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Stock Watch: Anthony Rendon slumping?

May 29, 2014, 3:13 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance:
Record: 1-5
Team slash: .223/.321/.318
Team ERA:  3.39
Runs per game:  3.16

STOCK UP 

Wilson Ramos, C: .364 AVG/.391 OBP/.545 SLG
 
Simply put, it was a brutal week for the Nationals. They lost five of their last six games, so it was a little tougher for us at Stock Watch to find risers. But if there was one positive development, it’s that players who’ve recently coming off the disabled list have started to regain their old form. Ramos is atop that list, notching hits in seven of his last ten games, including his first home run of the season Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins. Devoid of a big bopper at the moment, the Nats need Ramos’ big bat in the middle of the lineup to fill that role. He’s long been known for his power potential, and maybe now that he’s healthy — which hasn’t been easy for him — he can live up to that billing.

Adam LaRoche, 1B: .308 AVG/.333 OBP/.538 SLG
Welcome back, Adam. The Nationals first baseman returned from the disabled list this past weekend and has made an immediate impact. He had at least one hit in each of his first three games back, including a homer and three runs driven in. With the the injuries the team has suffered and inconsistent performances from a number of key players, LaRoche has been the lone model of consistency in 2014 for Washington. If the Nats are to get out of their current funk, it’s safe to say LaRoche is probably going to be apart of it.

Doug Fister, SP: 1-0/1.66 ERA/1.13 WHIP
Just as it was for the hitters recently, it’s been slim pickings to find those who’s stock is going up in the starting rotation. But Fister delivered the lone performance that led to a win for the Nationals this week, so he has to get the nod. Not only that, but he’s been excellent since his tough season debut against Oakland Atheltics. He’s now delivered three straight quality starts, allowing just four earned runs combined in 19.1 innings of work. With some of the struggles of the more established starters (more on that below), Fister may be needed now more than ever.

STOCK DOWN
Anthony Rendon, 3B: .130 AVG/.286 OBP/.217 SLG
Rendon’s blazing start was one of the best developments of the early part of the Nationals’ season. But since his torrid April, he’s cooled off of late. His average has dropped from .311 at the beginning of May to .251, hitting just one dinger to go along with six RBIs for the month. And in his last 10 games, he’s had just one extra base hit. Ouch. Anytime young hitters start their season out with a bang, it’s always a matter of time before pitchers around the league make adjustments in how they approach him. It seems that in Rendon’s case that’s beginning to happen, and now it’s up to him to do what the good hitters are supposed to do — adjust to those adjustments.

Jordan Zimmermann, SP: 2 GS/0-1/5.73 ERA/1.64 WHIP
In the early part of Wednesday night’s tough 8-5 loss against the Marlins, Nats fans had to be asking themselves one question: What’s wrong with Jordan Zimmermann? He just hasn’t looked like himself recently, allowing at least three runs in each of his last four starts. It’s really tough to pinpoint the problem, but for whatever reason, Zimmermann has had some command issues as well as leaving mistakes out over the plate way too many times. It’s a head scratcher for sure, especially considering that he was expected to be the rotation’s second best pitcher, if not the best.

Jeremy Blevins, RP: 3 GP/ 0-1/ 16.20 ERA
Perhaps putting Blevins here is a little unfair, given that he only had one poor outing this week. That said, that one outing cost the Nationals a chance to win a hard-fought game over the Marlins. Blevins came into a 4-4 game in the 10th inning Wednesday night, and quickly allowed three runs to score in just a third of an inning of work. It’s an uncharacteristic shortcoming for one of baseball’s best bullpens, but one that handed the Nats an ugly loss.
  1. Doc - May 29, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Most of the month, pitchers were giving Anthony little to hit (with some big boppers on the DL) and he took the bait.

    More recently, he’s started to adjust, and has piled up a bunch of walks. Rendon’s gonna come back—-watch out NL pitchers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Willy Ramos is starting to hit his stride. Glad your back Moose!

    • adcwonk - May 29, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Very incisive comment, Doc.

      Indeed, check out these stats from his last 11 games: despite a BA of .125, his OBP is .308, due to 10 walks. Which is why, despite getting only 7 hits during that time, he still scored 10 times. Also, a sac bunt, and a sac fly — and 0 GIDP.

      Fact is: the guy is still not even 23-1/2, and despite batting .251 for the season, still leads the team in runs scored, and 2d in walks (to ALR). And, because he leads the team in XBH’s, he’s 2d only to ALR in SLG, too.

      • Faraz Shaikh - May 29, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        He is beating werth in walks? That doesn’t sound right.

      • adcwonk - May 29, 2014 at 10:07 PM

        Thanks for the correction. You’re right. For the season, Werth is 1st in walks, ALR is 2d, Rendon is 3rd.

  2. David Proctor - May 29, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Who is Jeremy Blevins?

    • adcwonk - May 29, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Jerry’s cousin?

    • Hiram Hover - May 29, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      What’s the old saying – “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me, as long as they spell my name right”?

      Oh well….

  3. veejh - May 29, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Trending up category:
    McLouth

  4. veejh - May 29, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Sizzling stock:
    Drew Storen

  5. veejh - May 29, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Penny stock:
    Danny Espinosa

  6. Eugene in Oregon - May 29, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    If the Nats had scored in the 8th — with no outs and the bases loaded, in case you don’t remember — neither Jeremy nor Jerry Blevins would have been pitching in the 10th.

  7. langleyclub - May 29, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    Agree that pitchers have made adjustments pitching to Rendon, but also he has hit in some incredibly bad luck as there have been a series of amazing/lucky defensive plays against him. As a result, his BABIP for May is anomalous .192 (the average BABIP is about .300). A hot streak when everything falls is coming.

    • therealjohnc - May 29, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      Likely, although his April BABIP was crazy high, so May in itself was a correction. Expect his BABIP to end up in the .310-.320 range

    • therealjohnc - May 29, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      Likely, although his April BABIP was crazy high, so May in itself was a correction. Expect his BABIP to end up in the .310-.320 range

  8. karlkolchak - May 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Just an aside regarding Blevins: Fernando Abad, the lefty reliever the Nats traded TO Oakland this past offseason, has a 2.18 ERA and an 0.871 WHIP for the A’s in 24 appearances.

    Not a great set of moves by Rizzo.

    • Hiram Hover - May 29, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      Is this what we have been reduced to – pining after Fernando Abad?

      Yikes.

    • Eric - May 29, 2014 at 8:38 PM

      Seems a little odd to wait until now to make this comparison. How’d they match up prior to the top of the 10th last night?

    • therealjohnc - May 29, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      You’re right, Karl – that one move is looking questionable right now. Of course, you can do that with every. single. GM. in. baseball. Rizzo has brought this organization a long, long way – there’s a reason he was named baseball Executive of the Year 18 months ago. Is he perfect? Nope. But we should all be as good at our jobs as Rizzo is at his.

  9. Joe Seamhead - May 29, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    I think that Anthony Rendon will be fine. The kid is as talented as just about any young player to come into the league tin recent years. He has been overall making great contact. His hits will come, and I think sooner rather than later.

    I went to Harrisburg today to watch the Senators in general, and Michael Taylor in particular.I’ve got a thing for good outfielders. A quick note about the stadium; it is a jewel, on a river island in the middle of the city. Great ambiance. We picked a bad day in some regards to go because it was a cold rainy day game that started at 10:30 AM and it was “Education Day” which means there was a stadium full of what I guess was every middle school kid in the city, none of who really cared about the game. All was good though, as we got 1st base box seats away from the hub bub. We sat next to a couple of gents that come to virtually every Senators game and have for years. Other then the fact that they weren’t drinking a lot of beer [well it was only 54 degrees and drizzling] they both reminded me of NatsJack. Anyway, Taylor went 3-3 with a walk. One of his his hits was a lead off bunt and I was blown away with his speed. The only OF plays I saw him make were routine. Now the not so good. He tried to tag up from first on a pop foul to shallow left and got nailed at 2nd after a split second hesitation before deciding to go. The two guys say that he he is the real deal but he is still pretty raw, especially with a propensity for getting picked off. Just a thing that should be able to be corrected with coaching and experience.

    According to the locals around us, Billy Burns was one of the most popular and exciting players they ever saw come through Harrisburg, and they all hated to see him traded away, and all wish him luck. A couple of other tidbits from the peanut gallery: Adam LaRoche was a super good guy while in town, the younger players all loved him and his encouragement. Our boy Zack Walters had a bit of a reputation for being argumentative with the staff. Funny, they all felt that Zack’s defense wasn’t as bad as the stats sheet makes it out to be. Also, none of them can understand why Dobbs was signed, or at least why he’s playing first, or why TyMo was ever put in the OF. They loved his play at first base.
    Another observation: Matt Skole is pretty slow. And not only is he slow, he’s not quick either, at least he wasn’t today.
    One last thing. A lot of home runs hit in Harrisburg are ML fly balls. It’s a short porch.

    • ArVAFan - May 29, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      Thank you for the insights and observations. There’s no substitute for first-hand reports. Now I’ll be watching for Michael in the minor league reports. Baserunning judgment can be taught (at least in most cases): speed has to be built in.

    • Eric - May 29, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      Cool read, thanks for sharing.

    • Hiram Hover - May 29, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      +1 Joe – great stuff!

  10. kirbs3256 - May 30, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    I don’t anything that involves Blevins pitching to RH batters should be measured against him. He sole purpose on this team is to get Utley, Howard, Freeman Ect. out.

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