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Nats who’s hot/who’s not – 8/14

Aug 14, 2013, 5:39 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

By Steve Roney
CSNwashington.com

The Nationals' past week, at a glance:

Record: 4-1
Team slash: .305/.388/.470
Team ERA: 2.80
Runs per game: 6.0
Opponent runs per game: 3.0
Opponent slash: .244/.294/.339

HOT

Tanner Roark, RP: 2-0/0.00 ERA/0.67 WHIP/6 IP/1 K 
Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Ro-ark. The rookie reliever made his first three career appearances this week, picking up the win in the most recent two. He doesn't have overpowering stuff — he's thrown two-thirds of his 70 pitches for strikes, with only two swings and misses — but he's gotten the job done in fairly high-leverage situations. Working two innings in each of his appearances, he's been able to serve as a very effective bridge to Rafael Soriano, who has saved both his victories. Without more swinging strikes, his .190 BABIP will rise — along with his ERA — but Roark has had a dream start to his career.

Jayson Werth, OF: 10-19/2 HR/6 RBI/.591 OBP/1.486 OPS
Put simply, this is what we've been waiting for from Jayson Werth. Not the video game numbers of the past week, or even the past month — but his incredibly hot tear has brought his season numbers (.327/.399/.529, 17 HR) in line with his pay grade for the first time since he donned a Nats jersey. In fact, the 34-year-old is exceeding even those expectations: the batting average, if it holds up, is the highest of his career, though his .444 BABIP since the All-Star break portends a looming regression. The Nats are likely playing for bragging rights and to set the table for next season; if Werth can continue to swing a hot bat, both he and the team can end the year on a high note, which will bode well going forward.

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  1. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Agree, after looking at his minor league nos., that Roark is likely to regress — significantly — but right now anything is better than Mattheus, who's become something of a kerosene guy. If two-thirds of Roark's pitches are strikes, that's about the right ratio; when it gets much higher than that it sometimes means the hitters are teeing off, or are getting ready to tee off. His K rate in the minors was better than average so it may come up; hope he — and everybody else — can figure out how to not give up BB.Mattheus should be shut down for the season before he does any more harm, allowed to come back in ST to compete for a spot in the BP or a trade.

  2. James Joyce - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Glad to see the club playing better, 6 of last 10 is the right direction. But, the club simply is just not as good as anyone thought. It is more than just some bad bounces and unfavorable injury luck. The rest of the Division will be improved in 2014 – the Mets will be much better, the Fish will make a big splash (could not resist), that Cuban defector 1B maybe?, the Phils still have Lee and Hamels and they unload all kinds of payroll and inking Utley shows that they are not looking to break down their club, they'll reload, the Braves have a ton of money to spend to improve their very solid core too. The Nats need to make big upgrades if they want to be a legit next year, much less be an every year contender.

  3. Doc - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Both Stammen and Mattheus would seem to have left last year's magic arms in the locker room.Guess it's time for some new blood.

  4. bowdenball - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Stammen is the same guy he was last year. He just got a little lucky last year with a .270 BABIP and has been pretty unlucky this year with a .341 BABIP. His K/BB ratio is about the same, his HR/FB ratio is about the same, and his ground ball rate is actually up while his line drive rate is down.He's also under club control through 2016 and has already signed a deal for 2014 to avoid arbitration.He's not going anywhere, nor should he.

  5. bowdenball - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    James Joyce-I disagree that the division will be better next year, at least in terms of the playoff race. The Mets and the Marlins will be better for sure, but not good enough to compete fir first place. The Phillies will be worse for sure, even a Phillies fan would tell you that. And I seriously doubt the Braves will be this good next year. Aside the normal regression for teams on 100 win pace (something Nats fans should have learned from 2012 and 2013) they will also lose their highest OPS hitter Brian McCann, and they have several guys who had or are having career years who can be expected to regress, including Chris Johnson, Jordan Schaefer, Evan Gattis, Mike Minor, and pretty much every member of the bullpen except Kimbrel.

  6. JD - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Bowdenball, That's the thing about projections: fans approach is normally: 1) For players who are having career years – they expect them to repeat these. 2) For players who are having bad years – they expect them to bounce back. Unfortunately regression works in both directions.

  7. Tcostant - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Werth is so hot that there was article in the NY Post going over the worse contract considering the amount that was left on each deal and Werth's contract was not even mentioned. That is progress:http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/think_rod_deal_is_bad_here_are_five_Nkeay2N5EdkVeYTpbGh6EJ

  8. Doc - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Bowdenball, Stammen, by his own admission, and from others watching him, has had problems with his slider.Hope he gets the magic back!

  9. bowdenball - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    I'm even more confused about the statement that the Braves "have a ton of money to spend." The Braves' ownership is notoriously tight with its money, they're locked into a long-term TV deal that's only slightly better than ours, and they barely cracked 20,000 in attendance at Turner Field the last two nights for a team with the best record in baseball.

  10. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Does Mattheus have options? Send him down and bring Storen back? Or just wait until September to bring up Storen?

  11. Candide - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    bowdenball said…they barely cracked 20,000 in attendance at Turner Field the last two nights for a team with the best record in baseball.Yeah, well, when your team leads the division by infinity-and-a-half games and they're playing the woebegone Phillies…(Yeah, I know… Braves fans don't turn out much, considering how good the team has been for over 20 years. But they're still a tiny bit better than average: http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance)

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Mattheus was rushed back. He is rehabbing in Washington. Seen that before.RZim, I knew it was bad but not that bad. That walkoff is good for extra credit and his defense is much improved to "average" from "poor".

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