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Nationals Stock Watch: Cabrera doing his part

Aug 27, 2014, 1:12 PM EST

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

Record: 4-3
Team slash: .287/.366/.434
Team ERA:  3.34
Runs per game:  4.57

STOCK UP

Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B: .300 AVG/ .417 OBP/ 2 HR

How big of a pickup has Cabrera been? Ever since he arrived to Washington at the trade deadline, he’s been everything the Nationals had hoped for. He provides stability at second base (a position he hadn’t played in years) and his bat is a clear upgrade over Danny Espinosa. In 23 games with the Nats, he’s failed to reach base just three times while posting a slashline of .273/.367/.481. Sure, it’s a small sample size, but the move to acquire Caberera for infielder Zach Walters is already making Mike Rizzo look pretty smart.

Bryce Harper, LF: .320 AVG/ .480 SLG/ HR

His power numbers aren’t gaudy just yet, but Harper’s starting to come around a little bit. He’s had four home runs and 11 RBI in the last three weeks, and has more consistently drove the ball to all parts of the yard. Is he the Bryce of 2012 and early 2013? Not quite, yet he’s been effective enough at the plate while steadily improving his power stroke. It remains to be seen if he’ll break out in the next five weeks and return to his old self, but he’s valuable as the player he is right now.


Jayson Werth, RF: .348 AVG/ .483 OBP/ 5 RBI
 
Perhaps time off did Werth some good. After missing five games with a shoulder injury a few weeks ago, the 35-year-old outfielder has looked revitalized of late. In the 10 games since his return to the lineup, he’s posted a line of .394/.488/.576 and was seemingly in the middle of nearly every late-inning rally the Nats put together in their recent win streak. If you take a step back to look at his numbers on the season, Werth’s put together a darn good year in his fourth season in DC. While his home run numbers are down from a year ago, with 70 RBI he’s on pace to exceed his total from 2013 (82).  Should he eclipse that mark, he’ll have posted his highest single-season RBI total since coming to the Nats.

STOCK DOWN

Jerry Blevins, RP: 3 GP/ 9.00 ERA/ 2.00 WHIP

Blevins has unfortunately found himself here a number of times this season. Whenever you have his role, which is something between a middle-innings reliever and a setup man, you have to put up zeros on the scoreboard in tight spots (or…any spot, really). However, Blevins has had trouble doing that on a consistent basis this year and it showed again this week. He may not have allowed the go-ahead runs in losses to the Giants and Phillies, though he did give up runs that put those games out of reach. The Nats have shown the ability to engineer late-inning comebacks, but it’s hard to keep doing that if the bullpen doesn’t limit the deficit.

Tyler Clippard, RP: 0-1/ BS/ 7.71 ERA

Clippard, on the other hand, has rarely seen his stock fall this year. But he’s had a very un-Clippard like week and a half. He was charged with back-to-back blown saves against the Diamondbacks (one while pitching in the eighth, the other in the ninth), then suffered a tough-luck loss against the Phillies Tuesday night. With Nats fans already expressing concerns about closer Rafael Soriano, the last thing they’d want is to see the setup man slumping too.
  1. Hiram Hover - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Just to give props to Rendon:

    He was described in a fangraphs piece as “getting a lot less MVP talk than he deserves.”

    It’s almost a throw-away line in a piece about Yusmeiro Petit, the guy who pitched in relief of Lincecum last weekend and is now taking his spot in the Giants rotation (and against whom Rendon actually struck out).

    But I thought my fellow Insiders would appreciate it.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-good-reason-to-watch-yusmeiro-petit-pitch-against-the-rockies/

  2. nats128 - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Blevins could qualify to be on that list almost weekly.

    • Section 222 - Aug 27, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      Which suggests he deserves a category all his own — Stock Too Low to Fall Any Further.

      • jd - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        During the off season there was strong sentiment to find a quality lefty reliever. Once it became apparent that the good ones are way over priced the Nats should have stuck with their own question mark (Xavier Hernandez) who is no worse than Blevins. Interestingly enough it turns out we already had an excellent left handed reliever who we let go (Fernando Abad).

        In the overall scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal but it definitely deserves a demerit point from Mr. Rizzo.

      • Section 222 - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        You mean Xavier Cedeno, right?

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        jd

        I’m not happy with Blevins current performance, but comparing his 2014 to Abad’s is no bueno.

        If Abad had put up last year for the Nats the #s he’s putting up now for the As, the trade never would have happened. But he didn’t, as we both know.

        This year, Abad is getting crazy lucky on BABIP (.190 this year, more .300+ in each of the three seasons before). There’s no way the Nats could have known or expected that, and frankly, there’s no reason to think he can keep it up.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        It is hard to compare As stats because of the cavernous foul territory is a pitchers dream and a hitters nightmare.

        High ball nibbling pitchers can benefit by inducing foul pop ups. It’s a home field advantage.

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