Monday, December 10, 2007

Safe At Second Without A Throw

Barry says that the Nats have agreed to a one-year contract with noted redass Paul Lo Duca. (Eye-Talian for "The douche")

For the reasons why I think this is a bad idea, and why Lastings Milledge is probably sighing, check out my post from a few days ago...

Bright side: Laurel Park has been saved.

  • Given a few minutes to think... it could be worse I suppose. I'm not his biggest fan, but, whatever. He's not a completely terrible idea, though his age and conditioning (HA!) make me think he's more likely to float to the surface than rebound.

    Considering the alternatives, this isn't bad. Estrada's a better hitter, likely, but his defense is probably worse, and he has a bad reputation working with coaching staffs. Damian Miller's the only attractive option, and perhaps he'd be a decent signing as a backup, giving the Nats someone who can throw the ball towards second, if only a little bit faster than I could.

  • 24 Comments:

    • This is going to be fun.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/10/2007 3:25 PM  

    • I seem to recall you blasted the Young and Belliard acquisitions last year and they turned out okay.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/10/2007 3:28 PM  

    • This is awful. Why? We could have had Miller who could actually teach Flores to catch and call a damn game, and isn't a total jackass! He also disrupts Milledge, and while I'm not a huge fan of the Lastings there is certainly more than a suggestion that that fight was not just Milledges fault.

      Well all I can say is Jesus save us!

      By Blogger Ben, at 12/10/2007 3:33 PM  

    • I don't think I blasted the Belliard signing.

      My main objection to the Dmitri signing was that I didn't want to cheer for someone who, even if he has a medical 'excuse', choked his girlfriend. Despite his success, his influence, and the joy he brings to the game, that's still somewhat the case. I don't quite revel in the story of Dmitri like many others do. But that's just a personality thing. As I've said, there's a clear line between what Dmitri and Dukes (with Dukes being FAR over that line) than with what Milledge did.

      Lo Duca's more like Milledge in that regard. I don't like the guy, but he does have his uses. I just worry about how he's going to mesh with Milledge mostly.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 12/10/2007 3:34 PM  

    • All I can say is FUCK about 40 times in a row.

      By Blogger Drew, at 12/10/2007 3:34 PM  

    • Well Drew, my choice of verbage would be 'bugger!', but the sentiment remains the same...

      By Blogger Ben, at 12/10/2007 3:42 PM  

    • one year- i would rather have paulie than estrada. not to say this is the best choice and $5 million seems to be too much for a veteran/platoon/starter-until-jesus-is-ready catcher.

      manny must like him. does he have a history of working well with inexperienced pitchers?

      By Blogger facekdr, at 12/10/2007 3:51 PM  

    • Euch. And it does mean our trade chips are still in place to get us that SS/leadoff hitter/pitcher we also need. At least. At very least. Euch.

      By Blogger Ben, at 12/10/2007 3:54 PM  

    • I'm not incredibly concerned--remember, Manny is better friends with Milledge than he is with Lo Duca, supposedly. In the event that the two get into it, Manny will probably give Lo Duca a piece of his mind and if anything, I have a feeling we'll be hearing more "Know your place, douche," than we will, "Know your place, Rook," anyhow.

      Besides, if the Nats ever get into a brawl with another team, we'll definitely have the edge in pure hand-to-hand as well as cell phone .jpeg combat.

      By Blogger Michael, at 12/10/2007 4:21 PM  

    • Where does he hit? Didn't he hit #2 for the Mets a bunch last year?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/10/2007 4:25 PM  

    • He hit 2nd all the time in '06, which was terrible. He hit 2nd early in the season, but in the second half, he was at 6 or 7.

      Willie's lineups are terrible though. He had Lo Duca 6th and Milledge 7th. I would imagine a Manny Acta lineup featuring the same two players would be significantly better.

      By Blogger Drew, at 12/10/2007 4:56 PM  

    • So we signed him for $5M after he refused the Blue Jays for $4M (which is the only other confirmed bidder!?!?)? Bowden really believes he's THAT valuable of a commodity?

      I guess a toast is in order: "To the New York Reds! Errr... To the Cincinnati Mets!"

      By Blogger OleShu, at 12/10/2007 5:18 PM  

    • With LoDuca behind the plate, maybe we can all learn over the course of a long season why a good defensive catcher (like Schneider) is valued.

      I just remember all those Orioles' catchers who let the baserunners go wild all year long, destroying pitcher confidence. Is LoDuca any different from those guys?

      Maybe Flores will get sent down to AAA to learn his trade, and a young LH-hitting defensive catcher can be signed or traded for to platoon with LoDuca in 2008? Hope so.

      By Blogger EdDC, at 12/10/2007 5:26 PM  

    • "Willie's lineups are terrible though. He had Lo Duca 6th and Milledge 7th. I would imagine a Manny Acta lineup featuring the same two players would be significantly better."

      I don't remember this at all, and I watched every Mets game last season. Milledge and LoDuca were probably in the same lineup less than 20 times all year and LoDuca only batted sixth (it did happen 20-odd times) when Delgado, Alou or Beltran were out of the lineup.

      More often than not Willie is anal about left-right-left-right balance in the lineup, so what you are saying is not true.

      LoDuca most often batted 7th for the Mets, but he is a great #2 hitter. After Castillo's acquisition, they didn't need him there.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/10/2007 6:13 PM  

    • Not thrilled about this move, but LoDuca does provide an upgrade with the bat, and it is a 1 year deal. So, the Nats commitment is minimized. I have a hard time believing that Damien Miller or Johnny Estrada would be better options.

      By Anonymous Pilchard, at 12/10/2007 6:30 PM  

    • This makes perfect sense for Lo Duca. By staying in the NL (and in the NL East at that), he doesn't need to cobble together a new stable of 19-year-old girls in each city he will regularly visit on the road because he'll be going to the same cities he alwasy has.

      By Blogger John O'Connor, at 12/10/2007 8:56 PM  

    • Ugh, what a punch in the gut. Hopefully Flores can get enough ABs. I doubt Manny will put up with any BS from LoDuca. Maybe we should call in Frank to whoop him a few times in Spring Training.

      By Anonymous JT, at 12/10/2007 11:45 PM  

    • EdDC's got my main concern, too...we're likely going (again) to have a bunch of young, pitch-to-contact guys in the lineup...to the extent LoDuca behind the plate means every single is a double, and therefore scares pitchers into trying to be too fine, and paint corners, leading to lots of walks, etc...I think we're going to be able to see the difference in what Schneider provided.

      But - I think if you're going this way, then do it the whole way - bring in an LH platoon option and send Jesus down to Columbus to work with Balester, Lannan and Mock, and/or Detwiler.

      By Anonymous Marc, at 12/11/2007 8:40 AM  

    • "I don't remember this at all, and I watched every Mets game last season. Milledge and LoDuca were probably in the same lineup less than 20 times all year and LoDuca only batted sixth (it did happen 20-odd times) when Delgado, Alou or Beltran were out of the lineup."

      Typo/mistake. I meant to say 7th and 8th.

      You're right though. They didn't play together very often, since Lo Duca was hurt in the 2nd half when Lastings finally got in the lineup.

      I watched every game, too, but I misspoke. My point was that Willie would bat Lo Duca ahead of Lastings, but I don't see Manny Acta doing so.

      By Blogger Drew, at 12/11/2007 8:52 AM  

    • What? Matt LeCroy isn't available?

      Keith

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/11/2007 9:56 AM  

    • Shocker that the Boz thinks this move is brilliant. Nevermind the fact that Lo Duca's avg. plummeted last season, that he's over the hill, and that the analysis found on this site reaffirms what every other club was thinking...

      It's always nice when Boz ignores the fact that Lo Duca and Lastings don't exactly see eye to eye...

      As long as a loud-mouth who gives quotes to the media is on the team, Boz will be happy...

      Oh, and I enjoy the fact that Boz thinks that Guzman's .328 batting average last season will translate into the new and improved Nationals offense in their new park...

      It must be tough being stuck in the '70s when reporters could get away with pomp...

      By Blogger OleShu, at 12/11/2007 10:19 AM  

    • I am not a fan, per se, of Lo Duca, but if he can help this team score runs and not be a HUGE liability behind the plate, then I'm fine with this signing.

      One thing I wish everyone would back off, though, his Lo Duca's poor OBP. About a third of his AB's were when he was in the #2 or #5 spot. He had almost the same number of AB's when he batted 7th or 8th. Batters are going to see more strikes batting 2nd and 5th as opposed to batting 7th or 8th (where in the NL a team's poorest batters are due up next). Here are some stats based on where he batted in the lineup:

      2nd & 5th (161 AB):
      .255 avg/.302 obp/.391 slg/.693 ops

      7th & 8th (167 AB):
      .305 avg/.345 obp/.413 slg/.758 ops

      He clearly was a better hitter and got on base more when batting towards the end of the lineup. Across the board, these numbers are all higher than Schneider's were.

      Give me a guy that can bat .300 with an OBP around .350 in the 7 or 8 spot and I'll be okay with that.

      Now if there was some way to get him to throw the ball to second base a little quicker ...

      By Anonymous e, at 12/11/2007 10:27 AM  

    • Give me a guy that can bat .300 with an OBP around .350 in the 7 or 8 spot and I'll be okay with that.

      You're dreaming if you're expecting that from Lo Duca. The dude got real lucky with his BABIP in 2006 and since then he's been headed downhill fast. 35-year old catchers don't have big "rebound" seasons.

      Not gonna happen.

      By Blogger John Peterson, at 12/11/2007 4:21 PM  

    • By Blogger wwwwww, at 10/22/2009 10:47 PM  

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