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.
Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley recently asserted West Palm Beach’s family-friendly superiority to the Nationals former Spring Training home in Viera, a fact that has been scientifically proven through Instagram posts from Clint Robinson and Gio Gonzalez.
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.
The Nationals front office has finally gotten bold, signing big free agent John Lannan to a minor league deal with no invite to camp. (Editor’s note: must credit @AndrewFlaxTNB.)
A two-time Opening Day starter for the Nats, Lannan ended his previous five year stint with the Nationals in April 2012, asking general manager Mike Rizzo for a trade after losing out to Ross Detwiler in a battle for the fifth starter spot. Lannan hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014 with the Mets and compiled ERAs north of 5.00 at Triple A with the Rockies in 2015 and the Royals last year. But our prodigal son has returned, probably on a $30,000 salary deferred over three years that the Lerners had to personally approve. Time heals all wounds.
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.
For as long as he’s been in the booth, FP Santangelo has been a “play the game the right way” commentator. What does that mean? Santangelo has long espoused the value of “gritty” players, your David Eckstein and Steve Lombardozzi types. So, it came as quite a shock when he started talking about advanced metrics during MASN’s first spring broadcast of 2017.
Continue Reading FP Embraces Advanced Stats
This weekend, the Washington Nationals will play their first spring training game, and it will be televised!*
(*if you have an MLB.tv subscription)
MASN’s paltry spring training TV coverage has been an issue for Nats fans for 13 years now, and this year is no different. Luckily, if you do subscribe to MLB.tv, you can more than double your pleasure and your fun before the season officially begins. While MASN will only televise seven games, an MLB.tv subscription will get you 15 games, thanks to away broadcasters and ESPN’s coverage of the game at the Naval Academy.
All told, with TV subscriptions and Charlie and Dave on the radio, you can get 20 of the Nats 31 games (not counting split squad games) in some form. Thanks, internet! (You may be able to get away radio broadcasts on some other days not listed here, but those aren’t listed anywhere at this point. We will try to update this as that information is available.)
Here’s your comprehensive list of Nats broadcasts this spring!
Continue Reading Washington Nationals Comprehensive Spring Training Broadcast Schedule 2017
Did you hear the news? The Nationals have agreed with Matt Wieters on what is essentially a one-year, $10.5 million deal with an identical player option for next year. A quick bit of analysis: It’s good. For Mike Rizzo, it’s found money; it didn’t seem like ownership was going to spend that money anywhere else this offseason, and now he gets another asset. For Ted Lerner, it’s a likely upgrade at catcher and a chance to stick it to Peter Angelos and the Orioles. For the team, it’s a better bat and better defender behind the dish (though seemingly a worse pitch framer) instead of hoping for a bounce-back from literally the worst hitter in baseball last year.
But this piece won’t be an analysis of Wieters’ merits as a player. Instead, I want to look at the many doors this move has opened for the Nationals. With a surplus of catching, the team has myriad options on how to move forward.