Washington Nationals Editorial: 2015 First Half Awards

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Jun 26, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) hits a single during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Biggest Disappointment: Ian Desmond

The Washington Nationals were hoping that Ian Desmond could at least show the power he provided with the club in 2014. However, he was a big disappointment for the Nats in the first half. The shortstop slashed .211/.255/.334 with seven home runs, 24 RBI, 36 runs scored and five stolen bases.

In a contract year, Desmond has regressed a lot, and has a lot of people around the game wondering when prospect Trea Turner will take over shortstop full time. The 29-year-old is seventh in the MLB in strike outs with 99. Most of his issues stem from that problem right there, as he’s only walked 17 times in 2015. He needs to show more patience at the plate, if he wants to turn that around his season.

Another problem with Desmond has been in the field. He has made 20 errors, which is the most in the National League and the second most in all of baseball (Marcus Semien with 28).

In my opinion, I don’t see Desmond being able to turn around his play in 2015, and I believe Turner will take over at shortstop sometime in August if the Nats are able to trade Desmond before the July 31 trade deadline.

Honorable Mention: Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg has struggled all around in 2015, whether it’s been  staying healthy or having control of his pitches The first half of the 2015 season has been arguably Strasburg’s worst in his six-year career. He is 5-5 with a 5.16 ERA, has 63 strike outs, 18 walks and a 1.49 WHIP in 13 starts.

Coming off a Cy Young type season in 2014, the right-hander just hasn’t been able to carry that success into 2015 and has been getting hit hard. His batting average against this season has been .289. In Strasburg’s last seven starts, he went 3-2 with a 5.65 ERA, had 31 strike outs to eight walks, and had a 1.36 WHIP. He’s given up 31 hits in those seven games in 28 innings of work. He is currently on the disabled list because of a left oblique strain he suffered on July 4 against the San Francisco Giants.

Hopefully in the second half of the season, the Nationals will get back the pitcher they had in 2014, and not the pitcher that Strasburg has been for the most part this season.

Next: Best Call-Up