Best Nats Seasons, By Position

February 7, 2011

This is your last week without baseball until November. In order to get you ready, let’s take a look back at some of this team’s highs and lows. After 6 years in town, the Nats have started to build the semblances of a team. 2011 will probably give us an indication of where they are going. Will the youngsters start stepping up? If so, then once Strasburg returns and Harper arrives, they might have a real chance to win. And they will have built a team, rather than cobbling together a group of free agents.

In the past, they’ve of course had some good players. They never really looked like they were building a real team, but they’ve managed to have a collection of players that occasionally turned in great performances. So who were the best at each position?

C – Brian Schneider, 2005 – Schneider’s 2005 was his career year offensively, hitting .268/.330/.409. That kind of production from a catcher helped make the team relatively successful, but it also probably helped convince the Nats to keep him as a starter for too long – his OPS in 2006 and 2007 was .655. He played a strong defense in that time though, and in 2005 he lead the majors in throwing out baserunners, with an impressive 38%.

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Alright Nats, You Have One Month

July 17, 2009

The signing deadline for draftees is August 17th, at 11:59 pm. In other words, one month from today. The Nationals as an organization have one month to prove to their fans that they are not the joke that ESPN, Barack Obama, and everyone else seems to think they are.

  • One month to sign Stephen Strasburg.
  • One month to trade expiring contract slash expiring source of power Nick Johnson.
  • One month to trade Josh Willingham or Adam Dunn. Maybe not, because they’re both under contract for beyond this season, but seriously, move one of these guys.
  • One month to cut ties with Austin Kearns, because why is a guy who can’t hit, has a buyout for next year, and is going to be 30 next year on a team that is rebuilding?
  • One month to bring Elijah Dukes back and start playing him full time in the majors so we can see if he’s part of the future – ours or someone else’s.
  • One month to start playing Alberto Gonzalez full time to determine if he’s a viable starter.

If most of these things aren’t done in a month’s time, and the first simply one has got to be done, I can’t see how this organization denies it’s national joke status.

By the way, I’m out of town early next week. No time to do anything too in depth, but if a move is made I’ll certainly chime in with some reactions.


Chasms that Need to Be Filled

July 15, 2009

It’s July 15th, which means that the Nats have 15 days to make trades. The deadline is at the end of the month, and they haven’t done anything other than the Morgan/Burnett deal. Ok, the later they go, the more leverage they have, conceivably. Of course, while banking on other teams to get desperate, Washington may get the same way themselves. There’s been plenty of talk about who’s tradable – almost any position player. And lots of talk about who’s the best bets to trade – Johnson, Willingham and Dunn seem to be the most desirable. But what about what they NEED?

The Nats are trying to be respectable next year, I assume, and in doing so, they’ll need to have some players. More than just bodies to fill, hopefully they’ll get something for the future. So here is a list of positions that they could use some help with. I’m not saying they should target these positions in the trade necessarily. In the trade they should get the best prospect they can every time. But something to keep in mind during the trading season, and for the upcoming offseason.

Outfield

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Dukes Sent Down, But for How Long

July 1, 2009

Elijah Dukes was sent down to the minors today, and it’s not like he didn’t deserve it. He’s only batting .244/.308/.415 this year, and in the last month he’s dropped .100 points of OPS and has hit only .198/.253/.333. He needs to play to get his bat back, and playing for the major league team hurts them. Everyday play in the minors should get him right, at least that is the assumption, and then he can be brought back up to play for the big league team. But if he gets right by the end of the trade deadline, assuming he himself isn’t getting traded, then they need to bring him up immediately after.

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Nats Bats Coming to Life

May 6, 2009

I’ve said it before, repeated it and repeated it. This team will score some runs. In the last 3 games, including yesterday’s unfinished game, they’ve scored 6 or more runs. And they’ve had at least one big inning – 4 or more runs – in each game. The players who everyone thought would hit, well, they’re hitting. And so is everyone else.

The Ones (Almost) Everyone Expected

The new eyes guy, Cristian Guzman, is doing what he has done all his career – since he’s been able to see. guzman-hrThis season he’s hitting .381/.381/.460, and that slugging is mostly thanks to yesterday’s HR. It shows he hasn’t walked at all, and has shown no power other than that 1 HR. But if he keeps hitting around .350 and takes a few walks, that’s ok. And the power isn’t nonexistent – as I said, he did hit a HR in yesterday afternoon’s match. He’s not going to walk much, so that’s expected, and he has shown that he can keep the average up. He’s gotta keep that average up, but as long as he does, he’s an effective if flawed tablesetter for this team.

The healthy guy, Nick Johnson, is doing what he has done all his career – when he’s healthy. Read the rest of this entry »


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