The word “observation” was yesterday’s buzz word from Dusty Baker. Even with small sample sizes we see trends through a scout’s eyes as we make observations. You never want to make a mistake of drawing too many conclusions on what you saw in such small sample sizes; however, some trends are obvious to most.
The stats are the stats and Wilson Ramos won’t be breaking Ted Williams‘ batting average records any time soon even though he is batting a slick .407, and Stephen Strasburg won’t win 30 games this year -but- you have to be mostly encouraged and unfortunately a little discouraged with some of what you have seen through 8 games.
The Nats got their fast start and are only behind the 8-1 Cubs for the best record in the Majors. The Nats are also off to their best start in their history with that 7-1 record.
Team RISP was a problem a few days ago at a .233 BA and now looks great .286/ .394/ .500/.894 and that is how quickly things change in small sample sizes. Bryce Harper has been up to bat 7 times with RISP and has been walked 5 times and the 2 times he wasn’t walked he hit a Grand Slam and a double and both were the GW RBIs. Daniel Murphy is 4-8, and unfortunately Jayson Werth is 1-10 in RISP and Michael Taylor is 0-4 with 3 K’s in RISP and the worst RISP performer on the team is Ryan Zimmerman at 0-6.
How much stock should we put in RISP numbers like with Ramos at 5-11 with a .455 BA? Will Ryan Zimmerman remain at .000 even though he continues to make productive outs with RISP to set up Daniel Murphy? Again, small sample sizes.
Max Scherzer has a 4.15 ERA and that seems totally out of context while Joe Ross is at 1.29 and Gio Gonzalez leads the team with a 0.00 ERA and a WHIP of 0.667. Pitcher’s sample sizes just can’t be measured over a couple of starts and a few relief appearances. At the beginning of May we should have a very good idea about this pitching staff and so far, so good.
The Dusty Baker plan is working, clearly, but there are some troubling signs, and Michael Taylor is struggling with batting leadoff. Jayson Werth has shown he still has some pop in his bat, and Danny Espinosa as Section222 pointed out is not Gold Glove at shortstop although he is a refreshing improvement over the shortstop defense of 2015.