The Nats Need a Catcher

With everything going on around the Nationals recently you can be excused for not noticing their biggest problem. To start, being 13.5 games up in the division does not call for close analysis of a team. Add on a whole host of injuries and the most obvious problem, the bullpen, being solved it’s easy to miss. But the Nationals are getting almost unbelievably bad production from their catchers and it’s not looking like it will get better any time soon.

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Six Off the Radar Reliever Trade Candidates

As you may have heard the Nationals are looking for bullpen help. And not just closer help like in years past, no they need an entire bullpen of new pitchers. However, picking up a handful of the top trade candidate relievers would be very expensive in total. The Lerners love prospects and do not like expensive, so Mike Rizzo and the Nationals front office will likely have to get a bit creative to bring in the stock they need.

So, my goal today is to find some relievers who can fill in admirably in a middle innings (think 6/7th) role for the Nats without breaking the bank. These guys are so far under the radar as to be completely off it.

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Fixer Upper: The Nats Bullpen House

The Nationals have a bullpen problem. You didn’t need me to tell you that. If you have a vague awareness that the Washington Nationals are a baseball team then you know that they have a bullpen problem. The question, with the Nats rolling to a 21-10 start and 6.5 game lead on the New York Mets, is how big of a problem is it?

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The Real Nats Bullpen Problem

The Nationals have a bullpen problem, but likely not the one you've been reading about for the past three months. No, they have a pretty good internal option for closer, the problem is they have few reliable relievers beyond that and time's running out to acquire some.

The closer? Shawn Kelley of course, who put up another sneaky great season and can count himself among the better relievers in baseball.

When I rate relief pitchers the two main stats I look at are strikeout rate and walk rate, big indicators that can stabilize over a smaller sample size. They're also the two main objectives for a reliever, get guys out without giving up run opportunities and keep guys off the bases. I consider the ERA and FIP secondary for relief pitchers since they can often get lucky in limited appearances. Finally, I check three more stats to see how fluky the numbers are: swinging strike rate and contact rate to see how well they can miss opposing bats and average leverage index to get an idea of the pressure they pitched under.

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Citizens of Natstown Podcast Episode 150

On the 150th episode of the podcast the Citizens return to discus game 5 of the NLDS, the end of the Nats season, upcoming arbitration and non-tender decisions, the coaching staff, roster holes, free agent targets, and more!

Saturday November 5th is Extra Life 2016! We'll be streaming video games for 24hrs to raise money for Children's National, right here in DC. We've already raised $1000 and we'd love to raise as much as possible. For more information and to donate go here. Thank you for your support!

Citizens of Natstown Podcast Episode 149

The Citizens are back to recap the first four games of the NLDS, talk the probability of certain scenarios in Game 5, lament a certain roster decision, take a brief look at the NLCS (No we're not getting ahead of ourselves, if we have a podcast next week we'll be over halfway through the CS), and more!

It's time for Extra Life again! We're raising money for sick kids at Children's National Medical Center in DC. Go here for information and go here to donate! Thank you for your support Natstown!

Extra Life 2016 is November 5th!

tl;dr: Help us help sick kids at Children’s National Medical Center in DC. Donate here.

It’s that time again: summer is quickly fading to fall, the Nats are gunning for home field advantage in the NLDS, and our yearly Extra Life marathon benefitting the Children's National Medical Center located in Washington, DC is just around the corner.

If you’re a new reader to the site this season, or just haven’t seen our previous Extra Life endeavors; Extra Life is a 24-hour video game marathon benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. We specifically chose all proceeds donated to our campaign to benefit Children’s National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC.

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Citizens of Natstown Podcast Episode 148

In a two-man show O'Hara and TJ discuss the litany of Nats injuries over the last month, the meaning of losing Wilson Ramos, the NLDS rotation/bullpen/bench options, Jose Fernandez, and a few other random topics.

Our Extra Life 2016 campaign has kicked off, please be sure to read about our efforts to raise money for Children's National and donate here!

Monday Breakdown: Is the Nats' Schedule Too Easy?

With 51 games left to play (and 32 NL East rivalry games remaining), the Washington Nationals stand seven games ahead of the second-place Miami Marlins. 

Even though the Nats have some breathing room in the East - and the Nats currently hold winning records against all their division opponents - David Huzzard and Alyssa Wolice agree that the team can't afford to lose its focus over the next two months. But, is it possible that Washington's schedule presents disadvantages for an October-bound team that likely won't play a "must-win" game again this season?

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