MLB 2012 Award Picks

October 4, 2012

Here’s my take on the big awards:

AL MVP – Mike Trout

I’ll get the most contentious one out of the way first. I picked Trout over Miguel Cabrera not because of WAR (which I do like) or anything like that. I think the case can be made that Miggy was the best hitter this year, but Trout was awfully close. Trout, however, was a much better defensive player. Therefore, overall, Trout was better. I won’t even get into the advantages that Miggy had with park effects and opponents’ pitching staffs. Trout was a better player than Cabrera, even if you buy that Miggy was a better hitter. Frankly, because he plays such a more difficult defensive position than either guy, Cano may even be above Cabrera, but I won’t get into that here.

NL MVP – Buster Posey

Posey’s got a better OPS than McCutchen (in SF, a real pitcher’s park) and a higher OBP than Braun (who should get extra points this year after coming back and killing it again) and he plays catcher.

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Dr. StrangeUpton

September 20, 2012

…or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombs.

As an aside from the playoff race and the fun that the Nationals are having looking forward to October, I’m always speculating about how they’ll structure next year’s lineup (the biggie: will LaRoche still be here?). If they’re happy with Harper in CF they could just keep LaRoche, but that might not be up to them. And if it’s not, they’ll might have to find a free agent. Except that the corner outfield and 1B free agent market is sparse. So maybe get a real CF, move Harper to a corner OF spot and Morse to 1B.

If they do go that way, there are 3 big name center fielders that are available. One is Shane Victorino, but I have my doubts that he’s the right answer. Another is Michael Bourn, and he’s a good player, but he might want a big long term deal, and maybe they don’t want to do that. Another guy who might be had a little cheaper, and maybe they could sign him shorter term is B.J. Upton (maybe they couldn’t, but at least he’s two years younger than Bourn).

And I like the idea of Upton, but is he the answer for this team? He’s a low AVG, relatively low OBP (bad year this year, but .337 career aint awful) and decent power guy. In other words, he reminds me of Ian Desmond. Desi’s had a much better than year than Upton, but the similarities are there in my mind. I just keep thinking they’re OBP low and power high and maybe they need more OBP and they’re great but streaky… well, I went ahead and worked myself into a frenzy, so I submitted this basic premise to Colin Wyers at Baseball Prospectus during his chat yeseterday:

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Potential September Callups

August 27, 2012

September is approaching fast, and normally with the Nationals, it’s when we can turn our attention back to the downtrodden team and see some young prospects get a shot with the Major League club. Instead, this year the Nats will be entering September as perhaps favorites to win the division, let alone grab one of the two wild card spots.

But that doesn’t stop the roster from expanding, and it doesn’t stop the minor league season from ending around Labor Day, so we’ll still get to see a youngster or two. Remember that in order to be a September callup, a player has to be on the 40 man roster. I will use today’s 40 man and assume it won’t change by the weekend, but of course it probably will. Here’s a few guys to look out for:

Probably

John Lannan – Heard of him? He’s a lock to get called up, especially considering he’s first in line to fill in for Stephen Strasburg once the ace gets shut down.

Corey Brown – He had an incredible season in the minors, he’s a strong defensive CF, and he’s already hit his first Major League homer this year. Hopefully he’ll get to play some more – maybe to rest a seemingly fatigued Bryce Harper once in a while.

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Your Backup Middle Infielders

July 31, 2012

With no move by the Nationals at the trade deadline to find some middle infield help, they are left with Danny Espinosa at SS and Steve Lombardozzi at 2B. They can back each other up if one gets hurt, with Mark DeRosa playing 2B in that case. But Ian Desmond’s oblique injury is expected to sideline him until the end of August, although it’s one of those things that wouldn’t surprise me if it lasted longer (not knowing much about it, of course). But DeRosa hasn’t played much 2B recently, and I’m not sure how comfortable the Nats would really be with him penciled in that spot for more than a day or two. So who in the minors might fill in if they need someone longer term?

In Syracuse

Jim Negrych (2B, 27 years old) is small and, according to Baseball Prospectus, unathletic. But he’s lead the AAA Chiefs in time served at 2B, and in that time he’s hit pretty well. In fact, he’s known as a hitter more than a fielder – that is to say, he’s not a great 2B, but his bat wouldn’t sustain him at an easier position. Still, his .271/.353/.413 at Syracuse seems good enough, although at 27 anything less than that would probably cause major red flags. He’s certainly an option, if they’re willing to sacrifice defense, and don’t need a SS.

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The Nationals Review Podcast Episode 7

June 6, 2012

This episode,  Nationals Review Episode 7, Charlie & Colm talk:

  • Draft – Luc Giolito and the rest
  • Tuesday night’s win – Desmond and Harper
  • Harper’s hot hitting
  • Nats in the All Star Game (Harper?)
  • Return of Morse
  • Espinosa’s last month

Friday Morning Links

April 27, 2012

Yesterday’s SI article on the greatness of the Nats pitching. In it, Rizzo basically admits a philosophy I’ve been espousing all along – there’s no point in going out and signing some free agents to try to approach mediocrity (or, what I call, Orioles baseball 1998-2010) when you can just stink, get the best players in the draft, and enable a future.

Rob Neyer then gives his take on the SI article, asking How Believable is Unbelievable Nationals’ Pitching?

The Nats gave a long term contract last season to Jayson Werth, and he didn’t play very well. This year, he’s certainly lived up to it so far, but it’s very early. The other outfielder that signed a big time long term contract at the time, and the Nats other big option, though, wasn’t as good as Werth in 2011, and things just got way worse.

Hardball Times’ Frank Jackson has a cool history of the Eastern Shore League that was on the Eastern Shore you’re thinking of. Did you know that Mickey Cochrane played for Dover and Jimmy Foxx played for Easton?

Non-Nats:

The great gif Braden Holtby’s non-reaction to a fake slash from Peverley, a reaction that would have made a stoic Roman Republican era Senator, or dare I say, a honey badger, proud


Trying to Stream Nats Games Locally

April 5, 2012

As I sit in my office knowing I won’t be able to watch the Nats game despite having an MLB.tv subscription, thanks to being, you know, in the area of the home team (like most people), I wonder if there’s something that can be done about it. Well, the Baseball Prospectus guys are having an Opening Day (or at I call it, Strassover) Round Table right now and I posed the question to them about what can be done. They took it up, so here’s what was said:

Comment From Charlie
Do you guys think MLB.tv will ever be blackout free? I, like most people, would love to watch my home teams games online at work, on on my iPad, or anywhere else. It’s not about NOT paying for cable or anything, it’s about viewing options! I assume this isn’t MLB’s call, but they’d probably have many many more subscriptions if people could watch the home team…

Colin Wyers: Ever? Probably. I wouldn’t want to bet on the timeline or what other changes would take place between now and then.

Larry Granillo: Charlie, as I saw someone say on Twitter yesterday, with the amounts of money networks are paying for rights now, I doubt it… at least not any time soon.

Jason Collette: The existing TV contracts teams have in place really make it unlikely to change any time soon. I don’t think offering a double secret premium version of it at an inflated price would fix the issue

Colin Wyers: What’s already starting to happen is partnerships with cable companies. Where if you have the channel on your cable, you can watch without blackouts. It’s very limited now, though.

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