Discover more from The Nats Report
⚾️⚾️ The Morning Briefing: Nationals decline Robles's club option
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, November 3.
Good Morning Washington Nationals Fans,
I hope you enjoyed your Halloween. Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, November 3, 2023. I am Haden and let’s dive into the news.
Upgrade your subscription to get our weekly round-up of the biggest Washington Nationals stories over the past week, minor league game notes, and more MLB headlines.
Leading today’s Morning Briefing: Victor Robles’s future bleak with the Nationals
The Nationals declined the club option on Victor Robles’s deal, according to a report from Andrew Golden of The Washington Post. With his option declined, the Nationals can either decide to not tender him a contract for 2024 or pay him more than the $2.325M that he was making this season in arbitration. It is also worth remembering that the Nationals 40-man roster currently projects to have 41 people once 60-day injured list players are activated.
My take: The Victor Robles question in my eyes comes down to one thing. Who is better, Victor Robles or Alex Call? I don’t think either will make the Opening Day roster. So who would you rather have start the year in Triple-A? Personally, I’d rather have Victor Robles, but I understand why many would rather start a clean slate with Alex Call.
As for the rumors that the Nationals are shopping Robles on the trade market, I’d consider it a red flag if a team is looking to acquire Robles. Sure, he’s been a plus baserunner over the past five years, and by wRC+ 21 percent worse than the league average hitter, which is passable for a Gold Glove center fielder.
The problem is that Robles’s defense hasn’t been Gold Glove-caliber since 2019. Statcast breaks potential fielding plays down into a star system. Zero and one-star are catches that pretty much anyone should make. Robles makes those just fine and is rewarded by not being considered a below-average defender by their Outs Above Average metric.
In 2019, he converted 71 percent of all catches that had a catch percentage lower than 90 percent (two star and above). His next best season since then was in 2022, when he converted 61.1 percent. This is part of the reason we’ve seen such a drastic drop-off in his Wins Above Replacement totals and his advanced defensive numbers. His defense trended backward in part because of his poor jumps, causing him to not cover as much ground out in center and then not being able to get to as many of those low-probability catches.
Alex Call, on the other hand, may not offer the same offensive production that Robles has (he was 29 percent below league average, according to wRC+). But he did offer nine OAA, something Robles hasn’t done since 2019. Either way, it’s a tough decision that likely has very few ramifications in 2024 and beyond.
World Series Roundup
The Texas Rangers won it all on the back of a heroic performance from “Big Game Nate” Eovaldi, who threw six scoreless innings despite giving up four hits and allowing five walks. Zac Gallen of the Arizona Diamondbacks tried his best to outduel Eovaldi, throwing six no-hit innings that got ruined by three hits in the seventh and a run. The Rangers’ offense erupted in the top of the ninth to tack on four insurance runs.
Congratulations to the Texas Rangers organization on their first World Series championship, and congratulations to Max Scherzer and Bruce Bochy on their second and fourth rings, respectively. Bochy will certainly go down as one of if not the best managers of all time.
Invite your friends to read The Nats Report.
Thank you for reading The Nats Report — your support allows me to keep doing this work.
If you enjoy The Nats Report, it would mean the world to me if you invited friends to subscribe and read with us. If you refer friends, you will receive benefits that give you special access to The Nats Report.
How to participate
1. Share The Nats Report. When you use the referral link below or the “Share” button on any post, you'll get credit for any new subscribers. Send the link in a text or email, or share it on social media with friends.
2. Earn benefits. When more friends use your referral link to subscribe (free or paid), you’ll receive special benefits.
Get a 1-month comp for 3 referrals
Get Mention the Morning Briefing for 13 referrals
Get a 6-month comp for 30 referrals
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 this week 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.
Fan Corner: Your Nationals Stories
Do you have a memorable Nationals story or experience you'd like to share with our community? Whether it's a special moment at the ballpark, an encounter with a player, or a favorite Nationals tradition, we'd love to hear from you! Send us your story to Themorning@thenatsreport.com, and we might feature it in a future weekly or Morning Briefing.
Featured Stories of the Day
Nelson Cruz retires via MLB Trade Rumors
Max Muncy signs extension via MLB Trade Rumors
Jorge Soler opts out via MLB Trade Rumors
Reliever Joe Jimenez extends with Braves 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.