⚾️⚾️ The Morning Briefing: Doooo returns as pitching strategist
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, January 17.
Good Morning Washington Nationals Fans,
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, January 17, 2024.
Welcome to the Morning Briefing. I am back for another edition, breaking down the latest Nationals news.
Leading today’s Morning Briefing: Doolittle joins coaching staff as pitching strategist
Former Nationals reliever and World Series champion Sean Doolittle returned to the Nationals organization as a member of the coaching staff, according to an announcement by the team. As a pitching strategist, Doolittle not only serves as a secondary pitching coach but also acts as a liaison between the analytics department and the pitching staff.
This move is something that I think the Nationals sorely needed. Based on the now infamous clip of MacKenzie Gore on MLB Network and an appearance from Sean Doolittle on former Nationals relievers Brandon Kintzler and Steve Cishek’s podcast in which they joked about how “old-school” Jim Hickey is, I think it’s fair to say that having an extra voice that can help break down what the analytics department is saying for the players is a good thing.
This is a type of position that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. The position was popularized by Brian Bannister with the Red Sox where he was described as a conduit in Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik’s book The MVP Machine. These conduits are just simply better at conveying the information to players than someone in the analytics department and allow the staff to improve as a whole.
It will be interesting to see how players improve as the season continues. I would not be shocked to see someone like Jake Irvin take a step forward, especially with how much of an issue left-handed batters were for him, and how a lot of that is tied to his pitch usage.
Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus release their top prospects lists for 2024
Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both dropped their annual top 100 (or 101 in BP’s case). Baseball Prospectus included Dylan Crews, James Wood, Brady House, and Cade Cavalli on its list while Baseball America did not include Cavalli on theirs. Cavalli and Morales did receive votes when BA created their list.
Dylan Crews (BP - 5, BA - 6)
James Wood (BP - 7, BA - 11)
Brady House (BP - 69, BA - 55)
Cade Cavalli (BP - 85, BA - unranked)
Former National Austin Voth got a one-year $1.25M deal from the Seattle Mariners according to Robert Murray of FanSided. For Voth to get a major league deal is a shock, and the Mariners have a plan to fix him.
In the Clubhouse
An episode of In the Clubhouse will be live on YouTube tonight and should be here on Substack tomorrow. Tune in to listen to Jeremy Lapidus and I discuss what’s to come between now and Spring Training.
ICYMI: Latest articles on the Nats Report
Even though it is the offseason, we have been extremely busy producing a lot of great content here on the Nats Report. Here are just a couple of the articles that we have published recently that you might have missed:
We are working on a lot of great Nationals-themed content all off-season so make sure that you are following us on all the major social media channels for the latest.
Featured Story of the Day
Amazon buys streaming rights for five teams via MLB Trade Rumors
If you haven’t already, please consider supporting this publication with a paid subscription so you don’t miss a thing:
The Nats Report is an independent reader-supported project with both free and paid subscriptions and not affiliated with the Washington Nationals.
Those who opt for the paid edition are providing vital assistance to bolster our independent coverage of the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball.