Nationals Baseball: No! No No No No No!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No! No No No No No!

How stupid are you? Is it because the "fast guy" is out that another "fast guy" has to enter the mix? Is it because you are completely clueless on what to do now that Elijah Dukes is sitting at home earning 20%? Is it because Willy Taveras has pictures of an unfortunate late-night of carousing with a former GM who I will codename "BowDawg"?

It must be one of those because there is no way a team that is supposedly moving in the right direction would consider Willy Taveras in a platoon in right base off his hot spring stats. There are two huge problems with this:
  1. You are basing something off hot spring stats
  2. It's Willy Taveras.
Jesus christ. Pitching wise Nats fans have gotten lucky with the new Spring Training Game, but offensively Taveras and Bruntlett are still hanging around. I think you can attribute the Bruntlett situation to Guzman's bum shoulder. Taveras on the other hand...

Look, he is one of the worst hitters in the game, if I look at all the batters with 400 ABs last year. Willy is dead last in OPS. He's offensively as close to extreme 2009 disappointments JJ Hardy and Kaz Matsui as they are to Adam Kennedy. He's as close to suck as suck is to average. Also he has precipitously declined for the past three years.

Are the Nats that dumb to put all this stock in Spring Training stats? Well Duncan (.156) and Orr (.200) just got released leaving Bruntlett (.276) and A Gonz (.364) as the backup infielders. What does Riggles have to say about this?
"A player has to win the job"
No Riggles No! It's "A player has to not lose his job by getting injured or suddenly looking like a completely different player than you remember" You always mess up that phrase. As Commenter Hoo said - spring is about confirming biases. It is not about changing them. If you are good you should be given the benefit of the doubt, if you are bad you should have to really surprise and catch some breaks. Cases in point:

Joe Beimel, who pitches well, gets a deal for the Rockies and even though there is only two weeks left till Opening Day, I think he will likely start with the team.

Mike McDougal, who does not pitch well, gets cut from the Marlins

You know what these guys can do. Good players shouldn't have to show you something and bad players shouldn't be able to earn a spot unless something crazy happens.

One last thing : Ladson keeps bringing up Dye, which is offensively interesting and defensively scary, especially with Nyjer nursing a hamstring issue. If they really are serious about being solid defensively (well outside of the SS that can't throw... and the first baseman that can't catch...) this is a must pass situation.


test said...

Didn't some other well know Nats blogger post yesterday about how this was total BS because the reporting on it was to the effect of "It's not factually inaccurate to say that Abe Lincoln might play in the OF this year too"?

Hoo said...

Thank you for being on top of this. It's like a bad dream seeing Taveras hitting .300+ and getting praised. I can not think of why Taveras should start in DC over Maxwell or Harris. The club has to find out what they have with Maxwell (I think we know but....). You know what you get with Taveras. A great pinch runner.

I view Bruntlett with some trepidation but given the Guzman situation it's not bad. Gonzo or Bruntlett? Who cares. Morse or Max or Bernie vs Taveras? C'mon now. We've seen Taveras's body of work. It's not a pretty picture.

We'll know the Nats have really arrived when spring training is about 1 spot in the bullpen and the utility infielder instead of 3 starting pitcher positions and 2 possible starting positions on the field.

BTW, interesting idea that Olsen might not make it to April if he doesn't improve. He gets Pattersoned as Stammen/Livo head north.

Harper said...

ck - I have chosen to believe it could be true since the Nats (1) invited Taveras into camp,(2) haven't cut him yet, (3) haven't said anything about what they are in fact going to do. I put my faith in the questionable thought processes of the Nationals that they are at least entertaining the idea.

Hoo - Let's not get ahead of ourselves. ST is still about that RF spot, and it's only not about rotation spots becuase they decided early on which questionable arm they were going with. Better than letting ST decide anything, but I wouldn't say "arrived" unless they are landing at Functional Major Team Airport.

TheGreenMiles said...

Are you implying Willy Taveras might not maintain his pace of an HR every 20 ABs? Why, just because he's only hit one every 325 ABs over his career? Enough with your stathead mumbo jumbo! You've probably never even played the game!

Also, Ryan Zimmerman will hit .457 this year with 86 home runs. MARK IT DOWN.

Anonymous said...

At first I thought that the Taveras talk was something Ladson made up, but then Zuckerman went ahead and put him on the roster as his best guess for filling out the 25 man roster. Rizzo cannot seriously think Taveras is better than Dukes (or Bernadina, Maxwell, Daniels, or any warm body)...right? Please?

Hoo said...

I think Taveras is > Dukes. Not on the production level, but because Dukes is that creepy dude on the metro talking to himself that everyone on the car wants to avoid and doesn't want to make eye contact with. Makes for a long, painful commute and the Nats season is already painful enough without being nervous that the crazy guy might snap.

Team is sending out a lot of smoke signals on Olsen not making it and Taveras making it.

Harper said...

Miles - marking it. Looks like it's going to be the first of many pennant winners for the Nats. Just let me make sure no one on any other team is doing this wel... OH MY GOD, IT'S GOING TO BE THE END OF PITCHING AS WE KNOW IT!

Anon/Hoo - It does depend. If Rizzo is looking purely in a late-inning defense, pinch runner, never ever hit 5th OF sort of way - Taveras is more suited for that role. In any other way Dukes is superior despite his other shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Bernadina fill that role too? Of the two, I'd rather see what Bernadina can do over seeing what I already know Taveras will do.

Harper said...

yeah he does, though I'm not terribly sure about Bernadina's fielding. I'd agree that you'd rather see bernadina up, then again if he'd get regular at bats in AAA that might be better than wasting away on a bench. It's a tough call, Roger ain't all that young.