T-n-T clearly is a tribute to Trea -n- Tony who have been big in almost every game recently. Bennie & The Jets is a tribute to not only Elton John, but Ben Revere and the new team speed. Play The Harp is our welcome back to Bryce Harper in the line-up. The consistent team MVPs you can choose from Daniel Murphy, Wilson Ramos, Jayson Werth, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Tanner Roark.
We should start with the Fangraphs WAR stat for position players and adjust to 470 plate appearances as that is the maximum number on the team with Anthony Rendon.
Your adjusted WAR leader (100 plate appearances or more) is Trea Turner. With just 118 plate appearances, Turner has a 1.4 WAR and when you adjust to 470 plate appearances to compare him to the players who have played most of the season he is at a tremendous 5.58.
This brings me to a story of a mid-year call-up in 2014 who was an unsung hero of the San Francisco Giants postseason. Joe Panik was a 1st round draft pick just like Trea Turner and Panik played 2nd base. Panik was responsible for 5 of the total 9 runs scored in the 2014 NLDS against the Nationals. In 2014, Panik accumulated a 1.1 WAR in 287 plate appearances, and he fixed a huge hole for the Giants as a rookie in a key spot as the Giants 2nd base spot was a revolving door from Marco Scutaro, to Brandon Hicks to Dan Uggla. Panik wasn’t overly fast (0 SB) or great power (1 HR) but he hit .305 and got on base. Could Trea Turner be the X-Factor for the 2016 Nationals?
The Nationals also are seeing a big resurgence from Ben Revere and Anthony Rendon. Here is what the last 14 days looks like:
We saw Rendon, Ramos, and Werth during these past 2 weeks winning games for the Nats, and Ben Revere has helped with his bat and especially his glove.
From JD in a comment earlier today: Lots of positives in the past few weeks:
1) We seem to have resolved the lead off issue.
2) Tony Rendon is quietly returning to top form.
3) Ramos and Murphy continue to be superb.
4) Revere is showing small signs of returning to form.
5) Harper avoided serious injury.
6) we have a big 3 in the starting rotation.
7) we have a closer.
8) Kelly and Treinen have been solid set up pitchers.
On the other side of the ledger:
1) Stras is in the midst of his 1st rough patch of the year.
2) you never know what you’ll get from Gio.
3) Ross, Drew and Zim don’t look like imminent returnees.
4) the other members of the pen are scary and inconsistent (Perez is downright terrifying)
5) Espinosa is like 3 for July and August.
6) The bench is very shaky despite good games on Sunday by Robinson and Heisey.
All in all a positive period but not quite smooth sailing. I am not yet bothered by playoff scenarios. I’ll start worrying about that if/when we clinch the east.
There is some very good Q&A today in the Tom Boswell chat here. There are some very good points made by Boz and this long analysis on Strasburg and WAR is good, and I assure you my chart (above) was done before Boswell posted his response at 12:16EDT. We tweeted our chart at 11:43EDT as you can see here.