Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez until Spring Training. Enjoy.
Carlos Maldonado is a journeyman catcher that has been in the Nationals organization almost since its existence. Even still, the 34-year-old catcher who pushes 300 lbs. has just 74 MLB plate appearances in his career. He was called up in 2012 after the ludicrous number of injuries to Nats catchers. He didn’t record a hit.
Michael Gonzalez was a surprisingly important member of the Nats bullpen in 2012, especially during Sean Burnett’s struggles. Gonzalez recored a 3.03 ERA in 35.2 innings, and he pitched well against righties and lefties. It was a bit of a reclamation season for Gonzalez, who had struggled in Baltimore and Texas the previous season.
Ryan Mattheus, the Firework himself, had another great year in 2012. He posted a 2.85 ERA, nearly identical to his 2.81 ERA from 2011, but his WHIP and K/9 improved in more than double the number of innings. He can light up the radar gun in the mid-90s and can even pitch late innings. Here’s hoping he keeps his warm up song, because it’s impossible to be angry when you hear it.
Next year: Maldonado will sit in the minor leagues for the Nationals again in 2013. Hopefully he doesn’t make an appearance for the Nats, because that would mean there were serious injury issues at the catcher’s spot again. Gonzalez signed a one-year deal to play for the Milwaukee Brewers. Ryan Mattheus will work middle innings the majority of the time for the Nats now that Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, and Rafael Soriano have the late innings.
Up Next: #54 Brad Lidge and #55 Eury Perez