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Old 03-24-2015, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,551 posts, read 4,501,201 times
Reputation: 2487

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Announced the other day by manager Matt Williams and GM Mike Rizzo, new comer Max Scherzer will receive the opening day start for the Nats, April 6 @ Nats Park vs. the Mets. Rest of the rotation isn't set yet, but I think it'll probably be Strasburg #2, J Zimmermann #3, Fister #4 and Gio #5 with Roark as the long reliever. As stated earlier, this year is boom-or-bust with a whole bunch of contracts expiring at the end of the year. If we happen to start out slow and aren't able to get traction, I wonder if they'll shop Stras (2 years from free agency) or J Zimm/Fister (both free agents after this year) at the deadline.

Very excited for this season, I'm looking at good things for this coming season. We had the best PS in baseball last year, lost some guys at the backend of the bullpen, but the starters look even better then last year! Hopefully we stay injury free after April 6!
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,121 posts, read 18,599,788 times
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Might I inquire of you followers of the Nationals.....what is your opinion of Matt Williams as a manager? I'm not asking because I have a position and plan to argue with anyone, I am genuinely curious about how he handled matters, his strengths and weaknesses.

My familiarity with Williams comes from his playing days with the Giants. You know how you look at the way certain players conduct themselves and you think..."Future manager."? I don't think anyone was viewing Williams as managerial material when he was active. He was extremely shy, had very little to say to the media, ran out his home runs quickly with his head staring at the ground the whole way around the bases, never caused any controversies, let his game speak for itself.

He was a hacker as a hitter, never walked much or tried to work the count, he looked like he was up there to get that one fat pitch he could take over the wall.

None of that was anything I associated with future manager, but obviously he was successful last season...what did he do right and what did he do wrong?
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:01 PM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,656,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Might I inquire of you followers of the Nationals.....what is your opinion of Matt Williams as a manager? I'm not asking because I have a position and plan to argue with anyone, I am genuinely curious about how he handled matters, his strengths and weaknesses.

My familiarity with Williams comes from his playing days with the Giants. You know how you look at the way certain players conduct themselves and you think..."Future manager."? I don't think anyone was viewing Williams as managerial material when he was active. He was extremely shy, had very little to say to the media, ran out his home runs quickly with his head staring at the ground the whole way around the bases, never caused any controversies, let his game speak for itself.

He was a hacker as a hitter, never walked much or tried to work the count, he looked like he was up there to get that one fat pitch he could take over the wall.

None of that was anything I associated with future manager, but obviously he was successful last season...what did he do right and what did he do wrong?
I think he is a good manager. He is extremely by the book. He doesn't really go with his gut feeling most times. It's more about statistics and percentages with him. If he sees a matchup with a certain pitcher against a certain hitter, and that pitcher has a history of doing well, despite the fact that they are currently struggling he will go with that pitcher. Most of the time he is right, but he gets himself in trouble when players are slumping.

He is good at rotating positional players too. He keeps those guys fresh during the season. He also does a good job of being aggressive running the bases. That is something Davey Johnson didn't do a lot.

As far as his weaknesses, going back to the first point, he doesn't stray from the book. A perfect example, unfortunately was during the playoffs last year when he took Zimmermann out with 2 outs in the 9th, after he dominated the Giants and he just threw a walk on some very borderline balls. At that time, anyone watching the game could see Zimmermann was still throwing well, but he thought because Zimmermann gave up the walk and there were two batters on that it meant it was time to take him out.

He also made a horrible decision in Game 4 last year by putting Aaron Barrett in the game with the bases loaded and 0 outs. Aaron Barrett can be wild at times and a wild pitch was going to give the Giants the lead. It was a horrible spot to put him in, but again he looked at the matchups, thought Barrett would get outs based on matchups but didn't consider the type of pitcher he is and what the situation dictated.

He also stayed with Rafael Soriano far too long last year. His history didn't matter, his velocity was clearly down and he was throwing the ball over the plate. He should have been demoted from closer at least a couple of weeks earlier than he was.

I think overall he is a very knowledgeable baseball man. He clearly knows the game very well, even from the pitching side despite being a positional player so his decisions are usually great, but I think he could definitely learn to feel the game more.

I love the way Bruce Bouchy handles things. He didn't care how much Mad Bum had pitched in Game 7 of that World Series. He knew he needed his best pitcher out there and he was going to stick with him no matter what. Forget the books, forget match ups, I need my best player on the mound and that's the thing that I think is missing from Matt Williams.
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,121 posts, read 18,599,788 times
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justtitans....

Many thanks for taking the time to present that information, that is exactly what I was after.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,551 posts, read 4,501,201 times
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JustTitans the even worse move MW did last year was leaving Thornton in to pitch to Posey then when he gives up the hit that EVERYONE watching the game knew was coming he brings in Barrett who as mentioned has control issues but because "his book" says it's only the 7th inning don't even bother getting Clippard up even though at that point we needed a strikeout and that was the best alternative we had left.
MW had his faults, mostly the mis-management of the bullpen, but as I said they lost some guys at the back end, (Clippard being the most important), so hopefully the starters can go 7 or 8 innings and just hand the ball off to Storen to finish the game because the rest of the bullpen scares me! Starters great, closer good, rest not so much.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:45 AM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,656,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7express View Post
JustTitans the even worse move MW did last year was leaving Thornton in to pitch to Posey then when he gives up the hit that EVERYONE watching the game knew was coming he brings in Barrett who as mentioned has control issues but because "his book" says it's only the 7th inning don't even bother getting Clippard up even though at that point we needed a strikeout and that was the best alternative we had left.
MW had his faults, mostly the mis-management of the bullpen, but as I said they lost some guys at the back end, (Clippard being the most important), so hopefully the starters can go 7 or 8 innings and just hand the ball off to Storen to finish the game because the rest of the bullpen scares me! Starters great, closer good, rest not so much.
Good point. I remember that too. I couldn't believe they didn't put Clippard in at the moment. You knew the season was on the line at that point. I mean if you had to, let Strasburg throw the 8th, but goodness to not put your best pitchers out there at that time was nuts. Posey was killing us that whole series too.

I honestly think they are putting a lot of faith in Barrett. I'm not really sure about him yet. I'm also not sure if Storen is really the closer for this team or if he just had a really good stretch to end last year. There are so many questions about this team. Definitely going to be an interesting year.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:45 PM
 
Location: NJ
18,677 posts, read 17,082,311 times
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The Nationals are obviously poised to rock in 2015, and I'm a Met fan btw, but why is Scherzer your ace? 2014 ERA 3.15, career 3.58, and ERA differential b/w leagues was .16 last year. So that 3.15 is equal to a 2.99 NL ERA. With your staff, I'm not sure 2.99 would be the best you have.

I'd expect 6+ NL starters to be under 2.99.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,551 posts, read 4,501,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtn View Post
The Nationals are obviously poised to rock in 2015, and I'm a Met fan btw, but why is Scherzer your ace? 2014 ERA 3.15, career 3.58, and ERA differential b/w leagues was .16 last year. So that 3.15 is equal to a 2.99 NL ERA. With your staff, I'm not sure 2.99 would be the best you have.

I'd expect 6+ NL starters to be under 2.99.

1) Money wise. He's getting 210 million +
2) Consistency. Of the 3 (with no disrespect to Fister obviously) he'll be the only one still with the team by the start of 2017. Jordan Zimmermann isn't starting this year and won't start next year....because he's likely on another team. Like J-Zimm, Strasburg won't start this year or probably next...because he's likely with a different team in 2017.
3) I think he's earned it. I could be wrong, but even after winning the Cy Young I still think he failed to surpass Verlander on the Tigers opening day depth chart
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:46 PM
 
Location: NJ
18,677 posts, read 17,082,311 times
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Longevity and $ should not be factors. His ERA and WHIP are good, but not stellar. His differential versus his league is in that range also..good..not great.

It is your 1 to 5, not Scherzer solo, that should excite you.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:09 PM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,656,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtn View Post
Longevity and $ should not be factors. His ERA and WHIP are good, but not stellar. His differential versus his league is in that range also..good..not great.

It is your 1 to 5, not Scherzer solo, that should excite you.
He is the most decorated player on the staff. Throw out numbers, the fact that he has wrong the Cy Young gets him a great amount of respect.
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