Washington Nationals - Ian Desmond Edition

Is this an MVP?

Can the Washington Nationals win a world championship without Stephen Strasburg? Don't know, but what they do have are solid four pitchers for the playoffs even without Stras.

The rotation is still solid, but in this series the Dodgers miss Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson. Instead we face two left handers - John Lannan and Ross Detwiler - after Jordan Zimmermann opens the set.

Who knows, this could be team Los Angeles meets in the first round of the playoffs. The only difference is that in the playoffs they would face Gio for sure. Just about everyone in the Nationals lineup is good. Hard to tell who to highlight as they have so many stories. Cy Young Gio? Best 19-year old ever? MVP candidate? Comeback player of the year? Here are some highlights

  • Gio Gonzalez is a legitimate Cy Young candidate. The Dodgers should count their lucky stars they won't be facing him. They can't hit lousy left-hand pitchers, can't imagine what would happen if they faced one of the best.
  • Jordan Zimmermann is having a solid season. Probably the best number three pitcher in baseball that doesn't pitch for the Phillies. Still, Zimmermann is having some issues as the season comes to an end. Zimmermann made 21 straight starts from the beginning of the year though July 28th where he pitched at least six innings every start. Wow. However, in his last eight starts he's only managed to do that twice. He's still throwing the same number of pitches, he just not being as efficient with them.
  • Ross Detwiler replaced Wang and has done a solid job at the back end of the rotation. Dodger fans only need to know one thing. He throws left-handed. So does Lannan. Oh crap, two lefties.
  • Jayson Werth's contact has been held up to ridicule but Werth has pretty much been one of the best right fielders in 2012 just as we was for the few years before his contract.
                                                                            
    Rk              Player OPS+  PA Age  AB HR RBI   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS   Pos
    1    Giancarlo Stanton  152 475  22 427 34  81 .283 .354 .595 .949  *9/D
    2        Garrett Jones  133 459  31 422 23  77 .284 .327 .526 .853  39/D
    3         Jayson Werth  128 280  33 244  5  26 .303 .393 .451 .844   *98
    4       Chris Denorfia  127 340  31 306  7  34 .297 .355 .458 .813 *97/8
    5       Carlos Beltran  126 566  35 502 29  87 .267 .343 .494 .837 *9/8D
    6         Andre Ethier  126 559  30 501 19  84 .287 .356 .471 .827 *9/D8
    7            Jay Bruce  125 581  25 513 33  96 .257 .332 .536 .868    *9
    8        Jason Heyward  121 598  22 538 27  74 .273 .342 .493 .834  *9/8
    
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 9/18/2012.
  • Bryce Harper is not having the impact of a Mike Trout. But for a 19-year old he's having one hell of a season. Just like Mike Trout is having the greatest season of a 20-year old, Bryce Harper is doing the same for a 19-year old.
                                                               
    Player         OPS+  PA Year Age   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS    Pos
    Bryce Harper    112 535 2012  19 .263 .335 .458 .793 *8*9/7
    Ken Griffey     108 506 1989  19 .264 .329 .420 .748     *8
    Robin Yount      90 607 1975  19 .267 .307 .367 .674     *6
    Sibby Sisti      88 507 1940  19 .251 .311 .353 .664    *54
    Buddy Lewis      88 657 1936  19 .291 .347 .399 .746     *5
    Rusty Staub      84 585 1963  19 .224 .309 .308 .617    *39
    Al Kaline        80 535 1954  19 .276 .305 .347 .652     *9
    Bob Kennedy      59 655 1940  19 .252 .301 .315 .616     *5
    
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 9/18/2012.
  • Ian Desmond is the best hitting shortstop in baseball. Yup. Maybe he should be getting some MVP consideration. The man is a shortstop, he's the best SS in baseball, his team is the best in baseball. Others with less have won. At the very least he should get as many votes a D Jeter does in the AL.
                                                             
    Player             OPS+  PA Lg HR RBI   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
    Ian Desmond         125 486 NL 23  68 .293 .329 .517 .847
    Derek Jeter         118 665 AL 15  55 .323 .366 .444 .810
    Asdrubal Cabrera    113 565 AL 14  57 .269 .338 .417 .755
    Jose Reyes          111 657 NL 11  55 .285 .347 .436 .783
    Erick Aybar         110 508 AL  7  41 .291 .324 .419 .743
    Starlin Castro      100 628 NL 13  75 .281 .318 .427 .745
    
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 9/18/2012.
  • Oh yeah. That Ryan Zimmerman guy is still pretty good. And Adam LaRoche is no slouch.
  • Kurt Suzuki came over from the A's to give the catching some depth and instead has given them some offense.

This team came fast, and they are built to stick around. Should be a fun series.

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