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Nationals Stock Watch: Rendon’s hot week

May 8, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

AP AP

We take a look at the Nationals’ past week:

Record: 
5-3
Team slash: .266/.377/.423
Team ERA: 2.21
Runs per game: 3.8

STOCK UP 

Anthony Rendon, 3B: .346 AVG/3 HR/6 RBI
Rendon has had a quiet last few weeks, but his stock is rising once again after a monstrous last eight days. He’s now tops on the team in hits and RBIs, as well as being tied for the lead in home runs. Through the season’s first six weeks, the Nationals couldn’t have asked for much more from their 23-year old infield prospect. The Nats faithful were probably hoping to watch a different phenom develop at the plate this season, but if Rendon keeps raking like this, DC baseball fans may have another reason to be hopeful of the future — heck, maybe even the present.

Adam LaRoche, 1B:  .400 AVG/.500 OBP/.667 SLG
Old reliable continues to come through for the Nationals. LaRoche, who has been the team’s most consistent hitter, has managed to somewhat stabilize an offense that’s been without its key components for the majority of the season. When he’s not getting big hits, he’s still finding a way to have productive at bats, leading the team with a .427 on-base percentage. Despite all the early season obstacles, Washington finds itself in first place in the NL East standings, and LaRoche keeping the offense afloat is a big reason why.

Aaron Barrett, RP: 3.0 IP (4 GP)/1-0/0.00 ERA/1.00 WHIP 
It’s been over a month, and Barrett has yet to show signs of pitching like a rookie in any of his appearances. This past week, he lead the bullpen with four relief outings, taking care of business each time and being credited with a win in Monday’s 4-0 victory over the Dodgers. Of the regularly used relievers for the Nationals, only closer Rafael Soriano has a lower ERA on this season. That’s the kind of consistency that’ll earn the trust of your manager when he hands you the ball.

STOCK DOWN

Nate McLouth, OF: 0-11/3 BB/.083 OBP 
Yikes. That’s all you can say when you look at McClouth’s numbers this past week, which seem to reflect his overall numbers on the season. When the Nationals signed him in the offseason, there was no reason to think he couldn’t contribute off the bench as a solid defender with a good enough approach at the plate to still be productive. After all, it looked like he had revived his career after two quality seasons with the Orioles. But after a month and change into this season, the Nats have to hope he’s not reverting to the guy that got let go by both the Braves and the Pirates from 2011 to 2012.

Ross Detwiler, RP: 2 GP/4 ER/2 HR/3.00 WHIP
Detwiler continued a somewhat troubling trend this week, following up last week’s loss to the Padres with another poor outing, this time in Tuesday night’s 8-3 loss to the Dodgers. He allowed four earned runs in that outing, essentially put the game out of reach before the Nats started scoring runs later. Detwiler still has the stuff to be a starter again one day, but you’d think he has to prove to Matt Williams that he’s reliable out of the ‘pen first.

Tanner Roark, SP: 0-1/4.0 IP/7 ER 
Yes, perhaps it’s a little unfair to put Roark in this spot after a solid start to his season. But he turned in the worst start of his Nationals career Saturday against the Phillies, allowing seven runs in just four-plus innings of work. For one of the few times in his brief career in Washington, he struggled with command and pitch efficiency, which is what got him in trouble early in Philly. It’s just one tough start, however, so time will tell if this was a start of a bad trend or just a blip on the radar.
  1. adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    off topic . . . sorry

    Wonk’s Thursday’s Thidbits

    - ALR is third in the NL in OBA, 6th in BA, 7th in RBI’s.

    - Mike Trout has more K’s than Ryan Howard (or anybody on the Nats).

    - Nats are 3rd in BA, 4th in R/G, 3rd in ERA.

    - Mets held the Marlins to 8 runs in their three game series — and got swept. They ended their series with 23 scoreless innings (on offense).

    - Marlins are 17-5 at home — their road record is MLB’s worst (2-10) — they begin an 11-game road trip today.

    - Adam Wainright got two hits (raising his average to .400), and outscored the Braves all by himself. Braves were held to one run or fewer for the *13th* time, as they lost their 8th in their last nine (I love writing that). Only the Padres have scored fewer runs than the Braves

    - Strasburg’s ERA for first two innings is 7.31; from the 3rd inning on it’s 1.44

    - Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak to 27 games on the first pitch he saw. He got two more hits later in the game.

    - Edwin Encarnacion tripled and homered in the same inning

    - Addison Reed has saves in 10 of of Arizona’s 13 wins, despite a 4.08 ERA and allowing runs in half of his outings.

    - Class-A Midwest League’s Clinton Lumberkings (Seattle affiliate) trailed 17-1 after five, and ended up winning 20-17 in 12 innings.

    - Adrian Beltre homered for Texas and became only the fifth player in MLB history with 100 home runs for three different teams. (Trivia question: can anybody name any of the others?)

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      OK, Reggie Jackson, Jim Thome, and A-Rod*. Who am I missing?

      • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        You’re good! Reggie and A-Rod* were somewhat straightforward. Thome (for me at least) was hard.

        Just one more! ;-)

      • hantiaolang - May 8, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        Hmmm . . .I’m a little late to the fair, but maybe Dave Kingman?

      • hantiaolang - May 8, 2014 at 8:16 PM

        Now to scroll down and see. . .

  2. Doc - May 8, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Thanks Wonk! Good baseball stuff!

    Seattle and the Hated Dodgers?

  3. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    I’m guessing The Jax (A’s, Yanks, Angels); possibly King Kong, if he stayed anywhere long enough; maybe Frank (Cincy, B’more, Cleveland)?

  4. Doc - May 8, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Tony Ren is the guy.

    He plays 3B the way RZim used to play it. Great range, great arm.

    Once he learns how to hit, he’ll be something to watch! LOL

    Rizzo and his scouts should take a day off, in celebration of their drafting this rare and gifted ball player!

    • natszee - May 8, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      +1 on the Rizzo comment

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 8, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Some call it best player available which was actually Jose Fernandez. Rendon was the best bat available and was still a toss up with him and Bubba Starling and Sonny Gray looked good too.

      I don’t think Rizzo and his scouts deserve much as the teams that picked ahead of the Nats blew it when you consider how it might turn out with Trevor Bauer, Danny Hultzen and Dylan Bundy.

      Still a lot of history to be written and I’ve loved Rendon since his Freshman year of college.

  5. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Reggie is good.

    Not Frank, he wasn’t at Cleveland until the end of his career.

    Dave Kingman is a lot closer than I thought, with the Mets and A’s, but not quite there with the Cubs or Giants.

    • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      Frank actually hit 50 for the Angels before he ended with 14 for Cleveland.

  6. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Oh, Cleveland! Jim Thome!

  7. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    A-Rod*

  8. natszee - May 8, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Hard to believe that this did not make the list:

    Danny Espinosa, IF, 3-21/0 BB/12 K/.143 OBP

    Boy, I hope April 2014 Danny shows up soon.

    • laddieblahblah - May 8, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Desi hasn’t been dong too well, either. Swinging for the fences way too much. Does his best when taking those outside pitches to RF. He can’t even reach them when he’s going for the concourse behind the LF stands. As long as he continues to try and pull everything into, or over, the bleachers, the bad guys will just keep throwing them outside to Desi.

      Desi can correct the problem very easily. But until he does, he is almost as much of a K machine as Danny.

  9. laddieblahblah - May 8, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    I would add Treinen to the “stock up” list. He has surpassed Taylor Jordan as the Nat most likely to be called up should one of the regular rotations guys get injured. Stifled a darn good offense until shaky defense and some lucky rollers did him in.

    A little unfair to place Roark in the “stock down” list just after he had a complete game shutout, and had compiled around 17 straight scoreless innings. He had a similar game against the Braves, in Atlanta, during that horrible 3-game sweep, when every Nats starter left their FBs up and in the zone, just as Roark did this past week against the Phils. That’s 2 bad games for the no. 5 starter. How many bad games did Haren have for the Nats at the beginning of last year? Roark has been much, much better than that.

    Even many of Rendon’s outs have been loud. He has been the Nats best overall hitter and best run producer. If anything, his defense has been even better. Does anyone want to see Ryan back at 3rd base when they’ve got Rendon? Rendon is death on lefties, which had been the biggest weakness in the Nats’ offense last year. Tommy Milone keeps his pitches around the plate. Bad move against Anthony Rendon and Jason Werth.

    I don’t see why Danny was not included on the “stock down” list. He has reverted to his old habit of swinging for the fences just abut every AB, with the predictable result that he not only is a routine out, he is a routine strike-out.

    Between 1b, 2nd base, and the OF, Frandsen should see a lot of action. I would put him in the “stock up” category. His presence is probably the main reason Rizzo and MW felt they could do without TyMo. Great pickup by Rizzo.

    How could anyone leave out Werth in the “stock up” list?

    Strasburg, once again, gave a sterling performance in the cool evening air in Nats Park last night. Looks like we will next see him in the dry Arizona atmosphere next week, where it is too early in the year for hot weather. I expect him to shine out there, as he always seems to do where the air is cool and dry.

    • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      How could anyone leave out Werth in the “stock up” list?

      Because he was already so up high? He’s been kicking b()tt since day 1 — getting a hit in 10 of his first 11 games.

      OTOH, he has batted .417 in May . . . (although only 1 RBI!)

      • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        OK, that was for six game. In the six games prior to that, he batted .407

        So, he’s only up a tiny amount! ;-)

      • laddieblahblah - May 8, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        OK. You can leave him out. His stock is up on my list.

        He was hitting around .270 not too long ago, and has raised his average over 40 points in the past couple of weeks.

      • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        That’s true. He was .417 in the last 6 games. .407 in the six games before that. But, as you correctly note, his BA was .247 before his recent 12 games — and now it’s .313

        He, Rendon, and ALR are carrying the team on offense. Let’s hope Ramos can help spread that burden a bit, like yesterday!

      • jd - May 8, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        Here are the Nats WAR leaders so far:

        1)Werth 1.0
        2)LaRoche 0.9
        3) Rendon 0.7
        4) Ryan Zimmerman 0.5
        5) Espinosa 0.5

        Pitching

        1)Strasburg 1.2 (3rd in the league)
        2) Gio 1.0 (6th in the league)
        3)JZim 0.8
        4)Roark 0.3

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 8, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        jd, let’s talk about WAR when the sample size is large enough.

        WAR by the way loves Danny Espinosa and always has. His defense is good but to have him that close to Rendon is shocking especially considering WAR is cumulative so if you did it by innings played since Rendon has played 36% more than Espinosa the WAR value per inning is exact ly the same as Rendon. NOT A CHANCE!

  10. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Wait, we’re missing the obvious. Who’s the new poster?

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Welcome, New Guy Daniel.

      • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Nice catch!

        Ditto! Welcome “new guy Daniel” !

      • DaveB - May 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        “Daniel” has done all of the “Stock Watch” posts. When you click on his name, though, he shows up mixed in with Chase as the poster, so I wasn’t sure if it was just intended as a pseudonym, or if the site was somehow only set up with definitions for two posters.

  11. Hiram Hover - May 8, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    About Barrett – agreed he had a good week, and I credit MW in part for how he used him.

    Prior to April 30, Barrett appeared in 9 games. In 4 of them, there were runners on base when he entered, and in all 4, at least one inherited runner scored–in fact, 5 of 6 did (this is another reminder of why ERA is such a terrible way to measure relief pitchers in particular).

    Since then, MW has used Barrett in lower stress situations. On April 30, he appeared in the 7th inning of a game the Nats already lead 7-0 in Houston. He got 2 outs and didn’t let either of the inherited runners score.

    In his 3 most recent appearances, Barrett’s been used only in situations in which the bases were empty.

    • DaveB - May 8, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      Interesting observation (good catch!).

      One of the things I’ve been kind of watching for in MW is around how good he is at dealing with players that are under-achieving … i.e., giving them the leash / encouragement to work themselves out of it, but not letting it drag on so long that it hurts the team. So far there haven’t been many examples of players that are scuffling working through it (maybe Span is starting to look like a possibility, and I wouldn’t have thought of Barrett as scuffling, but you made a good point), but he does seem to have been fairly quick to minimize playing time or send down players that aren’t producing when possible (e.g., TJordan, Det, TyMo).

      • DaveB - May 8, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        This was intended as a reply to a comment (HH I think) about MW’s usage of Barrett that has allowed him to improve his results, but that comment seems to have gone away for now?

      • Section 222 - May 8, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        WordPress strikes again. It seems to usually go bonkers when we get up around 200 comments, so this is an early meltdown.

      • NatsLady - May 8, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Ha! My post showed up in a strange place, but it’s there…

  12. David Proctor - May 8, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    I feel like Jerry Blevins should be in stock up. He has been lights out. By the way, he’s inherited 9 runners this year and not one has scored.

    • Hiram Hover - May 8, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Excellent pt on Blevins – a better week, I’d say, than Barrett, and certainly in higher leverage situations.

    • letswin3 - May 8, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      I agree, and he’s only improved since I complimented his work about a week ago. Very nice acquisition, so far.

  13. Doc - May 8, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Mark should make a formal announcement on Daniel’s position with NI.

    Maybe Daniel’s Mark’s Vegas baseball bookie??

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      Well, if he has been posting before, I apologize for not noticing.

      And NG Daniel is a local guy! This I know, because teh Google tells me so!

  14. David Proctor - May 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Against the Cardinals and Dodgers last year, we went 1-11. This year so far, we’re 4-3 against them.

  15. Section 222 - May 8, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    I guess Soriano has been so good all year long he doesn’t merit a “stock up” mention. Just make sure not to add him to “stock down” when he blows one save. It will happen I’m sure. Someday.

    It’s become common to complain that Soriano always causes us heartburn even when he gets the job done. In the interests of combatting conventional wisdom with facts, consider this: He’s 7 for 7 in save opportunities this year and has had a total of 13 appearances. In those 13, he faced the minimum number of batters 8 times, 4 batters twice, and 5 batters 3 times. He has struck out at least one batter in all but three of his appearances. He has made under 20 pitches in all but three of his appearances.

    The guy is having an oustanding season so far and deserves some love.

    One quibble with “Daniel”. It’s not quite true that “Barrett has yet to show signs of pitching like a rookie in any of his appearances.” On April 27, Taylor Jordan’s last start, Barrett gave up a hit, walked in two runs (charged to Detwiler), and made 18 pitches. He was only able to get one out. Blevins came in with the bases loaded and bailed him out or his ERA could easily have ballooned.

    Otherwise he’s been great.

    • Doc - May 8, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      In that game Barrett totally lost control of his slider, and threw a few wild pitches. It was his one bad outing that I experienced.

    • Hiram Hover - May 8, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      Deuces

      Great pt on Soriano. He’s getting the job done. The haters have been silent, but let him slip up, and I’m sure we will hear from them again.

      • veejh - May 8, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        I have been silenced, so far. Never was a fan, especially for that price. I’m happy he is doing well.

      • jd - May 8, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        what veejh said,

        I have a hard time feeling the love for players who always have their best years in their contract years ALA ALR and Soriano.It’s not a coincidence.

      • letswin3 - May 8, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        I’m kinda with veejh and jd. The guy has just found a way to get it done, so far. I think some of us aren’t big fans because he doesn’t have killer stuff, but as long as he’s getting it done, I can live with his pedestrian stuff.

  16. micksback1 - May 8, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I know I have been down on MW, but I listen to the junkies yesterday like a lot of you and I came away thinking MW is one cool cat, that was funny as anything. I came away really liking the dude. I hope he can do this. I’m thinking that the Nats are just Zim, Harper and Fister away of beginning to pull away in the East.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 8, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Aggressiveness has worked against this team unfortunately but I like the basics of it. He has found out that while there is some team speed, this isn’t a great team to steal bases. Denard Span just isn’t a great base runner.

      I also think MW has been a recipient of a better roster than Davey had in the bullpen and we will see about the starting rotation.

      Managers make a big difference in 1 run games and those extra inning games. What I do like is this comeback attitude. I also like that MW is learning from his mistakes. We will see during RZim’s absence if this team is in fact playing better defense as its something to keep our eyes on.

      • letswin3 - May 8, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        To follow-up on the defense issue, it sure has been calming to see Rendon field the position like we used to see Zim handle it a couple of years back. This kid has made some very athletic plays, handles the routine ones routinely and he is everything I thought and hoped he would be at the plate …. I’m now a hero to my mailman, since I was touting Anthony to him while he was still in AA (the mailman wasn’t in AA, but Rendon was).

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        You are smart to recognize good talent letswin3. Rendon as I said the day he was drafted was special. I never thought he would fall to the Nats. I figure Cole then Rendon and the Nats would be looking at Bubba Starling. The biggest winner in that draft: The Marlins. They got Jose Fernandez mid 1st round.

  17. chiefwj - May 8, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Was the 5th player Darrell Evans (one of the most underrated players of our era):

    Atlanta, SF, Detroit

    • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! (Along with Sofa, who got the frest)

      Yes: the only five players in MLB history to have 100 HR’s on three different teams are:

      Beltre (last night), Reggie Jackson, A-Rod*, Jim Thome, and Darrell Evans.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 8, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      What?! I MISSED MY COUSIN DARRELL?1!!

      OH. the. Shame.

  18. NatsLady - May 8, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    In case you didn’t notice, both Boz and the New York Times wrote up Strasburg. The world is fascinated with him. I put the links in my game post.

    • tcostant - May 8, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      I read Bos (always do). Soon we will find out if Stras is a very good ML pitchers or a top 5 in the majors guy. I hope the rest of this year and the next two are something to remember. On a side note, I’m looking forward to seeing how Ramos does controlling other teams stealing bases. It really been the bighest improvement on the team, but until we see if amos can do it too, we really don;t know. I’m very hopeful!

    • Section 222 - May 8, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      I really enjoy your game posts NL. Do continue to link to them here. Thanks!

  19. adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Trivia Question For Which I Don’t Know The Answer

    What is the (pitchers) record for most consecutive scoreless appearances?

    Soriano now has 25. Where does that fit in in baseball records?

    Anyone?

    • NatsLady - May 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      I think you can do that with baseball reference play index. Clip might have had more last year, if not, it was close. If you don’t get it, I’ll do it when I get home from work.

      • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        You’re the expert on working that, NL! I’ll leave it to you to do! (And, remember, this would include over two seaons!)

        I look forward to hearing the answer.

        Clip’s longest streak last year was 12, I think.

        On a hunch, I went to look at Kimbrel, and found that last year he had a streak of 28 games without a run allowed.

  20. langleyclub - May 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Pretty sure its Brad Ziegler with 29 appearances. Ziegler is tied with Al Benton for the consecutive scoreless innings streak as a relief pitcher at 39 innings (over 29 appearances, Ziegler gave up a run in appearance #30), and Ziegler did over more appearances than Benton. BTW, Ziegler’s streak took place over the first 29 appearances of his career.

    • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Wow — nice info. As I just noted above, Kimbrel had 28 last year (and he was the first guy I looked at — I also would have tried Papelbon, Rivera, etc., but haven’t yet).

      Quite a year Soriano has had so far!!

      I see also: our old “friend” Aaron Crow (!!) has been in 15 games this year with an ERA of 0.00 — but he did allow 2 unearned runs.

      The only other player with more appearances and an ERA of 0.00 is Francisco Rodriguez — he’s pitched in 18 games, 18 innings this year. But his streak is 18, as he allowed runs in his lat two appearances last year.

      • adcwonk - May 8, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        “The only other player with more appearances and an ERA of 0.00″ (meaning: in 2014 thus far)

  21. Sonny G 10 - May 9, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    Looks to me like Steve Roney is also a new guy poster on NI. Mark must be contracting out all of the writing now.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 9, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      No, Roney was posting last year, at least.

      • Sonny G 10 - May 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Oh, shows how much I was paying attention :)

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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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.
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