Ryan Zimmerman was one of the worst everyday players in baseball in 2016. As a proud owner of a vintage Zimmerman “Natinals”-era shirsey, it pains me to admit that. But it was true. Yet 2016 is over and the 2017 season is right around the corner. Is there any hope that Zimmerman can turn things around?
Trea Turner might have been the most exciting story coming out of the 2016 season. Sure, Max Scherzer won a Cy Young award, but he’s expected to be one of the best pitchers in baseball year in and year out. The Nationals did make the playoffs, but by coming up short in the NLDS yet again, it’s not something many fans are celebrating. Turner, though, made a huge impact on the field in only 73 games in 2016 and incited a wave of enthusiasm for his upcoming 2017 season. But MLB history is full of one-year wonders, so is Turner destined for greatness in 2017 or has the bar been set too high?
While most players go through slumps and hot streaks during the season, Daniel Murphy just plain hit in 2016. He hit for average. He hit for power. He set the table. He was clutch. Though he was the Nats’ backup plan at second base before the 2016 season, he ended up being in the conversation for the National League MVP at its conclusion.
If Liam Neeson were a baseball player, he would be Jayson Werth. “What I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” Sure, that might be Neeson talking to the criminals who have just kidnapped his daughter in Taken. But read that again and tell me that’s not what goes through Werth’s mind as he steps into the batter’s box? In Taken, Neeson’s character is a former spy, though on the surface he appears too old to still be on the top of his game. Throughout the movie, Neeson proves that though he may not impressive all facets of the spy game, he is smart enough to know what he still excels at and uses that to his advantage. Again, tell me that’s not Werth?
The Nationals’ biggest splash in the offseason was their trade for the underrated Adam Eaton. If that is somehow news to you, first: glad you could join us out from under your rock, and second: The Nats Blog has you covered with a full breakdown of the the details of the trade itself. As Opening Day creeps closer and closer, though, the focus shifts from the specifics of the trade to how the Nationals new outfielder will perform on the field.
March Madness is right around the corner, so you’ve probably seen the blind resume game once or twice by now. You know, the one where ESPN hides the team names and puts up a collection of stats that makes you think, “hm, maybe Northwest East State really does deserve to make the tournament over Villanova!” In the spirit of March Madness, let’s play a little baseball blind resume game.
There is no debating it: Bryce Harper was disappointing in 2016. It would have been nearly impossible to top Harper’s historical 2015 performance, but even regression to the mean wouldn’t have predicted the depth of Harper’s struggles last season. That begs the question: What will Harper’s 2017 season look like? Thanks to some patented The Nats Blog technology, you no longer have to wait for Opening Day to find out, you can Choose Your Own Bryce Harper 2017 AdventureTNB. If you decide that that Harper will bounce back in 2017, scroll to Section A! If you decide that Harper’s 2015 was the anomaly and he’s overrated, scroll to Section B! If you want to pick the middle road, head to Section C. The choice is yours; choose wisely.
A day after it looked like the Nationals had missed their chance at making a blockbuster trade with the White Sox, the Nationals ended up making a blockbuster trade with the White Sox. Outfielder Adam Eaton, and not pitcher Chris Sale, is now a National while DC waves goodbye to a trio of promising pitching prospects: Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning.
Time is a flat circle, so it’s only fitting that Derek Norris is returning to DC. After the Nationals shipped him to Oakland as part of the deal that brought Gio Gonzalez to DC, Norris has been dealt back to the team that originally drafted him. In a deal announced Friday, the Nationals found a potential Wilson Ramos replacement in the former Padre Norris in exchange for Single-A pitcher Pedro Avila.
It’s never been a better time to be a relief pitcher. Thanks to the success of the Royals, Cubs and Indians and their respective bullpens, relief pitching is the new “fetch”. If you are lucky enough to be able to throw a baseball at least 95 MPH, you can pitch a couple innings a week, hang out in the bullpen the rest of the year, and watch the cash flow in. Look no further than the University of Maryland’s own Brett Cecil, who just signed a four year deal worth over $30 million after throwing only 36 innings of 3.93 ERA baseball last season.