Nationals Stock Watch: Rendon's hot week

Nationals Stock Watch: Rendon's hot week
May 8, 2014, 11:00 am
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We take a look at the Nationals' past week: 
Record: 5-3
Team slash: .266/.377/.423
Team ERA: 2.21
Runs per game: 3.8
Anthony Rendon, 3B: .346 AVG/3 HR/6 RBI
Rendon has had a quiet last few weeks, but his stock is rising once again after a monstrous last eight days. He's now tops on the team in hits and RBIs, as well as being tied for the lead in home runs. Through the season's first six weeks, the Nationals couldn't have asked for much more from their 23-year old infield prospect. The Nats faithful were probably hoping to watch a different phenom develop at the plate this season, but if Rendon keeps raking like this, DC baseball fans may have another reason to be hopeful of the future -- heck, maybe even the present.
Adam LaRoche, 1B:  .400 AVG/.500 OBP/.667 SLG
Old reliable continues to come through for the Nationals. LaRoche, who has been the team's most consistent hitter, has managed to somewhat stabilize an offense that's been without its key components for the majority of the season. When he's not getting big hits, he's still finding a way to have productive at bats, leading the team with a .427 on-base percentage. Despite all the early season obstacles, Washington finds itself in first place in the NL East standings, and LaRoche keeping the offense afloat is a big reason why. 
Aaron Barrett, RP: 3.0 IP (4 GP)/1-0/0.00 ERA/1.00 WHIP 
It's been over a month, and Barrett has yet to show signs of pitching like a rookie in any of his appearances. This past week, he lead the bullpen with four relief outings, taking care of business each time and being credited with a win in Monday's 4-0 victory over the Dodgers. Of the regularly used relievers for the Nationals, only closer Rafael Soriano has a lower ERA on this season. That's the kind of consistency that'll earn the trust of your manager when he hands you the ball.
Nate McLouth, OF: 0-11/3 BB/.083 OBP 
Yikes. That's all you can say when you look at McLouth's numbers this past week, which seem to reflect his overall numbers on the season. When the Nationals signed him in the offseason, there was no reason to think he couldn't contribute off the bench as a solid defender with a good enough approach at the plate to still be productive. After all, it looked like he had revived his career after two quality seasons with the Orioles. But after a month and change into this season, the Nats have to hope he's not reverting to the guy that got let go by both the Braves and the Pirates from 2011 to 2012. 
Ross Detwiler, RP: 2 GP/4 ER/2 HR/3.00 WHIP
Detwiler continued a somewhat troubling trend this week, following up last week's loss to the Padres with another poor outing, this time in Tuesday night's 8-3 loss to the Dodgers. He allowed four earned runs in that outing, essentially put the game out of reach before the Nats started scoring runs later. Detwiler still has the stuff to be a starter again one day, but you'd think he has to prove to Matt Williams that he's reliable out of the 'pen first. 
Tanner Roark, SP: 0-1/4.0 IP/7 ER 
Yes, perhaps it's a little unfair to put Roark in this spot after a solid start to his season. But he turned in the worst start of his Nationals career Saturday against the Phillies, allowing seven runs in just four-plus innings of work. For one of the few times in his brief career in Washington, he struggled with command and pitch efficiency, which is what got him in trouble early in Philly. It's just one tough start, however, so time will tell if this was a start of a bad trend or just a blip on the radar.