Thursday, February 25, 2010

Are we talking dysfunction?

Stammen's backwards path to D.C. - NATS INSIDER

The narrative here is young guy sees his chance at big league glory and grabs it . . . pitches through pain and triumphs until he simply breaks down.

Nice movie treatment. A terrible way to manage assets.

Stammen admits he was "lucky" it was just bone chips. J Zimm wasn't so lucky. Pitching through pain cost his '10 season.

I'm all for creating competition. Competition is the driving force for economic growth, for bringing out the best in competitors.

I can't blame Stammen for pitching through the pain. He wants to pitch in the bigs, he saw his opportunity and he took it.

It's the organization that is responsible for the efficient use of its assets. They have to think of the outcomes they want: is it more valuable to create a culture of extreme competition or is it more valuable from a long-term perspective to protect the health of young assets?

If the Nats had created a culture where Stammen or J Zimm could have come forward and said "Hey my arm hurts" without having it held against them would the Nats be better off (i.e. no TJ for J Zimm)?

I don't know the answer. Perhaps that elbow ligament was going to tear no matter what. Maybe Stammen did as well as he can do even with the elbow pain. I'd just like to see the people responsible for asset management (the baseball people in this case) at least have (dare I say it) a Plan.

The great what-if?

Aroldis Chapman befuddles Reds hitters

Grain of salt: Reds hitters. Still better than Chapman can't find home plate with two hands.

And why didn't the Nats make the deal with Livan! before Chapman made his decision. Wouldn't that be a great recruiting tool . . . here's a wise ooollldddd Cuban pitcher who can be your mentor.

Again, I note: all it would have taken was a little cash.

Monday, February 15, 2010

W T F!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nationals Sign Willy Taveras: MLB Rumors -

Willy Tavaras? FUC(^(*&^*(&

I don't even care that it is very unlikely that he makes the roster. Just the idea of Willy Tavaras in a Nats uniform, the idea that Mike Rizzo thinks it might be a good idea to have this guy as a National is appalling.

HE FAILED MISERABLY JUST LAST YEAR!!!!! Weren't you paying attention. Cincinnati screwed their offseason giving this guy the CF job.

Then Cincinnati manages to rid itself of the stink of Tavares by trading him to Oakland. And what does a smart GM do as soon as he acquires Willy T F? Cuts his ass even though it costs millions!

So, there is enough cash to take on a crap sandwich like tavares but oh noes no precious dollars for a Cuban emigree with power and athleticism being chased by smart good teams.

or how about a 19 year old cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria . The Angels along with 5 other teams a e in on him.

How about spending the wasted time on Tavares looking at real sources to make the Nats better Mike.

Really, if Nats bloggers want to help the team, let's take up a Shawn Eckhardt collection for Willy Tavares.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You're Killin' Me Mike

Nationals lead Wang bidding - Sports Rumors - MLB Blog - Yahoo! Sports

On the up side: taking a chance on an injury damaged pitcher.

On the down side: $2m guaranteed! Guaranteed! Really, that's what it will take to get a guy who's last good year was '07 and his effectiveness is directly related to the quality of his middle infield defense!

Erik Bedard got $1.5m plus incentives. Not only is Bedard at his best better than Wang, now he's CHEAPER too. Better and cheaper=good. Worse and more expensive=bad. I know this is Washington DC where this equation is reversed all the time but for those of us in the real world, it isn't that hard to figure out.

Although if the choice is between overpaying for Wang and not spending this paltry $2m, I'd say overpay. At least we'd have one lottery ticket (albiet not the best one we could have had.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pre-ST stuff

Washington Nationals: Late Day Links, Send Mark Zuckerman To�Florida. - Federal Baseball

Need better headlines that's for sure.

One question I have for all the "experts" out there: Why Scott Olsen? Why is he in every potential rotation configuration?

I know he's one of the few guys on the roster who have actually been IN a rotation for an entire season but a) he's coming off shoulder surgery which is generally not a good thing for pitchers and b) at his very best he's mediocre.

Let's put these two things together and conclude that he's a shoo-in to be the #3 starter.

I am sorry but I just don't see it. Maybe he's finally healthy and he proves durable and effective in Florida. I find that hard to believe. Most likely: he's still hurt, pitches like it and starts the year in Syracuse or the 60 day DL.

After Marquis and Lannan, the front runners have to be Mock and Detweiler. Ross gave us 4 Lannanesque starts in September i.e. 5-6 IP almost no Ks but remarkably no more than 3 ER. It's not a streach to project slight improvement for him and that would inch him close to not horrible.

Mock has shown some ability to be a big league pitcher. 7.1 k/9 is not elite but it's respectable. He walks a few too manyl. The 114 hits in 91.1 IP would be worrysome until you see his .360 BABIP. Given a normal BABIP of .300 he would have given up only 92 hits facing 422 batters with equal k/BB numbers. Now that's something we can build on.

For the 5th starter, I know the FO would rather not have this happen. In fact, I'd be surprised if they don't arrange things to make it extremely unlikely. But can't you just see SS overpowering B-sides in early March. Thenhe gets a start against a half MLB/half AAA side and throwing three hitless innings. The rumblings begin, unnnamed scouts rave, hitters shake their heads in post game interviews.

The FO says "we like what we've seen but we still think he needs seasoning," (code for slowing down the arb clock). Even if they at this point decide not to let him throw in ST games, he'll still have to pitch even if it's in simulated games or in the split squad games. Continued dominance would start the drumbeat . . . and given the options available the logic might be inevitable. SS takes the 5th spot and never looks back.

Other pitching news: Shawn Estes? That's the best you could do? Erik Bedard signs for $1.5m. That's couch cushion money for this franchise. Remember, you would not be counting on him, you would be taking a calculated gamble. Give him innings, give him time and maybe he pitches like the dominant starter he was before injuries. That has value which could be flipped later for longer term assets.

I can't complain about the Adam Kennedy signing. Nothing long term, will be minimally competent and maybe even of some value to a contender as a reserve at either trade deadline (a la Ronnie B. last year) I will not there is at least $2.5m in the payroll budget (approx diff between Kennedy and Hudson's offer). Plently of places to use that cash boys. Kiko Calero, Chan Ho Park even our old friend Joe Beimel.

Finally, I have to say a very interesting experiment in monetizing New Media and/or the price people put on specialized information in this age or almost unlimited but generalized information. In a very real way, the market will determine the value of what media outlets could only estimate. A lot of would-be sportswriters await with baited breath to see if the lowly Natsmophere can support a lone blogger for 6 weeks. If so, will the floodgates be opened for any number of teams? How many Yankee bloggers could that community support?