Austin and Nick, the Showdown

November 26, 2008

Recently, with the acquisition of Josh Willingham, I’ve seen some debateNationals Cardinals Basketball as to who should be starting for the Nats. The premise goes that if you put Willingham in LF, Milledge stays in CF, Dukes moves to LF and then Johnson plays 1B. The other theory is that Willingham starts at 1B, so that the outfield can be Dukes, Lastings and Kearns, left to right. The debate will often be rendered moot by injuries. We are talking about Nick Johnson here. But this comparison is worth looking at, and unlike the last showdown between these two, nobody ends up with a shattered leg.

They both play excellent defense, so I’m not going to compare that. In terms of offense, the easiest way to look at this is with OPS+. Looking at AVG/OBP/SLG splits would be better, but that isn’t easy to do quickly over a number of years. Remember, OPS+ is just the players percentage of OPS above or below the league average, league average being 100, every point above 100 is a percentage above the avergae. So quickly here are their numbers, in descending order, of every OPS+: Read the rest of this entry »


Moose Retiring

November 20, 2008


A little off the topic of the Nats, Mike Mussina announced his retirement. He was a personal favorite of mine, and that’s why we all like baseball – because there are certain players that we enjoy watching do their thing. Some people will say he isn’t a Hall of Famer, after all, he didn’t win any Cy Young awards. Here are a few reasons why they’re wrong: Read the rest of this entry »

Finding a Veteran Pitcher, On the Cheap

November 17, 2008

Last week, in Baseball Prospectus’ NL East preview (it’s here and free if you want to read it), they made a few interesting observations. Additionally, there was some oversight – not mentioning Jesus Flores as a “What Do They Have?” was a big one. All in all, it’s an interesting little take on the status of the organization and is a good read for anyone who wants to catch up. One thing that I really found interesting was what should be done with the pitching staff

the Nationals should also bestow an incentive-laden one-year deal upon a veteran starter looking to reclaim past glory after injury and ineffectiveness, possibly from a list that includes Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Jason Jennings, Pedro Martinez, Mark Mulder, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, and Mark Prior. If one of them happened to pan out, the Nats would be able to cash in at the trading deadline. If not, they’d only be out a couple million bucks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Another Way to Get Young Players

November 11, 2008

This article is not even close to an original idea, but the Nats have another opportunity to get young players, the minor league free agent market. One of my favorite baseball writers, Steven Goldman of Baseball Prospectus, suggested as much for the Yankees. The same applies to the Nats. Since he just wrote about it, and writes better than me, if you want to see a few names that might be of interest, click over to the Pinstriped Blog. Also, if you are more knowledgable on all these names than I, you can go straight to the list.

And while I’m posting a links, all you DC area Maryland fans (and possibly UVA fans, although the colors may offend you) might be interested in this t-shirt over at mdtees. Pretty clever.

Nationals Make Trade, Upgrade

November 11, 2008

It’s about 13 days since the end of the World Series, and baseball is back. Yesterday, the Nats made a trade. It wasn’t a Matt Holliday type deal, but it was still a major league level deal. They gave up 1 major leaguer – Emilio Bonifacio, plus Jake Smolinski and PJ Dean for Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen.

Nats Get

Willingham is a good hitter. He isn’t a real power bat for an outfielder, but he gets on base alot. His career splits of .266/.361/.472 give you a pretty good idea of what you’re getting. An ISO over .200 (bottom of the good range) plus a high OBP. His career OPS+ is 117 is reliant on that high OBP, and that is something that won’t fluctuate much. He can also play mulitple positions. He is mostly a LFer, but has also played 1B and even some C at the major league level. His downside is that he is 29, so he’s not exactly the future of the franchise. But if I’m not mistaken, the Nats can control him for two more years. So not only is he a very good player who adds to this woeful offense, but this means they’ll have ample opportunity to trade him if they want. He is just the kind of player that moves at the deadline, especially when a contendor loses an OF or a 1B. Read the rest of this entry »

The Washington Nationals 2013 Lineup

November 10, 2008

Now that the offseason has begun, let the speculation begin. This is the 2nd annual “Nationals in 5 years” lineup. Judging Nats prospects without being a scout is more inexact of course, and it’s a bit silly because, who really knows what moves will be made? But based on the current farm system, what some experts have said, their performance, and some intense guessing, I will predict the Nationals starting lineup in the year 2013. On to the future…

The Position Players

C- Jesus Flores – His bat wasn’t exceptional this past year, but at only 23, he is still rather young for a catcher. He showed the flashes of power and ability to hit that ensure him the starting job going into next season, and he looks like he’ll develop into a very good hitting catcher. He should be a cornerstone player on this team for years to come. Read the rest of this entry »

2008 Draft No Big Deal?

November 7, 2008

Baseball America came out with their top 100 prospects list yesterday… There are some interesting things that are worth nothing for Nationals fans.

First, Stephen Strasburg is the #1 overall prospect. This is not surprising, we all knew this, it’s just further confirmation. As I have stated before, the Nats should be picking this guy with the first pick, if they don’t, it could be a good sign that they aren’t committed to getting the best players if they think it will be pricey. On the other hand, he could have a terrible spring or something like that, in which case he may drop. But for now, look for this guy to be a National soon.

#5 on the board is Aaron Crow. Read the rest of this entry »