Nationals Baseball: Friday Quickie?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Friday Quickie?

It's been a while and I don't even have a good excuse like vacation or something. I mean I do have a baby but it's not like a NEW baby and I powered through that in the playoffs. And yes I'm away for work which is actually surprisingly harder to find free time but still I'm just getting to old for this blogging world, time to shuffle off to Facebook or something...

Eh ok I'll give it another year. 

We're at pitchers and catchers now which is great but when you win a Championship... I don't want to say you don't want the next season to start but the next season means you have to defend the championship and you realize you likely won't and can't we just give out rings (4/4) and raise a banner (4/2) then have another parade and a month of realizing we are champions?

The Nats come into Spring with one real question - will Carter Kieboom start at 3rd or not? If not, it will presumably be Asdrubal Cabrera but really if not, what does that mean for Kieboom long term? Are there bullpen battles? 5th starter battles? Last man on bench battles? Yep yep yep. But these are things every team faces every year. It's this question - what is Carter Kieboom for 2020 and beyond - that is THE question of spring.

Why should the Nats start Cabrera? He's been an above average hitter every year since 2015... ok every year but  last year but last year he was great for the Nats. His fielding has dropped off but as that has happened he's shifted around the diamond and 3B seems like a decent fit for the 34 year old Asdrubal. In short, he's likely to be a good major league player. That can't be said of Carter Kieboom, who's trial in 2019 was terrible - hitting under .200 while striking out 40% of the time and having only 2 XBH.

Why should the Nats start Kieboom? There's little for him to get out of AAA. He played 109 games there last year and hit .303 / .409 / .493.  That's good enough to warrant a full trial. For all that Cabrera brings, he doesn't bring it beyond 2020. He's only signed through this season and Kieboom is set up to be the future at some point.  Why not give him this year, a post championship "Who really cares if we win*" year, to figure things out?

We have too little about Kieboom to speculate as outsiders. We have to watch him in Spring, like the Nats will, and see what he does. Twist my arm and I'll say he starts in AAA because he can.

Back to MWF next week until the daily work of the regular season because that's what we do here.

*You'll be surprised how much you do care come October.

18 comments:

MNB4 said...

I agree that Kieboom is the key to the season, in tandem with a leap forward from Robles. The Nats essentially brought the band back together minus Rendon, and their only hope is improved play from those guys.

Don't leave us Harper! I've been an every day lurker since 2010 and would hate to lose your mechanical insight and soul crushing realism.

Jimmy said...

Hate to lose you Harper, love your perspective even if its often wrong.

G Cracka X said...

Yes, please stay Harper! Can't remember when I started following the blog ('13 or '14 perhaps), but its my favorite online place for Nats analysis and discussion.

Now, if only there was a "Harper" blog for the other Big 4 Washington sports teams....

W. Patterson said...

G Cracka X - Big 4 teams? I guess if you include . . .

Besides the Nationals, you have the Wizards, Mystics, United, and ???? The Defenders? Maybe a college team, or two, if you go back many years. Roller derby, I guess, might make it four.

And Harper's only kidding about leaving. He's a frickin' computer so, besides a bit of electricity and minor programming, will go on forever.

Sheriff69 said...

I'm another long time lurker, rare l/occasional commenter that would miss ya!

Anonymous said...

Look at all the comments regarding Kieboom...these could be said about any minor league player...You can point at many players who came up when someone was injured...no one wanted to give them a chance...There is a prejudice among fans to only believe in major league players who have already had one good season over any minor league player.
Meanwhile, if a GM adopted this philosophy, he would never bring up a minor league player except as a temporary replacement.
A minor league player is a resource that is only worth so much as a trading card, but is worth a helluva lot once having one good season, either as a trading card or as an everyday player for a controlled salary.
So bringing up a player to develop them is something one has to do unless you think somehow that a GM is going to outfox the entire market and buy a bunch of FAs that no one else wants as much but in fact he knows they are better than everyone else thinks. The Rosenthal episode proves the point that FAs are also a gamble.
What I am getting at is you should be more upbeat and encouraged by the Kieboom thing. And you should realize, no team will ever be great for multiple seasons unless they have a strong farm system, even funding right up to the limit won't make up for this. It would be like trying to make a living at a vegetable stand selling other people's vegetables as opposed to growing them yourself.
I might say also, get some enthusiasm for, "Let's see what this guy has got!" because any player who comes up to the Bigs wants applause, not groans, when they come up to the plate.
TB

Jimmy said...

Anon 8:30- Wat? Kieboom has already been up and the consensus on him is he will get a chance as he should. We'll see we have a decent fallback options as well if it doesn't work out. People aren't optimistic because he sucked so hard in his brief cup of coffee already and should in many peoples minds performed a bit better with the bat in PCL given the ballparks he was playing in.

Robot said...

I CARE IF WE WIN!

Harper said...

I'm not going anywhere for a good number of decades. Just commenting on why this offseason has been a little lighter on the contents. Save your "don't leave"s for my "Oh my God it's been 20 years of doing this. What have I done with my life" post 4 years from now

Will said...

Also a lurker, and rare commenter. Love it! Throw an ad up why don’t ya? Ha

Will said...

I feel like this commenter works in baseball...

Will said...

Or it’s Tom Boswell

Max said...

So I see the nats having like $13M in cap space. Is that right and, if so, do you think they'll make a major move at the trade deadline?

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