Results tagged ‘ Elijah Dukes ’

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: Elijah Dukes

Elijah Dukes


elijah dukes1.JPGElijah Dukes came into his second season with the Nationals hoping to make an improvement over last year’s injury-riddled season. He faced a different sort of challenge this year when he was sent down to the Minor Leagues for a month following the trade for Nyjer Morgan on July 1. That did not stop this young outfielder from continuing to try to improve his play on the field.


 elijah dukes3.JPGBefore being sent down, Dukes batted .244/.308/.415 with six home runs and 30 RBI. When he returned to the Majors on August 1, he came with a new attitude towards the game which resulted in some offensive improvements. While he wasn’t hitting the ball as hard, his slugging percentage dropped to .368, he increased his batting average by 13 points and raised his OBP to .366. This can be attributed mostly to increased patience at the plate. Dukes picked up 28 walks in 50 games (205 PA) in the second half of the season as compared to 18 walks in the first 57 games (211 PA).

Dukes was acquired by the Nationals from the Rays prior to the 2008 season. While he missed 72 games due to injuries, he still managed to set career highs across the board. He was among the team leaders in OBP (.386) and slugging percentage (.478) and ranked fourth overall in the NL in OPS after June 5, 2008. Yet surgery on a meniscus tear and subsequent leg injuries kept him out for 72 games.


 This offseason, you can follow Dukes as he plays for the Licey Tigers of the Dominican Winter League. Looking ahead to next year, Dukes needs to try to stay healthy as he has been plagued by knee injuries in the past. This winter, he will need to work on hitting breaking balls.  Sliders are especially troublesome for him. Dukes is currently jockeying to become the full time right fielder, a role that, if he can stay healthy for the whole season, he can certainly flourish in.

Elijah Dukes Final Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

107

364

38

91

143

20

4

8

58

46

2

74

3

10

.250

.337

.393

.729

Capture the Caption

Marlins:

Coghlan – LF

Maybin – CF

Ramirez – SS

Cantu – 1B

Baker – C

Uggla – 2B

Ross – RF

Helms – 3B

Johnson – P (RHP, 13-4, 3.08)

 

Nationals:

Harris – CF

Guzman – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – 1B

Willingham – LF

Dukes – RF

Orr – 2B

Nieves – C

Hernandez – P (RHP, 7-9, 5.26)

 

Capture the Caption: Submit your caption to natstown@nationals.com or in the comments section. The winning caption receives a free Nationals T-shirt.
josh willingham.JPG

Hard hitting in the Windy City


hammer2.jpgOnce he made his way into the lineup, Josh Willingham began to tear the cover off of the ball. This season, he is projected to hit a career-high 28 home runs and finish the season batting over .300 for the second time in his career. With another two-home run game last night in a 15-6 romp over the Chicago Cubs, Willingham now has five two-home run games this season, including the July 27th game where he hit two grand slams. All of those games occurred on the road, where Willingham has shined this season.  Here is a look at The Hammer’s home vs. away production:

 

Games

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

Home

51

155

39

5

19

.252

.371

.426

.797

Away

50

164

57

16

37

.348

.440

.726

1.165

 

Willingham ranks 8th in the National League in terms of percent of flyballs that are home runs (HR/FB) with 20.6 (min. 370 PA). But if you look at Willingham’s home/road splits, Willingham has hit 32.0% of flyballs for home runs on the road versus only 9.6% at home. 

The Nats have 34 games remaining in the season, including tonight’s game at Chicago. Of those, 19 are on the road, which will give Willingham a great shot at reaching some career highs.

Elias Sports Bureau had this to say about Willingham’s night last night:
Josh Willingham went 4-for-4, scoring five runs and driving in six in the Nationals’ 15-6 win at Wrigley Field. During the live-ball era, only five other players went 4-for-4 or better in one game, but had more runs and more RBIs than they had hits: Sean Casey (1999), Ken Griffey Jr. (1996), George Foster (1977), Rocky Colavito (1959) and Lou Gehrig (1928).


dukes2.jpgAlso, Notes from NatsTown would like to congratulate Elijah Dukes on his first career grand slam, which he hit in the 5th inning last night and helped the Nationals increase their lead to 9-1. Along with the grand slam, Dukes went 2-3 with two walks to break out of a 1-for-20 slump.

Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. as the Nationals go for a second straight win against the Cubs.

Nats News and Notes


Padilla compressed.JPG·        
  
It took Jorge Padilla 12 years, 1,165 games and 1,205 hits in the Minor Leagues to finally get his call to the Majors. It was worth the wait and… work. He jumped on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday and lined a single to right, notching his first Major League hit in three pinch-hit at-bats.

“I’m not going to lie – I was torturing myself when I got home at night thinking, ‘When am I going to get a hit?’” Padilla said. “Thank God today I finally got it. It was unbelievable, like a dream come true right there. That’s what I was waiting for all my life.”


JD Marin compressed.JPG·
        
Nothing has ever tasted as sweet as a shaving cream pie to the face after winning a Major League game. JD Martin picked up his first Major League win and recorded his first hit, a single to left in the bottom of the second. Martin became the fourth Nationals pitcher to collect his first career “W” as a starter this season, joining Shairon Martis, Craig Stammen and Jordan Zimmermann. Martin was a first round pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft and spent eight years in the Indians organization before the Nationals signed him to a Minor League contract prior to this season. Martin went 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 15 starts with Triple-A Syracuse before getting called up on July 19th. He made his first Major League start on July, 20th.

 


8th win compressed.JPG·
        
The Nationals earned their eighth consecutive win with a 9-2 decision over the Diamondbacks. The eight-game winning streak is the Nationals second longest win streak since MLB returned to DC in ’05, and is the longest active win streak in the Majors. The Nats started the streak when their record was 32-72. According to Elias, the Nats now own the longest winning streak by a team that stood at least 40 games below .500 at its start since 1950, when the St. Louis Browns, 44-86 at the time, won eight straight. (The Browns’ streak came against four different teams, and included a four-game sweep of the Indians in Cleveland, beating the quartet of Mike Garcia, Bob Lemon, Steve Gromek and Bob Feller.) The longest win streak in Nationals history (2005-present) was a 10-game surge from June 2 to the 12, 2005.

 

·         Ryan Zimmerman is in the midst of his second hot streak of the season, a 13-game hitting streak. In the month of August (eight games), he is batting .567 (17-for-30) with four home runs, eight RBI and 14 runs.

·         Since being recalled on August 1, Elijah Dukes is batting .300 (9-for-30) with one home run and 12 RBI in eight games.

·         Cristian Guzman has hit safely in 15 consecutive games, going 29-for-63 (.547) with 5 doubles, 2 home runs, 16 RBI and 17 runs scored.

 

Capture the Caption

Capture the Caption: Submit your caption to natstown@nationals.com or in the comments section. The winning caption receives a free Nationals T-shirt.


morgan harris guzman.JPG

And the winning caption is: “Fun Bunch 2.0″

Dukes optioned to Triple-A

The Nats optioned OF Elijah Dukes to Triple-A Syracuse this morning before the day game against the Marlins to make room for OF Nyjer Morgan and LHP Sean Burnett. 

Morgan and Burnett were acquired on Tuesday from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for outfielder Lastings Milledge and right-handed pitcher Joel Hanrahan.

Dukes struggled in June batting .189 (16-for-81) with two home runs and six RBI.

“I don’t think we’re going to be doing him any help by just sitting him here,” Acta said before Wednesday’s game against the Florida Marlins.

Morgan isn’t in the starting lineup today but is available off the bench.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 539 other followers