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Another 5-hit night raises Escobar’s average to .342

May 12, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

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PHOENIX — Plenty of members of the Nationals’ roster and coaching staff had seen Yunel Escobar over the years and thought they had a decent sense of him as a player. Most did not, however, think he would be what he has proven to be through his first six weeks in a Washington uniform.

“You know, I played against him at Triple-A when he was with the Braves, and he just dominated that league,” Denard Span said. “Then I got to the big leagues, and it seemed like he got away from what he was doing at Triple-A when he was with the Braves and then Toronto. I’ve just been impressed with his work ethic, the way he goes about his business in the cage. He’s just a professional hitter. He has a plan when he’s going up to the plate. That’s what I’m most impressed with. I didn’t realize he had that type of gameplan as a hitter playing against him.”

Escobar’s preparation before games and his ability to put that preparation into practice once he steps into the batter’s box has been on full display over the last week. He notched the first 5-for-5 game of his career last Monday against the Marlins, then he duplicated the feat Monday night against the Diamondbacks.

Yes, that’s a pair of 5-for-5 games within a week. He’s the first Nationals player ever with multiple 5-hit games in a season, and he’s the first major leaguer with multiple 5-hit games in a week since Ichiro Suzuki in 2004.

“I’m very happy I had the opportunity to do that,” Escobar said through interpreter Nilson Robledo. “I’m very happy I was able to do that for the team.”

Escobar has done a whole lot for his team in the last week. Beginning with the 5-hit game against Miami, he’s now batting a cool .577 (15-for-26) over his last seven games, raising his batting average to .342 (fifth-best in the NL).

Escobar isn’t exactly producing much power — his last 24 hits have all been singles — but the sheer volume of hits he’s providing are making a difference, helping both to advance leadoff man Span while also ensuring runners on base for Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper behind him.

“He’s calm and he’s just taking what’s given to him,” manager Matt Williams said. “He’s hitting the ball middle of the diamond, which creates opportunity. You stand at the middle of the plate and it looks like it’s the most-crowded spot on the diamond, but it’s actually the biggest. He understands himself, he takes the ball the other way when he has to. We’ve seen him, over the course of this season anyway, get a bunch of big hits for us.”

So, what was the key to Escobar’s latest 5-hit night?

“It’s the bat,” he said with a smile. “It’s not me. I’m going to protect that bat.”

In fact, Escobar suggested he will retire the bat he used Monday night, having already left it in a protective box inside the clubhouse at Chase Field.

He would have brought the bat back out one more time Monday had his spot in the lineup come up one more time in the top of the ninth. Alas, his teammates couldn’t quite move the line enough to give him a crack at becoming the first D.C. major leaguer to record six hits in a game since 1944.

Escobar wasn’t too disappointed, though.

“I didn’t want to hit anymore,” he said. “Enough is enough. My timing is so perfect right now. Sometimes I don’t want to do too much.”

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    The smart money when they traded for him was that he was at a minimum would outperform the career average of Danny Espinosa.

    The more aggressive projections had a bounceback year for Esco.

    The most aggressive projections were to finally meet his potential as an All Star.

    I’d say small sample size that is growing and the skies the limit.

    What a pleasant surprise and his walkoff HR was one of many highlights.

    I’m glad a was cautiously optimistic when the trade happened!

    • laddieblahblah - May 12, 2015 at 1:23 PM

      There weren’t too many cheering that move, at the time. Who knew? The guy is playing at an All-Star level. Can’t wait to see Rendon join that mix of Span-Esco at the top of the order. How many pitchers would want to face those 3, first thing out of the box?

      It’s good to be a Nats fan.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 1:25 PM

        Rendon will elevate them all. I’m so excited I’m giddy. Werth bats 6th and Desi or Espi or Uggla bat 8th.

      • Doc - May 12, 2015 at 1:29 PM

        So GhostMeister, I’m kinda liking Espi at bat, and of course in the field. Too bad he has to take a seat when Tony Two-Bags returns.

      • therealjohnc - May 12, 2015 at 1:42 PM

        I was happy about the move at the time, but I never expected this level of production. I anticipated a bounce-back to about a 2 fWAR season – and honestly that’s still what I more or less expect out of him when all is said and done for the season. But if he can keep this going until Rendon is back and healthy then the timing would work out very nicely for the Nationals.

      • Hiram Hover - May 12, 2015 at 1:48 PM

        I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that happy at the time.

        I’m happy to admit now how wrong I was!

      • Bruxtun - May 12, 2015 at 2:09 PM

        I don’t mean to pat myself on the back too hard, but I was thrilled with the move at the time and cheered it pretty hard. I had actually even suggested him as a trade target before it happened, and I’m never right about that stuff. Not on this site I don’t believe, but elsewhere around the web like FederalBaseball. So far he’s even been outperforming by own expectations so I’m almost as surprised as anyone else. Very happy to have him, as much as I miss Tyler.

  2. Doc - May 12, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    Tyler who?

    • NatsLady - May 12, 2015 at 2:01 PM

      Clip pitched two scoreless innings last night and his ERA is 1.80. The A’s lost in the 11th when the reliever after him gave up a homer to the Panda.

      • therealjohnc - May 12, 2015 at 3:39 PM

        Yeah, I’ll never stop rooting for Tyler “Peaches” Clippard as long as he’s not playing the Nationals. But one year of a relief pitcher for $9M vs. two years of a solid position player for $12M (with a $7M option for a third)? When that position player is at a need position given the uncertainty about Desmond’s future? Sign me up!

        But that doesn’t mean that I’m dissing Clippard. He is one of the best there is at his job.

  3. laddieblahblah - May 12, 2015 at 1:18 PM

    Escobar has done as much for his new team as anyone other than Bryce Harper. Just think – Rizzo got both Scherzer for the pitching staff and Escobar for the lineup this past off-season. To that he added Uggla and Robinson to the bench, and coaxed-cajoled Espinosa to change his approach at the plate.

  4. Section 222 - May 12, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    So are we calling it 2, 5-5 games in a week, including for purposes of matching Ichiro’s feat because the Nats only played 7 games in that time, or because somewhere along at the line a week has become eight days?

    • Doc - May 12, 2015 at 1:34 PM

      “8 Days A Week”—The Beatles first wrote about it, the Nats re-invented it for baseball!

      • ArVAFan - May 12, 2015 at 1:36 PM

        +8

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 1:38 PM

        LOL

      • natsfan1a - May 12, 2015 at 3:15 PM

        I lo-o-o-ove it. 🙂

      • Section 222 - May 12, 2015 at 3:55 PM

        Well played!

        See ball, hit ball, see ball, hit ball.
        I aint’ got nothing but hits, babe.
        Eight days a week.

    • natsfan1a - May 12, 2015 at 4:52 PM

      Niiice.

      (Oh, and I forgot this “-o-“)

  5. Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    The fact that I’ve always been a Desi supporter and been an Espi critic since early in 2012, my thoughts below might shock some.

    I’m going to say that Desi could be the odd man out when Rendon returns. Rizzo wants to win now and Espi is outperforming Desi’s top-line production, but unfortunately Espi still chokes in RISP situations and Desi has a history of clutch hits.

    This could get real interesting.

    • masterfishkeeper - May 12, 2015 at 1:52 PM

      I’d be shocked if Espi replaces Desi in the lineup this year. Next year, yes. But right now we’re looking at SSS. Desi has 3 Silver Sluggers; Espi hasn’t shown he can hit over a prolonged period.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 1:56 PM

        I hear you but this is the best Espi has ever ever ever looked. Different approach altogether but his RISP BA is still troublesome.

        Rizzo wants to win now and he no longer is playing favorites. Whoever gives him the best chance to win will start.

        Still time before Rendon returns.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 1:59 PM

        There are a few reigning Silver Sluggers struggling. Look at Andrew McCutcheon.

      • rayvil01 - May 12, 2015 at 2:04 PM

        Espi played SS for a stint in 2012 when Desmond was hurt. Pretty sure Lombo was playing 2B. Those two were slick turning the double play. Espi can play short just fine.

        I suspect this is not either/or. Desi is going to get some rest days whether he wants them or not. And Rendon’s return is going to bump him down in the batting order.

        My sense is that Desi is just pressing too hard. Whether that’s the walk year or not I don’t know. Read a piece a week or so ago where JW was talking about his walk year in Philly and how it started off so poorly.

      • therealjohnc - May 12, 2015 at 3:55 PM

        Even putting aside Desmond’s leadership role on the team (reported pretty universally, with the “helmet removal” and subsequent helmet basketball rituals just outward signs of that) – which one shouldn’t, because rocking the boat like that when the team is playing well is (IMHO) unnecessarily asking for trouble. How would the other players react? How would the players approaching free agency in 2016 and 2017 react to the Nats’ making an unnecessary move that largely spiked a respected player’s upcoming free agency?

        Further, the paint isn’t really dry on Espinosa’s renaissance. Yes, I’m still skeptical. I welcome Espinosa’s increased level of production in the first 33 games, but I’m not counting on it continuing at this level for the next 129 games. And even putting that aside, to say that Espinosa’s current level of production is outperforming Desmond’s top-line production is a stretch (just look at Desmond’s seasons in 2012 and 2013).

        It’s always better to have too much talent rather than not enough. But I’m with masterfishkeeper – I’d be shocked if the Nats benched Desmond for Espinosa this season. But not to worry – these things tend to sort themselves out, and chances are by the time Rendon returns other things will happen that will ease the question (Espinosa regresses) or completely moots it (injury somewhere else).

      • letswin3 - May 12, 2015 at 4:39 PM

        Next season’s SS is currently playing 3rd. base for the Nats, while next seasons second baseman is in the Nats minors or playing CF with the Red Sox. Danny is a mirage who will revert to his “watch me turn this next pitch into powder” mode … at least from the left side. I’m not buying the theory that Mike Rizzo (see one of the comments above) or anyone else has influenced this guy to do anything whatever … he’s one who will always (this is of course only my opinion, and without supporting photos) think that he knows more than all others and will prove everyone wrong. Give it 60-70 days, and then lets have this conversation again. And at the end of this season, if he’s hitting anywhere near like he is right now, I’ll apologize for my misgivings and congratulate him for saving his career.

      • Hiram Hover - May 12, 2015 at 5:12 PM

        letswin3

        Where do you get this stuff about Danny? Unless you’re his shrink, you’re just making it up. If you are his shrink–congratulations, I’m pretty sure you just violated some oath, and probably the law.

    • TimDz - May 12, 2015 at 1:56 PM

      I’m guessing Moore….You don’t need him in the outfield (keeping MAT) and he is redundant at first base (Clint Robinson can play first base and is left handed). Of course, MY guesses usually fall flatter than a Patriots’ Football….

      • ArVAFan - May 12, 2015 at 3:31 PM

        +1

    • bowdenball - May 12, 2015 at 4:17 PM

      I’m not sure where you’re getting the data indicating that “Espi chokes in RISP situations.” His career OBP and slugging percentage are both higher with men on base AND with men in scoring position than with the bases empty. He also has his highest K rate and his lowest walk rate with the bases empty. His batting average is basically the same with RISP as with the bases empty (.205 vs .213) and goes up to .255 with runners on base.

      What’s the basis for your statement?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 4:22 PM

        I’m looking at last year and this year.

      • Hiram Hover - May 12, 2015 at 4:30 PM

        Ghost

        He’s had 20 PA with RISP this year. I wouldn’t put any weight in that.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 4:47 PM

        Here’s Espinosa’s RISP slash in 20 plate appearances in 2015: .059/.200/.059/.259

        or we can use 2014 based on 96 plate appearances: .139 /.281/.253/.534

      • bowdenball - May 12, 2015 at 4:52 PM

        This is the problem with RISP data. It’s mostly useless small sample size stuff. Virtually everyone who gets past 1000 plate appearances ends up with career RISP numbers that look very similar to their overall numbers. Even Mr. Clutch himself, Derek Jeter, who hit .310/.377/.440 overall and .302/.389/.410 with RISP.

        There is some scant evidence that a handful of players do a little better in big spots and a handful struggle with it, but for the most part it should be ignored, and certainly shouldn’t be used to form any conclusions about what a guy can and cannot do in the future.

    • Section 222 - May 12, 2015 at 4:58 PM

      I’m surprised you’re going there Ghost. Desi is such a mainstay, and MW has shown no inclination to displace him. Plus, everyone’s thrilled with Espi’s production, but are you really ready to say that he’s kicked the K habit for good? I’m not, but much more importantly, I seriously doubt Rizzo is. He’s got a long memory.

      Of course, you did predict that Span would sit when Harper returned last summer, so we know you’re not infallible. 🙂

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 5:36 PM

        I thought Bryce predicted Span would sit when Bryce returned. He wasn’t necessarily wrong based on the stats when he said and then Span went on a roll and surpassed everyone. Maybe Desi can do the same.

        I’m also not predicting Desi will sit. I’m saying it has to be considered in the realm of possibilities as Rizzo is in a “win now” mode believe and if he believes that Espi can deliver that he could happen.

        On the flip side, Espi has to deliver key RISP hits. He’s doing it with men on 1st and in empty bases the last 2 years, time to show with a man on 2nd he can do it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 6:01 PM

        Let’s make sure this is taken just the way it’s said:

        “I’m going to say that Desi could be the odd man out when Rendon returns.”

        Could is the word, not will, not should, not anything I’m predicting as I think it’s remote. Someone is going to sit and while it most likely will be Espi, I think it’s not a definite due to Desi’s slow start and Espi showing life at the plate.

        If I had to make a guess, I think it will be Espi who sits but I’m putting the # at 90%. I hope Desi shows his Silver Slugger to us all again.

      • Section 222 - May 12, 2015 at 6:42 PM

        You’re working hard on backtracking here Ghost. 90% chance Espi sits. Ok fine. And sure, if Rizzo believes Espi can deliver it could happen. I certainly agree with that.

        As for last year, I don’t remember Bryce predicting anything. He foolishly said that he should play CF so Zim could stay in left and Espi, that gold glover, could stay in the starting lineup. I think he just forgot about Span, but who knows. What I do know is that when we all put our cards on the table and said what we thought should happen, you said Span should sit. Don’t feel bad, we’ve all said plenty of things that didn’t pan out. Certainly I have.

        So leaving aside predictions, if Rendon came back tomorrow, would you sit Espi or Desi? That’s what most people have been staking out their positions on.

  6. sec105rowwseat28 - May 12, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    “He notched the first 5-for-5 game of his career last Monday against the Marlins, then he duplicated the feat Monday night against the Diamondbacks.

    Yes, that’s a pair of 5-for-5 games within a week.”

    Technically, no it’s not. Both of his five-hit games occurred on a Monday, and within any given week there’s only one Monday. So it might be better to say he had two five-hit games only a week apart.

    • Section 222 - May 12, 2015 at 3:56 PM

      See my comment at 1:31 pm above, and Doc’s brilliant response.

  7. Whack-A-Mule - May 12, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    One cannot be surprised at the idea of a Nats starting infield without Ian Desmond.
    His raison d’etre as a starter is offensive production despite low OBP (read: “K’s a lot” ).

    With the addition of Escobar, he becomes the 3rd-best defensive shortstop on the 25-man roster.

    When Rendon returns, if Desmond is (still) the 4th-best middle infielder offensively, then perhaps
    he becomes the “off-the-bench” guy.

  8. adcwonk - May 12, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    Does anyone else think that last night’s 5-for-5 had a great deal to do with BABIP luck? I mean, yes, he hit the ball hard (and there’s a whole lotta guys on the team that swing and miss way way too much), but, he hit five grounders that found holes.

    This is not to detract from Escobar. He’s been a great addition to the team (obviously), and the fact that he is among the top 10 for hardest to strike out is something the Nats sorely needed. But, last night . . . a number of seeing-eye hits, no?

    • masterfishkeeper - May 12, 2015 at 2:47 PM

      The first hit was a line drive over the second baseman, but you’re basically right. It’s not like he hit 5 line drives.

      • adcwonk - May 12, 2015 at 2:48 PM

        ok, thanks, I missed that — I thought all five were grounders. But, still . . . (as it seems we agree…)

      • nataddicted - May 12, 2015 at 3:16 PM

        It was a beautiful display, everyone should see it again!

        http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/32436668/v111693483/wshari-escobar-collects-five-hits-in-nats-win/?cid=was

        A thigh-high away pitch is roped over the 2b’s head, he jumps straight up.

        A ball up and over the plate goes between the 1b and the line, the player dove.

        An inner half belt high pitch goes between 3b and ss, neither guy moves more than 1.5 steps before the ball is through.

        A hanging breaking ball that the ss dives to his left.

        And another pitch up and over the plate is returned bouncing over the pitchers rubber.

    • David Proctor - May 12, 2015 at 2:49 PM

      It was BABIP luck, particularly the RBI single just by the SS and the roller off the end of his bat that was wide of Goldschmidt. That’s the value of contact though. When you put it into play, sometimes they find holes.

      On the flip side of that, Escobar has traditionally been a guy who hits into a lot of double plays. I guess that’s the downside of putting the ball on the ground a lot and not being fast.

      Escobar has been a great addition, particularly when you factor in we have him for three years. He is playing above his head right now though.

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 12, 2015 at 3:41 PM

        Exactly, including the “playing above his head right now” part. None of these guys is going to keep playing exactly the way they’re playing now. Some are going to get better, some worse, and it will vary up and down throughout the season. Right now the Nats have enough guys ‘on’ to make up for Ian Desmond’s and Jayson Werth’s struggles. In a month, it may be that Messrs. Desmond and Werth are carrying Bryce Harper and Yunel Escobar through down spells. That’s the inherent randomness of baseball.

      • adcwonk - May 12, 2015 at 5:25 PM

        On the flip side of that, Escobar has traditionally been a guy who hits into a lot of double plays.

        Right — if you hit hard grounders . . .

  9. adcwonk - May 12, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    Those frustrated with Ian (and I am among them) should be a bit hesitant to assume that he’s going to end up with the BA he has now. Last year on this date, Ian was batting .218 (!!). Even as late as June 4 he was only up to .225

    And then the rest of the way he batted .272 helping fuel the Nats torrid June thru end-of-season.

    Might this year be like last?

    • Bruxtun - May 12, 2015 at 2:35 PM

      Could be, but his approach is dreadful right now. It’s not like he’s having bad BABIP luck, he’s just not putting the ball in play at a reasonable pace. I think part of the problem is huge holes in his swing have been exposed, and they were exposed on the huge stage that is the NLDS. There was a very clear and carefully crafted plan that the Giants had, and they absolutely dissected him. He’ll run into pitches every now and then for sure, but he is not making smart decisions at the plate. Will he finally stop swinging at sliders down and away and fastballs up and in? I doubt it. Then again he did get his average up to 300 for a bit earlier this year. One hot streak will have us all asking “is he back?”.

      • adcwonk - May 12, 2015 at 2:40 PM

        I think he has had long stretches of “dreadful” approach, which causes the huge holes in his swing, for years. Not making smart decisions at the plate? That’s been going on for years, too.

        He was 7th in the league in striking out (most times) in 2013, and 3rd in the league last year. Yet won Silver Sluggers both years (and in 2012).

        And he’s fifth in most K’s 5th this year, too.

        In short, I’m saying that all the bad we see this year from him, that’s like last year, too.

      • Bruxtun - May 12, 2015 at 2:46 PM

        True, it’s nothing new. But it being nothing new makes it worse, in my eyes. You’ll notice the BA has dropped steadily since 2012. We won’t know how it ends up this year for months of course.

        He’s got no more secrets. That’s all I mean. He just cannot help himself from swinging at those sliders . There isn’t a pitcher that doesn’t know it. He’s fully capable of going on a tear though, and I hope he does.

  10. manassasnatsfan - May 12, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    One game at a time, one series at a time.

    Wish Rendon would join the party soon.

  11. manassasnatsfan - May 12, 2015 at 3:03 PM

    As for Escobar, he is doing what I like best, pulling inside pitches, going the other way on outside pitches, up the middle on muddle cut pitches.

  12. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 12, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    laddieblahblah – May 12, 2015 at 1:23 PM
    There weren’t too many cheering that move, at the time. Who knew? The guy is playing at an All-Star level. Can’t wait to see Rendon join that mix of Span-Esco at the top of the order. How many pitchers would want to face those 3, first thing out of the box?

    It’s good to be a Nats fan.

    ======

    Uhm, there was 1 person that LOUDLY applauded this move… that person was ME. Everyone on here knows (I think) that I have NEVER been a fan of Clippard. Rizzo could have traded him for a box of peanuts and I would have thought the peanuts would have been the next best thing to slice bread.

    Now the move that I wasnt so happy about was signing Max. Nothing against him as I thought our SP was fine but I thought we needed another bat, considering what happened in the post season… But with our other SP all seeming to struggle, signing Max was a good move…

    • TimDz - May 12, 2015 at 3:30 PM

      Speaking of struggling SP’s…
      I’ll be interested to see how SS pitches tonight. It always seems that he struggles (be it with command or with some minor injury, etc.) and then follows it up with a stellar performance….

      Which SS do we get tonight?

    • virginiascopist - May 12, 2015 at 3:33 PM

      I defended the trade as well. Although I said at the time that I would miss Clip (and still do), Rizzo dealt from a position of strength and sacrificed one year of a good (but pretty expensive) relief pitcher for up to three years of a versatile (more so than I thought, given that he’s playing 3B now) infielder who was coming off a down year and who will possibly be Desi’s replacement at SS next year. Escobar has been worth more than I could have hoped for, and I am looking forward to Rendon coming back and we will have a deadly top of the order.

      In Rizzo we trust.

      • masterfishkeeper - May 12, 2015 at 4:55 PM

        I defended it, too, for the same reasons. Or at least I think I did. 🙂

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 12, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      Mrs. B was, indeed, right out in front of that one. In fact, it was a lot more evenly split than some off us might remember. Many of the folks who lamented it were sorry to lose Tyler Clippard, which is understandable, and NO ONE expected Escobar to hit .575 or whatever.

  13. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 12, 2015 at 3:22 PM

    FWIW – I think Espi will go to the bench when Rendon comes back… Dont think this organization will ever move Desi to the bench, unless it was for a true rest day… Sometimes I think the org looks at the Desi like if Ryan is the FOF 1, then desi is the FOF1a…

  14. NatsLady - May 12, 2015 at 3:37 PM

  15. Section 222 - May 12, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    On the trade for Esco, everyone (except for Mrs. B.) loved Clip. So most of us who liked the trade from the outset felt that way because we couldn’t abide Espi starting at 2B. Nothing in Esco’s history suggested a guy who would do what he’s done so far, but he was bound to be better than the alternative.

    Now Espi is hitting like it’s 2011 (and from the LH side no less), and Esco is having a career year. Baseball is a funny game.

    As for the lineup/batting order when TTB returns, it’s really a bit early for that discussion since there’s not even a hoped for return date yet. By the time he’s ready, Werth and/or Desi could be hot, Espi or Ramos could be cold, and Esco could return to earth. Maybe TTB has had a suffiicient rehab that MW is confident putting him right in at No. 2 or No. 3, or maybe he’s rushed back because of another infield injury.

    The fact that the debate is coming up now seems more about people’s desires to dump on Desi or Werth, or extol Espi or Esco. But things can change pretty quickly, much less in more than a month, which is how long we may have to wait for TTB to be rejoin the lineup.

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 12, 2015 at 4:19 PM

      +1

    • adcwonk - May 12, 2015 at 4:35 PM

      So good, it’s worth repeating:

      As for the lineup/batting order when TTB returns, it’s really a bit early for that discussion since there’s not even a hoped for return date yet. By the time he’s ready, Werth and/or Desi could be hot, Espi or Ramos could be cold, and Esco could return to earth….The fact that the debate is coming up now seems more about people’s desires to dump on Desi or Werth, or extol Espi or Esco. But things can change pretty quickly, much less in more than a month, which is how long we may have to wait for TTB to be rejoin the lineup.

  16. nataddicted - May 12, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    When Rendon comes back, he plays second, right?

    • Section 222 - May 12, 2015 at 4:29 PM

      Interesting question. I think that’s what he played in his few rehab games in the minors. But I don’t think a definite decision on that question has been announced. Like the lineup/batting order question, it’s a little premature. What do people think would be best?

    • David Proctor - May 12, 2015 at 4:29 PM

      Probably, but he shouldn’t. Escobar isn’t as good at 3B as people are acting. A lot of balls hit past him or balls played oddly.

      • Section 222 - May 12, 2015 at 4:31 PM

        I agree. Rendon is a GG quality 3B, particularly coming in on balls. There was a statistical analysis of his defense on bunts or slow rollers that showed him way above anyone else in the league. Esco is now comfortable at 3B, but I have no doubt he can play 2B adequately. That’s where I’d put him.

      • masterfishkeeper - May 12, 2015 at 4:41 PM

        +1, Section 222. Rendon is fantastic on bunts.

    • Hiram Hover - May 12, 2015 at 4:33 PM

      I would prefer to see him at 3B, myself, but 2B wouldn’t shock or outrage me.

    • letswin3 - May 12, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      I think he will take back his 3rd. base position, Among the reasons are his injury … I’m not sure I fully understand what it is, but it involves his side. If he were to move to second base, he would be required to make many pivoting moves to throw out hitters or complete double-plays, and those kind of moves could compromise whatever side muscles that are being rehabbed. Plus, the guy is GG caliber at 3rd.

  17. adcwonk - May 12, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    Statwatch

    Nats BA .254, 9th in NL, but OPS of .726 is 4th, which helps explains 4.61 R/G, 3rd in NL.

    ERA is 3.40, 5th in NL, BB/9ip of 2.5 (3rd best)

    Individual Stats

    Scherzer is 2d in WAR, 5th in ERA, 4th in WHIP, 6th in K/9IP
    This is cool: Gio, Stras, and JZ are all in top 7 for fewest HR/9IP
    For FIP: Scherzer is 1st, Gio 5th, Stras 7th

    Batting:
    Harper, 2d in WAR, 6th OBA, 2d SLG, 3rd OPS, 2d in Runs scored, 1st in HR & RBI, 4th in K’s
    Escobar, 5th in BA, 10th hardest to K
    RZ 5th in RBI
    Ian 6th in 2b, 5th in K’s
    Werth 1st in Sac Flies

    • Doc - May 12, 2015 at 5:09 PM

      Thanks for the stats’ rundown, adcwonk.

      • adcwonk - May 12, 2015 at 5:25 PM

        YW!

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 12, 2015 at 5:39 PM

      Thanks for sticking with rankings within the NL. I know a few posts by the blogmasters have mixed MLB and NL, but — for now, without that nasty DH in the NL — you can only really compare NL players with other NLers.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 6:05 PM

      Nice!

  18. Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 5:38 PM

    Ryan Mattheus DFA’d. That was quick.

    • ehay2k - May 12, 2015 at 6:38 PM

      You punch ONE cooling fan (or was it a locker?)…..

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 6:41 PM

        Incredible how he went from the greatest relief appearance in Nats history and flushed his career down the toilet in a moment of anger.

        I think Rizzo should grab him and put him in AAA. Why not, costs very little.

      • ehay2k - May 12, 2015 at 6:51 PM

        We can sacrifice one of our garbage players to the baseball gods for him!

        But seriously, I think you are right and Rizzo should snap him up and stash him in AAA.

      • virginiascopist - May 12, 2015 at 6:50 PM

        If we can claim him, I think we should. That being said, I think someone else will get him before us.

  19. Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 6:07 PM

    Let’s make sure this is taken just the way I wrote it because people are already twisting the words:

    “I’m going to say that Desi could be the odd man out when Rendon returns.”

    “COULD” is the word, not “will”, not “should”, not anything I’m predicting as I think it’s remote. Someone is going to sit and while it most likely will be Espi, I think it’s not a definite due to Desi’s slow start and Espi showing life at the plate.

    If I had to make a guess, I think it will be Espi who sits but I’m putting the # at 90%. I hope Desi shows his Silver Slugger to us all again.

    • sec105rowwseat28 - May 12, 2015 at 6:55 PM

      But the first time Desmond gets a day off and Espinosa plays short, you’ll be right there to say “As I suggested on May 12th…” Don’t try to deny it, you will.

      Look, “sit” is a relative term. When Rendon comes back, just like Werth and Span before him he’s going to need days off, and more days off than in a normal season. Desmond is not going to be playing all 162, and neither is Escobar. Espinosa could still be getting two or three starts a week. He might even play more than Lobaton does.

    • ehay2k - May 12, 2015 at 6:57 PM

      So, what you are saying is, you HATE Desi and want him gone, traded for Cutter Dykstra’s socks, right?

      I kid, I kid. ;-p

      I didn’t read your original post as anything but a hypothetical.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 7:14 PM

        I love Desi and as a person he’s off the charts with me. Thanks for understanding it’s a hypothetical.

        I hope Desi starts getting on track with more consistency and it’s a moot point.

        The bonus is a stronger bench if Espi sits.

  20. Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 6:09 PM

    Who is watching MLB Network? They are talking about the Nats surge and I agree with Byrnes that the Nats turnaround started when Escobar was spiked by Andrelton Simmons and it carried into the 9-1 come from behind win.

    • virginiascopist - May 12, 2015 at 6:22 PM

      I missed the segment on MLB Network, but I definitely agree. I read on another site (maybe Federal Baseball) someone describing it in terms of the quote attributed to Admiral Yamamoto following the attack on Pearl Harbor: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 6:36 PM

        This isn’t war but I can see a parallel to that quote.

    • NatsLady - May 12, 2015 at 7:03 PM

      I was watching but too much Noah Syndergaard for me. Watching Cards-Cleveland. They started at 6 for some reason.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 7:06 PM

        Better than every so-called sports talk station obsessing over LeBron James shot in the playoffs and Tom Brady and an underinflated football. The only thing Washington got mention on was Ovechkin guaranteeing a win. Not sure if that is guarantee for golf or hockey.

  21. ehay2k - May 12, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    In other news, the Fish may be talking to R. Soriano. Cishek 2015 is Storen 2013.

  22. NatsLady - May 12, 2015 at 7:07 PM

    I do have to shake my head when I see people who have been watching this team for years–years, I say–seriously think an uninjured Desi will be benched for any significant period.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 12, 2015 at 7:36 PM

      I think he will continue to play and just bat 7th or 8th. He didn’t forget how to hit but Rizzo is in a “win now” mode and in the back of my mind it also seems Rizzo can also make tough decisions like trading Detwiler and the DFA of Frandsen and trading Clippard. It just seems like a different RIzzo to me. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he made a change for another veteran bullpen arm to shore that up but plenty of time before more tough decisions need to be made.

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