Mike Rizzo continues to make the moves that will position the Washington Nationals for a long run at competing for the NL East. Remember when the Atlanta Braves were the laughing stock of the league and opposing players padded their stats for three games. Then from out of nowhere and without warning, the Atlanta Braves have competed for the post season prize since 1991. Rizzo operates in such a smooth manner that we don’t even realize that he has addressed issues. One issue the Nationals had last season was the drop off in runs scored from the previous season, so he hired Bo Porter to send more runners to the plate and improve base running skills.
Adam Dunn is gone obviously hurting this team for the coming season, but picking up two additional draft picks only helps load this roster for the future. Depth is the most important factor to drive a team through a 162 game season and remain competitive. The injury to Pudge last season took away his red hot bat and there was no one to replace his production from off the bench. That lack of depth at the catcher position and pitching rotation set the Nationals up for the mid season collapse.
Rizzo quietly delights us again under the radar when he brought aboard a more aggressive third base coach last month to replace the departed Pat Listach. No one is really breaking this move down, except here at Teddy Never Wins. Pat Listach won the hearts of Nats’ fans last season when he bailed out Nyjer Morgan during the brawl with the Florida Marlins, but he was far too conservative often holding up runners even with two outs. Bo Porter was chosen as third base coach to enhance base running, and this move will significantly improve run production next season. The Nationals were terrible running the bases last year and need to improve secondary leads. Not all throws from the outfield are going to be on target, so Bo Porter is going to crank that wheel and send runners to the plate. He will have our base runners better prepared and with more confidence in the running game Riggleman will flash the signs.
Mike Rizzo is the don of Nats Town, and he will have everything in place to make this team compete for the postseason soon. He has not let us down yet and we must trust his decision making. There are parallels to Rizzo’s approach of building the Nationals’ roster, and the approach taken by the Washington Capitals three years prior to there most recent playoff runs. Sign a couple of tremendously talented draft picks and work the farm system to develop prospects, which creates the depth needed to have a team consistently compete for a championship. There is a reason why he was promoted to the position of Vice President, he knows baseball very well.