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Jason Marquis looks beyond his numbers

Morning roundup

For three starts, Jason Marquis has pretty much been the pitcher the Nationals hoped he would be when they signed him. They were not expecting an elite starter, just someone to give them a chance to win more often than not. Marquis finally earned his first win of the season last night, but for three starts in a row he has provided a solid chance for the Nationals to win so long as they played halfway decent behind him.

Marquis has allowed only five earned runs in his past three starts, a span of 18 innings. In that span, Marquis's ERA has dropped more than six runs. The thing is, it's still an 8.13 ERA at the end of August. It has not been easy, but Marquis has convinced himself to look beyond his numbers, which are tainted by his horrendous beginning to the season -- 19 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings while pitching with bone chips in his right elbow.

"The physical side, that was out of my mind about three weeks after I started throwing pitches," Marquis said. "That's not even a thought in my mind. When you still look at the overall numbers, it's not pleasing to look at. Sometimes, that can weigh on your mind a little bit. I've just got to throw out those first three games and judge myself from where I'm at after the surgery."

"I think he's finally getting back healthy," Ryan Zimmerman said. "As a pitcher, it's tough to come back if you aren't all the way back and to trust your stuff, get back to what you were throwing two years before. He's got some confidence and doing what he needs to do."

FROM THE POST

In sloppy conditions, Jason Marquis earned his first win in almost a year in a 9-3 victory over the Marlins.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Syracuse 4, Buffalo 1: Shairon Martis allowed one run in seven innings on five hits and a walk, striking out five. Collin Balester pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out two. Josh Wilkie pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.

New Hampshire 8, Harrisburg 7: Stephen Lombardozzi went 3 for 5 with a home run and a double. Devin Ivany went 3 for 4 with a home run.

Potomac was off.

Lexington 14, Hagerstown 1: J.P. Ramirez went 1 for 3 with a walk. Paul Demny allowed seven earned runs on seven hits and three walks while recording only one out.

Vermont 11, Aberdeen 5: Russell Moldenhauer went 4 for 6 with a home run and five RBI. David Freitas went 1 for 3 with a double and two walks.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 31, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
 
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Next: Appreciating Ryan Zimmerman

Comments

Completely agree with Jason's thinking: got to throw his 2010 numbers out the window. Something was wrong in the beginning of the year (turned out to be physical), and his comeback starts should've been seen as tenuous (they were). Now that he's getting into a groove, the critical eye can intelligently evaluate him, and so far, so good.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 31, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

At least Jason's ERA is now below the legal drinking age...

Posted by: TimDz | August 31, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I liked the way our bullpen closed out last night (OK, I guess it was actually this morning).
Peralta faces one guy finishing the 6th, strikes him out. He faces 3 in the 7th, 2 more K's.
Clippard does the 8th, giving up a single between 3 more K's.
Stammen does the 9th, giving up a walk between 3 more K's.

12 batters
1 single
1 walk
1 ground out
9 strikeouts

Finishing in style, at 1:04 AM EDT.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 31, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Today's assignment for Mike Rizzo is to trade Joel Peralta. He has been a very pleasant surprise this year, and he could help a playoff team in need of middle relievers. Less likely stretch goals would be to trade anyone like Adam Kennedy or Miguel Batista. Crazy talk I would be interested in would be trading Nyjer Morgan and/or Michael Morse. I am not sure Morse is as good as he's seemed this year, and he could be replaced by a free agent, and of course Nyjer has disappointed this year.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 31, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I was on again off again dozing through the game. Managed to wake for Zim's homer and Dunn's also. But sad to see in today's gamer the observation that the Zim and Dunn days are likely down to a mere 30 games. Thanks to our cheap owner. I can't imagine another team in this situation failing to sign Dunn. Just ridiculous. Love the team. Owners really starting to get on my nerves. I fear they will destroy baseball in Washington all owing to their obsessive determination to wring every last dime out of this team, its fans, and the city.

Posted by: NatsFly | August 31, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

+1/2 St. is doling out a pretty tough assignment. I think Rizzo would have to waive these guys, have someone claim them, and then work out a deal for them (all prior to 7:05 I believe).

A Peralta deal does makes sense in that we can afford to lose him and he should have value to some playoff-minded teams.

I like having Kennedy around. I'd like to see him stay and play regularly. Desmond will become better defensively with him. And Espinosa can come up sometime next year, learn from him, and take over 2B for 2012.

Nyjer Morgan ranks dead last in OPS among all qualified MLB outfielders. Weak arm, questionable attitude, poor baserunning skills. Not sure we could get an unopened bag of chips for him.

Know who else plays OF and is having a really unproductive year? Matt Kemp. That boy needs a change of scenery. He has all-star tools, plays for an organization in disarray and has one very major league distraction (http://tinyurl.com/2b9ujgv).
$7 million contract for 2011 is in place, and stays under team control for one more year beyoind that.
The Dodgers are trying to cut payroll.
Just saying....

Posted by: Sunderland | August 31, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@+1/2St:
Interesting thought - I wonder if there are interested parties out there, since none of these guys would be an 'over the hump' piece, imo.

Posted by: BinM | August 31, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Just think if the Learners would have parted with a little more cash, after the SS DL our pitching would be:

Lannan
Zimm
Chapman (105 mph)
Maya
Livo
Marquis, Detwiler on the outside looking in.

We all would have been trying to come up with witty names for our starting rotation, like the Cuban Connection and such. Also 2011 would not be stinging as much. Way to go Learners bend us fans over some more.

Posted by: hansenjo | August 31, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

@sunderland:
Matt Kemp would be a player of great interest, if Rizzo were to explore an off-season trade with the Dodgers. But you have to wonder if the Lerners' might be reluctant to take on the salary as well, given their hesitations with Dunn.

Posted by: BinM | August 31, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Chapman?

Guy throws hard, sure, but he seems to have very little command.
He had a 4.11 in AAA as a starter. He threw 65 innings and put 100 baserunner on.
We already have a few of those guys in AAA, and all of them combined didn't cost a third of what Chapman cost.

He's been in the bullpen in Louisville for 6 weeks or so. He's been pretty good as a reliever. So what.

Not signing Chapman could turn out to be one of the smartest and luckiest things that ever happened to the Nats.

He might turn it around. Or he might just become the league's most expensive set-up guy.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 31, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Very disappointed in how Rizzo, Kasten, and the Lerners have carried out the negotiations with Dunn. Most core Nats fans knew that 2011 would likely be a .500 year even with Strasburg and Dunn in the fold. Now that we've lost our young ace, it's hard to get too excited about a team that will have a hard time scoring runs next season. The combination of Zimmerman, Dunn, and Willingham gave us a strong 3-4-5 and Bernadina may well round into a sold No. 6 hitter as well.

The Nats ownership could have sent a strong message to both the team and fans that they intend to field the best team possible for next season and that would have started with signing Dunn during the season. I expect that offers in free agency for Dunn will be inflated since it isn't a great class and a team like the Cubs are desperate for a slugger to play 1st base.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 31, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The combination of Zimmerman, Dunn, and Willingham gave us a strong 3-4-5 and Bernadina may well round into a sold No. 6 hitter as well.


Posted by: wizfan89 | August 31, 2010 9:37 AM

Add in Desmond at the 2 hole, and you have a solid lineup. Or Morse/FA RF'er in the 6 hole, and Bernie at lead-off. It could be a potent lineup - but it depends on Dunn in the middle of it.

Posted by: DCguy7 | August 31, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@ Sunderland...You are right on, when referring to Chapman. In fact, MLB reported that the Reds would bring him up today (to be on the roster for post season) and use him as a LH specialist.

As for Dunn, I like him, but all you need to do, to evaluate his worth is look at the last four years of diminishing production, and this year he was in the rocking chair, mostly, between Zim and Hammer.

As far as Bernadina is concerned, he is much better at 5 or 6. Too much power to be a true 1.

And no, the Dodgers won't be looking for a way to cut salaries. The divorce is going to turn around, become amicable, and leave the owner with bunches of money to spend. Also, I'm absolutely going to hit the Powerball, this week.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | August 31, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

mikecatcher50, huh? "all you need to do, to evaluate his worth is look at the last four years of diminishing production..."

Adam Dunn, 2007: .940 OPS, 40 HR, 106 RBI
Adam Dunn, 2010: .913 OPS, 41 HR, 109 RBI (projected)

Yeah, his strikeouts are up and his walks are down but is that really diminished production? I don't think so.

He is what he is and he'll likely stay that way for several years. Maybe not four, but probably three. I guess you can argue that avoiding that "wasted" fourth year of the contract makes sense (if you ignore the fact he would have given you five good years before that), but it's hard to argue this team will be able to find a way to be better without him. But it looks like we're going to find out.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 31, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Catcher50:
Declining production for Dunn? My snarkdar just lit up; Please extract tongue from cheek.

His last four+ years (from Fangraphs)...
2006 - 40HR, 92RBI, .234/.365/.490 slash.
2007 - 40HR, 106RBI, .264/.386/.554 slash.
2008 - 40HR, 100RBI, .236/.386/.513 slash.
2009 - 38HR, 105RBI, .267/.398/.529 slash.
2010 - 33HR, 88RBI, .265/.358/.556 slash, with 30 games remaining.

Posted by: BinM | August 31, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

And BTW, his .913 OPS is the fifth best of his nine full years in the big leagues and better than his career average, so that's hardly a major dropoff either.

And one last BTW, how many other power hitters have worn the Nats uniform who could throw out .913 OPS/40 HR/100 RBI seasons? So how likely is it we can find another out there to replace the one we have?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 31, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It was reported on MLB XM that the Dodgers have a surplus of about 50 million to spend on baseball operations. The money comes from parking revenue and cannot be disputed in the divorce. So cutting payroll is not an issue; however Kemp and his Hollywood lifestyle is an issue. As for Chapman plenty of big name starters started in the pen first.

Posted by: hansenjo | August 31, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I consider myself a diehard fan (owned a ticket to every game since coming back) and have no interest in re-signing Dunn. The only complaint I have is that we didn't trade him. But I'll take the draft picks as compensation too. In Dunn's case, I believe it has nothing to do with being cheap and everything to do with being smart - sign him to a one or two year deal but don't commit to anything over that.

The word on the street is that Dunn wants 4 years/$15M. Do you really want to commit that Dunn is your slugger that we ride to/through the post-season?:
- Which other slugger is moved from/to the 3/5/6 holes to help him see better pitches?
- Which other slugger batted .000 with RISP and two outs/.150 with RISP after almost 3 months of the season?
- Who else goes weeks at a time without doing anything (wasn't he something like 9 for 65 or so before the last couple of games?)
- He's struck out 165 times - the closest guys on contending teams are Howard/Werth at 123/126 (that's why their offense is struggling) and Rasmus at 115. His gross numbers are great but he is a rally killer who has way too many unproductive outs (along the lines of Dave Kingman and Daryl Strawberry to me).

By next year's spring training we'll see what he's worth on the open market - my bet is no one gives him more than 2 years.

Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Say what you want about Dunn, he has had a couple of dry streaks. 40 HR, 100 RBI, .900 OPS are all well and good, but we should not have to put up with a week to 10 days of hitlessness, not when we have so many other weapons ready to step in. Cut him lose and use the draft choices to get guys with similar numbers, except not the dry spells.

Posted by: markfromark | August 31, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I just had a day dream that the Learners wallet and the heavens parted. The Nats re-signed Dunn. Rizzo traded Willingham, Kennedy, and Morgan for Kemp. Rizzo showed Carl Crawford the money. Rizzo pulled off a trade to send Ramos and one of our AAAA pitchers for a quality low #1 High #2 starter. They also told Bryce you are going to be our catcher of the future, and he won’t have to play a position Bryce is not comfortable with, the young man was also told that Pudge was to teach him everything he knows.

Your 2011 Washington Nationals
Batting first Carl Crawford
2. Danny Espinosa
3. Ian Desmond
4. Ryan Zimmerman
5. Adam Dunn
6. Matt Kemp
7. Rodger Bernadina
8. Pudge/Harper

WOW WHAT A DREAM!!!!!

Posted by: hansenjo | August 31, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Kemp? Dodgers, cutting payroll?

From LA Times (7 months ago)

The Dodgers could seek to keep their player payroll below last year's level through 2018 while the average ticket price and club revenue could nearly double, according to confidential financial documents included in a court filing last week.

The documents, submitted by former Dodgers chief executive Jamie McCourt in divorce proceedings against owner Frank McCourt, offer a rare glimpse into the finances of a major league club.

But hansenjo, I'll be the first to admit that neither I nor anyone else has any clue what the Dodgers will be doing over the coming years as this divorce and dis-function shake out.

The McCourts bought the team 6 years ago I believe, from FOX, who's books showed them lsoing $75 million a year. (true, not true, again, who knows with the books of a multinational entity like FOX).

They just waived Manny for payroll reasons though. They had Vincente Padilla as their opening day starter, that had to have something to do with payroll.

Regardless, I'm wondering if teams will make a play for Matt Kemp this winter, and if the Dodgers will listen.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 31, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

natslifer and markfromark, really? A two year deal? And, "we should not have to put up with a week to 10 days of hitlessness, not when we have so many other weapons ready to step in?"

Who are all of these ready to go cleanup types who can hit 40 homers and drive in 100 guys? I don't see them.

BTW, look at Dunn's numbers for RISP and compare them to guys like Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard and tell me what's the difference? They also have had long streaks without hitting homers. That's what happens with sluggers. Maybe because we've never really had one in this town since Frank Howard, we don't understand what these guys are like.

I'd rather live with Dunn and his flaws than try to replace him.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 31, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

First, just look at the numbers and you will see that not only does Dunn have declining numbers (and yes increased Ks and decreased walks are absolutely declining numbers), he is probably worth signing for one year at 12-14 million or two years @ 11 & 13, but four years @ 15, bad waste of money.

2nd - the dream? Harper isn't a catcher. He is seventeen and won't ever catch in the Majors. He is strictly an outfielder. The catcher for the next few years (sharing 11 & possibly 12 with Pudge) will be Ramos. Espinosa has never even seen a Major league pitcher, except maybe one on a rehab assignment.

3rd don't tell anyone that the Dodgers have 50 million not touched by the divorce...her attorneys will find a way to grab hold of 1/2.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | August 31, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

markfrommark just broke my snarkdar.
To be fair, it was getting rusty at the top end.

good one.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

OK, natslifer, but I wouldn't be suprised if some team like the Cubs, Giants or RedSox tossed a 3yr/50M or a 4yr/60M offer at him.

Posted by: BinM | August 31, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Even given catcher50's pessimistic assessment, I think Dunn probably has a better than even chance of two more years like the last several, and a third isn't out of the question, especially if the rest if the team is better by then (hey, we live in hope). Paying him for the first two or three over the course of four seems like a fair deal, especially if, as "a source on the team close to Dunn" was quoted as saying, he's not holding out for 4/60.

And while we're discussing watching the Lerner's money become somebody else's money for no good reason, consider
how having *another* $30++MM rehabbing for the next year and a half from TJ surgery would feel. You think people whine about being cursed *NOW*?? I don't wish it on anybody, but this guy is too young, and throws waaay too hard, to hold up.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

mikecatcher, what declining numbers?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 31, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Declining walks, without a corresponding decline in OBP, is not in any way, shape or form decling performance.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 31, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

OMG, Dunn is streaky! He goes a week or two without hitting.

But somehow he manages to hit 40 HR/100RBI year after year. He's the most consistent streaky hitter in the majors.

And if he consistently puts up those kinds of numbers, then he has to go on streaks where he drives in six runs to win a game singelhandedly against the Dodgers, or five runs against the Cards.

Streaks cut both ways.

Nobody goes three-for-ten day in, day out, month after month - nobody.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 31, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Again, all this great concern to protect the wealth of the owner and remain last place losers. Why? Boswell reported $43/3 as what is needed to sign Dunn, so why not take that as the salary request? Because this is his first year at a new position, you can get Dunn relatively cheap so why not sign him? The Nats will be even more pathetic without Dunn. Losing Dunn would be a big downer for the team (if not for the fans).

Dunn is called inconsistent on this site just about every day by the mini-Lerners. Amazing how many Nats' fans attack Adam Dunn, the best of the Nats' sluggers. Why not go after all the AAA guys on the major league roster and say how awful they are? That would make more sense. Yeah, I know, the many AAA guys on the big league make no real money, whereas Dunn wants a salary commensurate with his value. You want to protect the owner's resources. I get that.

But aside from that, you say Dunn is inconsistent? Over the last 6 seasons (2004-2009) here are Dunn's HR totals: 46, 40, 40, 40,40, 38. Who is more consistent than that?

RBI: 102, 101, 92, 106, 100, 105.

OBP: .388, .387, .365. .386, .386, .398.

This season, he is on the same 33 HR, 88 RBI and .358 OBP.

All that is consistently excellent. Yes the OBP is down a little this year, but his OPS is .913, which is above Dunn's career average, and OBP makes up half of OPS.

And we are grateful not to have Aroldis Chaoman? All he cost was money--no prospects. We saved $33 million of the owners' money? Cincy fans must feel proud that their owners extended themselves to produce continued high performance by their club. I wish we would do the same here, with twice as big a region to work with. I've seen much bigger waste of money on old timers (like Ramirez). Chapman's 4.11 ERA as a starter was just starting out in his first few weeks in AAA. He didn't fail. The Reds are loaded with starters. Chapman has all the tools but needs maturity--coaching. He could learn to be a starter, just like Jonathon Papelbon could if there was room in a rotation for him. Chapman is doing great in relief. Do you dump Storen because he is only a reliever?

As for Bernadina having too much power to lead off, what about Ricky Henderson or Soriano in his prime as a Nat? Bernadina has 10 HRs in his career and a .438 slugging average this year. Not too much power, not yet anyway.


Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I firmly believe if management plans on letting Dunn walk then they have a plan better then Morse to replace him.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 31, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm done correctly is indistinguishable from reality.

Posted by: markfromark | August 31, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

sec3(sofa):
The Nats have had about $8M in pitching on the DL for most of the year in 2009, figuring partial salaries for the 12 who have been on the list so far.

Strasburg's expected TJ surgery just gets the 2010 accumulator primed with $2.5M.

Posted by: BinM | August 31, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I firmly believe if management plans on letting Dunn walk then they have a plan better then Morse to replace him.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 31, 2010 12:09 PM
_________________________________________________________

Rizzo will continue to do his best to get water out of a rock. Unfortunately, the LernerStanks will continue to be cheap and make his job of building a winner almost impossible.

Posted by: Section505203 | August 31, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

So, markfromark, what you're telling me is the batteries on my snarkometer need changing????

Posted by: baltova1 | August 31, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Correction: Chapman signed for $30.25 million for 6 years. So that's about $5 million a year, Lo Duca money. Why cheer the frugality?

He is being called up tho the majors. Do we hope for failure to show how wise the Nats were to pass on him?

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I wish the kid a lot of success, I'm sure he's a fine specimen, but even if he's the next Rob Dibble, I don't see how that's worth $35MM to the Nationals.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

EdDC, only one team could sign Chapman... does that make every team besides the Nats cheap?

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 31, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

First for defense of the "mini-Lerners" group (as we have been derisively named:

Chapman was offered over 20 million by Rizzo-the second highest amount on the table. That does not signify a LAC move.

For the past two seasons the Nats have paid the highest amount for draftee signings. They signed the overwhelming majority of draftees this year some of which are considerably over slot.

They are starting to ramp up their international signings (which admittedly have been woeful to date) with the Maya signing, beating out formidable opposition.

They signed Pudge to a contract that no one else considered, and paid market rates for Marquis.

All of these are signs that Rizzo is able to convince the Lerners of value when he sees it and they are responding. It is quite conceivable that Rizzo has convinced the Lerners that 45 or 60 million (4 years) of their money may be better spent on other player(s). From what I have seen in the past 15 months Rizzo has convinced the Lerners of his way of building a team and has stuck his neck out to do so. I understand the frustration that has built over time from the crowd that says that Dunn has to be the foundation for the team now. I trust Rizzo's perception of value.
If Rizzo truly had to have Dunn for the next 3 years to make the team better I believe that the signing would have been a small matter to convince the Lerners.

Posted by: driley | August 31, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I ain't wishing nothing bad on Chapman.
But he did have a 1.67 WHIP as a starter in AAA, and then kept his WHIP around 1.00 as a reliever in AAA.
As a reliver, his contract is a bust.
And the only way he becomes a major league starter is with another year in AAA.
(At bnest, most of a year, at worst two years)
And he'll only pitch about 115 - 120 innigs this year total. He's got a long way to go to perform to that contract.


It's not that I want to save the Lerners money. But there's far better ways to spend $30 million than on a single pitching prospect.

It also show the disparity between players who must go through the draft and those who can avoid it. Strasburg gets $15 million guaranteed. Chapman gets $30 million guaranteed, a deal Strasburg never could have gotten.

If these rules don't change, you'll see guys giving up their American citizenship and establishing foreign citizenship just to get out of the draft and become automatic free agents.

How much would Bryce Harper have gotten as an unrestricted, no compensation, free agent?

Posted by: Sunderland | August 31, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

EdDC, only one team could sign Chapman... does that make every team besides the Nats cheap? Posted by: SCNatsFan

No, you are right, it doesn't.

The Nats need to try harder. It doesn't have to be Chapman. You can't have them all, but you do have to have some of them. They can miss on him, as long as they are trying elsewhere. One $20 million free agent under Lerner? And they have to think real hard before they even re-sign their only one? No trades for decent-salary guys? One of the lowest payrolls in baseball, with one of USA's largest regions to work with and a free stadium. I'm sorry, but it all seems feeble and pathetic to me.

Glad you are on board with it though. The Nats need every loyal fan they can keep. I'll join you as a loyal fan once I see a major league effort.

If Maya turns out to be cheaper-but-better than Chapman, I'll rejoice just like you will.

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I definitely want the Lerners to spend more money - just not on Dunn. Calling people "mini-Lerners" is way over the top.

I understand all the gross level numbers are correct as stated by all posters. And we shouldn't be trading for Fielder or Howard at this point. The question goes back to - is this the guy you want to anchor your offense around for a playoff run - and I just don't think he is.

Ryan Howard made his bones in 2007 when he hit .320 for the season with RISP. Dunn's climbed up to .206 right now. Lots of people got on the Reds for not signing Dunn (all the stats here cover his days there) but they replaced him with a guy with potential who's now having an MVP season. I don't know that we have Joey Votto (did the Reds when they let Dunn go?) in the minors but I'd rather try someone else or buy someone else than Dunn.

Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I understand the frustration that has built over time from the crowd that says that Dunn has to be the foundation for the team now. Posted by: driley | August 31, 2010 12:50 PM |

No, Dunn is not "the foundation of the team." Whoever said that? He is a piece I wouldn't throw away just because he strains the payroll of a small-budget team, especially if Boswell's reported numbers of his contract requests are fairly accurate. I would keep him, even if he is not "the foundation." He is a hard-to-replace foundation of the line-up--one of them, anyway. When Zim or Dunn step up to bat, "everything stops" in our household just to see what happens. I imagine he gets the attention of opposing pitchers too. You are saying we don't need both Zim and Dunn? Is that a luxury we can all do without?

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen Dunn's lifetime RISP averages? Boswell did a column on that awhile back.

Boswell: Getting a Dunn deal finished shouldn't even be that hard. For weeks, reports have said Dunn wanted $60 million for four years. "That's not true," said one of Dunn's best baseball friends, who talked with him recently but requested anonymity so that Dunn wouldn't hurt him when they hand-slap at home plate after his home runs. "Adam said he wants $13 to 14 million for three years. That's it. And he wants to stay in Washington.

"Isn't this a no-brainer?"

Compared to Ryan Howard's borderline-insane $125-million, five-year contract extension in Philly, it sure is.

But the clock is ticking. No 300-home run hitter has ever re-signed with the same team once he finally got his free agent freedom. The Nats have pushed the idea for weeks that Dunn can still be signed in the off-season. Nonsense. They're either deluding themselves or deceiving their customers.

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

as I recall, the Nationals offer to Chapman was closer to $25MM, and if they *had* increased their offer by 20%, which is a lot, *they would still have been out-bid.*
The Reds are paying a bit over $30MM/6 years, I believe, and I just don't think this guy is worth that. Yeah, what do I know? Squat. But I have to base my own impression of how cheap they are or aren't in this case on something, and that's what I'm using. I think they made a more than fair offer, they just got outbid by someone more reckless/desperate than they were.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Dunn, OTOH, assuming Bozwell's source (do we even need to cough?) is accurate, baffles me. This really does seem like a no-brainer to me, unless they really can't afford him, and we know that's not true. $15MM just doesn't buy what it used to, you got to let it ride sometimes.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Judging by the standings, I wouldn't call Cincy too many names. They are a small market team doing well. The Nats only think they are small market! Let's wait awhile on calling Chapman a bust or not worth the money. Cincy took a risk. What's a comparable risk the Nats have taken?

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I've looked at Dunn's stats over and over (and probably over again) - haven't found his lifetime avg with RISP but year by year he's around .245 (interestingly last year was his best year that I can see and this year is his worst).

Bozwell actually refers to a stat called "Leverage Index" to say that Dunn is actually slightly better under pressure than even Ryan Zimmerman.

Bozwell also barely mentioned his recent 9 for 65 which roughly matches a similar streak earlier in the year - he only said "this should help the Nats in their negotiations".

You can look at the stats either way but for my money, I spend too much time watching him come up to bat and not helping the team at all.

Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I look at the way the Lerners' allocate funds to being in like with how they made their money - Real Estate.

They've proven that they'll spend money in the draft - That's like 'land speculation' to them; They understand it. Buy up properties (sign draft picks & undervalued FA's) to either develop, or 'flip'(trade) for better value.

Where they have the problem, imo, is with the mid-to-high range contract signings for 'established' players. To them, that's much like being asked to purchase, or re-purchase property (at market value) after the shopping center is built, and why would any developer do that?

Long answer short - They still have a bit to learn about the business of baseball, and I hope they get it soon.

Posted by: BinM | August 31, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Those three weeks in August were pretty awful, but should they cancel out seven years of consistency? Too bad Dunn can't be as consistent every week as he is every season--a straight line to the HOF, with no varaiations. Maybe that's why he is still affordable.

BTW, he is hitting again.

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Then I submit you might quit expecting him to hit .500. It has got to be nearly impossible to hit 40 home runs, and drive in 100, and have none of them matter. Nobody carries a team all year, singlehandedly. This ain't basketball, where three guys and nine supernumeraries can win a championship.

********************
You can look at the stats either way but for my money, I spend too much time watching him come up to bat and not helping the team at all.
Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 1:39 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I think BinM's right on with the Lerners - the biggest "metric" that I judge the Lerner's on is that they left JimBo in place for two years.

And on Dunn he had a very similar streak earlier in the year - as I said, his gross numbers are always solid but what's underneath is not going to put him in the HOF. The Reds let him go for a reason and are by any objective measure better off without him.

Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

And if we had a Votto I'd agree with that. We don't.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

That said, I have used this handle for years, for a reason. This is a last-place team, again, and I'll watch, because I love baseball and I'm a homer, but I won't pay these prices for this team.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

It is best to look at RISP over a career rather than single out one year as proof of a weakness. These figures show that Dunn is not a bum.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6763/situational;_ylt=ArEIAOVfC7Hz4woVxq9Pf2aFCLcF?year=career&type=Batting

Dunn has just a .230 career average with RISP but has a .412 OBP and a .894 OPS. I'll take that.

Looking at RISP with 2 outs, he has a low career BA of .212 but a .412 OBP. Dunn has 34 HR in 547 ABs, and 187 RBI. He drew 200 walks. Obviously pitchers fear him in clutch situations. Pitchers do not think Dunn chokes, even though Nats fans do. His OPS is .875 career.

With the bases loaded. Dunn has hit .291 in his career with a OPS of 1.041. Pitchers can't pitch around him with the bases loaded, so they pay.

In 2009, Dunn hit .283 with RISP with a .454 OBP and a 1.019 OPS. In just 145 ABs with RISP, he hit 11 HRs and knocked in 66. Maybe not good enough to be a Nat, true. Otherwise, he is world class and on a HOF path.

Unlike Pudge, he would be our HOF guy if he is re-signed and continues on his consistent path. If Dunn keeps on producing, someday he will be as highly regarded as Mike Morse.

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

natslifer:

Bowden was simply a 'sales agent' for the Lerner group; He convinced them he could consistently find 'undervalued' properties (players), who he could hype and then 'flip' for better value through trades. It worked for a while, but after some of the investments failed (DaMeat, FLop, PLoD, AKearns, etc.), and the "off-shore" problems cropped up, he got cashiered.

Enter Rizzo, a guy with baseball in his blood. He understands the game, knows talent when he sees it, and knows how to read scouting reports to establish value. He now has to break the Lerners' of all the non-baseball thinking that was enabled by Bowden; He's making inroads, but it's taking more time than most of us would like.

Posted by: BinM | August 31, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Bottom Line: The LernerStanks need to resign Dunn. Chris Marrero is no Joey Votto. They don't have a back up plan in the system for Dunn.

Posted by: Section505203 | August 31, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Great career stats and I've got to get going for the day so I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I think pitchers this year love getting around Zimmy to pitch to Dunn. And Riggleman moving him around in the order is admitting that Dunn needs the help.

I totally agree the Lerners need to spend more money - my analogy is that they're a proud "value" stock when I believe we have the market to be a "blue chip" and need to behave as much.

On some level I could see signing Dunn to three years and being ready to dump the salary after two if you don't like what you see... we'll see in a couple of months.

Go Nats!

Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

I have always wondered what evidence you and periculum have had that demonstrates that Bowden had to physically restrain Lerner from opening his checkbook? And what evidence do you have that things have changed all that much today? The payroll levels are about the same.

I agree that Rizzo is much better than Bowden, don't get me wrong. The Nats are making smarter decisions with the same low budgets. I would love to see what Rizzo & Co. could accomplish with MLB budgets.

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I think pitchers this year love getting around Zimmy to pitch to Dunn. And Riggleman moving him around in the order is admitting that Dunn needs the help. Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 2:45 PM |

I would like to see three big hitters for 2011, giving Dunn more help too--and not just two. But I don't think the answer is let's have just one big hitter in 2011. To me, Dunn is a terrific clean-up slugger and his numbers prove it. You are the first person I have ever heard to say pitchers love facing Adam Dunn. If you are right, then he should be dumped!

Posted by: EdDC | August 31, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Great conversation - I don't contribute much here but read almost every day and really appreciate what you'all do.

I do have to get but love talking about Bowden too - it's all opinions here but my guess is that Bowden didn't want to ask the Lerner's for more money and/or didn't have the chops or baseball intelligence to do it the right way. He sensed they didn't want to spend and played into their hands. I always imagined him walking into Mark Lerner's office saying "no... you don't need to spend that money - forget what all those people say - I've got you covered and here's how were going to do it..." Rizzo, I suspect, is the first guy with enough baseball blood to actually walk in to their office and say without flinching "if you put this in, here's what you're going to get." and have them believe him. Which then always brings the conversation back to Stan Kasten and what his role has been and how it's played out. He's an owner with a rev share but he's the president and more directly responsible for the team - if we believe Rizzo is now his John Scheurholz (sp?) in Atlanta, we're on the right path.

Very, very fascinating stuff. Someone should write a book one day when we win the Series.

Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I love this logic. If you don't like what you see, and he's therefore overpaid, who are you going to dump his salary ON?

***********
On some level I could see signing Dunn to three years and being ready to dump the salary after two if you don't like what you see... we'll see in a couple of months.
Posted by: natslifer | August 31, 2010 2:45 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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