Skip to content

End-of-season report card

Sep 29, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Michael Morse gets an A for his breakthrough year.

As a collective effort, the Nationals deserve high marks for their performance this season. A club that experienced plenty of ups and downs over the course of six months found a way to finish strong, come within a gnat's eyelash of a .500 record and set themselves up to enter 2012 with lofty expectations.

But what about on an individual basis? How would you grade each player on the roster? Obviously, there were some fantastic individual seasons (Michael Morse, Tyler Clippard). And obviously, there were some not-so-fantastic individual seasons (ahem, Jayson Werth and Doug Slaten).

Now that 2011 is in the books, it's time to hand out some season-ending report cards…

WILSON RAMOS — B+
By all accounts, a fine rookie season for the catcher. He was excellent behind the plate and finished strong at the plate, hitting .358 in September.

JESUS FLORES — C+
The mere fact he returned to the big leagues after missing most of two seasons with a shoulder injury was reason to celebrate, but his gameRead more ยป

  1. sm13 - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Wow, I'm glad I didn't have you grading my papers in college — your are one tough cookie. I'd suggest that Danny should get upgraded to a B+. Despite his offensive struggles, he played gold glove caliber defense all year. A 20-homer gold glove 2nd baseman is worth at least a B+. And Ian should have earned a B. As you note he improved his defense greatly and he showed in the second half that he can deliver bunches of clutch hits. I agree wholeheartedly with your grade for Maya. We've seen enough, he does not have major league stuff. I also give you credit for recognizing Craig Stammen — after being exiled to Syracuse for a year he came back and showed us why he should be a presumptive member of the pen when spring training begins.All in all, a nice job, Mark!

  2. MicheleS - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Doug Slaten.. DFA… that's what his grade should be!

  3. Joe Seamhead - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Two, or make it three others:Cole Kimbal looked very good before going down with an injury. Gotta give him an "I" for incomplete.As to Maya, he did come up for one spot start and did pretty good, as I remember.How about a Zuckerman grade regarding Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson?

  4. Nick - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Not bad, one quibble; if you penalize Pudge for being injured what about Zimmerman, Nix and you don't even mention LaRoche or Hairston. The fact is, Pudge was ready to come back weeks ago, wasn't his choice to be benched and he wasn't benched because of performance. Coaching staff excluded?

  5. DL in VA - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Gee Mark, tell us what you realy think about Maya! Harsh, but probably accurate.But I think you were a little unfair to Werth. Do this mental exercise for a second, and forget about his mammoth contract. Now how do you grade him? I see a C, maybe a C-. At .233 with 20 HR and 19 steals, he's on par with Espinosa, at .236/21/17, whom you gave a B-. So, these grades seem based on expectation, not actual performance.Don't worry about the money anymore — it's already spent. I personally would reserve the D's and F's to people I don't want on my team anymore, and I definitely want Werth on my team next year.

  6. sm13 - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    I was at the Park for Maya's spot start. He was very lucky that batters seemed fooled by his best pitch — the hanging slider!

  7. Anonymous - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Doug Slaten is literally the worst pitcher in all of baseball.

  8. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    @DL in VA: 100% agree on Werth. This team was a joke when he got here, two games is a winning streak? The manager was absent, brooding about his contract and fighting in public with his FA pitcher (Marquis). Not saying he turned the team around, but he certainly tried and that's more than can be said for some others who shall remain nameless. That was a rough April and early May before some wins started coming in.Also, Werth is a known second half guy. He doesn't sulk and he worked through that long slump. He didn't like being the leadoff, but he did it. I think he's taking to CF, though. Gives the team options both in the off-season (acquisitions) and in the field. Yes, I want Werth on my team. I'd bet big bucks (if I had them) that he'll be a lot better next season.Boy, I didn't realize Slaten was that bad.

  9. NatsLady - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    And you peeps were laughing at me when I said Davey put Slaten in to (probably) lose the game so the guys could go home on a rainy night.(He did have Storen warming. If the Nats had scored, Davey would have played to win. But with the game tied and Vasquez set to pitch till midnight–what was he saving his arm for?–ya gotta know when to fold 'em.)

  10. MicheleS - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    The one thing that I remember about LaRoche was the first game and that sweet defense. I just kept thinking that the Big Donkey would never have been able to pick it like that! I hope he comes back full strength next year.Also agree with Nick on the Pudge/Zim comments. Just because he is the FOF, doesn't mean he gets a pass.I think Morse deserves and A+++ because even after being benched and being destroyed mentally by the previous manager, he battle back, learned a new position, belted 31 HRS, hit .300, and nearly got to 100 RBIs.. where would we be without him…Clipp also A++++, I love that he vultured the win at the All Star game.I think Lombo should get an incomplete. Not sure we saw him enough to fairly give him a grade.Is there any way to give Henry a Maalox grade, because you captured it.. Good/Great Henry and Bad/Evil Voldemort Henry

  11. Slidell - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Believe Werth deserves a C for the intangibles he brings (fighting the culture of losing, helping ease Nyjer out, trying to help Teddy, etc.). Also think Ankiel deserves at least a C+, because he wasn't that bad at the plate, especially early in the season.

  12. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    ALEX CORA — D+Veteran infielder was a nice influence for Espinosa and Desmond, but he did very little on the field. Hit .188 as a pinch-hitter.You seem to forget that Cora along with the departed Jerry Hairston did a bang up job bridging the two-month gap that Zimmerman was out. Perhaps not so much at the plate for Cora, but he did much more than your "very little on the field", wouldn't you say Mark?

  13. Anonymous - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    And one comment about Miss Hamilton and her Nats coverage…She put up a good article about the MASN broadcast team. Most on this blog have been in favor of the return of Carp/FP, and it is good to hear that echoed. Consistency in the booth is needed and for the most part those two are well liked and call a good game

  14. Big Cat - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    What is Sad Man's grade?

  15. gocentr - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    I would give Pudge a better grade. He deserves credit for his mentoring of the young catchers and his professionalism, positive attitude, and leadership.

  16. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Big Cat said… What is Sad Man's grade?He gets an F for dropping the course after the deadline.

  17. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Eh, we can quibble with Mark's choices, but grades are subjective, anyway.Anon@1:49, thanks for the heads up on Tracee's piece. Would also like to see Bob and FP back and agree that consistency would be welcome.

  18. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Send the truant officer after him…

  19. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    (uh, forgot to quote Feel Wood's post there, but y'all probably figured that out)

  20. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Mark Z., if you were a high school teacher in northern Virginia or Montgomery County you'd have the entire parents council calling for your hide — "How is my kid ever going to get into an Ivy League university with a B+ on his transcript?" But I think you're mostly right.That said, I offer a couple of minor quibbles:I'd give Clippard an A+ (only one A+ per class, please, and he just edges out Morse by a 'gnat's eyelash' — to use your phrase).I'd also give Wang a better grade than you do, probably a B+ or even an A-. Given his injury/rehab situation, I would throw out his first two or three starts and then give him some bonus points for his steady, progressive improvement over the course of his (admittedly short) season. I was not a Wang fan initially, but I see him being a steady #3 or #4 starter next year.If I'm Brad Peacock's parents, I'm pointing at the numbers and saying "if this only merits a B+ what the heck do you have to do to get an A in this class?" You're right that he didn't have a lot of chances, but I don't think you can penalize him for not taking tests he wasn't given. Throw out that one absurd relief appearance and he was essentially flawless. Even with that appearance, I'd still give him — at worst — an A- and more likely an A. At the same time, I'd include a note saying that 'you did well, but you're still likely to start next season in AAA so don't get a big head' (same note goes to Milone).The only grade on which I think you're being too generous is the one for Gomes. Just because he brings some good-for-the-clubhouse intangibles to the team doesn't mean he brings much of anything else. D or D+ seems right to me. And I just can't see offering him arbitration because I'd be afraid (almost certain, in fact) that he'd accept it, thus negating the draft choice that he might otherwise have generated. If we're going to bring back one of Ankiel, Nix, or Gomes, I'd prefer Ankiel for his defense and his arm.

  21. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    By the way, was I the only one counting on having at least one play-in game to watch today?

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    If you're grading Hairston (solid B+ off the bench), might as well toss in Jayson Marquis (C+, hurt by his blowup with the boss).

  23. Feel Wood - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Jayson Marquis (C+, hurt by his blowup with the boss)If that incident had anything at all to do with Riggleman deciding to quit then Marquis ought to get extra credit.

  24. Exposremains - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Nats have 10 wins less than the Cards. I can think of quite a few games that they should have won which would have bring them close to 90 games. Astros, Marlins, Cubs. Any other team?? What it tells me is that they have to beat the bad teams to be a contender.

  25. Joe Seamhead - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Hey, I'm not saying that he plays for my team next year but, Gomes gets credit in my book for the best "dirt-bag," walk off, hit by pitch in the Washington Nationals history!

  26. Gonat - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    SEAN BURNETT — B-Battled through uncharacteristic struggles during the first half. But to his credit, he made an adjustment and posted a 1.16 ERA after July 19.HENRY RODRIGUEZ — B-One night, you think this guy will never make it because he can't throw strikes. The next night, you think he's destined for greatness. Has to learn consistency.__________________________________Way too kind as you are basing that on how they finished more than their entire season. Not only did Burnett cost his starters a bunch of runs on -their- ERA and HenRod contributed to an inconsistent bullpen, both finished strong and have a shot at being on the team in 2012.I also think giving Craig Stammen a B+ for 7 appearances should be an "Incomplete". That is such a small sample size. -IF- he can do that consistently, he will be a star. The operative word is -IF-

  27. Big Cat - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Ok, I'm gonna get the ball rolling. Albert Puhols is gonna be available. Lets throw the kitchen sink at him? Why not? He is 31 years old. Check his stats. The guy is an absolute hitting machine. Our window is now….lets go for it! I figure he has 3-5 years left in productivity. Lets start the bidding at 5 years for 175 million and see what happens. Can you imagine the buzz that would create. Then you got Zimmerman, Puhols, Beast and Werth in the middle of your lineup. Around August you add Harper to the mix. Jeeeeez

  28. Anonymous - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Big Cat…Pooh won't be coming here… If he doesn't stay with the Cars, then the Cubs/Angels will out bid us in a heart beat. There is the wild card of the Marlins if Ozzie can get them to open up the wallet…

  29. Anonymous - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Dang..I meant Cards not "Cars".. stupid smart phone!

  30. rogieshan - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    I guess there's no sense in giving Ol' Man Yellor (Matt Stairs) a grade. Are any of the Nats eligible for Comeback Player of the Year? Jordan Zimmermann?

  31. Gonat - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Slidell said… Believe Werth deserves a C for the intangibles he brings (fighting the culture of losing, September 29, 2011 1:22 PM ________________________________Based on his salary and what you could get for that money, he was a disaster. If you don't consider the money, the BULL MOOSE was still a .330 OBP guy who was a clubhouse leader and a change agent to the culture of losing in Washington.I would agree a "C" would be more appropriate.

  32. Big Cat - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Puhols ain't going to the Cubbies….and why would you want to go to Florida and play in front of 5,000 people. I'm tellin ya. People are opening their eyes about the Nats. If our two middle infielders start hitting like I think they can, we can make a run at this thing next year. That is with Puhols of course. Ramos finished strong….he could hit 20 dingers next year with a .275 avg. We are young and athletic with two budding aces on our staff. Our closer is 23 years old and is lights out. This thing is possible I'm tellin ya!

  33. UNTERP.NAT - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. UNTERP.NAT - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    eam Grades:Overall: CYou can't get a better grade finishing below .500Offense: D+15 shutouts, nuff said.Defense: BSolidStarting Pitching: B+Just short of outstanding. No run support.Relievers: B+DittoFront office: C+Managers, emphasis on managers: C-One gets an F for quitting on team.Hitting coach: C-Pitching coach: B+Bat Boy: A+Mark Zuckerman: A-Only because he gave my favorite player only a C+ Jesus. Jesus always gets an A with me. :)Posters: A-only Anons lowered this gradeMyself: B+Only because I predicted 79 wins. If I had predicted 80, I would have given myself an A…

  35. Brian M - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    I am the worst pitcher in major league baseball.

  36. Gardner - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    I think when rating Desmond and Espinosa we see what they will be and not what they are. They are both at this point error machines who can't get on base. Espinosa's power does give him at least one current elite capability but he swings and misses way too many times for a guy with his tools. I'd go C on Desmond and B- for Espy. I do think they'll be good – eventually.

  37. Gonat - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    UN.TERP, A- for the posters? You are tough!

  38. UNTERP.NAT - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Gonat said… UN.TERP, A- for the posters? You are tough!This is entertainment. Agree or disagree, most of the posts are entertaining to say the least…

  39. Gonat - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    2011 by the numbers, please add changes and additions as NatsLady did:80 is the number of wins achieved by the 2011 Nats74 was the number of walks Jayson Werth drew in 2011 to lead the team and rank 8th in the NL68 is the positive run differential for the Nats improvement from 2010 to 2011. 31 fewer runs scored. 99 fewer runs given up by the Nats.60 is the number of games Ryan Zimmerman missed in 201144 is the number of Home wins the Nats had this season going 44-3643 is the number of saves Drew Storen had43 is the number of games Adam LaRoche appeared in 201140 is the number of runners thrown out attempting to steal by Ramos (23) Pudge (13) and JFlo (4). The Nats have the best Caught Stealing percentage by their catchers36 is the amount wins & the amount of losses the Nats had against the NL East opponents including winning records against the Phillies31 is the # of HRs the Nats offensive MVP (according to FP & Bob) hit this year. Morse would hit 31 HRs and drive in 98 RBIs. 24 is the amount of innings and strikeouts the amazing Stephen Strasburg threw in 2011. It wasn't enough although it gave us enough of a tease of what we will see for 160 innings next sesaon23 is what NatsLady said was the number of games the Nats won on their last out.21 is the number of HRs that Danny Espinosa hit to tie for the Rookie HR lead21 is the number of HRs that Beast Mode hit that were over 400 ft. which was 68% of all of his HRs at least that distance. 466 feet was his longest at Wrigley. Total HR distance was 12,788 feet or 2.42 miles.19 is the times Danny Espinosa was HBP17 was the number of HRs Bryce Harper hit in 201115 is the number of HRs Wilson Ramos hit this year to tie the all-time catcher's record for Washington baseball teams15 is the number of sacrifice bunts Livan Hernandez had in 201114 was the number of wild wild pitches by MPHrod14 I believe was the number of walk-off wins in 2011 which is tied for the MLB lead. Of course none more exciting than the Walk-off HR delivered by Zim, Ramos, Morse and Espinosa12 is the number of wins this season in extra innings which was a dramatic turnaround from the prior season where the Nats were 3-1012 to 1 is the K/BB Ratio Stephen Strasburg had in 2011. Very impressive!11 is the improvement year over year in wins going from 69 to 80 from 2010 to 201111 is the error improvement by Ian Desmond going from 34 last season to 23 this year.11 is the place the Nats ended up in the NL for average runs scored for the season just ahead of the Marlins by the smallest of percentages11 is the jersey number of the Face of the Franchise who we hope signs a contract extension

  40. baseballswami - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Don't stop now — we need team mvp, pitcher of the year,( a tough one), hustle award, comeback player,breakout player, rookie of the year — think of the possibilities!

  41. Gonat - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Countdown 10-010 is the number of wins against the Phillies this season going 10-810 is the number of shutouts the Nats pitchers combined for10 was the consecutive wins in the Nats road winning streak10 was the tops in wins by a starter by John Lannan9 outfield assists by Rick Ankiel and they were all amazing8 was the number of games in the Nats winning streak 6/10 – 6/188 was the place Jordan Zimmermann ended up as tops in the NL for WHIP at 1.1477 RBIs by Livan Hernandez to lead the pitchers 6 is where the Nats pitching ended amongst all the teams in the National League and 5th fewest in HRs given up5 is the XBH by Nats pitchers. 3 doubles and 2 HRs4 wins for comeback player Chien-Ming Wang as well as 4 for Ross Detwiler4 was the number of highly rated Draft Picks the Nats signed in 2011 named Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin and Purke3 the number of managers the Nats had this season2 or some call it AA is the level Bryce Harper finished at in 2011. His final slash for his 1st year was .297/.392/.501/.894 1.83 was Tyler Clippard's final ERA1 pitch 1 HR for Tom Milone on the 1st pitch he saw in the Majors. It was 1 more HR than Matt Stairs hit1 hit for Chien-Ming Wang which was the 1st of his career1 – 1 was the final W/L record for Stephen Strasburg this season. He was also a victim of LRS/BB which stands for "low run support" and "bad bullpen"0.982 is the field percentage of Danny Espinosa who flashed Gold Glove quality at 2nd base0.309 is the team OBP and is the one area the Nats really need to improve0 is the number of losses incurred by Tyler Clippard who was the Nats All Star as he finished with a 3-0 record

  42. wick - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Ramos should get an A- as a Rookie. Finished as one of the top Catchers in the NL with a WAR in the top 50 among position players (despite only 113 games played). Give him 20 more starts and he's an ALL Star.

  43. Gonat - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    baseballswami said… Don't stop now — we need team mvp, pitcher of the year,( a tough one), hustle award, comeback player,breakout player, rookie of the year — think of the possibilities! September 29, 2011 3:54 PM ____________________________Tisk, tisk, looks like someone didn't watch Mark's video Part I He gave Ramos his Nats Rookie of the Year. Breakout player was Michael Morse.

  44. baseballswami - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Gonat – I did watch – just thought maybe he would write them down for posterity and add some so that the faithful followers could comment and add thoughts. Beltway Baseball Live does not allow for return dialogue unless you count shouting at the computer screen. And by the way, I do agree with him on both. Comeback player – probably JZim, but honorable mention to Wang and Flores. Pitcher – starting pitcher JZim, relievers – an obvious tie. Team mvp anyone? Morse? Hustle award – Desi? So glad you weren't on the team this year "award"? Dunn or Morgan? OK – getting punchy now – yesterday in major league baseball made me very giddy and tired.

  45. gonatsgo - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Just thought I would stop in and wish everyone a good off-season ( is there such a thing?). Haven't been posting lately – work has been a b…, well , a bear. I have been trying to keep up with the major threads but all of you can be quite prolific at times and I have to skim. Thanks to MarkDaddy and to all of you who have kept me up on things this season. I don't know whether to be very impressed by some of the more detailed posts, or to worry that you have way too much time on your hands. It's been an eventful season , mostly fun, though. Remember – when the bandwagoneers arrive – we know who has been through the trial by fire, don't we?

  46. bigfitzva - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Way too high a grade for Lannon. Watching him pitch a game is like watching paint dry. Please someone take him off the National's hands.

  47. baseballswami - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Was just catching up on the previous thread and saw lots of talk about the media coverage. My grade there is so bad we don't even have a letter for it. 106.7 The Fan is a football station , pure and simple. Yesterday was an unbelievable day in sports, I flipped over to it this morning on the way to work and — you guessed it – nfl. The masn situation is terrible, especially during inter-league play. I have really liked fp and carp together, but am really tired of johnny and ray, especially since ray does nothing but fawn over Davey Johnson. Production values are pretty poor, too. And have you ever seen that Saturday morning show? God awful set, no film clips or interviews – might as well be on the radio. Media coverage – pretty darn bad.

  48. masnstinks - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    I just cannot resist an editorial comment, swami – yes, I do believe that masn does, in fact, stink.

  49. Nattydread - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Espinosa deserves a B+ just for his defense. Werth should be marked up to a C for his Bull Moose campaign.Pudge should be put up to a B- for attitudeLivo should get a B- for being Livo and doing the Livo shuffle.

  50. sjm308 - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Mark:Not sure I have added my thanks but what a great year for us and obviously for you as well.Grades – I think you were tough but fair. I would quibble that Werth deserves better and lots of people just can't get past the huge contract but he did bring a culture change and while his numbers aren't great he was solid in the field, handled CF well and did not complain when Riggs had him all over the lineup. I was surprised at Burnett's strong finish and while I knew Coffey was doing well I did not realize how strong Sean was. I love HRod but I think you were too high because when he was bad he was bad. He is my key to us challenging for the playoffs next year along with LaRoche, Werth and Zimm getting back to there regular numbers.On comments about media coverage. Our sport radio shows are a joke as far as baseball is concerned. Just watch next year when we are even better how Czaben and Pollen and Sheahan all jump on the bandwagon, and our flagship station is even worse. Its really disheartning that we don't have one segment on during the day or night that focuses on baseball and the Nationals. I was not a huge Phil Wood fan but at least he provided that vehicle. As for TV, I have to acknowledge that Bobby kind of grew on me and I liked him and FP toward the end of the year. I think FP is a real keeper and would not be upset if Sunshine Bobby came back as well.Thanks again Mark and thanks also to all the great posts that make me laugh or make me proud or make me a smarter baseball fan.

  51. Mark'd - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    Gonat said…Total HR distance was 12,788 feet or 2.42 miles.————-Incredible stat. Where did you get that stat from? Almost 2 1/2 Miles in majestic HRs and game winners.The #40 caught stealing stat is a very overlooked stat and a large contribution to Nats pitcher success this year and low ERA's.

  52. Anonymous - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    new post

  53. Gonat - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    Mark'd, I put each HR on a spreadsheet with the distance of each HR and totaled it.On the caught stealings the Nats had 33 in 2010. They were good then and got even better.

  54. Will - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    In what world is Desmond's season worth a "B-"??I don't care if he cut down on his errors by 33%. He was still one of the worst defenders in the game. Just because the Nats won 10 games more in '08 than in '09 doesn't make the '09 team good. Just as the decrease in errors doesn't make Desmond a good defender. A large part of that decrease is a direct result of Adam Dunn no longer being at 1B.To add to that, even after a fantastic September, Desmond's offensive numbers were still wayyyy down.In what world is a .298 OBP acceptable? That's at best, "D-" worthy, considerably given his OPS dropped nearly 50 points. To me, a sophomore year substantially worse than his rookie season demands a grade below average, which these days is at least a "C-" or "D+", especially given that his defense is till below average.It's too bad Lombardozzi didn't perform better, otherwise, Desmond shouldn't have been close to a guaranteed starting position next season.

  55. Anonymous - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    just a couple of quibbles: Desmond's B is too high — more like a C. Too many errors — at leazt 10 errores were counted as hits by a overly kinf hometown official scorer — and he only hit .250 and all his offensive #'s were down from his rookie year — so I cant see a B at all. Everyone is way to forgiving with him.Morse — just an A? You are kidding right. Morse gets a an A+++ Come on here. He starts outwith the pressure of hit or sit — so he sits — takes over from La roche and plays a gold glove forst baser — then he hits .302 ande 31 taters. 5th in NL in Slg. and he cant get a ++ from you guys.Everyone is harder on MOrse — too eaast on Desi

  56. Anonymous - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    I'd give Slaten an F minus. He cost the Nats a winning season. He was terrible.

  57. Anonymous - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:38 AM

    I usually respect what you have to say, but how dare you give Espinosa the same score as Desmond. Espinosa is twice the player Desmond is (more, by WAR) and the idea that they had even remotely comparable seasons is ludicrous.

  58. Will - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Just to keep laying it on Desmond, fortunately for him he had a decent August/September. Otherwise, he'd have been arguably the worst starting player in baseball. Even including his late surge, he was still the 5th worst shortstop (according to UZR or 3rd worst according to errors) and the 12th worst of all batters (according to wOBA or OPS) of all starters.I simply don't understand the irrational Desmond love that so many people around the organization have for him. He's a bad baseball player in both facets of the game.

  59. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Two words that say we don't give up easily on Desmond, two HATED words:Emilio Bonifacio

  60. MicheleS - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    NatsLady:AMEN to that on Desmond. How many times have we cringed when Bonifacio was up to bat?

  61. Zack - Sep 30, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    @DL in VAOk, so Werth's numbers are somewhat comparable to Espinosa's. Remember though, Espinosa plays 2B, and Werth plays a position (RF) that demands MUCH more at the plate. Also, how many clutch hits did Espinosa have? Countless.The only clutch thing Werth did all year was score on a wild pitch against the Cubs. Oh, and I saw him run back to first to tag up on a flyball with two outs on more than one occasion. Stop making excuses, Werth is just a below-average player.

  62. Will - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Who would you rather?Player A: .296/.360/.393orPlayer B:.253/.298/.358Player A is Bonifacio, B is Desmond. The choice is clear.Ironically, for all you complain about Bonifacio, check out the comparison between his numbers with the Nats vs Desmond's 2011 season:Bonifacio: .248/.305/.344Desmond: .253/.298/.358They're the exact same player, and did I mention they're both the same age?So why is it that Bonifacio is cringe-worthy, and Desmond is "B-" worthy?

  63. Anonymous - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Desi's second-half numbers were very good: .289/.338/.417, for an OPS 7% above league average — for a shortstop that's no small feat. THAT'S why he should be guaranteed a job next year, not because Lombarodozzi stunk it up.

  64. Anonymous - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    By the way, since you chose to show Bonifacio's #s against the Nats, I think you ought to go ahead and show Desi's numbers vs the Fish:.315/.371/.444.Oh, that probably runs counter to your narrative, doesn't it?

  65. Will - Sep 30, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    No, I was showing Bonifacio's numbers WITH the Nationals in 2008 (ie those at bats that caused NatsLady to hate him, and MicheleS to cringe when he batted), which, incidentally, were nearly identical to Desmond, who somehow managed to elicit a completely different response.

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.

Follow us on Twitter