Your Backup Middle Infielders

July 31, 2012

With no move by the Nationals at the trade deadline to find some middle infield help, they are left with Danny Espinosa at SS and Steve Lombardozzi at 2B. They can back each other up if one gets hurt, with Mark DeRosa playing 2B in that case. But Ian Desmond’s oblique injury is expected to sideline him until the end of August, although it’s one of those things that wouldn’t surprise me if it lasted longer (not knowing much about it, of course). But DeRosa hasn’t played much 2B recently, and I’m not sure how comfortable the Nats would really be with him penciled in that spot for more than a day or two. So who in the minors might fill in if they need someone longer term?

In Syracuse

Jim Negrych (2B, 27 years old) is small and, according to Baseball Prospectus, unathletic. But he’s lead the AAA Chiefs in time served at 2B, and in that time he’s hit pretty well. In fact, he’s known as a hitter more than a fielder – that is to say, he’s not a great 2B, but his bat wouldn’t sustain him at an easier position. Still, his .271/.353/.413 at Syracuse seems good enough, although at 27 anything less than that would probably cause major red flags. He’s certainly an option, if they’re willing to sacrifice defense, and don’t need a SS.

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The Nationals Review Podcast Episode 10

July 27, 2012

On episode 10 Nationals Review Episode 10 Colm and Charlie talk:

  • Current state of the team, Braves weekend, Mets sereis
  • Pitcher’s Wins (10 game winners)
  • Espinosa and Zimmerman offense
  • Loss of Desmond
  • Needs in the trade market
  • Other trades in the league

Bringing Back the Pitcher’s Win

July 24, 2012

Most baseball fans know that the pitcher’s W doesn’t mean as much these days (as opposed to the team W, which means everything). At least, logically, we all understand that a pitcher getting a W is dependent on too many things outside of his control to be a good indicator of his ability. But there is something ingrained in our psyche, perhaps, that makes us appreciate the numbers. Yes, most people were ok with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young in 2010 with a paltry 13-12 record. But the W still holds a special place in our hearts, and Nats fans get to appreciate them, despite their obsolescence, this year more than ever.

Yes the pitcher’s W is a dated measurement, but it’s not completely useless. You can glean some very important information by looking at it. It does give you at least a general idea of the health and productivity of your starting pitching staff. Take a look at the list of Nats pitchers with 10 Ws or more since they’ve been in town:

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Nationals Have alot of Options at the Deadline

July 18, 2012

Yesterday, I made the case for the Nats holding on to their stock of players, rather than trying to cash in this season. No major trade for another top line starter (if they even have the prospects to do that) and keep with Strasburg‘s innings limit. So that’s that, right? Well, not really, there are other options that people might be interested in going after.

What about other positions the team may need help with? Maybe you don’t like the idea of Danny Espinosa as a starter on a championship caliber team. Myself, I think his .262/.324/.442 since May 4 (when he hit his low water OPS mark), or 72% of his PAs this year, is plenty from him.

What about CF? Do you like Bryce Harper there? Because Jayson Werth is supposedly coming back in less than a month, and whether you like Werth or not, he’s probably going to RF. So CF is where Bryce would presumably go. Maybe you’d like to trade Adam LaRoche, move Mike Morse (or Werth) over to first, or play Tyler Moore full time, and not have Harper in a corner spot.

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Is It Time for the Nats to Cash In?

July 17, 2012

It’s that time of year again. The All Star break is behind us, teams are taking stock of where they are this season, where they’re going, and their chances of reaching the playoffs. Normally this time of year, we talk about who the Nats should consider moving in order to acquire more young talent. But in case you haven’t noticed, they’re in first place in the NL East, and have been there for quite some time. The Nats are in a strong position to win the division, but they’re not there yet. Lots of rumors are floating about what moves they should make, but it aint about selling.

The pitching staff has been spectacular, but as soon as we were on the post-game side of the midsummer classic, it seemed like everyone starting talking about Strasburg. Are they really going to stick with his innings limit? Apparently, although we don’t know what that limit is. Are they going to shift starts so that he can play in October without hitting his limit? Apparently not. If he’s gone who’s going to replace their best pitcher? If say their second best pitcher, you might not be right. It seems like rather than sticking with the rotation as is, and calling up John Lannan (which many of us thought was the original plan), they are at least pursuing a trade for another starter.

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The Nationals Review Podcast Episode 9

July 10, 2012

On this weeks podcast Nationals Review Episode 9 Colm and Charlie discuss:

  • Nationals first half
  • Last couple of weeks of offense
    • Morse waking up
    • Zimmerman hitting again
    • Ian Desmond
  • Espinosa last 2 months
  • All Star selections
  • All Star game
  • Midseason awards

In 1912 Washington Got Their First Winner

July 9, 2012

I posted this back in October, but with the way the Nats are playing, and the interest that the recent 1924 throwback uniforms generated, I figured why not repost. One thing I noticed is that while I thought 2012 would be their first winning season, I wasn’t so bold as to proclaim it loudly. And I certainly didn’t expect them to win the NL. Of course, that was before the 2nd wild card, and Gio, and Bryce being the first 19 year old in forever to actually hit in the bigs. Now something as simple as being better than .500 seems to be shooting a little low…

2012 should be a big year for the Nationals. Many believe that it will be their first winning season in Washington. And if it is, that would be quite a coincidence, as it would be exactly 100 years after Washington baseball’s FIRST first winning season. The Senators finished 91-61 that year, for their first winning season ever, in their 12th season of existence. Coming in 2nd in the AL, it was also the first time they finished higher than 6th place out of 8.

It wasn’t just the first winning season in “modern” baseball in Washington, which most people put at the turn of the last century. The Washington Statemen/Senators, who played from 1891-1899, never had a winning season. Neither did the original Washington Nationals, who existed from 1886-1889. (For a little background on those teams, click here). The two Washington teams that played in 1884 were under .500 as well. So 1912 really was the first winning season in Washington major league baseball.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the first winning season, and in hopes of the first one for this franchise in this city, it makes sense for the Nats to honor them the best way a baseball team can – by wearing throwbacks. The first picture, on the right hand side of the screen, are the 1912 uniforms, pretty good, although I’ve never been a fan of the “nothing on the front” jerseys.

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