Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nats who's hot/who's not-6/12

Photo by USA Today
By Michael Huberman
CSNwashington.com

Record: 2-3
Runs per game: 3.8
Opponent runs per game: 5.2
Batting average: .282
Batting average against: .257
Team ERA: 4.09 

HOT:

Jordan Zimmermann, SP – 1-0/7 IP/0 ER/2 H/8 SO
Through two full months, Zimmermann has put himself in prime position to start the All-Star Game for the National League. The evidence so far? Zimmermann ranks tied for first in the NL in wins (9), fourth in innings pitched (94.2), fourth in ERA (2.00), first in WHIP (0.89), first in complete games (3), and fifth in batting average against (.205). For Jordan Zimmermann’s case as one of baseball’s best pitchers, the numbers don’t lie.

Ian Desmond, SS – 7-20/1 2B/5 RBI/.381 OBP
In 100 May at-bats Desmond struggled mightily to the tune of a lowly .220/.273/.436 slash. But so far in June, Desmond has been the Nationals best hitter, as evidenced by his .375/.394/.625 line through eight games. One possible reason for Desmond’s June hot streak? The five games the Nationals played last week at Nationals Park, where Desmond is hitting .304/.328/.513 in 31 games this year.


Denard Span, CF – 7-18/3 XBH/3 R/.450 OBP/1.061 OPS 
This is more of what Mike Rizzo had in mind when he traded for Span last November. While continuing to supply great defense in center, Span’s bat finally seems to have woken up a bit, highlighted by his game-tying triple Sunday night against his former team, the Twins. Despite the fact he’s yet to homer, Span is fourth on the team in extra-base hits with 18 (twelve doubles, six triples).

Fernando Abad, RP – 0-0/4.1 IP/2 H/5 SO/0.46 WHIP
So far so good for the 27-year-old lefty, as he’s now pitched 8 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings as a member of the Washington Nationals. Abad came up big for the Nationals in Sunday night’s win against the Twins, when he came on with a runner on third and just one out and the Nationals trailing 4-3. Using just four pitches, Abad got Justin Morneau to pop out and Jamey Carroll to line out to second, where Anthony Rendon made a spectacular leaping grab to end the inning. He was also very impressive Tuesday night against Colorado, when he struck out the side, including Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.

Anthony Rendon, 2B – 7-20/3 2B/3 R/.381 OBP/.881 OPS
Sunday’s doubleheader against the Twins provided a glimpse of the learning curve Anthony Rendon will likely experience as he tries to master second base. He made errors in both games, but he also made the aforementioned leaping grab to save a run. Offensively Rendon has been as advertised, as he’s 7-for-20 (.350) with three doubles since returning to the Nationals lineup on June 5.

NOT:

Dan Haren, SP – 0-2/10.00 ERA/9.0 IP/15 H/10 ER/5 HR
After giving up five earned runs in four innings last week against the Mets, Haren was cruising through four innings last night against the Rockies. But as has been the case throughout the season, Haren’s inability to keep the ball in the park did him in. The five home runs Haren allowed last week added to his staggering total of 17 through 13 starts. For comparison’s sake, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Jordan Zimmermann have combined to give up 19 home runs in their 38 total starts.

Nathan Karns, SP – 0-0/12.00 ERA/3 IP/4 ER/3 BB
Karns has showed some potential in his three starts, but his overall numbers aren’t very good. He’s yet to pitch five full innings in any start, and through twelve innings he’s given up ten runs on 17 hits and six walks. He was put in a tough spot, but Karns may need some more seasoning at the minor league level.

Stephen Lombardozzi, IF – 1-13/0 XBH/1 R/.154 OPS
Despite his game-winning sacrifice fly last Tuesday against the Mets, the 24-year-old has taken a step back at the plate this year. There’s still plenty of time left in the season, but so far Lombardozzi is far off his 2012 pace. Last year Lombardozzi slugged .354, but so far this year he’s only slugging .277 with just seven extra-base hits.

Ryan Zimmerman, 3B – 4-22/2 2B/5 SO/.273 SLG
After a fantastic May in which he hit .313/.394/.521 with five home runs and 17 RBIs, Zimmerman has slumped badly to start off the month of June. Through eight games, he’s 7-for-34 (.206) with just three extra-base hits (all doubles) and seven strikeouts.

Drew Storen, RP – 0-0/11.57 ERA/2.1 IP/4 H/3 ER
Storen tossed one 1/3 hitless innings against the Twins, but was lit up for three earned runs in an inning of work last night against the Rockies. The big blow came in the form of a two-run homer from Tyler Colvin, who in 46 career at-bats against the Nationals is hitting .391/.451/.891 with six homers and 17 RBI.

78 comments:

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Ryan Zimmerman needs to get going.

Christopher Cohen said...

In every organization there are assets and there are liabilities. Dan Haren is a liability. End of story.

BxJaycobb said...

Isn't the whole riddle of this season as easy as the following: we need Strasburg healthy and Bryce healthy. Without both if them, we don't make a playoff run. With them, we do. I sort if think everything else is noise.

Section 222 said...

Seems to me that if Harvey is healthy, he starts the ASG. If not, then it's probably Wainwright or someone else from a better team than the Nats. JZnn just can't catch a break.

Here's some interesting analysis on how JZnn has improved from last year to this one. The difference in how he does when he gets to a 2 strike count is, well, striking. He's likely going to be due a big payday after this year if the Nats want to keep him.

bowdenball said...

Said the exact same thing in the last thread, BxJaycobb. There are lots of guys performing below expectations, yes, but if Harper and Strasburg return at their expected performance levels soon, the Nats will be just fine. If not, we're probably stuck in "wait 'till next year" mode. Simple as that.

Nats 128 said...

At least we don't have to see Danny Espinosa on the list as in almost every other time this list as been compiled.

JD said...


Sec 222,

Wainright has been the best overall pitcher in the NL by a wide margin. Bochy may want to start one of his guys (Baumgarner has been his best) but it also comes down to how the schedule falls. JZimm should be a lock to make the team along with Kershaw and Harvey and Cliff Lee.

I actually think JZimm may be the only Nat on the team (maybe Desi but there are several shortstops having better years than Desi - Tulo, Cabrerra, Segura.

Section 135 said...

I will continue to blame Mr. 100 millionaire Ryan Zimmerman for this team's problems. His contract merits 30 HR and a 300 BA and great defense. Horrible contract that will saddle this team for years to come along with Werth's.

bowdenball said...

JD said...

"I actually think JZimm may be the only Nat on the team"

Harper will be voted in as a starter.

Nats 128 said...

JD, Bryce still has a chance to get voted in for the All Star game.

Doc said...

Staying away from the Winter Leagues, has left Abad fresher, by his own testimony.

Neat pickup Riz!

Makes up for not signing Gorzo and Lefty. Looks like Krol has something to offer the BP too! I like the new pen.

Now if we could just get Stor consistent from one game to the next!

JD said...


Nats 128, Bowdenball,

Of course - how quickly we forget.

JD said...


Harper would be legit as well. He was marching toward MVP consideration before he got hurt.

bowdenball said...

Why don't you ask for your money back, Sec. 135.


By the way, a guy who bats .300 with 30 HRs and great defense would be worth WAY more than the $16.7 million a year Zimmerman is getting. That's Robinson Cano territory. If you think Cano is gonna settle for $17 million a year, you're off your rocker. The only other guy who does those three things consistently is Adrian Beltre. That's two guys in all of baseball. I suggest you recalibrate your expectations.

JD said...


Since we are discussing all stars here are my NL picks:

1B - Votto
2B - Carpenter
SS - Tulo
3B - Wright
C - Molina
OF - Harper
OF - CarGon
OF - Gomez
P - Wainwright, Harvey, Kershaw, Lee, JZimm, Miller,Corbin,Minor, Lynn, De LaRosa

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc, amazing when you decide to put together your best 7 or 8 for the BP. Frustrating that it took this long.

Section 222 said...

Bochy was the manager of the 2011 ASG. He had Lincecum and Cain on the team, but didn't use them. Roy Hallady started, followed by Cliff Lee, Clipp for an out, then Kershaw and Jair Jurjens. A bunch of relievers pitched for an out of two. Brian Wilson was the only SF reliever used. Bochy put him in for the last two outs and the save.

The schedule definitely matters though. Lincecum had pitched 6 innings three days before the ASG. Cain had pitched 6 innings two days before.

If that game is any guide to his ASG managerial style, sounds to me like Wainwright or maybe Kershaw will get the start. But I still think if Harvey is on the team and healthy, Bochy may start him in front of the home crowd. He wants to win the game, and letting the home town hero ride the crowd's energy could be a good way to start the game.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, I have a similar list with Segura at SS and Kershaw, JZim, Harvey as my Top 3.

JD said...


Sec 222,

Oh, I forgot the game is in New York. I think Harvey will definitely start if possible.

Doc said...

Correctomundo Ghost.

I guess baseball teams have a way of letting things play out. I mean Davey & Co. had to have Mattheus beat up a locker, and Duke and HRod had to show consistent decline.

In the meantime, Davis, Krol and Abad had to show some stuff somewhere else. Time in baseball is a different sports time than other sports, mostly because of the 162 games.

Interestinly, all the above-noted 3 are cheap pick-ups, if you can count Krol as a throw-in for Mickey Mo.

JD said...


Ghost,

Segura was my 1st instinct at SS but I checked the numbers and Tulo is having a sick year; MVP like both with the stick and in the field.

JD said...


Krol and Abad totally prove my point that you don't pay relievers big bucks based on passed history. You find the guys on the cheap who will do it in the future.

Nice job by Rizzo et. al to find these guys. I also get your point Ghost on waiting too long but Rizzo was gonna wait until he had absolutely no doubt about Henry. The thought of being wrong here must have really haunted him and he didn't want another Hanrahan on his dime ( I don't think that the Willingham trade had anything to do with it).

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I discount the Coors effect on Tulo. Segura has all the intangibles and the speed. Desi is my #3. I have Strasburg higher on my list too.

JD said...



I think Rizzo was willing to live with the noise coming from the fan base but when Duke and Henry started losing games all on their own it was time to move on.

bowdenball said...

To be fair to Rizzo, Duke and especially Henry didn't lose a lot of games. They usually entered games that were already lost or won. When Henry did actually lose a game by allowing an extra inning Braves rally he was gone before the next game.

Also the time they spent doing mopup work allowed Rizzo to evaluate the talent in the minors and find the best options to replace them. If he'd given up on Duke and Henry on opening day we definitely wouldn't have gotten Krol, Davis and Abad in their place.

JD said...


Ghost,

Tulo at home:

8 HR 25 RBI

Tulo on the road:

8 HR 26 RBI's.

batting average is better at home . 404 vs. .302 but still fantastic home or away and the defensive metrics favor Tulo by a wide margin. The only area Segura beats him is base running.

Not trying to change your mind. Just talking.

BTW, Evreth Cabrera and Brandon Crawford are also having slightly better years than Desi.

JD said...


Bowdenball,

Exactly what I was trying to say but you said it better.

NatsLady said...

Rizzo followed the strategy of the first two months you see what you got. You might say he should have acted more quickly but in addition to seeing what bullpen pieces would work, he needed to wait for Rendon. It would have been pretty silly to have Rendon taking a lot of reps if RZim got hurt again. When it became clear that we could limp along with RZ's shoulder but NOT limp along with Danny's offense the decision was made.

BTW, the O's opted for the opposite, keeping Flaherty at 2B strictly for his glove. As the announcer said, "when he gets a hit, everyone cheers." (He's hitting .172). I think Danny might have stayed but the injury, Rendon, and lack of offense from other positions tipped the balance away from him.

We couldn't afford a glove-only 2B with Harper and Ramos down because that is three positions with minimal offense. Can't do anything about Harper and Ramos except wait, so Danny had to go.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Maholm and the Braves down 3-0 with 1 out in the bottom of the 1st.

NatsLady said...

BTW, do you remember the Nats tangling with Arizona?

June 5, 2011

Drew blew a save and the Nats got 5 runs in extra innings. A lot happened.

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=310605129

David Proctor said...

"The sad part is I don't see the offense being any better next year. Any improvement from Harper, Rendon, Ramos will be balanced by further declines from Werth, Zim, and Laroche. The farm system has no impact bats left."

Okay, this was posted a couple of times and I just have to respond. If you think Werth and LaRoche will continue to decline, I understand that given their age. But Zim is 28 years old, coming off of shoulder surgery. There's no reason there will be "further decline" from him, if anything we should expect improvement in his power numbers. The future is still very bright. Rendon, Desi, Zim, Harper are all good hitters. Werth's role will decline as he ages but he still has a few years of good numbers left in him. LaRoche won't even be here after next year. And of course, the Nationals will continue to sign free agents.

JD said...


David Proctor,

Don't worry about it. Neganons like being Neganons and they enjoy their little digs. I wander if they really root for the Nats.

Last year they sounded ridiculous as we had the best record in baseball so they are in their glory this year.

I'm with you. The team is young and the talent level, particularly the pitching is is impressive so the future looks bright and this not according to Nats PR, it's according to National baseball pundits.

It's true that we have very few real talented position players in the pipe line mainly because we graduated so many in the past few years but there are tons of really impressive young arms and if they progress well you can convert some of them to position players via trades.

David Proctor said...

In his last 21 games, Justin Upton is batting .190 with 2 XHB and 36 K's.

A DC Wonk said...

Section 135 said...

I will continue to blame Mr. 100 millionaire Ryan Zimmerman for this team's problems.


Right -- because of RZ's contract, Harper, Werth, Detwiler, Ramos, and Strasburg got injured, Espi bottomed out, Chad Tracy couldn't get on track, and Haren threw too many gopher balls.

Or something like that, right?

A DC Wonk said...

JD wrote:

I'm with you. The team is young and the talent level, particularly the pitching is is impressive so the future looks bright

Indeed! The Nats have the second youngest team in the league. Most players have peak years between ages 27-32, and look who on the Nats are at age 27 or younger (which means they are still not at their potential):

Desmond, Harper, Rendon, Ramos -- and, more importantly: Strasburg, JZim, Gio, and Storen.

And that's not even counting guys who are pretty young and look like they have a good future: Ian Krol (only 22), Marrero (only 24), Kobernus, TyMo, and Abad.

baseballswami said...

During Sunday night's game, FP talked about how Ryan was on the field at 10:30 in the morning taking ground ball after ground ball. He is maybe six months post op. When spring training started he was not throwing and only ramped it up late and in a hurry. He is still in rehab and working as hard as he can to contribute. The bat is coming, the arm is getting stronger but is still not trustworthy. I see him getting better and better and having many good years until he deteriorates. When fully healthy he will be fierce.

David Proctor said...

Since Werth and Rendon have been in the lineup, the Nats have had these hits: 10, 10, 14 and 8 (and with the 8, there were 4 walks). They've also scored 1, 3, 7, 6, 3 and 4 runs. The baserunners are starting to be there. Now we just need to drive them in more (although we've been doing that marginally better). That's where Harper comes in big time.

Section 222 said...

Wonk, be fair. It's not that Zim's contract caused anything to happen. It's that you'd like for your FoF who has the gigantic contract to carry the team when it runs into other difficulties. Instead, Zim is kind of an average hitter this year. Not horrible, but certainly not special. And his fielding is a minus not a plus, as we'd come to expect.

You might say the same thing or more about Werth and his contract, but we accepted long ago that that money was more of a statement by the Lerners and Rizzo that "we're in this for pennants" than a reflection of what they thought the player was worth.

Still, the Nats most highly paid players don't really produce. Compare Cabrera and Fielder, Tulo and Cargo. But the Angels have Hamilton and the Dodgers have Ethier, and the Giants have Zito. We're not the only team out there that's paying a lot of money to just kind of good players.

David Proctor said...

"Wonk, be fair. It's not that Zim's contract caused anything to happen. It's that you'd like for your FoF who has the gigantic contract to carry the team when it runs into other difficulties. Instead, Zim is kind of an average hitter this year. Not horrible, but certainly not special. And his fielding is a minus not a plus, as we'd come to expect."

I think that's a reflection of his shoulder surgery to be honest. What Zim did last year, after the cortisone shot, was MVP worthy. We were not a 98 win team without him. I still think he's capable of playing at that level. Zim has never been an elite hitter, but I would have him in that tier just under.

I've noticed many of Zim's hardest hit balls are going for doubles instead of homers. I have to think that's the shoulder. But he hit 3 homers against Baltimore, so that would seem to dispel that. I'm not sure, to be perfectly honest. But he is a 28 year old (aka in his prime) and recovering from surgery. I expect he'll be better moving forward, later this year and next.

Werth (and Rendon) have drastically improved the lineup since their returns. Small sample size and all but look at my post above.

baseballswami said...

Werth and Rendon have both brought back some energy.

A DC Wonk said...

Section 222 said...

Wonk, be fair. It's not that Zim's contract caused anything to happen.


Whoa, whoa, whoa! Code Blue!! You're sarcasm meter needs checking!! Stat!

I was responding to the ridiculous comment by Section 135 who said:

I will continue to blame Mr. 100 millionaire Ryan Zimmerman for this team's problems.

My point was that RZ had *nothing* to do with those injuries, and the disappearing batting averages of a couple of players.

Section 222 said...

Well, you said RZ's contract, but my point is the same. No, RZ didn't have anything to do with the injuries or Danny's implosion. But he's also been far from the superstar that you might hope a guy making $100 million over 10 years would be. Is that the cause of all the teams's problems? Of course not. Might the Nats be doing better if Zim's and Werth's OPSs were better than .773 and .744, respectively? Very possibly. Tulo is the same age as Zim and has a similar contract. In fact, if I remember correctly, his contract was kind of seen as a model for Zim's because of their age and potential. His stats this year after returning from a season marred by injury? .353/.420/.651 with 16 HRs already. Zim has 6 HRs, and 3 were in that one game in Baltimore. Yeah, yeah, I know, Coors Field, blah blah blah. But still...

NatsLady said...

Did you all see this article?

Clubhouse food

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/12/clubhouse-chef-faisal-sultani-leads-washington-nat/?page=all#pagebreak

David Proctor said...

Amanda Comak ‏@acomak 11s
#nats lineup: Span CF, Kobernus LF, Zimmerman 3B, Werth RF, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Rendon 2B, Solano C, Ohlendorf P

That's an interesting lineup. Not sure I understand why Davey pairs Solano with the new guys (although Ohlendorf isn't young so I guess it doesn't matter as much as it did with Karns).

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steady Eddie said...

Denorfia 2-run dinger in the fifth puts Pads up 5-1 on Barves.

JD said...


I think Suzuki is starting to wear down. He is an automatic out at the plate these days. It's not a bad idea to give him a night off. I would have played Marrero also. what the heck.

David Proctor said...

If the Padres win (game is far from over), they'll have swept the Braves. The Braves are not as good as they look, folks. We're very much alive in this thing IF we play up to our capabilities.

NatsJack in Florida said...

David.... who do you think caught Ohlendorf earlier in Syracuse?

David Proctor said...

Good point NatsJack. Makes much more sense then.

NatsLady said...

Kobernus getting a start against the lefty but not Marrero.

DP, I think Davey has to pick his spots, and he must feel we have a better shot to win tomorrow (with Det) than tonight, and you have to figure he wants Zook with Gio on Friday. It will be interesting what he does over the weekend, being as how there are no off-days on this road trip.

JD said...


Steady,

Good thing. I have this sinking feeling that if Volquez stays out there much longer he'l give the runs back.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Kobernus and Solano starting.

NatsLady said...

Good point, NJ. I hope it works. Zook is getting worn down.

Anna Peregrina said...

5-1 Padres in the 6th. Hmm, B.J. Upton is batting .161.

JD said...


NatsJack,

Yes but when Solano was catching Ohlendorf the pitching results were not so stellar.

David Proctor said...

Yikes. BJ Upton is batting .161 with 12 RBI. Tyler Moore has 13 RBI. And doesn't cost 75 mil.

NatsLady said...

Volquez is not a good pitcher. He was their opening day starter, and he is always last on my list (except for Worley who got demoted and Harrison who was injured.) It drives us crazy when a mediocre pitcher looks like Cy Young--bet Atlanta fans feel the same!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, I was about to say the same on Suzuki. It's like he was slowly falling apart game by game in front of out eyes.

David Proctor said...

Freeman singles on the first pitch then Gattis swings on the first pitch and grounds into a double play. I'll take it.

David Proctor said...

Wow, BJ Upton gets out on the first pitch too. 3 pitch inning for Volquez.

JD said...


3 pitches 3 outs for the Braves in the 6th. Do they have a plane to catch or something?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

David, BJ had that walkoff against Henry, how many does TyMo have ;(

Doc said...

Thanks for the Nats menu, NatsLady!

Forget about BA's and ERA's---it's always been the food that I was interested in!!!

Reading the stuff on their menus made my mouth water! LOL

Makes me want to be a big leaguer!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Does Gattis suffer from the Intentional Talk curse?

David Proctor said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
David, BJ had that walkoff against Henry, how many does TyMo have ;(

No walkoff, but he does have the game winning home run against the Pirates.

EmDash said...

I hereby move that the Braves have to play the rest of the season in southern California, no matter who they're playing. All opposed? Nobody? All right, motion passes. *g*

I've been critical of Davey, so for balance, two dumb things he doesn't generally do that are common from other managers:

1) Use pitchers to pinch-run. Mattingly in LA does it with Kershaw, who's their most important player, and the Phillies do it with Cliff Lee, who's their best pitcher by a mile and their best trade chip if they decide to sell off. Yes, it's not the most likely outcome he'd get hurt, but if there's even a small chance why risk it?

2) Ordering a lot of retaliatory beanings and risking brawls. The scene out in LA with Kennedy and Greinke last night was nuts, and they're lucky no one got seriously hurt.

NatsJack in Florida said...

David....agreed but in this case, aside from Suzuki's obvious wearing down, familiarity trumps results.

David Proctor said...

"2) Ordering a lot of retaliatory beanings and risking brawls. The scene out in LA with Kennedy and Greinke last night was nuts, and they're lucky no one got seriously hurt."

Well I remember last year after Hamels hit Bryce and Bryce stole home, JZimm plunked Hamels. Not sure if it was ordered by Davey or if it was just Zimmermann retaliating on his own though.

Steady Eddie said...

David Proctor -- actually TMo's dinger wasn't game winning, as it was a 3-run shot and we won 6-2. But it was especially valuable insurance as we had just won by one the day before.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Starter should be Jershaw the Zim.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Harper will be voted to the team.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I was at the series in pittsburgh.

The Sunday game was the one Gio gave up a homer on the first pitch Msrte then loaded bsses , but retired the dide. Not only did TYMO homer added 3 to a 3-2 lead. Espi hit a 2 run shot yhat gave Nats a 3-1 lead.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

David in the game before TYMO hit the Sac Fly in the ,8th which made it 5-4

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Logan Forsythe making me drink maalox. First boots a double play ball, tgen lets single by him now Braves in position to tie to take lead 5 outs in top of the 9th.

Closer Monday just as bad.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Justin Upton as the lead run takes one looking to end game.

He is a graduate of the Eck hitting camp.

Davey says wants more swinging at fast balls on strike 1, but since tge decree there has been little more.

TheManBearPig said...

How does one rough night in the worst park in MLB for pitchers get Storen on the "not" list when the last run he gave up before last night's loss was before Memorial Day? 7 straight scoreless outings in which only 3 hitters got on base should have made his spot on the "hot" list solid enough to survive last night.

Will said...

There's a lot of stupidity in this thread.

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