Pain. As we reach the quarter point of the season, the Nationals have hit their first real rough patch, losing four of six to teams that are a combined 12 games under .500. The Pirates, who have the second-worst offense in MLB, scored 20 runs over the three-game series. The Braves were one of the most power deficient offenses in the league—especially so without Nat-killer extraordinaire Freddie Freeman. Atlanta hit six home runs in their two victories before Strasburg dealt them the Ace of Spades and shut them down over 7.2 IP. For all the good the Nationals have, there are some cracks in the foundation. For the starting pitching, the bullpen, lineup, and bench, we will look at the areas of concern, and how significant they are.
“I think anyone is a little uncomfortable with giving anyone a seven-year deal,” Rizzo said. “But we’re in a position with the Washington Nationals at this place and this time that we have to do a little bit more than the championship-caliber, win-today teams. I think that it’s kind of a two-fold process. Sometimes you have to give the years to get the player. We feel, with that said, this is the type of guy to give a long-term deal with. He takes such good care of his body. Our evaluators have seen him improve the last three years to a point where we still his best days are still ahead of him.”
2014 Jayson Werth – .292/.394/.455, 141 wRC+, 5.0 WAR in 147 games
2017 Jayson Werth – .287/.387/.477, 124 wRC+, 0.8 WAR in 36 games
It’s a drizzly night in DC, and Anthony Rendon, mellow as ever, is sitting in the dugout, waiting for his turn to hit. Trea Turner approaches his favorite player and asks him what his approach is going to be in his at-bat. Rendon shrugs and answers, “I’m going to drive in all the runs tonight.”
The Nationals bullpen is… well… underperforming. No one has taken the closer’s role by the horns. There’s a void at the back end of the bullpen as wide as the Grand Canyon. Yet, I legitimately think that there is an answer for that void in the Nats organization: Joe Ross.
Ross has struggled this year as a starter. He has an ERA and FIP well over 5.00 entering Tuesday’s game against the Mariners, his home run rate is astronomical, and his velocity is way down… late in his starts. If only there was a role that existed in a major league organization where a pitcher didn’t need to throw 100 pitches and could empty the proverbial tank with elite stuff before getting tired… Oh, wait, there is. And the Nats desperately need someone who can do that.
As has been mentioned in every single article about the Nationals for the past four weeks, their bullpen is bad. But for once, this is an article that isn’t (directly) about them.
Welcome back to the latest in a series, in which we review the previous week in Nationals baseball and power rank the players according to their performance. This is an extremely unserious exercise; at no point should it ever be confused with actual baseball analysis. Don’t worry, I will do my best to make sure that is obvious. Without further ado: your Washington Nationals, ranked according to power.
Oliver Perez: number 46 on the roster, number three or four-ish in our hearts when the situation calls for a lefty specialist, and number one in foul line jumpers. Saturday, the relief pitcher became the number one enemy of rain. As the grounds crew struggled to pull the tarp over the field at Sun Trust Park, Perez, like a baseball James Bond, stepped in.
Continue Reading Oliver Perez Shines in Tarp Application Outing
The Nationals are extremely dramatic, and their performance swings are exhausting, but they are lovable anyway, and this is a run-on sentence to designed to communicate that and that they did some things this week.
It might seem like the third time is the charm for Michael A Taylor. Handed a starting role when Adam Eaton went down with a torn ACL, MAT has nearly picked up where Mighty Mouse left off. Since getting plugged into a starting role in Center Field on April 29 through the end of Thursday’s game, Taylor is hitting .328/.369/.557. He’s getting on base and hitting for power, with four doubles, two triples and two home runs, a combination that has him hitting 41% better than league average. He has even swiped two stolen bases to zero caught stealing. Maybe it took a couple turns for Taylor to put it all together, and 2017 is where everything finally clicks?