Thursday, December 13, 2007

Two More Players

The Nationals signed two more players for the bench today, one good, one bad.

Rob Mackowiak, a player the Nats could've killed for in 2005, gives the Nats plenty of versatility while being a solid bat off the bench in a Marlon Anderson vein. Mackowiak has experience on the infield, mostly at third and played 20 games at second as recently as 2005. He's mostly been an outfielder the last few seasons, spotting for duty in all three spots. He's a career .262/ .334/ .409 hitter which ain't great, but ain't gonna kill you either. OK eye, so-so contact, gap power, memories of speed... could do worse.

The other signing, I don't quite get, Willie Harris. Harris had a career year with the Braves, following two terrible (terrible doesn't even begin to describe it) seasons. He's a career .247/ .318/ .321 hitter who doesn't get on base or have any power at all -- picture Jamey Carroll swinging with one hand. The Braves rode his hot streak early in the season (.391 BA in May, .355 in June) before Willie Harris realized that he was supposed to hit like Willie Harris, finishing about where you'd expect him to in the second half: .214/ .294/ .354. He can play a bit of second. He can field pretty well in the outfield. But he's less-than-zero with the bat, and the Nats seemingly got snowed by an aberrant hot streak from early in the season. I just don't quite understand this one, especially after all those Rule 5 selections. Unless he's providing depth at Columbus, he's not going to help the bench as the press release proclaims.

7 Comments:

  • Jimbo just hasnt realized yet that you can start the season with less than 7 outfielders yet

    By Anonymous Dave, at 12/13/2007 3:31 PM  

  • You have to wonder what's up. It's hard to imagine either of these guys making the current roster, let alone getting playing time.

    It is nice to to be in a position where we look at these so-so players and say 'these guys don't make the team better.'

    By Blogger Let Teddy Win the Presidents Race, at 12/13/2007 3:37 PM  

  • Harris is a speed guy with decent enough patience to be in the 75-80 OPS+ range (if you discount the first 300 PA of his career, which I will for convenience!). He's an okay enough 25th guy in that he can be the last guy in the outfield and the infield.

    And he's the nephew of Earnest Riles. I'm okay with it.

    By Anonymous Basil, at 12/13/2007 3:44 PM  

  • Every time we sign bench depth in the outfield I wait for the news that Kearns has been traded. I don't want him to be but it looks ominous. Maybe for that left hitting defensive whizz shortstop. And maybe for a new catcher, out new might soon be quite literally hitting them out of the yard.

    By Blogger Ben, at 12/13/2007 4:06 PM  

  • Nothing special, nothing exciting either. Bowden seriously loves outfielders though. I mean, he's obsessed with them to an extent that's not healthy. Why can't be be obsessed with pitchers, say, or um, catchers or shortstops?

    By Blogger Michael, at 12/13/2007 4:07 PM  

  • Could part of it be that a cheap outfielder/utility guy is more likely to put together a good enough first half that a contender might trade for him near the deadline?

    But everyone has cheap backup outfielders I guess. And jimbo never trades.

    By Blogger Ironic Goat, at 12/13/2007 4:45 PM  

  • Prior started only 9 games in 2006 and had a 1-6 record. He has had chronic injury problems for at least three years. Think of him as a younger version of John Patterson--nothing more than a big tease.

    By Anonymous phil dunn, at 12/15/2007 1:32 PM  

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