Nationals Baseball: More questions answered - Quicker this time

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

More questions answered - Quicker this time

What would you say to Jayson Werth in an informal setting? 

Ok so if it were like a restaurant or something, much like the commenter that asked this Q I'd do nothing. I'm not a autograph collector and don't like bothering people when they are out. (I don't put down people that do do these things though - you want to make $ doing something in the public eye, this is part of the cost). Now, if we were at a party and happened to be trapped in the same corner of the room? I'd probably ask him about that Orioles pic that you see every time you google his name. The one with short hair and glasses. Is he a slave to fashion? Did he undergo some sort of massive personality shift? Also I'd ask him if he was the Angels all the time in RBI baseball so he could bat as his uncle.

Attend or watch Spring Training? 

I'm 100% for attending. Go some place at least a bit warmer and just tool around from baseball game to game for a few days? That's great.  Watch on TV? Eh. I'd only recommend if you do it like suggested yesterday. Find a player you are interested in, watch him play. Do something else around that.

Who has a better chance at getting back to normal, LaRoche or Espinosa? 

LaRoche, though you have to remember that "normal" for him at this age is like .265 / .330 with 22-23 homers. Espinosa looked so bad last year that I just can't give him the nod. Plus he lived on the edge where if his average drops he's a liability. If anything is wrong with him and he starts slow, I don't see him getting the playing time to work out of this.

Giolito in 2016? Why so long? 

I feel like they aren't going to deal ZNN or Fister, and thus the Top 4 will be set for 2 years. That leaves one spot open for which they have plenty of decent arms, including AJ Cole, who'd they'd probably like to see first. I see Giolito getting called up to AAA late this year, start in AAA next year and at some point get called up but his official rookie season being 2016 at 21-22. That's still super young. We're all guessing here. He could dominate AA and force a call-up this year. He could be fair in AA and start next year in Harrisburg too.

Which bar do you and Rizzo go for drinks? 

Rizzo likes the bar at TGI Fridays. A strict Icehouse man.

How do you rate Jeter? 

I like the "underrated and overrated" viewpoint. Fans prop him up to legendary status, which is too much one way. Detractors like to make him a fringe HoF guy and denounce any rankings near the top of shortstops, which is too much the other. Hall of Famer, best offensive shortstop (removing A-Rod from equation) other than the obvious best SS of all time - Honus Wagner. A decent defensive SS under 30 when he wasn't buying into his own hype about it. If I couldn't have Wagner, I'd take Jeter. Sorry Cal fans. Take comfort in your grooved All-Star goodbye HR.

Moore is just holding a spot for Skole or Walters, right?

Maybe. I think this is more his last chance, than just filling in space. I don't think the Nats are counting on anyone bat in the majors right now. No one has proven worthy just yet. But if Skole or Walters looked really good they would deal Moore sooner rather than later.

Does it matter that Detwiler would (probably) be more valuable in the 'pen?

Not since they traded for Blevins. One proven lefty arm with the 8th and 9th sewn up like they are, meets the bare minimum. Might as well give Cedeno the chance to provide depth before throwing Det in there. Det's first round talent so he'll get every chance to stick as a starter... which I think is one more chance.

What would the rangers give us for Roark? 

 Roark right now is an old prospect who had a good year with a small bit of it in the majors. That's not going to bring back much. Something similar like a Tyler Moore AAAA guy. Probably nothing the Nats would want.Another good season though, that could get something interesting

The Nats open the season at the Mets and then host the Braves. With a day off during the Mets series, do you pitch Fister, #5, Strasburg against the Braves, or Fister, Strasburg, Gonzalez?  

I pitch Fister, Strasburg, Gio but only because there's another day off after the Braves series. You aren't working Strasburg 6 times to start the year before his first longer rest. Plus going to a #5 at the end of the 2nd turn would sit #5 with the last game v the Marlins, and Strasburg vs the Braves as opposed to #5 vs the Braves.


Sirc said...

"I pitch Fister, Strasburg, Gio but only because there's another day off after the Braves series. You aren't working Strasburg 6 times to start the year before his first longer rest. Plus going to a #5 at the end of the 2nd turn would sit #5 with the last game v the Marlins, and Strasburg vs the Braves as opposed to #5 vs the Braves."

I'm actually really curious about what Matt Williams will do here. It's really his first serious decision as a manager since it kind of sets a tone. If he does it, then I think he's saying that playing the Braves isn't like playing anyone else.

My money's on him pitching his normal 1-5 rotation, thus attempting to send other messages.

Just a gut feeling. I know nothing about Matt Williams other than he took surprisingly few walks for a slugger. I wonder if that's why he keeps talking up Tyler Moore.


Harper said...

It would be more of a statement if they didn't have that second day off. If they didn't have that everyone gets that rest day first week except Strasburg. The 2nd day off should make it an easier call. Sure he gets an extra "true pattern" start, but just one and then he gets the same extra rest everyone else does.

You want your best pitchers to go as often as possible. You have an opportunity to do so without breaking pattern for Strasburg. The decision seems obvious. If he doesn't do it it will be an unpleasant surprise for me.

Note : I'm still hoping for no trade and a 4-man rotation in 2015. Hell 4-man now

Harper said...

gah though now I see the issue Either you go F, #5, S in the first ATL series or F, S, #5 because other option is starting Gio on 3 days rest. UNLESS you start the #5 guy in the first series

Here's how it could go

NYM : S, OFF, G, #5,
ATL : Z, F, S
MIA : G, #5, Z
ATL, F, S, G

So your two ATL series are Zimmerman, Fister and Strasburg
Fister, Strasburg and Gio

The days off for the 2nd (and 3rd) times through the rotation would be


Of course at this point you are stuck with #5 being #3 pitcher until the next off day which would be two weeks later. Does that matter more than H2H vs ATL games? I don't think so.

Donald said...

Last year, Davey started Detwiler in the 5th game of the season. That was against the Reds, so I don't know if that changes things. He pitched 6 innings of 1 run ball, fwiw.

There are definitely different signals that this can send. I think Davey wanted to give a vote of confidence to Detwiler by letting him start. If you skip him, it might say you don't trust him. But I agree with Harper, in that I hope Williams goes with his best pitchers. It's what he'd do late in the season or playoffs, so this sends the signal that April games are just as important. Plus, the Braves have a righty heavy line-up.

I'm also assuming what Atlanta does has no influence on the decision. Of course if they start their #5 and we put up Strasburg and lose, it's worse than losing with Detwiler. I wouldn't call skipping Detwiler a gamble, but it is a move that you'd really hope pays off.

Anonymous said...

Davey never skipped a starter. He was almost stubborn about it. In fact, I can't think of a time where they skipped someone in the last two years. Also, I saw on ESPN that Atlanta has the easiest first half schedule of all NL teams this year - figures. Could be a fast start for them again. Nats entire year seemed to turn in that first Atl series last year. Storen blew the save first game, Strasburg lost to Hudson in second game (another Zimm error), and we end up getting swept. It'll be interesting to see what Williams does. My guess is he won't skip anyone because Gio can't go on short rest and he will not change around the order of guys too much.

Last question - am I the only one thinking Fister is going to be a lot closer to Zimmermann than Detwiler? That could prove to be a big difference this year. Think about how horrible Haren was last year, and now substitute in Zimmerman starts instead.

Chinatown Express said...

Why not just make Zimmermann our #2, with Jordan / Roark / Detwiler our #3? That gives Mr. Joarkwiler a vote of confidence, and it gives Zimmermann, Fister, and Strasburg the Atlanta starts without messing with anyone's rest. This won't happen, obviously, but is there any baseball reason it SHOULDN'T happen?

"Last question - am I the only one thinking Haren is going to be a lot closer to Zimmermann than Detwiler? That could prove to be a big difference this year. Think about how mediocre Edwin Jackson was last year, and now substitute in Zimmerman starts instead."

Chinatown Express said...

*Whoops. That would be Gio #2, Zimmermann #4, and Fister #5. Counting ain't my strong suit.

Harper said...

CX - you don't do it for the whole year because

(1) in practice #5 will have a couple fewer starts, likely missing one at the All-Star break and one at seasons's end

(2) psychological reasons - players are competitive, no one wants to be #5.

(3) If you choose to skip #5 when you can that gives #1 an extra start or two as opposed to skipping #3 and getting #4 an early start... I'm not actually sure this works out in practice. But I'm sure that this is how managers THINK it works.

Anon/CX - you're not the only one. Most people are thinking along those lines. One thing to note : CX makes a joke about it but Haren's poor performance was a bit surprising. You can't exactly trust pitchers. But yes Fister > Haren > Jackson. So... even fewer wins?

cass said...

We're assuming Strasburg's the #1 starter. Zuckerman had an article out today speculating that Zimmermann may be the #1 with some reporting that the decision has not been made.

I know it's basically meaningless, but I worry that if Zimemrmann gets the start it means Williams is a believer in pitcher "wins" and might make wacky old-fashioned decisions based on flawed stats. We'll see.

John C. said...

Meh. I suspect that rotation order is overblown early. If they go with a five man rotation from the get-go, you'll see the Nats go Stras/Gio/JZim/Fister/Joarkwiler (like it!). Juggling the rotation to make the first series with the Braves a playoff equivalent has more risk than upside to me. Rearrange the rotation and lose the series anyway (or worse yet, get swept) and the setback is exponentially worse. If you win the series against the Braves #4-5-1, the Braves just shrug their shoulders.

blovy8 said...

Managers also like to dole out the "home" opener as a bone. I'm willing to bet he could hold Strasburg out for that and skip him in the Mets series. They may say there's no restrictions on him, but he did have elbow surgery.

I agree about Giolito. He has to ramp up innings like any other young, rehabbing Nats pitcher, so while it's not impossible some could come at the ML level, it would be hard for him to have a big impact until 2016 when he could go a full season.

I've lost all respect for Rizzo if he drinks that swill. That sounds like a guy about to sign Tyler Moore to an extension.

I'd take Pop Lloyd at SS after Wagner. Maybe that's just the Jersey guy in me.

I say they need to sit on the pitching depth at this point to be ready for any trade they need to make later. The Nats, like other clubs, don't really know what they're going to need yet. They may need nine starters...

Chinatown Express said...

If I accomplish nothing else this week --- professionally, personally, recreationally --- I coined the name "Joarkwiler," and that's enough.

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