The Washington Nationals had a rocky first half to the 2013 season. With 67 games remaining, there’s still time to make up enough ground to earn a postseason berth. To do so, however, Washington needs more production from its roster, which has seen bright flashes with plenty of disappointments. At the All-Star break, here’s a look at Washington’s midseason superlatives.
Best Newcomer: Anthony Rendon
Rendon’s first stint with Washington (April 21-May 2) ended with a .240 batting average and an .885 fielding percentage at third base. Since returning to Washington in June, Rendon is batting .312 and he holds a .969 fielding percentage at second base in that span.
Pleasant Surprise: Jordan Zimmermann
The Nationals knew Zimmermann had the talent to be a star pitcher. But after his 12-8 season in 2012, not many predicted he’d be 12-4 with a 2.58 ERA and 0.97 WHIP at this year’s All-Star break. He entered the season with one complete game in his first 81 starts of his career, but he’s recorded three complete games, including a shutout, in 19 starts this year.
Biggest Disappointment: Dan Haren
The Nationals signed Haren to a one-year, $13 million contract last December, with the expectation that the veteran could round out a solid rotation of young pitchers. That hasn’t been the case. Haren is 4-10 with a 5.61 ERA and he has surrendered 19 home runs. The right-hander has pitched only two games where he gave up less than two earned runs.
Most Inconsistent: Drew Storen
On some nights, the reliever has looked remarkable, such as his five-pitch outing against San Diego on July 6. Then he’s had other moments, such as a two-game stretch against Milwaukee on July 2 and July 4 where he gave up a combined seven earned runs. Storen has a 4.81 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, which would be single-season career highs.
Poised to Break Out: Wilson Ramos
The catcher has dealt with a severe hamstring injury for most of the season. But since Ramos returned to regular action on July 4, his bat has caught fire. He’s hitting .375 with two home runs and two doubles since returning to the starting lineup. In his last nine games played, Ramos has driven in 11 runs.