Monday, September 17, 2007

Old Friends, Various Places, 2005 Edition

Brian Lawrence makes his long-awaited RFK debut tonight. Lawrence, you'll recall, wore a Nats uniform for about 23 minutes last spring, after having been acquired for Vinny Castilla. A torn labrum ended his season before he threw a pitch, and a declined option sent him to the wilds of wherever. But it got me thinking about what some of our favorite (and not-so favorite) ex-Nats are doing.

Jose Vidro is DHing regularly for the Mariners. He's got his batting stroke back a bit, hitting over .300, despite little more than singles power. Altogether, it's his best offensive season since his Montreal days. Still, 56 RBI from a full-time DH?

Marlon Byrd found his career (maybe next to his Escalade) as the Texas Rangers' new CFer. Byrd has had a terrific rebound season, batting .306 with 9 homers and 7 triples in part-time play.

  • Brad Wilkerson never had the season we expected he would as he toils in his second year in Texas. Wilkerson has battled injuries in both seasons, destroying his already shaky ability to make contact. He's a free agent at the end of the year. Could he be next year's Fick?

  • After last season's Tommy John surgery, Jose Guillen hurried back from rehab and I expected his numbers to suffer. They haven't, as he's played very well as Seattle's right fielder. Despite playing in a park that's death on right-handed batters, he's got his 20 homers, and there's a chance he'll get to 100 RBI, all while putting up an OPS+ that's consistent with his excellent 2005 season with the Nats. He's a free agent at the end of the year, and the Mariners are rumored to be interested in extending him. Good luck with that.

  • After being sold to the Rockies, Jamey Carroll had an amazing season, hitting .300 and belting 5 homers as their regular second basemen. He parlayed that into a multi-year contract extension and has stunk up the joint this year, hitting .215 and slugging under .300. He picked a hell of a time to have a career year.

  • Preston Wilson signed a bizarre multi-option deal with Houston, was promptly traded to St. Louis, where he inexplicably won a World Series, then stayed in St. Louis where his injury actually hurt the Cardinals.

  • Gary Bennett has stunk as St. Louis' backup catcher each of the last two years. He's had two PB this year.

  • Junior Spivey played in the minors for the Cardinals all last year, where he struggled to hit .200. This season, he got a few games in with the Pawtucket Red Sox.

  • Tony Blanco, the man who single-handedly lowered Billy Wagner's ERA a point, has spent the last two injury-filled years toiling around the low levels of the Nationals minor leagues.

  • After his release, Wife Beatin' Wil Cordero caught on with the Mets AAA affiliate in Norfolk. He thankfully appears to have retired.

  • Terrmel Sledge never turned into the star that mlb.com forecast him to be, batting in the .210s in two seasons of part-time play with the Padres.

  • Outfielder Matt Cepicky, who blasted the Nats for jerking him around when he left town, has mostly floated around the minors and spent all of this season in the last bastion for shitty players, the Orioles farm system.

  • Rick Short continues to hit line drives and play bad defense for teams in Japan.

  • Endy Chavez has become one of the most popular Mets, even getting his own bobblehead doll.

  • After the Reds gave up on him, too, Brendan Harris (the pride of Queensbury, NY), has been a regular on the Tampa Bay infield, hitting well, but playing rangeless defense.

  • Kenny Kelly spent last year in the Nationals farm system before upgrading to the ChiSox'

  • Tyrell Godwin went to cinci before coming back to DC -- well, Columbus, at least.

  • Henry Mateo signed with Detroit and gave the Toledo Mudhens 300+ ABS of fury.

  • Livan Hernandez has given Arizona 200 league average innings, despite pitching regular batting practice sessions.

  • Esteban Loaiza, when he wasn't getting drunk and speeding, was mostly injured while pitching for the A's. Billy Beane (and Padres fans) was delighted when the Dodgers claimed him off waivers, where he's given up 12 runs in 15 innings.

  • When last we saw John Patterson, he was receiving treatment here.

  • Pirates fans are regretting the signing of Tony Armas, as if a 6+ ERA in 15 starts wasn't an improvement for them.

  • Tomo Ohka stunk in Milwaukee. Then he got injured and stunk in Toronto, Memphis and Tacoma.

  • The Braves signed Ryan Drese and saw him cough up 13 runs in 17 innings in A ball.

  • In return for their 1st round draft pick, the Angels got one good year and 1/3 of a bad one out of Hector Carrasco. He finished the year back with the Nats, pitching poorly (8+ ERA) in 15 games for Columbus.

  • Zach Day pitched for the Royals' AAA affiliate in Omaha. He put up a sub-4 ERA despite not striking out anyone and walking too many batters. Bring back Zach!1!!

  • Gary Majewski spent most of the year in the minors or injured on the MLB roster for Cincinnati. His 8.38 ERA in 27 games for the Reds hasn't improved most fan's attitude towards that trade. He had a 3.96 in his 38 innings with their AAA club in Louisville.

  • Frank Robinson's whipping boy John Halama pitched poorly for the Orioles in 2006 and seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.

  • Sunny Kim (bet you've forgotten about him!) pitched terribly in limited opportunity with the Reds and Rockies last year. This year, he pitched passably for the Giants AAA franchise in Fresno (8-8, 4.87 in 118 IP).

  • Joey Eischen signed with the Tigers after his rotator cuff surgery, but doesn't seem to have pitched this year.

  • Claudio Vargas has been a passable 4th/5th starter for Arizona and now Milwaukee; it's not like we needed one of those.

  • Reds fans continue to get heartburn every time they see Mike Stanton, who signed a mult-year deal, come into the game. His 5.87 ERA and .323 BA allowed versus lefties might be a good reason why.

  • Matt White (remember him?) pitched really well for the Dodgers farm team this year and found himself a mining billionaire.

  • Travis Hughes dominated out of the PawSox bullpen with a sub-2 ERA and nearly a K per inning.

  • Darrell Rasner, who Bowden gave away for nothing, pitched pretty well for the Yankees in a limited opportunity before getting injured and missing the rest of the season.

  • Joe Horgan was last seen giving up line drives in the High Deserts of Albuquerque. He has not been heard from since.

  • Jesus commanded CJ Nitkowski to pitch for Indianapolis in 2006 and was last seen filing dispatches from Japan for the Associated Press.

  • Tales of Antonio Osuna will continue to be used to scare DC's schoolchildren into the path of righteousness for decades hence.

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