Saturday, December 31, 2011

Living on the Edge: The Revised Starting Rotation and Center Field

When I first started this "Living on the Edge" series, I stated that the purpose of this team is to improve from being almost .500 to more like a 90 game winner. There is no guarantee that 90 will get you in the play-offs, but it should be enough. Let's not forget, the new wild card spot that makes it even more likely.

We begin our exploratory journey with the starting rotation. 2012 has been the year Nationals fans began to look to. Finally, the Nats rotation would have two guys that could be at the top of most rotations; Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman. Now, another name has been added to that group Gio Gonzalez.

With these three guys at the top of the rotation the Nats have created quite a dynamic duo. Each of these three young power pitchers can easily hit mid 90's. Also they finally have balance in their rotation with a righty, lefty, and righty respectively at the top of the rotation. No one is saying that this trio will be the best tro in baseball but they would be in the conversation.

The best thing to me is the new addition to the rotation has a longer history of success. He has proven he can pitch 200 innings and win 15 games. per. This year it might not happen but imagine Him, Strasburg, and Zimmermann doing that in 2013.That isn't even factoring in the rest of the rotation next year or in the future.

Chein Ming Wang is the wild card of the rotation. He has shown over his career that he can pile up wins, when he stays healthy. If not, "Mr Reliable" John Lannan will be there to take 180 to 200 innings.

The most long term upside belongs to Ross Detwiler. After his conversation with Randy Knorr, he finally seems to have figured 'it" out. If he builds on what he did down the stretch the Nationals could have one of the best rotations in baseball. Especially if the defense does it's job.

Speaking of defense, it appears the Nationals have found their CF for next year, Jason Werth. I like this decision. There weren't many options on free agency and they keep their options open. If someone like Brian Goodwin can progress enough, maybe they find the long term piece from the farm. If not there is next year's free agent class.

For this year though, it means that Ian Desmond will be the lead off hitter for the Washington Nationals. 
That is a discussion for a different time though. I think Werth will be a solid center fielder, until a better solution comes along. Basically, things are going to look quite different in DC this spring.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Awkard Times

Awkward. If I had to pick one word to describe the Wizards, that would be it. Clearly, there is talent on this team, plenty of potential. The problem is they are awkward. By awkward I mean like a teen going though body changes and the like. For many those are some of the most challenging of their life. Watching this team is one the the most challenging non work things I have to do.

John Wall is the most important player on the Wizards. It is clear that he is awkwardly trying to understand and master his role. As the Face of the Franchise, Wall has the weight of the world on his shoulders. It is too early to really get anything from stats, but it obvious when watching.

Jordan Crawford is under pressure to preform, so he presses harder and harder. The problem though, is he needs to slow down and let the offense work. He isn't the only offender in that regard though. Like Flip says, "Hero Ball" is contagious.

I am of the thought that some changes need to be made so that growth can continue. Here, I will make a few suggestions.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Is help on the way?

We all saw what happened to the Wizards on Friday night. There was terrible offense and bad defense.  In all it was terrible. Well help is on the way as Nick Young is set to sign his 1 year offer sheet.

Even thought the Wizards got outplayed friday, I am concerned with how Young will fit in with this team. He has to be irritated not to get a long term deal. He may play selfish to get his stats. Don't get me wrong this team could use a player like Nick.One look through the roster tells you there aren't many pure scorers on the team. If Nick buys in, this can really help this team.

What I enjoyed Friday, was seeing the young guys. Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Shelvin Mack, and second year player Kevin Seraphin. Those guys, it seems, will have a big impact on this team. Vesely looked good running the floor. Singleton's defense will help the team immediately. Mack is a good looking point guard. Kevin also really showed me something.

Tuesday, we get another chance to see these guys in a competitive game. I hope to see N'Diaye and Booker in that game. Hopefully the starters can get it together, and that starts with John Wall. Friday was only the first preseason game. The journey has begun. Obviously, they can only get better.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New beginnings

For the last week, fans and the media have reacted to the suspensions of Fred Davis and Trent Williams for substance abuse. Some discussions have centered around whether these guys are good guys to have on this team. While they deserve to be punished, let's not get carried away.
Trent Williams will be entering his third year as a pro next year and made good progress in his development. Safe to say, he's not going anywhere. So let's focus on soon to be free agent, Fred Davis. With a skill set that can give opposing defenses fits, Davis is worth building around.
Some argue that he could easily fail another test and set the team again, but with the potential millions and leverage lost it would be a small risk to take.
This season is a wash. Losing Williams and Davis without injuries are blessings in disguise. Remember Trent Williams just returned from an injury two weeks ago. From interviews it sounds like they did not take the tests they were failing seriously. HGH was the bogey man. Maybe the assumption was marijuana's no big deal. Just pay the fines and keep it moving.
Hopefully, Trent Williams and Fred Davis will now trade in blowing smoke rings for concentrating on getting super bowl rings.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shelvin Mack Washington Wizards Rookie

 Shelvin Mack

Height 6'3
Weight 215
Age 21
Position PG

Mack was drafted for the sole purpose of being John Wall's backup. To me this is a good situation for him.

Chris Singleton Wizards Rookie

Today, I am going to take a look at Chris Singleton. He was the Wizards other first round pick.

Chris Singleton

Height 6'9
Weight 227
Age 22
Position SF/PF

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jan Vesely Wizards Rookie

It has been a long time since I actually thought about the Wizards. With the lockout, I couldn't even get too excited about their draft. Now that the lockout is over, I am getting very excited to see this team.  There are several guys I am interested in seeing. Here I am going to preview the Jan Vesely.

Jan Vesely

Height 6'11"
Weight 240
Age 21
Position SF/PF

Before I get into specifics, lets look at why Vesely has so much buzz about him.