Monday, July 09, 2007

Nats at the Break

I'm an eternal optimist, but things are not good. The Nats have about the same record at the All Star break as the team did last year with the unmentionable player. They're 36-52 so far this season and primed for a better second half. The Nats have had some pleasant surprises. Dmitri Young is batting .339, Ronnie Belliard is hovering around .300, and Christian Guzman has his average at .329. Two young pitchers having great seasons are Shawn Hill, who has a 2.70 ERA, and Justin Bergmann, 3.47.
Young and Belliard will surely be traded, hopefully for a few future major leaguers. Shawn Hill has been injured and Bergmann's record is 1-5. Guzman is out for the year.
The story for the Nats during the first part of the 2007 season is the lack of development of the young stars. Ryan Zimmerman has 14 homers and 45 RBIs, which is great for a 2nd year 3B until you realize that he leads the team in both. Z's only hitting .253. Felipe Lopez has raised his average of late to .242. Austin Kerns is batting .250 with just 5 meager homeruns and there's always the miserable rightfield he plays. Ryan Church has only mustered a .259 aveage thus far.
Matt Chico has shown signs of being good in the coming years and Micah Bowie isn't fucking terrible. I believe the Nats have used 20 starters to this point in the season. They've had to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The bullpen is a bit of a bright spot with a few guys of trade value. Perhaps some of the veteran pinch hitters may also find new work addresses by the end of July.
Even winning the 2 games before the break doesn't make things look good for the rest of this year. The Nats will do better in the second half than they did in the first though. Nook Logan or Ryan Langerhans will figure things out at the plate or Brandon Watson will be recalled and they'll no longer have an automatic out at the top of the order. It may be an exciting time in the coming months; a window into the future. Or it could be a replay of 1st round pick Ross Detwiler's first (ceremonial) pitch for the Nats... a bouncer that never had a chance.

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