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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): 

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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

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Just How Good Is The Washington Nationals Rotation?

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

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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): 

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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

As Washington Fans Return To Baseball, Remember That OBP Equals Time Of Possession

With a brutal season of football just put recently behind them, many fans in the DC will look to baseball to stoke their fire in sports.  The Nationals are still a favorite to win the NL East.  With NFL fans hating the complexities of the MLB game, this blog gives a simile of a concept adaptation.

With a brutal season of football just put recently behind them, many fans in the DC will look to baseball to stoke their fire in sports. The Nationals are still a favorite to win the NL East. With NFL fans hating the complexities of the MLB game, this blog gives a simile of a concept adaptation.  It boggles my mind why more analysts do not try and use parallel’s between the two sports to attract more football fans to the MLB brand.

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

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When baseball fans huddle together and complain about the masses one of the biggest complaints about Washington DC’s sports fan base is that there are too many football fans.

That they view baseball through the football colored glasses of a short season and reactionary moves.

A player has a bad week or two to start the season and it is time to get rid of them, or a pitcher has a bad inning and it is time for the manager to come get them.

The type of responses to baseball that a baseball fan wouldn’t have.

Anthony Rendon’s Sac Fly

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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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Six Minor Leaguers Who Could Make An Impact In 2014 For The Nationals

Matt Williams will be announced as the teams new skipper upon the World Series finishing.  The City of Washington will hope that Williams can press the right buttons at the helm of this ship.

Matt Williams will be announced as the teams new skipper upon the World Series finishing. The City of Washington will hope that Williams can press the right buttons at the helm of this ship.  Included in his responsibilities,putting the right young players of the organization in a chance to succeed.

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

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Much will be written this offseason about who the Nats should sign, trade for and hire. I’m not one to beat a dead horse, so I decided to look for an angle.

Since the minor leagues are what I know and love, I’ve compiled a list of players in the Nats organization who are not on the 40-man roster who I could see adding value to the 2014 Nationals.

I’ve also decided against including top prospects like Brian Goodwin or A.J. Cole, as both would be obvious picks.

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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): 

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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

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Add Another Season Of Misery For The City Of Washington: 80 Years + 3 Franchises Have Disappointed

The Nationals are just the latest in a string of failures the city of Washington has seen.  It has been 80 years since an MLB club from the District has seen World Series Baseball, and now they will have to wait another season.  Despite being the Preseason favorite to make the Fall Classic, Washington has missed the playoffs outright,

The Nationals are just the latest in a string of failures the city of Washington has seen. It has been 80 years since an MLB club from the District has seen World Series Baseball, and now they will have to wait another season. Despite being the Preseason favorite to make the Fall Classic, Washington has missed the playoffs outright in 2013.

By James O’Hara (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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On Oct. 1, 1971 in the last game played by the Washington Senators at RFK Stadium, fans began tearing apart the stadium and field to claim souvenirs. Much like the current Washington Nationals are tearing apart Washington, D.C.

A lot is made of the Chicago Cubs (not winning a World Series since 1909 – or playing in one since 1945) and Boston Red Sox decades long pursuit of World Series titles and the pressure from it – before knocking the monkey from their back in 2004.

But that cannot compare to the pressure of being in town without baseball for 33 years – and having not played in the World Series at all since the Joe Cronin led 1933 squad lost.

From 1971 – 2004, Thirty-three World Series champions were crowned without a team from Washington, D.C. even entering the fight.

It is almost fitting in a way that the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, as you are talking about 1 of 2 teams in the MLB currently, that have never played (other is Seattle)  in a World Series before. The Expos/Nats club is now completed its 46th season in the MLB.

It is almost fitting in a way that the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, as you are talking about 1 of 2 teams in the MLB currently, that have never played (other is Seattle) in a World Series before. The Expos/Nats club have now completed their 45th season in the Majors without showing up in the “Fall Classic”.

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

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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

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Knorr Skippers Nats To A Win Behind Ian Krol, Lights A Fire Under The Club – Winning 4 of 5

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Monday, July.29th/2013

The Nationals don’t have the best history when it comes to their win loss record, but the 2012 season brought on a lot of “what could have been” from fans in the area hungry for a championship. In 2011, Davey Johnson took the manager’s role after Jim Riggleman decided to (as it is now rightfully dubbed) pull a Riggleman and walk out on the team because of his dispute with Mike Rizzo regarding a contract extension. Since then, Davey Johnson has been loved by the D.C. fanbase and players alike because of his honest criticisms and confidence in players.

The Nationals don’t have the best history when it comes to their win loss record, but the 2012 season brought on a lot of “what could have been” from fans in the area hungry for a championship. In 2011, Davey Johnson took the manager’s role after Jim Riggleman decided to (as it is now rightfully dubbed) pull a Riggleman and walk out on the team because of his dispute with Mike Rizzo regarding a contract extension. Since then, Davey Johnson has been loved by the D.C. fanbase and players alike because of his honest criticisms and confidence in players.

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

In 2011,Davey Johnson was a welcome breath of fresh air.

Jim Riggleman was just kind of there, a place holder manager, but at the time there was no reason to fire him.

There were concerns at times over Jim Riggleman “losing the clubhouse,” but that is standard the-team-isn’t-playing-great jargon. When Riggleman walked out, things changed greatly.

Davey Johnson made it his mission to get a slumping Jayson Werth going and to figure out why it was that Ian Desmond, who had flashed power in the past, wasn’t able to put any baseballs into the seats.

Davey Johnson was not afraid to point out when a pitcher wasn’t doing his job, either.

Things Haven’t Been As Rosy In 2013 For Davey Johnson

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

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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

An Update On The Nationals Top 15 Prospects

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Friday, May. 03/2013

Anthony Rendon was selected 6th overall in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the Washington Nationals

Anthony Rendon was selected 6th overall in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the Washington Nationals.  In his limited time with the big club, he struggled at the plate, (.182/.308/.227 in 26 Plate Appearances) – while he also made 3 Errors in the field in just 22 Chances.  Still the future is bright and Rendon could certainly play his way onto the Roster later in the year.  He is TRENDING STEADY.

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

When I put together my top 15 prospect list for the Washington Baseball Annual, I knew it was a bit risky. Only five of the top ten were not injury risks before the season, and out of those five, two have already been injured this year.

Through the first month of the season, the top part of the Nats’ farm system has been similarly mediocre to the Nats in general.

1)      3B Anthony Rendon – I didn’t think we’d see Rendon in the big leagues this soon, but he was the first call when Ryan Zimmerman went down with a hamstring injury.

Rendon put up a nice .292/.462/.500 triple slash in 65 Harrisburg Plate Appearances.

Anthony Rendon’s Highlight Package:

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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

Dan Haren Has Not Pitched Well For The Nationals!

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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:

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Nats Acquire LHP Ian Krol To Complete The Mike Morse Deal

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Wednesday, Mar. 27/2013

Ian krol is a 6 FT 1 and 190 LB native of Illinois who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 7th Round of the 2009 Amateur Draft,.

Ian Krol is a 6 FT 1 and 190 LB native of Illinois – who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 7th Round of the 2009 Amateur Draft, He was selected right out of high school and jumped two levels of the Minor Leagues before he even hit the age of 19.  Controversies and in injuries then ensued. Last year he played with Stockton (A+) and Midland (AA) – going 3 – 9 with a 5.20 ERA.

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

The Nationals already came out ahead in the Michael Morse trade, acquiring two Righties with upside in A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen. Last Wednesday, they added to the previous bounty when the player to be named later was named:was… wait for it……..

LHP Ian Krol. The Lefty, who was once lauded by prospect gurus Kevin Goldstein and Keith Law in 2010, has fought through some self-inflicted drama as well as some minor injuries since then; the Nationals are picking him up in hopes that he’ll continue to be “a joy to watch” as Goldstein mentioned and will build upon his solid 2012 season.

Krol is a pitcher, not a thrower. His mechanics are excellent, throwing from a ¾ arm slot, and he has no issues locating his three pitches. Like former Nats prospects Tommy Milone and Danny Rosenbaum, Krol lacks velocity, topping out at 90-91 MPH. In order to keep climbing up the ladder, he must continue to exhibit excellent command on the hill and induce ground balls.

Ian Krol Bullpen Session:

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