Nationals Baseball: Don't get injured - long term view

Monday, March 16, 2015

Don't get injured - long term view

That last list was focused on 2015. That's what I prefer because a lot can happen between now and later, a surprise guy develops and one guy isn't as needed. A prospect crashes and the only other prospect at that position becomes more critical. But as we stand here today (and because what if anything happened of consequence over the weekend?) here's the quick take on how I'd change things up thinking beyond 2015

#1 Rendon - long control, MVP potential
#2 Bryce - not quite as long control, question marks but way too talented and part of two-man offensive core
#3 Sherzer - the defacto ace they are working around for the next several years
#4 Zimmerman - He's paid a lot for a long time so it's better if he can play
#5 Giolito - you can't build around prospects BUT Top 10 guys... well it's hard to keep yourself from doing that and if the Nats let everyone walk in the next 2 years, he's the reason why.

#6 Roark - very cheap effective starter in hand for years if last year wasn't fluke
#7 Werth - Still three more years of big money and don't see corner OF replacement in minors
#8 Taylor - Next closest ready minor leaguer, allows for Span to walk which looks like it has to happen at this point
#9 Strasburg - Healthy Stras matters, as a rotation anchor in 2016 before leaving, a potential keeper if Giolito flames out, or trade bait.
#10 Gio - has potential to be underpaid starter through 2018. Of course mostly healthy last year didn't look great.

#10.5 RAMOS - dammit I knew I left someone out. 

#11 Escobar - keeps team desperate from needing to resign Ian or form some other short term solution
#12 Storen - there are guys in line but it'd be best if Storen were healthy for roughly same reasons as Strasburg.
#12 Turner - keeps team from needing new long term Ian solution, though long term sometimes things just luck out for you.
#13 Barrett - They like him and he's under control for a long time.
#14 Lobaton - Could be a temporary starter if Ramos goes or goes down. Most likely a nice back-up for 3 more years.
#15 Difo - Could move up this list quickly with good showing in AA, a little too question-marky though to be higher. Makes list because Nats MI prospects are shallow.

There you go - discuss. 20 days now!


blovy8 said...

So Ramos isn't important? The dropoff from him to Lobaton is at least 2 wins a year. There are some good catching prospects at A level, but if we're worrying about a 2017 rotation without Strasburg, I'd worry more about an above average catcher to replace Ramos. I'd have him in the top five and maybe kick Zim down a bit, because that deal looks fair even if you don't get more than 130 games a year from the guy. I think the depth in the top-10 list in starting pitching could make any disappointing early results from Giolito more bearable, and as fodder to trade for other needs.

JWLumley said...

Meh, modern medicine is pretty good. Just about any injury can be fixed in a season, especially those suffered by position players. Unless it's a shoulder injury for one of the starters or a second TJ for someone, I'm not too worried about injuries this year other than Harper and Rendon. Both have questionable injury histories, that I would typically write off because they're not soft-tissue injuries like the ones Ramos typically gets. Still, one more serious injury for either and they're entering Darren Dalton territory.

blovy8 said...

I think seemingly minor injuries can mess with a hitter pretty quickly though. You end up seeing guys develop bad habits, or playing through issues that become chronic like Zim's shoulder and getting crapped on for not producing. Who knows how much the shoulder injury was responsible for McLouth stinking, for instance?

Harper said...

blovy8 - forgot him somehow. He was on my list after Gio. Top 5 though that's crazy for a guy only guaranteed to be here for 2 more years. Plus he hasn't been better than good (and that's even depending on questionable D stats) for years now.

JWLumley/blovy - most injuries sure are "comebackable" but since we're not classifying the type assuming these are pretty serious, half-season long types with lingering effects.

John C. said...

Interesting on Ryan Zimmerman - he's paid a lot, but at $14M a season the middle years of his extension may actually turn out to be a bit of a bargain. We'll see.

We also differ a bit on Gio's performance last year. His K rate was up from 2013 and his walk rate was down to the lowest of his career. What really hurt Gio last year was a combination of a higher BABIP (.294 was his highest in the past five years, and even more anomalous given that his LD% was his lowest as a National and his FB% was also high) and his lowest strand rate in five years.

After he came back from the DL he was very effective, with his changeup emerging as a real weapon. That changeup, especially against RH batters, should enable him to pitch effectively even if he loses velocity over the next few seasons.

Bjd1207 said...

TJ bug just bit the Mets hard. Wheeler and Edgin both going under the knife. Both bullpen and rotation take a big hit, both of which were supposed to be their strong suit.

Make sure you're staying up on your prayers to whichever deity(ies) you worship.

blovy8 said...

I would venture to say that the difference between a healthy Ramos and Lobaton could certainly be as big as the difference between Strasburg and Roark over 30 starts. I also think Zim's surplus value over the typical 1st basemen will be similar to Ramos' at catcher. Granted, the guy has never played enough to establish a realistic level, but he had 2 WAR in 88 games last year with a wrist injury sapping his power. Giolito hasn't pitched a major league inning yet. Werth will be old enough to work somebody into his spot by that point, even though we have no idea who that will be. I kind of think Roark is going to get screwed this year, and may never be what he was again, and Strasburg will be gone. Maybe there's no chance to re-sign Ramos either, but I'd expect a lot better odds of it happening. If a catching prospect emerges in the next two years, or Ramos continues to miss time, I look stupid, but despite his injuries - he's the guy I'd lock up along with Rendon. A competent catcher that can hit is just too rare.

Zimmerman11 said...

Hey, remember that time that Bryce Harper crashed into the wall and banged up his knee? And it swelled up and didn't get better until he could have it taken care of in the offseason?

I agree, Matt Williams, Anthony Rendon will be fine, eventually... let's all pray for a speedy recovery! I mean... he's on BOTH "don't get injured" columns.. in the no. 1 spot and all.

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