Monday, November 14, 2011

Wilson Ramos 4th and Danny Espinosa 6th in NL Rookie of the Year Voting | November

Wilson Ramos 4th and Danny Espinosa 6th in NL Rookie of the Year Voting | November:

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This is the most encouraging news for Washington baseball fans since 2005.

One of the main goals of 2011 was to find out if the young players just reaching the big leagues could be relied on going forward.

Answer in re Espinosa and Ramos Yes.

That's two up the middle players (which are the hardest to find) in the hands of players the Nats control for the next 5 years. Incredibly valuable.

Still need to decide if Desmond is the long term answer at SS and of course that gaping hole in CF. Based on what we've seen so far this offseason, it won't be easy to fill that hole. Just don't panic and do something stupid Mike.

At least it may be possible to go back to the Twins well now that the GM who gave us Ramos for Capps is gone.

An exercise for me. What questions do I believe remain for 2012.

1) CF -- who will play there?
2) Starting pitching -- How many IP can Strasburg stand? Who's the 5th guy? Can we count on Lannan and Wang? Will Yu get posted and will the Nats take a run at him? (I know my answer and I know their answer but I can hope)
3) LOOGY -- don't have one. I am sure Davey J. loves matching up in the late innings and really wants a lefty killer.
4) Bench -- the Matt Stairs experiment failed. Who will fill the Terry Crowley role in 2012? (Sit on his A$$ for 8 innings enjoy the ballgame like any fan and come up in the 9th and knock one out)
5) Zimmerman long term. If the Lerner's aren't spooked by Matt Kemp's new contract, they should be. Zim's going to command a premium going forward and unless you want to be in the Prince Fielder situation the sooner a decision is made the better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Ken Rosenthal (ken_rosenthal) on Twitter:

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I was much happier with Rizzo on Jim Bo's twitter feed . . . focused on the starter and the CF. That's where you need to be Mike.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Who might Nats pursue in free agency?

Who might Nats pursue in free agency?:

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The pickins' is slim. They are all available for a reason. Some like Grady Sizemore are severe injury risks while others like Coco Crisp are just overrated.

I've discussed Sizemore before and I think the same question is there. If the Nats believe they are a serious contender in 2012, can they take a chance that their #1 need, a starting CF/leadoff man, will only play 30 games?

It didn't matter all that much that Adam LaRoche went down. But as we all know, its much easier to find a decent corner infielder than a high OBP CF leadoff man. Putting your faith in Sizemore's busted knees would be a huge gamble which if they held up would be great but would sink the season if it doesn't.

As I said before, taking a chance on a player like Sizemore would be an easy call. Absolutely you do it since the downside would be a couple more losses and better draft position. Now, the downside might be loss of a chance to contend and a step backwards.

I won't go into great detail right now but I am firmly in the camp that says if Yu Darvish is available then he is the one guy who it makes sense to go after hard.

One thing I will say is: Darvish is NOT a Japanese pitcher. He's 6' 5" 220lbs. He's half Iranian. He cannot and should not be compared to any Japanese pitcher before him.

In addition, Darvish is 25, younger than most imports from the Far East and has not been worked nearly as hard.

I invite you to check out Darvish's numbers from his NPL career. Remember that the NPL is roughly equal to AA. If a 6' 5" 220 20 year old threw 200 IP in AA ball with a sub 2 ERA and a nearly 9k/9 he'd be the top pitching prospect in all of baseball.

Since then Darvish has thrown 200 innings four times. But not significantly more than 200. In other words, he's broken in. Young pitchers that get to their late 20's with no significant arm injuries after strong workloads tend to stay injury free. I'd put way more faith in Darvish staying healthy and effective than any other FA pitcher out there.

Unfortunately, its not clear yet if Darvish will even be available. And if so, can the Nats outbid the Yankees or the Rangers. I should say would they because they certainly COULD since monetary resources should not be a problem.

While Zuckerman mentioned B.J. Upton as a trade target, I think another young CF should be thrown into this pile as a trade target.

Lorenzo Cain is 25 and now stuck behind Melky Cabrera in KC. He's a plus defender and he's improved his on base skills tremendously over the last few seasons. He's expendable to the Royals but I'm sure would cost at least 2 good prospects. To get a younf CF/leadoff guy who could grow with the rest of your young players it's worth it to at least offer say Brad Peacock and Steve Lombardozzi and see if that gets the job done.