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.

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