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Stock Watch: Zimmerman re-emerging at the right time

Aug 12, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

Aug 11, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) at bat during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-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: 3-4

Team slash: .265/.348/.416

Team ERA: 4.50

Runs per game:   4.85

 

STOCK UP  

Ryan Zimmerman, 1B: .435 AVG/ 8 RBI/ 1.375 OPS 

It appears that treating the plantar fasciitis in his left foot was all that Zimmerman needed to turn his season around. Now healthy, he’s finally resembling the power-hitting corner infielder that Nats fans have grown accustomed to over the years. Since coming back from the disabled list, the 30-year-old first baseman is hitting .327 with four home runs and 11 RBI, providing the middle of the order with exactly the kind of thump it needs — and just in the nick of time, too. With the team scuffling to get rolling these days, Zimmerman’s reemergence has to be seen as one of the big positive developments as the stretch run draws nearer.

Ian Desmond, SS: .391 AVG/ 3 HR/ 1.331 OPS 

He hasn’t found himself listed here much this season, but Desmond and the Nats have to hope that the shortstop is the midst of salvaging what’s been a pretty disappointing season thus far. He’s had a few hot stretches at the plate this year where Nats fans have asked whether or not Desmond is “back”, only to see him regress again. But he’s starting to produce over a larger sample size, so you wonder if this is the breakout everyone has been waiting for. Consider this: Before the All-Star break, Desmond had a slash line of .211/.255/.334 with seven home runs and 24 RBI in 323 at-bats. Since the break, he’s hitting .274/.337/.563 with seven home runs and 16 RBI in just 87 at-bats. It’s hard to believe based on the rough start to his season, but he has a realistic chance of reaching the 20-homer plateau for the fourth straight year.

Gio Gonzalez, SP: 2 GS/ 1-0/ 1.38 ERA 

Nats fans have been concerned about the rotation’s lack of consistency (and rightfully so), but Gonzalez has quietly put together a pretty impressive string of starts. Since June 21, he’s 5-0 with an ERA of 1.48, and hasn’t lost since June 15. Surprisingly, he now ranks second on the team in wins (9) and has lowered his season ERA to 3.50. He still has issues here and there with command and pitch efficiency, but he’s done so without allowing the big inning. Unfortunately, his recent run of success comes at a time when the rest of the starting staff needs to get in a groove as well.

 

STOCK DOWN  

Drew Storen, RP:  3.0 IP/ 0-2/ 18.00 ERA 

It was just last week where we were talking about how dominant Storen had looked since taking over the eighth inning role. Then the Rockies series happened. He turned in his two worst outings of the season, blowing a 4-1 lead on a go-ahead grand slam to Carlos Gonzalez Friday night and yielded a two-run single to DJ LeMahieu that broke a 4-4 tie on Sunday afternoon. Obviously, Storen has been so dominant for most of the season that he has earned a mulligan here and there, a sentiment his teammates echoed over the weekend. But the issue right now is timing, and the Nats can’t afford to have the back-end of the bullpen — an area they believed was addressed after acquiring closer Jonathan Papelbon — have hiccups as the team attempts to make a push for the playoffs.

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    Nice to read about Desi and RZim and Gio. I wish the W/L record was better for the week.

    • rayvil01 - Aug 12, 2015 at 1:28 PM

      Ghost, I have to figure out some way to get your email/ give you mine. The troll smell in here is getting overpowering.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 1:34 PM

        SUICIDE_SQUE*** AT OUTLOOK .COM

        You can replace the 3 asteriks with EZE

        Would love to hear from you!

      • zmunchkin - Aug 12, 2015 at 1:35 PM

        A suggestion from a geek (me). A while back I created an email address that I only use when I need to provide it on a site that spammers harvest addresses from. I only check it occasionally. And when I post it somewhere I mask it so it is not obvious that it is an email address.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 1:36 PM

        Z – feel free to email me also.

  2. tcostant - Aug 12, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    Wetth is now trading on the Pink Sheets.

    ————————>>> Worthless penny stock.

  3. Muddy Ruel - Aug 12, 2015 at 3:10 PM

    Shouldn’t that be Werthless penny stock? Anyway, he’s still in ST. He’ll be back … soon I hope.

  4. scnatsfan - Aug 12, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    I have found a sure fire way to kill trolls. Winning. Losing just feeds them and right now they have a buffet.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 3:43 PM

      Yep.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:22 PM

        There is an ignore feature. It’s called “scroll.” Try it sometime, you might like it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:47 PM

        I Feel that!

    • zmunchkin - Aug 12, 2015 at 3:43 PM

      Replying also feeds them.

      • scnatsfan - Aug 12, 2015 at 3:49 PM

        Well there is one that would post 100 times without replies

      • scnatsfan - Aug 12, 2015 at 3:49 PM

        But I agree

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 4:17 PM

        Z. I can’t help myself but I sure wish there was an ignore button where we can pick and choose from.

  5. bowdenball - Aug 12, 2015 at 3:56 PM

    This stock report makes me kind of sad, because the Nats are actually coming together very well for the stretch run. All year they’ve needed decent bats behind Harper and a rotation that went deeper than Scherzer and JZimm. Now they’ve finally got both of those things in RZimm/Desmond and Stras/Gio. I expect them to surge to at least 12 to 14 games over .500 when all is said and done.

    But I worry that it won’t be enough thanks to that sweep at the hands of the Mets- who I think may touch 90 wins- and the subsequent disappointing homestand done in by Storen’s two breakdowns. They’re likely to finish tonight’s game 3.5 games back. There’s a long way to go but it’s tough to run down a team with a rotation as good as New York’s from that kind of deficit.

    • jfmii - Aug 12, 2015 at 4:13 PM

      Here is some pos-i-tiv-ity: All these righty bats–gonna score some runs against Mr. Kershaw tonight. Znn going to hit his late season form. Nationals win.

    • Nats Fan Zee - Aug 12, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      We have 6 games left head to head with them. Three in each home with the last three in NY. If we need to take those games, it will be exciting to say the least.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      Still waiting on Rendon to go en fuego!

      • bowdenball - Aug 12, 2015 at 4:41 PM

        Yeah that’s what I thought too. And the power hasn’t been there at all. I was surprised to see that his OBP is actually higher than last season, though. Never would have guessed that in a million years.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 4:45 PM

        He’s so talented. Hope sooner than later.

      • jd - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:00 PM

        Bowdenball,

        I hope we don’t live to regret the loses to the Rockies at the end of the year. I really think that MW could have managed a win on Friday by not allowing CarGon to face a right handed pitcher. I am a big fan of Storen but I think that was a disaster waiting to happen when it got to that matchup.

        The Sunday game was frustrating to me because the Nats played so poorly:

        1) Ramos playing spectator on the ball off the wall really upset me, I would have been OK if he was pulled.
        2) Henley sending Rendon on a hard line drive to shallow right with less than 2 outs was brain dead.
        3) The run down play which cost the Nats one base and ultimately 1 run was straight out of the ‘how not to execute a rundown’ manual.
        4) Scherzer giving up 3 long balls.

        Also, I don’t know how the play at the plate was not over turned. Based on the rule as it is written today(bad rule) that should have been reversed in 5 seconds. The catcher left Rendon absolutely no path to home plate and he was set up well before he had the ball. If Rendon had slammed into him (which is a bad idea considering Rendon’s injury history) they would have had no choice but to call the runner safe. bush league call.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:06 PM

        If that was a playoff game and MW left Storen in to face CarGo I would go ballistic! Can’t blame MW as that was on Storen!

      • jd - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:10 PM

        Ghost,

        I think the Nats couldn’t afford to lose a game they had in their back pockets at this stage. I don’t blame Storen, he didn’t have it that night but you can’t let CarGon who eats right handers for lunch have a go at a struggling pitchers after that matchup was established. CarGon doesn’t hit lefties well. Does any one in that dugout have the appropriate data? does anyone pay attention to it?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:18 PM

        He had a 3 run lead. You don’t miss on an inside heater to CarGo. I couldn’t believe Drew justifying it in the postgame.

    • stoatva - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      Yes, it’s hard to see the Mets going through a 2-8 stretch or two with that rotation. I feel confident they’ll go nowhere in October but I’m afraid they’ll get there unless things change TOOT SWEET!

      • jd - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:04 PM

        I think it’s too soon to draw that conclusion. Keep in mind that they are banking on 3 pitchers who will all surpass their longest innings work load this year. If they are true to their documented limits they will be in serious trouble. Syndergaard is sure to reach his limit by early September and Harvey by mid to late September and even DeGrom is not likely to have any innings left over for the post season. In addition to that I am not positive they can all remain as effective as they’ve been for 2 more months.

        Maybe I’m whistling in the dark but I’m not in panic mode yet while at the same time I’m not really as confident as I have been. I think this could go either way.

      • stoatva - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:11 PM

        I think we’re saying something similar. I think the Mets will fade, but quite possibly not before they’ve closed the Nats out.

        That’s not “panic” and I’m going to be going to a lot of baseball in September regardless. But it’s time for the Nats to stop digging.

    • Met fan - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:19 PM

      Should make for an exciting last 6 games cannot wait.

  6. Joe Seamhead - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    Meanwhile, Erick Fedde had a rough introduction to low A with Hagerstown last night. 6 ER’s in 4.1 innings.

    On a positive, a young 2B/OF I’m following, Bryan Mejia, is now hitting .340 with the Suns. I never get too excited about A level stats, but this kid is looking pretty good.

    • jd - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:06 PM

      Joe,

      I really start paying attention at the next level. I’m giving Fedde a pass for now based on his return from TJ but eventually he needs to dominate at this level if he’s to be considered a real prospect.

      • rlndtln - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:37 PM

        Now the Mets are great may win 90 games.I said they are the best equipped to win it all in the NL.I was laughed at.The Dodgers stink.The cards are the best team but as the Mets are put together right now I would bet on them.Before long everyone here will be on the Mets bandwagon.

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 12, 2015 at 5:50 PM

        Hey, we’re but stupid clowns that know nothing about basebalI that can never stop laughing at you.

      • veejh - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:09 PM

        Sounds like you switch teams quite a bit. I’m a DC native and will ALWAYS be a DC sports fan, no matter what. Mets bandwagon. What a joke.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:12 PM

    The Oreos just got beat in a no-hitter by Iwakuma. What a pitching performance and he also had a slick fielding play on a foul ball by Seager.

    • rlndtln - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:28 PM

      jd.Forget about innings limit on the Mets big three.Thet are all in to win it this year not like us in 2012.

      • veejh - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:34 PM

        When a pitcher has never pitched more than 133 innings in a season, and then they pitch 180+ innings the next, what do you think happens? That’s right, they get tired. It’s like asking a runner, who’s used to running a few miles, to now run a marathon. You have to build up to a marathon. The same applies with pitching.

      • veejh - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:34 PM

        When a pitcher has never pitched more than 133 innings in a season, and then they pitch 180+ innings the next, what do you think happens? That’s right, they get tired. It’s like asking a runner, who’s used to running a few miles, to now run a marathon. You have to build up to a marathon. The same applies with pitching.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:35 PM

        That’s the Bochy way. Pitch them until their arms fall off and worry about that later. I prefer the Rizzo plan

      • veejh - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:37 PM

        So, even though the Mets, from what it sounds like, won’t limit their innings, how effective will they actually be towards the end? I guess we’ll see. They’re not good enough to win the WS, and I think they’re foolish to potentially burn up their precious young arms on a long shot.

  8. veejh - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    That’s the Bochy way. Pitch them until their arms fall off and worry about that later. I prefer the Rizzo plan.

    Sounds like the plan for another team in our division not named the Mets.

  9. kiawah51 - Aug 12, 2015 at 6:46 PM

    Whats the rizzo plan. Don’t make any offensive moves when half your starting line up ins batting under 220. And bring in a closer who won’t hardly close because your always behind. Great plan. WOrkd perfectly last few years. Until this team has legitimate batters who don’t miss the ball 35% – 45% of the team we will never go all the way even if we have the best pitching, which by the way we don’t have now. Not even in top 5.

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