Scott Olsen looked good for the second game in a row. Not great yet, but good enough to make me wonder if he could be part of the rotation for a few years. Remember, he is still under the Nats control for 2 more years after this. Of course, don’t be fooled by his ER count, he still isn’t pitching great. But he’s been hurt, just got back, and he does look much better than he did early in the year. And after 2 starts since coming off the DL, both of them quality starts, he’s lowered his ERA to 6.04. Yeah, it was really bad earlier this year. I’m gonna leave my jump to conclusions mat in the closet for now, and just hope he continues to look good.
Bring on the Defense?
Newly arrived Nyjer Morgan finally collected some hits as a National on Sunday. More importantly, though, he has looked very very impressive in the field. Again, I’m not gonna start judging anything after 2 or 3 games, but it is refereshing to see someone besides Zimmerman providing strong defense. And he makes great throws, to boot! It’s got me daydreaming about my vision. You know, the one where they move Guzman to second base and get a real stellar fielding SS to shore up the defense? Throw in a rangey CF with an arm who can really fly, the young starters might be able to go 7 innings once in a while.
If only they can get a great defensive SS. Lately I’ve been thinking about Marco Scutaro for that role, although I’m not sure he’s right for it. He’s gonna be a free agent at the end of the year, but he’s 33, and was never much of a hitter, despite a pretty impressive .283/.381/.419 so far this season. I don’t see that staying in place, and his defensive numbers for his career at SS aren’t great. But he’s one possibility. Another possibility may be the Attorney General. The Nats already have him, he’s 26 not 33, and he may be able to hit well enough to not embarass himself. He was a defensive nightmare earlier this year, but last year he was great, and he’s got real range. He was sent down to the minors and seemed to correct his fielding issues from the spring. This is a guy who made the majors for his glove, it is possible that he is the answer to my defense question. But that remains to be seen, I’d like to see him get more opportunities at SS. While they’re at it, let Guzman have a little time at second. Maybe it just makes sense to me.
All Star 2009
Speaking of Guzman, he’s up for the vote for your favorite guy you didn’t vote in earlier vote. He is up against some serious competition, and I’m sure guys like Reynolds, with power numbers, or Victorino or Kemp, on good teams, will get more votes. But it’s worth nothing that Guzman has been hitting well, batting .316 and he ranks 10th in the NL in batting average. Of course, Sandoval, aka Kung Fu Panda, has a higher batting average and a higher VORP. But the other guys on the voting list have a higher VORP, too.
Ryan Zimmerman made the All Star team, and he deserved it. His 30 game hitting streak was nice. He ranks top 5 among NL 3rd baseman in AVG, SLG, OBP, HR, H and 2B. He makes great plays on a daily basis, and he’s the face of the Nats franchise. So congrats to him. I don’t want to take anything away from Zim.
Unfortunately, he’s not the best player on the team. At least offensively, according to VORP. He’s close to the top, at 23.1. But Adam Dunn’s is higher at 26.1, to lead the team. Again, I am not trying to poo poo Ryan’s contributions. I do want to point what what Dunn has… er… done. He leads the Nats in VORP. He’s also 5th among ALL NATIONAL LEAGUE OUTFIELDERS. Of course, maybe VORP isn’t the only story. Among NL outfielders, he’s also tied for first in HRs (4th among all NL players) and RBIs, 3rd in OBP, 4th in SLG, 5th in OPS…
Also, on Saturday Dunn hit his 300th career HR. In terms of ABs, he’s the 5th fastest to do this, behind Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, Ralph Kiner and Harmon Killebrew. For all his flaws, he is among the elite HR hitters in the history of the game. If he keeps it up, he could finish with 500, even 600 of them. I don’t think VORP is the best measurement here, and when you throw defense in, Zimmerman is the more valuable player. So don’t get in a tizzy about that. I’m not saying Dunn should go in place of Ryan. I’m just saying, a guy who’s on pace to yet again hit 40 HRs, for what should be the 6th year in a row, maybe he should get some recognition.