Nationals Baseball: Enny which way but (still) lose

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Enny which way but (still) lose

The Nats picked up Enny Romero. "Who?", you might ask. Indeed it's what I said remembering the name vaguely from some late season Yankee games but the pitcher leaving no impression.  Turns out there is a reason. Enny is a last man in the pen type in there for a strikeout, but incapable of providing assurances that he'll get that, averaging 5.0 BB/9 in the majors, 4.4 in the minors. Usually this type of pitcher gets a chance because he is also unhittable. There's the thought - if only we can reign him in, he'll be valuable. Enny isn't that, however, for the most part becoming much more hittable when he manages to drop his BB-rate. If he were say 22/23, you might give him a go because of the live arm. At 26 Enny is on his last shot. A new location, a new league may help, but the chances are slim.

Why even make such a deal? Well the Rays were motivated to move Enny to clear up room. They'd probably have to waive him and why not get something, even when something is really nothing. (Hi Jeffrey Rosa! - old for his league with no control but that unhittable type I mentioned before - at 22 this year worth a conversion to reliever attempt. If you're worried "his league" is Rookie. This isn't a player that registers at all on even the deepest team prospect lists.) The Nats have room to spare (still have a roster space open). I have a sneaking suspicion that this started out as Colome deal talk and ended up here but regardless the Nats have added another nothing player when they need something. No new harm. No new foul. But same old ones persist.

Two weeks later how does Passan's All Unemployed Team look?

Gone outside the pen are - Moss (KC), Coughlan (PHI), Napoli (TEX), Descalso (ARI), Carter (NYY), Hammel (KC)

If you were looking for a Clint/Zimm back up Kelly Johnson is the best fit. You could make a case for Pedro Alvarez who would make an interesting platoon with Zimm, but in no way could he play the OF (it's arguable he can't play first) so you'd lose that flexibility.

Gone in the pen are - Logan (CLE), Romo (LAD), Blevins (NYM), Belisle (MIN), and Smith (TOR).

Basically that leaves Joe Blanton  and David Hernandez. Hernandez lacks control and is hittable BUT if you think he is trending the right way since TJ you might take a flier (splits don't suggest that though - pretty wild and hittable all year).  Blanton is good, but he has to know his position as the best available option and is holding out for some cash or contract he will eventually get.  Outside of this the best out there might be JP Howell who is a fair inning filler who could drift into very good because he's killing lefties, or just a LOOGY. A useful arm, which the Nats do need, but not likely to be an impactful one, which the Nats need more.

18 comments:

1natsfan said...

I like our chances to win...the Grapefruit league.

Fries said...

many are projecting a mets division win, and i can't say i disagree. unless an unknown in the bullpen breaks out and the bench has a fantastic year, i don't see the nationals being able to keep up. this is a team set up to lose a lot of close games

Anonymous said...

Well... with other teams having Eaton all the other talent out there, is Ennyone even Werth spending on? I know it looks like the Nats aren't even Treinen to win and fans are probably Fedde-up with their inactivity, but I don't want them making any moves unless they Gott to. People think is great to pick up a high-priced gold-Glover, but just imagine if the Schu was on the other foot. We already have some great talent, but it true that I would trade some of these guys for a can of Skole tobacco. Hopefully you all have Lerner-ed something.

DezoPenguin said...

I thought Howell signed with Toronto?

Jay said...

None of their offseason moves this year make much sense to me. This Tampa trade is just one more example of it. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and Rizzo trades for a big starting pitcher or closer. At this point, I don't think it's going to happen. Are they at least going to sign Dusty to an extension??? Feels like this offseason is the Lerners saying to the baseball world - "see the MASN deal won't let us make any moves".

Harper you have alluded to what you think the plan is this offseason. In a week or two after pitchers and catchers report, can you create a post about what the apparent plan was? Thanks.

mike k said...

I think y'all are being overly negative. Negative is fine, yes - the team is substantially the same as it was last year, in a league (really in all american major sports) where if you're not getting better, you're getting worse. But the team is still very similar. Eaton replaces Revere/MAT (big plus), half year of Turner replaces Espinosa (1/2 of big plus), Norris replaces Ramos (big minus). Yes there are big question marks at the bench and pen, but that's the same as last year. It's not like Papelbon was so great...

For me, the worry is the Nats got a lot of overperformances last year which aren't likely to duplicate. Murphy, Ramos (though gone), Turner, but most importantly for the Nats, the bench (Drew) and the pen (uhhh...everyone but Papelbon). There were also no super significant long term injuries, so the bench/pen issues weren't highlighted. So I understand everyone's apprehension - the Nats did not really improve, and are going into this season with the same problems as last season, where they arguably just got lucky - in other words, this season looks a lot like 2015 in that they are relying on past lucky bench performances. But it's still the same team. It wasn't a "bad" offseason. I predict the Nats to win the division.

mike k said...

Meant to say 2013, not 2015. I think.

Nattydread said...

This is the same MO that Rizzo follows every off-season. Shoot for the moon on a few deals, actively play the major FA's, but maintain a ceiling on what is offered (we've won these before, not this year). Pull off a trade or two to solve a glaring need -- In my view, Eaton was not really that bad a deal. Dump an unneeded player (Espinosa). Kick tires, pick up project-players with high ceilings, shift minor league players.

Rizzo is good at this. He has great scouts, he has a very good idea of what he is looking for, he has great discipline. He also seems to have a very good relationship with other GMs and he does not seek the spotlight. The problem is that he now is stuck with half a dozen contracts that are like anchors and he can't raise the overall budget level any more. As well, I think other GMs are extremely wary of his approach.

Its a good problem to have. Nats are a top 5 team in baseball right now. Expect a couple more bench and relief corps pick-ups. And an unexpected trade is always a possibility with Rizzo. If Norris and Harper both improve, and everyone else is healthy, the offense will be ALOT better.

Jay said...

Rosenthal has a good article up on fox sports about Wieters. I think some team is going to end up getting a pretty good deal on him.

blovy8 said...

It doesn't look like Maddux can do much evaluation of Romero, if he's going to be pitching for the Dominican Republic.

Now's the time to lock up Rendon while no one is paying attention.

Fries said...

@Jay

I honestly hope that team is the Nats. As much as I'd love for Severino to break out, I don't see it happening just yet. That means Norris is the starting catcher and I like Wieter's upside way better than I like Norris's. Weiters is a Boras client so it's going to be an overpay, but the market has died so hard for him that an "overpay" will be only slightly so. Give him a contract with options or incentives and land him for the next year or two so that Severino can develop a little bit more. Then flip him for mid-tier prospects

Jay said...

Severino did hit in the .220's in winter ball. The knock on him has always been his bat. I'd even go so far as to sign Wieters for 3 years and use Severino in a package to get a closer. However, I do like Severino and would be ok going with what Fries said - Wieters for a year or two and then Severino.

JE34 said...

If the lineup can produce enough offense at the other positions, I'd love to give Severino a shot, just so he can showcase the bazooka attached to his right shoulder now and then. But if Zim's struggles continue and Werth's contributions fade, that would make four soft spots in the order, which means more infuriatingly high LOB numbers, and close games with an iffy pen.

Considering the likelihood of those issues on offense, getting Wieters makes sense to me. I'm down with the Fries Plan. You may proceed, Mr. Rizzo.

PhthePhillies said...

Has anyone considered a scenario in which we pay for Weiters and trade off Lobaton and say goodbye to Cliff Robinson. Weiters starts off the year as catcher, pinch-hitting on his days off?
When Zimm begins underperforming, as, though it pains me to say it, he very likely will, Wieters takes over first base. This is a good move for Weiters as he isn't much behind the plate and he would probably do a decent job at first base (certainly as good, if not better, than Robinson).

blovy8 said...

Why would you think Wieters will hit well enough to be ok at first? His numbers last year were only acceptable as a catcher.

Jay said...

Everyone is singing Mike Ilitch's praises today with his recent passing. One article talks about how Ilitch "always went for the win". Another talked about how he viewed his teams as community treasures. Winning teams in Detroit lifted the entire community. I can't help but compare him with Ted Lerner. I still feel like this offseason was a huge missed opportunity for the Nats. A lot of bullpen arms signed for $3-5 million for one year. The Nats didn't sign any of them.

Froggy said...

Patchers and citchers report Tuesday.

Yay.

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