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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Oakland A’s trade Marc Rzepczynski to Washington Nationals

The A’s announced this morning that LHP Marc Rzepczynski (1-0, 3.00) was traded to the Nationals, along with cash, for minor league 2B Max Schrock. Max Schrock, age 21 and taken out of South Carolina in the 13th round last year, seems like a weirdly excellent pickup. He’s the Nationals’ #17 prospect according to MLB.com, which sounds about right for a reliever trade in late August, but he’s having an incredible debut season.

Across A and High-A this year, he’s hit a combined .333/.378/.456 with 9 homers and 22 stolen bases over 543 PAs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2016 at 12:28 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, marc rzepcyznski, nationals, trade

Monday, August 22, 2016

Stephen Strasburg on DL, right elbow soreness | MLB.com

Let’s not even imagine what his arm will be like near the end of his contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 03:08 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Red Sox will add more than arms in waiver deals

“For each trade you make there are 20 that didn’t work,” said Rizzo. “It’s a process that takes time and requires great research by our staff. We’re not afraid to make a deal. For me, when the deal succeeds for both teams it’s a success.

“We have great discussions with our staff. We have great debates. I want people to tell me I’m wrong and back it up with how they feel about a player. We love analytics, but what this is all about is the scout who drives that extra 100 miles to see a player and make an evaluation and a scout who is strong in his convictions about what he sees and how that player can help our ball club. That’s what we have that’s so great.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mike rizzo, nationals, notes, red sox

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Harper’s inconsistency highlights Trout’s greatness. | Sports on Earth

Barring a significant slide over the last quarter of the schedule, Trout is going to join an exclusive club with this metronomic stat line. Since the dawn of the 20th century, only nine others have strung together at least five consecutive qualifying seasons with an OPS+ of 160 or better. Here is the impressive list in reverse chronological order.

Barry Bonds 1990-98, 2000-04
Frank Thomas 1991-97
Stan Musial 1948-54
Johnny Mize 1936-40
Lou Gehrig 1927-37
Babe Ruth 1918-24, ‘26-‘34
Rogers Hornsby 1920-25
Ty Cobb 1907-19
Honus Wagner 1902-09

(Ted Williams likely would be on this list if not for his military service. He topped the 160 mark while qualifying for the batting title in each of his first eight seasons, which were interrupted by three seasons lost to World War II. It’s also possible that others are in the same boat, including Charlie Keller, who hit the mark from 1941-43 and again in ‘45 after a year away).

Not only would Trout be just the third player in the past 70 years to accomplish this feat, but he also is doing it while playing a premium defensive position—and in his age 20-24 seasons (he turned 25 on Aug. 7). Only Cobb, more than a century ago, has had five qualifying 160 OPS+ seasons at such a young age. Only Cobb and Williams can top Trout’s career OPS+ of 169 up to this point (minimum 2,000 plate appearances). And of course, Trout is more than just a good hitter, as he is closing in on Cobb’s record of 46.7 wins above replacement by the end of the age-24 season.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, bryce harper, mike trout, nationals

Monday, August 15, 2016

Jonathan Papelbon Subjected His Teammates To Terrible Pro-Trump Music

Whether you’re voting for Trump or not, we can all agree that Rodney Carrington songs are terrible.

The Nationals released Papelbon over the weekend, and that meant it was time for writers and reporters to dish some gossip. The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg provided us with this gem:

Now maybe players don’t, or shouldn’t, care whether the home fans like them. If a Nationals player did care, though, he probably wouldn’t have wanted to wear a T-shirt reading “Obama can’t ban these guns” to his let’s-make-amends spring training news conference. Nor would he have, on multiple occasions, played a political anthem while reporters were inside the Nats clubhouse.

The ditty was called “Vote For Trump,” and it included promises that “the wall will get built by Mexico” and that Trump would “bring back country [and] get rid of rap,” also noting that “if you don’t like it you can all just kiss our ass.”


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jonathan Papelbon released by Washington Nationals - Washington Times

Don’t they preplan these things now?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2016 at 05:11 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan papelton, nationals

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Turner continues to dazzle at plate and in center field - Byron Kerr

As written in the article, the kid can play.

“Much better, even than the beginning of this year, and right before the All-Star break I felt a little weird,” Turner said. “Last year, I never really felt right the whole time. I’m starting to feel more normal these last three or four days. I feel like I’ve made the adjustments I’ve wanted to and I’ve kind of gotten back to where I feel comfortable.

“But every day is a battle, and that last at-bat I didn’t do what I was supposed to do and I had a crappy at-bat. But that’s baseball. The more times you can feel better, the better off you will be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 06, 2016 at 07:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trea turner

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nationals trade for Mark Melancon from Pirates | MLB.com

The trade deadline deals are finally happening.

The Nationals made acquiring bullpen help their top priority prior to Monday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. They addressed that need Saturday afternoon, completing a trade for right-hander Mark Melancon from the Pirates in exchange for left-handers Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2016 at 07:14 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mark melancon, nationals, pirates

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nationals’ Trea Turner pulls off steal of home | MLB.com

This kid looks pretty, pretty good.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 06:50 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trea turner

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What next for Lopez and Giolito? - Nationals Pastime

Reynaldo Lopez revealed both weaknesses (a very hittable fastball) and strengths (a very unhittable curveball and changeup) in his major league debut last night, enough to leave the Nationals plenty intrigued to see more of the 22-year-old.

“He’s young, this is the big leagues, and you’re facing big-league hitters,” manager Dusty Baker said after Lopez gave up six runs and 10 hits but struck out nine in 4 2/3 innings. “But he’s very bright. Just gotta tighten up a few things. I think he’ll be here for a long time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 20, 2016 at 10:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, reynaldo lopez

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sources: Dodgers are open to trading struggling Yasiel Puig | FOX Sports

It’s easy to forget how young he still is.

Perhaps the Dodgers will keep Puig, buying into his latest surge and banking on the fact that he is only 25. Or perhaps they finally are at wit’s end with his performance if not his personality, and will try to sell relatively high, assuming Puig does not regress in the next two weeks.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, indians, nationals, notes, padres, twins, yankees, yasiel puig

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

MASN Dispute Won’t Be Resolved by MLB Panel

Just another baby step toward the (non) resolution of the MASN dispute between the Orioles and Nationals.

A New York Supreme Court justice ruled Monday that the Orioles-controlled Mid-Atlantic Sports Network won’t have to return next month to a Major League Baseball arbitration panel to have its long-running television rights fee dispute with the Washington Nationals decided.

Bote Man makes baseball fun again Posted: July 13, 2016 at 06:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: legal, masn, nationals, orioles, tv rights

Bryce Harper Has Lots Of Opinions. And They’re (Almost) All Correct.

The DH

Appearing on Colin Cowherd’s program Monday morning, Harper was asked about Cowherd’s contention that defensive shifts are bad for the game and should be outlawed.

I think a lot of guys would agree with you,” Harper said. “I don’t think it will ever happen, but I think we should outlaw the DH, as well.

I was excited about this article until I read ‘Colin Cowherd’. You know what a herd of cows leave behind??


Monday, July 11, 2016

New York Tabloid Cover Asks Daniel Murphy to ‘please go away’

The story about the story.

Daniel Murphy, despite his 2015 playoff exploits and seven decorated seasons with the Mets, is not a popular man in New York right now. He’s become an MVP candidate with the Nationals who leads the majors with a .348 batting average. And against the Mets, he’s been even better. He’s raised his game against his former team to a level not seen from him before.

With his two-run homer on Sunday, Murphy is now batting .423 (22-of-52) with seven homers in 21 RBI in 13 games against the Mets. He’s a huge reason why the Nats are 9-4 in those matchups and why they currently lead the Mets by six games in the NL East.

Bote Man makes baseball fun again Posted: July 11, 2016 at 03:52 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel murphy, mets, nationals, nl east

Friday, July 08, 2016

Trea Turner to join Nationals in New York - The Washington Post

He’s been getting some time in centerfield.

Trea Turner is on his way to New York, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. It is unclear what move might be made to clear space for him on the Nationals’ active roster, though with Ryan Zimmerman ailing from some as-yet unidentified trouble and an already short bench after Michael A. Taylor was sent down to make room for Jonathan Papelbon, the Nationals need right-handed reinforcements.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 08, 2016 at 01:44 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trea turner

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Dusty Baker Says Nats Fans Could Be More Boisterous

“Some of the guys on the team wish our fans were a little more boisterous and crazy. A little bit like we see in different stadiums when we’re on the road. We also realize that a lot of our fans are new Nationals fans. A whole bunch of them were Cubs and Mets [fans], wherever they come from. That’s the dynamics of D.C., which you realize. But we’re trying to win everybody to us.

We need their energy, big time. Especially on days, there are some days when you don’t have the energy. There’s some days when you go to work and you don’t feel it. You’re trying to get it. Right? Some days you can just write a story like no problem, and then some days you’re tearing up paper. ‘I can’t get this.’ It’s the same way for us,” he explained.

Maybe the fans are too busy ordering Perrier and pizza on their smartphones?

Bote Man makes baseball fun again Posted: July 07, 2016 at 09:11 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker, fans, nationals

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Bryce Harper Retires From Home Run Derby

On Tuesday, Harper told The Washington Post he has no plans to participate in the 2016 derby in San Diego, either.
In fact, Harper isn’t sure if he’ll ever do the Home Run Derby again. At least, that’s how he feels as of July 5, 2016.
I just don’t want to, plain and simple,” he said after Tuesday night’s loss to the Brewers.


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

After the Nationals nearly gave up on him, Danny Espinosa has finally found himself - The Washington Post

He’s having a good power year and his defensive metrics are good. Can he keep it up in the second half?

Jim Furtado Posted: July 05, 2016 at 06:30 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: danny espinosa, nationals

Monday, July 04, 2016

Brewers bat out of order | MLB.com

The Brewers became the first big league team in nearly three years to be penalized for sending the wrong man to the plate, the result of an incorrect lineup card that had Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy listed in the wrong spots. It cost Braun a base hit and gave Lucroy an 0-for-1 start to his day, even though he’d never made it past the on-deck circle.
...
After Braun smacked a single to center field off Nationals starter Max Scherzer, Washington manager Dusty Baker immediately emerged for a discussion with the umpires, who called Braun out. Lucroy was charged with an out, credited unassisted to the catcher.

Braun batted again leading off the second inning and grounded out. The two combined to go 0-for-8, with three strikeouts.
...
According to a database at Retrosheet.org, the Brewers were the first team to bat out of order since 2013, when the Rangers did so following a flurry of personnel changes in a game against the A’s. The last instance of a team batting out of order to start a game was earlier that same season, when the Giants did it against the Dodgers.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

No. 1 prospect Lucas Giolito to start Tuesday | MLB.com

I know what I will be watching tonight.

Right-hander Lucas Giolito, the No. 1 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, will make his Major League debut in the 7:05 p.m. ET game at Nationals Park against the Mets and right-hander Matt Harvey. He was called up from Double-A Harrisburg, where he was 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 14 starts.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 28, 2016 at 06:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lucas giolito, nationals

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Danny Espinosa, Trea Turner, and the Value of Patience | FanGraphs Baseball

I’ve watched Espinosa a number of times over the years. He’s a useful player. I watched Trea Turner up close last night at Pawtucket. After the Super Two cutoff, the Nationals will be putting an inferior shortstop on the field if they stick with Espinosa.

Danny Espinosa is not a star, and maybe Trea Turner will turn into one. But for 2016, the Nationals have correctly identified that Espinosa as their starting shortstop may very well be their best option, and not just their best option until the Super Two deadline passes. With a quality all-around game, there’s nothing wrong with the Nationals committing to Espinosa as their starting shortstop for the rest of the year.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 23, 2016 at 02:55 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: danny espinosa, nationals, trea turner

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ever spot a French press in the Nationals dugout? Here’s how it got there. - The Washington Post

The secret is out.

That same day, a few minutes after Espinosa chose the French press, Clint Robinson opted for the normal coffee pot.

“Too bitter,” Robinson said. “I couldn’t get it down.”

The French press coffee, it seems, is an acquired taste. Thanks to two of their most productive contributors off the bench, though, these Nationals have acquired it — and with it, though perhaps not related to it, a firm hold on first place in the National League East.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2016 at 07:17 AM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Nationals place Jonathan Papelbon on DL | nationals.com

The Nationals placed right-hander Jonathan Papelbon on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to Monday, with a right intercostal strain.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2016 at 02:56 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan papelbon, nationals

Monday, June 13, 2016

Bryce Harper will make half a billion—and he’s worth it - Sportsnet.ca

I know how much money is in the game. It’s still tough getting my mind around this.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2016 at 08:00 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Saturday, June 11, 2016

When a slump isn’t really a slump — and why the Cubs might come back to Earth - The Washington Post

Tom Boswell believes the Cubs are lucky.

The Nationals combined have a subpar .282 BABIP after posting normal marks of .300 and .303 the past two seasons. Nats pitchers have a lucky BABIP against of .283. Both those marks would usually trend back toward the high .290s.

In all of baseball, there is only one stunning “outlier” in BABIP for an entire batting attack or pitching staff: Cubs pitchers. Their BABIP is a ridiculously lucky .248. I don’t care how smart their defensive shifts are or how swift their defenders. Nobody is anywhere close to that good at turning batted balls into outs. In this decade, only one team has had a season under .272. The Cubs likely will watch dozens of “reversion” singles, doubles and triples elude them all summer.

The Cubs are MLB’s best team. But not by as much as it seems. Contrary to what their 41-17 record would seem to imply, it may be a good idea to go ahead and play out the rest of the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2016 at 01:11 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, nationals

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