About two-and-a-half weeks ago, fellow TNB writer Nathaniel Brose thoroughly detailed Trea Turner’s increased selectiveness at the plate. Like many of us, she was waiting for Turner to start hitting. Trea has been getting on base all year — he has failed to reach base in only six games in 2018. Coming into play on the on April 11, he was slashing a paltry .195/.340/.268. He had just one extra-base hit in that span too, a home run.
Tag Archives: Trea Turner
Five to ten years ago, talking heads in baseball may have been calling for 24-year-old phenom Trea Turner to be sent down. After all, the NC State product is hitting just .236 in the first month of the season. Forced into the leadoff spot following Adam Eaton’s absence, it has been frustrating to see him unable to produce base hits. Yet there he is halfway through April, sporting a .368 OBP thanks to a 17.2% walk rate. While nowhere near a guy like Bryce Harper (27%), this is a rate on par with players like Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Judge, or Paul Goldschmidt. Essentially, we are talking about a walk rate prototypical of a slugger, not a leadoff man like Dee Gordon (3.9% career BB%), Ender Inciarte (6.7%), or Adam Eaton (8.2%).
In retrospect, riding camels might not have been a good substitute for working on the fundamentals. This a common refrain surrounding the Washington Nationals’ 4-5 start, including streaks of four wins to open the season followed by a five-game losing run. Still, not all is lost (Nats Reddit disagrees, of course), as there have been some positives, most namely that it is still so early that Mother Nature has yet to realize the season has started. Let’s go over a few of the important points thus far.
On June 29th, after Trea Turner unsuccessfully tried to turn away from a 96 mph 2-1 fastball up and in from Pedro Strop of the Cubs, a lot of things happened: First, Turner walked slowly to first on a hit by pitch, the Nationals scored three runs that inning and took the lead, and the (then) horrific bullpen coughed up that lead in the top of the 9th. The other thing that happened was Turner’s right wrist was broken, sidelining him for what appears to be an approximately 8-week stint on the disabled list (Turner is currently rehabbing in AAA Syracuse).
The 2017 season has been one of many surprises, both good and bad. The Nationals have been absolutely decimated by injuries, but a few not-so-big names have stepped ably into their place. At 73-47, the Nationals are on a 99-win pace and hold a comfortable 14-game division lead. But if they hadn’t had their major injuries, would they be on a 106-win pace? Or if their bench hadn’t stepped up, would they be on their way to 87 wins? Let’s break down all these surprises and see if we can’t figure out the impact they’ve had on this team.
There are 53 games left in the regular season. Fifty-three games to get through until the games really matter. Fifty-three games for some guys to get healthy, some to get hurt, and others to either play their way on or off the playoff roster.
With about two more months to go until the regular season ends, and with the postseason picture becoming more clear, it’s become obvious that unless something changes drastically, the Nats are going to play the winner of the NL Central in the playoffs. And right now, it’s looking like that team is going to be the Cubs (unless the Brewers can fulfill my chaos-fueled wishes and unseat the Cubs).
If you follow the Washington Nationals closely, you know that the Lerners, owners of the franchise, and General Manager Mike Rizzo have put together a “stars and scrubs” team for the past few years. They designed it to have the majority of the payroll tied up in elite (and marketable) players with minimal money put into depth. It is hard to say it is not working, considering that after nearly 100 games the Nationals have somewhere between three and five MVP candidates and a double-digit lead in the division. With a plethora of injuries testing the limits of that thin depth, stakeholders all over are wondering if they will be able to hold up to losses to key players. With that said, here is a look at the replaceability of key players within the Nationals organization.
Ah, the 2017 All-Star weekend: when you’ll watch the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge try to destroy the Marlins’ hideous statue in left center with homers before baseball fans everywhere can finally enjoy watching the game’s best players without the exhibition deciding home field advantage.
But you, wise and curious Nationals fan, want to know exactly who will be suiting up to play in front of the league’s most consistent fan base. Herein lies this week’s looming question: Which curly-w-clad gentlemen will head to Miami for the Midsummer Classic? The starters will be revealed on the evening of 2 June, with the following all but guaranteed, and thus, not altogether interesting to discuss.
Bryce Harper is an absolute stud. There’s no other way about it. He’s raked since the day he stepped foot into the league, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down anytime soon. But there’s one factor he has that makes him incredibly important to the Nationals: he’s clutch.