Last month's derecho storm devastated homes across the area. News4's Seth Lemon shows us one boy who is determined to help his neighbors recover from the storm's damage.
Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 19, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense
It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on defense; the offense was posted yesterday.
Defensive line (7)
Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Stacy McGee, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood
I don’t think that McGee’s groin injury will be an issue, but it seemed that Jay Gruden was very tight-lipped about the whole thing, so we will have to wait until training camp starts. This is one more than they normally carry here and Hood’s presence on the roster could be in danger if injuries force the team to carry more players at another position.
Outside linebacker (4)
Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Ryan Anderson, Pernell McPhee
Anderson is certain to make the roster, but he was mostly invisible during the offseason practices that were open to the media. The spotlight will be on last year’s second-round pick in training camp. After a zero-sack rookie season, Anderson will be under pressure to produce this season.
Inside linebacker (5)
Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaun Dion Hamilton
The player I have on the wrong side of the bubble here is Martrell Spaight. If he does work his way on, the spot most in jeopardy is Vigil’s. Harvey-Clemons got a lot of reps with the first team in OTAs and the team thinks he can help in nickel situations and perhaps more. And Gruden called Hamilton a potential future starter. So the two younger players seem safe, leaving Vigil vulnerable.
Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Orlando Scandrick, Josh Holsey, Greg Stroman
As is the case with the running backs that I looked at yesterday, this group seems to be pretty well set. It’s not that it’s an exceptionally strong group, but there isn’t a lot of real competition. Behind these six are three undrafted free agents and while Danny Johnson, Kenny Ladler, and Ranthony Texada all have had flashes in the offseason practices they are extreme long shots to make the roster at this point.
D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke
If there are concerns about Nicholson’s health—to be clear, as of now there are none—Fish Smithson could make it as a fifth safety.
K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg
It looks like the Redskins will have the same trio of specialists for the fourth straight year. I will look it up at some point but for now, I’ll say that it’s been a while since they had such stability here.
Defensive players: 26
Rookies (5): Payne, Settle, Hamilton, Stroman, Apke
New to the Redskins in 2018 (7): Rookies plus McPhee, Scandrick
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (13): Rookies plus new players plus Vigil (released in the final cut, re-signed later in the season).
On the 53-man roster:
24 offense, 26 defense, 3 specialists
New to the Redskins in 2017: 12
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster: 16
Tandler on Twitter
I have not heard but they kept things very quiet before extensions for Kerrigan, Trent, etc.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) June 18, 2018
—Training camp starts (7/26) 37
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 51
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 74
The Redskins last played a game 168 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 82 days.
In case you missed it
- Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense
- Redskins will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor at training camp
- Redskins will look to knock off champion Eagles in Weeks 13 and 17
Not only did the Nationals trade for Kelvin Herrera, but they did so without losing Juan Soto, Victor Robles, or Andrew Stevenson. The first two were never in any real danger of being traded for a relief pitcher who will be a free agent at year's end, but the Nats escaped only giving up their 10th and 11th ranked prospects:
It's official: Kelvin Gutierrez, Blake Perkins and Yohanse Morel to Kansas City for Herrera.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) June 19, 2018
On the surface, this deal looks exceptional for the Nationals. Herrera is another back-of-the-bullpen type that only further deepens the Nats' options in that department. Here are a handful of things you should know about the Nationals' newest pitcher:
1. Herrera's strikeout "issue" is complicated
Herrera, like many other closers over the last half-decade, has made his name in strikeouts. He topped out at a 30.4 percent strikeout rate in 2016, and has a 23.4 percent clip for his career. His K% this season sits at 23.2 percent, which is both higher than last season and lower than his career average.
People will look at his dramatic K/9 drop as a red flag, but "per/9" stats are flawed and not generally a worthwhile stat to build an argument around. A pitcher who gets knocked around for five runs in an inning -- but gets three strikeouts -- can have the same K/9 of a different (much more efficient) pitcher who strikes out the side in order.
2. Herrera has basically stopped walking batters
His career BB% sits at 7.1 percent. His highest clip is nine percent (2014, 2015) and his lowest was a shade over four percent (2016).
This season, he's walking batters at a two percent rate. In 27 games this season, he's walked two batters. Two!
3. The jury seems to still be out on how good of a year he's had so far
Analytics are frustrating. On one hand, they can serve wonderfully as tools to help peel back the curtains and tell a deeper story - or dispel lazy narratives. On the other hand, they can be contradictory, confusing, and at times downright misleading.
Take, for instance, Herrera's baseline pitching stats. His ERA sits at 1.05, while his FIP sits at 2.62. On their own, both numbers are impressive. On their own, both numbers are All-Star level stats.
When you stack them against each other, however, the picture turns negative. While ERA is the more common stat, it's widely accepted that FIP more accurately represents a pitcher's true value (ERA's calculation makes the same per/9 mistakes that were mentioned above).
More often than not, when a pitcher's ERA is lower than his FIP, that indicates said pitcher has benefited from luck.
Throw in a 3.51 xFIP (which is the same as FIP, but park-adjusted) and we suddenly have a real mess on our hands. Is he the pitcher with the great ERA, the pitcher with the Very Good FIP, or the pitcher with the medicore xFIP?
4. He was a fastball pitcher, and then he wasn't, and now he is again
Take a look at Herrera's pitch usage over his career in Kansas City:
In only three years, he's gone from throwing a sinker 31 percent of the time to completely giving up on the pitch. That's pretty wild.
Since 2014, he's gone to the slider more and more in every year.
His current fastball usage would be the highest of his career. He only appeared in two games during the 2011 season, so those numbers aren't reliable. Going away from the sinker probably helps explain why his Ground Ball rate has dropped 10 percentage points, too.
5. The Nats finally have the bullpen they've been dreaming about for years
Doolittle, Herrera, Kintzler, and Madson is about as deep and talented as any bullpen in baseball.
Justin Miller, Sammy Solis, and Wander Suero all have flashed serious potential at points throughout the year. Austin Voth is waiting for roster expansion in September.
The Nats have been trying to build this type of bullpen for the better part of the last decade. Health obviously remains an important factor, but Rizzo's got the deepest pen of his time in D.C.
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