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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nats Insider: Can they make it back?

Of course, the Red Sox thought the same thing as late as July of last year.

“We’ve come a long, long way in a fairly short period of time,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “Like I said all along, we like where we’re at. We like the core players on this team. And we’re going to be excited to ratchet it up in the spring.”

The belief this team just entered a long-term window for success was among the guiding principles behind Stephen Strasburg’s shutdown, with Rizzo insisting he wanted the right-hander around for future postseason runs. It’s among the reasons nearly every roster move he’s made has been to acquire players who could not only help this team win now but in the future as well.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2012 at 09:49 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals

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   1. boteman Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4269474)
The belief [that] this team just entered a long-term window for success was among the guiding principles behind Stephen Strasburg’s shutdown, with Rizzo insisting he wanted the right-hander around for future postseason runs.

I guess it all comes down to how each person defines "success", doesn't it?

For many Nats fans it means winning it all: the championship season, the playoffs, the World Series. For Rizzo, success must mean getting the runs in the postseason and crapping the bed.
   2. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4269477)
I think success for rizzo means getting a contract extension.
   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 14, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4269483)
Of course they can make it back. What kind of stupid question is that?
   4. Walt Davis Posted: October 14, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4269663)
The Nats are extremely well set up for future success.

They have Zimmerman, Zimmermann, Gonzalez, Strasburg, Harper, Desmond, Espinosa, Storen, Clippard, Ramos, Detwiler all under team control through at least 2015. Heck, even Bernadina is stuck there for the next 3 years. At some point in there, payroll is going to take a big jump but, with new TV money, their initial success and being in a big market, that really shouldn't be a problem.

Is there a better collection of young talent in the game?
   5. OsunaSakata Posted: October 14, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4269800)
In terms of injuries, the Nats had good fortune in the starting rotation in 2012. At this early stage, knowing nothing about injuries or free agent signings or anything else, 88 wins and borderline wild card seems like a reasonable prediction.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 14, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4269874)
The Nationals are in pretty good shape. LaRoche is the only significant contract question. Today's paper suggested that a reasonable two or three deal was possible, but it was unclear whether that was based on actual knowledge of the parties negotiating positions. They also have other 1B options, Morse & Tyler Moore. There are no guarantees, but I like the Nationals' chances.
   7. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 14, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4270031)
Of course they can make it back. What kind of stupid question is that?

This.

Did anyone pick the A's to win the west? How about the Red Sox swoon? The success of the Orioles?
Almost anything can happen in baseball.
   8. bunyon Posted: October 14, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4270075)
They are in great shape. The Phils are old. The Mets aren't very good and don't have much on the horizon. The Marlins will self-destruct even if they do field a good team. The Braves look to be decent over the next few years but not great. The Nats should - should - be in the hunt for at least a wild card for the next several years.

Of course, lots of teams have said this before and not gotten another sniff.
   9. smileyy Posted: October 14, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4270092)
[5] As did the Reds, so some of their competition can expect to drop off too.
   10. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: October 14, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4270099)
Of course, lots of teams have said this before and not gotten another sniff.

This. Everyone raved about how the Tigers had a great young pitching staff in '06, and how they were set for the next decade or so. Then all of them (except Verlander) began to get hurt, suck mightily and/or get hurt and suck mightily. (Their league-best ERA tumbled to 9th in '07 and 12th in '08. Oops.) Fortunately, they were able to rebuild and become a contender again, but that's obviously not something you can count on...especially if you don't have a Top-5 payroll, which the Nats probably never will.
   11. TerpNats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4274019)
I think the Nats consider 2012 sort of their equivalent to the Phillies' 2007 in that the window just began opening, although many expected 2013 to be the breakthrough year. Nothing is a lead-pipe cinch, but this is a relatively young roster, and people like some of the young players coming through the system (Rendon, Giolito, etc.) which should help depth by mid-decade. They are in the right direction, and Friday's disappointment doesn't change that.
   12. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4274096)
I'm wondering what kind of jump Harper is going to take next year.

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