Nationals Baseball: Don't. Just don't.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Don't. Just don't.

It's Spring Training. You know better.

No? You don't know better? You're out buying Maya jerseys as I type? Let's do the drill then.

Last year - who was 2nd in batting average for Spring Training for the Nats? That's right Alberto Gonzalez. 4th? Willie Harris. 5th? Desmond. 6th? Pudge. Most RBIs? Desmond. How did Adam Dunn do? .208 average, and NO homers.

Who had the best ERA? Aaron Thompson. With 10+ innings? John Lannan. Brian Bruney had a 3.60 ERA. Matt Capps had a 7.71 ERA.

We can do this for other years if it'll make you feel better. How a guy looks in Spring Training has almost no correlation to how he'll do that year.

As for Maya - may I also bring in another bit of context. It's often brought up how he pitched much better in the Winter Dominican League (1.32 ERA!) and earned their pitcher of the year award. Who led the Winter Dominican league in hitting? Hector Luna. A 31 year old AAA player who batted .138 in limited at-bats with the Marlins last year and who hasn't been startable since 2006. Homers? Brad Nelson. A 27 year old with 2 total major league extra base hits, rated the #23 prospect in America... in 2003, now entering his 5th season in AAA.

It's no different this time. Your ex-girlfriend will cheat on you again. Your deadbeat cousin won't pay you back. The politician you voted in won't shake things up. Guys you love in Spring Training will play at their talent level come the regular season.


Hoo said...

This post is what I needed. But it's also too late for me. I'm giddy and excited.

Anyway you look it at 3-0 beats the hell out of 0-embarrassing. Sure it means that the Nats aren't going to win 90. But it does give me some hope that we have a shot at 4th or even third!

It also shows that the team is going in the right direction. This spring training has real competition with real major league players. Ankiel/Bernie/Stairs/Morgan might not make the team as compared to having Will Tavares as a starting RF. That's progress. I'm not concerned about the individual stats as much of the fact that team overall is much more talent.

The rotation also has real competition for the 5th spot with Tom Gorz being a real major leaguers vs. Maya or Dettweiler. That's a heckuva lot better than in previous years with the Chicmartisbalestermockmartinstammen guys.

So I appreciate the cold water. But I'm also going to enjoy the heck that the team has made progress instead of just stocking #1 draft picks. And I'm dreaming of a run to third place.

Bryan said...

Hoo - only problem - I feel like I read this exact same post last year.

Donald said...

You mean the Ross Detwiler tattoo I got on Tuesday was a mistake??

Hoo said...

Bryan: The big headlines from spring training last year were a) Going 0-11 which dampened some enthusiasm even knowing the games don't count and b) Cutting Dukes which suddenly meant that the Nats had NO ONE to play RF c) Stras

Even if we think the Hairston Jr signing isn't that great, it's a clear upgrade over where the team was in spring of '10. Our best choice for a key hitting spot last year was desperate hope that Morse, Bernie, Maxwell or Taveras revives his career. The team is a step forward there.

Let me repeat: The idea of a Willy Taveras making this team much less as a real potential honest to goodness starter is zippo, nil, nada, not going to happen.

If you want more comparisons, look at the Washington pitching staff in 2009 with hopes riding on the duo of Olson/Cabrera and the horrendous bullpen and look at team now.

Bill Hicks said...

Maya was rushed to the bigs last year, so I am ALSO discounting that performance.

For me his winter and his first ST appearance brings him back to sqaure one--an unknown quantity whose potential upside based upon his Cuban pedigree makes him a most intriguing prospect.

Harper said...

Hoo - Dream all you like - I suppose it is possible. You do have to remember though these battles are only battles because their for positions on the Nats. Ankiel couldn't hold down a job for the ROYALS last year. Nats 2011 "Better, still not good" or "Moving in the Right Direction now. Sorry we got so off course"

Bryan - What?! I never repeat ideas. By the way Guzman sucks and Boswell gets way too overexcited about this team sometimes.

Donald - Yes, but mainly because of the "tramp stamp" location.

bdrube - agreed, somewhat. I do think last year should have diminished hopes that Maya was such a talent that he could be a top of the rotation guy. But whether he's anywhere from a very good #3 type or AAA rotation filler I don't think we know.

The Nationals Enquirer said...

As usual: you're the lone voice of reason in NatsTown, Harper. Now, excuse me while I go change into my Laynce Nix jersey (he's hitting .667 so far this Spring!)...

Anonymous said...

More importantly: when can I expect to see Brad Eldred in the lineup?

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 said...

All it means is that in the Dominican league and his first start is that Maya has pitched to expectations. If he continues to pitch well, he will be in the rotation. Then, as you say, we'll see. Mock on the other hand pitched as he always has. If he keeps it up, he will be gone. Something, that would not have happend, and did not, in prior STs/seasons. Pitching depth is better this year.

Anonymous said...

What about Bernie in Center with Morse in Left. Nyjer is showing much.