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2016 Nats roster outlook: Can Ben Revere fill void left by Span?


2016 Nats roster outlook: Can Ben Revere fill void left by Span?

Age on Opening Day 2016: 27

How acquired: Trade with Blue Jays, Jan. 2016

2016 salary: $6.25 million

2015 stats: 152 G, 634 PA, 84 R, 181 H, 22 2B, 7 3B, 2 HR, 45 RBI, 31 SB, 32 BB, 64 SO, .306 BA, .342 OBP, .377 SLG, .719 OPS, 98 OPS+, 0 E, 2.6 WAR

2016 storyline: One of the Nationals' biggest additions this offseason, Ben Revere enters 2016 as their starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. It's a role he has played quite well over the years, but he has big shoes to fill with the departure of Denard Span this winter.

Revere is a great fit for the Nats, who would love to see him continue hitting over .300 and steal over 30 bases per season. Revere has been one of MLB's best leadoff hitters in recent years and the potential of him at the top of an order anchored by Bryce Harper is intriguing.

The Nationals saw in 2014 what an elite leadoff hitter can do to their lineup, when Span and Anthony Rendon combined to score 205 runs as a potent 1-2 punch atop their order. And that was all before Harper turned into the best player in the league. If Revere and Rendon can produce something similar to that ahead of the new Harper, watch out.

Best-case scenario: A best-case scenario for Revere may simply be him staying healthy and being the guy he has been for the last two years. Through 2014 and 2015 he averaged 152 games played, 78 runs, seven triples, 40 steals, a .306 BA and a .333 OBP. If he puts up those numbers for the Nationals, their lineup could be dangerous no matter what order the guys hit behind him.

If he does improve at anything, perhaps his OBP could be a few ticks higher, if he could get better at drawing walks. That would allow him to be even more effective as a leadoff hitter.

Worst-case scenario: Revere has been a rock for the past few years, but his value is highly dependent on two stats: his batting average and his steals. If, say, his batting average dropped 20-30 points, that could spell trouble.

A Revere hitting .280 doesn't sound nearly as good as one who hits over .300. Then his other deficiencies may become more of a concern. He doesn't draw a ton of walks or get a lot of doubles, so he needs to pile up singles like he has for the majority of his career.

Most-likely scenario: Revere is most likely to slide in to the leadoff spot and be exactly the guy the Nationals believe they traded for. He'll probably hit around or above .300, steal 30 or so bases and cover a lot of ground in the outfield with a below average arm tossing to the cutoff man. That's who he's been for years and it's tough to predict that changing for the 27-year-old.

Baseball Reference projects Revere to hit .300/.334/.378 with 71 runs and 31 steals. The run total could easily go higher than that, depending on the health of the Nats' lineup, but that sounds about right.

[RELATED: Bryce Harper gives emotional acceptance speech for MVP award]

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.


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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.