Monday, April 17, 2006

Fouled-Off Bunts: Case Of The Mondays Edition

Lots of little things to catch up on... Here goes....

Ryan Drese left Friday night's game with a damaged Ulnar Collateral Ligament. UCL typically means Tommy John, which would essentially mean the end of his career. Hopefully it's not a tear, but a strain, and hopefully a month or two of rest is going to be enough to get him back on the mound.

[Right after I hit post, Federal Baseball points to this AP article noting that Drese is out 4-6 weeks. It was 'just' a flexor tendon strain, and it won't require surgery.]

  • Robert Fick, who looks like he's going to be the backup catcher when he returns, is set to begin a rehab assignment with double-A Harrisburg.

  • Jose Guillen has a strained oblique, which kept him out of the last two games. I'm guessing that he overdid himself in the batting cage, and considering his shoulder and wrist, giving him some time off was the best course. I'd assume that he'll be out there tomorrow night.

  • Jose Vidro, who's been battling a strained hammie off and on since last week has said that he'll be good to go. He had the go-ahead PH sac fly in yesterday's game.

  • Royce Clayton had to leave the game after being beaned. Unfortunately, it wasn't a season-ending injury, so he'll be ready to make lots of outs starting tomorrow night. Frank put Brendan Harris there for a bit. I'd be interested to see what he can do, even if it's an offense/defense platoon.

  • Matt LeCroy, Felix Rodriguez, and Ramon Ortiz got lost on the way to the Stadium. Unfortunately for Nats fans, Ortiz figured it out.

  • Alfonso Soriano is a life saver. His errant foul ball nailed a woman in the gut last year, helping her to discover a tumor that she would've missed. Expect Bill Ladson to explain that Brad Wilkerson would've killed the woman with a wiff in his next mailbag.

  • Hey, speaking of the happy couple, Ladson uses his mailbag to take another shot at Brad Wilkerson. Asked about the Soriano/Wilkerson trade, he answers in screed form:
    this trade is going to be the steal of 2006. I have no doubts that getting Soriano was a great move. He is doing the job with the bat, and he's not bad as an outfielder. As I said the past, I had high hopes for Wilkerson a few years back, but he is a strikeout machine, and the Nationals don't miss that part of his game. We'll see how long Rangers manager Buck Showalter tolerates the whiffs.

    Take a look at Texas' team strikeouts from last year. Do you think that Buck Showalter, who's a better manager than Frank Robinson, gives a rat's ass about strikeouts? Texas led the American League in strikeouts and they finished third in the league in runs scored.

    Turning to our fair league, Cincinnati led the league with strikeouts, and also led with runs. The San Francisco Giants finished last in the NL in strikeouts, and finished next to last in runs scored with just 10 more than our pathetic team.

    Here's the NL top-10 batters for strikeouts:
    Dunn      CIN   168
    Burrell PHI 160
    Wilson TOT 148
    Wilkerson WSN 147
    Glaus ARI 145
    Bay PIT 142
    Edmonds STL 139
    Jenkins MIL 138
    Abreu PHI 134
    Cabrera FLA 125

    Are there ANY of those hitters that you wouldn't want on your team (Ignore Preston Wilson, ok? :P )?

    I'm not saying that Wilkerson's in the class of some of those players, and it's awfully hard to defend Wilkerson given his pathetic start to the season (much of which could be explained with the shoulder injury that's been lingering since last season). But Ladson's continued reliance on the strikeout to rip Wilkerson at every chance is misguided, and sometimes comes across as personal.

    Ladson also asserts that Terrmel Sledge is going to be a star. Sledge is 29 this year, has just 150 major league games in his career, and isn't even playing full time for his current team, the Padres. He's batting a meager .160/ .276/ .200.

    Does that look like a star? I have my doubts.

  • If you missed it last week, Tom Boswell has a decent column about the dysfunctional family that is the Nats. He takes Tony Tavares to task for not doing enough to protect the franchise and the players even as he acknowledges that his true employer is MLB. He brings the Tavares/Robinson hatred into a greater light, and raps Bowden on the "We"/"They" distinction he has depending on whether 'his' players are succeeding or 'they' are failing.

  • Mark Zuckerman takes the beat writer cap off and dons the columnist's mortarboard, explaining why the team needs a new owner, pronto!

    For what it's worth, Maury Brown, of the Maury Brown Blog (a Maury Brown Enterprises production) reports that Maury Brown says that the owner will be named on Friday. Expect a posting at when the new owner is named. This message brought to you by Maury Brown, Editor of

  • Our friends at Base Ball Bias, A Ryan Moore Production, say that the Nationals aren't loveable losers; they're just losers.

  • Just a Nats Fan points to a Washington Business Journal article that says that Sony and ProFunds Investing are negotiating for naming rights at the RFK Memorial Dump.

  • Federal Baseball has an interesting look at how relaxing may have enabled (will enable?) Ryan Church to have success. Oleanders and Morning Glories was impressed with the small things Church did, and says (probably correctly) that they could have just as large an impression upon the braintrust of the team as his homers did. Excellent post!

  • Nats Blog notes the recent slide of Ryan Zimmerman, but also that the Washington Post is breaking out the win probability charts -- basically, they take the current score, baserunners, and outs, and figure out what the probability is that each team wins the game using historical data. Good, fun stuff!

  • Nationals Farm Authority has been bringing the good stuff! 1)Kenny "Not Brandon Watson" Kelly to the DL with a strained hammie; 2)A quick look at soon-to-be callup Billy Traber, and a pointer to an online journal that Traber kept; 3)A mini-assessment of Saul Rivera, the player the Nats called up to eat innings out of the pen after Drese went on the DL. Presumably, he'll get the axe when Traber comes up Thursday.

  • The must-read o' the day is this look at Frank Robinson. Today is the 50th anniversary of his first major-league game. He singled and doubled against Congressman Vinegar Bend Mizell.

    If you've never done it (Hell, even if you have!) take a look at Frank's rookie season: .290/ .379/ .558; 38 homers; 83 RBI; 142 OPS+. And he was only 20 years old! (Last year, Todd Helton had a 144 OPS+; Nick Johnson a 139)

    Despite his inability to be a great manager, he WAS a great player, probably the most underrated player of all time. When you see him walk slowly around the field, it's hard to imagine his old body being an all-time great. But every now and then, you certainly see the fire which drove him.

    Baseball Crank has an appreciation of Frank, too.

    • I wonder if Ladson realizes that he's like the only one who thinks it was a good trade.

      By Blogger Rocket1124, at 4/18/2006 7:01 AM  

    • Boswell's column was truly an Airing of the Grievances if ever there was one.

      Frank Costanza would be proud...

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/18/2006 9:08 AM  

    • Maury, you should try Mark Goodson. I hear he's wonderful.

      Rocket, It's hard to defend Wilkerson given the start he's been off to, but the trade wasn't made in a vaccuum, and when you factor in contract status, defense, and the soap opera, it's not nearly as clearcut as Mr. Ladson would say. Did the Nats know that Wilkerson was having shoulder problems? Did they dump off damaged goods? If so, then that's a check in their box. But I have my doubts that that was the reason.

      More like: "Ooooh! He's good! Let's have him! Mommy, can I have another second baseman?"

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/18/2006 9:21 AM  

    • There are just too many injuries on this team. Is that a cooincidence, or a reflection of bad conditioning?

      Did the Nats' spring training regimine differ substantially from that of other teams? Was it less rigorous? Because there are just too many people going down too early in the season.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/18/2006 11:01 AM  

    • The injuries the team have aren't really anything that can be prevented. They're just baseball injuries. There's a lot of wear and tear on the body, especially if you're a pitcher.

      If the team was pulling hammies, or having muscle strains all the time, then you could probably point to conditioning.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/18/2006 11:20 AM  

    Post a Comment

    << Home