Nationals Baseball

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

So what SHOULD I watch

Nats aren't doing nothing. Well probably, Ian isn't going anywhere (doesn't make sense for 2015 given MI issues). ZNN or Fister might (there is AJ Cole depth, or Blake Treinen if necessary) but it's hard to find a trade partner who will give up anything great for what amounts to a 1 year rental. 'Tis a brave new world we live in where the most important thing to have is not talent but years of cost control. Marginal wins per dollars is for suckers. Projected marginal wins per projected dollars adjusted for inflation is the new hotness.

So as we cuddle on our couches as cushy as Heath Bell guts and dream about next season (which barring major injury issues is going to be the third playoff year in four seasons) here are the Christmas specials & movies that I actually try to watch every year because they are good, not because they are on and make good internet surfing background noise.


I watch it every year and every year I'm like. You know, this isn't very good. It's ok. It kinds of drags, the humor is hit or miss and a bit dated, and it never quite hits me emotionally. But still Murray is compelling, I love me some Karen Allen, and I'm a sucker for a good sing along ending (see: It's a Wonderful Life)

A Christmas Carol 

George C Scott version

Die Hard 

I said it was my favorite Christmas movie and I wasn't lying. It isn't a CHRISTMAS movie - a movie that would make no sense with Christmas removed - like Miracle on 34th St. or Jingle all the Way, but it is a Christmas movie - a movie where Christmas fits in and makes everything make more sense. Why is he travelling to see Holly and his family in LA? It's Christmas. Why is this huge building nearly entirely empty? It's Christmas (and under construction). But why is the Nakatomi corporation there? Holiday party. Why is police response at first tepid? I'm sure Christmas had something to do with it. Not only that it sprinkles Christmas around in away that seasons the movie with seasons greetings, be it Argyle playing "Christmas in Hollis", the "now I have a machine gun, Ho Ho Ho" part, or the Christmas tape used to put that gun on his back.  I hopefully don't have to tell you why the movie itself is awesome but hopefully this clarifies the whole Christmas issue beyond it just being set on Dec 24th.

Die Hard 2

Well, I've already watched the first one and it is a DVD 2-pack. Not a classic by any means but better than the 3rd which is a good movie but it ain't really Die Hard to me. Formula matters.

Bad Santa

I like it. It's on. There are parts I'm not crazy about (outside the negotiation scene, "half",  Bernie Mac's character holds no interest for me; I'm not a big fan of scatalogical humor). But the scenes between Billy Bob and Thurman Murman are gold.

It's a Wonderful Life

The Christmas part of it is kind of minimal. Really it's just there for the climax, but what a great ending. In fact so great, it gave us unarguably the greatest Christmas related SNL sketch. (If you say "Schweaty Balls" is better so help me Santa I will hunt you down and I will destroy you)

Home Alone

I don't actually try and sit and watch this from beginning to end, though I will. The beginning of the movie is a bit exposition heavy and really I don't care about his family. Who does? They're props who's only purpose is served by being removed. I like picking it up when the mom meets up with John Candy. From then on the movie is great. You get your heart strings tugged with the mom struggling to get home and Kevin going to the choir and finding out about his old neighbor. You get your senseless cartoon violence from the home invasion. You get John Candy. You get the happy ending. What more do you want?

Meet Me in St. Louis. 

I might not watch the whole thing, but I do try to catch "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas". It's one thing to say, ha ha, the lyrics are so depressing!It's totally another to watch the movie, see how they got to that point (man, they overly love St. Louis - proto Cardinals fans, I bet) and then hear Judy Garland sing it.

Hey Arnold! Christmas special 

This one is kind of strange but it strikes me as a perfect encapsulation of the Christmas spirit that I feel compelled to watch it every year. Short of it is Arnold (this was a Nick show in the 90s) is trying to get his secret santa recipient back with the daughter he gave up during the Fall of Saigon (show went in some weird directions, stay with me). That in itself is pretty Christmas spirity, you know, it's not about the gifts but about family, but that's not the kicker. You see, in order to get this done he needs to trade Christmas shopping for research from a government worker. The deal falls apart when he fails to get one item, the most popular item of the holiday season. The girl that has a crush on him, who is also generally mean to him all the time because she's a bully, overhears it and trades that item, which she also wanted more than anything and received as an early present, to the worker convincing him to stay and find the daughter. Then in the end, when it all works out, she's standing outside in the snow with a simple Merry Christmas that Arnold who is inside, can't hear. No acknowledgement of sacrifice necessary, just content in the knowledge that she made his Christmas better. BAM! CHRISTMAS! In your face It's a Wonderful Life!

Nightmare Before Christmas

It only half works because a lot of it (the better part I'd argue) is more Halloween related and it does fall apart in the end but I still prefer it over almost any other animated take on Christmas.  "What's This" should be a holiday standard in my book.

What I don't care for? Christmas Vacation.  I have never gotten the appeal of Chevy Chase - not in SNL, Fletch, Caddyshack, Community, anything. I think I liked him most in Three Amigos and it is scarily apparent the drop off in comedic talent from his co-stars. But hey, just one mans opinion.   Christmas Story.  Dull dull dull.

What if I'm stuck on a terrible channel? Default to ABC Family. Those generally have the highest production values and are less likely to be pure sap (Hallmark) or emotional (Lifetime).  But still it's like the baseball playoffs - a crapshoot. I'll give you my favorites on each channel off the top of my head.

ABC Family : "12 Dates of Christmas" with Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Has a time travel hook that works pretty well
Hallmark : "Come Dance with Me" with Andrew McCarthy. I don't know why but it feels like an adult take on these movies. I mean it's not serious or anything, just... grown-up. That's how I'd explain it. Hard to find these types of movies with people in their 40s in the leads and no kids.
Lifetime: "A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride" with Dylan McKay and Nick Swisher's wife. Maybe I just like this because it's not as standard as the plot is mainly about a adult child trying to keep her mom from getting married. But Luke Perry is an underrated "guy in this" actor, and Joanna Garcia is good.  "Privileged" 4 Eva.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Some more A's

If I didn't answer a Q here it may be because I think it would be better answered in a column. Or maybe I just missed it. 

Are the Nats dealing Desmond?

I don't think so. With 2B a big question mark and no immediate replacement ready, losing Desmond would arguably be the biggest blow to 2015 (I'd argue Rendon #1 then Desmond).  I think they let him walk but I think he's here in 2015

How many times can I refresh MLBTR before it breaks?

7 times.

If you could make one trade, given the budget restrictions on the Nats, who would it be and who for?

"What trade would you make" opens up a can of worms. So many possibilities. Let's just stick to realistic possibilities. I would put forth Zobrist for a package. Right now I can see that package headlined by Joe Ross. Ross and Voth? Ross and Skole and Goodwin? Something like that. Or maybe just Cole? They probably hope to get more for Zobrist but for a year guaranteed I don't see it. I think Cole is generous.

Where do the younger outfield crop fit into the Nationals plans?

Easier Q post-trade. Taylor in line to replace Span after this year. Goodwin insurance on Taylor, probably future bench guy.

Nationals sign reliever _______ to a one year deal

"...did I just say sign?  Sorry the Nats have no plans to sign any reliever, even"

How do they beat the dodgers/cardinals?

Same with any playoff series, pitch great and hope to catch the breaks. 

Instead of finding some out-of-the organization, cheap, "waste of space," doesn't Souza just open a slot for T Mo on the 25-man?

Ah so a IN-organization, cheap, "waste of space"  Look, Tyler Moore has had two GOOD chances to prove his first shot at a bench role wasn't an fluke and both times he flamed out spectacularly. You can argue maybe he needs more regular at bats but you can't argue he needs another shot to do the same thing he spent 2013 and 2014 failing at. Could he take that spot? Sure. I'd even say he's got a decent chance to. But I don't like it.

What if the Nats tore up Desi's deal for next year, and gave a very large AAV for the next two years?

To make it large enough for him to take would raise payroll super high. You have to think - with a decent 2015 he could get 6/120 easy. If he gets hurt or crashes in 2016 under the above plan then his value takes a nosedive. So what 30 mill a year?

How about Strasburg, straight-up for Beltre?

Are you a Rangers fan? Beltre is great but if all you can get back for Stras is a 36 year old with same control and much bigger price tag then you aren't doing it right, even WAR or not.

Perhaps Ian Desmond for Miller straight up?

Others said it but doesn't make sense for the Nats (see Q1 response) doesn't make sense for the Ms (Miller has more value than a rental)

Christmas Movie Reviews 

Back to Christmas or Correcting Christmas
X(Mas)-Factor:  Ever present plot point but you can imagine the movie without it
Kids acting:  Nope in fact it's got movie Jan Brady grow'd up.
Watchability:  Santa would laugh : "Low low low!"
"Hey it's"! :  I already gave you movie Jan Brady. The bad cop from Veronica Mars? oh the fake Dean from Community (or the VP from "Phil of the Future" for those with refined taste)

I hated this movie. In a different way then I hated Christmas Town, and probably in a more meaningful way.  Christmas Town was just bad. Poorly written, poorly made, etc, but in the end its heart was in the right place and if you wanted to spend two hours with the right people picking this movie to pieces you can have a grand old time. Back to Christmas just angered me by the end.

Let's start though with the minor problem. Girl goes back in time, gets chance to fix broken relationship, realizes she should let that guy go (he works too much doing "business" and doesn't love Chirstmas) and be with old neighbor (he is a contractor and volunteers and loves Christmas). Very standard stuff, but the way they present the boyfriend you have NO IDEA why she is with him. He's mostly a jerk and is totally wrong for her in obvious ways. I think they try to explain it away early on by saying what we see isn't how it went down last time. Huh? I have a funny feeling this movie was written straight but needed a hook to sell it. "Santa splits them up?" "Been done." "Christmas wish?" "No kid." "Time travel?" "GOLD!"

But that's just bad writing. If I got angry at everyone of these with bad writing I would have been dead from a coronary long ago. The major problem is how they define the current boyfriend. They take pains to say that he's "not a bad guy" but make little effort to show it. He's quick to anger, pretentious, oblivious to his fiancee's wishes (though some part of it is that apparently she spent their 5 year relationship lying about what she wanted out of life - "my bad") and a jerk to the neighbor who he (rightfully) sees as a threat. Despite what they say, they clearly want you to believe he is a jerk. How then do they drive that point home?

He doesn't want children and he doesn't see the point of getting married.

That's how you know a person is ultimately bad. All you people out there happy being unmarried and childless. You are THE WORST. Stop ruining Christmas for the rest of us. Just go off to an island somewhere and die. Manhattan probably from what I learned watching these things.

Side note : grown-up movie Jan Brady had a hateable role but I didn't hate her. Good for you! I HATED the brother and I was supposed to like him. More grown up movie Jan Brady!

This also get no nothings.

A Very Merry Mix-Up
X(Mas)-Factor: Necessary, though I suppose it could have been Thanksgiving
Kids acting:  None. You know these movies are a lot less kid dependent than you'd think.
Watchability:  Fair!
"Hey it's"! :  The detective from Criminal Intent that you were like "She's not very good" 

Ain't bad.

What? Ok. It's a mix-up movie and nearly every mix-up movie can be easily solved by a conversation early on and usually don't make sense if you think about it. (Why hasn't she met his parents? Why doesn't the wrong family know more about their son? Why doesn't she keep trying to call her real boyfriend?) But the movie makes some effort to get around this (her phone breaks, the pictures at the parents house are all of the brothers as kids -which as a parent I can attest is totally possible) so you can get past it if you want to and why are you watching this if you are going to get stuck on something like that? Nicole Eggert went through a washing machine to another world for Christ's sake.

Otherwise the leads have decent chemistry, and the movie makes a pretty big step in making the ex not terrible. Oh he works too hard at business because OF COURSE and he doesn't understand her love of he dead father's store because OF COURSE ON TWO LEVELS but he seems to try. Like he understand she's bothered by the fact that she's losing her store so one of his "presents" (which his family doesn't normally do because SEE: OF COURSE) is a lease on a new place that could be her store that would be totally better store-wise. And his parents may be cliches, his father a work-a-holic like him, his mother... I'm not sure what... modern new-age health-nut?... they are at least nice to her.  

Is it creepy the brother and the girl go readily along with their obvious attraction? Totally. Is there a car crash that when you think about it must have had something to do with part of the movie that ended up rewritten out of the script? Yep. Don't think about it then! You are trying to waste time at the in-laws not study a movie for your film criticism class which by the way was a total waste of credits. Way to go.

This movie gets 4 gingerbread houses with gumdrop roofs. Tile that mother with gumdrops! I'm not getting gumdrops for another 12 months.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some A's

What now for 2nd base?

Would the Phillies send us Utley for Difo/$$$?  No.
Could Taylor/Clippard bring back Odor?  No. 
Trade Stras/Difo for Betts/Owens?  Hmmmm... No. You have to discount Difo here. It was a nice A-ball season but come on. He'll be like #15 prospect for an average minor league system. But I still had to think because Strasburg is an alluring piece. Still I think an everyday position player and a potential everyday starter BOTH for 2015 and both with tons of contract time would be too much to the Red Sox.

Honestly I think the Nats do nothing. Rizzo won't deal for a 1 year replacement (or at least won't give up value for it which makes it hard to get done).  The obvious FAs to be soon but not now are either on playoff teams (Neil Walker, Ian Kinsler) or on rivals who would be tough to deal with (Utley, Murphy, Gordon). Which leaves the Nats, if they follow history, trying to pry the Doziers and Altuves of the world away from their teams. Good players but would demand risk for Rizzo. Altuve maybe could be had... for Cole, Taylor,  +. That's not how Rizzo rolls.

Why not Kang? 

I think the Nats are gunshy on international risks after Maya. Kang is a risk. He'll be 28 and his power numbers are suspect given the park he plays in. (Not a 30+ guy). I imagine the Nats will kick the tires on the guy, MI with pop aren't growing on trees, but the market for international talent is high right now so I also imagine they'll get outbid. These are players you get by going all-in. Nats will make an offer they see as fair.

Aren't some of us getting a little too excited about Souza? 

Yes they were. He's fine. You'd like him everyday, but he not likely a star in the making and couldn't force out the starting three right now. Trading him was the right move. He had value, but less value for the Nats than nearly any other team.

Why has Clint Robertson never gotten a chance? 

All the reasons. Some guys don't get a shot because they build up too slowly. Robinson was like that. good as a 22 in rookie ball, only ok in low A, then a little better in high A. Because he wasn't wowing anyone he didn't get fast tracked so when he did start to impress in AA he was already 25. That isn't too old in itself but here comes reason #2, he was now blocked by guys doing better or almost as well in the minors that were ~5 years younger (Hosmer, Moustakas, Myers) and a guy in the majors about the same age doing well (Butler). With nowhere to go we get into reason #3, he was young enough and good enough to be kept around as organizational depth for the Royals. So instead of being dealt after 2010 or 2011 he was simply moved to AAA and stayed there. After deciding he was now old enough to give up on he finally got traded (to Pitt) then found himself with Torono. Here comes his best shot to at least be a bench guy (Encarnacion and Lind were at 1B and DH) but reason #4 comes up, NOW he didn't hit well. The Dodgers picked him up but with Adrian Gonzalez in the way and we get reason #5, as a 29 year old career minor leaguer there really wasn't a good reason to use major league at bats on him. That's the gamut of non-injury reasons you can do ok but not get a shot.

Shouldn't we deal Tyler Moore if we don't need him? 

Yep. I'd deal him if the Nats DID need him. I don't think he'll ever be successful.

Will McLouth be back? 

Now that Souza was dealt most definitely. And that's not terrible in itself. fair OF, lefty bat. You could do worse for your 5th OF. Of course right now he's the 4th...

What's this infatuation with Difo? 

Standard overrating of your own prospects. He's a good prospect at the beginning of the minors. That is all. A nice piece to have organizationally but he could easily fall back to "not prospect" status with a off year next year. He's not someone you plan around. In comparison Turner is a great prospect at the beginning of the minors. With an off year you'd still think of him as a worthy prospect and with a good year you would start to plan around his development.

Shouldn't the Nats let Ian leave after 2015, or take whatever they can get for him in trade right now? Can't those numbers be replaced on the corners, where they are easier to find and significantly cheaper?

Welll... sort of. There is more power to be had in the OF (1B is in a rut right now) but the problem the Nats have is that they don't have room to improve those corners (unless you move Rendon back to 2nd). Zimm, Werth, and Bryce should be stuck in the corners for 3 more seasons.

Also, the fact that Ian has good numbers for the position IS important. His likely replacement woudl likely hurt the offense more than upping a corner OF a bit would help. Let's say team X gets those numbers from a new OF, that may be an extra win for say... an extra $8 mill. Great. But they just lost 3 wins going from Ian to a new SS. So you saved 10 mill a year but you lost 2 wins.

How about Refsnyder from the Yanks? 

I think it would take a fair amount. They see him as a Prado replacement for after 2016 assuming he does ok in AAA this year. I'm sure they'd part ways for a major league ready starting pitching talent but the Nats don't really have a good match. A guy like Cole is too big a price. Guys like Rivero or Treinen too low. Maybe a mass deal (rivero + Treinen + ? for Refsnyder + ? ) but I just don't see it happening

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Whoops - Travel Day

I didn't exactly think out my plan to answer Q's today. So tomorrow! An extra day for Q's to come in and frankly it may be needed because the Nats did something!

Trade :
OUT : Souza / Ott
IN : Turner / Ross

Why did the Nats do it?

We've gone over this before but Souza is at his peak, unlikely to find regular playing time this year, and plays a position also taken up by a few other top Nats prospects.  In other words, they could sell high on a player they didn't need. When you can do that - you do it.

Of course you don't deal just to deal, you deal to get better. The Nats couldn't (or more likely wouldn't) trade for a 2B / LHRP for next season so the other option was seeing if they could get something back they like - players with a lot of control.  They did that grabbing two good minor leaguers one a pitcher and one a 1st round SS, a position of need in the Nats minor leagues. Minor leagues, which was kind of middling, instantly improved.

Does this help the Nats in 2015?

Nope. It makes them likely every so slightly worse. He was going to be the 4th OF and if the past is any indication Rizzo will bring in some waste of space (but cheap) veteran to replace him. The nightmare scenario is seeing Souza succeed while Span, Bryce, or Werth miss significant time. While that won't likely happen, it's certainly likely he'd have some playing time 200+ ABs and I think we'd all rather see him than say... McLouth.

Isn't Souza ready to break out?

The jump from AAA to the majors is the hardest to project in my mind because there isn't a super major league where the best players get moved up to. This is it and thus it's a top heavy league. Certainly you like what Souza has done in the minors the last few years but that's no guarantee.  The most worrying thing is Souza's age. If he doesn't get it this year or next it's going to be difficult for any team to keep him playing as he'll be leaving his peak and entering his decline.

What do I think? I think he'll do fine. A .280 15-20 homer guy. Nice player to have, nothing special. That's my guess

What about the other guy?

Raw super young arm. That's all you can say.

How good are the guys the Nats got back?

Pretty good - Ross is more of a thrower than a pitcher and for a thrower he doesn't strike out people like you'd like. But he's young and has time to develop. Rotation guy, reliever arm, lots of potential here to get some major league use from the guy.

Turner is even more likely to get major league time. He has plus speed and does not strikeout. This means he projects to have a pretty high average. The rest is a question mark. He seems to have ok power - not going to hit 20 plus homers, but will he hit 15 or 5? He seems to be able to take a walk but will that continue to translate? Despite his speed he is not the best fielding SS out there.  The high end scenario is an all around talent fringe all-star, I think. The low end is a slappy Joe who doesn't play well enough D to keep a secure spot but starts for a few years and serves a useful bench role. Very excited about next year to see where he trends.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Keeping asking those questions

What? You expect the Nats to provide us with stuff.  Oh fine ok. I do have real baseball things to write about but that's for post work trip.

Christmas Movie Reviews 

Christmas Town
X(Mas)-Factor:  Reeks from every pore like cheap liquor from a drunk
Kids acting:  Lots of eyes wide and mouth open.
Watchability:  Survivable, Yes. Watchable, No. 
"Hey it's"! : The greatest "other guy" from our youth, Patrick Muldoon!  The girl who replaced Jadzia Dax as Other Name Dax.

Ugh. This movie is the worst. It has a standard premise as Other Dax works too hard and doesn't have enough Christmas spirit, but gets righted by a combination of a believing son, a holiday convert father, and the new spirited town where he lives. But everything layered on top of it is so bad.  The kid runs away like 90 f'n times in the movie. I'm not kidding. It'll be "Mom I think I see something" "Not now, Mason" BOOM GONE. He starts this by jumping out of a car because he thought he saw a reindeer. What? "Mom! Stop the Car! A reindeer! I'm going to chase it!" That is literally what happens.

The hook of the movie is the thought that this town is really harboring a secret REAL Christmas factory. The mysterious NP Enterprises is supposed to be very secretive, which means they cover the sled sent out for repairs... after it comes out into the open, and load presents... in the open, and dress strangely as to...not attract attention? Then after being treated to 100 minutes of the movie hinting very strongly that it's real, we get a terrible rug pull from Muldoon where he explains to Other Dax "Oh they do Christmas displays and stuff" which makes no sense to hold that out till the end because everything makes a lot more sense if it's said at the beginning. Then they show us it was real.  It's real. It's real. It's real. It's real. No, it's fake. No, it's real! GOTCHA! But it also makes no sense because why would they be so busy now, two days before Christmas, wouldn't their busy time be like right after Thanksgiving when all these decorations are going out?

Speaking of terrible rugs there's Muldoon's hair which looks like he spent the entire time in a cheap hotel room running his hands through it while contemplating the road his life took to get here.

Looks in mirror : "Dammit Muldoon. You were the guy Kapowski left Zack for. The guy Carmen left Johnny Rico for. Pull yourself together man!"

The music was terrible featuring only slow wacky or fast wacky, or out of place songs like when there's a couple doing a little fast dance in the background to "Gloria in excelsis Deo" .The VO stuff added in post was even worse. The "climatic" scene involves the kid running around the warehouse (or more accurately a small area of 4 hallways where signs are replaced to indicate new areas) all the while a loudspeaker produces hysterical bits like "Reindeer poop emergency. All hands to the stalls" and "If anyone speaks Swahili please come to list translation services" worse they top that with added VO of the elves reacting to that. A VO line is literally "Come on, we have a lot of poop to clean"

I haven't even got to Muldoon sucking on a peppermint stick, or the mechanic who has an orgasmic relationship with hot chocolate, or the father's crazy over the top decorations which are filmed so you can only see one small corner of a room, or the kid finding Santa's warehouse of toys which is him in green screen in front of shots of a Costco or what the hell Santa is supposed to be doing here

All this and the movie is actually pretty damn boring as it's padded as every scene of them walking places or getting into cars takes about 10 seconds too long. Oh and the foam attack on the Mom! And that aggressive mistletoe guy!

This movie gets no nothings.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Q&A needs Qs, probably As too but that's later

The Nats are in a holding pattern right now. They are dealing with first world baseball team problems like signing their multiple free agents to be, rather than trying to shore up a little bit here or there, which they still need to do. (2nd baseman, maybe lefty in pen) Personally I think Rizzo's "I can never lose" trade philosophy is slowing things down, but it's hard to argue with it. The alternative is gambling that good prospects don't pan out for them or that bad ones do for you. Of course if there was a time to make such deals it's now, when a window is possibly closing and you want wins this year damn the next. We'll see.

So what do we do in the meantime? Talk about Bryce not showing up at fanfest? HA! Try another blog sucker. Talk about the Lerner's unnecessarily trying to wring a few more bucks from Bryce's contract? Warmer but I think everyone understands these guys are BUSINESSMEN, this is what they are going to do.

Instead it's time to go to the well.  Give me questions to answer and I'll try to answer them. We'll say Thursday. Sneak preview of the magic to come:

Is Lombo or Morse coming back?

No. Morse looks like he's signing with Marlins. Lombo passed waivers so if the Nats want him they'd have to deal for him. From the Orioles. Good luck with that.

Is it possible to win a World Series with no big contracts?

Didn't KC just almost do that?  But seriously - sure you can but it's a matter of timing. These players all have to be young and under team control keeping the costs down. But I think you're more asking something like : can you build a team of FAs with no big contracts and really contend.  The biggest spenders can - the rest probably not. The cost is going to be prohibitively high for the return for those average/slightly above average players.  I suppose if you had a year when you hit it out of the park with each signing (think Nelson Cruz esque) then it could work but I'm not betting on it.

Should we have "caved" to Bryce without a longer deal?

I think they "caved" because the Nats thought they'd probably lose. So it wasn't a cave as more an acceptance.

How bout Clint Robinson! Looks good! .300 hitter with moderate power.  Why hasn't he gotten a real chance?

Those are PCL numbers. Don't think that matters?
IL 2014 : .261 / .331 / .393
PCL 2014 : .276 / .344 / .427

Hitting is just a step easier in the PCL.  Often times it'll give teams greater pause on bringing guys up with good numbers. You could argue that he deserved a shot in 2011, but they paused, then he flopped a bit in his IL try out, and here we are. Still mashing PCL but now 30.  I don't think it's a bad grab but I do think if he were to play extended time in the majors that power would go away.

Friday, December 12, 2014

When it was pronounced "who cares"

Detwiler was traded yesterday.  We'll leave any official takes on the trade until the other players are named officially but the truth is it's a good deal for the Nats regardless of who they get back, and a good deal for Ross almost no matter where he was going.

Detwiler was a starter that was currently a rotation injury and a Blake Treinen flame out from getting another shot. Even those conditions were on a clock as as soon as A.J. Cole looked ready for the major leagues he would take his place in line ahead of Ross. Could be May, could be September but it was likely coming this season. Taylor Jordan also lurked as an option. All that was really left for Ross with the Nationals was to commit to a relief role as a lefty swingman and hope Matt Williams/Mike Rizzo got over whatever mental block they had about using him.  As a 29 year old who in 2012 pitched nearly a full season of good baseball and would be up for free agency after 2015 that is a hell of a lot of money potentially left on the table.  What Ross really needed was a chance to start from Day 1. With Texas he should get one.

A lot of people are vaguely excited about the deal because of the Nats past deal with Texas. They dealt Cristian Guzman and got back Tanner Roark. While it's a steal today, it wasn't one at the time. Hell, it wasn't one going into 2013 when Roark just put up a 4.39 ERA and 1.4 WHIP in AAA and was a year or two before officially becoming "organizational depth". Roark was a fringe prospect. The type that didn't make the Rangers Top 20 or the Nats Top 20. Roark was very much like a ton of  other prospects Rizzo has gotten. Ryan Perry, Robert Gilliam, Adam Olbrychowski, Ian Dickson, Matthew Spann, Dakota Bacus... and that's just the pitchers. Truth is, guys like Roark are lottery tickets. This is not a knock on Rizzo, it's just how it works. When you are dealing marginal talent with no control, you get someone back who has one thing you like and two things you don't and you hope that somehow it works out for you. The guys they get for Detwiler will be the same type.

You shouldn't just temper your enthusiasm, if you have any, for the Detwiler deal you should probably douse it all together (we'll see who he brought back first). These are names you'll likely hear for the last time in relation to the major leagues when they are announced. But still you can be glad the deal was made. Glad for Detwiler as he gets the chance he desperately wanted in 2015. Glad for the Nats for getting something back for Detwiler, a guy they didn't want and didn't need, even if what they got back were lottery tickets. Someone does win the lottery now and again. Maybe in say... 2019 it'll be the Nats again.