Updated: Dec 21, 2020
It's time to look back at every team from around the MLB and what they showed us during the 60 game sprint! We are going to explore a few things for each team: Review in-season transactions, what we learned, what we loved, what we didn't love, the most significant need(s), and lastly, the biggest takeaways.
Let's jump over the NL with the Washington Nationals today. We talked about the Padres, A's, Marlins, Yankee's, Cardinals, Whitesox, Cubs, Twins, Reds, BlueJays, Brewers, Indians, Giants, Phillies, Mariners, and Rockies thus far; you can find all posts on the homepage https://www.theballboyblog.com/.
Chicago Natives and ALL Fans! Do you love that sports page of The Chicago Defender? If you do, I need your help! Please come on over to Facebook and help me get my Great-Great-Grandfather Fay Young(Created the sports page in the Defender) into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Read the full post here: https://www.facebook.com/ballboyblog/posts/209075940746617.
What moves did the 2020 Nationals make?
Washington Nationals transferred RHP Stephen Strasburg from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list. Right carpal tunnel neuritis- We knew Straus would miss a lot of time this season, and he ended up missing the whole season. We should see Nat's ace back to full strength and leading the charge at a rebound season and into the playoffs again.
Washington Nationals transferred 2B Starlin Castro from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list. Right wrist fracture.- This move wasn't fantastic for the Nat's as it hurt them season long as Castro is an essential piece to this team, and they struggled to fill his shoes after the season-ending move.
What did we love about the 2020 Nationals?
We loved and will always love Juan Soto in Nat's uniform until at least 2024. Soto leads the league in OBP(.490) and slugging(.695); both are elite stats. Soto also had a fantastic season with other stats( .351BA, 13HR, 41BB-28K, 6SB.) Overall, "Baby Shark" will be an MVP candidate for the next ten years as he is only 21 and getting better. Trea Turner also had a fantastic offensive season hitting .335BA, 12HR, 41RBI, .394OBP, .588Slug%, and 12SB; he was genuinely elite. Mad Max was at it again this season, going 67.1IP, 5W, 12.3K/9, 3.74ERA, and a decent 1.38WHIP while he had a .260OBA while having a 2.2WAR. Two relievers for the Nationals were also good Kyle Finnegan 1WAR, 2.92ERA, 1.38WHIP. Tanner Rainey also pitched to a 2.66ERA, 0.74WHIP, and a 1.1WAR. The pitching staff as a whole did pitch to a great 9.2K/9. Outside of these few players, we did not see a ton that we loved from the Nationals.
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What did we not love about the 2020 Nationals?
I didn't love that the Nationals finished at 26-34 when I had them projected at 38-22... I was a little off. The record was mainly due to a team of 5.09ERA, 1.52WHIP, and staff of .271OBA. The offense as a whole slashed .264/.336/.433 to put this in the context you would like to see .300/.340/.450, so a below-average was rough. Letting opponents hit .271 against the pitchers puts your struggling offense into a corner and makes them have to climb back and go for an all or nothing approach at the plate.
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What was the biggest takeaway from the 2020 Nationals?
The biggest takeaway from the Nationals in 2020 did not have Anthony Rendon hurts the offense. Soto does excellent and makes up some difference but cannot do it all himself. The Nationals need to go after a high-end bat to offer Soto protection and let him be more effective.
What is next for the 2020 Nationals in 2021?
Get Juan Soto signed to a lifetime contract that is richer than Betts and Trout. I truly 100% believe he will be one of the best to do it. The closer we get to 2024 and the Nationals not resigning him, the less chance they have. Pay this future HOF now and make him a National for life. Then go and get him some help in the lineup and find the #2 now when Mad Max hangs it up.
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Book recommendation: If you are reading this, then I know you like a book or reading. If you listened to my podcast, then you like audiobooks, maybe? Kieth Law's- Smart Baseball is fantastic and has helped me understand sabermetrics and stats a lot better. I hope to take my new knowledge and share it with you and be a better writer.