Wednesday, May 09, 2007

An Interesting Question

From Oleanders:
"This is a completely honest question, as snarky as it seems to be:

Are the Nationals trying to get better?

A few weeks ago the Nats were doing ok, but their offense was struggling mightily. So what have they done since then?"

Check it out for the answer to the last, and answer the first on your own.


  • That is a good question. I don't understand the Chris Snelling trade. Was his defense that bad? Was that an equitable trade with decent value for both teams?

    By Anonymous John, at 5/09/2007 9:21 AM  

  • i said it then and i'll say it again, we completely bungled the whole snelling situation. he could have been a "real" find and now we have nothing to show for it except another 27 year old former prospect.

    casto (25 and never over AA until this year) and restovich (proven history of crappiness) had no business pushing the oft-injured, 25 yr old snelling to the bench, who at least had a history of offensive production when not injured. and, although his BA was low, his OBP was very good (on this team anyway) and he had a track record of coming around.

    this trade may have made sense for for a contender, getting a defensive replacement OF to help hold leads. for us? ROTFLMAO!

    we'll see snelling in an a's uniform and have the same shake-head-in-disbelief feeling i get when i see maicer izturis.

    ps - i am in no way anti-casto but still have no earthly idea what he did to push the same-aged, better-prospect snelling to the bench, which was the beginning of the end for snelling.

    By Blogger Bill, at 5/09/2007 9:32 AM  

  • Like I said at the time, given how they were likely to use Snelling (or not use him as the case was), the trade wasn't a bad one.

    But that was also contingent on Langerhans taking some of Logan's playing time. Hopefully another 2-3 weeks of shittastic hitting from him will get him his release papers; the Nats finally have a viable CF as an alternative.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/09/2007 9:34 AM  

  • chris - i agree, if we weren't going to use him, fine, get something for him.

    however, the REAL question remains WHY were we likely to use (or not use) snelling that way? especially given the meager alternatives. it just felt very church-ian to me.

    By Blogger Bill, at 5/09/2007 9:39 AM  

  • Like I said at the time, given how they were likely to use Snelling (or not use him as the case was), the trade wasn't a bad one.

    True, but it bothers me that the way to defend the trade is to say that the Nats weren't going to do the smart thing to begin with.

    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/09/2007 9:48 AM  

  • A few reasons...

    It's the insider/outsider thing. That plays into the psychology of it. Casto is OUR guy, ergo he's just as good, if not better, than the stranger.

    He's not a particularly good defensive player -- even though he's playing CF for the A's, that's out of sheer desparation bc of all their injuries.

    And really, he didn't hit either here or in spring training. He had a few homers, but basically has hit .200 for 3 months.

    Sure, he walked enough to offset some of that, and it's reasonable to assume that the Average would climb higher, but it's not like he was cranking the ball like Church was.

    (I'm not rationalizing it, just trying to think of reasons why they did what they did)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/09/2007 9:52 AM  

  • On John's question, Snelling's fielding seemed solid enough. He has a plus arm. I saw one game where he dug a sure double out of the corner and quickly fired hard to second. Belliard had awarded second to the runner and didn't bother to go through the enormous effort of putting down the tag. But if he had, the runner would have been out.

    There are lots of instances where this team isn't trying. Robert "Brain Cramp" Fick accounts for more than his fair share of those. Is Fick getting guaranteed money this year? If so, maybe that explains why they keep him and play him so much.

    By Anonymous Ed, at 5/09/2007 9:57 AM  

  • All MLB players have guaranteed contracts once the season begins.

    The only exceptions are for young players who have split contracts that pay them less when they're in the minors -- and there might be a veteran or two (typically non-roster players) who have similar deals.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 5/09/2007 9:59 AM  

  • earhvOn Fick, I think I recall his salary being in the $850,000 range. That's irrelevant money on most clubs, but a huge outlay on this one. True, Fick is a marginal major leaguer at best, but still, he is among the elite bench players on the Nats. I don't see the Nats just letting him go.

    By Anonymous Ed, at 5/09/2007 10:15 AM  

  • Agree with your insider/outsider thing. As I said on OMG, Casto is a "product" of the Nats farm system and is thus a precursor to how THE PLAN(tm) is going to work. Snelling was just a random project picked up off the scrap heap by Bowden as part of dumping Vidro's contract. Furthermore, he's not a former a) Red, b) Diamondback, or c) Brave, and thus had no special appeal to anyone in the Front Office.

    By Anonymous Simon Oliver Lockwood, at 5/09/2007 10:17 AM  

  • Good defense, mediocre pitching and poor hitting are not going to win many games. However, this WILL artificially inflate the value of our mediocre young pitchers. By putting out the best defensive team we can, we make things easier for our pitchers which will help them to get all their stats except wins. Then we trade them. There is no way to inflate the value of young hitters.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/09/2007 11:01 AM  

  • A product of our system? That's considered a GOOD thing! We are now officially in bizarroworld!!! Our farm system blows! And Jimbo/Stan didn't develop anybody in it; therefore, they shouldn't have any personal stake in any of the guys below Jimbo's first draft. So I don't understand how that can be a logical argument for keeping one guy over another. Maybe looking for a "logical" argument is my undoing!

    I'll say it again, and I have NOTHING against casto, but a 25 yr old who couldn't rise above AA in a farm system that is completely devoid of any potential ML talent above the A ball level cannot be considered anything more than a fringe, what-the-hell, let's-give-him-a-whirl prospect. just like snelling! except snelling actually had much more experience above AA than casto did, despite dealing with various injuries.

    By Blogger Bill, at 5/09/2007 11:25 AM  

  • on another note... speaking of reclamation projects, the indians DFAed (i love using this now that i know what it means!) inconsistent 27 yr old flamethrower jason davis yesterday. as a tribe fan, i actually liked the guy and thought he got a little hosed by being bounced back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen.

    anyways, when speculating teams that might trade with the indians (as it is surmised he will not make it past waivers), check out this gem.

    Washington: The Nationals need everything.

    we are now getting hazed by media members in AL markets! so we got that going for us. which is (not) nice! what he fails to realize is we have absolutely nothing that would interest the indians (assuming we're not willing to trade any of our REAL prospects).

    By Blogger Bill, at 5/09/2007 11:32 AM  

  • Maybe the Nats need a psychologist:

    "That's kind of a bad play there
    ...which are so inherently symptomatic...of a losing team.

    "The mind is a strange thing, men.
    We must begin by asking it...'What is losing?'"

    "Losing is a contagious as polio. Losing is a contagious as syphilis. Losing is a disease... as contagious as bubonic plague. Attacking one... but infecting all...But curable.

    "Now, I want you to are on a ship at sea...on a vast.. (You wanna sit down and pay attention?)... gently rocking. (Get back in here!) Gently rocking. Gently rocking. Gently rocking...

    By Anonymous BrianH, at 5/09/2007 12:34 PM  

  • Oh well, looks like the quest for 500 runs took another hit today. Guzman amazingly got on base twice though!

    On another note, I'm starting to think that these Brewers just might be in the playoff hunt all season long. They have some players out there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/09/2007 3:45 PM  

  • Beano Cook just took a shot at us too.

    By Blogger WFY, at 5/09/2007 3:49 PM  

  • The Brewers are more than in the playoff hunt. I don't think it is too early to say that the Central is theirs to lose. Who else in that division can win 90 games? The Cubs pitching is good enough that they might make a run, but I don't see anyone else challenging the Brew Crew.

    By Blogger RPS, at 5/09/2007 4:06 PM  

  • It's quite obvious that "trying to get better" in 2007 is not a part of the Nats plan. Beyond the "core" players (including Zimmerman although he doesn't have a long term deal), the Nats are going to get rid of any player who improves his marketability by performing. Belliard will be gone soon, but he's now a bench jockey to keep his stats from going down (both offensively and defensively). Young should have been traded during April, because his value will never be that high again.

    I find it very hard to watch this group struggle to find innovative ways to avoid scoring runs.

    When the 2005 Nats ran out of pitchers and had no hitters during that miserable 31-50 stretch from July 4 to the end of the season, you could at least blame MLB. The 2007 team will have to work some kind of miracle to play that well, and this was completely self-inflicted. The Lerners are going to be surprised when the empty seats of the 2007 season continue at the new ball park before the 2008 season has been underway for very long. Unless they surprise MLB (and that is unlikely in my opinion because I believe that an understanding was reached about spending on player salaries in order to have the franchise granted to the Lerners) and actually spend unrealistic money to get some headline-grabbing names for the team, this 2007 gamble will prove to be their undoing, and GEICO stadium on the Anacostia will look like Kaufman stadium in KC every night.

    At least walk-up tix wont be a problem.

    By Blogger jim king, at 5/09/2007 4:53 PM  

  • By Blogger Sneakers hobbies, at 10/28/2009 9:26 PM  

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