By Rob Klein
July 18, 2018
Mike Rizzo’s Nationals have been here before. Like last season.
The Nats had baseball’s leakiest bullpen in 2017, up until that year’s MLB trade deadline. Back then however, the team was in first-place with a 54-36 record at around this time last year.
To put that into perspective, 54-36 represents 90 games, while 48-48 is 96 games. So, with 6 fewer games under their belt, the 2017 Nats nevertheless had 6 more wins than this year’s squad, even though the ’17 bullpen had a whopping blown 14 save opportunities while ranking last with a 5.34 ERA.
So what can Rizzo do this year to help DC crawl out of the third-place doldrums?
⇒Read: Michael A. Taylor might be trade bait
To fix MLB’s worst bullpen, Mike Rizzo, Nationals traded for the law firm of Kintzler, Madson and Doolittle in 2017
Is Mike Rizzo Nationals Best Player?
Ask me who the best player on the Nationals is, and the smarty pants anwer I might give you is Mike Rizzo.
Okay, so Rizzo won’t be batting 3rd to protect Bryce Harper. It’s a metaphor, or a simile, or something like that.
Point is, Rizzo is – in my humble opinion of course – the best GM in baseball. Now I know what you’re thinking: how many championships have the Nats won? Have you heard of the Epstein fellow who took the two most suffering franchises in baseball to the promised land?
Yeah, I know all of that. But Mike Rizzo brought the Nationals out of the major league’s garbage heap.
The Red Sox and the Cubs were both competitive ball clubs who needed an extra push to reach for greatness. The Nationals were cast down with the Sodomites for years, going back to their days as the Montreal Expos.
“No matter if you’re rebuilding or a veteran team going for the championship, there’s opportunities out there everyday to buy and there’s opportunities to sell to improve your team current and long term.”
What Does Mike Rizzo Have Up His Sleeve This Time?
Or even a better question would be: how much are Mike Rizzo and the Nationals willing to sacrifice?
What is clear as day right now is that the Nats need another starting pitcher and an upgrade at the catcher position. Pedro Severino is back in the minors after the most inappropriate bat flip ever. When it’s July and you’ve hit a whopping 2 home runs, bat flips get the COME ON MAN treatment.
Matt Wieters isn’t exactly lighting the sky on fire. Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark are 50/50 guys right now (that’s being kind to Tanner, honestly).
The Nationals do have trade bait. Judging from his track record, Rizzo should be trusted to make the Nats right.