brewers baseball and things

whatever happened to the Nationals?

4 Comments

When the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals to start the 2005 season, the franchise was bad, real bad and expectations remained low for many years.

But being bad means good draft picks like Ryan Zimmerman in 2005 and a few years later pitcher Stephen Strasburg and 17-year old catcher Bryce Harper.

A few trades and free agent signings later and the Nationals were looking World Serious good. In 2012, they won the first National League East title in franchise history or second if you consider the 1981 split season Expos title.

The Cardinals ended the National’s season quickly, but the elements were in place for 2013. So what happened? We’re in mid August-40 games to play and the Nationals are 9 and a half games behind in the wild card race.

I think the Nationals tried to fix what was never broken. They traded away slugger Michael Morse for more pitching prospects, lost three left-handed middle relievers to free agency and then signed right-handed closer Rafael Soriano.

The Nationals have scored a measly 455 runs this season. That’s 25th out of 30 teams. Last year they scored 731 by season’s end.

Morse hit a career high 31 homers in 2011 and followed it up with 18 more in 2012 in fewer at bats. But the Nationals traded him for pitching prospect A.J. Cole, a player they once drafted and apparently just had to get back.

The Nationals already had pitching depth and one of baseball’s better bullpens in 2012. so why did the sign Rafael Soriano?  Morse would have cost the Nationals 6.75 million for 2013 or a little less than what they’re paying  Soriano.

Of course, Morse kinda bites this year in Seattle, but the Nationals were an exciting, come from behind team in 2012 and this year, they look like a bunch of zombies.

The Nationals offense in 2012 was built on break out seasons by unproven players with the exception of Jayson Werth and maybe Adam LaRoche. The team had no business trading away offense.

They claim they needed to replenish a depleted farm system after giving up young pitchers in trades for Gio Gonzalez and Denard Span. OK, fine. It’s good to have pitching prospects, but at what cost?

Sometimes you gotta say screw the farm system and go for it right now because windows of opportunity can shut real fast.

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Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

4 thoughts on “whatever happened to the Nationals?

  1. I thought they made a huge mistake last year when they shut down Strasburg completely with what, a month to go in the regular season? I get that they wanted to save his harm for the long run, but I think it would have made more sense to stick him in the bullpen over those final weeks, to be used once in a while, and keep him in the loop. Then they could have had him for the playoffs. I think (and it now appears obvious) that they got a little ahead of themselves last year, apparently assuming that they would make the playoffs on a regular basis for years to come. As you say, you’ve got to go for the brass ring when you have a chance.

  2. I just read this and I thought you might like to see it.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112616/amish-baseball-boys-lancaster

    • strange why people think things last forever. it must be some sort of fear they have. i figure baseball is no different than anything else and will just disappear one day, but it appears that the amish and dominican republicans will be buying another round for a while yet.

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