I have often criticized Christian Guzman, and it isn’t without warrant. His lack of plate discipline and power can be crippling to production, if you don’t believe me, see 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 . But over the last few days he has done a few remarkable things. The first is hit for the cycle. This is a great feat, and while is pretty luck dependent (if he hadn’t been thrown out at second, he’d have had a better game, but no cycle), it is still something special, uncommon, and exciting in a season lacking for exciting from the Nats. He also has had 2 hits or more in 8 consecutive games, something that no Washington player has done in 75 years. This is a franchise record, and its important because it shows how good Guzman can be when he’s hot. All this was enough to give him a well-deserved NL player of the week award.
If he had been healthy all season, he’d have a good shot at breaking the Nationals single season hits record, 206 (Vlad Guerrero). At this point, he doesn’t have a shot. The Nats have 22 games left, assuming he plays in all of them, and gets 4 ABs a game, he’d have 88 remaining ABs. This isn’t a stretch considering how much he walks. And realistically, since he bats at the top of the lineup, he might have something more like 4.3 ABs/game. So let’s just say he has 95 ABs left. If he get 30 hits (his season average of .311 means 29.5 hits) it would put him right at the #10 spot on the Nats all time hit record list with 190. In order to break the record, he’d need 47 more hits, which would have him hitting .522 for the rest of the season.
At 31 next season, he certainly isn’t part of the future. Despite his ability to hit right now, he isn’t the solution that this team needs. These hot streaks increase Guzman’s trade value, and if they have an opportunity to trade him, this offseason or middle of next season, they should certainly go for it. Not because his lack of ability, just for his lack of youth. Repeat after me: “Aging veterans, no matter how good they are, aren’t what we need.”
Hill is out for the season
Not that there’s much left in it, but he’s been out for most of it before today. First Patterson, then Shawn Hill. Hoepfully Hill can find a way to get better this offseason and come back strong. It isn’t a bad pitching staff if the rotation is Hill, Lannan, Balester, and Jordan Zimmermann coming into next season. It’s very young, and not ready for prime time maybe, but certainlys one to watch. Unfortunately, we’ll probably have to count Hill out until he proves otherwise.