Mike Morse – Historically Good National

August 10, 2011

If you haven’t noticed, Michael Morse is having a pretty good season with the bat. But while he continues to rake the ball, what isn’t being talked about is just how good he really is.

He’s currently hitting .323/.371/.562 in his first full year of being a starter. This gives him an OPS+ of 155, good enough for best in the history of the Nationals. He actually has the second best OPS, behind Nick Johnson’s 2006 number of .948, the year he finished with an incredible .428 OBP. But thanks to adjusting for the league now, with hitting down across the board, Morse is actually better compared to the rest of the league than Johnson was.

He’s currently in 2nd place in the batting title race in NL, but winning that may not be doable. Jose Reyes is comfortable ahead, batting .336, and has about 60 more ABs, meaning sitting on the DL for a few weeks won’t drop him out of the competition, and Morse has to catch up rather than hope Jose falters. And his .323 would also be best in the history of the Nationals, for full time players, of course. But he doesn’t just look great among Nats players.

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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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Who Added the Most Wins?

October 14, 2009

Time for more season recapping… A simple but important question, right? Who, in the course of the season, contributed the most to the Nationals 59 wins? One way to look at this is through the statistic known as WARP. WARP, wins above replacement player, is an interesting stat that shows how many wins the player contributes over a replacement level player. Here is a post on what it all means, if you forgot or never knew.

There are some obvious ones on the list, and a few surprises as well. Here’s the top 10:

1. Ryan Zimmerman: 6.9
2. John Lannan: 4.1
3. Adam Dunn: 4.1
4. Josh Willingham: 3.2
5. Nyjer Morgan: 2.9 Read the rest of this entry »

Johnson, Expos Gone

July 31, 2009

And there you have it, the expected trade was made, with about 180 seconds to go on my clock. The Nationals have finally made a trade deadline move, sending Nick Johnson to the Marlins in exchange for minor league pitcher Aaron Thompson. With his contract expiring, no chance at getting prospects for him when he goes to free agency, and a team going nowhere, trading Johnson was a necessity. It give this team time to test out some of their other players at first base, and hopefully bring Dukes up to play the OF (he’s hitting .288/.397/.545 in AAA, in case you were worried he’d pack it in once he was sent down). Before getting into what they got in exchange for Nick, a moment of silence please, for the Montreal Expos.

That’s right, with the departure of Nick, the last player on the Nats to have played on the 2004 Expos team is gone. The connection isn’t quite severed, as some players were drafted under that regime, but look at that roster. Everyone has left. Maybe the curse of Montreal is over, maybe this team will continue to suck. Maybe this is a symbolic gesture that indicates the team has turned the corner, maybe it means nothing at all. Either way, it’s the end of an era.

The New Guy

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Stresses, and Maybe Some Hope

July 28, 2009

Want to know what is causing me stress? Teams not named Nats making trades. Here are some examples, and my thoughts, with thanks to Rotoworld as I’m stealing their headlines:

Trade 1

Translation: After getting LaRoche and Anderson, Boston probably doesn’t have interest in Johnson or Willingham

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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.


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