Cliff Notes: Red Porch Wedding Edition

Last week, Davey Johnson said changes would be coming, and he might as well have said ‘Winter is Coming.’  The House Lerner did some serious Spring Cleaning a few weeks before the official start to summer much as we suggested on Monday.  Of course, lots of people had the exact same suggestions, so not gonna break my arm patting myself on the back here. 

  • Let’s start with the easy ones.  Henry Rodriguez and Zach Duke were both Designated for Assignment.  If you’re not sure what that means, you can check out our podcast from last year on DFA or wait until I do a post on it later today/tomorrow.  For now though, it basically means they have been cut by the team and can be claimed by another club.  If no one claims them they are free agents and can sign where they like.
  • Next, Jayson Werth returned to the line-up. 
  • Third, Danny Espinosa was placed on the 15 day Disabled List.  He is going to visit with a specialist today and then figure out what to do for his health there.  Teams will look at his bust up wrist and have a look at the torn rotator cuff while they are at it.  What’s more based on comments from Rizzo and Johnson, and the fact that he cleaned out his locker, it seems almost certain that he won’t return directly to the club but go to AA or AAA to work on his swing. 
  • Which is why Anthony Rendon has been called up.  He’s going to get time with Steve Lombardozzi at second base, which I am a bit skeptical about.  Guy’s only played 3B, and had about 3 games in AAA Syracuse at 2B, so he is going to learn on the job.  Plus, defensively, he’s going to replace Danny Espinosa’s elite level defense, so there was going to be a drop off already.  Still, if he can hit it will help-and maybe it’ll end up giving Danny some props when folks see how not-routine some of the balls hit to second are.
  • Ian Krol also gets called up. He’s a lefty and is in the bullpen.  Looks like i have some new Get To Know A Nats to do!
  • Oh and lastly, the Nats won!  For the first time all year, the Nationals came back from a deficit after the 6th inning to win a game.  Plus, they tagged a reliever with a blown save and had a walk off win.  Woot!

Singular topic this time given how big yesterday’s story was.  Plenty of stuff to write/talk about this week, so please stay tuned!  We are in our house and should be back to a more steady content stream presently.

Cliff Notes: Angsty April Edition

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Anthony Rendon called up on Sunday is now 2-15 with 5 strikeouts.

No Review-Preview this time around gang I’m not sure I can bring myself to do one.  Okay, the Nats got swept by the Cardinals, but strangely looked better (on the pitching and defense anyway) doing it.  The Cards have great pitchers and great bats.  The Reds are coming into town and they have good pitching and great bats.  The Nats could have all, or none, of any of those at any given time because it’s only April and no one knows what the heck is going on.

Okay that’s your review-preview.  On to the Cliff Notes:

  • Dave Huzzard knows a ton about baseball.  When he writes up stuff for MASN as a guest blogger, it’s top notch stuff.  This week he put in crystal clear terms why you the Espinosa/Lombardozzi debate at second base isn’t even a debate.  Basically, I’m with Dave the right thinking people can’t honestly compare the two.  (Also, I need to figure out how to get one of these guest blogging gigs).
  • Matt’s Bats watched BP from the field, and basically everyone you’d want to come say hi came and said hi.  I do not wear my jealousy well, particularly when it is directed at an 8 year old.
  • From the Sports Bog: Henry Rodriguez throws a ball into the President’s Club.  To be fair it took the long way round, and he’s actually been a much better pitcher so far this year.  Also “Full Monkey-Tilt” might be the early candidate  for this year’s “Clown Question Bro.”
  • Lastly, Nationals Prospects is a blog I’ve been reading more of lately.  This weekend they ran a story about the call up of Anthony Rendon which included some skepticism regarding the timing of the call-up. Being a high level top prospect is a tough job on a call up, especially when a chunk of the fan base expects you to fix things as soon as you get to the show.  Couple that with the fact he’s following two “once in a decade” type of players like Harper and Strasburg, and well…expectations can be outsized very quickly.  (and yeah, lying to reporters-while part of the gig-is still cruddy).

Review-Preview: Nats Obliterate Marlins, Move on To Cincy to play Reds

Smoooooooth Gio2

This is from @Section138. Please visit Gavin’s blog often and follow him on Twitter. He also has been making cool Nats shirts since before making cool Nats shirts was cool.

 

There are a million places to go get a recap and preview of every game, but here at Nationals 101 we prefer to take a slightly bigger slice of the pie.  The Review-Preview will take place between series and give a quick recap of the previous series (including anything we think you can learn from the series) and what you can look forward to in the next series coming up.

NOTE:  Due to some awful car trouble that ate up all of Friday, I didn’t finish the Preview part.  Given last night’s debacle it’s probably best to skip this editions “preview” section and just do a review.  Next week we will review the Reds series and Preview the White Sox series.  

REVIEW Miami Marlins Series

Quick Take:  The Nationals came into Opening Day with the reputation as one of the best teams in the league, and the Marlins came into the series as possibly a AAA team playing in the big leagues.  Nothing either team did changed anyone’s mind as to either of those mindsets.

The Nationals swept the Marlins and remain the only unbeaten team in baseball (a dubious distinction, but a distinction none the less) by beating the Marlins 2-0, 3-0, and 6-1.

So What Happened?  Simply put, the Nationals pitching over powered the Marlins in every contest, holding the lowly Fish to just one run over three games.  That’s the first time that’s happened since the late 70’s over an opening series by the way.  How good was the Nationals pitching?  Let’s look at the starters combined and bullpen combined stat lines:

Starters:  3-0, .47 ERA 19IP, 13H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 9K

Bullpen: 0.00 ERA, 8IP, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 9K, 2 Saves

The numbers are slightly more impressive for the Gio and Strasburg given that Jordan Zimmermann gave up the sole run and 8 hits.  Only 3 of the hits went for extra bases (2 doubles and a Home Run) and the defense was stellar (committing just one error)  in keeping these guys out of the run column.

The bats started a little quiet over all, but got louder as the series went on.  Scoring the first two games was more about timely hitting-Bryce Harper stole the show in game one with two Home Runs in his first two at bats.  Gio hit a solo homer, followed by two more insurance runs later in the game.  The Nats finally took the top off in game three, gettings 6 runs-scoring two in the first and adding four more between a Werthquake and Harper’s third bomb in three games.

Lost In the Shuffle:

Adam LaRoche and Danny Espinosa are struggling at the plate right now, but it’s only three games in (and Danny isn’t striking out as much).

The only really feared player for the Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton, was held to 1 for 9 with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.  He also did not put in a very good effort into getting to first base on a play, and just turned around and stomped off to the dugout after his strikeouts.  He’s the lone star on an awful team and rumor is that he’s not happy about the fire sale the Marlins put on this year.  He could be quitting on this team as early as game 3 of the season, which bodes even better for the Nationals

Rafael Soriano is very impressive in person.  His delivery is insanely smooth, he never looked troubled on the mound, and he just threw strike after strike.  Also, for the #haters, Henry Rodriguez found the strike zone no problem in his one outting, and Drew Storen also looked just fine in his first appearance this year.  Indeed, the bullpen could be lights out this year-as predicted by many.

Conclusion:  Exactly what was supposed to happen between these two teams happened. You don’t want to overrate beating up the Marlins, but the point is they did beat up the Marlins.  Houston won this weekend against a much better team, so don’t downplay getting the job done.  Often the Marlins have been awful and played the Nationals tough. This time, the Nats put the foot to the pedal and really didn’t let up.

Get To Know A Nat: Henry Rodriguez

Click For Original Source

Click For Original Source

Welcome to “Get To Know a Nat.” There are currently 39 men on the 40 man roster, and we’re going to give you the straight scoop on all of them!  Not sure where to start with player and season previews?  Not ready to jump into heavy metrics?  Just want to get to know the players, what they do, and what to expect from them in 2013?  Then you’ve come to the right place!

Name: Henry Alberto Rodriguez
Nickname(s): H-Rod, MPHRod, Pretty Freakin’ Bueno
DOB: February 25, 1987 (Age 25)
Twitter?: Nope.
From: Zulia, Venezuela
Position: Relief Pitcher Bullpen Role:  Middle Relief
Hand: Righty
With the Nats Since: Acquired via trade from Oakland A’s in 2010.

In 2012 there seemed to be no safe place on the field from Henry Rodriguez.  “Duck” would have been sage advice, if you could accurately predict that the ball was coming for your head.  H-Rod went from “Pretty Freakin’ Bueno” in Spring Training, to “Oh God H-Rod is pitching” in early May.  He appeared in just 35 games for the Washington Nationals and was largely a mess from top to bottom.  He slammed his finger into a door and missed a month of pitching, strained his back and also (apparently) kept an injury in his elbow quiet, which may account for the many problems Rodriguez had in 2012.

2013 will be the make or break year for H-Rod.  He’s out of options and the Nationals are stacked with right handed arms, and they’ll be competing for a World Title this year.  His leash will be incredibly short and there won’t be much room for mistake, and even less room for him on the roster if he doesn’t pull it together.

Still, Rodriguez offers a lot of promise, and he has shown he can do some very special things from the mound.  Like the girl with the little curl, when Henry is good, he is very, very good.  But when he’s bad…

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