Today I'll look at the individual performances of everyone who has been on the Nats' 25-man roster through 10 games. The Nats are 5-5 despite being outscored 66-45 (good for a 3-7 Pythagorean W-L record) and need to improve a lot to keep their record around the break-even mark.
LF Josh Willingham-The Hammer is 12 for 32 so far with 3 doubles and 3 HR. He also has a 9:6 BB:K ratio. I'll take a .375/.512/.750 triple slash over the course of the season!
C Ivan Rodriguez-After seeing his bat steadily decline to below league average since 2005, Pudge has started hot this year, going 11-27 with 4 doubles, a steal and a 3:1 BB:K ratio. The 38 year old backstop has been a pleasant surprise this year with a .407/.467/.556 line.
SP Livan Hernandez-Another member of the oldies-but-goodies club, Livo pitched 7 scoreless in his only start so far, scattering 5 hits, walking 3 and, in true Livo fashion, striking out 1.
OF Nyjer Morgan-His batting average is a little low so far at .243, but his OBP is right where it needs to be at .378. Nyjer has shown a great eye so far, walking 6 times and only striking out once and is 4/5 on his stealing attempts. He's also leading the league with 3 triples.
Closer Matt Capps-He's looked a little bit too Cardiac Cordero for me so far, but he's 5-5 in saves and has thrown only 7 pitches in two of his last three apperances. Might he be turning a corner? The 5:5 BB:K ratio scares me, though.
RP Tyler Clippard-Clip picked up where he left off last year, with 8 and 2/3 strong innings already in 2010. He has 2 of the Nats' 5 wins, has only given up 5 hits and holds a 4:9 BB:K ratio (not great for any other team, but great for the Nats' pitching this year). And he's batting 1.000!
IF Alberto Gonzalez-He hit his way onto the Opening Day roster and is hitting well enough to stay on it. He has appeared in all but one of the Nats' games so far and has made the best of it, going .308/.400/.385 with 3 runs and a 2:1 BB:K ratio. Hopefully he'll keep it up, because you can never have enough utility guys who can hit.
RP Jesse English-Came out of nowhere to make the Opening Day roster and hasn't disappointed. He's given up 2 runs and 7 hits in 5 innings with 3 K's and 1 BB overall, but he's doing his job very well against lefties, holding them to 2 singles and 1 walk in 13 plate appearances. One thing to note-the Nats are 5-0 when English doesn't pitch. Hmmmm...
IF/OF Cristian Guzman-Sure, he still can't take a walk, but he's hitting .273 with 3 extra base hits while playing 3 different positions. I'm proud of Guzman for being a team player and being willing to take the field wherever Riggleman pencils him in.
SS Ian Desmond-I think Katy Perry's song "Hot N Cold" is written about Desmond. In 6 of his games (4 starts), he had 0 hits (and only 1 walk). In the other 4 games he's played, he's gone 6-14 with 3 extra base hits and 3 walks. Desmond's power is still there and his walk rate is at 11.4%, so he get a "meh" for now.
3B Ryan Zimmerman-He's starting today for the first time in a week and wasn't that impressive before he got hurt. His contact and walk rates are looking bad so far and a 1:8 BB:K ratio is bad. But he is still slugging .524 and hit a 2 run HR with a bad leg and has a Kevin Kouzmanoff-esque 1.000 fielding percentage, so I'll give him a break for now.
IF Adam Kennedy-His .214/.281/.286 line to start the year is disappointing, but he's second on the team with 6 RBI. Kennedy's stats will improve as his BABIP does; currently it is sitting .071 below his career average.
1B Adam Dunn-.179 batting average? Awful. Only 1 HR and 2 RBI? Very disappointing. Leading the team with 7 runs and 11 walks? Nice. And his defense doesn't look too bad (yet). Still, we'd like the old Adam back.
OF Willie Harris-With the same power numbers as Adam Dunn accompanying a .346 OBP, I guess Wee Willie gets a pass too despite a .150 batting average. Plus, he made this catch.
C Wil Nieves-.250 batting average? Check. No walks or extra base hits? Check. No glaringly awful plays? Check. Hey, Wil Nieves is playing like he's Wil Nieves or something!
OF Justin Maxwell-At the time I'm writing this (halfway through game 11), Maxwell is 1-4 with a HR, 3 K's and 2 BB's. Three True Outcomes FTW!
OF Roger Bernadina-I had to include him because he appeared in a game. Not getting a hit in your one plate appearance isn't bad enough for "THE BAD" status, so he'll chill here in purgatory.
SP John Lannan-One bad start, one "meh" start and one good start evens out to "meh" status. He has improved every game, which is nice. He has also walked 3 batters in each game, which is not nice.
SP Scott Olsen and Garrett Mock-Normally guys who don't make it 6 innings with ERA's of 5.40 and above would fall into the "bad" category, but these are the Nationals' pitchers we're talking about. Mock's numbers don't indicate how bad he pitched in his game and Olsen probably out-pitched his 6.35 ERA, but one game isn't enough to judge a pitcher. As you'll see with Stammen and Marquis later, two is plenty!
OF Willy Taveras-.133/.188/.267 is unacceptable for anyone, but especially for a guy who earns his keep on his ability to steal bases and score runs. If you can't get on base, you can't steal bases or score runs.
UTIL Mike Morse-Right now he's hurt, so I'll go easy on him. A 1-6 start with 3 K's is disappointing, but I think Morse will bounce back into a .280/.320/.450 pinch hitter.
SP Jason Marquis and Craig Stammen-somehow 2 batting practice pitchers made it into the rotation. Together, these two have allowed 24 runs in 14 and 2/3 innings, allowing 30 hits, 3 homers and 6 walks with only 4 strikeouts. I'd rather see Garrett Mock in this rotation than Craig Stammen right now.
The rest of the bullpen-Brian Bruney? Awful. Sean Burnett? Terrible. Miguel Batista? Stinks. Tyler Walker? Better than he was in Spring Training and is still bad. Jason Bergmann? The worst of the bunch and got cut.
For the Nats to stay around .500 this year, they need better pitching than a 6.52 ERA, a 52:51 BB:K ratio and 15 homers allowed every 10 games as well as a real RF and more consistency out of the offense. Either that, or they need to keep playing the Mets.