Now that the Nationals are healthy and Trea Turner is back and cycling around the bases, Dusty Baker is burdened with the best of problems: how does he build his lineup? Earlier this week, Court Swift discussed his optimal lineup with everyone healthy, but here we’re going to look at the options I think Dusty will be seriously considering for the long-term. Normally I would say that with a team this talented and deep, they can go the route of playing matchups and the hot hand. But Dusty is far too traditional for that, so my thinking is that within the next week or so he’s going to really decide on a lineup to stick with (until the next injury changes everything). I see three likely options.
Tag Archives: Matt Wieters
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I did the thing Nats fans aren’t supposed to do. Maybe it’s just a gag reflex from being a DC sports fan too long. I’m not sure. Whatever the reason, I need to apologize because during the offseason I doubted Mike Rizzo. I mean I genuinely thought he was off his rocker. Continue Reading Rizzo Proves His Worth Again
Hearts of Nationals fans everywhere were broken when it was made clear that Wilson Ramos would not be returning to the Nationals for the 2017 season. The catcher lovingly nicknamed “The Buffalo” was in the last year of his contract, suffered a torn ACL near the end of the season, and ended up signing with the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason. So the question remained: who could replace the fan-favorite coming off the best season of his career?
Debate over who should lead off for the Nationals began as soon as Mike Rizzo dealt three top pitchers (they may leave our farm system, but never our hearts) for Adam Eaton. Eaton’s calling card was his ability to lead off and play great outfield defense – two things Trea Turner did for the 2016 version of the Nats. But Eaton took Turner’s centerfield spot, so Turner took Danny Espinosa‘s shortstop job, and Danny was sent home to California to grow his beard. Turner managed to keep his leadoff job coming out of spring training, but not coming off the DL as Dusty Baker used the return of Turner to switch a few things up. I wouldn’t stop there — I’d go a step further. Here would be my lineup:
Welcome to the first 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.
Today is the day! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the baseball players are no longer claiming to be in the best shapes of their lives. It’s Opening Day part two, which is kind of like when Parks and Rec released after The Office. We’re in the moments before starting a glass of lemonade, when you have the whole cup left to enjoy. There are 162 games to consume, and there are a few themes to follow that might enhance your appreciation of them.
After a solid career as an Oriole, Matt Wieters made the (usually not so) quick drive 95 to DC and will be donning the curly W in 2017. Wieters has some big shoes to fill as he steps in to take the place of Wilson Ramos. While Wieters is a consistent ball player, he won’t be able to replicate Ramos’ success.
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.
This is the second of three parts in my offseason preview series. If you want to know more about the methodology, check out part one here. You should also just read it anyway! How did you even get to part two first?
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.