Thursday, September 29, 2011

End-of-season report card

US Presswire photo
Michael Morse gets an A for his breakthrough year.
As a collective effort, the Nationals deserve high marks for their performance this season. A club that experienced plenty of ups and downs over the course of six months found a way to finish strong, come within a gnat's eyelash of a .500 record and set themselves up to enter 2012 with lofty expectations.

But what about on an individual basis? How would you grade each player on the roster? Obviously, there were some fantastic individual seasons (Michael Morse, Tyler Clippard). And obviously, there were some not-so-fantastic individual seasons (ahem, Jayson Werth and Doug Slaten).

Now that 2011 is in the books, it's time to hand out some season-ending report cards...

By all accounts, a fine rookie season for the catcher. He was excellent behind the plate and finished strong at the plate, hitting .358 in September.

The mere fact he returned to the big leagues after missing most of two seasons with a shoulder injury was reason to celebrate, but his game still needs work.

He still calls a good game and throws out runners like nobody else. But he did little at the plate and couldn't overcome a midseason oblique strain.

What more could Mr. Beast Mode have done? Just a fantastic season, one in which he established himself as a legit cleanup hitter and force to be reckoned with.

He looked poised to win NL Rookie of the Year honors at the All-Star break, but he slumped terribly after that. Finished strong, though, and excelled at second base.

First and foremost, he cut down his errors by 33 percent (from 34 to 23). Was abysmal at the plate in the first half, then hit .289 in the second half.

Missed more than two months with a torn abdominal muscle but did his usual thing once he got healthy. Also got past his midseason throwing woes.

Veteran infielder was a nice influence for Espinosa and Desmond, but he did very little on the field. Hit .188 as a pinch-hitter.

Utilityman doesn't have many physical tools, but he hustles more than perhaps any player in the game. Also proved adept in the outfield, which he had never played before.

Was nice to see the 2006 first-round pick finally reach the majors. Didn't look overwhelmed at this level at all, but wound up hitting .248 with zero homers.

We didn't get to see a whole lot of the rookie infielder. And when we did see him, he struggled to hit big-league pitching.

To his credit, Werth played hard all season and found a variety of ways to contribute. But he still hit .232 with 58 RBI after signing that huge contract.

The guy has got the best outfield arm in the sport right now, maybe the best ever. If only he could do just a little bit more at the plate.

Got off to a hot start, then was hampered by injuries for months. Still, he came through several times in the clutch and gave full effort all the time.

Definitely brought some new life and character to the Nats clubhouse, but he really didn't contribute much at the plate or in the field.

This year's victim of the options game, he seemed to be on a never-ending loop between D.C. and Syracuse. Spectacular in the outfield, really streaky at the plate.

A breakthrough season for the right-hander, who established himself as a true, front-line starter. Only negative was his penchant to give up big homers late.

What can you say? He's not human. Who comes back from Tommy John surgery and doesn't walk a batter until his fifth start? Wait til the reins come off next year.

Established career-bests in ERA (3.70) and wins (10). He is what he is: A reliable, big-league starter who usually gives his team a chance to win.

Was headed for yet another solid season but then posted a 5.88 ERA over his final 11 starts and was shut down early. A fan and clubhouse favorite, his time with Nats may be over.

Just remarkable that he returned to big leagues after two years rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Got stronger and better as season progressed and should return next year as No. 3 or 4 starter.

Young lefty made some major strides late in the season, finishing with a 3.00 ERA and positioning himself for a rotation spot next spring.

Doesn't blow you away, but the more you see him, the more you appreciate his understanding of how to pitch. Looks like he's a real gamer.

We didn't get to see much, but what we did see was impressive. Has great stuff and didn't seem fazed at all to pitch in big leagues for the first time.

Remember how awful he was in spring training? Guess he was OK all along. Wonderful season for the young closer who was 43-for-48 in save situations.

Where would the Nats be without this guy? Seriously. Simply one of the best relievers in baseball, a dominant setup man who put out fire after fire.

Battled through uncharacteristic struggles during the first half. But to his credit, he made an adjustment and posted a 1.16 ERA after July 19.

One night, you think this guy will never make it because he can't throw strikes. The next night, you think he's destined for greatness. Has to learn consistency.

Turned out to be a pretty reliable guy out of the bullpen, especially against righties, who hit only .163 against the big lug.

Emerged out of nowhere to become a trusted member of the pen. A shoulder injury set him back some down the stretch, but he looks like a keeper.

Was nothing special as a starter and wound up losing his job. But he seemed to thrive out of the bullpen, where his future may lie.

Like Bernadina, collected a ton of frequent flier miles between D.C. and Syracuse. Just can't seem to establish himself at the big-league level.

They paid $8 million for this? Seriously? Has given no reason to think he can make it as a starter, wasn't all that impressive as a reliever, either.

Made only seven appearances but posted an 0.87 ERA while out there. Should get a shot to be long man next spring.

Lefty got a few opportunities in September, and did a nice job holding left-handed batters to a .222 average (2-for-9).

Couldn't be counted on in any situation. Put a staggering 36 men on base in only 16 1/3 innings, plus he let 15 of 32 inherited runners score.


sm13 said...

Wow, I'm glad I didn't have you grading my papers in college -- your are one tough cookie. I'd suggest that Danny should get upgraded to a B+. Despite his offensive struggles, he played gold glove caliber defense all year. A 20-homer gold glove 2nd baseman is worth at least a B+. And Ian should have earned a B. As you note he improved his defense greatly and he showed in the second half that he can deliver bunches of clutch hits. I agree wholeheartedly with your grade for Maya. We've seen enough, he does not have major league stuff. I also give you credit for recognizing Craig Stammen -- after being exiled to Syracuse for a year he came back and showed us why he should be a presumptive member of the pen when spring training begins.

All in all, a nice job, Mark!

MicheleS said...

Doug Slaten.. DFA... that's what his grade should be!

Joe Seamhead said...

Two, or make it three others:
Cole Kimbal looked very good before going down with an injury. Gotta give him an "I" for incomplete.
As to Maya, he did come up for one spot start and did pretty good, as I remember.
How about a Zuckerman grade regarding Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson?

Nick said...

Not bad, one quibble; if you penalize Pudge for being injured what about Zimmerman, Nix and you don't even mention LaRoche or Hairston. The fact is, Pudge was ready to come back weeks ago, wasn't his choice to be benched and he wasn't benched because of performance. Coaching staff excluded?

DL in VA said...

Gee Mark, tell us what you realy think about Maya! Harsh, but probably accurate.

But I think you were a little unfair to Werth. Do this mental exercise for a second, and forget about his mammoth contract. Now how do you grade him? I see a C, maybe a C-. At .233 with 20 HR and 19 steals, he's on par with Espinosa, at .236/21/17, whom you gave a B-. So, these grades seem based on expectation, not actual performance.

Don't worry about the money anymore -- it's already spent. I personally would reserve the D's and F's to people I don't want on my team anymore, and I definitely want Werth on my team next year.

sm13 said...

I was at the Park for Maya's spot start. He was very lucky that batters seemed fooled by his best pitch -- the hanging slider!

Anonymous said...

Doug Slaten is literally the worst pitcher in all of baseball.

NatsLady said...

@DL in VA: 100% agree on Werth. This team was a joke when he got here, two games is a winning streak? The manager was absent, brooding about his contract and fighting in public with his FA pitcher (Marquis). Not saying he turned the team around, but he certainly tried and that's more than can be said for some others who shall remain nameless. That was a rough April and early May before some wins started coming in.

Also, Werth is a known second half guy. He doesn't sulk and he worked through that long slump. He didn't like being the leadoff, but he did it.

I think he's taking to CF, though. Gives the team options both in the off-season (acquisitions) and in the field. Yes, I want Werth on my team. I'd bet big bucks (if I had them) that he'll be a lot better next season.

Boy, I didn't realize Slaten was that bad.

NatsLady said...

And you peeps were laughing at me when I said Davey put Slaten in to (probably) lose the game so the guys could go home on a rainy night.

(He did have Storen warming. If the Nats had scored, Davey would have played to win. But with the game tied and Vasquez set to pitch till midnight--what was he saving his arm for?--ya gotta know when to fold 'em.)

MicheleS said...

The one thing that I remember about LaRoche was the first game and that sweet defense. I just kept thinking that the Big Donkey would never have been able to pick it like that! I hope he comes back full strength next year.

Also agree with Nick on the Pudge/Zim comments. Just because he is the FOF, doesn't mean he gets a pass.

I think Morse deserves and A+++ because even after being benched and being destroyed mentally by the previous manager, he battle back, learned a new position, belted 31 HRS, hit .300, and nearly got to 100 RBIs.. where would we be without him...

Clipp also A++++, I love that he vultured the win at the All Star game.

I think Lombo should get an incomplete. Not sure we saw him enough to fairly give him a grade.

Is there any way to give Henry a Maalox grade, because you captured it.. Good/Great Henry and Bad/Evil Voldemort Henry

Slidell said...

Believe Werth deserves a C for the intangibles he brings (fighting the culture of losing, helping ease Nyjer out, trying to help Teddy, etc.). Also think Ankiel deserves at least a C+, because he wasn't that bad at the plate, especially early in the season.

Feel Wood said...

Veteran infielder was a nice influence for Espinosa and Desmond, but he did very little on the field. Hit .188 as a pinch-hitter.

You seem to forget that Cora along with the departed Jerry Hairston did a bang up job bridging the two-month gap that Zimmerman was out. Perhaps not so much at the plate for Cora, but he did much more than your "very little on the field", wouldn't you say Mark?

Anonymous said...

And one comment about Miss Hamilton and her Nats coverage...She put up a good article about the MASN broadcast team. Most on this blog have been in favor of the return of Carp/FP, and it is good to hear that echoed. Consistency in the booth is needed and for the most part those two are well liked and call a good game

Big Cat said...

What is Sad Man's grade?

gocentr said...

I would give Pudge a better grade. He deserves credit for his mentoring of the young catchers and his professionalism, positive attitude, and leadership.

Feel Wood said...

Big Cat said...
What is Sad Man's grade?

He gets an F for dropping the course after the deadline.

natsfan1a said...

Eh, we can quibble with Mark's choices, but grades are subjective, anyway.

Anon@1:49, thanks for the heads up on Tracee's piece. Would also like to see Bob and FP back and agree that consistency would be welcome.

natsfan1a said...

Send the truant officer after him...

natsfan1a said...

(uh, forgot to quote Feel Wood's post there, but y'all probably figured that out)

Eugene in Oregon said...

Mark Z., if you were a high school teacher in northern Virginia or Montgomery County you'd have the entire parents council calling for your hide -- "How is my kid ever going to get into an Ivy League university with a B+ on his transcript?" But I think you're mostly right.

That said, I offer a couple of minor quibbles:

I'd give Clippard an A+ (only one A+ per class, please, and he just edges out Morse by a 'gnat's eyelash' -- to use your phrase).

I'd also give Wang a better grade than you do, probably a B+ or even an A-. Given his injury/rehab situation, I would throw out his first two or three starts and then give him some bonus points for his steady, progressive improvement over the course of his (admittedly short) season. I was not a Wang fan initially, but I see him being a steady #3 or #4 starter next year.

If I'm Brad Peacock's parents, I'm pointing at the numbers and saying "if this only merits a B+ what the heck do you have to do to get an A in this class?" You're right that he didn't have a lot of chances, but I don't think you can penalize him for not taking tests he wasn't given. Throw out that one absurd relief appearance and he was essentially flawless. Even with that appearance, I'd still give him -- at worst -- an A- and more likely an A. At the same time, I'd include a note saying that 'you did well, but you're still likely to start next season in AAA so don't get a big head' (same note goes to Milone).

The only grade on which I think you're being too generous is the one for Gomes. Just because he brings some good-for-the-clubhouse intangibles to the team doesn't mean he brings much of anything else. D or D+ seems right to me. And I just can't see offering him arbitration because I'd be afraid (almost certain, in fact) that he'd accept it, thus negating the draft choice that he might otherwise have generated. If we're going to bring back one of Ankiel, Nix, or Gomes, I'd prefer Ankiel for his defense and his arm.

Eugene in Oregon said...

By the way, was I the only one counting on having at least one play-in game to watch today?

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

If you're grading Hairston (solid B+ off the bench), might as well toss in Jayson Marquis (C+, hurt by his blowup with the boss).

Feel Wood said...

Jayson Marquis (C+, hurt by his blowup with the boss)

If that incident had anything at all to do with Riggleman deciding to quit then Marquis ought to get extra credit.

Exposremains said...

Nats have 10 wins less than the Cards. I can think of quite a few games that they should have won which would have bring them close to 90 games. Astros, Marlins, Cubs. Any other team?? What it tells me is that they have to beat the bad teams to be a contender.

Joe Seamhead said...

Hey, I'm not saying that he plays for my team next year but, Gomes gets credit in my book for the best "dirt-bag," walk off, hit by pitch in the Washington Nationals history!

Gonat said...

Battled through uncharacteristic struggles during the first half. But to his credit, he made an adjustment and posted a 1.16 ERA after July 19.

One night, you think this guy will never make it because he can't throw strikes. The next night, you think he's destined for greatness. Has to learn consistency.

Way too kind as you are basing that on how they finished more than their entire season. Not only did Burnett cost his starters a bunch of runs on -their- ERA and HenRod contributed to an inconsistent bullpen, both finished strong and have a shot at being on the team in 2012.

I also think giving Craig Stammen a B+ for 7 appearances should be an "Incomplete". That is such a small sample size. -IF- he can do that consistently, he will be a star. The operative word is -IF-

Big Cat said...

Ok, I'm gonna get the ball rolling. Albert Puhols is gonna be available. Lets throw the kitchen sink at him? Why not? He is 31 years old. Check his stats. The guy is an absolute hitting machine. Our window is now....lets go for it! I figure he has 3-5 years left in productivity. Lets start the bidding at 5 years for 175 million and see what happens. Can you imagine the buzz that would create. Then you got Zimmerman, Puhols, Beast and Werth in the middle of your lineup. Around August you add Harper to the mix. Jeeeeez

Anonymous said...

Big Cat...

Pooh won't be coming here... If he doesn't stay with the Cars, then the Cubs/Angels will out bid us in a heart beat. There is the wild card of the Marlins if Ozzie can get them to open up the wallet...

Anonymous said...


I meant Cards not "Cars".. stupid smart phone!

rogieshan said...

I guess there's no sense in giving Ol' Man Yellor (Matt Stairs) a grade.

Are any of the Nats eligible for Comeback Player of the Year? Jordan Zimmermann?

Gonat said...

Slidell said...
Believe Werth deserves a C for the intangibles he brings (fighting the culture of losing,

September 29, 2011 1:22 PM

Based on his salary and what you could get for that money, he was a disaster. If you don't consider the money, the BULL MOOSE was still a .330 OBP guy who was a clubhouse leader and a change agent to the culture of losing in Washington.

I would agree a "C" would be more appropriate.

Big Cat said...

Puhols ain't going to the Cubbies....and why would you want to go to Florida and play in front of 5,000 people. I'm tellin ya. People are opening their eyes about the Nats. If our two middle infielders start hitting like I think they can, we can make a run at this thing next year. That is with Puhols of course. Ramos finished strong....he could hit 20 dingers next year with a .275 avg. We are young and athletic with two budding aces on our staff. Our closer is 23 years old and is lights out. This thing is possible I'm tellin ya!

UNTERP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UNTERP said...

eam Grades:

Overall: C

You can't get a better grade finishing below .500

Offense: D+

15 shutouts, nuff said.

Defense: B


Starting Pitching: B+

Just short of outstanding. No run support.

Relievers: B+


Front office: C+

Managers, emphasis on managers: C-

One gets an F for quitting on team.

Hitting coach: C-

Pitching coach: B+

Bat Boy: A+

Mark Zuckerman: A-

Only because he gave my favorite player only a C+ Jesus. Jesus always gets an A with me. :)

Posters: A-

only Anons lowered this grade

Myself: B+

Only because I predicted 79 wins. If I had predicted 80, I would have given myself an A...

Brian M said...

I am the worst pitcher in major league baseball.

Gardner said...

I think when rating Desmond and Espinosa we see what they will be and not what they are. They are both at this point error machines who can't get on base. Espinosa's power does give him at least one current elite capability but he swings and misses way too many times for a guy with his tools. I'd go C on Desmond and B- for Espy. I do think they'll be good - eventually.

Gonat said...

UN.TERP, A- for the posters? You are tough!

UNTERP said...

Gonat said...

UN.TERP, A- for the posters? You are tough!

This is entertainment. Agree or disagree, most of the posts are entertaining to say the least...

Gonat said...

2011 by the numbers, please add changes and additions as NatsLady did:

80 is the number of wins achieved by the 2011 Nats

74 was the number of walks Jayson Werth drew in 2011 to lead the team and rank 8th in the NL

68 is the positive run differential for the Nats improvement from 2010 to 2011. 31 fewer runs scored. 99 fewer runs given up by the Nats.

60 is the number of games Ryan Zimmerman missed in 2011

44 is the number of Home wins the Nats had this season going 44-36

43 is the number of saves Drew Storen had

43 is the number of games Adam LaRoche appeared in 2011

40 is the number of runners thrown out attempting to steal by Ramos (23) Pudge (13) and JFlo (4). The Nats have the best Caught Stealing percentage by their catchers

36 is the amount wins & the amount of losses the Nats had against the NL East opponents including winning records against the Phillies

31 is the # of HRs the Nats offensive MVP (according to FP & Bob) hit this year. Morse would hit 31 HRs and drive in 98 RBIs.

24 is the amount of innings and strikeouts the amazing Stephen Strasburg threw in 2011. It wasn't enough although it gave us enough of a tease of what we will see for 160 innings next sesaon

23 is what NatsLady said was the number of games the Nats won on their last out.

21 is the number of HRs that Danny Espinosa hit to tie for the Rookie HR lead

21 is the number of HRs that Beast Mode hit that were over 400 ft. which was 68% of all of his HRs at least that distance. 466 feet was his longest at Wrigley. Total HR distance was 12,788 feet or 2.42 miles.

19 is the times Danny Espinosa was HBP

17 was the number of HRs Bryce Harper hit in 2011

15 is the number of HRs Wilson Ramos hit this year to tie the all-time catcher's record for Washington baseball teams

15 is the number of sacrifice bunts Livan Hernandez had in 2011

14 was the number of wild wild pitches by MPHrod

14 I believe was the number of walk-off wins in 2011 which is tied for the MLB lead. Of course none more exciting than the Walk-off HR delivered by Zim, Ramos, Morse and Espinosa

12 is the number of wins this season in extra innings which was a dramatic turnaround from the prior season where the Nats were 3-10

12 to 1 is the K/BB Ratio Stephen Strasburg had in 2011. Very impressive!

11 is the improvement year over year in wins going from 69 to 80 from 2010 to 2011

11 is the error improvement by Ian Desmond going from 34 last season to 23 this year.

11 is the place the Nats ended up in the NL for average runs scored for the season just ahead of the Marlins by the smallest of percentages

11 is the jersey number of the Face of the Franchise who we hope signs a contract extension

baseballswami said...

Don't stop now -- we need team mvp, pitcher of the year,( a tough one), hustle award, comeback player,breakout player, rookie of the year -- think of the possibilities!

Gonat said...

Countdown 10-0

10 is the number of wins against the Phillies this season going 10-8

10 is the number of shutouts the Nats pitchers combined for

10 was the consecutive wins in the Nats road winning streak

10 was the tops in wins by a starter by John Lannan

9 outfield assists by Rick Ankiel and they were all amazing

8 was the number of games in the Nats winning streak 6/10 - 6/18

8 was the place Jordan Zimmermann ended up as tops in the NL for WHIP at 1.147

7 RBIs by Livan Hernandez to lead the pitchers

6 is where the Nats pitching ended amongst all the teams in the National League and 5th fewest in HRs given up

5 is the XBH by Nats pitchers. 3 doubles and 2 HRs

4 wins for comeback player Chien-Ming Wang as well as 4 for Ross Detwiler

4 was the number of highly rated Draft Picks the Nats signed in 2011 named Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin and Purke

3 the number of managers the Nats had this season

2 or some call it AA is the level Bryce Harper finished at in 2011. His final slash for his 1st year was .297/.392/.501/.894

1.83 was Tyler Clippard's final ERA

1 pitch 1 HR for Tom Milone on the 1st pitch he saw in the Majors. It was 1 more HR than Matt Stairs hit

1 hit for Chien-Ming Wang which was the 1st of his career

1 - 1 was the final W/L record for Stephen Strasburg this season. He was also a victim of LRS/BB which stands for "low run support" and "bad bullpen"

0.982 is the field percentage of Danny Espinosa who flashed Gold Glove quality at 2nd base

0.309 is the team OBP and is the one area the Nats really need to improve

0 is the number of losses incurred by Tyler Clippard who was the Nats All Star as he finished with a 3-0 record

wick said...

Ramos should get an A- as a Rookie. Finished as one of the top Catchers in the NL with a WAR in the top 50 among position players (despite only 113 games played). Give him 20 more starts and he's an ALL Star.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Don't stop now -- we need team mvp, pitcher of the year,( a tough one), hustle award, comeback player,breakout player, rookie of the year -- think of the possibilities!

September 29, 2011 3:54 PM

Tisk, tisk, looks like someone didn't watch Mark's video Part I He gave Ramos his Nats Rookie of the Year. Breakout player was Michael Morse.

baseballswami said...

Gonat - I did watch - just thought maybe he would write them down for posterity and add some so that the faithful followers could comment and add thoughts. Beltway Baseball Live does not allow for return dialogue unless you count shouting at the computer screen. And by the way, I do agree with him on both. Comeback player - probably JZim, but honorable mention to Wang and Flores. Pitcher - starting pitcher JZim, relievers - an obvious tie. Team mvp anyone? Morse? Hustle award - Desi? So glad you weren't on the team this year "award"? Dunn or Morgan? OK - getting punchy now - yesterday in major league baseball made me very giddy and tired.

gonatsgo said...

Just thought I would stop in and wish everyone a good off-season ( is there such a thing?). Haven't been posting lately - work has been a b..., well , a bear. I have been trying to keep up with the major threads but all of you can be quite prolific at times and I have to skim. Thanks to MarkDaddy and to all of you who have kept me up on things this season. I don't know whether to be very impressed by some of the more detailed posts, or to worry that you have way too much time on your hands. It's been an eventful season , mostly fun, though. Remember - when the bandwagoneers arrive - we know who has been through the trial by fire, don't we?

bigfitzva said...

Way too high a grade for Lannon. Watching him pitch a game is like watching paint dry. Please someone take him off the National's hands.

baseballswami said...

Was just catching up on the previous thread and saw lots of talk about the media coverage. My grade there is so bad we don't even have a letter for it. 106.7 The Fan is a football station , pure and simple. Yesterday was an unbelievable day in sports, I flipped over to it this morning on the way to work and -- you guessed it - nfl. The masn situation is terrible, especially during inter-league play. I have really liked fp and carp together, but am really tired of johnny and ray, especially since ray does nothing but fawn over Davey Johnson. Production values are pretty poor, too. And have you ever seen that Saturday morning show? God awful set, no film clips or interviews - might as well be on the radio. Media coverage - pretty darn bad.

masnstinks said...

I just cannot resist an editorial comment, swami - yes, I do believe that masn does, in fact, stink.

Nattydread said...

Espinosa deserves a B+ just for his defense.

Werth should be marked up to a C for his Bull Moose campaign.

Pudge should be put up to a B- for attitude

Livo should get a B- for being Livo and doing the Livo shuffle.

sjm308 said...


Not sure I have added my thanks but what a great year for us and obviously for you as well.

Grades - I think you were tough but fair. I would quibble that Werth deserves better and lots of people just can't get past the huge contract but he did bring a culture change and while his numbers aren't great he was solid in the field, handled CF well and did not complain when Riggs had him all over the lineup.

I was surprised at Burnett's strong finish and while I knew Coffey was doing well I did not realize how strong Sean was. I love HRod but I think you were too high because when he was bad he was bad. He is my key to us challenging for the playoffs next year along with LaRoche, Werth and Zimm getting back to there regular numbers.

On comments about media coverage. Our sport radio shows are a joke as far as baseball is concerned. Just watch next year when we are even better how Czaben and Pollen and Sheahan all jump on the bandwagon, and our flagship station is even worse. Its really disheartning that we don't have one segment on during the day or night that focuses on baseball and the Nationals. I was not a huge Phil Wood fan but at least he provided that vehicle. As for TV, I have to acknowledge that Bobby kind of grew on me and I liked him and FP toward the end of the year. I think FP is a real keeper and would not be upset if Sunshine Bobby came back as well.

Thanks again Mark and thanks also to all the great posts that make me laugh or make me proud or make me a smarter baseball fan.

Mark'd said...

Gonat said...Total HR distance was 12,788 feet or 2.42 miles.

Incredible stat. Where did you get that stat from? Almost 2 1/2 Miles in majestic HRs and game winners.

The #40 caught stealing stat is a very overlooked stat and a large contribution to Nats pitcher success this year and low ERA's.

Gonat said...

Mark'd, I put each HR on a spreadsheet with the distance of each HR and totaled it.

On the caught stealings the Nats had 33 in 2010. They were good then and got even better.

Will said...

In what world is Desmond's season worth a "B-"??

I don't care if he cut down on his errors by 33%. He was still one of the worst defenders in the game. Just because the Nats won 10 games more in '08 than in '09 doesn't make the '09 team good. Just as the decrease in errors doesn't make Desmond a good defender. A large part of that decrease is a direct result of Adam Dunn no longer being at 1B.

To add to that, even after a fantastic September, Desmond's offensive numbers were still wayyyy down.
In what world is a .298 OBP acceptable? That's at best, "D-" worthy, considerably given his OPS dropped nearly 50 points. To me, a sophomore year substantially worse than his rookie season demands a grade below average, which these days is at least a "C-" or "D+", especially given that his defense is till below average.

It's too bad Lombardozzi didn't perform better, otherwise, Desmond shouldn't have been close to a guaranteed starting position next season.

Anonymous said...

just a couple of quibbles: Desmond's B is too high -- more like a C. Too many errors -- at leazt 10 errores were counted as hits by a overly kinf hometown official scorer -- and he only hit .250 and all his offensive #'s were down from his rookie year -- so I cant see a B at all. Everyone is way to forgiving with him.

Morse -- just an A? You are kidding right. Morse gets a an A+++ Come on here. He starts outwith the pressure of hit or sit -- so he sits -- takes over from La roche and plays a gold glove forst baser -- then he hits .302 ande 31 taters. 5th in NL in Slg. and he cant get a ++ from you guys.

Everyone is harder on MOrse -- too eaast on Desi

Anonymous said...

I'd give Slaten an F minus. He cost the Nats a winning season. He was terrible.

Anonymous said...

I usually respect what you have to say, but how dare you give Espinosa the same score as Desmond. Espinosa is twice the player Desmond is (more, by WAR) and the idea that they had even remotely comparable seasons is ludicrous.

Will said...

Just to keep laying it on Desmond, fortunately for him he had a decent August/September. Otherwise, he'd have been arguably the worst starting player in baseball. Even including his late surge, he was still the 5th worst shortstop (according to UZR or 3rd worst according to errors) and the 12th worst of all batters (according to wOBA or OPS) of all starters.

I simply don't understand the irrational Desmond love that so many people around the organization have for him. He's a bad baseball player in both facets of the game.

NatsLady said...

Two words that say we don't give up easily on Desmond, two HATED words:

Emilio Bonifacio

MicheleS said...


AMEN to that on Desmond. How many times have we cringed when Bonifacio was up to bat?

Zack said...

@DL in VA

Ok, so Werth's numbers are somewhat comparable to Espinosa's. Remember though, Espinosa plays 2B, and Werth plays a position (RF) that demands MUCH more at the plate. Also, how many clutch hits did Espinosa have? Countless.

The only clutch thing Werth did all year was score on a wild pitch against the Cubs. Oh, and I saw him run back to first to tag up on a flyball with two outs on more than one occasion. Stop making excuses, Werth is just a below-average player.

Will said...

Who would you rather?
Player A: .296/.360/.393
Player B:.253/.298/.358

Player A is Bonifacio, B is Desmond. The choice is clear.

Ironically, for all you complain about Bonifacio, check out the comparison between his numbers with the Nats vs Desmond's 2011 season:

Bonifacio: .248/.305/.344
Desmond: .253/.298/.358

They're the exact same player, and did I mention they're both the same age?

So why is it that Bonifacio is cringe-worthy, and Desmond is "B-" worthy?

Anonymous said...

Desi's second-half numbers were very good: .289/.338/.417, for an OPS 7% above league average -- for a shortstop that's no small feat. THAT'S why he should be guaranteed a job next year, not because Lombarodozzi stunk it up.

Anonymous said...

By the way, since you chose to show Bonifacio's #s against the Nats, I think you ought to go ahead and show Desi's numbers vs the Fish:


Oh, that probably runs counter to your narrative, doesn't it?

Will said...

No, I was showing Bonifacio's numbers WITH the Nationals in 2008 (ie those at bats that caused NatsLady to hate him, and MicheleS to cringe when he batted), which, incidentally, were nearly identical to Desmond, who somehow managed to elicit a completely different response.

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