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Nationals Stock Watch: Werth on fire

Jul 16, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT

Associated Press Associated Press

We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance…

Record: 3-2
Team slash: .224/.288/.407
Team ERA: 3.76
Runs per game: 5.2

STOCK UP

Jayson Werth, OF: .333 AVG/ 4HR/ 10 RBI

Like we mentioned last week, Werth reeaaally doesn’t want July to end. In the last few weeks alone, he’s accounted for half of his season home run total and thirty percent of his total RBIs. That’s astounding. So where did this come from? Well, as Chase Hughes wrote a few days ago, he tends to get hot once the second half of the season starts. In his three previous years in Washington, his average has been markedly higher after the All-Star break. But even so, this year he might be taking it from one extreme to another in a hurry. He was struggling at the plate last month as much as we’d ever seen since he’s been in D.C., yet just a few weeks later he’s locked in like never before. Not that the Nationals mind, they’ll need as many hot hitters as they can get once the break is over.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B: .969 OPS/5 RBI

The weekend series in Philadelphia highlighted exactly why Zimmerman is still a key part of this lineup and should be in there every day. He drove in the go-ahead RBI in Saturday’s 5-3 extra-inning victory over the Phillies, and followed it up with a homer the next day in Sunday’s 10-3 rout. He’s hitting .359 this month with a .990 OPS, more consistently squaring up pitches with the good part of the bat and driving the ball to all parts of the field. It’s a really positive sign that suggests the Nats may be on the verge of seeing the old Zimmerman return. His track record at the plate (when healthy) has never been in question, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t have a strong second half. With his absence earlier in the season and guys like Anthony Rendon and Adam LaRoche carrying the load offensively, it was easy to forget what Zimmerman meant to this ball club. But since his return he’s been nothing but the consummate pro in his current role and leader.

Ross Detwiler, RP: 3 GP/ 1-0 / 0.00 ERA

After months seeing his stock falling, Detwiler has engineered a really nice turnaround to his season. He was struggling mightily in his nebulous role in the bullpen earlier in the year, but all he’s done since that 16-inning marathon victory in Milwaukee is get the job done when called upon. In fact, he’s allowed just one run in his last 11.1 innings with one walk allowed in that span.  He earned his first victory of the season over the weekend in Philly and maybe, just maybe, Matt Williams will start to trust Detwiler more in key situations the rest of the way.
STOCK DOWN

Bryce Harper, OF: .125 AVG/ .176 OBP/ .313 SLG

It was somewhat expected that Harper would struggle a little bit once he returned from thumb surgery. That being said, no one expected six hits in his first 40 at-bats, with 16 strikeouts and just two extra-base knocks. That’s troubling to say the least. Sure, he’s had his moments where he’s driving the ball here and there (sometimes right at defenders), but it’s clear he’s not quite himself just yet. So when will the Harper of old return?

Jordan Zimmermann, SP: 0-1/ 10.80 ERA / 1.80 WHIP

Zimmermann suffered the double-whammy over the weekend, turning in one of his worst starts over the last month and a half as well as leaving the game early due to an arm injury. As someone who’s dealt with Tommy John surgery earlier in his career, Zimmermann had many Nats fans briefly fearing the worst. But as it turns out it was a bicep strain, likely keeping him off the disabled list, though it did cost him a second straight trip to the All-Star Game. Hopefully this is just a minor setback.

  1. unterp - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Let’s go Nats…

    • unterp - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Oh, sorry, that’s for Friday’s game thread. Just sayin’…

  2. natsguy - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    If RZIM only had a position he could play that didn’t knock somebody else off the field.

    • Section 222 - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      Do you really miss Espi? :-)

  3. TimDz - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Isn’t tomorrow the big day for Jordan Zimmermann? I believe they said he will have a bullpen session then and that this will determine the next step (skipped start versus DL versus…)

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      That’s what Chase wrote last Monday:

      The telling day will be Thursday when he is likely to throw a bullpen session during the team’s workout. From there it will officially be determined whether a stint on the DL is needed.

      • sjberke - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        Of course, if he did go on the DL, it could be made retroactive to July 12, the day after he last appeared, and he would be eligible to come off July 27. If he did, he would miss only one start, but presumably if he were ready to come back that quickly, he would knot be put on the DL at all.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        That’s a good point, sberke, but if they were going to skip a start anyway, maybe they’d bring up a bullpen arm for the interim.

  4. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Interesting, too, that the Lost Post on the MASN quote by Selig is still showing up occasionally as a link in the “More from NatsInsider” column, but is in fact a dead link. Doesn’t seem to be a corresponding story on CSN’s side, but they have more than their share of dead links.

  5. natsguy - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    There is the same story in WAPO which is still on line.

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Probably not a big deal but 2 days away from the deadline to sign all Draft Picks. The Nats still need to ink Fedde and Andrew Suarez the 2nd round pick.

    I’m sure both will sign but the Nats went over slot to several other picks and not sure they have the $3 million Boras wants for Fedde who is recovering from TJ surgery and enough to sign Suarez and the others with approx $3.5 million left in cap space.

    The slot value for the #18 overall pick in the 1st round is $2,145,600 and the Nats need to get creative.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Can’t vouch for their math, but there’s a post at mlbtraderumors that crunches the numbers and says that if the Nats sign Suarez at slot value, they can go up to almost $2.8M for Fedde.

      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/07/nl-notes-mets-colon-murphy-greinke-fedde.html

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        I think it needs to be closer to $2.5 as Suarez wants over slot also and that’s the problem.

      • jd - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        I think the Nats are in the drivers seat here. Since Fedde is out for a full year even if they don’t sign him the comp pick they get (assuming he’s not injured) will essentially be available to start development at roughly the same time Fedde will be. I don’t think Boras wants to take his guy into next year’s draft because he won’t have much opportunity to prove that he’s fully healthy.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        Are either of these guys going to turn the Nats down and lose a year of income? Seems to me you hever make that up. Plus it will mean they are farther away from the big money years when they are arbitration eligible and then eligible for free agency.

        I understand a high school player choosing instead to go to college, but I wonder how many college players don’t sign?

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Another discussion on an off-day.

    Nats Radio ratings are soaring! How are TV rating down? Is Angelos doing anything in his power to shred the numbers? It makes no sense with the popularity of the Nats at an all-time high. Did people turn off the MASNgelos on their TV and instead decide to listen only?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2014/07/16/nationals-radio-ratings-are-surging-this-season/

    Braves are down in TV viewership as much as the Nats and the Dodgers plummet.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/07/14/Media/MLB-RSNs.aspx

  8. erocks33 - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    I hope Werth will help Bryce get over his current slump. I believe Werth mentioned something about how standing up a little straighter in the box had helped him get over his bout of ineptitude at the plate. Maybe Bryce should try this, too.

    And I do want to say that Ross Detwiler has been nothing short of phenomenal recently and I can’t be more proud of him. Earlier, I wanted him off the team (traded, or “Haren’d” aka “hurt” so he has to go on the DL and get his head straightened out). But he has (so far) turned it around and has become a vital piece of the bullpen. Congrats, Det! Keep it up!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      erocks, I felt similar frustration and elation with regards to Detwiler.

      It’s too early for me to be worried about Harp. He will get there. Too much talent.

  9. natsguy - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    I have a funny feeling Fedde might walk. Per MLBTR he apparently expects 3Mill.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      Remember, Boras is his agent. He likes to go down to the wire, and he likes to throw out aggressive figures to the press. Doesn’t really mean much to me.

  10. natsguy - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    I have a funny feeling Fedde might walk. Per MLBTR he apparently expects 3Mill.

  11. jd - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    natsguy,

    That’s a heck of a gamble for him to re-enter the draft following TJ surgery and not being able to prove he’s fully recovered. For the Nats they don’t have much to lose, if he doesn’t sign they draft someone in the same slot next year and they are not any further behind.

    I bet you he signs.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      I totally agree with you jd. He would have to prove to scouts next year that he has recovered and is ready to go to move up substantially in the Draft which is tough to do. He probably moves up in the draft but does he move up enough to get the $3 million he wants now.

      It’s a bigger gamble for Fedde and Boras knows it.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Exactly.

      I don’t know how he or Boras would weigh this, but I have have to think he will get better rehab/PT with the Nats. And when he gets to resume baseball activities next spring, he does it with a professional organization.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        The Boras mouthpiece is comparing him to Jeff Hoffman, the East Carolina flamethrower who like Fedde had Tommy John surgery, signed for the $3.08 million slot as pick No. 9 by the Jays this year.

        Big difference is Jeff Hoffman was picked 9 and Fedde at 18 because of their upside when healthy. If Fedde was chosen at #9 then it would be apples to apples. It’s not.

        Always Boras playing games.

      • tcostant - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        I think he signs at or slightly above slot:, for many of the reasons lited above

  12. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Just for fun, a trip down Read-Only Memory Lane:

    http://natsinsider.blogspot.com/2011/06/best-second-baseman-in-baseball.html

    The comments are mostly about what a bum Desmond is, but do include one of my own Best. Posts. EVER. I kill me sometimes.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      I’m just happy I was even touting Rendon there as a 2nd baseman. Bam!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        Although, the Matt Antonelli thing didn’t work out as well. Can’t win ‘em all.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        “Lombardozzi and Antonelli tearing it up. They are both 2nd baseman presumably as their best positions.”

        Yes they were tearing it up in AAA and at that point were organizaitional depth. I can’t see anything wrong that I wrote as I wasn’t channeling Peric who was saying Antonelli needed to be called up. Antonelli was a long-shot as he was 4th or 5th on the depth chart.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        Yeah, I’m just messing with you. ; )

        I know he was Danger Boy’s boy.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM

        Thanks Sec3. Like you, I wasn’t a Desi basher. I had made prior posts of Espi’s left-handed swing and miss issues which eventually derailed his season.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:58 PM

        He’s entirely out of baseball now, isn’t he?

        I mean Antonelli, not the P-man.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        Yes, Antonelli is done with playing baseball and went back to Wake Forest to finish his College degree and recently graduated and this past College season actually qualified as a student-coach on their baseball team.

        Don’t forget that Antonelli was one of the top infielders in his 2006 Draft class taken 17th overall in the 1st round out of Wake Forest.

        The problem was he couldn’t stay healthy and really wasn’t putting up great numbers past AA until he e was with Syracuse in 2011 but he was blocked and never got another chance to play in MLB. Remember he had a brief stint with the Padres in 2008 where he didn’t play well. Finally in 2013 he got injured and released by Cleveland and went back to school.

      • rayvil01 - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Baseball drafts have morphed into NHL drafts. The truly chosen stand out from everyone. The rest are a collective crap shoot.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      Oh, and I realized something else: Danny Kaye tanked as soon as Riggleman left. Clearly, they need to get together again, one way or another.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        Even though the timing of the drought really kicked in after Riggles left, it just always seemed coincidental since Eckstein was still the batting coach.

    • Section 222 - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      Are you talking about the IRS post? Yes, that was pretty funny.

      Great trip down memory lane. Lots of self back patting there by a particular poster who thought Espi was headed for greatness. That was pretty funny too.

      And there was Ghost before he became Ghost.

      And a blog platform that actually worked.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      Interesting timing. Filed an hour ago and by none other than Boras mouthpiece in the media Jon Heyman. The dance has started.

      It’s also helpful on WordPress that if we have side discussions like I started at 4:05 on the Draft status that the additional posts were kept together. It’s like playing hopscotch and some of the same points are being remade.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      So Boras is using Heyman as his mouthpiece, too?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        He always has. It’s been a while for Nats fans to remember the Heyman tweets and comments when Rendon, Harper and Strasburg were drafted.

        Same ole Modus Operandi, different day.

      • David Proctor - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        Like Ghost said, Heyman has always been a Boras mouthpiece.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 69 4.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak 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.
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