Found November 08, 2012 on
The Nats Blog:
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 with about two posts per week until Spring Training. Enjoy.
The Nats saw a lot from Danny Espinosa in his 2011 rookie season, and it got many excited for what he would produce throughout his career. He showed great defense, hit for power, and was a Rookie of the Year candidate for the first half of the season. He trailed off in the second half in a drastic way, and he didn't seem to totally recover in 2012 either.
While Espinosa increased his batting average by 11 points, his on-base and slugging percentages went down. His home runs went down, too. One thing that didn't struggle, though, was his defense.
Espinosa saw his UZR skyrocket from 1.0 in 2011 to 7.1 in 2012. To put that 2012 number in perspective, the only NL second basemen with a higher UZR were Darwin Barney, Mark Ellis, and Brandon Phillips. However, that number is deceptively low. Espinosa played more than 300 innings at shortstop due to Ian Desmond's injury this year, and he amassed a 5.9 UZR there.
Throughout the season though, his biggest issue became one thing: strikeouts. In situations where he just needed to put the bat on the ball, he couldn't seem to do it. He finished the year with an astronomical 189 Ks. Only two players, Adam Dunn and Curtis Granderson, had more in all of baseball, and they both eclipsed the 40 home run mark. Espinosa didn't hit 20 this year.
You don't expect much of a bat from your second baseman, traditionally. There are very few second baseman currently in the league that have a significant offensive impact, and Danny Espinosa doesn't need to have one either. His defense is so outstanding, he still has enough value to leave him in. However, the guy hitting seventh or eighth in your lineup can't strike out close to 200 times in a season if you're not hitting 40-50 home runs a season. He absolutely must fix that issue.
Next year: I fully expect Danny Espinosa to be the starting second baseman for the Nats next year. I know some would like to see Steve Lombardozzi in that role, but read my wrap up of Lombo's season to show why Espinosa still has more value to the Nats. And it's not just my opinion. It's math.
Next up: #10 Corey Brown
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Can we all just get off of Edwin Jackson’s back already? The free agent pitcher, who most recently worked at the back end of the Washington Nationals’ rotation in 2012 is likely to sign with his 8th different team this offseason since breaking in with the Dodgers back in 2003.
Since when does a guy who can put up 30+ starts (he’s done that each of his past 6 seasons), 180+...
More hardware for the 2012 Nats: Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche, and Stephen Strasburg won Silver Slugger Awards Thursday night.
And what better way to commemorate the achievement than with a video of a home run hit by each of 'em.
Strasburg's first, complete with sloowwww HR trot (video here):
LaRoche's 33rd, good for his 100th RBI on the season (video here):
And so a trio of Nats were named finalists for three of the Baseball Writers Association of America's big prizes Wednesday night: Bryce Harper up for NL Rookie of the Year; Davey Johnson Manager of the Year; Gio Gonzalez up for Cy Young. Winners will be announced next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, in order.Oh, and despite the "AdaMVP" moniker, Adam LaRoche isn'...
Free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche is garnering enough interest that he's expected to reject the Washington Nationals' $13.3 million qualifying offer by Friday's deadline.
LaRoche, 33, is being pursued by the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers, in addition to the Nationals, major-league sources said Wednesday. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, LaRoche is...
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson agreed to a one-year deal to manage the team in 2013, but it will likely be his last season.
Johnson, who will turn 70 in January, has been a godsend for the Washington franchise since becoming the team's manager last June after Jim Riggleman resigned from the team. In 2012, the Nationals were the surprise of the baseball world,...
The Washington Nationals could be close to reaching agreement with manager Davey Johnson on a new contract. General manager Mike Rizzo told The Washington Post at baseball's winter meetings in Indian Wells, Calif., that a deal should be finalized "soon." "I'm thinking any time now," Rizzo said, according to The Post. Johnson was under contract with...
The Washington Nationals will bring Davey Johnson back as their manager for the 2013 season, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. The final details haven't yet been released, but it's just a matter of the legal paperwork, according to the report.
The Nats are 138-107 under Johnson in about a season and a half, and he took the franchise to their first division title and their...
Strasburg, Desmond and LaRoche all win Silver Sluggers. [Nats Journal]
Davey Johnson won a fishing tournament by catching big fish. [Bog]
Adam Jones ringing the closing bell at the NYSE today. [O's Insider]
Josh Hamilton probably isn’t coming to Baltimore, you guys. [O's Insider]
Sean Taylor’s brother is apparently really good at football. [Hogs Haven]
Forget Nov. 30...
The Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals are
targeting free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX
LaRoche, 33, is being pursued
by the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers, in addition to the Nationals,
major-league sources said Wednesday.
LaRoche received a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the