Podcast! 2015 Nats Season Preview with @NoahFrankWTOP

EDIT: I fixed the audio so it is properly mixed.

Noah Frank joins our show to talk about where the Nats are right now and how they look for 2015. On the show: the 25 man roster, the rash of injuries suffered by the team, how good is the Nationals rotation, is this bullpen sustainable, Strasburg, Harper, a little Matt Williams, an NL East preview, a rest of the MLB preview, and plenty more. Enjoy!

How To Convince Your Facebook Friend That The Fister Trade Is a Great Deal

Doug Fister

The Nats101 Website was created to introduce new fans to baseball-particularly in a city relatively new to the idea of having a team.  As such, we’ve directed much of our commentary towards trying to make smarter, more inclusive and congenial baseball fans.

A few years later though, and many of you who started this journey with us are kind of “caught up” if you will.  Combined with the folks who already liked baseball, the demand for “explain this to me!” has dwindled a bit.  While we’ll still focus on that plenty (and there is always something to learn) it’s clear we need to up our game a bit.

As such, it’s time to go on the offensive a bit.  Rather than wait for folks to come to us, it’s time we took the message of baseball to them-and what better place than to start in the MASN Comments section on Facebook.  While all of Twitter was rejoicing in the stunningly good trade the Nationals made with the Detroit Tigers for starting pitcher Doug Fister, the relative backwater township (that is probably any comment section, actually) of the Facebook MASN post on the trade was enraged.  Unjustly so.

And so, with the help of MASNCommenter (A genius idea that is only funny because of how truly out there some people are) and some paraphrasing here and there, I am going to explain the trade for Doug Fister in a way even a commenter can understand. (I hope).

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Season Prep: Five Things To Keep Fans Sane in 2013

StrasburgSIcover-774x1024

We stand on the edge, Nats fans.  The precipice of baseball expectations unheard of in Washington D.C. for many a decade.  For the first time, certainly in recent history, critics and fans alike expect the Nationals to compete for (and some say win) a World Series title.

Let that sink in if it hasn’t already.

As expectations rise, everything, everything gets magnified.

At times over the course of a 162 games I expect the Nationals to look unbeatable.  At other times, the Nationals will seem incapable of tying their own shoes without committing an error or giving up a run.  Despite the fact that these are the same peaks and valleys any baseball team (even the best) go through in the course of a season, keeping perspective on the season in any given moment is a hard thing to do.  Here, then, are five things I suggest everyone keep in mind as the season goes on.

Warning:  I very much offer my personal opinion on things like conduct and how I things should be. Take it for what it’s worth and if you don’t agree with it, try not to get upset.  I’m just writing and you’re just reading. 

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Get To Know A Nat: Jordan Zimmermann

I call this my "A-Ha" Camera setting.

I call this my “A-Ha” Camera setting.

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: Jordan M. Zimmermann
Nickname(s): JZ, ZNN, J-Zimm
DOB: May 23, 1986 (Age 26)
Twitter?: Nope.
From: Auburndale, Wisconsin
Position: Starting Pitcher  Rotation: Third Pitcher
Hand: Righty
With the Nats Since: Drafted in 2007. Debuted in 2009.

Jordan Zimmermann (never forget the second ‘N’ folks) may be the prototypical Nationals development player. The Nats were awarded compensatory draft picks in 2007 for letting the overpriced Alfonso Soriano leave as a free agent.  With an extra second round pick they picked up JZimm (Cue the “Nationals don’t much overpay for players, and have developed great talent” storyline).

Two and half years ago, JZimm was also part of the “we take care of our pitchers” storyline the Nationals like to promote.  After Tommy John surgery in 2009, JZ has slowly but surely been worked back into the rotation-foreshadowing the team’s attitude in Strasburg-Gate last year.  Although bringing JZ up to speed slowly is much easier to do in the wasteland years of 2010 and 2011 than, say, shutting down your ace in a pennant race, it’s still consistent with the Nationals philosophy now being used.  (Ask top draft pick Lucas Giolito, he’ll tell you).

This year the Nationals best-pitcher-no-one-has-heard-of will again be pitching third, behind Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg- and the Nationals will be in the midst of trying to sign JZ to a long term deal.  What makes for an excellent pitcher, however, also makes for an expensive one. In 2013, JZ will be in position to break the bank.

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Episode S2E3: Almost, Not Quite Baseball Season Yet

Episode S2E3

We’ve got a Natsfest review, a World Baseball Classic preview, go through the Gio-gate nonsense and talk about some of the fun things happening on the blog.

Oh! And join us for Sweater Vest Night!

Get To Know a Nat: Ross Detwiler

Ross_Detwiler-1

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: Ross Emery Detwiler
Nickname(s): Det, The National Det, One of The Other Guys
DOB: March 6, 1986 (Age 26)
Twitter: @NationalDet
From: Wentzville, Missouri
Position: Starting Pitcher  Batting Order: 5th Spot
Hand: Lefty, but bats right-handed
With the Nats Since: Drafted and Debuted for the Nationals in 2007

Last spring, Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo made a bit of a ballsy decision by sending John Lannan and his $5m dollar contract down to AAA in favor of Ross Detwiler being the 5th starting pitcher on the rotation.  In his first full year pitching, Ross Detwiler did not disappoint.  Despite a brief benching in favor of giving Chien-Ming Wang one last chance to start, Detwiler didn’t really miss a beat.  He’s widely considered the best “5th man” in the game, which is a fancy way of saying that he’s probably good enough to be the second or third man on many other rotations.

This year the Nationals will be asking for more of the same from the young hurler, and there is very little reason to doubt he can deliver.

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Get To Know A Nat: The Call-ups (Part I) Hitters

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!

There are 39 men on the overall roster, but only 25 of them will be on the bench in Washington come April 1.  The other 14 will start their season in the minors, and may come up to fill in from time to time-possibly as late as when rosters get expanded in September.

As such, we’ll be doing two weekly previews for guys we expect to start in the minors this year.  If one of them does get called up, we can do a full preview then.  But this should give you just enough to go on for the time being.

Let’s get started shall we?  First we’re going to look at the Nationals seven “extra” hitters.

Sandy

Sandy David León  DOB: March 13, 1989
Twitter: @patacumbiaSL
From:  Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Position: Catcher     Hand: Switch Hitter, but Throws Right.
With the Nats Since: Signed as Amateur Free Agent in 2007, Debut 2012

León filled in for the Nationals when Wilson Ramos ended his season with an injury last year.  In his Major League debut Chase Headley of San Diego plowed into him at home plate, forcing him onto the DL straight away.  He eventually made his way back to appear in a total of twelve games, but it was a very scary moment in a young player’s career.  León is healthy now, but should not make the big league squad.  He will likely go back to Harrisburg or Syracuse, and should stay there, unless something tragic happens again.

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