Washington Nationals: Grading April’s Performance
By Ron Juckett
Matt Wieters is a pleasant surprise for the Nats.
Signing after the start of Spring Training, Wieters looked over matched early in the season, but he settled in and has played well offensively. With 11 walks, two intentional, and a .301 average, he has nine extra-base hits and an OPS+ of 144.
For a bottom of the lineup hitter, those are impressive numbers.
The pitch framing we were promised has yet to materialize. Throwing out base stealers does not happen as 10-of-11 have swiped bases. His nine percent pales to the league average of 26.
Still, he has learned his new pitchers quickly and is rarely shaken off. Gio Gonzalez uses him on his starts and has worked well. You can quibble of Wieters is worth $10 million, but he has done everything asked and more.
Jose Lobaton? Not so much.
Reduced to a pure bench player and helmet-lifter after home runs, Lobaton has hit poorly, .095, not thrown out many base runners and has a dreaded error. At least he does not have eight wild pitches on his stat sheet like Wieters.
With an OPS+ of eight, he is keeping Pedro Severino’s seat warm.