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Stock Watch: Starting pitchers scuffling

Jul 29, 2015, 12:00 PM EST

Jul 24, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang (27) during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see whose stock is rising or falling.  

Record: 2-4

Team slash: .254/.346/.381

Team ERA: 4.50

Runs per game:  3.83

 

STOCK UP   

Ian Desmond, SS: .400 AVG/ 3 HR/ 1.350 OPS  

Nats fans must be hoping and wishing that Desmond, after an albatross of a first half, is finally rounding into form. Of course, one week doesn’t mean he’s finally turned it around, but this stretch is the closest he’s looked to the guy who’s won three Silver Slugger Awards. As Mark Zuckerman notes, Desmond isn’t just mashing; he’s looking more comfortable at the plate, seeing the ball better and less pull-happy than he was when he was struggling.

Michael Taylor, LF:  .333 AVG/ 2 HR/ 7 RBI  

Perhaps one of the biggest positives to come out of the lineup being banged up for most of the season is that it’s given Taylor an opportunity to get regular at-bats and develop at the major league level. And if this past week is any indication, he’s progressing at a rate that likely has the Nats’ front office thrilled for the future. The 24-year-old had a monster series in Pittsburgh in all facets of his game; he showed range and speed in the outfield, patience at the plate and power to all parts of the ballpark. He’s a world away from the player he was earlier in the season, and is giving fans a glimpse of what the post-Span era might look like.

 

STOCK DOWN 

Max Scherzer, SP: 5.0 IP/ 9.00 ERA 

Scherzer turned in a bad outing by his standards in the Pittsburgh series, surrendering five runs and serving up three long balls Friday night. By itself, that one start wouldn’t be a big deal, especially considering it was against one of the best teams in the NL. However, it was the continuation of an alarming trend of un-Scherzer-like starts recently; he has an ERA of 4.13 in July — the highest of any month this season. The Nats have been monitoring his workload as the season has gone on, making sure to keep him fresh for the home stretch. But you wonder if logging so many innings earlier in the season is catching up to him a bit. He’s 77 2/3 frames away from setting a new regular season career high for innings pitched. And assuming he has about a dozen or so starts left, it seems realistic that he could reach that number by the time the postseason starts.

Doug Fister, SP: 0-1/ 5.0 IP/ 7.20 ERA  

For whatever reason, Fister has been unable to match his 2014 form thus far this season. But it goes beyond just that — he’s flat-out struggled lately. He’s lost five of his last seven decisions, raising his ERA on the year to 4.50. Part of the reason why people thought this staff would be elite back in spring training was because of its depth. Fister and Gio Gonzalez as the “back of the rotation” guys? That was supposed to be enough to make most teams envious. But instead, now there are only two starters Matt Williams can legitimately rely on in Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann.

Wilson Ramos, C: .111 AVG/ .105 OBP/ .216 OPS   

People have harped on Desmond’s struggles for some time, but Ramos has quietly been scuffling at the plate as well. He’s has a .436 OPS in July, by far his worst of any month this season. And like Desmond, there’s not much the Nats can do but let him try and hit his way out of his funk. The biggest shame of it all is that this is one of the few times he’s been healthy for an extended period of time, so fans were hoping to see him finally blossom into the power-hitting catcher they hoped he could be. There’s still plenty of time for that to happen, but it has to start with a solid August.

  1. texnat1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:07 PM

    Continuing the Storen conversation, one way to mitigate the impact to him would be to tell him that he is going to be used the way that the advanced stat guys say to use your best reliever—not as a dedicated 9th inning pitcher, but as the guy you call on in the highest leverage situation regardless of inning. This would also be the best use of him.

    For example, if the heart of the order is coming up in the 7th (which means that the bottom of the order is slotted for the 8th), bring Storen in for the 7th rather than just mechanically slotting him for his designated inning. Or if their is a high leverage situation even in the 6th, bring him in then. Pitch him where he is most needed.

    Baseball managers have gotten this point yet and are still just blindly throwing their best relievers in the 9th inning role. But having 2 closer-quality pitchers should allow the Nats the flexibility to be an early adapter. And it might also make Storen feel better about his role.

    • texnat1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:08 PM

      Should be baseball managers have *not* gotten this point yet

      • dryw4nats - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:57 PM

        I was thinking something like this, too. Tell Papelbon that you’ll make sure he closes enough games to get his contract incentive or whatever that deal is, tell him he’s the “closer,” but then use Drew in ANY inning where the game is on the line. Seventh, eighth, ninth….Makes sense to me and respect Drew for what he’s brought to the team.

    • nattyboh1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      They’re not going to tell him that because that’s not what they’re going to do, stats or no. Storen pitches the 8th, Pap the 9th regardless of “leverage.” Not saying it’s right or wrong, but that’s how it is.

      • texnat1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:45 PM

        I agree that the Nats are unlikely to think outside the box here.

      • donniebenth - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:42 PM

        Another way to approach it would be to look at pitcher/batter history. If Paps’ record against the due up batters is better in the 8th, pitch him then and vice versa.

        The challenge is that there is something to the idea that relievers generally work best when they know when they are likely to get in the game. It is such a game of routine that I’m guessing Drew and Paps both have points in the game when they start mentally gearing up to pitch.

        I don’t really envy MW in this case… though I really hope that all involved see it as simply adding pieces to help the team win.

    • mauimo22 - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:15 PM

      I really like this idea… a lot. Hope it catches on. Do you think MW checks in on this blog for new ideas and analysis? Hope so! 😉

  2. micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    If Drew is upset, I do not blame him, I think the Nats bedside manner: SUCKS!!!!

    • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:39 PM

      C’mon — you have no idea what conversations Rizzo had with Storen on this.

      Fact is: the job of Rizzo is to build the best team possible. And the othe fact is: we have a much improved BP than we did yesterday.

      • mauimo22 - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:08 PM

        +1 (playoff series)

    • nats128 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:54 PM

      What sucks is Clint Robinson’s baseball life. A 30 year old Rookie who just got benched once again.

      • bowdenball - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:26 PM

        I’m not sure why we should feel bad for Clint Robinson. There are plenty of guys who never get the shot he got, and he’s being benched for a perfectly valid reason. He’s a huge defensive liability.

    • garyfromcville - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:13 PM

      No matter which one of the big 3 (Paps, Kimb, or Chaps) we got, Storen was mostly likely going to the 8th or another inning. Most of the people on this blog were wanting that. To get to the best bullpen possible which has been our 2nd biggest issue behind getting the regulars healthy, this was the only way.

      • jeffreycbullock - Jul 30, 2015 at 8:11 AM

        If I was Storen, I could accept being “demoted” for Chapman or Kimbrel ALOT better than I could with Papelbum – yeah, Papelbon is 17 for 17 in saves but it’s with a last place team, his last postseason was 2009, and he’s 34 years old. I guess the price was too high for the other two closers and Rizzo didn’t want to pull the trigger.

  3. micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    I am concerned about Pap in terms of his clubhouse personality. I have a problem with any player requiring that he will not join a team unless he is the closer, bats cleanup, etc… Pap better be perfect in my book in order for this to make sense to me. I feel Drew was stabbed in the back and why can’t Pap be the 8th inning guy??

    • Doc - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:21 PM

      My sentiments exactly!

    • garyfromcville - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:17 PM

      Paps was looking out for himself, which from afar in the trade situation, is was most anyone would do. He worked it out with Rizzo and now we have a better team. If Drew wants to win a championship, he’ll deal with it in a positive way. Or would you instead, just want Drew to close and the Nats do what they’ve been doing a lot of lately; let the bullpen screw up before Drew. I’d rather have a higher impact guy like Paps and figure it out. At least we now have some higher level options.

    • wmlsays - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:22 PM

      Pap seems to be a better closer than Storen. Aside from that, team players do what they need to do for the team. It’s unfortunate that he may not be the 9th inning guy, but if you help the team win in the 8th, many times you don’t even need your closer to come in the 9th.

      How good is the Nats pitching staff?

  4. masterfishkeeper - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    On the Dodgers acquiring Latos and Morse, that’s a curious trade, unless the Dodgers are saving prospects to get another starter, like Hamels or Price. Not at all sure what the Dodgers do with Morse.

    • texnat1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:26 PM

      The Dodgers were probably forced to take Morse in the trade.

      • nats128 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:55 PM

        Id agree. Forced to take Morse. Wouldnt be suprized to see him unloaded to another team.

      • homeparkdc - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:42 PM

        Melvin Morse.

  5. Doc - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Ramos needs to pick it up.

    • micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:24 PM

      agreed!

    • nats128 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      Big RBI last night to get the lead. That was clutch in a 0-2 count. 42 RBIs. 2nd on the team. He needs to work those counts more and get more hits in general.

  6. micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Nats need to win this series with Stanton out of lineup and Mets breathing down our neck. If Nats somehow do not make post season, unless there are anymore serious injuries, I would hope the MW era would end as there would be zero justification for him to continue

    • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:41 PM

      ’cause anybody could win with Rendon, Werth, Span, RZ, and Strasburg on the DL, and Fister and Ian underperforming, right?

      • micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:43 PM

        Wonk, did you read what I posted carefully: “unless there are anymore serious injuries” If they are all underperforming the last 70 plus games YES, that falls back on MW.

      • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:54 PM

        I think MW gets a bad rap around here.

        The two constant complaints from many folks here are: (a) he leaves his starter in too long; and (b) the Nats BP sucks

        Anyone else see a contradiction there?

        In the meantime, what goes on in the clubhouse is pretty important — as well as other hard-to-measure stuff (juggling relief pitchers, trying to balance “winning this game” vs “not burning out my best relievers”).

        Harper, among others, has said how much MW has helped his game — he’s hitting 60 points higher than any other time in his MLB career.

        Another thing hard to measure: getting his players to keep an even keel during both winning and losing streaks. That’s pretty important and undervalued by fans.

        I occasionally see a move by MW that makes me scratch my head — but most of his moves seem reasonable.

        Measuring a manager by the sole criteria of wins/losses is too simplistic. Joe Torre had a terrible record as a manager before the Yankees hired him. How’d that work out for the Yanks?

      • micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:44 PM

        also, based on your rationale, then NO manager should ever lose their job, just say, the stars, all of them underperformed, right?

  7. micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Nats bedside manner in dealing Storen-Pap could do to them what the trades did to the A’s last season… I hope not

    • texnat1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:27 PM

      The Nats don’t owe Storen anything other than his paychecks, which they deliver. He has no grounds to complain after his postseason performances.

      If he wants to be a closer going forward, he shouldn’t complain. He should go out and be a dominant pitcher when called on.

      • micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:33 PM

        but think in terms of clubhouse, morale, etc… and the fact that Pap is not the most warmest guy either, that is all I am saying to consider. Look, I am not 100% sold on storen as a closer, but how this will help his mindset, I am not seeing it.

      • natsjackinfl - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:43 PM

        To a player, everyone who has played on a club that has had Papelbon in the locker room raves about his clubhouse presence. Just because he’s surly on the field doesn’t make him a bad teammate.

        Heck, given the opportunity, I am sure a lot of us wouldn’t mind flipping off some Philly fans.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM

        +1 to NJ

        That is what I have heard and read everywhere as well – fans may hate him–do hate him–but teammates like him.

      • DaveB - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:48 PM

        “If he wants to be a closer going forward, he shouldn’t complain. He should go out and be a dominant pitcher when called on.”

        Isn’t that what he has done all year?

      • texnat1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:57 PM

        DaveB: Yes, but what is your point? If he wants to go back to being a closer, he is going to have to continue performing at that level. If he does so, he will be a closer here or elsewhere. Complaining about his situation isn’t going to make him a closer. Pitching well will.

    • micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:46 PM

      natsjack, FP made it sound that Pap was not a good clubhouse presence. I hope you are right

      • natsjackinfl - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:56 PM

        FP was mostly defending Storen and that will be the initial hurdle that Papelbon has to overcome. He’ll treat everyone in the clubhouse with respect and fit right in.

        He’s always been a good teammate but dealing with the Boston press and then the Philly fans can make someone rough around the edges appear worse than they are.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:41 PM

        I wrote yesterday that Papelbon helped Ken Giles and anyone else along the way he could help or mentor. He seems like a jerky quirky guy but I have to tell you I’ve always said I like those assassin types of personalities on the mound and Papelbon fits that.

        I think he will be fine. I’m hoping he helps Aaron Barrett and Treinen. To much talent in that bullpen to make as many mistakes as they make.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:49 PM

        I would like to see Barrett prevail in a test of wills that involved more than staying on the field after the national anthem was over.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:46 PM

      The As weren’t done in by their bedside manner in 2014.

      Beane traded away one of his better hitters in Cespedes; another–Donaldson–went cold in Sept as the Angels got hot; and they still made the WC game, where they lost in extra innings to the little engine that could out of KC.

      The Nats haven’t subtracted anything from the big league roster. Yes, adding Pap means shifting Drew to the 8th inning, and yes, if I were Drew, I’d be pissed about it at first.

      But I hope that after the initial frustration, I’d accept that my team got better, and has a better to chance to reach and win in the post-season. And if I sulked about it and let it get in the way of doing my job, I wouldn’t expect my teammates to say, well, yeah, he’s hurting the team, but that’s okay, because they’re making him pitch an inning earlier.

    • wmlsays - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:29 PM

      It seems to me that Rizzo is telling the team that he (and management) are willing to do things to improve the chances of the team to go into the post season. If you were a player, you understand you are always competing with someone (yourself or others) for the position that you are playing. There is no shame, if I were Storen, in knowing that the team depends on me to do the things that other people can’t do. It means that he is highly valued, that they can rely on him to do what needs to be done. He is paid to do what needs to be done.

      • stoatva - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:39 PM

        “You’ve done the eighth inning setup role very well in the past. We are asking you to do it again now. If there’s nothing else, Mr Storen, you’re dismissed. Thanks in advance.”

  8. micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    Also, Desi’s at bats last night were sickening to watch

    • chiefwj - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:01 PM

      Those ABs were on MW’s line-up for that game as much as on Desi.

      Going into the game, Desi was 0 for 9 against Fernandez with 7 Ks. What would you expect?

      • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:18 PM

        Given that he was hitting .428 in his prior 7 games — 11-for-23 — (and slugging 1.000), I think many were expecting something better.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:36 PM

        +1 some pitchers own Desi. I’m too lazy to see if Espi hits him better.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:47 PM

        And remember, even “good” Desi is a relatively high strikeout guy.

        Good week notwithstanding, it’s not like he was never going to whiff again.

  9. adcwonk - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM

    Off topic: can anyone explain what Toronto was thinking in getting Tulo?

    I know next to nothing about the AL (it’s hard enough to follow one league!) — but I do know that Toronto leads MLB in runs scored, and needs pitching. Yeah, I’d rather have Tulo than Reyes, too, but . . . what was in it for either team?

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:55 PM

      Rockies shed longterm salary and get prospects, and might be able to flip Reyes (or might think they can, anyway); Jays get better offense and better defense, not just this year but beyond.

      I think Jays have said they’re not done–or certainly, not done trying–to add pitching. So, it’s not either/or–it’s both/and.

    • jd - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:57 PM

      From what I read Reyes defense has become untenable. Plus Tulo is likely to slide over to 3rd in a couple of years.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:37 PM

      I can see why the Rockies did. Made Dick Monfort look like a big liar to the fanbase. They are not happy.

  10. micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:57 PM

    Wonk:

    good points on MW, BTW:

    Torre did a pretty good job in Atlanta in 1982, they won there first division title since 1969 at that time, Ted Turner just did not like him in my view.

    • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:08 PM

      Huh — I didn’t remember that.

      I used to be a Mets fan, and I remember that the Mets never won more than 67 (67!!) games in a season with him. But I had no idea how much was him or how much was the team.

      (As I sidelight — I do remember him, as a player for the Mets — hitting into four (!!) DPs in a single game!!)

  11. micksback1 - Jul 29, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    natsacjk: good point on Bosox and Philly fans lol

  12. npb99 - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:01 PM

    To quibble with the starting pitching assessment, where Chase says MW can rely only on Max and JZ. I think Gio hasn’t been far behind JZ this year. This is not one of JZ’s best years.

    • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:15 PM

      Gio’s doing *superb* over his last five games.

      During that time, he is 4-0, 1.45, OBA .226, 24 K, 8 BB, 31 IP — it’s his best stretch of the season.

      In the meantime, JZ has allowed 4, 2, 3, and 3 runs in his last four starts. Not terrible, but not as effective as Gio. Lately . . .

      • npb99 - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:18 PM

        And for the season, JZ’s stats resemble Gio’s more than Max’s.

      • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:21 PM

        And for the season, JZ’s stats resemble Gio’s more than Max’s.

        But, still, JZ’s ERA is a full 1/2-run better than Gio. (Because of Gio’s terrible start — Gio’s ERA was close to 5 in the middle of June)

  13. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    Jim Salisbury from CSN Philadelphia just appeared on MLB Radio and just gushed over what a great teammate Jonathan Papelbon is. He said for the Phillies and I quote “He got his wish. He wanted out for some time. It was addition by subtraction move because he was so disgruntled….”.

    “Having covered him for a few years the Nationals made a good move.” “Contrary to popular belief he is a very good teammate. Very supportive of his teammates”

    • nats128 - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:53 PM

      I like the “contrary to popular belief” part of the quote. That’s his rap. Some still wont believe it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:56 PM

        It’s like convincing people how respected Desi is by his teammates and how much of a leader he is in the clubhouse.

      • Doc - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:48 PM

        Paps grabbed his crotch to the Philthy fans, not his teammates. I would grab my crotch to Philty fans! They don’t deserve much more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:01 PM

        This guy will bring the “nasty” to the pen that this team needed and I welcome that. I do want to hear how he interacts with the fans.

        Spoke to a buddy of his from Mississippi State and he said we will love his take no prisoners attitude.

      • Doc - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:16 PM

        ‘Take no prisoners’—hey that’s what sports competition is all about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Go Paps, Go Nats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    If you have Sirius/XM radio, Mike Rizzo is coming up in a couple of minutes.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:23 PM

      You didn’t miss much. Rizzo says he spoke face to face with Drew and he gets it.

  15. stoatva - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    So as long as he maintains his current 100% save rate, we’re all cool with Papelbon. Do I have that about right?

  16. manassasnatsfan - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    I still want us to go after Brad Zieglar.

  17. sec112 - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    Adcwonk posted the following list of our ERA in each inning compared to the NL average to make a point about improving our pitching at the end of the game, but what jumped out at me was the 4th and 6th innings, particularly the 4th. The difference is large and given a very high sample size at this point, hard to dismiss as statistically meaningless. What’s going on? Obvious guess would be a systematic problem with the second time through the opposing lineup, which could be a pitch-calling issue. In any case, it seems worth exploring.

    1st inning 3.12 4.36
    2nd inning 3.86 3.39
    3rd inning 2.76 3.33
    4th inning 4.96 4.13
    5th inning 3.49 4.08
    6th inning 4.32 4.10
    7th inning 3.40 3.74
    8th inning 3.49 3.32
    9th inning 3.42 3.39
    Ext inning 2.45 3.11

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      Thanks I mentioned last week it seems the 4th inning was our worse, now I have the numbers to back it.

  18. manassasnatsfan - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    Starting pitchers since the all star break have been basically out pitched by the opponents most of the time

    July 17 Dodgers W 5-3. Neither starter involved lights went out.

    July 18 Dodgers L 4-2 Kershaw easily outpitched Fister

    July 19 Dodgers L 5-0 Grainke’s outpitched Scherzer (1-0)

    July 20 W 7-2 Gio easily outpitched Harvey

    July 21L 7-2 DeGraum slightly outpitched Ross.

    July 22 W 4-3 Syndergaard eaily outpitched JZim

    July 23 L 7-3 Loriano easily outpitched Fister

    July 24 L 7-5 both Scherzer and Locke pitched poorly.

    July 25 W 9-3 Gio easily outpitched Burnett.

    July 26 L 3-1 Cole fairly outpitched Ross.

    July 28 L 4-1 Fernandez outpitched JZim.

    Last 4 games we have led but the starter couldn’t hold the lead.

    Some of the losses we had what the MLB calls a quality starts. My definition of a QS is to out pitch you opposing starter and give up 3 runs or less.

    In the 11 games the starter has only out pitch their opponent twice. Both the Gio starts.

    Who would guess he is our most effective starter since the All Star game.

    Kudos Gio. (I get on his case more than the rest I guess I am wrong)

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:58 PM

      Disagree on July 26. Lousy 1st base defense and it’s a 1-1 game.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:06 PM

        Pitchers are stuck with lousy fielding though I believe Cole clearly outpitched Ross. Ross was fine but not good enough.

        CRob’s error was the 25th not 26th. 26th was the ball Ramos didn’t catch.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:13 PM

        Cole is one of the best pitchers in baseball. No shame there but giving up 2 earned runs

      • Doc - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:18 PM

        I thought the same thing at the time. RZim would have picked that grounder!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:36 PM

        Ryan picked one in the later innings that I know goes down the line as CRob would have to backhand

    • mauimo22 - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:21 PM

      Pretty lame output from our offense during this period also. I’d like to see 10 hits and 5-7 runs each game. There are two guys (Desi and Ramos) who have really under-performed this year. I can’t wait for their organizational replacements (Trea and Severino?) to get to the bigs next year. Those two will never be stars with their lousy plate discipline. Again, a good hitting coach should fix this or at least improve their hacking.

  19. Doc - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    Hey Papelbon and Stor—let’s just play ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 29, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      +8th and 9th

  20. jmwolgin - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    I think one of the important issues of setup vs. closer is money. Closers get paid much more than setup men (Papelbon’s salary is around $13 mill, while Drew’s is about half that). He was entering an arbitration year and will get less if he’s no longer the closer. Pride is important but it’s not just pride.

  21. Doc - Jul 29, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    Glad to have Papelbon aboard.

    Sorry to see a rare Canadian player like Nick Pivetta sacrificed. Guess Philly analyst Matt Stairs will have a fellow Canadian to pump up along the way from AA.

  22. natsguy - Jul 29, 2015 at 4:01 PM

    As far as what this was originally about, why is Ramos even in the lineup. He is a below average catcher who was in there for his hitting. If he isn’t hitting he is a liability as proven by his DP proclivity.

    • therealjohnc - Jul 29, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      Ramos is not a below average defensive catcher. He’s just not. He’s certainly better than Lobaton. Don’t confuse the occasional throw from the outfield with the meat and potatoes of what a catcher needs to do.

    • jd - Jul 29, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      You are wrong. He’s a well above average defensive catcher. Offense not very good. In any event he is by far the best option the Nats have and is overall a reasonably good player. Until we graduate another catcher Wilson will be the main guy.

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