It's the All Star Break, so I guess it's incumbent on me to follow journalistic (or at least fact-checking) convention and sum up the Nationals at this moment.
Um, they're pretty good. Remember how awful they were in April? It really was astounding, but they've recovered from that.
It's awfully cool to have the presumptive Cy Young and the presumptive MVP playing on the same team. As long as that keeps happening ("that" having a two-part definition, the first part being that they're both playing, and the second part being that they're still good enough to win all the awards), there's a floor to how bad it can get. The Nats are lucky that under that floor is a crawlspace in which dwells the rest of the NL East.
So I'm trying to be positive - there's plenty of reason to be. But I can't shake the feeling that the Nats aren't quite good enough to win the whole thing, and that they're not going to get any better. The combination of best-in-the-league performances from two guys and surprising contributions from scrubs isn't sustainable.
I'm as pleased about Clint Robinson as anyone, but do we think his OPS+ is still going to be 112 at the end of the year? We do not.
I myself saw with my own eyes (otherwise I wouldn't have believed it) Tyler Moore win a game for us by hitting an RBI double.
It is possible, but it's not probable. Don't think it'll happen again.
The real problem here is that Nationals' management has every reason to stand pat. There's no reason to think they won't win 90 games and win the division. We've already heard about how they think they've spent quite enough money this year, and an unwillingness to load up on salary is going to make it difficult to upgrade in a significant way.
So expect to hear a lot about how all these dudes coming off the DL is just like updgrading the team via trading. Jayson Werth coming back - why, that's like trading for a brand new outfielder! Who hits .200!
That's not all, either. It's not out of the question that we could "reacquire" Anthony Rendon two or three more times this year. Just think what a difference that'll make.