/.394/1.182  with 4 HRs and 6 RBI.  The slugger has not Walked once yet this year, but that might just be that he his working into favorable counts - and mashing the ball once he receives his pitch.

In the 1st 8 games of the season, Bryce Harper has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .394/.394/1.182 with 4 HRs and 6 RBI. The slugger has not Walked once yet this year, but that might just be that he his working into favorable counts – and mashing the ball once he receives his pitch.  In the last 38 Games dating back to last year in September, Harper has hit .344 with 11 HRS, 20 RBI, 9 Doubles and 3 Triples.  Harper also has scored 33 Runs in this time frame.  This amounts to a Slugging Percentage of .676 and an OPS 1.070.  We are talking about a historic season if these numbers can be maintained like his last quarter of a season played.

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

The HR Harper hit in the 4th Inning of yesterdays game was a no doubter, but when I saw the ball make contact with the bat.  I didn’t think it was going to go anywhere. Watch the replay. Watch it in slow motion. Harper got under that one.

Normally when a batter gets under a ball it may carry to the warning track but it is normally a harmless fly ball and not an upper deck no doubt HR that exits the ballpark faster than a speeding bullet or 106.1 MPH off the bat.

Harper’s big HR traveled an estimated 420 feet and is his furthest of the season. It is scary to watch the replay and keep seeing that he didn’t get all of it. The ball hit the sweet spot of the bat, but Harper was just a little under it, but this is how 40 HR seasons happen.

Bryce Harper 2012 Highlights:

Read the rest of this entry

Game 1 Recap Of The Nats Big Opening Day Win – A Glimpse Of Things To Come

Like us on Facebook here

Tuesday, Apr.02/2013

Just as impressive as Harper taking on higher expectation in 2013 is Stephen Strasburg being unleashed on the world for a full season for the first time and starting off with an 80 pitch performance of seven shutout innings.Strasburg didn't even have his best command falling behind 1-0 on 13 of the 23 batters he faced. Strasburg finished the day with only three Strikeouts and no walks giving up only three hits, but this wasn't the dominate swing and miss Strasburg.

Just as impressive as Harper 2 HRs yesterdayn- was Strasburg’s being unleashed on the world for a full season.  His start featured an 80 pitch performance over 7 shutout IP. Strasburg didn’t even have his best command – falling behind 1-0 on 13 of the 23 batters he faced. He finished the day with only three Strikeouts, but no walks and giving up only 3 hits.

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

Seeing Stephen Strasburg picked to win the Cy Young should come as no surprise to anyone. He did finish 2012 tied with Gio Gonzalez for the best FIP in the majors at 2.82 – and led all starters with a staggering 11.13 K/9. There are arguments that can be made that when Stephen Strasburg is firing on all cylinders –  he is the best pitcher in the NL and among the best on the planet.

The same argument cannot be made for Bryce Harper as an Outfielder. Based on stats last year,  he finished seventh in the NL in fWAR and tied for eighth in wOBA with Jay Bruce and Garrett Jones.

No one is picking Jay Bruce or Garrett Jones for their MVP. In all of the NL Bryce Harper‘s .352 wOBA ranked sixteenth.

Bryce Harper 2 HR Performance On Opening Day – MLB Reports does not own anything from this video:

Read the rest of this entry

What Will It Take For Bryce Harper To Be An NL MVP This Year?

Like us on Facebook here

Tuesday, Mar. 19/2013

Just how far can Bryce Harper improve during his 2nd season?  If he can improve by about 15 % might we see a 30 HR/ 30 SB, year with around 120 Runs Scored and 80 Extra Base Hits?  This would vault the 20 Year Old LF

Just how far can Bryce Harper improve during his 2nd season? If he can improve by about 15% – might we see a 30 HR/30 SB year, with around 120 Runs Scored and 80 Extra Base Hits? With the Nationals being the consensus favorite in the National League amongst experts, this would definitely put him in the NL MVP discussion.  Seasons of improvement between the age of 19 and 20 for MLB Players of the past has proved to show this could happen. Harper will look to avoid the similar fates of the last 5 NL Rookie Of The Year Awards with a 2nd year regression.

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

A good part of analysis is knowing when numbers are useless. I was going to look back at the last 5 NL Rookies of the Year – and inform you of their average decrease in OPS, but two of the five are Geovany Soto and Chris Coghlan. On top of that Posey got injured his second full season after only 45 games and Ryan Braun hit like a madman in his rookie season with an OPS of 1.004. It did drop from that to .888, but seriously he OPS’d 1.004 in his rookie season.

The only one of the last five position player rookies of the year to not suffer any drop was Hanley Ramirez who saw his OPS rise from .833 in 2006 to .948 in 2007. If we go back one more season to the 2005 rookie of the year, Ryan Howard, his OPS rose from .924 in 2005 to 1.084 in 2006 when he won the MVP (Pujols had a 1.102 OPS that season, the third highest of his career and tops in the NL, but the vote went to Howard).   ​

Bryce Harper Steals Home!

Read the rest of this entry

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

Like us on Facebook here

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?

Read the rest of this entry

Bryce Harper – The Nats LF

Like us on Facebook here

Friday, Mar. 02/2013

Bryce Harper won the NL Rookie Of The Year, made an ALL-Star Appearance - and even clubbed his 1st Post season HR in 2012.  With a full season to play in 2013 - how high might his numbers go?

Bryce Harper won the NL Rookie Of The Year, made an ALL-Star Appearance – and even clubbed his 1st Post season HR in 2012. With a full season to play in 2013 – how high might his numbers go?

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

With the acquisition of Denard Span to play Center Field and bat Leadoff, a new defensive home had to be found for Harper. In 2012, advanced stats didn’t just rate Harper as a good defensive Center Fielder he was rated as a great one.

The Span move makes the Nats better in two positions of weakness and it also allows Harper to move to a more offensive position and focus on that aspect of his game. Left field is the second least important defensive position according to the defensive matrix, and often times it is the home of some of the games best sluggers. 

For a quick comparison the average MLB Center Fielder hit for a 3 Slash Line of.265/.330/.418 in 2012 – and the average Left Fielder .261/.327/.431. While Left Field is traditionally a more offensive position current Left Fielders only managed a .009 OPS advantage over their CF brethren in 2012.

This doesn’t nor should it change the perception of Left Field as the less important defensive position of the higher offensive position. All it means is that there aren’t a lot of good Left Fielders right now. In WAR there are built-in bonuses for playing different positions, a good offensive player at an up the middle position will be rated higher than a good offensive player at a corner position, because an up the middle player that can hit is more valuable.  

Bryce Harper Highlights as a 16 Year old hitting bombs and Tropicana Field 2009:

Read the rest of this entry

Ross Detwiler And 1st Pitch Strikes

Like us on Facebook here

Thursday, February. 28/2013

Detwiler was 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA during his 27 Games Started in 2012.

Detwiler was 10-8 – with a 3.40 ERA during his 27 Games Started in 2012.

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

After making his Spring Training debut yesterday Ross Detwiler was asked what he wanted to improve upon in 2013 and his answer was first pitch strikes. Detwiler said this, but he isn’t a non-strike thrower. He is around league average in that category with 62% first pitch strikes compared to a league average of 60% and an overall Strike Percentage of 64% compared to a league average of 63%. As a strike thrower Detwiler is right around league average,  if he has a flaw – it is that he doesn’t strike many batters out. ​

For his career Detwiler strikes out 14.4% of the batters he faces – and has walked 8.3%. Both of those numbers improved in 2012 – as his Strikeout Percentage rose to 15.3% and Walk Percentage fell to 7.6%, but Detwiler would like to improve that even further and getting ahead of hitters is one easy way to do that. Detwiler was around league average in most control categories, but he is a below average strikeout pitcher. He is an above average ground ball pitcher with 50.8% ground ball rate in 2012. This number is up from his overall career average and the reason for that is Detwiler has started to rely on his sinker.  

Rob Dibble interviews Ross Detwiler from a few years back:

Read the rest of this entry

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,971 other followers

%d bloggers like this: