Nationals Stock Watch: Anthony Rendon slumping?

Nationals Stock Watch: Anthony Rendon slumping?
May 29, 2014, 12:00 pm
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We take a look at the Nationals' past week, at a glance:

Record: 1-5
Team slash: .223/.321/.318
Team ERA:  3.39
Runs per game:  3.16


Wilson Ramos, C: .364 AVG/.391 OBP/.545 SLG
Simply put, it was a brutal week for the Nationals. They lost five of their last six games, so it was a little tougher for us at Stock Watch to find risers. But if there was one positive development, it's that players who've recently coming off the disabled list have started to regain their old form. Ramos is atop that list, notching hits in seven of his last ten games, including his first home run of the season Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins. Devoid of a big bopper at the moment, the Nats need Ramos' big bat in the middle of the lineup to fill that role. He's long been known for his power potential, and maybe now that he's healthy -- which hasn't been easy for him -- he can live up to that billing.

Adam LaRoche, 1B: .308 AVG/.333 OBP/.538 SLG

Welcome back, Adam. The Nationals first baseman returned from the disabled list this past weekend and has made an immediate impact. He had at least one hit in each of his first three games back, including a homer and three runs driven in. With the the injuries the team has suffered and inconsistent performances from a number of key players, LaRoche has been the lone model of consistency in 2014 for Washington. If the Nats are to get out of their current funk, it's safe to say LaRoche is probably going to be apart of it.

Doug Fister, SP: 1-0/1.66 ERA/1.13 WHIP

Just as it was for the hitters recently, it's been slim pickings to find those who's stock is going up in the starting rotation. But Fister delivered the lone performance that led to a win for the Nationals this week, so he has to get the nod. Not only that, but he's been excellent since his tough season debut against Oakland Atheltics. He's now delivered three straight quality starts, allowing just four earned runs combined in 19.1 innings of work. With some of the struggles of the more established starters (more on that below), Fister may be needed now more than ever.

Anthony Rendon, 3B: .130 AVG/.286 OBP/.217 SLG
Rendon's blazing start was one of the best developments of the early part of the Nationals' season. But since his torrid April, he's cooled off of late. His average has dropped from .311 at the beginning of May to .251, hitting just one dinger to go along with six RBIs for the month. And in his last 10 games, he's had just one extra base hit. Ouch. Anytime young hitters start their season out with a bang, it's always a matter of time before pitchers around the league make adjustments in how they approach him. It seems that in Rendon's case that's beginning to happen, and now it's up to him to do what the good hitters are supposed to do -- adjust to those adjustments.

Jordan Zimmermann, SP: 2 GS/0-1/5.73 ERA/1.64 WHIP

In the early part of Wednesday night's tough 8-5 loss against the Marlins, Nats fans had to be asking themselves one question: What's wrong with Jordan Zimmermann? He just hasn't looked like himself recently, allowing at least three runs in each of his last four starts. It's really tough to pinpoint the problem, but for whatever reason, Zimmermann has had some command issues as well as leaving mistakes out over the plate way too many times. It's a head scratcher for sure, especially considering that he was expected to be the rotation's second best pitcher, if not the best.

Jeremy Blevins, RP: 3 GP/ 0-1/ 16.20 ERA

Perhaps putting Blevins here is a little unfair, given that he only had one poor outing this week. That said, that one outing cost the Nationals a chance to win a hard-fought game over the Marlins. Blevins came into a 4-4 game in the 10th inning Wednesday night, and quickly allowed three runs to score in just a third of an inning of work. It's an uncharacteristic shortcoming for one of baseball's best bullpens, but one that handed the Nats an ugly loss.