Nationals Arm Race

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

End of August Rotation Check-Ins


Joan Adon is back in the bigs after earning it at AAA.  Photo via Federal Baseball
Joan Adon is back in the majors after a long season in AAA. Photo via Federal Baseball

Wow, it looks like i’m going to finish a season-long series. We did an end of April check-in on the rotations, End of May check-in, and an End of June Check-in, and End of July.

Here’s August’s look after another month. We finished off the two short-season leagues, and will do one last check-in with the 5 full season rosters at the end of this month.

Important links for this analysis:

We’ll start with the Majors.

Rotation: Corbin, Grey, Gore, Williams, Irvin, Adon

Changes in the last month: Added Adon as a spot starter, then decided to pivot to a 6-man rotation for the rest of the way.

Observations: The 6-man rotation will be useful since the rotation has 3 arms (Grey, Gore, Irvin) they want to limit innings on. As of this writing, these three guys are starting to really add on innings: Grey at 137ip, Gore at 132, Irvin at 102 major league innings plus another 22 in AAA. So Adon will get 4 or 5 starts and spell everyone a little bit.

Corbin had his best month of the year in August; 5 starts, 4.13ERA. So did Gore, posting a 3.76 ERA and a 1.10 whip in 5 starts. So did Irvin: a 2.35 ERA on the month. Meanwhile, Grey did not; in 5 starts he had nearly a 9.00 ERA, ballooning his season numbers back above 4.00. Williams continued to be 5th starter material, with an ERA in the mid 5.00s. Lastly there’s Adon, who had a 6.00 ERA for the month, but that’s an improvement over last year.

The team has gone 18-12 in its last 30, 12-8 in its last 20, pulling them out of last in the division amazingly, and its a great positive way to finish the year.

Next starter to get cut/demoted: none. We may see some promotions just to save innings on the younger arms, but nothing merit worthy.

AAA Rochester:

Rotation: Peralta, Abbott, Rutledge, Munoz, A. Hernandez plus Troop and Romero spot starts.

Changes in the last month: Lots of churn in the AAA Rotation from July.

  • Espino was released right at the beginning of the month after years of service here.
  • Urena was mercifully released after an entire season of poor performance.
  • Banda was briefly in the rotation but pitched horribly and got demoted to the pen.
  • Adon got promoted

Observations: So, in these guys’ place we have these replacements:

  • Abbott (demoted down from MLB and back in the rotation to get stretched out, likely to get a 9/1 callup to eat innings)
  • AHernandez: promoted up after excelling in AA
  • Munoz; claimed in mid July and put into the rotation
  • Troop and Romero with a couple of spot starts

Results? Ugh. Troop gave up 14 runs in 4 innings for the month before getting demoted. Munoz had a 10.91 ERA in 5 August starts and it seems safe to say he’s on thin ice as a waiver claim, even if he’s super young (23). Peralta: another month, another ERA in the 6s or 7s. Abbott pitched well, but then again we already knew he’s better as a starter than a reliever. The actual prospects? Rutledge had a 4.38 ERA but was a bit wild (13 walks in 24innings), while Alemeo Hernandez struggled a bit upon his promotion to AAA. but he’s only 23 and now in AAA, so we’ll be a bit patient.

Next Starter to get Promoted: I mean, it has to be Rutledge right? When the big league team shuts down one of Grey/Gore/Irvin, it probably means Rutledge’s debut.

Next starter to get cut/demoted: Munoz.

AA Harrisburg:

Rotation: Alvarez, Parker, Cuevas, Herz, Saenz

Changes in the last month: Hernandez got promoted, so in his place they promoted up Alvarez. Troop went up, then came back at the end of the month. Henry has been shut down since July 25th, which is really not a good sign. Knowles is there for long relief but got no spot starts on the month (which mostly went to rehabbers).

Observations: Great months for Parker, Saenz, and Herz, each of whom had 5-6 starts, an ERA below 3.00, and an excellent Whip. New acquisition Herz was probably the best of them: 1-2, 2.57 ERA. 0,86 whip. Can’t ask for much better than that. Alvarez’ promotion has gone smoothly; the 12th rounder from 2021’s draft is looking solid: 3.60 ERA in his first few starts. Only Cuevas really struggled on the month, putting up a 7.60 ERA to inflate his seasonal ERA to 5.36. One last observation; LR Knowles gave up just one ER in the month and as a crafty 25-yr old lefty might be ready to move up, even if he’s not a primary starter. Herz is only 22, but has looked solid all summer. Parker is coming into his own and may be due a promotion soon too.

Next Starter to get Promoted: Knowles

Next starter to get cut/demoted: Cuevas

High-A Wilmington

Rotation: Bennett, Caceres, Lara, Lord, Luckham

Changes in the last month: Very little. Alvarez got promoted up mid-month, and he was replaced by Bennett, who took basically the entire month of July off either for an undisclosed injury or innings management. (Note: MLB’er Ward got two rehab starts as well). Theophile did not appear.

Observations: I don’t know what Bennett’s break was for, but it did him no favors. In his 3 August starts he only went 7 total innings, gave up 11 runs and only had 3 strike outs. What the heck is going on here? This was a guy who was really tearing it up earlier in the year … and now I don’t know what to make of him. Lord and Lara looked solid; that may be the first time i’ve EVER been complementary of Lara’s performance. Luckham’s peripherals were bad (5.13 ERA but a decent whip), while Caceres continues to be really bad. He now has a 8.80 ERA in 11 starts in High-A, he didn’t deserve a promotion to begin with, and i’m not sure he continues to pitch.

Then in the “what is going on here” category; Theophile. Had solid numbers first few months, then he last appeared on 7/7. No injury trip, no disclosure … just eating up a roster spot for two months. I don’t understand; the teams have a DL for a reason, so you can back fill an injured guy.

Next Starter to get Promoted: Lord

Next starter to get cut/demoted: Caceres

Low-A Fredericksburg

Rotation: Cornelio, Sullivan, Tepper, Young, Stethe (with Amaral getting 3 “bullpen” game starts)

Changes in the last month: a ton. Tolman went down with what seems like a really bad injury. Susana made one start and now sits on the Restricted list. Atencio hit the DL as well. In their place we have three 2023 draftees Sullivan, Tepper (from Liberty University in Virginia!), and Stethe.

Lastly, former 1st round pick Denaburg, who has been pushed out of even getting spot starts, had this August line: 5 appearances, 6.2 innings, 15 runs allowed on 14 hits for a nifty 17.55 ERA. Still on the payroll.

Observations: A rough month all around for the starters. Young was most decent; a respectable 3.75 ERA and 1.25 whip. More importantly, he struck out 35 in just 24 innings. Cornelio is the elder statesman of the bunch but continues to struggle to really stand out; he had a 4.65 ERA on the month. Our three new draftees each had rough introductions to pro ball: Stethe and Sullivan each got 4 starts but really failed to pitch deep into any of them. Sullivan had an interesting K/BB ratio: 19/10 in 12 innings. So, some good and some bad. Tepper is brand new to the rotation and only has 4IP so far, so too early to tell.

Next Starter to get Promoted: Young

Next starter to get cut/demoted: Denaburg.

Rookie Florida Complex League

Final Rotation: CSanchez, Zapata, Agostini, Leon, Polanco

Changes in the last month: none. And in fact, the FCL rotation was almost entirely unchanged from even opening day; Sanchez, Agostini, and Polanco were there the entire season. the only 2 changes even from opening day were Tolman getting promoted and Ogando getting pulled out of service after just two games and not appearing since June 13th.

Observations: Leon had the best month, but can’t strike anyone out (6 Ks in 13 IP). The rest were various stages of awful: Polanco had an 8.00 ERA, Sanchez in the 12s and walked 10 guys in 7 innings. Zapata pitched 8 2/3rds innings, gave up 12 runs and only struck out 3 guys. Only Agostini looked solid, pitching mostly behind the “starter” of the week who was really someone on rehab. 9IP, 2 hits, 2 runs. Wow. I’m surprised he hasn’t been promoted for the stretch run in F’burg.

Otherwise, this entire crew (which are mostly 2021IFAs seems like they’re going to struggle to stick around after this season, especially with the number of arms we have floating through the system. I think their saving grace may be the fact that our 2023IFA class was more hitters than pitchers.

Next Starter to get Promoted: Agostini

Next starter to get cut/demoted: Camilio Sanchez had the worst year.

Dominican Summer League

Rotation: Portorreal, Farias, A.Roman, E.Rivero, H.Moreno

Changes in the last month: Ramirez and D.Perez out, Roman and Rivero in.

Observations: R.Ramirez was kind of inexplicably taken out of the rotation and only pitched a couple times in the stretch run. He was replaced in the rotation by Roman, who was a decent reliever the entire season and who got two starts in the run-in. The MILB site is broken for August splits for the DSL, so we’re kind of guessing based on full-season stats. Clearly the 3 main guys in the rotation all year were Farias, Portorreal, and H.Moreno. Farias should have been more impressive; he’s 21 pitching against a ton of 16-17yr olds in the DSL and still had a seasonal ERA of 7.07. Most of the rest of th ese guys are 2023IFAs who are 18 or 19 and who they can be patient with. Roman probably had the best seasonal line of the “starters” with a 1-1, 3.20ERA, 1.04whip, 32/7 K/BB in 39ip. He did that as a 19yr old 2021IFA out of Venezuela, and it seems to me he’s well in line to move up next season to domestic ball.

Otherwise, there are a couple of decent looking pitchers out of the god-awful DSL team; Angel Pena had a 19/5 K/BB in 14 relief innings. Jose Britto had a .186 BAA despite a 5.00 ERA; not sure what to make of that. Ramon Cuevas had some decent numbers. Otherwise a lot of guys in the DSL who got rocked.

Next Starter to get Promoted: A.Roman

Next starter to get cut/demoted: Farias


I’m super disappointed to see both Henry and Bennett either shutdown or essentially shutdown. I look forward to seeing what Rutledge can do in the majors. Herz looks like he could be a find.

Written by Todd Boss

September 3rd, 2023 at 9:53 am

25 Responses to 'End of August Rotation Check-Ins'

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  1. Looks like Rizzo was waiting for this post to surprise us all with Henry’s surprise re-emergence.

    Also, just FYI, baseball-reference’s minor league game logs are far superior to MILB’s. You can even make your own splits but selecting specific ranges of games.


    4 Sep 23 at 5:54 pm

  2. while admittedly a SSS, Adon’s walk rate of 2.2/9IP and 1.138 WHIP are a bright spot.


    5 Sep 23 at 11:05 am

  3. So . . . where are we for 2024/25/26? Particularly after Corbin gave up 42 to the Mets last night (OK, it seemed like 42).

    Rizzo’s publicly stated goal is to be at .500 in ’24 and contending by ’25. Considering that a .500 record right now would have you only 2.5 games out of an NL wild card, they might almost one in the same as far as goals.

    The Nats are 10 games out of a wild card. That feels about accurate, more so than when they had made it up to -6 a little over a week ago. The Nats have a -124 run differential for the season. The 724 runs allowed is a bigger problem than the 600 scored. For perspective, there are 10 teams that have allowed fewer than 600 runs.

    The Nats have the young hitters on the horizon to improve runs scored, although considering the current AA slumps, we can’t bet on any of them being ready by the start of 2024, other than guys like Alu/Kieboom/Young who are getting opportunities now.

    The pitching is a different story. They have the option to go into 2024 with essentially the same rotation, but that doesn’t really change the dynamic in any way, other than hoping that Gore/Gray/Irvin will become more consistent. It sure seems like they won’t eat Corbin’s contract. Trevor Williams has a track record to indicate that he’d be an effective (and much-needed) middle reliever, but a starter he’s not.

    There’s not much reason to think that internal guys will move the needle much in ’24. Fully healthy Cavalli and Henry might, but they’re not going to be. Rutledge’s numbers at AAA indicate that he can be about as good as Irvin and Adon. Herz and Parker from AA figure to be added to the 40-man this winter ahead of the Rule 5 draft, but neither is close to MLB-ready. Thad Ward will be given a chance as well, but I think we’re mostly talking about starters #5/6/7/. . . It’s good to have that depth, but they need more quality at the front end of the rotation.

    I’ve previously stated my desire that the Nats sign two free agent starting pitchers this winter. There are a lot of quality ones who will be on the market. I just don’t see how the Nats get to where they want to be in ’24/’25 by counting on the guys in the internal pipeline.

    I know that some think it’s too early to spend on free agents. I don’t think so. Put the pieces in place now so that if the young hitters click, like they have for the Reds this year, the Nats give themselves a fighting chance in ’24.


    6 Sep 23 at 12:37 pm

  4. Adon with another positive start in that he challenged every hitter not named Alonso.

    signing a free agent just got easier with Stras’ announced retirement. if only the ownership situation was a little clearer I could see it happening. it’s never the wrong time to make a good deal


    7 Sep 23 at 9:14 am

  5. Adon is on a yo-yo, as he got clobbered by the Phils, looked like an all-star against the Marlins, got clobbered by them the next time out, and now looked good against the Mets. Should have only been one earned run, as Blankenhorn threw out Lindor at second (blind in the reply booth). Anyway, Adon certainly has flashed big-league talent, but not with consistency yet.

    I don’t know that Stras’s announcement changes much, other than freeing a 40-man spot. I’m sure they had given up hope of his return a while ago. They’ll still be on the hook for the full salary. (No one seems to know whether they’ll be able to prorate the payout, or how it will count toward the team’s salary commitment.) But even with the full Stras and Corbin sunk costs, their total salary commitment for 2024 as of now is only around $70 million. The tax line is $237 million. There’s plenty of money for whatever improvements they’re willing to pay for. (I share the concern about the lingering ownership issue.)


    7 Sep 23 at 10:25 am

  6. a retiring player forfeits the salary. of course, he’s not walking away empty handed. MLB and union will watch closely but I’m sure creative minds can get creative. ownership percentage perhaps?


    7 Sep 23 at 11:56 am

  7. Per Barry Svrluga in his 8/25 chat:

    By the time Strasburg officially announces his retirement — currently planned for Sept. 9 at Nationals Park — we may have a more complete picture. What we do know: Strasburg had $105 million remaining on his seven-year, $245 million deal for 2024-26.

    What normally happens in these situations is the club and the player negotiate a settlement. That can alter when payments are made. But it is extremely unlikely that Strasburg is giving back a significant portion of the money. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be willing to — I honestly don’t know either way. But it’s because the MLB players’ union doesn’t want there to be all these examples of guys whose careers end because of injury and they decide to return money that’s owed to them.

    My understanding from reporting on this yesterday is that any money in a settlement still counts against the competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold — the total payroll amount that teams have to pay a “luxury” tax on for every dollar they spend over it. In terms of roster construction, that’s what’s important. Even if the Nationals are paying Strasburg on a different schedule than they were supposed to — and I don’t know that they are — it’s not like the money just goes, “Poof!” and the Nats are absolved of the responsibility.

    That’s the broad outline. We’ll hope to report more specifics about the case in the coming weeks.


    7 Sep 23 at 1:07 pm

  8. LOL, and now the ceremony isn’t happening on Saturday because they can’t work out the details. Somehow that’s not surprising.


    7 Sep 23 at 5:08 pm

  9. And the Nats are completely blowing out their scouting department. Wow.


    7 Sep 23 at 5:12 pm

  10. For those with an Athletic subscription, here’s Rosenthal’s take on the Nats’ simmering situation:

    Sure seems like there’s some rub between Rizzo and Mark Lerner. I’ve always heard that Mark was the reason that the stadium naming rights deal never got done, that he never found any offer perfect enough. My fear is that he’s treating the sale of the team the same way. Sigh.


    8 Sep 23 at 8:38 am

  11. KW, I’m curious which quality FA starters you’re referring to this offseason. I had a look recently, and there’s like 15 solid starters available, but almost all of them are in their 30s, with the exception of Julio Urias and Jack Flaherty. Well… Urias is off the list now. And Flaherty has been awful in Baltimore (as well as in the previous 3 seasons), so I wouldn’t touch either. Ohtani is now firmly off the list too, if he was ever “on” it.

    The best options are probably in this order: Nola, then a pretty big gap, followed by Giolito, Snell, E. Rodriguez, Montgomery

    Nola, despite having a down season, probably gets something like Rodon’s 6/$162m deal last year, and will have plenty of suitors, so I’d struggle to see him joining a bit of a project in the Nationals. While the others ask for something a bit more than Taillon/T. Walker’s 4/$70m deals (like 4/$80-100m). So you’re wasting 25% of their contract and their “best” season on an uncompetitive team season.

    After that, you have older arms like Stroman, S. Gray and Wacha, who will be entering their age 33 seasons (for Gray 34). When your competitive window begins in their age 34+ and goes through age 37+, those aren’t usually the guys you want to be locking down.

    In 2025, there’s a few more interesting arm FAs (30 or younger): Corbin Burnes, Buehler, Soroka, Peralta, Bieber, Fried, most of whom have serious questions about their ability to stay healthy (but what pitchers don’t?). As I’ve said before, it would make sense to me to use 2024 to give Cavalli, Henry, Rutledge, Herz, Parker, Bennett (and maybe Saenz, Alvarez or someone else becomes this season’s Irvin) extended major league games. Chances are only one or two pan out. Plus, don’t forget, Gray, Gore and Irvin are themselves no sure things, but then you know whether you need to sign 1 or 3 new SPs around the time bat prospects are comfortable with the team in 2025. Also, by that point, the picture will be clearer as to whether we can trade off firmly blocked prospects, like Millas, Lipscomb, Vaquero, Green or Hassell to acquire more arms.

    Still, I think these past few weeks have demonstrated that we’re still a bit further from .500 than it might have seemed in early August. What happens if certain players regress (or at least don’t get better) in 2024, and by the end of the season, we’re at the same point we’re at now, but we blew $200m on two SPs?


    9 Sep 23 at 10:04 am

  12. Will, I’m sympathetic to the argument that it’s a year too early for FA signings because 2024 might be a wash . . . because I was making that argument earlier in the summer when it looked like the Nats were headed for 100-loss territory again. Two things have changed my mind: the Nats have started to suck less, even after trading their best hitter, and the not-great records that still have teams in contention for an NL wild card.

    The example I don’t want the Nats to follow is that of the Reds, at least in one respect. Cincy lost 100 games last season, and the team decided not to spend to upgrade the pitching. But guess what? Their young hitters have shown up at the MLB level sooner than expected, they’ve gotten themselves into wild-card contention, but they’re fading because they didn’t upgrade their pitching. Only two NL teams have given up more runs — the Nats and the gosh-awful Rockies.

    I don’t know which starter(s) the Nats need to sign. Yes, it’s definitely a crap shoot. I have no idea what the market for Nola will be. It will be risky for the Phils to let him walk, but they don’t have much salary flexibility and they do have a couple of good pitching prospects. But no, I don’t want to give him or any other pitcher a six-year contract.

    A trade also might be in order. I have no idea for whom. Everyone (including me) mentions the Gio deal, but a big key to that deal was his willingness to sign an extension. It seems unlikely that the Nats would have given up four pretty good prospects for a rental.

    And heck yeah there’s a lot of uncertainly still with Gore and Gray. I don’t group Irvin with them, as there’s no great reason to believe that his ceiling is that high. The only starter the Nats have close to MLB-ready in the organization who has an above-average chance of being above average is Cavalli, and his time line for return is uncertain. Rutledge has a 5.83 FIP/6.37 xFIP at AAA, and a 1.50 WHIP. Adon has shown some flashes but is still terribly inconsistent. Henry still looks broken. Ward currently is struggling at AA on his rehab assignment.

    So I’m buying starters, but ideally only for three or four years. If more of the Nat youngsters click sooner than expected, then flip a vet at the trade deadline.

    Of course they’ve also got to fix the bullpen . . . as Will documented well at Nats Prospects today. If you sign a couple of starters, then it becomes easier to think about moving guys like Rutledge, Herz, or Parker to the bullpen.


    9 Sep 23 at 2:54 pm

  13. Of the FO’s many issues with amateur player acquisition and development, the one I understand the least is the inability to turn starting pitcher prospects into useful MLB bullpen pieces. They did it way back when to great success with both Craig Stammen and Tyler Clippard. Since then, almost nobody? Someone like Adon has had enough flashes of good performance as a starter that it’s easy for me to picture him as a late-inning reliever (if things go well) or a competent middle-innings eater (if things go less well). It feels like the Nats have had approximately zero success doing this in the last ten years whereas other teams are constantly repurposing starters into good relievers on a regular basis. The success of Irvin has me believing that the Nats are capable of drafting and developing back-of-the-rotation guys. You’d like the starter prospects KW mentions to become #4-5 starters at the MLB level. But if that doesn’t happen, at least a few of them ought to be valuable bullpen pieces.


    11 Sep 23 at 9:37 am

  14. Derek, I completely agree. The Nats have had this long and somewhat bizarre insistence that every pitcher remain a starter until he completely implodes (A.J. Cole). Not only that, but they’ve drafted a lot of college relievers and tried to convert them to starters. The only time that has really worked was with Dane Dunning . . . with another organization of course.

    There’s a whole mentality and routine working out of the bullpen that is so different from being starter. It takes time to learn that rhythm.

    Stammen was tremendous for the Nats as a multi-inning guy, something they could desperately use now. That’s Trevor Williams’s true calling, and perhaps that of some of these other guys who look close-but-no-cigar as legit starters.


    12 Sep 23 at 4:56 pm

  15. Rutledge called up for his MLB debut tonight. Adon really struggled last night.


    13 Sep 23 at 12:15 pm

  16. Bummer. The Nats extend Rizzo one day before the Red Sox fire Chaim Bloom. What could’ve been…


    14 Sep 23 at 12:59 pm

  17. I don’t hate Rizzo, nor am I particularly enamored with the Man Who Gave Away Mookie. Rizzo’s return for Soto is looking significantly better in comparison.

    My biggest concern with Rizzo is being/has been addressed, presumably as a pound of flesh in return for his new contract: Kris Kline — the root source of the draft failures — has been reassigned, and his old-school scouting department has been blown up. Since Rizzo has had unquestioned control over those areas while in command, it’s been very interesting to see all of that being dictated by a higher power. Those are changes that a new ownership would have needed to make, but the existing ownership has spared them the trouble.


    14 Sep 23 at 3:13 pm

  18. We’ve traded away all the major league talent. At this point, we need great scouting and player development. Clearing house is a good start, but I struggle to understand why Rizzo got around to it in September 2023, and not September 2020 or earlier. Let’s just hope he does a better job building a scouting department this time around.


    14 Sep 23 at 4:21 pm

  19. Sure seems like this was dictated to him. He’s loyal to a fault. Although he did blow up development a couple of years ago and start over with De Jon Watson (still an old D-Backs crony). There are still some adjustments that need to be made on that side of the house, though. Several of us at Nats Prospects have wondered about the hitting coach at Harrisburg. And the general organizational acceptance of hitter strikeouts is concerning. That said, SO many of the high school prospects are three-true-outcome guys, with a lot of swing-and-miss in that big-power game. Has any organization come up with a magic formula to tame it? I don’t know. This one sure hasn’t.


    14 Sep 23 at 7:31 pm

  20. But yes, I agree that it was too late. We blame Rizzo for overseeing all of those bad drafts, but these were the guys who sold him on so many of those stiffs, and supposedly “cross-checked” them.


    14 Sep 23 at 7:33 pm

  21. Blowing up the team after the COVID season of 2020 would have been wildly premature. Rizzo did something much smarter. He put together a 2021 team that, if everything went right, would be a contender. A rotation of Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin, Ross, and Lester with a lineup that included Soto, Turner, Bell, Schwarber, Gomes, and Zimmerman. Even with Strasburg being hurt and Corbin face planting, the team was above .500 in second place only 2.5 games out. Then Schwarber got hurt and July happened.

    At which point the flip side of Rizzo’s roster came into play. The 2021 Nats were a team designed to have an upside, sure. But also it was a team with a LOT of pending free agents so that, if things went bad, it had a lot of pieces to move at the deadline. Scherzer, Turner, Schwarber, Gomes, Harrison, Hand, Hudson, and Lester were all moved, of which only Turner was under team control for one additional season.

    John C.

    15 Sep 23 at 7:42 pm

  22. Covid dealt the Nats franchise a really cruel blow: Instead of winning the WS in 2019 and then getting a massive revenue/attention bump … we got a spectator-less/shortened season. I agree with JohnC here: 2021 should have been bounce-back. Corbin went from a 138 ERA+ in 2019 to a 70 ERA+ in 2021; i’m not sure anyone would have predicted that. Nor Strasburg disappearing, nor basically the rest of their rotation falling on their asses too. Sometimes you’re lucky in a season, sometimes you’re unlucky.

    But you have to credit Rizzo for doing what he did next. Because I absolutely believe this team is primed to be better, fast. It only took 3 years (2009-2012) for the Nats to go from 59 wins to 98 wins. They improved by 10 wins, then by 11 .. then were a juggernaut. The 2022 Nats only won 55 games; we’re already 10 games better with 2 weeks to go. Would anyone be shocked if they were .500 next year? They played .500 ball for a big chunk of July/Aug. Then, the team spends $$ to upgrade/enhance and boom, they could be in 1st place again.

    Todd Boss

    17 Sep 23 at 12:09 pm

  23. I agree that the Nats are within shouting distance of .500, which would also put them in wild card contention (the Giants are only one game over .500 and just -2.5 from a wild card slot). They’ve got to add starting pitching to do that, though. The hitter influx from the minors won’t be enough.

    But 1st place? Sadly, that Acuna contract is for FIVE more years . . . at only $17M per year . . . The Phils have the 3d-best record in the NL but are still a scary 15 games behind ATL.


    17 Sep 23 at 1:27 pm

  24. John C, when referring to clearing house, it was in the context of getting rid of Kline and the rest of the underperforming scouting and player development team.


    18 Sep 23 at 8:34 am

  25. @Will. Fair. I agree that that the Nats pivot towards analytics could/should have come earlier than the last couple of years, and view the revamping of the scouting and holdover player dev people as the flip side of the increase in staffing/resources in analytics and tech.

    John C.

    18 Sep 23 at 11:02 am

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