Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I have no complaints

The Goessling Game: A discussion on Roger Bernadina

How much fun can you have, how much passion can you muster when at base I agree with nearly everything the Nationals are doing this spring.

I've written in the past one easily correctable problem for the team was a serious lack of power on the bench. I also pointed out how easy it would be to fix it. And lo and behold, that's exactly what they did.

I don't have a problem with sending the Shark down in favor of Ankiel. Roger doesn't appear to be the answer in CF but it would be nice to find out for sure. Having him play everyday at Syracuse (and be an excellent call up in case of injury) seems to me to indicate a much deeper organization, one that doesn't have to reach for the Mench's of the world when injuries strike.

No, Ankiel isn't the answer either. He's just a mercenary and unless he has some incredible luck, his AB's will be useless for the long term health of the organization. In other words, I doubt seriously he makes himself valuable enough to trade in July.

Stashing Rodriguez and Ramirez on the DL -- savvy moves. Both could be assets and it would be stupid to give up on either one in favor of Todd Coffey. Keeping Brian B. again a savvy move. Generating potential value from essentially a useless roster spot (mop up man).

Trading Nyjer -- same thought as Roger. Nyjer wasn't the answer in CF that was clear. Having him hanging around even in Syracuse wasn't worth it either. He was who we thought he was and that isn't good enough for his sub par OBP and anger management issues. And getting what looks to be a potentially useful player, albeit one with an Alex Cora like ceiling is a bonus.

Trading Gonzalez -- again nice. Turned playing time from 2010 into an asset for the longer term. Without A-Gonz's ABs last year, do you think he'd have any value? He'd be like a hundred other AAAA utility infielders. But since GMs had the chance to see him and see him perform well in that role, he had value which could be cashed in.

Not that any of these moves on the roster fringes will propel the Nationals into contention but they show a consistent pattern of evaluations based on not just the next ball game but for a longer term. A Plan if you will. And its a plan I like.

Sure it would be nice to have an ace pitcher or a defensive wizard CF with a high OBP but those are two of the toughest commodities to find in baseball. I'd rather paste over those holes than try and talk myself into overpaid average players in those roles. If and when one becomes available, it will be easy and painless to put them in the lineup.

Sure the starting pitching and the on-base problems loom large. But they are finally getting the small things right. And that usually leads to the larger things going right eventually.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2011 Organizational Rankings: #24 – Washington | FanGraphs Baseball

2011 Organizational Rankings: #24 – Washington | FanGraphs Baseball

Not a through analysis but a few off the top of my head observations:

Financial Resources: 75 (T-20) -- This is absurdly low. 7th largest media market combined with the richest owner in North American team sports means there should be no dearth of financial resources. If this refers to spending already made, then I understand this rating. Oh boy do I understand it.

"Chances are the team’s ability to draw high level players will trend more with team record and team willingness to spend than anything else."

This is his conclusion to the "We signed Werth to attract other FA to come to Washington."

In that the theory behind signing Jayson Werth in the first place was to win more, the two go hand in hand. If Werth does his job and the Nats win more, then more players will want to play there. Especially since they have vast untapped resources at their disposal. Which came first? To me, the winning is far more important than the spending so I agree here.

Chides the Nats for not trading Dunn at the deadline last year. Thinks they could have done better than the #23 pick and the #35 pick. Maybe, that is speculation. Getting prospects is only slightly less risky than the draft. Would you rather have Kevin Slowey or Jordan Zimmermann? That's the breakdown from the Soriano non-deal. Looks like a big fat winner for the draft pick to me.

“given his dealings with the incredibly expensive first overall picks he’s had to sign the last two years, the team is willing to spend, spend, spend on the draft for now”

This is the fly in the draft ointment. This statement is untrue if you focus on 2009 but true for 2010. The draft strategy only makes sense if the team is willing to follow 2010 and overpay for talent rather than the signable 2009 disaster. Going signable for #23 and #35 would kind of defeat the purpose of the Dunn gamble.

I won’t even waste another electron on international signings (Maya withstanding) except to say there has been ZERO other evidence this team is seriously engaged internationally. Bring me the arm of Yu Darvish this offseason and we can’t forget all this.

Really can’t argue with 24th. Only real positive note right now is if you include SS, you have two potential franchise players in the system. Most teams don’t have one. We really can’t say in only two years if the current organization is adept and developing the talent at hand. It won’t be long though when all of JimBo’s picks are gone and we’ll be left with these guys scouting and development track record on the line.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nationals are due some luck on their ‘question marks’ - The Washington Post

Nationals are due some luck on their ‘question marks’ - The Washington Post

I can't find it and I just don't have the time to do it again but trust me: Mike Morse is no Jayson Werth. Morse's best minor league seasons don't compare to Werth's from any angle.

Is it possible Morse has just figured it out? Sure, I guess. Is there any statistical evidence to back that up? No. Some guys have great minor league numbers and then for one reason or another flame out at the big league level. Then a few years later, they blossom (usually for a short period of time) and they kind of "come out of no where."

Nothing in Morse's profile screams productive regular. That doesn't mean he won't be a productive regular in left this year. Clearly he's won the lion's share of the left field job. Should he replicate Willingham's production, this lineup would be miles better.

Right now, you have to think the RF/1B combo will be about the same as 2010 with just the proportions changed. CF about the same, 3B and SS about the same as well. 2B and catcher should be improved so patching the expected loss in left means this lineup has the chance to be as good if not better than the 2010 version. Not something I expected.

Haven't had any luck? Really Mike. Livan!'s 2010 wasn't a heaping pile of steaming luck?

Meathook's one good year wasn't a bag of horseshoes? Morgan's 2009?

Perhaps the "luck" has been to little and too far between but its been there. Management hasn't been proactive enough in capitalizing on that luck -- selling it high when it had the chance. Points for cashing in on Capps's "luck". That's the way it should be done.

Watched most of the Saturday ST game on MASN. Was not immediately blown away by F.P. Sounded like every other former player in the booth -- can't really remember anything useful he added. That alone is an improvement over Dibble.