Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Ask Collier; what’s up with the bullpen?

35 comments

I'd like to note that Matt Albers is officially listed as 6'1", 225lbs. photo via outsidepitchmlb.com

I’d like to note (using this picture as reference) that Matt Albers is officially listed as 6’1″, 225lbs. photo via outsidepitchmlb.com

A mid-April mailbag from Nats MLB.com beat reporter Jamal Collier.  Probably spurred on by these ugly numbers: 6.00, 6.43, 3.18, 6.75, 10.80, 8.10, and 11.57.  Those are the current (as of 4/18/17) ERAs of the seven “original” bullpen members of your 2017 Nationals.   The only one under 6 is Koda Glover, and for completion I should add that NRI Matt Albers has managed to throw 3 clean innings to help keep the bullpen ERA down.

You  may be saying to yourself, “Man, the Nats bullpen has been the worst in the majors!”  You’re close, but wrong.  There are several teams by any measure that have actually been worse than Washington, believe it or not.  By ERA, there are 3 worse teams.  By fWAR, there are 2 worse teams.  And by FIP there’s one bullpen worse than ours.  In every case, Philadelphia’s bullpen has been even worse.   So we have that going for us.

Lets get to the question.  As always, I answer the question before reading Collier’s answer and sometimes edit questions for clarity.

Q: Why is the bullpen struggling?

A: Because its mid-April, because everything is Small Sample Sizes (SSS), because the Nats struck lightening in a bottle in 2016 while completely remaking their bullpen on the fly but may have struck out this year.  Here’s the opening day roster bullpens over the last few years to highlight just how much turnover we’ve had:

  • 2013: Soriano, Storen, Clippard, Mattheus, Stammen, Rodriguez, Duke
  • 2014: Soriano, Clippard, Storen, Stammen, Blevins, Barrett, Detwiler
  • 2015: Storen, Janssen, Stammen, Thornton*, Cedeno*, Barrett, Roark
  • 2016: Papelbon, Treinen, Kelley, Belisle, Perez*, Rivero*, Petit
  • 2017: Treinen, Kelley, Glover, Blanton, Solis*, Romero*, Perez*

Meaning:

  • From 2013->2014: 4 holdovers, 3 new guys
  • From 2014->2015: 3 holdovers, 4 new guys.
  • From 2015->2016: 0 holdovers, 7 new guys
  • From 2016->2017: 3 holdovers, 4 new guys

Frankly, the fact that a 100% remade bullpen was so successful last year was amazing.  Perhaps now we’re seeing the downside of this lack of consistency.

I trust most of the guys in the 2017 bullpen, based on prior history.  I think I know what to expect out of Treinen, Kelley, Glover, Blanton, Solis and Perez.  Romero we all knew is/was a lottery ticket, and he may be DFA fodder soon.  Albers the NRI could be this year’s Todd Coffey; a successful middle reliever who we got for peanuts.  I think we just need some time.

That being said, lets look role by role and ask ourselves if we think this year’s bullpen is “better” than last.

  • Will Treinen (as closer) be better than Papelbon?  I like his chances.
  • Will Kelley repeat his success of 2016?  No reason not to think so
  • Will Glover give the team what Treinen did last year?  I’m confident.
  • Is Blanton better than Belisle?  Undoubtedly yes.
  • Can Solis match Rivero’s lefty production?  Seems like it based on what he did last year
  • Is Perez the same guy he was last year?  Probably.
  • Can Romero be as bad as Petit was last  year?  Yeah, he probably could.

Maybe you don’t agree with me on these quick takes … but on a general level the message is this: the bullpen this year should be just as good as last year’s.

Collier delves into FIP to find some unluckiness, also notes its SSS.  And he notes that its a MLB-wide trend; bullpens are awful everywhere for some reason this year.


 

Q: How much rope does Blake have left? Is he staying put only because the other options have also struggled?

A: See above: its April 18th.  Treinen has 4 save opportunities, blew one (where he gave up just one hit to blow it), but his most recent outing was an ugly one necessitating some Bryce Harper heroics.  My choice to close would have been Shawn Kelley honestly; more experience, more swing and miss stuff, more proven capabilities of getting guys out on both sides of the plate.  But the team chose otherwise, mostly due to Kelley’s twice-repaired elbow and the need to go back to back nights.  Ask yourself; how often do we need a closer to go back to back nights?  Lets look at last year’s closer Mark Melancon and count how many times he pitched in back to back games for the entirety of 2016: I counted 16 times in 75 appearances.  And in most of those cases, he then got several days off.  I just can’t believe Kelley’s arm is SO FRAGILE that he can’t throw back to back nights.

Do you know how many times Kelley threw on back-to-back days in 2016?  Take a guess.  13 times.  So 13 times last year (or nearly as many as the closer Melancon) Kelley threw on back to back days, but suddenly in 2017 he’s too fragile to depend on to throw back to backs as the closer.

To get back to the question; I’m sure Glover will be closing sooner or later.  It was always looking that way.  How much rope does Treinen have?  Probably at least til mid May.

Collier says its early, that while Treinen has had some issues there’s no change coming anytime soon.


 

Q: Who do you see as potential options in the Minors in case the current bullpen members don’t figure things out and changes need to be made?

A: Great question.  When Albers got called and added to the active roster, it was a severe indictment of all remaining 40-man roster relievers.  That’s be Rafael Martin, Trevor Gott, Austin Adams, and to a lesser extent Jimmy Cordero and Matt Grace.  The first three guys are right handed options, all with MLB experience, all passed over for a guy the team signed for nothing.  That tells me that the team has little to no trust in any of those three guys at the major league level right now.  So who might the team call upon?  Here’s some thoughts:

  • From AAA: Adams is the only guy having a halfway decent season thus far; in 7 2/3rds innings he’s given up just 1 hit (!), walked 6, struck out 12.  The team just re-signed Joe Nathan but I sincerely hope he’s not a legitimate option.
  • From AA; the 5 best guys by WHIP are … the five starters.  So that’s good I guess.  Braulio Lara was an offseason MLFA with a lot of AAA time; he’s got decent AA stats right now and could be an option to move up, but not straight to the majors for me.  Then there’s Ryan Brinley, who is sharing in closing duties but is young and is a total lottery ticket; a 27th rounder from 2015 who is a shock to have even made it this far.  40-man member Cordero is down here… and has a 19.62 ERA right now.  Nice.
  • From XST: there’s three potentially interesting names that could make sense for the bullpen: Derek Eitel, John Lannan, and Josh Outman.  Eitel had solid AAA numbers last year and has been around for a while (age 29); he might be an option to look for.  Outman has parts of 7 years MLB experience, some starting, some relieving and could be an option.  Lastly, the new side-slinger Lannan could be a back-fill for an under-performing Loogie.

I guess the other option would be to take a starter from AAA or AA and bring him up in relief.  But the AAA starters are really struggling right now.  Hill is getting bombed, Voth has given up 15 hits in just 6 1/3 innings, Cole walked 5 guys in his first start, and Turner has a 1.73 whip through 2 turns.  And none of these guys are really known for their blazing fastballs; they’re all command and control starters.  The AA starters look better than the AAA starters, but a couple of them strategically have to stay as starters (namely Erick Fedde and Austen Williams, John Simms to a lesser extent).  Jaron Long and Greg Ross are both MLFA signings who the team may not have as much invested in … perhaps they could be put into shorter relief modes and considered for bullpen spots.  But that’s digging deep.

In other words … there’s not a lot of reinforcements that the team trusts right now.  The MLB bullpen will be given plenty of rope to straighten themselves out.

Collier mentions Albers’ success, Nathan signing, Cotts, Adams and Gott.

 

35 Responses to 'Ask Collier; what’s up with the bullpen?'

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  1. To me the lack of depth is even more serious an issue than the current performance of the bullpen. Last year they only used 13 pitchers in the first half as Belisle went on the DL early and then came off just in time to replace Papelbon when he went on the DL. For the season, however, they ended up using a total of 24 pitchers.

    Where are the reinforcements going to come from this year? Not only does the current bullpen need to right the ship, they gotta hope a bunch of the minor league guys figure things out as well. That’s an awful lot of hoping.

    Karl Kolchak

    18 Apr 17 at 4:43 pm

  2. I don’t see an answer for the question of “where are the reinforcements coming from,” unless we select the “least bad option” and pick existing 40-man roster guys who are struggling in AAA.

    Todd Boss

    18 Apr 17 at 4:49 pm

  3. Here’s a stat line that hurts: Nick Pivetta at AAA for the Phillies: 2-0, 1.38 ERA, 13 Ks, 0 BBs in 13.0 IPs. It’s looking more like the Papelbon trade is going to end up as a loss for the Nats on both sides of the deal.

    Meanwhile, Robbie Ray is currently outpitching Zack Greinke in Arizona and has 24 Ks in just 18.1 IP, though he also has 12 BBs. The Fister trade is no longer looking like such a steal.

    And lastly, our old friend Danny Espinosa is up to his old tricks–leading the Angles in HRs with 3 (tied with Trout) and RBIs with 12 while batting only .204. Just wish they could have gotten one halfway decent reliever for him instead of two scrubs. The Nats gave gave LAA half its starting infield and have no players on the 25-man roster to show for it.

    Karl Kolchak

    18 Apr 17 at 6:38 pm

  4. Andrew Stevenson 5 for 5 tonight with 2 doubles. Probably should leapfrog Taylor and Goodwin soon. I’m afraid I was right about Treinen closing.

    Rendon hitting .191 even with a few hits this week. He cannot afford to get off to another awful first half this year. Needs to turn it around soon.

    Marty C

    18 Apr 17 at 11:50 pm

  5. Well, to quote Sam Cooke, “A Change is Gonna Come.” I think it came on Tuesday: Shawn Kelley, closer.

    It was good to see a strong inning from Solis. It make end up being a big deal for him, with Ross set to come off the DL today. I have no idea what the corresponding roster move will be. They’re not sending Glover down, and he and Solis are the only bullpen guys with options. Perhaps they option Taylor, since they’ve barely been using him, and go with four bench guys. Perhaps Treinen goes on the DL with a bruised ego. Perhaps they DFA Romero, who seems to be deep in the doghouse.

    But they got the win, while the Mets lost their fourth in a row. Buckner sucks, but he always has, which I think is Werth’s point. Max was great, and Harp and Zim are locked in. Not good having both Harper and Eaton make base-running mistakes that cost bigger innings, though.

    KW

    19 Apr 17 at 6:40 am

  6. I voted to start with Treinen too, but I agree that a change needs to be made now. Has Kelley been announced? I hope so, since I think Glover will be a mistake; actually the better way to say that is the risk of failure is higher because he’s so young. I thought Boz had some interesting comments about release points yesterday to explain why Treinen’s stuff doesn’t play up as much as you’d think it would (short release point which makes his stuff appear slower to a batter, as opposed to Stras). Don’t know if it’s true but it was interesting.

    I still think there’s a chance Blanton gets his HRs under control and he shares the job. It does seem inevitable that Robertson will be acquired at some point. I would hate to give up real value for him, so I’m hoping they right the ship. Or, if PIT slides out of contention, could we see Felipe back?

    Also agree that Dusty seems to have buried Romero. Could be a DFA

    Wally

    19 Apr 17 at 7:01 am

  7. Dusty: “We’ve got to do something to shore up our closer situation, because this ain’t working.” Sure sounds like a non-announcement announcement to me.

    Other than the HRs, Blanton has been good. I think he’ll be fine.

    I’m not looking for trades right now. There’s good talent in the ‘pen. They’ve just collectively got to work out some things. I also think a leader needs to emerge out there, whether it’s the closer or not. Kelley, or Blanton, or someone needs to kind of become the Werth-like tough-love guy for that portion of the team.

    KW

    19 Apr 17 at 8:15 am

  8. Pivetta reaction: is it just me, or are people more worked up about the “marginal” players we’ve given up in trade recently as compared to someone like Pivetta? Pivetta looks like he’s going to be a 3rd starter in the majors and soon. Meanwhile people are freaked out about the loss of Felipe Rivero (a one inning lefty), or future hall of famer Max Schrock (currently hitting .208 in AA), or the loss of Luis Avila (who had a 4 ERA in low-A).

    Ray; not as concerned. We got a solid year out of Fister. Ray may have a ton of strikeouts .. but he can’t find the plate.

    Espinosa and Escobar: well, when the entire league knows you’re looking to trade someone, you’re not going to get much in return. The returns on those players is entirely on Rizzo for doing things in the “wrong order.” The moment he acquired Eaton, *everyone* knew Turner was supplanting Espinosa and that we needed to move him. We were lucky to get 30 cents on the dollar.

    Todd Boss

    19 Apr 17 at 8:57 am

  9. Agree; I think Romero is a DFA to make room for Ross tonight. He got his experiment and … as we all suspected, there’s no real downside to cutting him.

    As for the closer? I think you saw what Dusty will do when he pulled Treinen and went with Kelley.

    Todd Boss

    19 Apr 17 at 8:59 am

  10. Svrluga spells it out:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/nationals-owe-it-to-the-clubhouse-blake-treinen-cant-pitch-the-ninth-again/2017/04/19/bba66e66-2506-11e7-a1b3-faff0034e2de_story.html

    Ghost at Nats Talk said he has heard from a source in the organization that coming out of the spring, Dusty wanted to pick Glover. Interesting if true. Anyway, Treinen has gotten his look. It’s time to move on. Alternate Kelley and Glover if you’re worried about overusing Kelley.

    KW

    19 Apr 17 at 11:53 am

  11. “overusing Kelley.” I pointed out earlier that he threw on back to back nights 13 times last year, almost as many as Melancon did for his two orgs. So I call BS on that narrative that he can’t throw back to back nights. Nearly every reliever has the same usage pattern; throw at least every other night, and if you go back to back you get a day or two off, often times a “planned” day off b/c of an off-day.

    Todd Boss

    19 Apr 17 at 12:47 pm

  12. Yeah, I think the Kelley overuse thing is just brought up by folks who don’t want Kelley to be the closer.

    KW

    19 Apr 17 at 1:50 pm

  13. My complaint on Schrock was not because I felt he at 5’7″ was likely to be anything more than a utility player, it was how the whole bullpen situation was handled last year and yes, that does include Rivero. By the trading deadline, the Nats knew they were likely going to face the lefty heavy lineup of the Dodgers in the first round, but instead of trading Giolito, whose stock was already dropping, one-for-one for Miller, as was the offer apparently on the table, they instead traded their best lefty reliever and another lefty prospect for Melancon. Then in a panic at the end of August when they realized (surprise! surprise!) Solis’s health was in question as it has been every year of his career and that Perez was continuing to look like dog do, they had to give up Schrock for one month’s service of a lefty reliever who wasn’t having a very good season, and who of course would go on to take the loss in Game 5 of the NLDS.

    You can’t just look at each of Rizzo’s bullpen moves in isolation. The reason the Nats’ system is depleted of pitching for which they have very little to show for it is a whole series of cascading moves that each on their own only hurt a little, but taken together hurt a whole lot. And don’t get me started about how some of those big bucks they offered Jansen could have instead been used to pay for some quality veteran middle relievers so that maybe they wouldn’t be in such a precarious position with the bullpen right now.

    Karl Kolchak

    19 Apr 17 at 5:16 pm

  14. Trading Espinosa for a bag of balls was all he was worth. Think about every time Eaton comes to bat you could be watching Espinosa flail instead. Killing rallies, and preventing our sluggers from getting another ab in the late innings.

    There is no room for Espi’s or Taylors on NL teams that already suffer from the pitcher in the lineup. Taylor looks completely baffled in his few ab’s so far this year. Has he even made contact? Even fouled a pitch off? Anyway.. these types belong in the AL if anywhere.

    Treinen as I mentioned before has never shown the pinpoint control needed for a closer. His ball just moves too much. And I’ll never figure out how he rarely gets swings and misses with that crazy movement whether he’s six inches further away or not.

    Despite the bullpen issues… it does seem way different watching the team this year as opposed to 2 years ago when Espi, Desi, and Taylor were swinging and praying. We have a bunch of grinders at the plate now, and the return of an effective Turner should really make it fun. I’m not sure what to make of Rendon though… he’s just stagnated. He needs a few sessions at the Daniel Murphy hitting school to make some counter adjustments to the ones the league has obviously made against him.

    Todd… can we bet dinner that .208 hitting Schrock hits over .300 this year?

    Finally… Can we move our AAA team out of Syracuse please? Must be a horrible place to play as we rarely have anyone flourish there. Where baseball career dreams go to die.

    Marty C

    19 Apr 17 at 6:21 pm

  15. Marty–you completely missed my point. All I was saying is that it is a shame they couldn’t have gotten just a bit more than a bag of baseballs for Espinosa, or for Escobar who has been a key part of Trout’s lineup support since the trade. Rizzo was willing to risk waiting until the beginning of ST to sign Weiters, yet those two guys he shipped out of town so quickly in the respective offseasons you would have thought they were nuclear waste.

    Karl Kolchak

    19 Apr 17 at 6:42 pm

  16. Well, Treinen is out as the closer and hopefully hasn’t had his confidence completely shattered. And speaking of shattered, Solis has now been placed on the DL 6 straight seasons, although this time it might just be a case of suckitis.

    Karl Kolchak

    19 Apr 17 at 6:44 pm

  17. Dusty says Kelley and Glover will split closing. I like it, but I know a lot of folks think there has to be one anointed guy.

    I hate that Solis had to be the fall guy. I guess it’s better for him (and his service time) that they DL’d him instead of optioned him.

    KW

    19 Apr 17 at 7:10 pm

  18. The Nats had to unload Danny, not only his contract but his attitude. He was only under control for one year. Not a lot of leverage there at all. As for prospects from the Halos, it’s hard to get blood out of a turnip.

    For Escobar, I must admit, I liked the looks of Gott when we got him. He had been very good in the majors in 2015, and at a young age. Must be the curse of Syracuse that Marty mentioned . . . (Syracuse isn’t a particularly appealing place even in the few weeks when it’s warm.)

    KW

    19 Apr 17 at 7:17 pm

  19. Now THAT is what we’re supposed to be doing to the bottom-feeders of the division, 14-4 smackdowns every night. How long will Bryce’s video-game-like run last? I hope at least through the weekend.

    Ross was shaky early but then really settled in. Anyone want to reconsider where the Nat rotation ranks as a whole after seeing how the back ends of the Met and Cubbie rotations are? And how well Gio is pitching? Don’t want to jinx us right before trips to Citi and Coors, though.

    KW

    20 Apr 17 at 8:23 am

  20. Marty; no bet on Schrock hitting .300. He’s frigging playing in the Texas league; his home park Midland is very favorable to hitters and arguably four of the other seven parks are also considered hitters’s parks either by Homers or by runs.

    Now, its not nearly as bad as the California League (where 7 of the parks are just flat out ridiculous hitting environments) or the PCL (where about 9 of the 16 parks are similarly ridiculous), but its not like the Eastern league, where there’s good balance and no real hitting outliers.

    see: http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/minor-league-ballpark-effects-2014/#dVUUjPV3Kw3vPiHg.97

    Todd Boss

    20 Apr 17 at 11:00 am

  21. A. J. Cole went 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA in the Cali League at age 20 . . . and the A’s gave him back. The next year, he had a 2.18 ERA in the Eastern League.

    KW

    20 Apr 17 at 11:28 am

  22. AAA team location. We’ve been in New Orleans and Columbus prior to settling for the last 10 years or so in Syracuse. Are there better alternatives for the Nats? The two “last cities standing” for AAA squads always seem to be New Orleans (currently with Miami) and the Mets (currently stuck in Las Vegas). Both those environments seem to be less desirable for teams, hence why they’re always last ones standing (though Miami signed on for multiple years with N.O.). The affiliate dance happens every 2 years; next time will be after 2018. This link tracks them all: http://ballparkdigest.com/200905261902/minor-league-baseball/news/affiliate-dance-2012

    Some teams own their AAA squads so they’ll never change: Gwinnett (Braves), Memphis (Cardinals), Oklahoma City (Dodgers), Scranton (Yankees). And some have longer term deals signed: Charlotte (White Sox), Indianapolis (Pirates), Iowa (Cubs), Lehigh Valley (Phillies), New Orleans (Marlins), Sacramento (Giants). So that’s 10 of the 30 that aren’t really options for the Nats to replace Syracuse from the get go. Then there’s no way we want a PCL/West coast team so that removes Colorado Springs, Omaha, Round Rock, Nashville, New Orleans, Reno, Tacoma, Fresno, Las Vegas, Salt Lake and El Paso from the equation. Another 11 that are out.

    That leaves the following 9 International League teams as options: The first 5 are near locks to stay where they are for geographical reasons
    – Buffalo: currently with Toronto and makes total sense as being basically a suburb of Toronto.
    – Pawtucket: long-time Boston affiliate and geographically makes sense.
    – Columbus: formerly w/ Nats, now with the Indians, which makes more sense, and they draw really well
    – Toledo: with Detroit, again makes sense geographically
    – Louisville: with Cincinnati, again making the most sense geographically.

    That leaves four teams really.
    – Durham: currently with Tampa Bay, marquee team, new stadium, good attendance, closest affiliate to Tampa.
    – Rochester: currently with Minnesota, was Baltimore’s team for 30 years prior.
    – Syracuse: were with Toronto for decades prior to Nats.
    – Norfolk: was with the Mets for nearly 40 years, now with Baltimore; would be ideal for us but Baltimore got ’em

    I’d love to see our players in Norfolk but they’ve been with Baltimore for a while now. I’d also love to see Durham … but I think thats a more marquee team and Tampa sends them better players than we do. So really its back down to two Up state NY teams; Rochester and Syracuse.

    Best alternative would have been when Richmond was still a AAA team. But they’re not. Richmond would be a good candidate to return to AAA if expansion happened, but that’s a long ways off. Would the Richmond Squirrels “trade places” with an existing AAA team? I dunno. Maybe a swap of Syracuse for Richmond makes sense. There’s probably issues that would prevent such a thing from happening though. Richmond is clearly a larger city, nearly double the population of Syracuse, so maybe you could make the argument.

    Here’s AAA attendance for last year: http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?y=2016&sid=milb&t=l_att&lid=117 Syracuase 2nd to last in both avg and total attendance, trailing only Gwinnett, which the Braves own and clearly they’ve made a poor decision putting their AAA team 35 miles from their MLB team.

    Todd Boss

    20 Apr 17 at 11:41 am

  23. (btw, when i said “ridiculous hitting environments” i meant they’re good for hitters, bad for pitchers).

    Todd Boss

    20 Apr 17 at 11:41 am

  24. The PCL has never made any sense to me. Travel and pitching would both be nightmares. The IL made more sense when all the teams were more or less in the upper Eastern U.S., but they’ve always had some long trips as well. And playing baseball in April near the Great Lakes isn’t quite ideal.

    For the Nats, Richmond would seem like a great spot. It would be nearby for quick call-ups and would directly connect with the Nat fan base. Meanwhile, where would you even connect to fly from Syracuse to DCA?

    The other alternative for the Nats would be to put a AAA team in Loudoun County. Either that, or up the voltage on the proposed new stadium in Prince William County to make it a AAA-level facility.

    KW

    20 Apr 17 at 12:48 pm

  25. Loudoun would be even closer to Nats stadium than Gwinnett is to Atlanta; seems like a bad idea to me. I’ve always thought that Loudoun could support like a short-A team but not much bigger. Richmond makes too much sense honestly. Maybe the nats buy the Chiefs and negotiate a move with the Richmond owners or something. Richmond’s team is owned by a Boxing promoter from NY, who moved the Connecticut team down there after the city was vacated. A boxing promoter!? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_DiBella

    Maybe a trade AA for AAA franchise and get something back in NY closer to the boxing guy.

    Todd Boss

    20 Apr 17 at 2:16 pm

  26. Espi is even more Espi than usual. 26 k’s in 60 ab’s so far. Another 0 -4 with 3 k’s today. Geez I am glad he is gone. And thank goodness for the DVR which let me fast forward through most of his ab’s the last couple years . Life is too short to waste time watching those…. And to think he actually earns millions of dollars doing this.

    Souza off to a hot start so far in Tampa. Hope he can stay healthy and put a nice season together. That no hitter catch never gets old.

    Marty C

    20 Apr 17 at 5:18 pm

  27. I don’t think Austin Adams is pitching like he is a bag of balls. Just let it play out.

    forensicane

    21 Apr 17 at 4:35 am

  28. Austin Adams has a pretty amazing stat line at Syracuse thus far, 8.2 IP with 13 Ks, no earned runs allowed (one unearned) and only ONE hit allowed . . . but seven walks.

    I was also on the Souza bandwagon but concerned about his Ks and his injury history. Indeed, he has missed 94 games in his two full years at TB.

    And for those not paying attention, the Nats are headed to NY with the best record in the NL. The Mets are scuffling. It would be a good time to add another couple of games to our lead.

    KW

    21 Apr 17 at 7:19 am

  29. Todd,

    Any chance you’d do a post on where ex-Nats are and how they are doing? I was working out the other day and they had MLB Network on and I caught a couple of innings by Tommy Milone.

    ckstevenson

    21 Apr 17 at 10:10 am

  30. Along similar lines, I’m officially placing Grant Green and Jeremy Guthrie on “Nats to Oblivion” watch.

    KW

    21 Apr 17 at 10:23 am

  31. Espinosa is a weird one; great defensively, limited offensively. He still had a positive war (by both b-r and fangraphs) last year; 1.7 on both sites. That ranked him 25th out of SS candidates though…. it is the glory age of SS. So he’s a bottom 5 SS value-wise but better than nothing.

    Ryan Zimmerman; how about that.

    Anthony Rendon: too bad the NL is full of quality 3B with more narrative behind them, because Rendon’s play yesterday was top notch.

    Todd Boss

    21 Apr 17 at 10:54 am

  32. Ck: sounds like a fun post! I’m almost ready to post the updated “Nats to Oblivion” for 2016 …. so a lot of that ex-nats research is in there. But a fun idea.

    Todd Boss

    21 Apr 17 at 10:55 am

  33. Lots of 2016 candidates: Pap, Latos, Burnett, Grace, Martin, S. Kieboom, den Dekker, maybe even CRob. I hope CRob, Cole, and Gott make it back to The Show, either with the Nats or somewhere. Of course we could also be mean and suggest that Giolito and Lopez won’t make it back, but on a bad team that’s building for the future, I would be shocked if they don’t.

    KW

    21 Apr 17 at 11:29 am

  34. I’ll just publish it so we can talk about it :-)

    Todd Boss

    21 Apr 17 at 1:04 pm

  35. I know that no one will see this with a new post up, but I did want to make a comment about Rendon’s defensive rep. I think he suffered right off the bat from being compared to Danny as they competed for playing time at 2B. Then Rendon took over at 3B, where Zim had been a Gold Glover. But then look how he compared to Escobar, who had spent many years as a major-league SS. Rendon was a superior defender in every way, and it wasn’t even close. He was better than A. Cabrera, who has continued to play SS. In fact, Davey thought Rendon could be an MLB SS and started him there on the rare days when Desi took a day off.

    By the way, to show how empty Danny’s offensive stats have been this season, his current offensive fWAR is -1.8.

    KW

    21 Apr 17 at 1:22 pm

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