Nationals Baseball: Harper on the Nats!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Harper on the Nats!

Roll call news

The Nats brought back Emilio Bonifacio.  No shame if you don't remember his first time in DC. It was over a decade ago, short (41 games) and unremarkable. Bonifacio is organizational depth only.  He was last a usable major league player WAY back in 2014. Since then he's dropped out of the major and filled only AAA roles. Chances of him getting a million dollar salary to play in the majors are exceedingly slim. Nothing to see here.

The Nats trade for Ryne Harper. Ryne Harper... is not bad. He worked his way up through the ATL minors as a "this guys seems pretty good - oh he's how old? Not interested" guy.  He eventually got pushed to Seattle who dumped him after a mediocre trial in AAA for them.  Minnesota picked him up and he kept on being pretty good, got into the majors and was still pretty good.  Thing is - teams like their upside in the bullpen. They'd rather have 4 arms where 3 could be terrible, if one could turn into a stud, than one meh arm.  Ryne is a meh arm. He gives up too many hits, too many homers, and doesn't strike out enough to be an impact arm. He's also getting up in age meaning you can't really rely on that meh (see: Barraclough, Kyle). But he showed decent control and he doesn't give up too many hits, homers, or strike out too few to be usable and if you are to try to guess a decent 50 IP is probable and there isn't anything wrong with that. 

Who'd they give up? Hunter McMahon, who if you look at the stats might worry you. A 0.71 ERA, 1.4 BB/9, 12.8 K/9?!?  But Hunter was an older rookie league and low A player and pitched all of 12 innings last year (he was drafted last year too) meaning one bad outing and he's a 3.00 ERA guy with more reasonable numbers.  He's the type that came in with no hype so isn't on even the Nats internal top prospects lists, not even as a guy to keep an eye on. But he is a guy that probably would be on there somewhere with a good 2020 in A and A+ ball. But still that's a NATS top prospect list not an overall one. He's not passing Cronin and a number of failed starters with just a good 2020.*

 For people excited about the Ryne pick-up or thinking Bonifacio will make a great AAA vet to have around, the Mets signed Eduardo Nunez, Rene Rivera, and Erasmo Ramirez.  So what? Exactly.  Now you know how other teams fans view these Nats moves. 

The Astros sign Dusty to manage.  Good for him.  I hope he doesn't get his ring because that would mean the Yankees didn't make the series but I hope that he does well and if he does well isn't immediately replaced. He's proven himself more than a capable manager leaving the questions about starter usage back over 15 years ago and several managerial stops. Any team looking to make the playoffs should be fighting over this guy and it's a shame that untested nothings get first crack nowadays. Go get them, Dusty.

 *Of course given the Nats luck with RP say hello to the 2021 AL ROY.


Jimmy said...

This is the deepest and best bp we've had in years. In years past all of our fringy upside arms would make the roster, this year we are going to have like 2-3 guys that are probably league avg sitting in AA or AAA as depth pieces.

KO said...

The only worry about the bullpen is still no studs at all. Will Harris is the best bet at 35 years old and he also had a 3.5 ERA in 2018 so you cant expect the 1.5 ERA of last year. Daniel Hudson was also great last year but had an ERA over 4 the 3 years before that. Sean Doolittle had his worst career year last year and the most innings pitched since 2013 and some injuries mixed in. They have better depth than usual but this bullpen may still not be one to help them win games but more one that is less likely to lose all the games they gave away at the beginning of last year.

Jimmy said...

We have high upside guys though in Rainey and Suero. I think we'll end up being more than fine. Sure we don't have a total lock down stud but we have solid guys all around and several with that kind of upside.

Chas R said...

It would seem like one of Ross, Fedde, or Both could be moved to the pen- one that doesn't make the 5th SP

Cautiously Pessimistic said...

This bullpen is the type of bullpen that still requires you leaning quite a bit on your starters. With the Nats rotation, that's not too big a deal, but it's the kind of bullpen you can all but guarantee to give up ~2 runs every game. It's not the polarizing bullpen of last year where it was either 0 runs or 10 runs, but it's still not a "good" bullpen.

That said, with lots of meh arms, it makes DM's job a bit easier because you can't really make a wrong move since the right move isn't that much better.

JE34 said...

This bullpen also makes it easier to use different relievers in situations based on who's batting, rather than who's designated inning it is.

two cents said...

This is the kind of bullpen that could have us anywhere between saying "Here we go again," to "Thank god for the bullpen because these guys can't hit."

That is to say: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But that's better than last year.

Kubla said...

Quackenbush has a +2 in fun name to say above replacement.

G Cracka X said...

An Astros fan tracked 8,200 pitches from the 2017 season and found 1,100 instances of trash can bangs: His website also allows you to break down the tipped pitches by Astros batter.

Anon said...

GCX- The article in the Post showed Bregman homered off of Shawn Kelley on a tipped pitch in 2017. In fairness to Bregman I thought think Dal Maxvill and Julien Javier homered off Kelley that season too. The only reason Bobby Wine didn't get one is that he was on the same team.

Robot said...

The crowd could get a Mighty Ducks quack chant going for Quackenbush!

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Nats need a loan to bring in another power hitter

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