Skip to content

Desmond leads way in Nats’ win

Aug 20, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

With all the errors Ian Desmond piled up early this season, and for all the trouble he’s found keeping his batting average around or above .250, there have been many moments in 2014 where it looked like the two-time Silver Slugger was having a down year.

But perhaps quietly, Desmond has put together a recent stretch that has him on pace for several career-highs.

On Tuesday night he paced the Nationals in their 8-1 win by going 3-for-4 with four RBI, a run and his 100th career stolen base. Twice he notched two-RBI hits to give him 77 on the season. That’s just three away from his career-best of 80 set in 2013, and there are almost six weeks remaining on the schedule. It is also good for fourth overall in the National League.

Desmond is hitting .285 with runners in scoring position – second to only Jayson Werth on the Nats this year – and has 10 more RBI than Adam LaRoche and Anthony Rendon who are next on the team with 67. He’s developing a knack for getting guys home, something Desmond will credit his teammates for.

“Fortunately for me, guys were on base in front of me,” he said. “They’ve been doing that all year long. Those guys have been doing a great job.”

Manager Matt Williams also touched on that, but lauded Desmond for capitalizing on the opportunities he is presented.

“It’s a good year. He’s been in position, whether it’s been fifth, sixth or seventh, to drive runs in for us. And he’s taking advantage of that,” Williams said.

“When we have the full lineup in there, you’ve got three, four and five that are good on-base guys, so there’s going to be opportunity for him. And it’s important for him to be able to do that, because we certainly rely on him. He’s played every day and he’s one of the leaders on our club, by example out there.”

Desmond – who now holds a .307 on-base percentage – is now hopeful he can provide the same chances for the guys behind him in the lineup.

“I’m trying to do a better job getting on there for Bryce [Harper]. I know it’s no fun hitting with nobody on base, so I’m working my butt off. Sometimes it doesn’t look like it, but I’m trying to get on there for him.”

Desmond’s first RBI hit was with the bases loaded in the third inning. He pulled the first delivery from Chase Anderson to left field, a 77 mile per hour curveball thrown inside.

Desmond’s third and fourth RBI came in the sixth inning on another single, this one to opposite field off Eury De La Rosa. It was an 87 mile per hour slider he took the other way.

Both swings were compact and short, and both were with two outs. That is something Williams is pleased to see from his star shortstop, who does have the tendency to go for the fences in a given at-bat.

“Tonight was an example of him just shortening up and taking the two-run single, and that’s important. That’s how you have big RBI years,” Williams said.

“He’s going to hit a bunch of homers. We know that. But when he can take the two-run single, he’s feeling it and he’s seeing the ball good.”

Desmond said it wasn’t entirely a conscious move to shorten his swing, that both pitches dictated a more compact approach. Either way, the 28-year-old is starting to see his persistence pay off.

Desmond began June with a .226 average and has now raised that number 25 points to a respectable .251. It’s still well below his career mark of .269, and it’s a far cry from the .292 he posted in 2012 and the .280 he put up last season. Still, Desmond is seeing progress and maintains confidence in his strategy at the plate.

“I gotta stick to my approach and what’s worked for me,” he said. “I know it times it looks ugly and it feels ugly, but I’ve had success with it and I can’t change now.”

 

 

 

  1. stoatva - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Love Desi. What else is there to say?

    • laddieblahblah - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      “What else is there to say?”

      Desmond’s career average is .270. This year he is having trouble staying above .250. His best year was 2012, when he hit .292 with 25 HRs. That year he had 113 strikeouts in 513 ABs. Last year he hit .280 with 20 HRs but had 145 strikeouts (his previous high) in 655 ABs. This year he already has 143 strikeouts in 512 ABs.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/desmoia01.shtml

      He is going to have his worst year at the plate, this year, unless he goes on a titanic tear over the last 7 weeks of the season. Regardless of anything else, he will have a “swing and miss year” like no other in his professional baseball life. As I often said earlier in the year, I thought the Nats were under-achieving, and I thought Desmond was the guy who has most illustrated that, all year long.

      In 2012 Desmond made only 15 errors, but had 20 last year, total, and already has 19 this year in far fewer games (158 last year vs. only 122, so far, this year).

      The year he hit .292 with 25 HRs and with only 113 strikeouts, and only 15 errors, he made $512,500. This year he is making $6.5 mn. The Nats are paying much more, now, than in 2012, for much poorer performance than they got in 2012, and Desi will be a FA in 2016, when he will be 30 years old. By then, he will have already seen his best days as a ballplayer, if he hasn’t seen them, already.

      He is only 28, but his game, on both sides of the ball, has been trending down since 2012, when he was just 26. I could speculate as to why his game has deteriorated, but that would just be speculation. That his game has deteriorated is not speculation, however, it is a fact.

      This off-season the Nats should try to move him before he gets even worse, and while he may still be worth something on the open market.

      He has been producing better, of late, but he is still not the player he was just two years ago. Maybe he can turn it around for the remainder of this year, or, perhaps, next year, but I don’t see much reason to pay him a big, long-term contract to keep him a Nat, after next year.

      • Doc - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        Desi will always be a favorite player for me.

        But sadly, I mostly agree with your commentary.

        Not a lot comes from those ugly swings. Even worse, Desmond seems to be reinforced by them, in spite of people like his manager not liking them. He could be a better guy in the batter’s box, but he’s convinced that he can do it his way.

  2. water47 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Great attitude and if he can steal five more then he hits 20/20 for the third straight year!

  3. unkyd59 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    He’s My Boy… He’ll always be my boy. I adopted him, back when Peric (and others…) would have sent him back down, traded him for a bag of balls, or just DFA’d him… There was a small handful of us, and nobody was predicting HOF, but we just saw too much talent, and too much character, to bail before they were absolutely sure it wasn’t gonna work… No chance, whatsoever, of anybody else being my all time favorite Nat…

    (Although….I’m a little sweet on Tony Two-Bags, too… hafta admit….) ;)

    • sjm308 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      unkyd – I remember those back and forth posts and you were solid as a rock for Ian!!

      I think he is a huge plus for us in so many ways and not all of them are on the field. I can’t imagine a better candidate for captain of this team. Everything I read from his quotes on here and other places are just solid. He is a team first guy, very grounded, and he is the first guy to visit the mound when things are unraveling. I have to imagine that he is the same way in the dugout and in the locker room. He started the silly act of taking a players helmet off after a succesfull route around the bases and it has grown into something the players all love. They are now playing basketball with said helmets.

      I realize he has already turned down one offer for extending his contract and I hope that can be taken care of after our World Series victory.

      Go Nats!!

      • npb99 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        He is without doubt the de facto captain on this team. Others, like Werth, play leadership roles, but he’s the man.

    • natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      I do recall that you and JaneB were stalwart in supporting him.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        (Unk and JaneB – I’ll get the hang of these nested comments eventually – or not.)

      • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        I was an early supporter of him, too. I, just like my view on Harper, kept saying that it was too early in his career to assume he can’t play shortstop (those were the days when a loud few kept saying, “get rid of him and put Espi in at SS”)

        Laddie — you bring some great stats. Thanks. But here’s one more that’s important to help give context, I think:

        Since the last day of June, Desmond has been slashing .288/.347/.450

  4. sjm308 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Figuring that Bowdenball will read this here rather then go back into the last post.

    You are exactly correct. I am not upset with autograph sessions or q & a with Rizzo or any of that. I have two complaints. The biggest is that we (the 21 game plan groups) are not guaranteed post season and WS. I got my post season and WS this year and yes, we are further away in the post season (306) but surprisingly, I am in 310 for the WS. Not sure how that works. What our agent is telling us is that with the 1/2 season package we are all guaranteed playoff seats in 2015 but not the case with a 21 game plan. Just doesn’t seem like a way to encourage or reward fans who were there from 2005.
    Second complaint is much smaller but the fact that they are making such a big deal about bigger discounts, different cards (black vs red) etc. makes me feel like I am being devalued. I do not want to go to 42 games. Like others have written, I think I make about 25 to 30. We are trying to put together a group in that 308/309 area but its tough because most of the Tom plan people have renewed and they will not let our Teddy plan group with any other plan than Tom. Another puzzler but I am not a business guy.

    Anyway, lots of exciting games to play and players to root for. I hate to have this be a big deal and its more important for this old fan to get to my first playoff series win and ultimately my first World Series! The other stuff will all work out.

    Go Nats!!

    sorry if this bored you guys

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      An unsolicited suggestion: There must be other 21-gamers out there who’d be interested in sharing a 1/2 season package. I know it’s a bit of a pain, but it’s doable. When I lived in the DC area, I was part of a 6-8 person full season package for four years and it worked out quite well — getting together each pre-season to divide up the tix was actually quite enjoyable. Just a thought.

      • sjm308 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        Mr. Oregon – that is exactly what we are trying to do. Problem is, we are all in the Teddy plan around us and I can’t figure out how to let the people in the Tom plan in 308/309 know that we would want to join them. That would be the idea situation because they would get their 4 seats in the plan they already have, we would keep our 4 seats in our plan and life would go on. One sticking point is the Nationals will only let one person be the “owner” of that plan and he would have to do all the work of switching games to various people. Not a huge negative as I am a control freak and would gladly do that work. The other negative is when its playoff time, only one group would have the original seats while the other group would get moved even though they are guaranteed seats.

        Before they switched to this computer situation with cards, one of the great days of the early spring was getting together with our group and handing out and swapping the actual tickets in each packet. There was a bit of beer involved as well and you are correct, it was great fun. Now, you just go to the web site and click on stuff. god I hate technology at times (not to add that it makes me feel old)

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        Understood and good luck in making it happen.

      • veejh - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        Our family does just what Eugene has suggested…since 2005. I just purchased 2 extra seats for the playoffs….. $4200. Not cool at all.

      • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Our family does just what Eugene has suggested…since 2005. I just purchased 2 extra seats for the playoffs….. $4200. Not cool at all.

        Yowza!

        I got two Game 4 tix, 400-level, for $24 each, on the morning of the game!!

  5. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Nobody on the Nats gets more grief than Desi except for Espinosa and then on the other hand when Desi comes through he seems to get admiration.

    Here is a stat that his detractors need to absorb: 1st pitch swinging Desi is slashing .429/.429/.667/1.095

    The underlying stats on Desmond have always been mixed. I have been talking for a week that all of a sudden he is working counts and taking walks at the highest pace of his career in his recent span when he recorded 5 walks in 7 games this past week.

    He is 4 RBIs away from setting his personal career high once he gets to 81 RBIs. He needs 5 more SBs for another 20/20 season as he already has 20 HRs.

    Now to the bad, Desi has a .307 OBP and he needs to be at .330 or more to get back to his Silver Slugger types of stats.

    When you dig into the numbers, the OBP and OPS are only off because of his hits are down carrying a .251 BA. Walks are up. RBIs are up. Runs scored are in line. Power is good.

    It seems to come down to Desi is being more efficient with multiple runners on base. He’s an amazing 16 for 28 when there are men on 2nd and 3rd or 3rd base only or bases loaded, but when men are on 1st and 3rd or just 1st base or just 1st and 2nd he’s under Mendoza.

    Desi is now hitting in RISP .285/.352/.438/.789

    Bottom line, Desi is having an excellent season once you dig deep into the numbers, he’s the Nats best RBI man and adds speed and power to the middle of the lineup. If he can raise that BA, he should earn another Silver Slugger.

    • sjm308 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      great stats Ghost and thanks for presenting the good and the not so good.

      Stats can’t portray heart or leadership and I think Desi adds both in heaping doses.

      • knoxvillenat - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        +1

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        Heart and soul player and leader. You obviously get that intangibles are a large part of the game.

    • thomaswell - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      like the analysis. i would like to see desi switch with buffalo in lineup from time to time.

    • ratiocinational - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Ghost, I am not a Desi detractor, but I do think the “great 1st pitch hitter” is a myth. First, the stat you list is not Desi’s stats for 1st pitch swinging, it’s for balls in play on the first pitch (i.e., it doesn’t count swings and misses, which Desi has a lot of!).

      Desi’s career line for balls in play on the first pitch is 381/.385/.554/.939.
      Here’s Espinosa’s: 369/.381/.642/1.023.
      Here’s Jayson Werth’s: .394/.415/.732/1.148.
      Here’s Adam LaRoche: .366/.366/.612/.978.
      Here’s Ryan Zimmerman’s: .347/.345/.601/.946.

      All of those guys have a higher OPS than Desmond putting a ball in play on an 0-0 count.

      As I said, I think Ian is a very special player and agree with your larger point, but I don’t see any evidence that he is an especially good first pitch hitter.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Absolutely, that’s what happens if he puts the ball in play. Doesn’t count swinging strikes, balls, etc, but it’s important to note that when he puts the ball in play, the outcome is very good.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        This makes me wonder how one can have a higher OBP than BA under the circumstances, given that they don’t get any walks or HP if they put the first pitch in play?

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        Or does that “balls in play” stat quoted actually include HBP, which would explain the numbers, but seems awfully confusing?

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        Sofa

        I agree it’s a little odd to think of getting plunked as a way of putting a ball in play.

        But think about it this way–if your’re hit by the first pitch, you reach base on the first pitch. That’s all it really means.

      • Candide - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        This makes me wonder how one can have a higher OBP than BA under the circumstances, given that they don’t get any walks or HP if they put the first pitch in play?

        Do errors count towards OBP? That might explain a tiny bit.

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        Reaching on an error doesn’t count as a hit, of course–but perversely, the PA and AB still count, so the effect is to drive down BA and OBP.

    • laddieblahblah - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      “Bottom line, Desi is having an excellent season once you dig deep into the numbers…”

      No, he’s not. See my comments and stats, above. He has been trending down for two years running, on both sides of the ball. It is time to move on from Desi. He is probably not going to get any better and, in fact, is having his worst year, right now, compared to his recent levels of performance. I don’t know what he and his agent are looking for in 2016, but I would not be inclined to pay it.

      The Nats would be at great risk of tying themselves down to a declining talent, long-term, for big bucks, that could be much better spent, elsewhere.

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        I agree that 2014 has been a disappointing season for Desi, Ghost’s valiant digging in the #s notwithstanding. Also agree about the dangers of a long term extension.

        I don’t get the “move him now” argument. If not Desi, who plays SS in 2015? The Nats don’t have another SS in the pipeline.

        While this has been a down year, I’m not as convinced that he’s already in an irreversible decline. I think he’s just as likely to exceed or match this year’s #s as experience a further decline in 2015, and that would certainly justify his $11M salary.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      1st pitch swinging Desi is slashing .429/.429/.667/1.095

      Ghost, do I understand correctly that those data include all PA with first pitch-swings, not just balls in play?

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        Whoops, should have read further first. I thought that wasn’t right.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        I did some research and it’s actually 1st pitch in play. It doesn’t include the 1st pitch he sees. He’s put 63 1st pitches in play this season.

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    “unkyd59 – Aug 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM
    He’s My Boy… He’ll always be my boy. I adopted him, back when Peric (and others…) would have sent him back down, traded him for a bag of balls, or just DFA’d him”

    I remember NatsJack and myself arguing with Peric on a daily basis. Glad you were with Team Desi. He has been paying dividends for 3 seasons now.

    He deserved a lot of the criticism but he was young in terms of MLB time and the Nats were bad enough that the Nats could afford to let him work it out on the job. Rarely can a team afford to do that and he has paid back major dividends.

    Nothing frothed me more than the proposed trades people had to get RID of Desi. Best one ever was JZim and Storen for BJ Upton and throw in Desi because Espinosa is the better SS. Could you imagine this team without JZim and Desi with Espinosa as the daily SS?

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Don’t forget the classic “Move him to center field.”

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        LMAO. That were the calls that he would never be good as a shortstop.

        2 people that believed in Desi that mattered were Frank Robinson and Davey Johnson and a few prominent scouts.

        I would say much of my support in the early years for Desi was based on what I got from scouts. He is probably the only player on the Nats that I felt was a fine wine and needed time.

        It’s possible like Laddie said that he has hit his peak. 2012 could have been but 2014 is a good year. Desi should take that $95 million and run because it does look like he is on a OPS regression.

  7. David Proctor - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Desi was great, but it was Cabrera’s 3 run double that blew the game open. He’s been a fantastic pickup.

    • sjm308 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      David:

      These last two moves of Rizzo with Thorton and Cabrera just leave me in awe. I don’t have stats to back this up and would not pay them any mind if they are brought up but I have a feeling that Cabrera might play a better defense than Danny at 2nd base. I realize Danny can make a spectacular play every now and then but I have seen Cabrera make just about every play a professional is expected to, and the tumble into the stands with the foul pop and the behind the back double play toss were great!

      I don’t want to think too far ahead but what will we do when Zimm returns? I honestly can’t see where he will play?

      Go Nats!

      • jd - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        sjm,

        Zim will play. Cabrera has been exactly what the doctor ordered but his bat is not a Ryan Zimmerman bat. I think it may make a lot of sense to bring Cabrera back next year at a reasonable price if RZim moves to 1st permanently but that’s a story for another time.

      • npb99 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        I also don’t see it as a given that Zim should displace Cabrera. Moving Rendon to 2b and Zim to 3b weakens the defense. I don’t see Zim’s bat edging Cabreras to a degree that justifies that move.

      • laddieblahblah - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        “I don’t want to think too far ahead but what will we do when Zimm returns? I honestly can’t see where he will play?”

        I don’t either, but they will play him, regardless. Cabrera plays 2nd like he was performing an exhibition of improvisational ballet. Espinosa cannot hold a candle to him at 2nd base.

        They miss Zim’s bat in the 5-hole, for sure, but where do you weaken the defense to get his bat back in the lineup? And Zim has a well-established history of prolonged weak hitting (lots of strikeouts and DPs) whenever he has returned from an extended absence. They are playing their best ball without him, right now, even with Desi in the 5-hole. I don’t see how Zim makes this team better, at all, until he gets his bat back, which usually takes him a month.

        Win the division, then put him back in. There’s no need to rush it. I see Zim and Desi as the weak links on the defensive side of the ball for as long as they remain on the team, and Zim as an offensive weakness until he gets his swing back in gear. Right now, the team does not really have what you could call an offensive weakness, unless Lobaton or Espinosa is in the game.

        Hey, if it ain’t broke, you don’t need to fix it.

      • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        These last two moves of Rizzo with Thorton and Cabrera just leave me in awe.

        Indeed, when the Nats are struck with an immediate-like-today need, Rizzo pulls a rabbit out of the hat.

        Thornton and Cabrera this year. Loboton in the off season. Suzuki in 2012. Etc.

  8. David Proctor - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Come on. Cabrera has been good, but he is no Zim. Cabrera will be a great option off the bench in the playoffs if Zim returns.

    • laddieblahblah - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      “Cabrera has been good, but he is no Zim.”

      Are you talking offense or defense? If defense, then Zim is no Cabrera.

      When Zim is swinging the bat well, Cabrera is no match for him, either, but he has a history of hitting poorly when first returning from a prolonged absence. Zim could be a great option off the bench as a pinch hitter, but he is a terrible liability on the field as a defender.

      As npb pointed out, “I don’t see Zim’s bat edging Cabrera’s to a degree that justifies that move.”

      They are on their longest winning streak in 2 years. What would you be fixing by taking Cabrera out, and putting Zim in? They don’t need him.

      • David Proctor - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        Zim held his own at 3B after going back there this year. Obviously Cabrera is a better defender, but the bat is no contest.You don’t bench the FoF in the playoffs. I don’t say that for sentimental reasons, but because he’s the better player.

        The hope is that Zim gets back a week or two before the postseason so he can warm up because I agree it takes time to find timing.

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        +1 to DP.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Exactly.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        That ‘exactly’ was for DP’s 12:00 noon post.

  9. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Re bringing Asdrubal Cabrera back in 2015, he was quoted in MLBTR the other day (sorry, don’t have the citation) to the effect that he still wanted to play shortstop and that signing with a team that would start him at shortstop was his priority for the offseason.

    • coop202 - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Honestly it would seem like a Rizzo move to package desi and espi, send them out and get a cheap middle infielder back with zim at first and Rendon at third next year and signing Cabrera to a longer contract to play ss.

      With that said, Ian is a better player by far and I would rather have him. And of course zim starts when he’s back. Don’t be silly, we played our best baseball with him in the lineup last month. A lot of our recent wins are as much good fortune as they were good play.

      • DaveB - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        coop … I’ll agree that it will be fascinating to watch how Rizzo deals with Desi this off-season. While I feel that his intangibles have real value, and I would hate to see him go, I keep wondering whether the same was true of most of the Phillies before they got their extensions. I hope that Rizzo is smart enough to recognize which of our popular, team-leading stars will stand the test of time, and which will deteriorate with age. Right now I lean toward thinking that SS is both a critical position for the team and a weakness in our minor leagues (and I’m not convinced that Asdrubal will age any more gracefully than Desi), so will be hoping for an extension (although laddie has valid concerns). I’m glad it’s not me tho … in Rizzo we trust.

  10. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    “laddieblahblah – Aug 20, 2014 at 11:48 AM
    “Bottom line, Desi is having an excellent season once you dig deep into the numbers…”

    No, he’s not. See my comments and stats, above. He has been trending down for two years running, on both sides of the ball. It is time to move on from Desi. He is probably not going to get any better and, in fact, is having his worst year, right now, compared to his recent levels of performance. I don’t know what he and his agent are looking for in 2016, but I would not be inclined to pay it.

    The Nats would be at great risk of tying themselves down to a declining talent, long-term, for big bucks, that could be much better spent, elsewhere.”

    I think I gave the good with the not so good. Easy to see he’s well off his 2012 OPS and his 2013 but his RBIs are well ahead of pace in both those years as well as he is on the runs scored pace.

    Walks are ahead of pace in 2012 and 2013 and what’s behind is total hits. This is a great debate point for a player who has a mixed bag of offensive stats.

    If the batters in front of Desi wasn’t getting on base, the stats wouldn’t look nearly as good. He is making the most out of opportunity and maximizing those opportunites. Being 16 for 28 in those RBI opps where he excels is extraordinary as that is a .571 BA.

    • jd - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      Ghost,

      I think overall Desi’s value to the team is a little down from 12 and 13 both defensively and offensively. Your clutch comments are valid but to me OBP is the overwhelming most important offensive stat. I think Laddie’s comments are a bit over the top because Desi is still a 2.5 WAR player which is 4th best in the NL.

      It’s a legitimate discussion as to whether Desi should be signed long term based on the fact that he declined a big contract last off season and he is quite likely to enter the decline years in the next few years (He’s almost 29 so he’s not there yet).

      I think Cabrera was exactly the right pickup to plug an obvious hole but again the comments about him are a little over the top and based on a very small time period impression. To say that Espi doesn’t hold a candle to him defensively is to ignore every objective defensive metric and just make a subjective statement.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        Yes, OBP moves the line and is important and offensive efficiency is also important.

        It’s a mixed bag for sure. Laddie makes many good points.

        The rest of your points on Espi I didn’t address so I think you are making those towards others.

  11. letswin3 - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Package Desi and Danny? Sign Desi to a new deal? Sign ALR for another season? Let ALR walk? Sing Cabrera to a long-term deal? Play Zim at 3rd? Play Zim at first? Find “THE” guy for second base in ’15 and beyond? I’m just not cut out to be a General Manager and all the impossible decisions that must be made. I much more enjoy my current role as Critic At Large.

    • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      I have said often that: I can (armchair-) manage a team any day of the year (;-) ), but being a GM is way way above my grade level. I almost never criticize GM’s because of that (with the exception of the Phillie’s Amaro, whom almost everybody here, as much as two years ago, knew he was blowing it).

Archives

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. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter