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.
With the conclusion of the World Series, the offseason is officially here. Although 2016 ended in disappointment for the Nationals, the team doesn’t lose a lot heading into 2017 and figures to once again be in the mix for the 2017 World Series. Like most teams, the Nationals have some work to do around the edges, like solidifying a bullpen that loses a few arms and replacing some of the bench players. But the big moves for the Nationals will be dictated by their answer to the following four crucial questions.
As I watched Wilson Ramos land awkwardly and crumple to the ground pointing at his knee Monday night, a lot was going through my mind. I was mad that the Nationals had to play in the sloppy conditions in DC that night. I was frustrated with Dusty Baker for not giving Ramos more time off. I cursed the baseball gods who clearly had a hand in sending first Stephen Strasburg then Daniel Murphy then Bryce Harper and now Ramos to the bench with injuries. I wondered how many people weren’t watching the game because they were doing something much more important like watching the presidential debate. I hated the Diamondbacks and their stupid jerseys. I missed Jose Fernandez, because anything related to baseball makes me miss Jose Fernandez this week. But most of all, in the midst of all that emotion, I feared what this injury might do to ruin what has been an amazing season of baseball in DC.
The Nationals have a problem, they have a black hole at first base. I mean that figuratively of course; the Nationals have gotten the least offensive production out of first base in all of baseball. There may be a hole in the space time continuum at first, though, because Ryan Zimmerman has gone missing this season. Zimmerman’s .213/.269/.365 batting is far from acceptable from a first baseman. In fact, it makes him the worst offensive first baseman in all of baseball. He might as well have been pulled into The Upside Down.