Nationals Baseball: Desmond should always leadoff!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Desmond should always leadoff!

He just went 4 for 5 and showed all of us! Riggleman sure knows how to motivate these guys! All he needed was a little time! We were worried over nothing! OK, it was great to see you! Watch that back button when you leave, it's kind of tricky. See you tomorrow!




He gone? Ok. Look. Desmond was going to get hits. He's shown that he's not a .000 hitter. He's much better than that. If the Nats kept on throwing him out there in ANY slot in the lineup, he was going to eventually get his hits.

It's also true that he's shown he's around a .310 OBP guy. So batting him first is not the most productive use of that spot. But you know what? We've also seen that batting order is really insignificant in comparison to the talent you have in your lineup so if they want to have Desmond as their starting shortstop this year (and personally I don't see any reason why they shouldn't see if last year's hanging on can be this year's competence) then it almost doesn't matter. Go ahead and bat Desmond first, if that makes everyone happy. I don't like it but it's not the worst thing in the world.*

*Just like the bench construction right? A minor quibble. The question then is, when do these all add up to become a major issue? Anyone of these maybe costs you maybe a game or two, but let every little thing slide and suddenly you are 5+ games worse than you need to be.

As for last night - we'll I (and others) warned you (and you seemed to agree) Livan could easily be blecch this year. And the bullpen always has a chance to be pretty shaky early in the year, before you know which guys are really capable and which guys where just fooling you. Bruney last year didn't keep the Nats from having a good pen, and if he keeps it up Gaudin won't do it by himself this year either. You hope to find the right combination as early as possible, but if it takes a month or so that's not bad. Sometimes you may not find it all year.


Hoo said...

The pen is the issue of a) bad decisions and b) good decisions that hurt. Team had a nice pen last year not sure whey the shook up. I know you think all relievers are interchangeable but....

There's no reason for Battlestar to be in Syracuse. Kimbrall will be up once his option year resets. Then Gaudin/Coffey/Broderick disappear. I'm guessing the hope is that the remaining guys + Bally+Kimbrall and Henry Rodriguez works out. (Personally I think the latter is iffy Rizzo loves velocity over pitching skill).

The also-rans in the pen aren't this bad. So the pen will improve. The decision making on the other hand from both the GM and Manager.

The problem with the Nats little decisions is they pile up. If you have Matt Stairs on the bench, use him. What is the reasoning of having Alex Cora bat in the 9th down by 3 with Stairs on the bench? If a miracle occurred and Cora got on, would you pinch hit for Desmond? This is the 2nd time in 5 games where Stairs is used for pinch hitting and it's the only reason he's on the roster. The first time Riggo didn't PH b/c he was afraid they'd walk him. So instead of taking the free pass we sent up Nix to make the out.

This team doesn't have much talent and but is purposefully using inferior talent to play a large role. (Pudge vs. Ramos, Cora/Hairston starting, Broderick Rule 5)

Basil said...

He's shown that he's not a .000 hitter. He's much better than that.

Bold prediction!

Section 220 said...

"When do all of these add up to become a major issue?"

That's exactly the problem. The Nats have a bunch of guys who, if you look at them individually, you can say there's nothing wrong with them.

For example: Hey, Ian had a VORP of 18.2 last year. Hey, that's not so bad! I mean, it's better than Orlando Cabrera! Then all of a sudden you realize there's next to no premium talent on the roster and you've got a bunch of guys about whom you could comfortably say, "meh, he won't kill you." Yeah, fine, a Pudge/Ramos platoon doesn't kill you. Espinosa-Desmond doesn't kill you. LaRoche doesn't kill you. Marquis doesn't kill you. Lannan doesn't kill you. Morse doesn't kill you. Ankiel in center MAY not kill you. The bench doesn't kill us. Fine, but we need better than "meh" in the not so long run.

Nate said...

Better than "meh"? This franchise hasn't been in hailing distance of "meh" since September 2005. I aspire to "meh", I yearn for "meh", I'd be over the moon to be "meh" right about now. Unfortunately, the sum of all these "meh" parts is currently less than "meh".

Hoo said...

Headline from an hour ago of Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal is making me all excited about seeing the Nix/Ankiel OF tonight.

Morgan stars as Brewers win third straight after 0-4 start

Updated: 3:33 p.m. | Nyjer Morgan jarred the ball loose in a collision at home to give Milwaukee the lead in the second inning Thursday, and the Brewers went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 for their third straight

Allison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Harper said...

Hoo - not interchangeable but it's not that hard to find decent arms that can pitch an inning.

Basil - You're right. That's a bold statement for someone who loves qualifiers like me. I'm changing it to "He's probably not a .000 hitter, he might be much better than that"

So it seems like that is the issue then. The Nats have moved from losing lots of games because they were bad, to losing not as many games because they have a bunch of little problems. Death by a thousand cuts (and misses)