As we start our 2018 Report Card series for the Washington Nationals, we look back at each player’s season individually. First up, is Tim Collins.
The 2018 season is over, it’s time to hand those papers in and get your 2018 report cards. We’re going to look at several Washington Nationals players over the next few weeks and dish out our evaluation. The first player we’re going to look at is Tim Collins.
The left-hander signed his second minor league contract with the Nats and had an invite to Spring Training. He couldn’t quite earn a spot on the roster to open the year, but as injuries struck, he was called upon quickly.
The Nats selected his contract on May 21st after Ryan Madson went down with a pectoral injury. Then despite another stint in Triple-A mid-season, he was able to finish the year with the Nationals.
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The Positives for Collins
Considering how much work he put in to getting back to the major leagues, after three whole seasons away, is a testament to his determination. He last pitched in the big leagues for the Kansas City Royals in the World Series back in 2014, but that was followed by multiple Tommy John procedures that got him to where he is today. A great story.
Collins was also relatively effective against left-handed batters throughout the 2018 season and showed potential as a LOOGY moving forward. Lefties slashed .222/.314/.444 against him, and while that has a little room for improvement, you could possibly put that down to rust after the TJ Surgery.
Areas for Improvement
He simply has to improve against right-handed hitting if he wants to have a larger role in the bullpen. They finished the year with a slash line of .310/.396/.500 against him, and manager Davey Martinez clearly wants more than just a LOOGY, as he showed with his stubbornness using Sammy Solis at times.
Collins also seemed to be far too prone to just completely losing his command at random points in the season. He ended up walking 12 batters and struck out just 21 in 22.2 innings of work.
While those numbers line up with his career numbers, if he wants to stick in the majors long-term, he needs to bring that down, especially if his primary role is going to be getting lefties out. Put the ball in the zone, and see what happens.
The Final Grade
If this season were in complete isolation, it would probably seem extremely poor, given some of Collins’ numbers. He ended 2018 with an underwhelming 4.37 ERA, 5.76 FIP, and a 1.544 WHIP.
However, given that it was his first season back from not one but two Tommy John surgeries, there is at least a positive spin on it. Fatigue may well have gotten the better of him after such a long time out of the game, so taking this into account, we bumped his grade up a bit. D+
Remember to keep an eye out for more Washington Nationals 2018 Report Cards during the upcoming weeks here at District on Deck.