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Nationals Daily Evolutions 8/12/10

The mind of a baseball fan is just different. Yesterday my friend asked me if i wanted to go to the game tonight as it might be the last game he is able to go to this year. The lure of baseball is probably going to be to great for me to ignore despite the numerous things I have to do. One week I went to so many baseball games that I started to forget what it was like to be at home. My answer to my friend was I will consider it if it isn't eight billion degrees outside. Then I started to think about this extreme summer we are having, which immediately followed an extreme winter. Both are unsustainable. That is really what I think, and it is probably because I watch and follow too much baseball. If you really think about it everything is unsustainable. Breathing is unsustainable. There will come a day when everyone reading this is no longer breathing, it is unsustainable. This is just one of the many odd thoughts my brain had yesterday. You don't even want to hear the inner discussion I had about human history as small sample size.

Let's start this off with one last note about Strasburg and he not so good very bad outing. I agree with this that the expectations were getting a bit out of hand, but they had cooled. Now people can just stop waiting for something great to happen every time he takes the mound and just enjoy watching him pitch. --Barry Petchesky from

Strasburg wasn't the only Nationals to have a bad outing and here is the story of how Scott Olsen's terrible outing is more costly than just wins or loses. Mark Zuckerman at

Zuckerman's perfect world is kind of funny because in my perfect world things aren't just nice, they are perfect. For example in my perfect world the Nationals sign Cliff Lee and trade for Madison Bumgarner. Zuckerman's perfect world just has the Nationals relying on what they already have, which really is far from perfect.

After Tuesday's outing Strasburg revealed a few changes he made to his throwing program. This also gives updates on several players including Jesus Flores, which is kind of like an update on bigfoot. --Adam Kilgore on

If you didn't already realize this Strasburg is a star and even his worst start has gotten press everywhere and for everything. Even Manny Acta is watching for some reason. --Will Carroll at

Not everything was bad news in the past couple days. Ian Desmond has been having a good month and might have found a home in the second spot in the batting order. --Adam Kilgore at

I am going to go ahead and put this article in here, because I think it pertains to Desmond. Measuring defense by errors is like measuring hitting by batting average. Oh yeah and Zimmerman is pretty good at defense. --Joe Posnanski at

Maybe it is good to put this here as yesterday seemed to be stat day around the internet. There were a few good articles explaining advanced metrics. Posnanski's are the best though. Sometimes when I am reading an article and they get too much into numbers and formulas I just kind of zone out. I start to feel like I am back in High School and someone is trying to teach me stuff I will never use in real life.

Now for a look into the future and at what the Nationals outfield could be in 2011. --Ben Goessling from

What is more interesting to me is what happenned with the Goessling column. MLB Trade Rumors picked out a part of it and it spurned a nice little debate on that site. Tim Dierkes comments are interesting. He has more of an optimistic view of the Nationals than I think a lot of Nationals fans have. --Tim Dierkes on

An interesting update on a former Nat from the Padres twitter. --FollowThePadres from

Now a look at who we can expect to see playing for the Nationals in September. September is always one of the more interesting months of the baseball season. It is when the pennant races are decided for the contending teams and when the non-contenders get a brief glimpse into their future, or a look at the next Nook Logan. --Mark Zuckerman from

Sometimes I think I notice things before the rest of the world does. It wasn't news to me but it might be to you. I think I knew this hat was in the movie before we got the team. Someone just finding out these things just feels odd. It would be like reading a report that the sky is blue or the world is round. In other news gravity. --Dan Stienberg dcsportsblog

News on next years comeback player of the year. Probably won't even be with the team next year, but still people like comeback stories, and if helping him latch on somewhere was the price for Maya then it is a good price. --Antonio Gonzalez at

And here is a story that you probably figured out on your own. Adam Dunn is still a National. Now if we can say that in December then it will be news. --Tim Dierkes from

I am going to put this in the Nationals section as it might be the first time someone has said something positive about Adam Dunn and defense in the national media. --Joe Sheehan at

Really the Bryce Harper news should be heating up in a couple days, but he misses playing. Of course the only person he has to blame for that is himself. He is the one that hired Boras and it is really no secret that Boras takes it down to the deadline. --Byron Kerr from

Then of course there is this interesting tweet that really makes me wonder about how baseball is running the draft and why they feel the need to push back overslot signings and not let these kids start their playing career. The draft is really the one thing the NBA has right. --Kevin Goldstein via twitter 

Around the NL East

This should really be around the New York Mets since they are having a very interesting week. First Jeff Francoeur's agent tries to fill out the line-up card. --Andy McCullough from

And now K-Rod beats-up his father in law. I guess the Mets feel that if you can't beat someone on the field you can beat someone in the clubhouse. Even if they are the father of the women you allegedly love. --Barry Petchesky

General Baseball News

There were just a lot of stat columns around the internet yesterday and this morning. I don't know if it was stat day or something, but here is a column where someone figures out that WAR might not be as good of a stat as it should be because it is like a house with no foundation. I like WAR because it is quick. I can look at it and see quickly if a player is good or not, but sometimes it frustrates me. It isn't really a stat that should be used to build a team. The replacement level for catch seems to be ungodly high. Bengie Molina is a 0.0 WAR player this year. Replacement level players are suppossed to be players that are easy to get. So in theory with both Pudge and Nieves playing below replacement level it should be easy to get a 0.0 WAR player to take over for them, but if it were so easy it would have happenned by now, and that is the conclusion this article reaches. That replacement level for difficult positions might be a little over valued. --Jeff Sackman from

In order to not beat you over the head with stats here is an interesting look at the future of the Pirates. They do have a lot of good young hitters, but I just don't see the pitching, and we have seen this year what a few good hitters and no starting pitching can be like. If they can get two or three good starters they could be a team that could make some noise in the NL Central in a couple years. -- Scott Miller

Now here is even more hope for a team like the Pirates as the Rangers and Rays are able to have very good teams without spending a lot of money. --Dayn Perry at

Here is even more hope that teams can compete by just being well run and having good scouting. Of course the Blue Jays have at times shown a willingness to spend money, it was just on the wrong players. --Tom Verducci

A very interesting look at wOBA and how it might be improved to even better understand what a hitter does. I do disagree with one thing in this article. I think a triple on 0-2 might be more valuable than a triple on 3-1, because the player that hit it on 0-2 took a negative and turned it into a positive. Of course I think the two players choosen might be the two worst guys to use for people who might hit triples. If someone told me that Ordonez put a ball in play and ended up on third I would ask how many errors were made. --Pat Andriola from

And finally another Joe Posnanski article. This time on aging players and how to evaluate them.  --Joe Posnanski

This is a question I hope management is ready to answer with Adam Dunn, and understand that no matter what choice they make they could be wrong. Adam Dunn could not be resigned and then go on to play productive baseball for other teams for six or seven more seasons, or we could resign him and he tails off dramatically next year. You could also choke to death on the next donut you eat, or get run over crossing the street. Nothing is sustainable.