Everyone being ESPN and Baseball Prospectus, in a couple of joint or related articles. These are the “Kiss ‘Em Goodbye” series, which you need Insider or a BP subscription to read. It’s the “series on MLB teams that are out of contention.” Of course, this could have been started months ago for the Nats, but I digress. I can’t in good conscience reproduce everything they had to say, since you gotta pay for it.
But I can give a few highlights on their take on the team, so here you go, plus some of my own comments in italics:
- Despite blunders and gaffes, hiring Rizzo and signing Strasburg ends the season on a high note – of course, that assumes the season ended mid-August. Which I guess it did for this team.
- Apparently one of the questions in the GM search was “What do you think of Bobby Valentine?” – Could be a preview for who they want, not sure if he’s the right guy, but he sure is fun to have around.
- They are last in virtually every pitching stat, so they shouldn’t get too attached to any of their pitchers – Yeah, I noticed that, check out the widget on the right of your screen.
- A couple of starting pitchers will be signed in Free Agency, a good one and an innings eater named Livan – Livan, eater of innings and probably lots of meatball subs to return? I’d believe it, as he’s already with the team and looks like their second best starter. A bigger name besides him? I am more suspect of that.
- They need catching depth so expect the Return of Brian Schneider - If only Brian Schneider of 2005 would return, since that’s the last time his bat was helpful. Of course the alternatives are… ugh.
- Drew Storen looks like he’ll be good - Agreed
- They consider Ian Desmond to be a key player to build around – So do I, and that’s not necessarily because I have really high expectations for him. Not everyone is going to be a superstar, but he doesn’t have to be super to be an important, and helpful, part of the team. If he’s just good, he’s better than what they often run out there.