Nats 2014 First-Half Winners & Losers

It’s been some time! Let’s hand out midseason labels …

Jordan Zimmermann

Winners

Jordan Zimmermann — After winning 19 last year he’s clearly been the Nats’ best starter this year, which is not an easy thing to be.

Doug Fister — Even better than he was in Detroit.

Tanner Roark — A crash seems likely, but he’s been fantastic.

Adam LaRoche — My dad says LaRoche can’t hit,* which doesn’t speak highly for the Nats, because ALR leads them in OPS (.863). He’s actually posting a career-best OPS+, too (139). Must be the beard.

Anthony Rendon — Making the leap in his second season, at 24, despite unexpectedly moving from second to third. His OPS is up over 100 points to .831, better than every Nats regular but LaRoche.

Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen — They’ve been awesome, each with an ERA well under 2, especially Soriano and Storen. Along with Fister replacing Dan Haren, the bullpen is the big difference-maker this year.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 12.50.53 PM

Losers

Bryce Harper — Remains one of baseball’s five biggest stars, but the injuries need to stop and the production needs to start. There’s a ton of pressure on this still-21-year-old in the second half.

Ryan Zimmerman — We love Zim, and he’s trying out there, which makes his struggle that much worse. Who knows where he’ll end up, but it’s rough watching him make that throw from third.

Wilson Ramos — I’m not sure we even know what kind of player Ramos is yet, but we do know he’s usually not a healthy one.

Ian Desmond — Hitting HRs and driving guys in, but his overall production has regressed to 2010-11 levels. Not good, considering what he did in ’12-13. Has 108 strikeouts already.

Denard Span — His OBP is toiling well below his career mark of .347. Did rebound in the second-half last year, though.

Danny Espinosa — .214/.282/.343. Oof.

Jose Lobaton, Nate McLouth and Kevin Frandsen — Nobody wanted 450 first-half plate appearances from these guys. C’est la vie.

Jerry Blevins — Was supposed to the bullpen’s go-to lefty, but his ERA is 4.99. Still gets lefties out, though, like a good LOOGY should.

Ross Detwiler — Was starting in the playoffs two years ago. Now he’s just another reliever with an ugly stat line.

Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo — Still shitty.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 12.52.41 PM

Medium

Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez — They’ve both been a little down vs. what you’d expect, but not enough to really hurt, especially with ZNN, Fister and Roark doing so well. Expecting/hoping for a big second half.

Jayson Werth — Last year was the best possible Werth. This year is the just okay Werth. At least he’s been in the lineup.

Matt Williams — It’s hard to say what kind of impact he has, but battling for first-place despite all the injuries is impressive. They’re a borderline playoff team, one with playoffs-or-bust expectations. We’ll see which side he falls on.

*Happy birthday, Dad! LaRoche can hit!

6 thoughts on “Nats 2014 First-Half Winners & Losers”

  1. I’d place Williams is the loser category. Seems stuck to old notions of lineup strategy and hasn’t done much to quell clubhouse distractions.

  2. One not-so-gross oversimplification of the difference bewteen this season’s O vs. 2012′s O is Desmond and Espinosa’s offensive decline. Everyone else is more or less on par, with Harper yet to break out.

  3. Santangelo is the worst. he was horrible out here covering the Giants and was ever worse when he had his own show. typical 40 year old, affliction wearing douche.

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