Nationals Baseball: Strasburg effective in loss... again

Monday, March 15, 2010

Strasburg effective in loss... again


In other news Rizzo came out and said that Ian Desmond is playing for a starting role. On one hand, that's great news because I believe that Desmond is the future, that he should be taught well and Nats fans should let him lead the way to the playoffs. The sooner he plays everyday in the majors, the sooner the Nats will know if he is a major league caliber SS, and the sooner they can plan around the results. That's how it's supposed to work with young players.

On the other hand, Rizzo's hand has basically been forced to say this by the hot spring Desmond has had so far. That might mean that the Nats GM can be influenced by a week of good at bats during meaningless games to start changing his mind (maybe) about a player. That's not good news.

That's problem #14233 with Spring Training. Fans (and GMs?) can selectively pick what matters and what doesn't, mainly because nothing matters.

It's easy to paint a rosy picture, when you can pick and choose all your paint colors to be pink. Some of the good things happening now won't work out. Some of the bad things won't end up mattering. It's spring. How many years do we have to go through this?


Bryan said...

It's easy to paint a rosy picture, when you can pick and choose all your paint colors to be pink.

Awesome. Its why I come here.

The manner of Strasburg's dominance has been meaningful to me. Not much else has been. Except that this team still can't win.

Not that that means much right now.

Harper said...

Strasburg is the closest to mattering performance wise since he's never pitched in the minors, but still you have all those college stats and the AFL, scouts watching every start for the past 13 months.

It's nice to see him do well, but I think decisions should never be forced by spring performance. The only way you should place a guy in one place or another based on what he does in the Spring is if you were on the fence to begin with and the scouts make a judgement based on what they see - regardless of the average/era/whatever.

is that what is going on with Desmond? I'd like to think so but earlier it sounded more like the job was Guzman's if he was healthy.

That means a shifting of thinking on Desmond which I don't really like. I mean I guess he could be totally different this Spring than last fall. I guess...

Bryan said...

I don't think you make a "decision" based on Strasburg's spring, but certainly, Spring performance (all good) adds to the 13 months (13 years?) of good evidence you already have. Therefore, good performance in the Spring confirms your existing evidence. While not proof in and of itself of his uber-ability, combined with what we know, I think it indicates a likelihood toward that end.

I certainly don't think 0-10 is very good, even in Spring. But I also don't think 0-10 is the harbinger of a zero win season or "worst in the league" performance again. Maybe just evidence that this team will, once again, start slowly.

Spring can confirm biases, but any outlier is probably best treated that way: as an outlier.

Under that formulation, the Morgan & Dukes struggle probably isn't that meaningful, and Desmond's awesomeness probably is. Capps... probably meaningful. 0-10, probably indicative, but not meaningful.

Hoo said...

Morgan's performance is only disconcerting to the extent that he's the most likely to have a huge, huge falloff from last season. The only question is how far does his performance go?

I think Desmond's performance is comforting in the sense that he has really elevated his play over the past year. His stats are just part of an ongoing trend.

The relief pitching stats are the anomaly that is scaring me. Sure you can have skyrocket ERAs for one bad little outing in the spring. But at some pt this spring, it would be nice to see the new high priced talent get some outs? The opening pen should be better than last year's, but it won't be a huge leap forward without Storen...And if Villone makes it...

I think Aaron Thompson's performance is meaningless and it's been darn good so far. Would be nice to get him so more innings against the top talent. If he parlays this spring into a good minors performance, he could springboard into the callup list.

Hoo said...

"nd if Villone makes it..."

From my mouth to Rizzo's ears. Villone released...

Balester and Thompson reassigned. Bally to AAA and Thompson to AA. No question that Thompson for Nick was a great deal for the Nats. Wonderful trade for the future.

Harper said...

Bryan - I would say spring can validate biases but it should rarely, if ever, invalidate them. That's where the "decisions" come in. They have a bias leaning in one way, Spring should either make them feel good about it, or make them wary of it, but it shouldn't change it.

Hoo - talking about Morgan tomorrow. I'm glad Thompson was re-assigned. His performance is one that worried me the most because there is space for him. It would have been a total Spring thing to put him in the rotation.