Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Suicide Is Painless

Pop Goes The Hamstring! And like that, Terrmel Sledge is out for a good period of time. It’s a grade two hamstring tear. I’m no medical doctor like some people, but I know that’s not good.

Hammies just don’t like to heal, and the slightest wrong movement can set rehab back.

Needless to say, he’ll join our parade of schlubs on the DL.

The question becomes, who replaces him?

If you want an outfielder, the obvious choice is Tyrell Godwin. He’s smacking the crap outta the ball in New Orleans. But, a closer look at his stats, show that most of his value is tied up in his batting average. He’s not really hitting for power. And he’s not really walking all that much. He’s the Ichiro of the PCL -- just without the talent.

The other outfield option is Matt Cepicky who’s had cup of coffee or two. He’s your typically generic replacement corner outfielder type. He won’t wow you with his glove. He won’t wow you with his bat. (Sounds like JJ Davis!) There are machines in the minor leagues that dispense this kind of player. (Although putting $330,000 worth of quarters into it is a bitch)

There’s also this hot hitting younger whom I haven’t heard much about. He could be the next young thing. I.E. Chavez? We’ll have to keep an eye out for him.

Truthfully, I think he burned most of his bridges on the way down with the pretty classless and clueless way he left town. He’s pretty clearly below Godwin, and probably below Cepicky on the depth chart. And he’d have to out-hit both to get another chance. Get that man a gold watch!

The only other possible option (and again, I mean that in the most liberal definition of the word) is Jeffrey Hammonds. He’s hitting about .220 in the minors and his bat speed is so slow, he’s still swinging at pitches from spring training. Get THAT man a gold watch.

But, if I were Mr. J. Bowden, I wouldn’t bring up an outfielder. You’ve already got Ryan Church and JJ Davis, giving you a passable platoon. And, in a huuuuge pinch, you’ve got Tony Blanco to flop around left field aimlessly. In theory, that’s five outfielders. That’s enough.

But, what this team does need is another middle infielder. The whole reason this team has been so wackily constructed is because we had to carry all those optionless outfielders. Well, Terrmel fixed that, didn’t he?

The greatest reason for another middle infielder is that it would Free Jamey Carroll! Carroll, who’s a good on-base guy, would be free to pinch hit for the torrid Cristian Guzman, or the pitcher. Right now, Frank always seems to hold him back, just in case of injury. Having a lukewarm body on the bench would give Frank a few more strategic options. (On second thought, is giving Frank more strategic options necessarily a good thing? “Now hitting for Jose Guillen: Henry Mateo”)

The middle infield options are bleak. But, as the warmed-over corpse of Carlos Baerga demonstrates (despite the occasional death spasms that result in the odd hit) having major league ability is not necessary for major league service.

Brendan Harris is the obvious choice. One problem though. He’s not hitting. As Yuda pointed out in the ever-exciting Game Day Chatter, The fact that harris is up to 244/306/300 means he had a hot week

Add in the fact that the team seems to hate him, and it doesn’t Bodes (get it?) well for him.

Henry Mateo, currently on the DL, began a rehab assignment a few days ago with New Orleans. He’s got a nothing bat, but he does know which glove to wear at a few different positions. And supposedly he’s got speed. He’s definitely the caliber of 25th man.

The only other option is career minor leaguer, Rick Short. Short is your basic utility guy. He’s sort of an older, better-hitting (marginally) Mateo. He also actually happens to be hitting minor league pitching.

Which way will they go? I’m not sure. St. Barry of Svrluga indicated they’re leaning towards an outfielder. I don’t know if that’s just speculation or if he’s heard things, man. I’m banking on a Bacon Turkey Bravo-induced high, and that they’ll bring up one of the infielders.

The catch becomes the roster crunch. We’re currently at 40 men [Hey, Whadya know, we're only at 39!]. And none (I might be wrong on this, and I’m sure you’ll correct me) of the options listed are on the 40-man roster, except for Harris, who’s also the least likely.

It won’t be necessary to dump a player. They can probably pretty easily move Wil Cordero or Joey Eischen to the 60-day DL, which would free up an extra 40-man spot.

If they brought a player like Short up, there probably wouldn’t be any problem having him clear waivers when they outrighted him to the minors to take him off the 40-man. Of course by then another injury will have popped up rending that speculation moot.

But, one thing we can all agree on is that if (as the BPro-approved hacktastic cliché says) the answers are Rick Short and Jeffrey Hammonds, you’re asking the wrong question.


  • I'm only counting 39 people on the Nationals homepage (your link on the right). Francis Beltran is on the 60-day so I can see why he isn't listed as a member of the 40 man roster, but what am I missing?

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 9:55 AM  

  • My money's on Bowden bringing up an outfielder.

    Because Bowden is sharp as a bag of hammers.

    By Blogger Angry Sam, at 5/03/2005 9:58 AM  

  • You're missing nothing other my senility.

    The web filter blocks my access here at work. I was just working off memory, and I had thought that Travis Hughes brought us to 40. Guess not!

    So ignore that part then!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 9:59 AM  

  • I also forgot about the uber-prospect Alex Escobar on the 60-day.

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:01 AM  

  • So are we at 38 then? That seems low.

    But that's awfully telling about the state of this team's prospects.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 10:03 AM  

  • It is 39/40. Escobar and Beltran are NOT on the list

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:04 AM  

  • I don't think Short's such a terrible option, actually.

    Hammonds is finito, though. Sort of like Baerga, of course.

    By Blogger Basil, at 5/03/2005 10:16 AM  

  • Here's where MLB's reign of terror on this franchise will bite the hardest ... no quality depth, no one of note in the minor leagues, no flexibility.


    P.S. I'm shocked - SHOCKED - that Basil hasn't started the "free Baby Ruckles" chant yet ... I mean, if BP says he's a soft-tossing lefty that's gotta be good enough for Bodes, no? (grin)

    By Anonymous conNATStant Lurker, at 5/03/2005 10:19 AM  

  • any chance Brandon Watson gets a look?

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:24 AM  

  • Just wait a couple hours, conNATS.

    (I've also got a pseudo-rumor-speculation to throw in, too---for no extra cost!)

    By Blogger Basil, at 5/03/2005 10:26 AM  

  • Why do I have this bad feeling Mel Nieves is headed out west with the Nats?

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:27 AM  

  • Is Mike Hinckley injured? He's probably the best lefty in the system, and I wouldn't mind throwing him into the pen -- especially since Frank tends to let lefties throw full innings anyway.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 10:38 AM  

  • Hinckley had some arm problems right after spring training.

    They held him out of throwing for a few weeks and he's just now been working out in Vierra.

    I think they're planning on sending him to Harrisburg in the next few weeks.

    He's probably not an option at this point.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 10:41 AM  

  • Shoot, while we're being irresponsible, why not Bill Bray? 1st rounder, local guy, LEFTY ...
    (NOTE: answers including the phrase "arbitration clock" will not be accepted.)

    By Anonymous conNATStant Lurker, at 5/03/2005 10:42 AM  

  • In other news, Sunny Kim (2.49, 22 K/9 BB in 25.1 innings) and Travis Hughes (2.19, 12/3 in 12.1) are tearing it up in Nawlins.

    Too bad we're flush with right-handed relievers...

    Maybe we can flip one of these guys for a lefty with a pulse?

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 10:44 AM  

  • Same thing with Bray. He's been held out of service. I don't think it's arm problems, but I think it has more to do with them wanting to limit his innings. (But, I'm sure Brian will point out where I'm wrong here too!)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 10:45 AM  

  • I can't actually find any stats on Bill Bray. Any idea which affiliate he's with at the moment?

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 10:45 AM  

  • Yuda,

    I think the Inquirer will have some baseless speculation on that very subject around lunch time.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 10:46 AM  

  • I haven't seen any stats from him this year. He's supposedly at Potomac. My guess then would be he's not ready

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:46 AM  

  • Touchy touchy ... apparently, Chris didn't get enough of a nappy-poo

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:47 AM  

  • Am I the only one who occasionally feels odd speculating on what is, basically, the buying and selling of human beings?

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 10:47 AM  

  • Wow - this is like a posting frenzy for me (too much time this morning I guess):

    Another thought - Marlon Byrd? Philly seems to have soured on him; is there someone who both knows and cares enough about the Phillies to guess if we match up? I know he's an outfielder, but he's a *real* outfielder ...

    By Anonymous conNATStant Lurker, at 5/03/2005 10:48 AM  

  • I'd feel much worse about it if the men we're speaking of in terms of property couldn't afford to in turn buy and sell me.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 10:48 AM  

  • from the P-Nats website ...
    Bill Bray is currently listed on the Disabled List

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:49 AM  

  • I don't think Bray's injured per se. I think it's just a precautionary move, more than anything.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 10:50 AM  

  • I'm a recovering Phillies Phan, so I can answer all of your questions on Marlon Byrd!

    He had a promising rookie season, but then Larry Bowa appears to have broken him -- last year was awful, both in the bigs and in AAA.

    He's a solid but not great center fielder, hits right-handed, and could probably benefit from a change of scenery.

    Trouble is, last I checked he was on the DL.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 10:51 AM  

  • That said, if he's healthy or close to it, I'd be happy to drop J.J. Davis and add him as a fourth outfielder who can play all three positions out there. Then we're unquestionably free to add an infielder.

    I'll go peruse the Phillies' minor-league rosters and see if there's anybody else decent down there they might package in.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 10:52 AM  

  • from the Red Barons website

    Marlon Byrd also joins the club on a 20 day ML rehab assignment for the Phillies. Byrd was initially assigned to the Red Barons opening day roster but was placed on the DL before the season started with a finger injury suffered in spring training. The DL assignment was later voided and transferred to the Phillies DL since the injury occurred in ML spring training.

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:54 AM  

  • Date of above 4/27/2005

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:54 AM  

  • with Lofton's hamstring issues, I'd guess if he is DL bound, Byrd may the first choice

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 10:58 AM  

  • Byrd's interesting. He definitely has potential. He is an above average, though not spectacular fielder in center.

    I know the Phillies have run him down, but I'm not so sure they'd give him up for the kind of scraps we could offer. I think they'd be more inclined to trade Lofton to a contender (proven veteran, and all), especially if they continue to stink.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 10:59 AM  

  • I think the Inquirer will have some baseless speculation on that very subject around lunch time.

    There seemed to be a flurry of posts around the time Craphonso posted this, so I should add that he was referring to "flipping for a lefty" and not "Bill Bray."

    And, yes, Chris is right: he knows what it is, and it's pretty much baseless speculation.

    By Blogger Basil, at 5/03/2005 11:00 AM  

  • I'm probably oversimplifying, but the sense I got was


    but I'm conNATStantly wrong so take it with a pillar of salt.

    By Anonymous conNATStant Lurker, at 5/03/2005 11:01 AM  

  • Last Winter, Ed Wade was bordering on desperate to unload him.

    He's, at best, third on their center-field depth chart, after Lofton and Jason Michaels now.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 11:01 AM  

  • Will Ed Wade be the GM for much longer though? :)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 11:04 AM  

  • The Nationals really have nothing to offer in exchange for anything other than guys like Hammonds, Nieves, etc (without disrupting guys on the major league roster)

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 11:04 AM  

  • He'll play out the string this season. Of course, he should've been fired, with Bowa, around 2001...

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 11:05 AM  

  • We've got a surplus of right-handed relief pitching!

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 11:06 AM  

  • Luis Ayala for Marlon Byrd?

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 11:08 AM  

  • My best guess of a trade that might actually happen, though, would be Zach Day to the Reds for some sort of lefty and an infielder.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 11:09 AM  

  • Cincy AAA LHP
    Randy Keisler
    Jeriome Robertson
    Brian Shackelford

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 11:10 AM  

  • Keisler might be moderately useful. He's another in the long line of young pitchers who Joe Torre effed up.

    Robertson's a non-entity.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 11:12 AM  

  • Jeriome Robertson was traded to Cleveland for Willy Tavares and Luke Scott... not a very good move by Cleveland

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 11:14 AM  

  • And Bill Bray has back problems. It doesn't appear to be anything too serious.

    At least it's not his arm.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 11:15 AM  

  • One possibility I'll get to at lunch: look at the Braves, AAA.

    By Blogger Basil, at 5/03/2005 11:17 AM  

  • Chris Michalak and Darren Oliver are at AAA Tucson (D-Backs)

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/03/2005 11:20 AM  

  • Mike Venafro? He's getting lit up at Las Vegas but he's another local boy ... challenge trade Horgan for Venafro?

    He also will be easier on the club's travel budget - he could probably hitch a ride from Vegas for tonight's game?

    This is so much more fun when I know my job isn't on the line ...

    By Anonymous conNATStant Lurker, at 5/03/2005 11:32 AM  

  • Venafro? He's the really violent side arm swirling lefty that was in Texas a few years ago?

    When he throws the pitch over the plate, lefties can't touch him. I don't think his control was very good though.

    And righties hit him like he was Scott Erickson's ex-girlfried!

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 12:12 PM  

  • looks like Chavez and Hammonds get the call up. that's good, we didn't have enough outfield bench players

    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/03/2005 12:38 PM  

  • Please tell me that's an effing joke. PLEASE

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 12:39 PM  

  • haven't seen anything official, but someone who claims to have a front office source posted it on another board

    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/03/2005 12:40 PM  

  • Ah... I will wager any dollar amount you have that that won't be what the Nats do then.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 12:41 PM  

  • On second thought, this IS Bowden we're dealing with. Damned if I know.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 12:42 PM  

  • you owe me some money:

    "Placed outfielder Terrmel Sledge on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring pull; transferred pitcher Joey Eischen from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list; purchased the contract of outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds from New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League (AAA); recalled outfielder Endy Chavez from New Orleans."

    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/03/2005 12:43 PM  

  • maybe inning-endy learned how to pitch

    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/03/2005 12:44 PM  

  • Got a link on that???

    I feel ill. Violently ill.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/03/2005 12:45 PM  

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/transactions

    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/03/2005 12:50 PM  

  • 'Tis true. Yahoo!'s got the same AP story.

    Fire away, fellas.

    By Blogger Basil, at 5/03/2005 12:58 PM  

  • someone needs to be sure that there are no matches or sharp knives laying around Bowden's office - he could really hurt someone

    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/03/2005 12:59 PM  

  • The only way that makes sense is the prayer that Jeffrey Hammonds has another insane 75 AB (.300/.400/.500) and we flip him to someone for a cheap lefty.

    Chavez, on the other hand, is inexplicable. What does that say to a guy like Brendan Harris, who's trying to take walks, when the poster child for "a better approach" is forgiven and returned to the bigs?

    By Anonymous conNATStant Lurker, at 5/03/2005 1:01 PM  

  • Dave Sheinen in his chat right now suggests there are no better options.


    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/03/2005 1:11 PM  

  • Jesus. I never thought I'd see Hammonds and Baerga on the same big league roster.

    Maybe Lenny Harris is available, we can complete the trinity of guys who can't play any positions.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 1:11 PM  

  • Also, in which alternate universe did Bodes think Hammonds was even close to the best option in New Orleans?

    I mean, the case for Endy I can see -- if Wilkerson and Church are both starting, somebody on the bench has to be able to play a credible center field. But Hammonds? This is ridiculous.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 1:18 PM  

  • Bah. This has ruined my whole day.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 1:26 PM  

  • Actually, d'you think the team has instructions from the Death Star *not* to (re)start anyone's arb clock?

    That would explain the sudden bout of necrophilia - or more accurately, ephebiphobia?

    By Anonymous conNATStant Lurker, at 5/03/2005 1:31 PM  

  • I can see that in the case of some of the young pitchers, but it's not like Rick Short is somebody you ever take to arbitration. He plays for you, at most, for three years while he's cheap and then you non-tender him.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 1:36 PM  

  • The good news about Hammonds is he's likely to hurt himself getting off the plane in L.A. and then we can call up a real player.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 1:37 PM  

  • I think this means that Davis's shelf-life is about used up, right?

    By Blogger Basil, at 5/03/2005 1:56 PM  

  • J.J. Davis is basically non-existant on this team's depth chart.

    Hopefully they can flip him for some non-prospect who's got options left, though; what with the lack of talent in this system, I'll take anything.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 2:01 PM  

  • J.J. Davis for Frank Brooks.

    The Nats need a lefty reliever; the Braves need OF depth. How about it?

    By Blogger Basil, at 5/03/2005 2:03 PM  

  • I should clarify that the Nats WANT a lefty reliever; whether one is actually NEEDED is a different issue, I think.

    By Blogger Basil, at 5/03/2005 2:03 PM  

  • Actually, the Braves and Nats look to be natural trading partners all season, what with Atlanta's brittle outfielders and our ridiculous number of outfielders-out-of-options.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 2:09 PM  

  • Actually, the Braves and Nats look to be natural trading partners all season, what with Atlanta's brittle outfielders and our ridiculous number of outfielders-out-of-options.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 2:09 PM  

  • Blogger can eat me.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 5/03/2005 2:09 PM  

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