Brad Meyers Returns

October 31, 2012

Today the Yankees returned Rule 5 pick from the Nationals, Brad Meyers. In order to keep him, he had to be on the 25 man roster all year. Instead he was on the DL all year except for one rehab game in the minors. So the Nats got him back and he was optioned to Syracuse. If you remember, a few people were a little upset that they didn’t protect him by putting him on the 40 man (thus preventing any team from taking him in the Rule 5 draft), especially after the success he saw in 2009 and 2011. Let’s first take a look at what he did there.

In 2009, at age 23, after being in the minors for a year and a half (he pitched late in the summer he signed), he showed some real promise. He started out in High-A Potomac, and he succeeded, as most former college pitchers should. He also spent 1/3 of his season at AA, which is a much bigger challenge, and succeeded there as well. In 48 IP in AA, he struck out 43, only walked 11, and had a 2.25 ERA. His numbers in high-A were better than that, and he was named the Nats Minor League Pitch of the year. But he hurt his foot in the offseason, and didn’t start the season. He only was able to make 6 starts before re-injuring it (or realizing it wasn’t fixed, perhaps), but in those 6 starts he was very good – 35K/7BB in 30 2/3 IP with a 1.47 ERA.

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The Nats and Future Power

August 23, 2012

ESPN put out their annual Future Power Rankings today, and it ranks the Nats 11th overall. I normally don’t worry about these things too much, but there is something I find a little curious about how they rank them. Check out what they did:

Majors - I get that their Majors score is only 26/30, despite the whole best-record-in-baseball thing. Frankly, they aren’t the offensive juggernauts as of yet, and the lack of a true CF or leadoff hitter is mentioned in the text. Plus 26 points is actually 4th best, behind only the Yankees, Rangers, and Angels, so I can certainly buy that.

Minors – Frankly, while this looks low, they don’t have a ton of true top level talent. Rendon could still end up being the best hitter in last year’s draft, and he’ll have time to show it this fall, but as for now, he’s barely played. Giolito is about to have TJ surgery before the end of the month. There are some others here and there, but it isn’t exactly deep or full of top level sure thing talent right now.

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Time to Bring Someone Up?

July 21, 2010

When Luis Atliano came up to the Majors this year, not that much was expected of him. He had pitched well in AAA, but he wasn’t a real prospect. Yet his first two starts looked good, and after 9 GS he was 5-2 with a 4.24 ERA. Not bad, but not meant to last. In those 51 innings he had only walked 22, which isn’t bad, expect that he had also struck out only 22. The ratio was a hint, as was his 6% of strikes from swinging. People didn’t miss his pitches.

Since that 9th start, things have really tailed off for him. He’s gone 1-5 (the team has gone 1-6), his ERA has been 6.49 in the last 7 games, and while his K/BB ratio has improved to 18/10, its because people are swinging and hitting him more. The opposition has gotten 44 hits in only 34 2/3 IP off of him in that time, and over the whole season, his ERA has gone up to 5.15, rising in all but 2 of his last 7 starts, those two against Baltimore and Kansas City.

It may be time to find someone else to fill Atilano’s role, at least for the moment. This isn’t to say he can’t be a decent 5th starter, or find a constructive role in the bullpen, but that right now it appears his starts are set up to be losses. So if they do make a switch, is there anybody out there to take his place? There sure is, and you’ve probably heard of a few of them:

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Bubbe’s Favorite Player

February 3, 2010

The Nationals signed Kench Mench to a minor league deal this week, and he’ll attempt to win a spot on the major league roster. They have their starting outfield pretty much set going in to the spring, but Elijah Dukes is still a bit of a question mark. So if he isn’t performing, they’re gonna need someone to play right field. Mench could be the one to do it.

First of all, Mench is a corner outfielder, and he’s played alot in RF, although recently he’s spent more time in LF. He’s got a career UZR/150 as an outfielder of 4.2, and a pretty good 8.8 in RF. He’s got a pretty decent arm, not bad at all for right field. He’s not a stellar fielder but I’d say he’s been above average most of his career. At 32, he’s a good bet to at least be average at the position, although he may not be one you’d consider as a defensive replacement, you wouldn’t need to take him out late in games.

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The Washington Nationals 2014 Lineup

November 13, 2009

Now that the offseason has begun, let the speculation begin. This is the 3rd annual “Nationals in 5 years” lineup, and it’s something I really enjoy thinking about. Of course, I’m judging prospects and predicting that there are no free agent acquisitions, both ridiculous for me to do. Unfortunately my goal of getting this out before BA does their’s didn’t work out this year, so feel free to accuse me of stealing from them. Just make sure you accuse them of stealing from me last year. Not that our lists are the same. Regardless, here’s my team based on the current farm system, and alot of  guessing:

The Position Players

C -Derek Norris – Last year, I had Flores in this place. And I think Flores still has a future for this team. But Norris is really impressing everyone, and 5 years will give him time to establish himself and work his way up. So don’t think of this as a knock on Flores, more of a nod to Norris. Norris had a great year, hitting .283/.413/.513 at single-A Hagerstown with 30 doubles and 23 home runs, leading the league in OBP and finishing 2nd in HRs. He was named the minor league player of the year by the organization. The 20 year old prospect also garnered other recognition, as Baseball America named him the #2 prospect on the Nats, the #4 prospect in the Sally league and the player of the year for the organization.

1B – Chris Marrero – His presence here was more doubtful last year, after the injuries of 2008. But he has recovered nicely and put together a strong 2009 season. Baseball America’s statement that his “best tool is his plus-plus raw power to all fields” is pretty enticing, and he’ll have to hit with power, because he will swing and miss, and he’s not a great fielder. But he’s got ability, and if they can develop him in to the true power hitter that they think he can be, he’ll be an asset for sure. For what it’s worth, he’s also crushing the ball in the AFL this year.

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Mock Up, Detwiler Down

July 14, 2009

Perhaps lost a bit in the flood of the Acta firing, Garrett MockJim Riggleman hiring (did you know he went to high school in Rockville, MD at Richard Montgomery? I just found that out), was the announcement this weekend that the Nats are sending Detwiler down to the minors in exchange for Garrett Mock. I can’t say I blame ‘em.

While Detwiler has had some success with the Nats, lately it’s been rough. I mean really rough. Since his first two starts where he looked pretty good, he’s started 8 more games. He’s pitched 41 innings, only walked 18 but only struck out 23. His ERA in that span has been 7.46. He’s only been in pro baseball for 2 seasons, so it’s not like he’s a huge disappointment at this point. It’s time for him to go back to the minors, and his demotion to AAA will actually bring his first appearance at that level. Hopefully he can finish working on his mechanics there, and come back stronger.

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Two Relievers Gone, When Are the Rest Leaving?

July 8, 2009

This week, the Nationals attempted to send two relievers down to the minor leagues – Kip Wells and Jesus Colome. Both rejected this premise and instead filed for free agency. The Nats probably knew this was gonna happen, and probably didn’t much care. Wells was a shot in the dark and he didn’t work out. Colome pitched a few good years between here and Tampa Bay. But he hasn’t pitched that well in DC in a while, and they weren’t keen to wait him out. Fine, no problems there. They have other relievers who can throw just as poorly.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded 27 year old Tony Pena (not to be confused with 52 year old Tony Pena) for a first base prospect from the White Sox, Brandon Allen. Allen is a strong prospect, ranked #4 in the entire White Sox organization by Baseball America. He hits for power and has gotten into first base shape – that is, he used to be considered a DH only type but hard work has moved him back to a 1B prospect. He hit .290/.372/.452 with 7 HR in 241 ABs in AA this year before being promoted to AAA where he’s doing alright but struggling a bit, not at all unexpected. Wait a second, the DBacks got the NUMBER FOUR PROSPECT IN THEIR ORGANIZATION FOR A RELIEVER?

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