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?

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