Will Yoder: Revisiting some preseason predictions

Several days before the 2012 campaign, I wrote a post at The Nats Blog offering five bold predictions on the impending Nationals season. I said at the time that the week before the season was a wonderful time for bloggers because it marked perhaps the only time all year long that we would have yet to be wrong.

Well, it’s nearly 60 games into the season now, so I went back to see what my preseason predictions were, and unfortunately, I have not fared well so far. Let’s review:

5. Adam LaRoche will not finish the season as the Nats’ first baseman: Well, barring injury, this one doesn’t look like it will work out. LaRoche came into the 2012 campaign with little to no confidence from Nats fans, but his early hot streak helped carry Washington in April, when the rest of the team’s bats were silent. Unfortunately, a poor start and an injury the season before hadn’t allowed anyone in D.C. to see what LaRoche was actually capable of. This prediction still could come true, as Washington approaches the trade deadline. I would still be shocked if the team chose to keep him around after next season, and they may be looking to get some return for him while also moving Mike Morse to first to make some room in the outfield.

4. Jordan Zimmermann will be the Nationals’ best starting pitcher: In March, I wrote that this prediction may be the one to come back to bite me, and it appears it has. While it still technically could come true, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg have been arguably the best two pitchers in baseball, much less their own team. Zimmermann, who is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA, is doing exactly what I expected, but as a member of the best rotation in baseball, he certainly doesn’t stick out as the top arm.

3. Washington will struggle in April and May: Nope! Not even close on this one. My argument at the time was that Davey Johnson-managed teams generally tend to get off to slow starts, as evidenced during his time in Baltimore, New York and Los Angeles. That, paired with the fact that the team was so young and that Bryce Harper was in the minors, led me to believe that this was a team that would finish much stronger than they started. Washington is now 36-23, which marks the second-best record in all of baseball. Let’s hope my prediction for struggle doesn’t arise in mid-summer or early fall.

2. Anthony Rendon will be a starter by September: This one, unfortunately, will end up not being true, simply due to the fact that Rendon may not even return from his ankle injury until September. The young slugger impressed me greatly when I got to scout him in Viera, Fla., during spring training. I still believe that had he not injured his foot in the first week of the season, he would be charging through the minors right now, looking for a chance at Washington. Given the surprise production of Steve Lombardozzi and Ian Desmond, however, I’m not sure if he would have a starting spot to grab had he remained healthy.

1. Jayson Werth will bounce back in a big way: Werth appeared to be on his way back from a dismal 2011 season in which he hit .232/.330/.389. It was a terrible first impression to a fan base that was already cautious about the mega-contract the team had given him the winter before. The 33-year-old was on his way to making me look smart before he broke his left wrist while attempting to make a sliding catch against his former club the Philadelphia Phillies. He likely wont return until this fall, if at all, so his ability to “bounce back in a big way” has probably been stripped from him. My prediction was that he would hit .270/.360/.480 with 25 home runs and 100 RBIs. Prior to his injury, he was hitting .276/.372/.439 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 27 games.

Will Yoder blogs about the Nationals for The Nats Blog, and offers his viewpoints as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

blog comments powered by Disqus