Thursday, October 22, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Thought I'd forgotten the Nationals One a Day Calendar updates.
No. Just waiting for another great one. And October 8th is it.
Here is the best trivia question the marketing department could unearth for the Nationals
The 2007 Washington Nationals had four players who struck out at least 100 times. Can you name them?
Yes. Please tell me how many useless at bats I watched by in '07? Please, I want to relieve all the cooling air generated in the hot Washington summer by these fantastic fanners.
Two quibbles with FJB:
1. Bradley Meyers is a clear cut above everyone on that list except Detweiler. And he's ahead of Detweiler by a nose.
2. Jack Wilson wold be a fine no hit/all glove shortstop. 16 and 15 uzr/150 the last 2 years. I think I'd put more faith in Wilson's glove remaining valuable than Hardy's bat coming around.
One big point of agreement with FJB:
Jeff Suppan's albatross of a contract BEGS for a salary dump deal. BEGS for it. Give us Hardy, whom you don't need and will earn far more than you want to pay anyway and Suppan and his massive obligation and we'll give you a brisket sandwich. Don't tell me the Brewers don't make that deal in a heartbeat. They want to add two starters and are willing to deal Mat Gamel to get them. That means they will have to take on salary and they HAVE to be a the top of their salary ceiling.
Now it may turn out that the point of this deal, to make sure the 2010 nationals don't lose 100 games for a third year in a row, may not happen. It's somewhat likely that Suppan pitches WORSE than the c level bottom filler rotation guys used this year. And Hardy's back may make him Belliard-like in his range and Josh Wilson like with the stick.
While I'm thinking about it, I should make a list of tradeable commodities on the shelf for Rizzo to deal with:
Untouchables: Zimmerman, Strasburg and Storen
Untradeables: Dukes (attitude), Dunn (National League only) Guzman (contract) Flores (injury)
Moveables: Every pitcher not listed above. Lannan probably has the most value. Detweiler is probably 2nd. I love Meyers so I'd make him 3rd (although he'd be untradeable for me). Do guys like Mock, Martis, Chico, Stammen, Balestar and Martin get traded? Aren't they basically replacement level?
How about deeper? Guys like Arneson or Mandel? Maybe Milone. Do the McGeary/Smoker/Willems trio have any value left?
Willingham makes the most sense as a trade chip on the hitting side. Relatively low salary next year, good clubhouse guy easily replaceable as a corner outfielder.
Do you have to dig down to guys like Burgess, Hood and J.P. Ramirez to find prospect value on the hitting side? I think you might. Espinosa I suppose. Maybe he makes Desmond expendable.
Really, the cupboard is kinda bare. To me, it makes more sense to use your absurdly low payroll to leverage talent from organizations that are overstretched.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
First Jordan Zimmermann shreds his elbow ligament.
Now Derek Norris cracks his hamate bone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It had to be to the two best prospects in the system. It also had to be the worst sorts of injuries too. I know guys come back from TJ all the time (Chris Carpenter and Josh Johnson to name two) but still it blows a couple of good years.
and the hamate bone -- they can come back but it takes a lot of time to regain the power and that was one of Norris' calling cards.
C'mon on baseball gods haven't we suffered enough! 205 losses in two years.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I won't replicate the list of the 1st Internet Baseball writers of DC awards.
You can find the winners here.
I'll only make a couple of observations.
First, I was terribly surprised at how close the voting was for Minor League Player of the Year. That seemed to me to be as easy a slam dunk as most of the other categories (Zimm on the hitting side and Lannan on the pitching side.) Maybe Derek Norris is out of sight and out of mind but aside from his weak finish, he had a season that would top many organizations lists not just the Nats relatively weak system.
I suppose I should have given Desmond some more consideration. He remade himself into a legit prospect this season. And I am telling you right now, Brad Meyers will be a major league starter soon. Maybe not a great one, maybe just another #3/4 guy but he will be in the mix.
To me the toughest category was relief pitcher. Does anyone in that bullpen deserve any type of recognition? Better still, would any of them make a postseason roster this season? I think it was the goggles that swayed me.
And if you are wondering who voted for Elijah Dukes for the humanitarian award look no further. The little league incident and the overblown reaction to it by the club and the media made that an easy call. Bring Dukes back, play him in RF everyday, tell him he needs to relearn patience at the plate and he'll be fine.
OK how about some other categories to get some different names in the mix:
Bucky Harris Scrappiest Player of the Year -- Give one to the guys with limited talent!
1. Willie Harris
2. Pete Orr
3. Jorge Padilla
Denny McLean Pitching Disappointment of the Year -- another chance to stick the shiv into our favorite punching bags
1. Daniel Cabrera
2. Scott Olsen -- (I'll just assume Rizzo was kidding when he implied he might offer Olsen arbitration)
3. Joel Hanrahan
I'm sure if I could give it more thought I'd come up with a few others.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
What has there been to say over the past month of listless baseball known as "playing out the string."?
Ian Desmond has made a case as a major leaguer or as Chuck Knoblauch V 2.0 (minus the felony charge!)
I ask you this: when Elijah Dukes was 5 minutes late for a game because he stayed to greet every little league player it was a national story about a malcontent who doesn't play the right way. Aside from starring as a Web Gem, who is talking about his full speed game-saving catch? Lot of gritty pros would have a) not had the athleticism to get within 20 feet of that shot and/or b) decided that slamming into a wall in pursuit of a game saving catch was too high a price to pay when it meant the difference between 108 losses or 107. Dukes hit the wall. Enough said about his place.
Have we found out anything about the pitching staff? Not really. Have J.D. Martin, Garrett Mock or Ross Detweiler earned a rotation spot in '10? If Eddie Bonine can start maybe the most important regular season game this season then maybe so. But would anyone feel confident that they could significantly improve their performance next season? Detweiler maybe since he's still young but the other two are what they are.
So it Lannen, Strasburg, Vet Free agent A, and two of the other in house candidates. With the quality of Vet FA starters out there, there is almost no chance of Vet free agent A being a difference maker. Now 8**couch cough John Lackey***cough maybe but do any of us really believe they are going to pony up for the only decent bet? Think more like Carl Pavano (last seen giving up a laser to Mags Ordonez to put the final nail in the coffin for the Twins '09 season).
The message I hope they take out of last night's walk off finish is: 3 years and $37 million doesn't mean no blown saves. Spend wisely in the pen please.
I have to say this: The Twins. The tiny market Twins get the top Dominician prospect for a little over $3m? Really. Couldn't find $3.2 million underneath the mountain of revenue sharing checks? And I notice a strange silence when it comes to Aroldis Chapman. Or the Japanese high schooler who's name escapes me who is thinking about coming over so he doesn't get caught up in the whole posting system stuff. Gents: your current '10 payroll in near $40m. You have that in the bank before you sell ONE TICKET!
And I don't want to hear about debt service and understanding the finances of a baseball team. The Safeway guy who built the Giants new park financed it himself. And it did hold down his payroll having to pay back interest and principle. That didn't mean the Giants went cheapskate. Oh by the way, the Giants media market, split with the Oakland A's isn't nearly as large as the Washington metro area.
Aren't the Lerner's billionaires? Didn't the team cost roughly $400 million. Are you telling me the Lerner's got a Jumbo loan or an Alt-A subprime to buy the team and now the resetting is killing them? Not likely.
Can't they understand that from a fan's point of view all we've seen in terms of trying to get better in the long run is the $15m for Strasburg and the 2007/08 draft spending. That is peanuts compared to the profits from the last two years. You have the budget and if you say you don't you are lying. Prove me wrong Stan.