Found January 11, 2013 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 until Spring Training. Enjoy.
The bittersweet feelings of many Washington Nationals fans over the current Adam LaRoche-Michael Morse debacle of not having enough room on the field to keep all their favorite players first surfaced this summer with Rick Ankiel. On July 19, which also happened to be his birthday, Ankiel was designated for assignment by the team to make room on the active roster for Drew Storen to come off the disabled list.
The pitcher-turned-outfielder brought his bazooka of an arm to Washington in 2011 and was the everyday centerfielder for the majority of that season. But in 2012 with the emergence of Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore and the improved performance of Roger Bernadina, Ankiel was reduced to a member of the Goon Squad as a late-innings defensive replacement.
Despite his defensive contributions, when the time came to make room on the roster Ankiel was the choice to DFA because of his dwindling offensive production. He was striking out too much for a pinch hitter, holding the seventh-most strikeouts on the team (59) with only 158 at-bats. The six other players with more strikeouts had between 400 and 600 at-bats. He finished his time with the Nationals with a slash line of .228/.282/.411 a WAR of zero according to FanGraphs.
Ankiel was well respected by Nationals management and by his teammates – Harper called Ankiel one of his biggest mentors – so the decision to cut him was a difficult one. But the good news for Nats fans is that when your team is faced with hard decisions like this, when it is allowed to be more selective with the players it fields, and when “sufficient” is no longer an adjective worthy of describing its players, that means your team has entered into a new era.
Next Year: Ankiel is only 33 years old and is still a legitimate Major League player. Although the Nationals outgrew him, he still has a great chance of landing a Minor League deal with another team to start the 2013 season. His 10 years of experience could prove invaluable to another team looking for a veteran clubhouse presence.
Up Next: #24 Kurt Suzuki
BEST OF MAXIM
There were some raised eyebrows when the Washington Nationals signed Adam LaRoche to a two year deal with an option on the third. The Nationals were praised for waiting LaRoche out to get the right price, but still, not too many people get all excited when considering LaRoche as a player. After all, his closest comps at his age according to Baseball-reference.com are Geoff Jenkins...
Bryce Harper's campaign to win the Cover Showdown for MLB 13 The Show continues with the above video of Harper explaining his different eyeblack styles.
He calls this one "the demon":
Vote for Harper here or Tweet #MLB13Harper. We hope there's no cover jinx...
(See also: Harper's original cover showdown video, Bryce Harper the poet video)
D.C. Sports Bog reports that Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper — and apparently, an aspiring ladies man — has been very aggressive in his campaign to secure cover boy status on MLB 13, tweeting like a madman and pulling out whatever steps are necessary to land on the front of the to-be-released video game. Harper has kicked it up a notch with his latest effort, a video...
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper wants your vote to be the cover athlete for MLB '13 The Show video game for PlayStation 3. However, Harper's latest video for his campaign is mainly "For The Ladies", and would seem to be his attempt to "be as sexy as you can".
Video via PlayStation. H/T Sportress.
Visit us at holdoutsports.com and...
The Washington Nationals are looking to build on their successful 2012 campaign. All along, most analysts thought 2013 was the season in which the Nationals would breakout. However, they did so this past season, and they did so despite injuries. With players like Wilson Ramos and Drew Storen healthy, Washington can get even better.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com interviewed Nationals...
If it weren’t for the massive strikeout rate (28.7 K%), we would be talking about Danny Espinosa a lot later in this countdown. He provides a nice combination of power and speed as he’s had two near-20/20 seasons in a row now. His power dipped in his sophomore campaign, but his .155 ISO still ranked eighth among second basemen.
Unfortunately his strikeouts don’t just have a...
Washington Nationals players voted last year to split a full postseason share among personnel in the organization’s scouting and player development departments.
While there is precedent for such action by a team, it isn’t routine. Players more frequently include employees who are around the club every day, such as clubhouse attendants and bullpen catchers.
For every playoff team...
Washington’s rise to the top of the NL East in 2012 came a year ahead of schedule; can the Nationals now take it one step further and win the franchise’s first National League pennant?
With the MLB odds listing them at 9/1 to go all the way, Washington is projected to be a 5/1 selection to take the NL flag, right behind the Dodgers and with roughly half the payroll. The Nationals...
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.
When a team has already watched four of its catchers limp...
The Washington Nationals expressed interest in free agent
right-hander Javier Vazquez earlier this offseason, and Ken Rosenthal has now reported
that general manager Mike Rizzo was in Puerto Rico last night watching the veteran
Source: #Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is in Puerto Rico tonight watching Javier Vazquez pitch.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 10, 2013...
The Red Sox didn’t land Adam LaRoche this offseason, but because the Nationals did (at two years, $24 million), it may open up talks for another first baseman — 30-year-old Nats right-handed slugger Mike Morse.
Morse, who has been the subject of recent contact between the Sox and the Nats, makes sense Boston, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Morse, who became expendable this week...
The highlight of the St. Louis Cardinals 2012 season had to be their stirring comeback win over the Washington Nationals in the five-game National League Division Series.
Due to the compressed schedule caused by the addition of the second wild card, the best-of-five National League Division Series had a one-time change in format. The lower-seeded team hosted the first two games,...
Adam LaRoche was one thing – the Boston Red Sox didn’t want to sign him to a three-year free-agent contract and forfeit their second-round draft pick as compensation.
But, as the Red Sox enter Day 40 of their standoff with free-agent catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli, why wouldn’t they want to trade for the Washington Nationals’ Mike Morse?
The Sox, sources say,...