Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fouled-Off Bunts: Catching Up On Small Things Edition

Alright... while I was playing around in the sun this weekend, a buncha crap happened. Let's catch up.

  • Jerome Williams was DL'd, conveniently opening up a spot for Ray King to be activated. The team had been talking about going with 13 pitchers, which would be insane. With upcoming off days, they can skip the fifth starter spot and be ok. Would anyone be surprised if they tried to convince Jerome Williams that he should rehab in the minors for the full thirty days?

    Ray King is a useful part, but he's not an exceptional one. He needs to be limited to one or two batters at a time -- left-handed batters -- and sent to the shower before he does more damage. Manny Acta, at least last night, forgot that lesson, and the Nationals almost paid.

  • The team has broached the idea of playing Dmitri Young in left when Nick Johnson comes back. Nick, for what it's worth, is apparently running at full speed, and could be back in June.

    The idea of Young playing the outfield is ridiculous, especially for a team that spent so much time preaching the importance of defense. Young last played in the OF in 2005, and he last played semi-regularly in 2003, for the 119-loss Tigers. (He also played 16 games at third for them; maybe he could be Zimmerman's backup while we're at it?)

  • Kory Casto's back in left, and had a big RBI double in yesterday's game. I'm not going to quibble with giving Casto the full time job, but this team really needs to crap or get off the pot. The continual jerking of players in and out of the lineup after 3 or 4 bad games doesn't allow any of them to work through their struggles, doesn't help them build confidence, etc. They need to stick with one guy and go with it.

    I'd prefer that that guy was Snelling (based on some of the reasons DS lays out), but if it's Casto, fine. Keep him low in the order, and give him a month to see if he sinks or floats.

    It seems like they're likely to keep him on the club when Nook Logan returns, giving him time as a super utility guy and primary PHer.

    Ideally, they'd be platooning him with Nook, shifting Church from center to left depending on the handedness of the opposing pitcher and the Nats' starter's defensive needs. But I'm not holding my breath. That Church has finally won regular and consistent playing time is victory enough.

  • The team is targeting May 7th as the day to bring Guzman off the DL. When he goes, I'd expect Josh Wilson to get the axe. I'm still amazed at the perception coming out of spring training about Wilson. How did so many people who saw him play so frequently hype him so much, and ignore his defensive shortcomings? We knew he wasn't the hot hitter he was in spring, but it's the defense that's been inexcusable. What changed?

  • Someone asks our good friend Bill Ladson about why Jesus Flores isn't getting more playing time.
    Acta does not strike me as a person who gives quick hooks after slow starts. Schneider is the starter for the foreseeable future.
    Tell that to Casto and Snelling. (And probably Casto again -- who isn't to be confused with that mailbag's "Bernie Catro"

    Schneider, incidentally, missed Saturday's and Sunday's games because of the flu. (If he hadn't had the flu, would Flores have still started against the lefty on Saturday?)

  • Careful observers of NFA Farm Reports will notice the wretched name of Manny Alexander, Columbus' new shortstop. (Actually, I should give the good folks there credit for being smart enough not to track the former steroid possessor.)

  • Alex Escobar has started a 'throwing program', whatever that means. There's no timetable for his return, but the time table for his next injury is return+5_minutes.

  • Down on the farm, the cavalry is ready. Jason Simontacchi could be ready to go at any moment, and Joel Hanrahan has been dominant. (Take a look at Fruto's Hit total. Then look at his walks !?)


    • A quick estimate of Fruto's BABIP: .118.

      It's probably a bit higher than that since I don't have opponent's AB data on him, which won't really = IP+H . . . but still.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/01/2007 11:35 AM  

    • On Simontacci: If you strike out 0 and give up 8 hits in 5IP against AAA players, doesn't that mean you are not qualified to pitch in a major league game? Why are we desperate to get Simontacci up here? Williams will be fine. If Chico blows up, Hanrahan has to be the first choice.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/01/2007 11:46 AM  

    • I can see keeping Dmitri as a backup OF/1B when (if?) Nick Johnson comes back. I'd rather have Dmitri on my bench than Robert Fick, who is just not contributing at all. They'd both be playing the same position (backup 1B/OF), but Dmitri has an advantage with the bat (power, patience and switch-hitting). And don't tell me that the Nats are also keeping Fick around as a backup catcher because he hasn't logged any time back there yet this season. I say cut Fick loose once Nick is ready to play.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/01/2007 12:23 PM  

    • 1 out of many... I mean, out of our many weaknesses, our bunting and our bench have to take the cake. Acta talks about fundamentals as being the end all-be all, and we have failed in our last 4 attempts to bunt. At least Casto got the double, otherwise his failed bunting would be more pathetic.

      Our 2nd big weakness is our bench. When (If) we get Logan and Guzman back, we will have a more servicable bench (probably Belliard and Casto, I would think) and eventually even have Young there. Having a Belliard, Casto, and Young (R, R, S) on the bench would be a huge improvement over Jiminez, Fick, Wilson, et. al.

      By Blogger Natsfan74, at 5/01/2007 12:33 PM  

    • It could be worse. You could have a bench comprised of Carlos Baerga and Wil Cordero . . . .

      By Blogger John O'Connor, at 5/01/2007 1:51 PM  

    • "Nick, for what it's worth, is apparently running at full speed, and could be back in June."

      I literally grinned at reading this sentence. The high socks, the ever-changing facial hair, the .400 OBP -- god I've missed that man.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/01/2007 2:20 PM  

    • Not sure how Josh Wilson lasted a month on the Nats roster. He can't field, can't hit and can't even bunt.

      By Blogger Pilchard, at 5/01/2007 3:50 PM  

    • Well, Damian Jackson lasted almost a whole season and he couldn't hit, field or bunt and he was a bad ass in the club house.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/01/2007 4:38 PM  

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