Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday's sweep by the numbers

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen notched saves No. 39 and 40 yesterday in Philadelphia.
Well, that turned out to be quite an eventful Tuesday doubleheader for the Nationals, didn't it?

In sweeping the Phillies -- winning 4-3 in 10 innings in the opener, then 3-0 in the nightcap -- the Nats pulled off one of their most impressive feats of the season. True, Philadelphia played few regulars in the first game and might not have been as motivated as usual since they've already clinched the NL East and the home-field advantage in the playoffs.

But Cliff Lee sure didn't appear to be going easy on the Nationals last night, and Drew Storen did retire Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino in the bottom of the ninth.

So let's give the Nats their due credit here and run through some of the most impressive aspects of yesterday's sweep by the numbers...

1 -- At-bat for Ryan Zimmerman in the opener, the only one he needed to drive in the winning run with a pinch-hit, RBI single.

2 -- Batters faced (and retired) by Henry Rodriguez in the eighth inning of the nightcap. Rodriguez entered with a man on and one out and promptly struck out Carlos Ruiz and got Ross Gload to ground
out to kill the Phillies' potential rally.

3 -- Home runs Danny Espinosa has hit off Cliff Lee in only 10 career at-bats against the lefty. He's also got seven hits in those 10 at-bats.

4 -- Hits allowed by Tommy Milone over six scoreless innings in yesterday's opener, all singles.

5 -- Innings in which Ross Detwiler threw 10 or fewer pitches last night, a stunning display of efficiency.

6 -- Nats pitchers used in the opener.

7 -- Consecutive scoreless innings of relief by Tom Gorzelanny.

8 -- Times the Nats have beaten the Phillies in 16 head-to-head matchups this season. No other opponent has beaten them more than six times in 2011.

9 -- Batters Lee struck out in a losing effort.

10 -- Innings it took for the Nats to win the opener, their 12th extra-inning victory of the season. They won only three games in extra innings last year.

11 -- Pitchers who have started a game for the Nationals in 2011: John Lannan (31), Livan Hernandez (29), Jordan Zimmermann (26), Jason Marquis (20), Tom Gorzelanny (15), Chien-Ming Wang (10), Ross Detwiler (9), Yunesky Maya (5), Tommy Milone (4), Stephen Strasburg (3) and Brad Peacock (1).

12 -- Points Danny Espinosa has raised his batting average (from .226 to .238) by going 14-for-33 over his last eight games.

13 -- Homers by Wilson Ramos, most in a single-season by a Nationals catcher.

14 -- 100-strikeout seasons by big-league relievers since 2006. Tyler Clippard and Carlos Marmol are the only relievers to have done it twice during that span.

15 -- Players 25 and younger who have appeared in a game this season for the Nationals.

16 -- Games John Lannan has started in his career against the Phillies entering tonight's matchup. His record in those games is 1-12.

17 -- Days it had been since Ivan Rodriguez last appeared in a game, even though he's been on the active roster the entire time.

18 -- Batters Doug Slaten has faced since returning from the DL. Nine have successfully reached base.

19 -- Homers by Jayson Werth, his lowest total since 2007.

20 -- Homers by Danny Espinosa, the third-most ever by a rookie second baseman (Dan Uggla hit 27 in 2006, Alexei Ramirez hit 21 in 2008).

34 -- Points Ian Desmond has raised his batting average (from .215 to .249) since July 5. He's hit .289 during that span.

40 -- Saves notched by Drew Storen; he's only the seventh pitcher ever to record a 40-save season by age 24.

74 -- Games won by the Nationals this season, the second-highest total for the franchise since arriving in Washington.

135 comments:

Gonat said...

Very creative use of connecting the #'s 1 to 20. Numbers 16 and 18 are certainly head scratchers.

#3 is certainly one of those amazing batter "owning" a pitcher stats that you go "thats good". Then you consider we are talking about Cliff Lee and you go "super wow".

My #9 would have been the # of team shutouts this year compared to 5 all of last year.

Anonymous said...

I'd add: ZERO - number of reasons to be dissapointed in the development of the younger players and the performance of entire team through to the season's finish (hope I don't have to eat my words on part two)

Alexva

Gonat said...

Alexva, time that Chris Marrero gets a day off. His batting average has dropped to .262 and he has to be tired. Its the most baseball he has ever played.

Navy Nats Fan said...

89,671 -- combined attendance for the two games of the doubleheader, meaning roughly 88,000 phurious phillies phans... BRAVO to the scattered Nats fans in attendance!

natsfan1a said...

$521 million and $705 million, the Power Ball and Mega Millions jackpots, as seen at Citizens Bank Park. Oh, wait.

Seeing the Nats sweep a doubleheader from the Phils on the road. Priceless.

Gonat said...

William Ladson on his Twitter: I was informed the #Nats are having a scout watch Rangers LHP C.J. Wilson pitch on Wednesday against the Athletics.
_______________________________

Interesting, they can watch CJ Wilson and Coco Crisp in the same game.

NatsJack in Florida said...

In yesterdays 2nd game thread, I was responding to two commentors that would be really happy if the Nats could get to 75 wins and I chastized them for hoping for a 2 - 6 finish.

Well the captcha was "asophads" which I promptly took as the word that aptly described them for their low expectations.

After thinking about it, I would like to propose that we now adopt the term "Asophad" to apply to each of the neganons that have so quietly slithered off.

N. Cognito said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
"In yesterdays 2nd game thread, I was responding to two commentors that would be really happy if the Nats could get to 75 wins and I chastized them for hoping for a 2 - 6 finish."

For some, it might have been a poorly worded reference to a preseason benchmark they hoped the Nats could achieve.
But yes, there are plenty of people here who find the negative in everything.

natsfan1a said...

That was my impression, N. Cog.

NatsJack, point taken, but if we used that term, we'd have sunk to the ad hominem level ourselves, no?

NatsJack in Florida said...

1a.... not really... like when I say "I wonder where that Asophad that predicted 69 wins, then 71 wins went?"

I think it aptly describes one who won't identify themselves when being excessively negative for no apparent reason. It just means "Neganon".

Gonat said...

NatsJack, amazing how they all slither away when the team is playing well especially the WhOriole Bmore'ons.

As of this morning, the Nats have a better record than 12 teams in the MLB with a chance to move up 2 more notches. Playing for pride is a great thing.

natsfan1a said...

Okay then, NatsJack. Evidently my mind was going in the wrong direction. :-)

Mark'd said...

NatsJack, 2-6, 6-2, 4-4, seems like dice rolls on the craps table. How did we go from posters yelling MEANINGLESS to joy in Mudville!

Where did those go that were defending Meaningless?

Nattydread said...

Very Fine Post!

7: Games Nats must win of their remaining 8 to get above .500.

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark'd said...

NatsLady, I saw that Wandy guy dominate the Nats last week so my scouting is done. Trade him for Mock and JD Martin.

baseballswami said...

Ok - I was one of the culprits begging for 2 more wins to get to 75 -- mea culpa. What I MEANT to say was AT LEAST 2 more wins at MINIMUM. Of course , like all of you I really WANT to win all of the rest of the games and finish on a great big mountain of awesome-ness. Yesterday was just so nice - I would love to see the next week ride the wave so that we can all go into the great wasteland that awaits with a good buzz. Oh- and GREAT POST!!!

NatsLady said...

MZ, Nice post, thanks for not mentioning

11 - number of home runs Clippard has allowed...still some work to do.

Wandy Rodriguez scheduled to pitch today at 12:35 for you scouts out there.

Lannan needs to beat Filly, even if they run their 3rd string out there, 'cause we already have him on the trade block. ;)

Pence is injured, something called patellar tendonitis, or "jumper's knee." In reading about it, the most pertinent advice is don't play through the pain.

Oldguy said...

These last games are not meaningless in themselves, though the outcomes are not critical. The performance of the young guys and the vets is what matters. Zim coming off the bench to knock in the winner. Michael being patient and getting that walk to set it up. Those things do matter. And the young pitching matters. Right now there are 20 pitchers on the roster, plus Kimball. If we can't find twelve keepers out of that bunch ... IMHO we don't need to spend assets on an outside pitcher.

A DC Wonk said...

Pence is injured, something called patellar tendonitis

Yikes -- that can take a long time to heal. (OTOH, Pence is about half my age, so . . . )

the neganons that have so quietly slithered off....

Some of them tried. When the first game got to 3-3, they were blaming Davey for the loss.

Anyways, to Mark Z, I would have added to the list:

13-1/3: Number of shutout innings thrown by Nats starters who were age 25 or younger yesterday

or

16: Number of shutout innings thrown by Nats pitchers who were age 25 or younger yesterday

LoveDaNats said...

Yeah, I was also thrilled by the prospect of 75 wins. I still will be. OF COURSE, I want more. Who wouldn't? I love watching these guys play. Go easy, NatsJack. Some of us are not used to getting our hopes up for these Nats and then actually having them deliver. It's kinda nice for a change.

A DC Wonk said...

And the young pitching matters. Right now there are 20 pitchers on the roster, plus Kimball. If we can't find twelve keepers out of that bunch ... IMHO we don't need to spend assets on an outside pitcher.

Agreed, Oldguy. You speak with wisdom. Instead of worrying about getting a #3 pitcher, what we really need to focus on is improving our atrocious hitting: 14th in batting average, 13th on OBP, 12th in runs scored, 3rd in most strikeouts...

NatsJack in Florida said...

baseballswami.... just pulling your chain a little... I kind of knew you meant at least, like I really didn't mean wins and losses were meaningless during these last few days, just that the performance of the young call ups was more important. Spring Training games really don't count and these really do.

Anyway... I really liked the "Asophads" captcha and didn't want it to go to waste.

Dawn said...

Wasn't able to watch both games in their entirety, work interfered (again). Was impressed by pitching, Zim's defense, pinch-hitting and Mr. Espinosa's bat. I also was proud of the entire team's demeanor, silly probably but it was evident there was some pride in play by the Nats (Phillies, not so much).

Dawn said...

Oh, and it was great to see a cameo by Pudge.

Frediemac said...

106.7 is reporting that Peacock is pitching tonight but MASN last night said it was Lannan. Does anybody really know who's on the bump tonight?

natsfan1a said...

Dawn, agreed. Now if we could just get Livo in there for a sac bunt or something. Actually, it would be great if that happened this weekend so I could applaud him in person. Make it happen, Davey. (Just kidding. Sort of.) :-)

A DC Wonk said...

Surprising Stats of the Week

Brought to you, on a very occasional basis, by DC Wonk

- Nats lead the league in batters getting hit by pitch

- Nats 2nd best in fewest GIDP

- Nats 5th best in fewest BB's allowed and fewest HR's allowed

- Nats 5th best in most DP's turned

- Nats 2nd highest in "runs saved on account of good defense" (see "Rtot" and "Rdrs" in baseball-reference)

- Nats 3rd best is fewest steals allowed, 3rd highest in caught stealing average

=======

Individual Pitchers:

JZimm - 10th in ERA, 10th in WHIP, 3rd in BB/IP, 6th in K/IP
Storen - 3rd in saves
Lannan - 6th most BB's

And we have two league leaders (this is for starters *and* relievers)

Tops in the league (not including yesterday)

Clippard - WAR - 5.3
HRod - Wild Pitches - 14

NatsLady said...

Some Nats fan wrote on the Fillies site that he/she was hoping the Fills won the World Series to "represent" our division. Sorry, I got pride but divisional pride?????. No.

AND--I hate the Florida Fish, the Miami Marlins, whatever they call themselves, and if by some miracle in 2031 they get to the playoffs, I will hate them still.

(Nothing against the Mutts except they stink, and nothing against the Tomahawkers either, except the tomahawk.)

Section 222 said...

On Znn's stats -- does he qualify for league leader status since he only has 161 1/3 innings pitched? Should Davey get him another inning before the season ends, or would that put his TJ recovery at risk?

My favorite numbers yesterday:

7 1/3 -- innings pitched by Detwiler, finally getting through the batting order a third time.

0 -- Wild pitches and walks by H-Rod.

Mick said...

This is something to carry over in 2012. With 9 games left, i would like to a see a 6-3 finish and 80 wins. that would be great mo for 2012

Mick said...

I still do not think H Rod should be here next season, he is always a disaster waiting to happen

Mick said...

I think Lannan tonight Peacock on Thursday is the plan

NatsLady said...

222, yes, Znn qualifies. The rule is that the pitcher must pitch the number of innings that the team plays. So, we play 161 games. Z'nn qualifies. You think Rizzo is smart or what?

Mark'd said...

Mick, probably only 8 games left as they aren't making up the Dodgers washout. 7-1 would be an amazing run!

Mick said...

Thanks Mark'd I did not know they were not going to make the Dodgers game up

PAY TO PLAY said...

NatsLady, that is great news on the JZ-man. Any recognition he gets is well deserved. Do they hand out award for tops in least run support? Yah, bad joke.....

Section 222 said...

NatsLady -- Hahaha. That's great! Almost worth the four rainchecks for that Dodger washout that I can't use this season because I'm already overloaded with tickets.

GoodBye-a Maya said...

Beyond the fact that he has no options remaining, I'd be very hesitant to get rid of Henry Rodriguez (unless we got real value in a trade). Inconsistent, he is, but he's got too much stuff to give up on quickly. Hopefully, his off-season Visa issues from last year are not repeated and someone from the organization can spend some serious tutoring time with him over the winter to try to rein in the wildness a bit. It probably helps to have batters fearing for their lives when he pitches, but with a little bit more control he could be a stud.

Steve M. said...

A DC Wonk said...
Surprising Stats of the Week

Brought to you, on a very occasional basis, by DC Wonk

- Nats lead the league in batters getting hit by pitch

- Nats 2nd best in fewest GIDP

- Nats 5th best in fewest BB's allowed and fewest HR's allowed

- Nats 5th best in most DP's turned

- Nats 2nd highest in "runs saved on account of good defense" (see "Rtot" and "Rdrs" in baseball-reference)

- Nats 3rd best is fewest steals allowed, 3rd highest in caught stealing average


2nd best in fewest GIDP is great if you are in the tops of OBP. The more telling stat is GIDP ratio to OBP. The Nats are actually the 4th highest in Ground Balls with a 46.5% so you can't be that lucky.

HBPs are included in OBP so that stat only skews further that Nats batters need to take more walks given their standing on Team OBP.

The rest of the stats are truly excellent and show the progression of this team.

Frediemac said...

Thanks Mick ;)

A DC Wonk said...

Mick said...

I still do not think H Rod should be here next season, he is always a disaster waiting to happen

Mick, I gotta say -- I don't understand that. He's erratic -- sometimes he's a disaster, but sometimes he's on fire and unhittable. On Sept 2, 3, 4 he pitched one inning each -- in total he faced 10 batters, walked one, struck out six, allowed no hits no runs.

I'll repeat the message I've been saying for months: guys who throw 100 mph take longer to get control (see Ryan, Nolan; Johnson, Randy); and dumping a 24 yr old who can throw 100 mph would be the height of irresponsible impatience.

Dawn said...

NatsLady@9:32; Lol, feel the same way. When it comes to other teams, I like individual players. On the Phillies it is Pence and Polanco, have followed both throughout their MLB careers and always want them to do well (in a Philly loss of course).

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 said...

The naysayers have indeed dissapeared. I am still sticking with 79 wins even though the NATS will have to run the table to achive that goal.

Scott from Burke said...

Zero - the number (is 0 a number?) of games started by John Lannan for the Nats after the end of this season..Lannen..Lannan, I don't care how you spell it, trade him out of town, because like Alec Baldwin said to Ed Harris in Glengarry Glen Ross, "the real favor is to take my advice and fire your f-**** ass cause a loser is a loser"

Navy Nats Fan said...

Sec 222 - if you really have tickets going unused, I could certainly put them to good use for you. I have an extra Espinosa bobblehead - contact me at navynatsfan(at)gmail(dot)com if you're interested!

Richard said...

#15 -- the number of millions the Nats would have to pay for CJ Wilson. As mentioned by Gonat above, Ladson blogs that the Nats are scouting CJ Wilson. "It's no secret the Nats want to add starting pitching in the off season." Really? Strasburg, JZimm, Lannan, Wang, Detwiler, Milone, Peacock, Livo, Gorzelany aren't enough candidates? Why not spent $15M more? The Nats have had such good luck with free agents ...

Steve M. said...

I watched the 3rd inning to the end of the Dodgers/Giants game last night. Kershaw/Lincecum were fun to watch. Got to watch a lot of great lefties last night with Cliff Lee/Detwiler and then Kershaw and Tommy Milone earlier. Kershaw probably grabbed the Cy Young last night with another "masterpiece" although Detwiler looked better then Lee & Kershaw on this night.

I have to echo a point from last night that Detwiler was pitching on 8 days rest which doesn't help to evaluate a pitcher who has endurance issues. I didn't write my prediction yesterday and like last Monday would have predicted a gem, which this time he produced. 94 MPH in the 7th inning, pitching to contact, worked in rhythm. It was great to watch.

Just not sure what the true takeaway was yesterday for evaluation purposes. Milone was dominant against a AAA + Pence & Victorino lineup. Detwiler pitched on extra rest against an uninspired Phillies team missing Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence, and the Phils had 3 infield errors.

Loved the wins and the Nats passion, just not sure I can takeaway true evaluation on either pitcher compared to the results.

N. Cognito said...

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 said...
"The naysayers have indeed dissapeared. I am still sticking with 79 wins even though the NATS will have to run the table to achive that goal."

Running the table would give the Nats 82 wins.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I think "asophads" is excellent and descriptive. To me, it sounds like someone who is negattollling because the think it's cool-- faddishly being an aso.

But I do share 1a's concern that spending time dismissing them is itself negative--time much better spent gloating over Phillies fans.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

*negatrolling

MicheleS said...

Mark Z.. excellent post. I think we are all a bit giddy about how well the team is doing against the Phillies... Got to love the Espi loves to see Cliff Lee..

As far as the wins go.. Let's take this one game at a time. We all hoped for 75, now that that is in sight.. let's shoot for more!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to post something about a worry that I have and see what everyone's reaction is. I'm starting to get worried that Storen is becoming seriously overused. Drew Storen has appeared now in 70 games this season and is on pace for about 74 appearances.

Here a few interesting tidbits about that number:

- 74 appearances is also the most appearances that Mariano Rivera ever made in one season in his entire career (2004 I believe, while he has well into his 30's)
- 70 appearances is the most Trevor Hoffman ever made in a single season

74 is also the same amount of appearances that Chad Cordero made in 2005. And as a lot of you remember more than a few people blamed his shoulder problems on being overused that season at such a young age.

Just something to ponder but in my opinion having our young stud closer closing both ends of a day night double header in what essentially amounts to a meaningless game is getting close to reckless. I guess I would rather err on the side of caution but it just seems amazing to me how much thought goes into watching inning limits for young starters like Jordan Zimmermann while on the hand a younger Drew Storen is thrown out into a high pressure situation twice in one day.

Steve M. said...

A DC Wonk said...
Mick said...

I still do not think H Rod should be here next season, he is always a disaster waiting to happen

Mick, I gotta say -- I don't understand that. He's erratic -- sometimes he's a disaster, but sometimes he's on fire and unhittable. On Sept 2, 3, 4 he pitched one inning each -- in total he faced 10 batters, walked one, struck out six, allowed no hits no runs.

I'll repeat the message I've been saying for months: guys who throw 100 mph take longer to get control (see Ryan, Nolan; Johnson, Randy); and dumping a 24 yr old who can throw 100 mph would be the height of irresponsible impatience.

September 21, 2011 9:59 AM


I say proceed with caution. HenRod has hurt the Nats more than he has helped. OJT (on the job training) when the score counts isn't a great combination.

He has shown some moments of great talent and then other moments of HUH?

I don't care about his velo if he can't control it. People dig the 100mph heat and I can tell most are fans. There aren't many who can throw above 97mph with consistency in the Majors but don't be fooled as MLB hitters can center 100mph for hits when the ball has no movement and misses its spots. I like heat too, when it is Strasburg and he is striking out Stanton on 99mph high gas as he perfectly hit his spot. Strasburg has a plan. HenRod I'm not sure does.

HenRod's stats overall are not great w/ a 1.57 WHIP and a 6.57 BB/9 and the worst WP% in the Majors. His Z-Contact which is strikes inside the strike zone receives contact 85.0% of the time. That tells you his swing & miss deception isn't there so he isn't blowing away batters. Now compare to Aroldis Chapman at 78.5% Z-Contact. That is 10% greater swing & miss deception by Aroldis. Craig Kimbrell is 76.4 and Clippard is a crazy good 74.7% which is the 3rd best behind Kenley Jansen and Sergio Romo.

Bottomline, he needs to pick it up. Rizzo on the other-hand has him on the other side of the Willingham trade, but I don't believe you pencil him in for 2012 just because...

sunderland said...

DC Wonk @ 9:59 re: HRod - completely agree
Dawn @ 10:01, Polanco, Pence and I would add Victorino to that list.
Natsjack, I love the term asophads. I think that's what I am on the rare occasion I stop by a Redskins board.

Big Cat said...

Well, everytime I write off Detwiler he comes out and pitches a gem. I still say if you keep him, put him in the long relief/situational lefty role. Gosh, Slaten just can't get anyone out anymore. Hope Davey gives Storen a couple days off now. Maybe put HRod in the closers spot

PAY TO PLAY said...

A DC Wonk said...
I'll repeat the message I've been saying for months: guys who throw 100 mph take longer to get control (see Ryan, Nolan; Johnson, Randy); and dumping a 24 yr old who can throw 100 mph would be the height of irresponsible impatience.
------------------------------------------------

Repeat the message again because Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson are offended again by the comparison.

Try Joel Hanrahan for a comparison because that is more apples to apples. The other 2 are 2 of the best starting pitchers, ever!

Irresponsible impatience? I think I know what that means. If the kid had options he would have stayed in AAA until he could learn how to pitch. Instead he has been learning to pitch while losing games for guys like Lannan, Livan and JZ-man. I don't know if they would agree with you.

It took Joel Hanrahan until he was 28 to become a real good pitcher. Can you have that much irresponsible impatience?

I say trade him and let him be someone elses project. For this team to really move forward they need to make some tough decisions and MPHrod is one of them.

Scott from Burke said...

Ryan pitched very well for the '69 Mets...big part of the pen in the World Series...part of the reason the Mets traded him was they thought he would have to do National Guard service in California and they would be losing him for significant time...hence, the Angels...I grew up in Flushing (3 years old in '69) and was a Mets fan for a looong time (once they traded Seaver things got sour)..wrote a term paper on that series...imagine if Ryan stayed? Seaver and Ryan with Matlack and Koosman..they would have been sick

Mark'd said...

P2P, Hanrahan is a more fitting comparison to Oh Henry. I thought Gascanrahans 6 wild pitches for the Nats was bad in 2008 and I think the reincarnation of Gascanrahan would be offended by any comparisons to Oh Henry.

Scott from Burke said...

by the way, Koufax would be a perfect example for your post...Kershaw/Koufax...nasty

natsfan1a said...

NL and Dawn, I'm with you re. "divisional pride." Blech. (Of course, the mileage of others may vary, as always.)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

A lot of guys have thrown 100+, but they don't all become Nolan Ryan. HRod may learn control, and develop some movement on his fastball--it happens. But he may be Daniel Cabrera Reloaded--just good enough to keep people paying him. What would constitute "irresponsible patience"?

natsfan1a said...

(buzzes in) What is an oxymoron?

Theophilus said...

Re: HRodriguez. Anyone in love w/ 100 mph must also have loved Armando Benitez and Jorge Julio.

Re: WRodriguez. Why are people so smitten with a 32-year old looking for a big contract, whose record over his career is the embodiment of mediocrity? Like, you think he's gonna turn into Warren Spahn or Phil Niekro?

sm13 said...

I'm also worried about overusing Drew. I hope he gets a couple of days off. Drew is our closed for many years to come and Davey needs to protect him from harm.

natsfan1a said...

On a Livo note (What? Weren't we talking about him?), this response from Monday's Boz chat was poetic, but it also made me sad:

Q.
Livo as long man
Two weeks ago you wrote that "Livo is the best $1M rotation insurance policy, long man and pitching mentor that the Nats could get." Sure, sometimes his arm seems like it can handle anything, but think about his warm-up routine. Remember the game when he complained that the other team knew before the Nats did about how long the rain delay would be, so he didn't have enough time to warm up? Are you sure that he can warm up in the middle of the game and come in and be effective immediately?


September 19, 2011 10:08 AM
Permalink

A.
Thomas Boswell :

Good point. You can tell he's trying to keep his spirits up. But he just loves the game SOOOO much. You see his face in the dugout and just feel awful. Nobody's fault.

"No memory of having starred/ Atones for later disregard, /Or keeps the end from being hard." Frost.
– September 19, 2011 12:59 PM

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

1a, I expect you are inclined to privilege "patience" as a virtue, and it often is. But sometimes, it's just throwing good money after bad (if time is money).

Steve M. said...

Scott from Burke said...
Ryan pitched very well for the '69 Mets...big part of the pen in the World Series...part of the reason the Mets traded him was they thought he would have to do National Guard service in California and they would be losing him for significant time...hence, the Angels...I grew up in Flushing (3 years old in '69) and was a Mets fan for a looong time (once they traded Seaver things got sour)..wrote a term paper on that series...imagine if Ryan stayed? Seaver and Ryan with Matlack and Koosman..they would have been sick September 21, 2011 11:14 AM


Glad you wrote that. Nolan Ryan was 22 years old in 1969. He regressed in 1971 on a team that found itself in 3rd place. In 1972 when he was traded, Nolan Ryan at 25 was an All Star and went on an amazing run through teams in the West.

Any comparisons of Henry Rodriguez to Nolan Ryan are way off base.

Sec3 to Daniel Cabrera could be closer to reality.

A DC Wonk said...

part of the reason the Mets traded him was they thought he would have to do National Guard service in California and they would be losing him for significant time

I don't recall that. But I do recall he had terrible control for a long time. For the Mets, in 1971, at age 24, he had close to 7 BB per 9 IP. Even the following year, when he was lights out for the Angels, he led the AL in wild pitches. (And would go on to lead his league in WP's six more times!)

Steve M. wrote: "I don't care about his velo if he can't control it."

Well, duh. Of course. But the point is that a 28-year old who still doesn't have control might not ever get it. But a 24 year old is a different story. He *does* have some wicked off-speed pitches to go with his heat.

Strasburg has a plan. HenRod I'm not sure does.

I think HRod does have a plan -- he just doesn't have the control yet to execute it.

All I'm saying is that age 24 is too early to give up on a guy like him. At age 25 or 26, maybe, but not 24.

=======
PS, Scott -- I too was a big Mets fan, and got soured when Seaver was traded away. Wow, I hated the Mets ownership then!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

re "irresponsible patience" -- may be on point to note (and this story may be more true than factual) that, when asked how he avoided losing all his money in the stock market crash of 1929, Joe Kennedy (or maybe it was Rockefeller?) reportedly answered "Only a fool holds out for top dollar."

ty said...

We have so manny options for the starting rotation right now. The three givens are Starsburg, Zimmerman and Wang. Detwiler has been good this year and you have to remember that he actually performed well enough to have won a starting rotation spot at the end of spring training. I think if he finishes out this season on a good note, then he also deservers a spot. This leaves one spot for Milone, Peacock and Lannan to battle for. Supposedly, we are alos looking in the free agent market. So, if we maybe land a free agent like Wilso, do we send one or both Milone and Peacock back to the minor league even if they perform extremely well in spring training(I think the bullpen could be an option for one), or do we experiment with a 6 man rotation for the season. Will a six man rotation work well, Is it doable, or advisable?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Ty, why would you want any of those three starting instead of your #1--Znn or Strasburg?

Scott from Burke said...

7 walks per 9..but what was his WHIP? I mean, he threw, what?, 5 no hitters? Is that right? Tom Seaver, oh man, in the 86 world series Tom Terrific was on the Red Sox but due to injury wasnt on post season roster,..he was introduced before the first game at Shea wearing a Red Sox uniform..got the loudest ovation of anybody..#41...I Love him

Anonymous said...

Perhaps try HenRod as a starter. Let him walk his 6 or 7 people and let him throw 140 pitches. He is strong as a bull. He just might blossom. Who knows

Steve M. said...

Theophilus said...
Re: HRodriguez. Anyone in love w/ 100 mph must also have loved Armando Benitez and Jorge Julio.

Re: WRodriguez. Why are people so smitten with a 32-year old looking for a big contract, whose record over his career is the embodiment of mediocrity? Like, you think he's gonna turn into Warren Spahn or Phil Niekro?

September 21, 2011 11:20 AM


Wandy is already under contract so he isn't looking for a big contract. If mediocrity is a 3.55 ERA with a lefty arm averaging over 190 innings the last 3 seasons, I will take it. He's not Cliff Lee but he has been very consistent the last 3 years and would be a solid #3 in this rotation and that .236 batting average against lefties would be much needed in the NL East. He also carries a good record lifetime against the Marlins with a 3.18 career ERA against them.

I think his numbers would be even better in a more pitcher friendly home ballpark. Minute Maid is not a pitchers park and Wandy adapted well there.

Just some thoughts.

ty said...

@ Sofa
If any of those three give us a good chance to win games(albeit less chance than Stras or Znn), then it might allow us to stretch Stras for the whole season especially in case we are in the playoff hunt. I dont know if a Six man rotation would be good or bad but it might allow us to utilize all our talent.

Scott from Burke said...

I know it's fun arguing about the rotation..sure beats working..but the starting 5 in April june is gonna be different than the starting 5 in june/july...how about 1B/LF/CF?

Big Cat said...

The thing that makes HRod so intriguing is not only the 100mph heat, but his curveball. It is absolutely wicked. And he has a pretty good change too. Him as a starter?......hmmm. Imagine if he got his act together and you had a three game series in Washington and you had to face Stra, JZimm and Rodriguez. Wow

I don't see any way you give up on him yet

Theophilus said...

Steve M. -- I concede WRodriguez is not a FA. However, according to Cot's, his 2014 (age 35) team option becomes a $13MM player option if traded, meaning he becomes a $36MM obligation over three years. Far, far too expensive for what he is. (A few elbow chips from a disaster.) As for the NL East, the Phillies light him up like a lamp.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

He also carries a good record lifetime against the Marlins with a 3.18 career ERA against them.

Interesting point, especially since, as Mark among others noted, the Nats played the Phils, Braves, and Mets close all year--it was the Marlins that killed them in the division. So how would you go about building a team designed to beat Florida, specifically?

Mick said...

ok ok, I'll back off on H Rod until spring 2012, but how much longer do we wait?

Also, we can be spoilers verse Braves, hee hee. Would love to beat them 3 straight and see Cards win Wild Card. Also, me thinks BoSox will choke, I can only hope, ha ha.

Feel Wood said...

Henry Rodriguez is leading the league in wild pitches even though he's a relief pitcher who missed the entire first month of the season on the DL. I shudder to think how many wild pitches he would have as a starter.

natsfan1a said...

Yes to the first statement and possibly the second as well. True confession: I've not been closely following the GM/spending discussions, which I tend to scroll through, and was commenting only from a semantic point of view. :-)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

1a, I expect you are inclined to privilege "patience" as a virtue, and it often is. But sometimes, it's just throwing good money after bad (if time is money).
September 21, 2011 11:25 AM

Steve M. said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
re "irresponsible patience" -- may be on point to note (and this story may be more true than factual) that, when asked how he avoided losing all his money in the stock market crash of 1929, Joe Kennedy (or maybe it was Rockefeller?) reportedly answered "Only a fool holds out for top dollar."

September 21, 2011 11:33 AM


Rizzo should repeat that quote to himself when constructing his 2012 team.

This team is soooo close. The mistakes that were made in 2011 weren't overly costly to the teams progression as the weaknesses were more exposed as were the team strengths and I see that as a good thing.

Rizzo took a gamble on this more athletic team and part of that has to have had an impact on the better team ERA. You have to wonder if LaRoche and RZimmerman weren't injured, you have to think this team would have been an 85+ win team this season. Ryan Zimmerman will end up appearing in about 60% of the total innings this season.

The weakenesses exposed are replacing essentially your departed #3 in Jason Marquis. I believe it is a mistake to annoint Wang as the team's #3. If Wang becomes the #3 by pitching into a mid 3's ERA then great.

Glad to hear Rizzo is scouting CJ Wilson. A top lefty starter who was formerly a CLOSER at the age of 28. So for all those worried about Detwiler, don't be. Wilson was converted last year back to a starter and this year is a bonafide Ace. He will be the most sought after pitcher after the whole Sabathia mess is sorted out. Do the Nats get him? Probably not, unless Mr. Lerner wants to pull off another Jayson Werth style deal.

The front end of the bullpen and the 7th inning set-up man is essential to not only support your starters but to keep the Nats in games. Also agree about the over-working Storen and Clippard.

The issues with the offense are certainly more difficult to the team balance. Much easier to add OBP at the expense of defense which Rizzo has to delicately play with. That is the fine balance we have all seen unfold.

To me, a starter who shows up every 5 days (32 games a season and saves you a 1/2 run per game (16 runs per season) is good for 3 to 4 extra wins so a CJ Wilson vs. a Wandy Rodriguez may not be worth it. Instead find an offensive player who can add more than 16 runs per game where defense isn't compromised. That is where I think Rizzo needs to be focused.

-If- Desmond could be the 2012 leadoff, then Werth can play CF and Rizzo may have an easier time finding the extra OBP/RC (runs created) in a Right Fielder.

1) Desmond SS
2) Werth CF
3) Zim 3B
4) LaRoche 1B
5) Morse LF
6) TBD RF
7) Espinosa 2B
8) Ramos C

1) JZim
2) Stras
3) TBD
4) Wang
5) TBD

Scott from Burke said...

I don't like Werth in left...we have two too many first basemen...who would get us the most back in a trade?...and I like Ankiel...wish he hit better but good glove, good speed, and WHAT AN ARM!!

Theophilus said...

Werth has a serious problem -- for a Centerfielder -- going back on a ball. Yet that's probably where he will end up next year, at least if/when Harper arrives. Cringe. This ain't "Jeopardy;" he doesn't have 30 seconds to make up his mind which way to go. I sincerely hope he has a plan for dealing w/ this problem over the winter. (Ankiel reported saying only way to learn the angles is "thousands" of reps.)

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's time that someone from the system get a shot at as starters spot, whether it's Milhone or Peacock or someone else.

The organization has expended an awful lot of money and effort in loading the minor league system with excellent arms and these guys need to see someone graduate (hopefully with success) to the big club. This should be a a natural progression of an emerging quality minor league system.

I know I'd like to see it.

Scott from Burke said...

Not Werth, I meant Morse in left..i like werth in right

Steve M. said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
He also carries a good record lifetime against the Marlins with a 3.18 career ERA against them.

Interesting point, especially since, as Mark among others noted, the Nats played the Phils, Braves, and Mets close all year--it was the Marlins that killed them in the division. So how would you go about building a team designed to beat Florida, specifically?

September 21, 2011 12:00 PM


Great question, and the Marlins have the Nats number with a 10-5 record. I figured after Uggla left and Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson were injured the Nats would cruise past the Marlins.

Lannan is 0-2 this year vs. the Marlins and Livan was 0-3 against them this year. 4 of the other Nats losses were from the bullpen.

Can't really stack starters against certain teams but you can see that 4 of your 10 losses were from the bullpen so it has to be better bullpen management against the Marlins.

If you don't lose the 4 games in the bullpen, the Nats are 9-6 record instead of 5-10.

Steve M. said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
It's time that someone from the system get a shot at as starters spot, whether it's Milhone or Peacock or someone else.

The organization has expended an awful lot of money and effort in loading the minor league system with excellent arms and these guys need to see someone graduate (hopefully with success) to the big club. This should be a a natural progression of an emerging quality minor league system.

I know I'd like to see it. September 21, 2011 1:02 PM


Absolutely. The 5th starter spot has to be Milone or Peacock. Even after yesterday, Detwiler showed what he could do on 8 days rest and it was a masterpiece. Agree with Gonat, pitch Detwiler on Sunday against the Braves and see what he does on 5 days rest. This 6 man rotation is unfortunately not great for evaluating Detwiler with the quirky schedule and 6 starters giving at least 1 day of extra rest and more with team days off.

A DC Wonk said...

Re: Nolan Ryan

Scott from Burke said...

7 walks per 9..but what was his WHIP? I mean, he threw, what?, 5 no hitters?


His last year with the Mets, he had 7.4 H/9 IP and 6.9 BB/IP for an atrocious WHIP of 1.586.

Coincidentally enough, HRod's WHIP is: 1.573

Mick said...

ok ok, I'll back off on H Rod until spring 2012, but how much longer do we wait?


Well, I guess I'd wait until mid 2012, but you and I are at least getting closer to an agreement, eh? ;-)

jd said...

I don't see Milone AND Lannan; too similar. If Lannan stays then I think Peacock should be slotted at # 5. If Lannan is dealt then Milone takes his spot and Peacock may or may not be #5.

As far as yesterday's games I would caution everyone that September is not a great month to have a real evaluation of talent. A lot of your young talent is facing roughly the same talent they faced in AAA all year and the opposition is not playing with the same intensity as they did when there was something on the line.

I take Detwiler's performance with a grain of salt; he's done this number a few times already where he looks like the real deal in March and September but then wilts in May through July. I don't mind Steve M.s approach to bring Detwiler in next year in the O'Flaherty role and take it from there.

jd said...

While the total number of wins is nice the final number is really not that big of a deal. The team accomplished the goal of improving to a mid to high 70's win total. The next step is much tougher and is not automatic. This is where I disagree with Steve M. I don't think we're sooooooooo close yet there are way too many holes and question marks in the lineup.

When Harper and Rendon and possibly Goodwin get here; that's another story.Now if we can convert some of the future talent into say Matt Kemp or even B J Upton then the future could be closer.

Steve M. said...

Mick/DC Wonk, I agree with that too on HenRod. He has to come to Spring Training as a better pitcher to make the team. Using your Nolan Ryan theory, at 25 years old, it is a make or break, right?

I still think the braintrust made the right decision on Joel Hanrahan. You can't wait till a pitcher is 27/28 to make a decision on whether they can be a serviceable reliever.

Also to Wonk's point on comparing a starter to a reliever with 1.5+ WHIP, not a great comparison for a starter averaging 7 innings compared to a 1 inning reliever who many times is also inheriting runners.

jd said...

HRod is exactly the type of pitcher everyone gets exasperated with and wants off the team only to look back 3 years later and wander how it is that he's saving 40 games for someone else.

Feel Wood said...

It's time that someone from the system get a shot at as starters spot, whether it's Milhone or Peacock or someone else.

Strasburg, Zimmermann and Lannan who are the three locks to be in the rotation next year are all products of the Nationals system and the Nationals system alone. Other than Wang, all the other pitchers currently under discussion for the remaining two spots in next year's rotation are products of the Nationals system and the Nationals system alone.

I'm afraid I don't follow your point.

jd said...

Steve M.

Serviceable? I think Hanranhan was more like dominant. I think the trick with HRod is to find better spots for him. I think Davey used the fact that we were not a contender to throw him in to the deep water a few times and it also didn't help that Burnett was awful for about 3 months.

Tcostant said...

Milone can be in starting five and day of the week. The fact that he doesn't walk anyone is huge, when you have a guy like that on your staff it pushes the others to do the same. I'll take Milone out of the spring, he has shown enough for me.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I mean, he threw, what?, 5 no hitters?

Seven.

Scott from Burke said...

Lannan is a lock? WRONG.

fpcsteve said...

On a slightly related note (it's about the Nats), who believes the Braves are looking forward to a three-game set with the Nats in DC? They are neck and neck with the Cards. They are playing three road games against a hot team that does well against them. That series is, if you will, our playoff experience this year. I am looking forward to that.

NatsLady said...

Who is laughing at the fact that Red Sox fans have to root for the Yankees?

The Braves will face Stras, Wang, and probably one of the baby pitchers--they can't be looking forward to it. Mattheus is back from the DL, so that should give Clip and Store a break. Now that Drew's got his 40, he can back off a little.

Mark'd said...

SteveM, do you add a CF or RF. Great reasoning on that 1/2 run between CJ Wilson and Wandy. The Giants have shown that balance between offense and pitching is key to repeating their success.

baseballswami said...

Re: Storen's appearances. It depends on whether you are in the pitching camp of the last decade that says we baby these expensive arms because we are terrified that everyone will end up like Kerry Wood -- or, if you are in the pitching camp of Nolan Ryan that says we should stop pitch counts and have people pitch more. If you look at Atlanta's phenom relievers, they are showing strain. Drew was not showing strain -- as much as people fussed about his first close yesterday, he gave up one hit - one -- the walk was intentional. Calm down. In the second one he was his usual self. One of the reasons I am not concerned is that he got a long rest recently where he only pitched 3 times in 2 weeks. I think breaks like that make a difference. If McCatty was seeing problems you can rest assured that he would be shut down. How many innings has he pitched - 73, maybe? Starters go more than twice that, but with more rest between appearances.

jd said...

Mark'd,

Great balance by the Giants: 97% pitching 3% hitting.

jd said...

Swami,

You are misrepresenting Ryan's strategy. He feels that once a pitcher has passed the babying stage there is no reason to have a magic number of 100 pitches max per game.

There is universal understanding in the business (with the possible exception of Dusty Baker) that you have to baby young pitchers if you want them for more than a couple of years. I have read studies which indicate that the magic age is 25 and this is so because that is the age where the shoulder joints are fully developed.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Also, the comparison with starters is also skewed by the fact that starters pretty much all have to pace themselves, but closers go all-out for their innings, mostly, which is a lot harder on the body, and the lack of rest in between makes a big difference on the cumulative damage done in a season. It often doesn't show up until the next year.

jd said...

NatsLady,

I think the Red Sox are in pretty big trouble even if they make the playoffs because they =have app. 1.5 healthy major league caliber starters at this point.

Feel Wood said...

Lannan is a lock? WRONG.

Except for the unlikely possibility that he gets traded, John Lannan's spot in the rotation for 2012 is his to lose. And he's not going to lose it based on anything he's done this year, or anything he might do in spring training. It would take several months of poor performance next year for them to remove him from the rotation, and they'll give him every bit as much room as they did in 2010 before optioning him down.

People seem to forget that John Lannan is a left handed starting pitcher who has performed reasonably well for the better part of five MLB seasons. Such pitchers do not grow on trees, and no GM in baseball would jettison one in favor of a largely unproven prospect such as Milone, Peacock or even Detwiler. Likewise, the only way he might be traded is if some other team demands him as part of a package in exchange for a major player that the Nats need to fill a hole such as CF or leadoff. There is no way Mike Rizzo will be "shopping" Lannan during the offseason.

John Lannan will be a fixture in the rotation here for the forseeable future. You might as well get used to it.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Maybe it's like when they interview people who've lived to be a hundred and smoked and drank all their lives--they're so tough, they survived in spite of the abuse, not because of it.

jd said...

Feel Wood,

I think when Lannan begins looking at a $7- $8 million salary either through arbitration or free agency he will be on his way out because we will have cheaper options. There is reasonable evidence that Milone can do what Lannan does.

Steve M. said...

Mark'd, either/or on the CF or RF. I think if you go CF, has to be a leadoff type. Rizzo has options I believe if you think Desmond can handle lead-off.

If Adam LaRoche comes back to form in 2012 and is on his career average to his .337 career OBP, the opportunities generated by him in the 4 or 5 hole in the lineup + adding a CF or RF to an outfield w/ Werth and Morse who also has a .320+ OBP, this team should find a way to surpass the Runs Created in 2011 by a large margin.

Sort of end up with the sum of the parts is better than what you had before so not everything has to be solved in adding a #1 or #2 starter if you can get a #3 within a .50 ERA.

There are 2 big answers heading to the AFL, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon.

LaRoche will be a subtraction in 2013 and Morse moves to 1st. If Harper and Rendon can add more OBP to the team then their replacements, and 1 of the Nats young pitchers steps up----Success.

Again, #1 off-season goal is getting Ryan Zimmerman signed to a long-term extension. Zim should be very pleased with what this 2011 team accomplished given the circumstances of his own injury, LaRoche and the 1st half slump of Werth.

At 74+ wins, simply amazing how this team has done what he did and most of that success was Espi in the 1st half, Morse in the middle, RZim at the end, a healthy JZim, and Clippard all year as the constant. The team has generated new young pitchers which will help for the future.

The biggest issue were the injuries to LaRoche and RZim and the roster spot occupied for 4 months by Stares and the revolving door in the bullpen.

Somewhere you have to wonder where Lombardozzi and Marrero will ultimately fit in. I think both could be key parts off the bench in 2012.

This September roster + LaRoche may have 18 to 21 players on it that will comprise the 2012 team. That is the smallest amount of turnover this team has ever had.

baseballswami said...

jd/natslady -- braves having similar problems. If both teams make it into the playoffs, how far can they actually go with the arms they have available? Re: pitching discussion -- anyone think Drew will be shut down? Will they wait until they see a drop in velocity, or sinker not sinking, flat fastball? The nats org. was very strict with JZimm, think they will rein Davey Johnson in and make him comply with the same for Strassie? Strange that I have not read/heard anything regarding concern for Drew,( except here). Surely O'Flaherty, Kimbrel and Venters are up there in innings also. Seems like they pitch every day. Is our manager in the same mold as Dusty Baker? It will be interesting to see if he keeps running him out there - pretty sure he would be unavailable today. 8 games to go , we'll see.

jd said...

Swami,

I think Storen is fine. I think he won't be available today but with only 7 games left after today I think they'll use when they have closeout opportunities.

I don't think DJ is not Dusty at all and I think SS will absolutely be on an innings limit next year which is another reason I think we are still a year away from contending.

The Braves are limping partly because they allowed they did not manage their young starters well (Hanson and Jurgens). I think Fredi G might be another Dusty.

Mark'd said...

JD, where did I say the Giants balance was good? They arent even making the playoffs this year. Too much reliance on what Posey and Cody Ross did. Beltran by himself couldn't save them.

Scott from Burke said...

"or anything he might do in spring training"

I don't wanna say you're 100% wrong but...you're 100% wrong.

baseballswami said...

The Giants were decimated by injuries - the biggest loss was absolutely Posey. Their offense is just atrocious - very Nats-like. The Phils are not exactly tearing it up either - I know our guys pitched well, but they are AAA call-ups.A team like that, even resting some of their players, should be scoring more than 3 runs in 19 innings. Braves and Red Sox are slipping - at least the post-season races have a little something going to make them more exciting. I seriously hope the Cardinals do not get in - they are the most whiny, combative team ever. Good drama maybe, but annoying. I guess the teams that can hang on the longest with the least injures will limp to the finish line this year.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...


I don't wanna say you're 100% wrong but...you're 100% wrong.


Because Rizzo does not, in fact, think Lannan will help? I'm too lazy to look it up, but I believe Davey has spoken well of Lannan.

Or because Rizzo is shopping him? I haven't seen anything to that effect, but maybe you have.

Obviously, whether Lannan is back or not is about what Rizzo thinks, not what we think.

Scott in Burke said...

His era is respectable..he goes every 5 days..doesn't last that long..but I see a pitcher who gets hit hard and walks too many..gotten lots of double plays this year, and I know he's a ground ball pitcher but i don't think a pitcher can rely on getting lots of double plays year after year...i'd rather start a guy with more upside...when he's at his best he's average

Feel Wood said...

"or anything he might do in spring training"

I don't wanna say you're 100% wrong but...you're 100% wrong.


Actually, I may have been about 1% wrong. There is one and only one thing that Lannan could do in spring training next year that might cost him a spot in the rotation. He could get hurt.

Remember, Drew Storen had a 10.00 ERA this spring and it didn't cost him his job. And he didn't even have a five year track record of success like Lannan does.

A DC Wonk said...

jd said...

Swami,

You are misrepresenting Ryan's strategy. He feels that once a pitcher has passed the babying stage there is no reason to have a magic number of 100 pitches max per game.

There is universal understanding in the business (with the possible exception of Dusty Baker) that you have to baby young pitchers if you want them for more than a couple of years.


I think jd's right. There _is_ a time to baby pitchers (when they are young). And, there _is_ a time to let them loose (after a few years, a la Ryan's strategy).

It's not tons of innings per se that kill a pitcher's arm. It's tons of innings at a young age that does it.

Many point to the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. They had four main starters pitchers who were 25 or younger and threw a lot -- two of them (Sonnanstine, Kazmir) haven't been the same since then. Now, there are plenty of counter-examples -- David Price, at 24, threw 208 innings in 2010, and is doing very well this year. But stats do show (somewhere!) that the probably of blowing out an arm increases a lot with that many innings on that young of an arm.

I *think* the general rule bandied about is that you should increase approx 20 innings per year. I have no idea how rigorous that is, or if it's followed. But if that's the case, JZ should be limited to 180 innings next year. (Stras at 160 for sure, and 180 the next.)

RPrecupjr said...

Ok, since we're all talking about next season, I have a novel (crazy?) idea for next season. I'll give you my 25-man roster and then explain afterwards.

Starters:

SS - Desmond
CF - Werth
3B - RZim
LF - Morse
1B - LaRoche*
2B - Espinosa (s)
C - Ramos
RF - Bernadina*

Bench:

C - Flores (Sorry Pudge, it's time to let the younguns fly on their own)
IF - Lombardozzi
OF - Ankiel*
OF/1B - Nix*
OF - Gomes or IF/OF - Bixler

Rotation:

JZim
Stras
Lannan*
Wang
Detwiler*/Milone* (ST will decide)
Peacock

Bullpen:

CL - Storen
8th - Clippard
7th - Coffey/HRod
7th - Burnett*
Long - Gorzelanny*
Long - Stammen (I love Livo, but I don't know how his legendary warmup time translates to the pen)

Now obviously two things stick out: First, there are no new names here. I did that on purpose, because at this point we have NO idea who Rizzo will go after, and then, who he might be able to sign. So I've based my roster on talent already in hand. The second thing is the six-man rotation. Sure, nobody has done it, but somebody had to be the first to try the five-man rotation, right? We've all seen what happens when a guy gets an extra day of rest - they usually pitch better AND they last longer in the game, thereby saving the bullpen while at the same time not wearing out the starters. It's not like the old days, with guys throwing 300-350 innings a year, most top out around 230-240 now. In fact, of all active pitchers, only three have thrown more than 250 in a season (CC, Livo and Halladay twice). Our starters this season have averaged about 6 IP per start. Using a six-man rotation, given the extra rest, there's no reasson to think they couldn't average closer to 7 IP per start. Seven IP over 27 starts (162/6) comes out to 189 IP per starter, much less strain on the arms. And if all six can average close to that 7 IP per start, it makes it very easy to go with a six-man pen as well. Take a look at the rotation: do you think we could win (just based on the pitchers) three out of every six starts? How about four? If we were to win seven out of every 12....that's a .583 winning percentage, which would be third best in the NL right now.

Will it happen? Probably not, that would be a 15-game improvement from this year. COULD it happen? Absolutely. Obviously, there are some things you have to consider: RZim stays healthy the entire season, LaRoche returns to his Gold Glove, 25HR/90RBI pre-injury condition, Werth produces at least career averages, Desi continues what he's been doing since July and becomes the leadoff guy we've been looking for and Espi learns how not to swing at balls in the dirt. On the pitching side, JZim becomes the ace we want him to be, Stras is Stras (even with an IP limit), Wang continues on the upward swing he's on, Lannan keeps his 3.50ish ERA and we score runs for him, and Milone and Peacock show what smart drafting can do for a team.

So, with no offseason acquisitions, and assuming all goes well, we could win 90 games next year. I don't think that will happen, but I can see us breaking that .500 barrier and maybe making it to 85. If we go 3-4 the rest of this season, we fiinish with 77 wins, an eight game improvement over last year. Eight more next year would make 85, a significant step for the organization. And who knows? Should everything fall into place....

Ok, let the flaming begin :)

Hahaha, captcha was "inkes"...what I would run out of if I printed this post ;)

W.B. Mason said...

All the unproven upside in the world is NEVER NEVER NEVER going to beat out a five year proven track record of average.

Unkyd said...

Hi, to all my imaginary friends!!! First, my 2 cents, then a legitimate candidate for "Most ignorant question of the year":

Re: FA SPs.... I recall hearing, a couple of months ago, that compared to the paucity of FAs this winter, next year promises many more options. Wouldn't it make sense to go with the Homegrown (cue Neil Young "Homegrown, is a good thing..."), and have a real good handle on who's who, and who fits where by this time next year, and then go shopping, if in fact it's really nessecary?

And now, the promised ignorance: if Livo were to toss gently a couple of times in the bullpen. early on (say...15-20 tosses, in the 2nd and again in the 4th... just having a catch...), would he be able to shorten his warm-up?

A DC Wonk said...

Feel Wood wrote:

People seem to forget that John Lannan is a left handed starting pitcher who has performed reasonably well for the better part of five MLB seasons. Such pitchers do not grow on trees

And that is, indeed, the bottom line. How many reliable starting lefties are there that have an ERA of under 4 for three of the past four years and have 30+ starts for three of the past four years? (I should make the question harder: how many have done that in three of their first four full seasons! And even harder: how many of those have contracts under $3M?)

Scott in Burke noted: "i don't think a pitcher can rely on getting lots of double plays year after year."

Scott -- I think that's the case _generally_, but certain pitchers seem to be able to do that a lot year after year -- and Lannan is one of them. In the past four years, he's induced 19 DP's twice, and 26 or more the two other years. That's a lot, and consistent.

I'm not saying that Lannan is and will be one of the top five next year. It's possible that some combination of Milone, Detwiler, Peacock, and Wang will pass him. But, based on Lannan's track record -- including this season -- he's #3 on the chart, and it's his position to lose.

jd said...

DC Wonk,

It's a bit more complicated than that. When dealing with young pitchers you want to make sure they don't have back to back high pitch games or several 'high stress' games in a row but yes in general you want to increase the innings load gradually.

JZimm is a different case again. He is 25 years old so by rights he should be let loose but he is coming of TJ surgery and has never really pitched this many innings so yeah 20 more sounds about right.

The flip side (Ryan's theory) is that pitchers are automatically taken out when they reach 100 pitches. What managers and pitching coaches should be doing is observing performance. When a pitcher gets tired he will often maintain velocity but lose command. Fast balls will usually drift and breaking balls will lose their bite. This can happen at 100 pitches or at 120 pitches depending on the pitcher and the level of effort it took him to get there.

jd said...

DC Wonk,

He won't be under $3 mil next year. In arbitration he very well may get $6 - $7 mil and that's the rub. For $3 mil it's a no brainer for $6 - $7 mil it's a definite question mark.

RPrecupjr said...

One more note: we are 27-26 in one-run games this year and 13-14 in two-run games, for an even 40-40. That's 80 out of the 153 we've played. How many of those do you think go the other way with a healthy RZim or LaRoche and/or an average Werth?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm should create a new synonym for NatsJack and call
it smarmy arrogance as well as too often dead wrong!

I note your sudden use of Latin dude what brought that on moron?

First I am still here and posting. I'm not as negative because I
very much like Davey and the direction. I am ecstatic!

Ask yourself would Riggleman have benches Pudge or any
veteran to look at youth? He wouldn't even use Severino
when he had him and he needs relievers at the time.

Would we be seeing Milone, Peacock, even Detwiler if h
was still managing? I say no way!

From my peeps five I was dead on right in my bitter
complaints about how he was not interested in getting to
a winning record, not interested in helping prospects
develop in the majors to manifest a great future. Only
interested in his veterans and whether they were happy .

Honestly I often wonder if Morgan might have been the guy
they needed in CF under Johnson. I for one never complained
about Morgan and I liked his game.

But things look light years better now especially with the
last draft so I am sitting back and enjoying every second as
Davey and Riz move the Natsinexorably forward!

baseballswami said...

Great points about pitching/innings strategy. I have heard that it's important to watch for signs of strain -- as I mentioned before -- loss of velocity or command, flattened fastballs with no movement, sluggish mechanics. To an untrained observer, Drew showed none of those things yesterday. And don't try to tell me that one hit against a good hitting team is a loss of command. The somewhat higher pitch count for an inning was due to a good hitter fouling pitches off. Especially the second game, there was velocity, movement, command and sharp-ness. I would think that pitching coaches and trainers could spot the start of a problem pretty quickly,not just in games but warm ups. Just because clip served up a homer doesn't mean he is tired - it might, but it also might mean he is mortal.Nice to see the team pick him up. Drew is 40 out of , is it 44 or 45? and in at least a couple of those games we ended up winning - that is ridiculous.

Don't expect any run support said...

Wandy no good here, he pitched 7 innings, gave up two runs (1 in the first, 1 in the second), lost 2-0. Don't you know you have to pitch a shutout?

Anonymous said...

baseballswami,

While I do agree with some of what you said I do think it should be mentioned that just because a pitcher looks sharp and is pitching effectively doesnt necessarily mean you should totally ignore the possibility of overuse. If you are waiting for the pitcher to show signs of strain you are waiting too long. I am with you in that I dont believe that Storen's should be shut down, but at this point in the year there should probably be some guidelines for a closer in his first full major league season. The first two things that come to mind would be to not allow him to throw in both games of a double header, secondly I dont think he should be thrown on three consecutive days (like he was last week). I'm sure ignoring these only presents the smallest of risks, but when you are 25 games out in September is even the smallest risk worth it for a young player with nothing to prove?

A DC Wonk said...

Stat of the day

Nats are .300 in RISP -- over their last 10 games (which helps explain why they are 8-2 -- the other reason, of course, is outstanding pitching -- only 20 runs given up in the last 10 games)

Gonat said...

A DC Wonk said...
Stat of the day

Nats are .300 in RISP -- over their last 10 games (which helps explain why they are 8-2 -- the other reason, of course, is outstanding pitching -- only 20 runs given up in the last 10 games)

September 21, 2011 4:31 PM
________________________________

Uh, can you say starting pitchers getting 6 to 8 days rest between starts. We all know that has an impact.

Gonat said...

Anonymous said...
Honestly I often wonder if Morgan might have been the guy they needed in CF under Johnson. I for one never complained about Morgan and I liked his game. September 21, 2011 3:49 PM
___________________________

Like Frank Robinson with Alfonso Soriano, I believe you are correct that Davey could have changed Nyjer.

I complained about Nyjer plenty and mostly was the way Rizzo/Riggleman used him. He stinks vs. LH pitching, baserunning w/ a green light, and has a weak arm.

The Brewers were willing to put Nyjer in a platoon with Gomez and take away his baserunning green light. The Brewers also put their cutoff man deeper to take Nyjer's throws. You can't platoon for every player for obvious reasons. I suggested when they got Werth (RH) to play CF against LH pitching.

Now it is water under the bridge. Time to move on as it won't change. Maybe Rizzo can get back Bonifacio, he's arbitration eligible and I am sure the Miami Marlins will be looking to get rid of him. He can play multiple positions and has a .358 On-base %.

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