As a nice post-holiday treat, how about putting some sanity back into Boz's work? Always a palate cleanser.
Boz, this weekend, had a column saying the Nats should stand pat, and basically getting Rizzo to say that was the plan. All in all that's not a terrible position. There aren't many impact players available. The Nats won 98 games last year, with a 4 game cushion on the division, and a 10 game cushion on the Wild Card. Even if they may have gotten a little bit lucky last year, you stand pat and the likely win total is still going to be in the low to mid 90s. That's still "playoffs unless things go wrong" territory. Just resign LaRoche and let... wait. He wants to let LaRoche walk? Oh by "standing pat" he literally means standing with their hands in their pocket and whistle a happy tune because everything is going to come up roses all over again. Oh. Hmmm.
Some nitpicks then.
Why would you sign LaRoche, 33, for three or four years or Bourn, about to turn 30, or the erratic Upton for five-plus seasons at astronomical cost when you have multiple players my note - (Tyler Moore, Anthony Rendon, Matt Skole and Brian Goodwin) who may have the same kind of futures? They aren’t all going to fail.
Ummm, yeah they might. They probably won't but don't act like if they did it would be a shock or anything. I'd give a let's say 20% chance the combo of those 4 don't have a single mutli-year worthy major league starter among them. That's better odds than a dice roll. Now obviously the 80% is the important part for the Nats but betting on young guys to (1) get to the majors and succeed, and (2) do it on the schedule you need them to; is not a bet championship teams make. It's win now time for the Nats.
(Don't resign LaRoche and) Give Moore the playing time he’s earned in left field.Tyler Moore had a very fine season for the Nats last year. He has legit major league power. He also will turn 26 in January and has a strike out to walk ratio of 3.45 to 1 in the minors (3.2+ in the majors last year) that almost always signifies problems. He certainly hasn't earned anything. Here are his monthly splits from last year
April/May : .157 / .157 / .157
June : .421 / .521 / .800
July : .225 / .244 / .425
August : .258 / .343 / .452
Sept : .154 / .214 /. 538
Anyone notice something that stands out? The guy had one hot month and otherwise alternated from an acceptable swing for the fences bench bat and a guy not ready for prime time. Can the Nats win with what ever Moore will be? Unless he totally is a failure, sure. But again - that's not world series contender thinking in my book.
Let Christian Garcia get a shot as a starting pitcher in spring training.IP and surgery notes
2006 : 53 IP
2007 : 0 IP
2008 : 62.1 IP
2009 : 25.1 IP
2010 : 5.2 IP (last start of any kind)
2011 : 20.1 IP
2012 : 65 IP
And you want to be my latex salesman.
Look the guy may be able to pitch as a starter in the majors, and even though I'd rather see the Nats use him hard as a reliever and burn out his arm like I do with weedeater engines, they have the flexibility to try something different. But to say "Hey why not have him start for the Nats next year" is just all sorts of short-sighted, and contrary to pretty much everything the Nats have done so far in regards to arms.
Allow flexibility for Rendon or Skole, a 230-pound lefty hitter with 119 RBI in ’12, to push their way into the big leagues like Moore did last year.AA stats last year
Rendon (23 next yr) : 21 games : .162 / .305 / . 362
Goodwin (22) : 22 games : .223 / .306 / .373
Skole (23) : 0 games : n/a
Moore AA stats two years ago
Moore (24) : 137 games : .270 / .314 / .572
Moore's path to the majors was to hit well for an entire season in AA, move to AAA and hit even better there, be kind of at the age where you have to fish or cut bait, watch as injuries decimated the Nats outfield, get called up. Both Rendon and Goodwin are in no rush to be called up and haven't yet proven they'll be ready. Skole, who as an old 23 (he'll turn 24 a couple weeks past the July 1 deadline we usually use to signify age that year in the majors) will be getting to that "let's see what you can do" point, hasn't even seen AA pitching yet. Hitting A-ball pitching at 22/23 is less about proving you are a major leaguer and more about showing the Nats they don't have to cut you.
Let's see what these guys can do in AA before we start pencilling them in the lineup ok?