The Washington Nationals, sitting at 28-29 as of June 3, are, well, does it need to be said again?
There is not much else to say about the Nationals’ season, since it’s not really a start at almost 60 games played, but there are some bright spots, and as we approach the midway point, most will start to turn to a very fun form of speculation: who will make the All Star Team (played at Citi Field this year)? Though Washington has started slow, they still have a pretty healthy amount of players who could get the call.
Ryan Zimmerman is a name that could be voted in, as he is healthy this year and has probably been Washington’s best hitter, or at least the most consistent, as he currently stands at .280/.360/.452 with six home runs and 28 RBI’s, though his 10 errors may cause some trepidation. He ranks second amongst NL Third Basemen in batting average, on-base and slugging percentages, and ranks sixth and fifth in home runs and RBI’s, respectively. Of course, Zimmerman would need to out-vote David Wright and Pablo Sandoval, but he certainly seems to have the numbers.
Jordan Zimmermann, of course, could even start the All Star Game if Matt Harvey cannot pitch or the Mets do not allow him to. Zimmermann ranks seventh in ERA (2.37), is tied for second in wins (eight) and fifth in innings pitched (79.2). He gave up more than three runs for the first time this season, actually breaking a streak of 14 consecutive starts where Zimmermann allowed less than three runs. As previously stated, Jordan Zimmermann is the Nationals best starter. He finally has the wins, and he should get the notoriety.
Another name could be Craig Stammen, who has been a remarkably different pitcher since converting to the bullpen. Stammen has done just about everything for Washington, from closing games to long relief to everything in between. If Stephen Strasburg needs to miss a start, Stammen will be able to add “spot starter” to his resume, further increasing his value to Washington. Stammen, like Zimmermann, would have to be chosen, and what a great choice he would be.
Other names could make this list, such as Ian Desmond, which would make him a two-time All Star with consecutive selections. Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez would also be solid picks, and there’s even an outside chance Adam LaRoche could be voted in as a reserve.
Funny, isn’t it. For all the bad luck Washington has had with wins and losses, it’s hard to remember all the positive parts of the Nationals’ season. Looking at certain positions and parts of the rotation and bullpen, and Washington could have some nice representation in Flushing this July.