Nationals Baseball: Lidge signs

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lidge signs

Via Ladson. A fine signing for cheap (I'm pretty much a sucker for any one year cheap deal for someone that used to be good).  Big questions are whether he can stay healthy and what of last season was a fluke and what was real.   If we think his historical stats make more sense this is what I think

He can still make them swing and miss (K/9 rate 10.71 last year - 11.57 career), but is no longer has good enough control (BB/9 6.05 - 5.14).   GB rate screams fluke  (57.4% GB last year - 40.7% career) but it  could be a function of pitch selection (slider percentage way up, fastball way down last year).  Of course that means either he stays in one-pitch territory with a pitch he can't place, or he goes back to mixing in pitches that will get hammered.  The former sounds more likely and more appealing.

A decent enough reliever to have in the pen that can maybe give you the K, when you can afford a walk.  Then again - isn't that what Henry Rodriguez is around for?


Sec314 said...

He's inventory. If he's decent and the Nats are out of it, they can trade him in July for a prospect. This is bad news for Mattheus, but I bet several pitchers rack up frequent flyer points between here and Syracuse again this season.

Harper said...

Rizzo loves the closer grab and flip, and it's a proven move. Sure you get more filler than anything else, but the occasional Ramos steal makes it all worthwhile.

The real question is what if they're close, Lidge is good, and there is demand for him? If the Nats are 2 1/2 games out of the WC, with 2 teams ahead of them come trading deadline, what do you do?

blovy8 said...

If there's one thing Rizzo knows how to amass, it's relievers. I'd imagine a guy similar to Corey Brown would come back in a trade. Athletic, and stalled in their mid 20s at AAA.

Sec314 said...

if the Nats are 2-1/2 back for the WC in July....

Kinda depends on how the Syracuse pen is doing.

I figure they start the year with:
Detwiler (as insurance/bait?)

That leaves Stammen and Mattheus (and Maya) in Syracuse, not to mention Wilkie and maybe Rafael Martin as possible fill-ins. And who knows, maybe Josh Smoker or some other dark horse.

Donald said...

As to your reference to Henry Rodriguez, I think he and Lidge are on different trajectories. Their lines may be crossing at right this spot (high strike out / high walk) but the hope is that Rodriguez harnesses that control and becomes a closer, whereas I think Lidge goes from the 7th inning guy on the A team to 7th inning guy on the B team, to out the door. I agree that it's a very good signing though, assuming he still has some gas in the tank.

Trescml said...

Good signing for the price. Adds bullpen depth and gives you options to keep from driving Clippard and Storen into the ground.

Trescml said...
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Anonymous said...

I take this to mean that HRod won't be around much longer... Bring on Rizzo's roster "tweaks"

DezoPenguin said...

I agree with...everybody; good signing, low cost, possible trade bait if he does well (bonus there for being an "experienced veteran closer"--you know at least one contender will have relief problems due to injury or incompetence, and if Lidge is pitching well, he becomes a very movable commodity even as a two-month rental). Relievers may be fungible, but having more guys with the potential to be adequate means that it's more likely an actually adequate 'pen rotation will exist. And he's one more person standing in the way of Burnett pitching whole innings at a time.

Nattydread said...

One thing about Rizzo. He's always full of surprises, and many of them are pleasant.

Harper said...

Seems like we all agree... uh oh. I knew there was a reason all those other teams didn't sign Lidge.

Nattydread - he's a human crackerjack box!

DCNatty said...

Put it this way...Lidge for 1 mil or Gomes for 1 mil? Unreal the A's signed him. One thing im looking forward to this season is not watching Gomes or Nix completely suck. Man they were horrible. Actually scratch that...I am looking forward to watching Nix suck, since he'll be swinging as hard as possible at every pitch and striking out for the Phillies now.

Ollie said...

It's whatever; small move that could end up being solid but nothing worth getting too excited about. Adds depth to the bullpen, marginally increasing the probability that i will be a strength again this year, though I would argue with Clippard, Storen, and a bevy of mostly interchangeable young relievers with a history of competency and good health that was likely anyway (if H-Rod repeats his success then it's icing on the cake). Would like to see them add a bench player or two still but I have no idea who's out there now and would almost rather they be young guys with low ceilings in AAA than 35-40 y/o's who bat .180.

Nix probably was one of the better power bench bats out there, though that may say more about the quality of this year's FAs rather than his ability. I was ready to defend him from DCNatty but a quick Baseball Reference search reminded me how horrifically bad his OBP was. I'd still like him back, but I will not miss his awkward paths to balls and throws in from the outfield, nor the equally awkward spelling of his first name (Laynce with a "Y"? C'mon dude, you're not the doorman at a gay club).

Still excited enough about this season to purchase a partial season plan for the first time ever, with the almost pathetically limited funds at my disposal. I think they'll make a solid run at the wild card but fall a couple games short, making us even hungrier for next season.

However I think there's also a 10% chance of a division win: the Phillies look *old* and the Marlins' players complement each other like a flannel shirt with pinstripe pants---solid chance they'll will be hard to look at, but if they pull it off they could be spectacular (Morrison, Stanton, and a health Josh Johnson look kind of scary). I agree wild card is way more likely than winning the division this year, but as of a month before Spring Training in 2012 the Nats look like the NL East favorite in 2013 (barring a decent return for Jair Jurrjens or another Loria, coke-inspired, free agent binge). Not that that really means anything, other than me being more excited about them than any other DC team this year.

Harper said...

You guys underrate Nix. He shouldn't start everyday because of his pathetic offense against lefties and his inability to take a walk, but he's a solid bat vs righties and decent in the field. Ideally he'd be a 4th/5th OF (depending on what your OF is made up like) but he can provide enough pop to be serviceable in a platoon.

"the Nats look like the NL East favorite in 2013 "

Way too early for that, too many young players, injuries, and future moves to get through.

Ollie said...

I don't think I underrated him, he's a decent 4th or 5th outfielder/pinch hitter. Didn't mind him batting, especially during the first half of the season when he really played well. Watching him play defense still made me feel uncomfortable. A little sorry to see him go, but not horribly.

As for next year---yes, it is way too early and I am not really serious. But it looks like the slow build is working and I'm excited enough about that to spend more money than normal on this team. With patterns holding (and they often tend not to) I'm very optimistic about the future of this team.

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