Monday, October 10, 2011

A Few Good Men: Prologue

Today is the Beginning of our 44-part series where we are going to take you through each member of the 2011 Washington Nationals. This prologue is going to be of a similar format to what you will be seeing every weekday until (around) the winter meetings - in addition to regular posts as well.

It's time to take a quick look through the regular season statistics of the 2011 Nationals as a team.

So sit back, relax, grab a nice cup of (Irish) coffee and enjoy the ride.

Washington Nationals - 80-81. 3rd Place in the NL East.

The Raw Numbers - National League Rankings
Batting -
.242 AVG - T-14th
.309 OBP - T-12th
.383 SLUG - 11th
.691 OPS - 12th
.229 RISP - 13th
154 HR - 7th
624 R - 12th
106 SB - 6th
1,323 K - 16th (9th most in MLB History)
470 BB - 13th

Pitching -
3.58 ERA - 6th
1.297 WHIP - 8th
.256 AVG/Against - 9th
.701 OPS/Against - 7th
1,049 K - 15th
477 BB - 5th

Best Game
August 19 vs. Phillies - Ryan Zimmerman walk-off HR against Ryan Madson.

Worst Game
May 21 vs. Baltimore - Nats only get 3 runs against the O's the day after scoring 17 - Lose 8-3

WAR Leaders/Losers
+ Danny Espinosa 3.5. Jordan Zimmermann 3.4.
- Chris Marrero -0.7. Sean Burnett -0.4.

Key Stats
- 36-36 vs. the NL East. 10-8 vs. the Phillies.
- .235/.305/.369 in the 1st-half of the season. .252/.313/.400 in the 2nd-half.

2012 Status?
With the right upgrades (a real hitting coach and a CF/Leadoff hitter) the team has the potential to be in the Wild Card play-in game (assuming there actually is one).

CapBall Grade - B
No one really thought that the Nats would hit .500 this year, but they got as close as humanly possible. Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg have both returned to form following Tommy John, while Detwiler, Milone, and Peacock made their presences felt. The Nats core group of players has become younger as Espinosa, Desmond, and Ramos have become clubhouse leaders.

Share your thoughts on the Nats 2011 campaign in the comments!


  1. NatsJack - thanks for commenting!

    Read this - - and check out the stats above again. Then tell me that Eckstein is competant. Because we are in the bottom half of mlb in all of those categories again this year. 4 years running - dating back to Acta.

  2. I was surprised that Marrero had such a negative WAR. I didn't think he was a world-beater or anything, but that's lower than I would have expected for the little bit he played. I can't believe Werth had a +2.0 WAR either...

    I'm not in love with Eckstein, but look at the quality of players he's had to work with in his 4 years as batting coach. You can't make chicken salad with chicken s**t...

  3. CK - thanks for popping in to chat! Its great to get more commenters here!

    I completely agree that the players haven't been great. That being said, I can count at least 4 veteran players who, in the past year+, have left DC and gone on to have career years elsewhere; Kearns in NY, Nyjer and Hairston for the Brew Crew, and Hammer in Oakland. I think its definitely time for a change.

  4. I am neither hugely pro or anti Eckstein, but if your best argument against him is that those 4 guys had career years after leaving him behind, then you lose the argument, because thats just plain wrong.

    Willingham had an.810 ops this year, whixh was lower than in both of his seasons with the nats. His hr and rbi totals were higher, because he missed fewer games due to injury. I guess that's ecksrlteins fault.

    Hairston had exactly the same .727 ops this season while with the nats and with milwaukee.

    Nyjer was no better this year than he was in 50 games with the nats in 2009. The other big difference is that the brewers didnt play him against lefties, against whom he's always been hopeless.

    Kearns had adecent half season in cleveland after leaving the nats - hardly a career year. After that, he stunk once again, even without the help of rick eckstein.

    So what's your next argument?

  5. Michael Morse had a career year...can we give Eckstein the credit too...its hard to really judge the impact of a hitting coach, developing young players (espinosa and ramos) and tweaking veterans (werth) is hard to see. I'm not against firing Eck, but if it happens, i'm not boycotting either.

  6. Article was pretty insightful but your argument about replacing the hitting coach was poor -
    Seriously, you are going to look at players like Austin Kearns and make a judgement on Eckstein??

    Look at what our young players are or are not doing, don't look at a veteran who has had countless coaches and make a judgement based on what he did here or at another franchise. Do you really think Jerry Hairston or Austin Kearns rely on the hitting coach that much after 10 years in the league? And do you really think Nyjer listens to anyone with all that crap going on in his head? I am not sure Eckstein is or isn't the answer but I don't believe a hitting coach makes that much of a difference.

  7. Ha! My only argument against eck is the nats total numbers over the past 4 years - the vets numbers are just in response to the "chicken sh*t players" comment. To which morse and zim would go to my argument as well - that eck has had good players to deal with an still hasn't gotten it done.

    If you check out the article I posted yesterday in response to ck, that's my argument.

  8. Apologies - it was the natsjack response. Basically - the nats have not had the best crop of talent to deal with but they have had more than enough to make it out of the bottom 3rd in terms of offense.

  9. 1,323 K - 16th (9th most in MLB History)

    To me, that's the story on the offense in a nutshell. What percentage of those were with RISP? @3B w/ < 2 out?

    I think a batting coach would have direct impact on this stat. Tell 'em to choke up with strikes for better bat control. Get 'em thinking how to avoid 3rd strike fishing expeditions. Have the clubhouse courtroom assess fines for 3rd strikes looking!

    If we can cut team strikeouts down to the middle of the pack next year, all the other offensive stats will rise further, and we'll be playoff bound!