Arbitrary and Real Things to Look For

September 16, 2009

It’s almost over, the Nationals are on their way to ending the season. With 18 games to go, they have little time to accomplish anything other than finishing in last place. Of course, as Nats Farm Authority points out, there is still the possibility of a Pittsburgh or Baltimore or someone else finishing in last. But I’m pretty sure it aint happening. Individuals on this team, however, still have time to accomplish something other than losing more games than everyone else. There are the arbitrary numbers things, then there are the more important, but perhaps less fun and intersting thing. Let’s start with the arbitrary:

  1. Will John Lannan finish with an ERA below 4.00? He’s currently at 4.08, with probably 3 more starts to go. If he were to go average 6 innings and give up 2 ER per start, he’ll finish with a 3.98. If he only goes 5 IP per start, he’ll need to give up 4 ER total, just above 1 per start. If he give up 5 ER in the next 3 starts and goes 5 innings each, he’ll be on the nose with a 4.00 ERA.
  2. Will Adam Dunn hit 40 HR?Padres Nationals Baseball He’s only done it the last 15 seasons. Actually, the 29 year old is vying for his 5th consecutive season with exactly 40, sixth in a row with 40 or more. 18 should be enough, but he’s on a power outage recently. His ISO power up until Aug 30 was .296, since then it’s been .137. Of course, a couple of HRs would change that quickly.
  3. Will Ryan Zimmerman hit 30 HR? Read the rest of this entry »

Zim Hits #29, Nats Play Spoiler

September 14, 2009

Washington took 2 out of 3 from the Marlins, technically playing a bit of a spoiler role. The Marlins were a bit back from either race coming in to the weekend, but losing 2 of 3 has them sitting 6 1/2 out of the NL East lead, 5 1/2 out of the wild card. Winning all 3 this weekend would have been a big boost for them, losing 2 is pretty deflating. Of course, Zimmerman hit his 29th HR of the season on Friday night, thus putting himself one HR away from the arbitrary mark of 30. So here you go, in keeping with this year’s tradition, in tribute to his #29, the Zimmerman March to 30 HRs uniform number gallery:

Satchel_Paige_29

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Nats Asked Guzman to Move to 2B

September 11, 2009

Whoa whoa whoa, someone’s been reading The Nationals Review! Ok, the Nats have probably never read it, but according to ESPN980, the Nats had a meeting with Cristian Guzman last night yesterday afternoon, asking him to play 2B in the 2010 season. Wow, I’ve been screaming this since May! And I’ve said it only about every time I have had the chance since. It appears that the Nats think it’s a good idea, too. By the way, the 980 report also said that Guzman was “in shock” and didn’t provide an answer.

As I see articles providing evidence of this, I’ll link them here. Here’s one that talks about why they’re concerned. Here’s one saying he won’t become less valuable at 2B.

This is what it may look like:

guzman near 2b

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Ian Desmond Watch FINALLY Over

September 11, 2009

Well it was a grueling 10 hours, but the Ian Desmond watch that began at about 9 AM yesterday morning (although it was backdated to Monday, his first time in uniform) is finally over. Yes, he did indeed start at SS on Thursday night and since it was a home game, he was actually playing in a major league game by 7:05.

He did not disappoint in his debut, that’s for sure. First, his 2nd inning AB was a deep flyout to the CF, a hit that looked like it could leave the park. In a different direction, it would have gone out. Then he got up in the 4th with Dukes on first, and hit a liner double to CF. Actually, Victorino misplayed it, it should have been a single, but who’s complaining? Here’s a little shot of him hitting that one:

Desmonds first hit

Then, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th, and the game still within reach for Philly, he hit a three run shot. Here’s a look at that:

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Ian Desmond Watch

September 10, 2009

Ok, it’s been 2 games since Ian Desmond has been called up and my patience has already worn thin. Why aren’t they playing a guy who they know can hold down the fielding side of shortstop and don’t know if he can hit? Why aren’t they giving a youngster a chance rather than playing older guys? Why aren’t they sitting woefully bad hitters in order to play guys who, frankly, we just have no idea about? Is it to WIN? Because that aint working.

So, in my form of mini-protest, I’m starting the Ian Desmond watch. Look up in the top right corner of those widgets. Today is DAY ONE. Actually, scratch that. There have been 2 games already where he’s rode the pine. Today is DAY THREE of the Ian Desmond watch.

Am I making way too big of a deal about a player that isn’t expected to be anything special? Yeah, I probably don’t need to be writing about this a third day in a row. But he still needs to be given a chance to play.  And the Nats keep losing, it’s not like there’s something more exciting to talk about. Which is just WHY guys like Desmond should be playing.

In case you are trying to spot him on the bench:

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Disappointment with the Callups

September 9, 2009

The excitement of seeing youngsters get called up has quickly been abated. Why? Well, because the guys I want to see play aren’t really going to play. Let’s start with Detwiler. He’s near his innings limit, so they aren’t going to use him as a starter. Instead, he’ll be coming out of the bullpen. This is fine, I guess. I understand the innings limit thing, so I won’t complain about management doing the wrong thing, I just was hoping to see him start. So be it.

Ian Desmond, on the other hand, is slated to come off the bench. This is the real disappointment. It’s all in the WaPo NaJo. But basically if Guzman can play, he’ll start. I assume that means at SS, which sucks for those of us that actually want to see Desmond play. And, in the words of Onyx, “bu-bu-bu-bu-wait it get’s worse.” Riggleman goes on to say:

If his [Guzman's] foot flares up on him that will be an opportunity to get Desmond in there, but we also have Gonzalez and Orr who will be playing up the middle. I love to see young players play, but I don’t ever want to take away the opportunity from the veterans who have been here all year… and disregard their efforts all year by planting them on the bench. Like I said, the at bats might be inconsistent.

Huh? First of all, to call Gonzalez a veteran is stretching the definition of the word. The guy has a total of 144 games for his entire career. I wouldn’t call that a vet who deserves anything. Gonzalez is batting .250/.285/.350, so putting him on the bench should probably be considered regarding his efforts all year, not disregarding them. As for Pete Orr, well, he’s definitely more of a veteran. He’s played in 330 games in the majors dating back to 2005. So I see where Riggleman is going, except, wait for it… ORR HAS ONLY PLAYED IN 10 GAMES THIS YEAR WITH THE NATS!!!one!!one1!!

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Calling Out the Callups

September 8, 2009

Nats made some September callups today. I am excited that Ian Desmond is one of them, although I realize I have been getting overly excited about his chances.  Regardless, I am very interested in seeing what he can do over the next few weeks.

Desmond is an almost 24 year old SS who has spent much of 2009 playing in AAA Syracuse. In 55 games there, he hit .354/.428/.461. He is clearly not a power hitting prospect, and he isn’t too much of a hitting prospect in general. He’s known for his defense – Baseball America said he had the best infield arm in the farm system from 2006 all the way to this year. Last year, in addition to that, they called him the best defensive infielder. He’s rangy and has a cannon – he’s a real SS. So anything he does with the bat is bonus.

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Zim Hits #28 In Style, Martin Pitches Well

September 7, 2009

Yesterday a young starting pitcher threw a stellar game. He went 6 2/3 IP, gave up 2 ER, and struck out 4 while walking 2. He lowered his ERA to 4.35 and has pitched great over his last 7 starts. Then the bullpen came in and blew it. You could imagine this has played out quite a few times this season with this team, but I’m not sure who imagined that the pitcher would be J.D. Martin. Before getting in to the surprising success of this 26 year old rookie, let’s not forget that the Nats ended up winning.

Zimmerman hit a walk off HR, spent a little long admiring it, and was somewhat awkwardly mobbed on his way home. It was a bomb though, so he may have wanted to see if it was gonna hit the Red Porch or something. Anyway, here continues the Ryan Zimmerman March to 30 HRs uniform gallery:

blyleven

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Good to Be Home, I Hope

September 3, 2009

The Nats get a much needed day off today and return home to start a series with the Marlins. They have 15 more home games and 13 more away games, and their remaining opponents aint bad. 6 against Philly, 6 against Florida, 6 against the Mets, 7 against the Braves, and 3 against the Dodgers. The only team there with a losing record is the Mets, not that they are necessarily an easy win. Not that there are any easy wins for this team.

But it will still be nice to get home. This team is much better at home, a .409 winning percentage as opposed to a .279 winning percentage away. We’ll get a chance to see if this offense is truly dead or if it just went to sleep for a bit. The anemic end of August, in the last 4 games or so, didn’t just leave them at 14-15 for the month, just shy of a winning record. It also left them 3 runs shy of the most runs scored for this team by month. They scored a bit more in May. Of course, in May they didn’t go 14-15, they went 9-20. The biggest difference wasn’t runs (147 vs. 144), it was runs allowed. In May they let up 184 runs, but in August they only let up 152. Still more than they scored, but quite a bit closer.

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Thoughts on the Belliard Trade

September 1, 2009

Good. Very Good. At least that is what I thought when I heard they traded him, not even knowing what they go in exchange. Nothing against Belliard, a fine player who, despite slumping terribly earlier in the year, can still hit. His numbers over the years have been rather consistent, he just about a .275 hitter, with limited but not awful ability to take walks and hit for power. If you were to find a great fielding 2B that could hit like him, you’d be happy. But at 34, with an expiring contract and an expired glove, he wasn’t a fit on the Nats. He actually could be a big help to alot of teams, even as a part time infielder and a bench bat, so I’m not surprised that the Nats were able to trade him. I won’t, however, miss seeing him play first base.

In exchange they got Luis Garcia, a 22 year old reliever currently pitching in low-A ball. The righty from the Dominican had some impressive numbers this season. He pitched 71 innings, struck out 55 and only walked 15.  He’s got a pretty ERA of 2.92 and his nice K/BB ratio of 3.7 is couple with a high groundout to airout ratio of 1.77. Those are nice numbers, and while he may not have a closer’s future, he could be a good bullpen arm. He’s probably a few years away though, and he’ll almost certainly spend all of 2010 in the minors. In addition, the Nats get the infamous player to be named later. Read the rest of this entry »


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