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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Time to Start Believing What You See

June 1, 2010

It’s June 1, it’s the day after Memorial Day, and it’s 2 months into the season. The Nats have played 26% of their season, over one quarter of their games. It’s time to start believing what you’re seeing. Whatever they’ve done up to this point is probably pretty indicative of the type of team they are. Here are a few observations on what we’ve seen:

Thanks to an offensive outburst yesterday, the team is no longer being outscored by a massive amount. They’ve allowed only 10 more runs than they’ve scored, so with a record of 26-26, they are only considered “lucky” by one game. Their pythagorean W-L record is 25-27, still impressive considering where this team has come from. It’s been my opinion that a team with an effective bullpen is likely to play better than their Runs Scored/Runs Allowed would indicate – and that seems to be what is happening with the Nats. They’ve lost a few blowouts that got out of control, but other than that, their bullpen has kept them in it, and they’ve won (and lost) their share of very close games.

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A Night of Comebacks

May 7, 2010

Last night was a night of comebacks in a few ways. Well, the Nats didn’t quite come back, they were never trailing in the game. But they were certainly reeling, after watching their starting pitcher have a no-no broken up to see a seemingly comfortable lead disappear. They didn’t look good in the bottom of the 8th, and then Tyler Clippard looked pretty rough in the 9th. But he was able to get out of it, and the Nats came through in the bottom of the 9th in a few ways.

Scott Olsen’s Comeback

Scott Olsen hasn’t pitched well in, oh, a year or so. But the last three games, he has shown ace type stuff. He had three pitches working last night, and he was dealing. The no hitter would have been nice, but 7 1/3 IP with 8 K and only 1BB and 1 ER is another great performance by him. The first could have been flukey, the second was encouraging. But now, after three really impressive starts, where he has been making hitters swing and miss, where he isn’t just getting lucky, he’s getting outs, you have to start to wonder if maybe Olsen is making a comeback.

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Get Ready for Your Short Term Team

March 29, 2010

You expect changes with a young team. You expect changes with a bad team. You expect changes with a team that has a talented, ready for prime time prospect in the minors. So the Nats, who are all of those teams, should see some changes real soon. But just how many changes? Well some of them are obvious, like the rotation, but there is still possibilities for changes throughout the lineup, and of the course the bullpen is a work in progress. Changes are afoot, so if you don’t like the way this team looks right now, you’ll be happy to know it won’t look the same in short order.

I listed the team’s alleged lineup going in to the season, and then put out some possibilities that may be coming by the end of the year. This isn’t necessarily my prediction for April’s team and September’s team, just more a demonstration of a possibility. Now that all that caveating is out of the way…

Rotation

Firstly, the rotation has the potential to change big time by as soon as June or July.
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10 Things That 10 Games of Spring Training Have Shown

March 15, 2010

Since I’ve been somewhat cynical mentioning the meaninglessness of individual games in spring training, and the overall deceptiveness that stats can give you from this month, I wanted to show that I do think a few things can be learned from the month. It’s more than just a tuneup, it can give managers a very good idea of what to expect. I just believe that a month of games when people don’t care shouldn’t override several years of evidence. Anyway, here are a few things I’ve noticed in the first half of the spring:

  1. Strasburg has looked very good – his second start wasn’t as well-covered or noticed, but it was just as good as the first. He’s pretty impressive so far
  2. Elijah Dukes hasn’t looked very good – hitting .174/.263/.294 so far probably won’t make him lose his job, but it will significantly shorten his leash in April. He’s gotta start hitting, although at least he still can walk
  3. Ian Desmond has alot of good news surrounding him – he’s hitting the hell out of the ball (.455/.580/.815, if you must know – whatever I’m sure that’s real sustainable) but Rizzo has also said he’s definitely NOT coming on the club as a utility man. This was assumed, but there were rumors to the contrary – like when Riggleman went on XM-Sirius last week and said he might be a utility man. He’s gonna start in Washington or Syracuse at SS – my guess is in Syracuse until they figure out whether they could get anything for Guzman
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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 »


Behind the Scenes Photos at Nationals Park

June 24, 2009

As mentioned yesterday, The Nats Review was able to spend the day at Nats Park on saturday. It included lots of cool things, already gone over. But I didn’t throw out the pictures. I’m just going to put a few up here for now, until I can reduce their size, the rest can be found on the Nationals Review Flickr page.

Here are Dunn, Zimm, NJ and Willie Harris before the game:

Press Conf

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