Results tagged ‘ 30 in 30 ’

30 Players in 30 Days: Alberto Gonzalez

Alberto Gonzalez

Once rated the best defensive infielder in the Yankees farm system by Baseball America, Alberto Gonzalez was a great asset for the Nationals this year. He is a versatile player, seeing time at third base, second base and shortstop in 2009.


041909-462 a. gonzalez.JPGThe Venezuelan infielder has often been described as a plus defender, something highlighted by his .995 fielding percentage at second base this season. Originally slated to be a utility player, Gonzalez earned the starting job at second base following the 2009 All-Star break, making way for his predecessor, Anderson Hernandez, to be traded to the Mets.

Gonzalez ended the season on a high note. In the final game of the year at Atlanta, with the Braves and Nationals tied after 15 innings, Gonzalez laced a single to center field off of reliever Boone Logan to drive in Elijah Dukes for the eventual game-winning run. This capped off a seven game win streak for the Nats, their second longest winning streak of the season.

With the Nationals second base situation still uncertain for next year, it is unclear what role Gonzalez will play in 2010. What is known is that Gonzalez is a young, quality defender with a stellar fielding percentage at second base in 2009 to prove it. He will succeed wherever the Nationals decide to use him.

Alberto Gonzalez Final Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

105

291

31

77

102

16

3

1

33

14

1

27

1

1

.265

.299

.351

.650

 
 

30 Players in 30 Days: Craig Stammen

Craig Stammen

The Nationals relied on their young guns all season long–they knew there would be growing pains and there were. Craig Stammen made his Major League debut on May 21 against the Pirates and went on to lead all Nationals rookies with 19 starts. He went 6.1 innings in that first start with three strikeouts and four earned runs. He received the no-decision in the 5-4 victory. He was one of three Nationals–Jordan Zimmermann and J.D. Martin being the others–to make their debut this season as a starter. The Nationals led the National League with 95 starts by rookie pitchers. That’s more than the Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Dodgers, Brewers, Mets, Yankees, Pirates, Giants and Cardinals combined. Those teams only had 75 starts by rookies collectively–still 20 short of the Nationals.

A pitcher’s first Major League win is always a memorable moment but Stammen made it a magical moment. On June 18 at the new Yankee Stadium, Stammen kept the Bronx Bombers bats at bay pitching 6.1 scoreless innings. The win secured the series victory over the Yankees.

Stammen was drafted by the Nationals in 2005 and slowly worked his way up to the Majors. Before his call up this year, he pitched seven games for Triple-A Syracuse and was named the Syracuse Pitcher of the Month for April. In that time, he went 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA and .205 BAA in four starts.

Stammen struggled at times, like all rookies, but pitched well in July. If Stammen can pitch in 2010 like he pitched in July of 2009–2-2 with a 3.18 ERA (34.0 IP/ 12 ER)–he will be a force at the back end of the rotation. He also had a season-best K/BB ratio of 2.60 during that month too. The highlight of the month was on July 11 when Stammen threw a complete game in a 13-2 win at Houston. He scattered nine hits with two strikeouts and only one walk.

While Stammen didn’t have a winning record, he held his own in his first Major League season. Stammen did not get to finish the season and was shut down in September due to bone spurs in his elbow. He had arthroscopic surgery and should be fully recovered by Spring Training 2010.

 

Craig Stammen Final Major League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

4

7

5.11

19/19

0

105.2

112

67

60

14

3

24

48

.271

1.29

1.35

 

 

Craig Stammen Final Minor League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

4

2

1.80

7/7

0

40.0

33

10

8

4

0

8

14

.223

1.03

2.03

 
082309-129 craig stammen.JPG

30 Players in 30 Days: Adam Dunn

Adam Dunn


061909-209 adam dunn compressed.JPG
Today is Adam Dunn’s birthday. Happy Birthday Adam!!!

 

The Nats were rolling on June 19. The starters were wheeling and dealing with a 3.11 ERA for the month of June and they had just returned from a series victory over the Yankees in the Bronx. Next up: the Toronto Blue Jays at Nationals Park. The game didn’t involve a rain delay but it was a rollercoaster ride of highs, lows and missed opportunities. The two clubs combined to go 2-for-15 (.133 BA) with runners in scoring position. The Jays left 13 men on base while Washington left 16. But in the bottom of the 11th with the game tied 1-1 and the bases loaded, Adam Dunn drove an 0-2 fastball to right field for the game winning hit.

 

It was the Nats first walk-off win and extra inning victory of the season. Dunn got it done all season long. He led the Nationals with 15 game winning RBI and 30 go-ahead RBI. He has a great batting eye and is extremely patient at the plate. He saw an average of 4.32 pitches per plate appearance, good for fourth in the Majors. He wasn’t signed to make spectacular plays with his glove. The Nats didn’t expect stellar defense out of Dunn–a trade off for the tape measure blasts to right–but he was a pleasant surprise in the field after moving to first base when Nick Johnson was traded to the Marlins on July 31. At the plate, he was a tenacious, home run-raking, RBI-producing clean-up hitter–your best bet is to walk him. He was on pace to hit over 40 home runs for the majority of the season but finished just short of the mark with 38 bombs. He wasn’t able to extend his streak to six straight 40 home run seasons, but he didn’t care. He cares more about wins than individual numbers. He finished the season with a .267 average, 105 RBI, 116 walks and an on-base percentage of .398.

 

Last offseason, the Nationals were looking for a power bat. They found one in Dunn. Dunn is entering the final year of his two-year contract and at the young age of 30, he could have a monstrous 2010 season.

 

Adam Dunn Final Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

159

546

81

146

289

29

0

38

105

116

16

177

0

1

.267

.398

.529

.928

 

30 Players in 30 Days: Pete Orr


090809-099 pete orr.JPG

Pete Orr

Utility infielder Pete Orr has been a valuable asset for every team he’s played for. He is a versatile defensive player and can play almost every position: third base, shortstop, second base, and all three outfield spots. He played for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic twice and participated in the 2004 Olympics. Orr was brought up to the Majors in 2009 when Nyjer Morgan was hurt on August 28 and came off the bench to give the Nationals a boost to close out the season.

Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1998, Orr was signed as a free agent by the Braves in 1999. He made his Major League debut in 2005 and batted .300 in 112 games coming off the bench. While he has never been an everyday player, this multi-talented ballplayer has shown that he can contribute at any time.

“I love to be here. I want to be part of this team,” Orr said. “All I can do is play and be myself. I get in trouble when I do things that are not really me. If I stay within myself, I’ll be here. I love to be here.”

While nothing is set in stone, Orr will most likely get another shot at the Big League club out of Spring Training in 2010.

Pete Orr Final Major League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

27

75

10

19

26

2

1

1

10

3

0

15

2

1

.253

.272

.347

.618

 

Pete Orr Final Minor League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

120

412

50

101

151

13

5

9

50

27

3

77

18

8

.245

.305

.367

.671

 

30 Players in 30 Days: Mike MacDougal

Mike MacDougal

 


062009-248 mike macdogual 1.JPGIt was a tale of two seasons for MacDougal in 2009. He went from being discarded by the White Sox–4.1 innings with a 12.46 ERA and a .389 BAA in five April appearances–to being dominant as the Nationals closer. He can thank his confidence in a ferocious fastball for the turnaround.

 

It was quite the contrast to the start of the 2009 season. MacDougal started the season with the White Sox but struggled to hit his spots with his overpowering fastball, so he threw his slider more than 50 percent of the time. That changed when he was released by the Sox and signed a Minor League deal with the Nationals on May 3. He pitched for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs when then-Chiefs pitching coach Steve McCatty, later the Nationals pitching coach, told MacDougal to have faith in his fastball. It saved his season.   

 

In 38 appearances with the Nats from May 29 to August 30, MacDougal successfully converted 14 of 15 save opportunities and posted a blistering 1.93 ERA and .203 BAA. For as fantastic as those 38 appearances were, the majority of September was forgettable. He battled through injuries from September 2 to September 27, converting his only two save opportunities but went 1-1 with a 11.57 ERA and a .405 BAA in 10 games. But he never threw in the towel and finished the year with four straight scoreless appearances.

 

At 32, MacDougal is no longer the erratic fireballer that he was in Kansas City, he is now a lights-out closer. His career-best save percentage of 95 percent in 2009 is proof of that. Further, his fastball is still strong, averaging 95.7 mph but topping out at 99 mph.

 

Following the conclusion of the season, MacDougal underwent arthroscopic surgery on his hip, an injury he pitched through for the last month of the season. He should recover fully by Spring Training.

 

 

Mike MacDougal Final Stats

W

L

ERA

SV/SVO

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

1

1

4.31

20/21

0

54.1

52

31

26

3

3

38

34

.260

1.66

2.97

 

30 Players in 30 Days: Justin Maxwell

Justin Maxwell

Justin Maxwell made waves in the DC-area long before he was on the Nationals. The Bethesda, Md., native was a standout at the University of Maryland and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft by the Washington Nationals. Since then, he has quickly ascended through the Nationals Minor League system.

Though hampered with a fractured wrist last season, Maxwell came back full force this season. The tall, speedy outfielder with strides like a gazelle stole 35 bases with the Triple-A Chiefs, good for fourth overall in the International League. He was the Syracuse Player of the Month in June when he hit six home runs, drove in 17 RBI, walked 20 times and scored 21 runs in 28 games. He was brought up to the Big Leagues three different times this year, the last being a September call-up. He has always impressed the club with his athletic ability and range in the outfield. On May 23 at Nationals Park, Maxwell made perhaps the finest catch in his career as he tracked a long line drive over 60 yards into right-center field, leapt up and reached over the wall to rob Baltimore’s Adam Jones of what would have been a first-inning home run.


Maxwell 1 c.JPGIn the final home game of the 2009 season–Fan Appreciation Day–Maxwell blasted a walk-off grand slam off of Francisco Rodriguez to lead the Nats to a 7-4 victory over the Mets. While he definitely ended the season with a bang, his hitting is the one facet he will focus on this offseason. He struck out 136 times in 111 games, good for seventh-most in the International League.

“He has done all the facets of the game,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “He can play defense, run and throw. It’s a just a matter of consistently putting the bat on the ball.”

Maxwell has not been slowed down by last season’s injury and proved he can be a valuable asset for the Nationals. His athleticism and speed are great tools both on the basepaths and in the outfield. Next season, he will get the chance to prove himself again and will compete for a roster spot out of Spring Training.

Justin Maxwell Final Major League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

40

89

13

22

40

4

1

4

9

12

0

32

6

1

.247

.343

.449

.793

 

Justin Maxwell Final Minor League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

111

384

68

93

152

10

5

13

42

54

2

136

35

8

.242

.344

.396

.740

30 Players in 30 Days: John Lannan


 
Lannan NY c.jpgWhen John Lannan took the mound on June 17 against his hometown team, the New York Yankees, he couldn’t help but get excited. It was a ‘please, can somebody pinch me’ moment. He grew up a Yankees fan in Long Island, N.Y., so the game was naturally a memorable moment for him pitching in front of his family, friends and former high school teammates at the new Yankee Stadium. He made it magical. He had the daunting task of keeping the Bronx Bombers’ bats at bay–mission accomplished.
Lannan pitched 8.1 innings of four-hit ball and the Nationals beat the Yankees 3-2. Lannan completed the New York circuit and beat the Mets and Yankees in the same season. The New York native tossed his first career complete game against the Mets on June 6 and less than two weeks later, kept the Yankees lineup in check.

 Those two outings gave us a glimpse at how good Lannan can be and the 2009 season proved that he is a dependable, resilient pitcher that is here to stay. The Nationals pitching staff was anchored by Lannan’s left arm and he didn’t miss a start. He led the team with 33 starts, nine wins, a 3.88 ERA and 206.1 innings, up from 182.0 innings in 2008. Lannan doesn’t try to overpower batters with his fastball. He pitches to contact and is a ground ball specialist. According to StatCorner, 41.6% of plate appearances against Lannan resulted in ground balls, against the league average of 31.8%.

 He didn’t post a win-loss record to boast about, but that’s more indicative of the run support he received and not his pitching ability. Lannan sported the sixth lowest run support average in baseball this year. During the 2009 season, there were 11 games when Lannan pitched at least 6.0 innings and gave up three runs or less but walked away with the no-decision or loss. In those 11 starts, he went 0-3 with a 1.89 ERA (16 ER/ 76.1 IP) with 41 strikeouts and a .215 BAA.

 Look at this interesting comparison:

ALCS MVP CC Sabathia vs. John Lannan

 Number of games started allowing three runs or less:

Sabathia:         23

Lannan:           23

 ERA in those games:

Sabathia:         1.78 ERA (32 ER/ 161.2 IP)

Lannan:           2.24 ERA (39 ER/ 156.2 IP)

 Individual Record in those games:

Sabathia:         18-0

Lannan:           9-5

 Team Record in those games:

Sabathia:         20-3

Lannan:           12-11

 Lannan is the only pitcher that is assured a spot in the Nationals 2010 rotation right now and he will give the Nats a chance to win every fifth day in 2010.

 

John Lannan Final Stats

W

L

ERA

SV/SVO

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

9

13

3.88

0/1

0

60.1

36

20

18

9

1

32

67

.172

1.13

0.53

30 Players in 30 Days: Ross Detwiler

Ross Detwiler


detwiler c.jpgRoss Detwiler entered the 2009 season ranked as the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect by Baseball America. At times he pitched like a prospect but he showed the he can pitch at the Major League level too. He earned his first career win and posted a 1.90 ERA (23.2 IP/5 ER) with a .220 BBA in five games (four starts) after he was called up in September. He was drafted in the first round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft and became the first member of his draft class to reach the Big Leagues when he pitched an inning in relief on September 7th, 2007. This year, he began the season at Double-A Harrisburg and joined the Nationals rotation on May 18th for a spot start against the Pirates. He pitched so well–5.0 innings, two earned runs and six strikeouts–they couldn’t send him back down. He was eventually optioned to the Triple-A Chiefs on July 12th.

 

While at first glance the stats from his 15 Major League starts don’t look that impressive, there are some bright spots on horizon for Detwiler. While he was 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA overall, he continued to grow as a pitcher. See September. We can also look at his FIP (fielding independent pitching) to see how effective his pitching is. FIP measures a pitcher’s responsibility for the runs allowed based on his walks, strikeouts and home runs allowed, displayed as an ERA. In Detwiler’s case, his ERA is 5.00 but his FIP is 3.86, meaning he is actually over a run better than his ERA.

 

Though Detwiler did not put up stellar numbers this year, he proved that he can be a reliable pitcher in the future. Detwiler, along with Zimmermann, Lannan and Strasburg, is a part of the young, homegrown pitching arsenal the Nationals have been accumulating over the last few years. You can count on him being a significant contributor in the future.

 

 

Ross Detwiler Final Major League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

1

6

5.00

15/14

0

75.2

87

43

42

3

2

33

43

.289

1.59

1.02

 

 

Ross Detwiler Final Minor League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

4

5

3.05

16/16

0

76.2

84

37

26

4

1

30

70

.273

1.49

1.16

30 Players in 30 Days: Josh Willingham


willingham1.jpgIt was a rollercoaster season for Josh Willingham. He found himself on the bench in April and unable to hit in September. Baseball is all about managing the highs and lows. The Florence, Ala. native with a southern drawl and a hankering for hearty handshakes made the middle of the season memorable. And how could we forget the night of July 27, 2009? He never will. His two grand slams in the same game are ingrained in his hippocampus like his name in the history books.

 

There have been 17 perfect games.  There have been 15 four home run games but just 13 players have hit two slams in the same game. Welcome to the club Willingham. The odds are nearly impossible–there is a better chance you are randomly selected from a hat filled with every American’s name. “It was pretty unbelievable,” Willingham said. “That’s about all I can say really. You don’t get a chance to do something like that.”

 

He started the season as a spot starter in the outfield. He didn’t get daily at-bats and struggled to find his grove at the plate with occasional pinch-hits and starts in right field. He started only eight games in April and batted .143 (5-for-35) with one home run and two RBI. It was Willingham’s first time that he wasn’t an everyday starter. It was unfamiliar territory for him and he never got used to it. He never had too.

 

The once cluttered outfield cleared out and he became a regular starter in the outfield. From the beginning of May to August 25, Willingham batted .320 (91-for-284) with 20 home runs, 54 RBI and an OBP of .419.

 

“You have to be able to play to get in your rhythm, routine, groove, whatever you want to call it,” Willingham said. “I have never been a pinch-hitter and that was something I had to get used to. I had never really done it, so yeah, playing every day was the key to the success.”

 


josh willingham.JPGFor as productive as August 25 was–Willingham went 4-for-4 with six  RBI and five runs to raise his average over .300 for the season–the rest of the season was a constant struggle as he watched his average precipitously fall to .260. From August 26 to the end of the season, Willingham batted .139 (15-for-108) with three home runs, five RBI, 16 walks and 35 strikeouts. He ended the season with a .260 batting average, 24 home runs and 61 RBI. Don’t worry he is already over it.

 

Willingham will enter the 2010 season with a starting spot in left field, batting fifth behind Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn. He will be counted on to start everyday and that could mean–if he avoids the injury bug–a career year… make that a 30 home run and 100-plus RBI season.

 

Josh Willingham Final Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

133

427

70

111

212

29

0

24

61

61

2

104

4

3

.260

.367

.496

.863

30 Players in 30 Days: Mike Morse

Mike Morse


mike morse1.JPGIf you were to look up “Jack of All Trades” in the fictitious picture dictionary, there is a good chance Mike Morse would be there. Originally a shortstop, Morse has played right field, left field, first base and third base during his career. While his 6-foot-5 frame may seem a little big for a middle infielder, he feels that he still has what it takes to play there. He also has a good head on his shoulders and will play any position to get on the field.

“People don’t look at me as a second baseman, same as shortstop,” Morse said. “But if I play, I’m going to play as hard as I can… If they tell me to catch, I’ll put the gear on.”

Originally drafted by the White Sox in 2000, Morse was traded to the Mariners in 2004 and made his Major League debut with them in 2005. During the next few years, he was plagued with injuries and only appeared in 35 games from 2006-2008. On April 1, he was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma. On June 28, he was traded to the Nats for outfielder Ryan Langerhans. In his first season with the Nats, Morse began at Triple-A Syracuse but he made his way to the Majors on August 17. He appeared in 32 games, starting seven.


mike morse2.JPGMorse has proven he can hit. In the Minors he hit .322/.383/.511 with 16 home runs and 86 RBI. While his numbers in the Majors aren’t as productive, they are misleading because he is a spot starter and has never been able to get daily at-bats. Morse’s best positions are first base and third base, places where the Nats do not need help. He was used primarily as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement, cutting down on his ability to put up good numbers.

“I think Mike has become a professional hitter with the White Sox, Mariners and over here with us, but where ever he is, there is someone in the way,” Interim Manager Jim Riggleman said.

While Morse would love to have a shot at playing second again, his biggest asset is his versatility and flexibility. He is willing to do whatever the team needs of him in order to keep playing. Once the Nationals find a spot for him, there is no doubt he will find success there.

Mike Morse Final Major League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

32

52

4

13

25

3

0

3

10

3

0

16

0

0

.250

.291

.481

.772

 

Mike Morse Final Minor League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

110

425

59

137

217

26

3

16

86

35

3

77

2

1

.322

.383

.511

.894

 

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