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 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.


    • C'mon, all that and no Joe Horgan update?! Lazy feckin bloggers.

      By Blogger Nate, at 9/17/2007 12:52 PM  

    • You're right! I just looked at the batter's list. Off to find Osuna, too...!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 9/17/2007 12:55 PM  

    • I remember the fond hopes I had for the Sledgehammer, the termelator.

      Most of my hopes involved yelling out those nick names for years to come.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/17/2007 1:04 PM  

    • Where's the guy who has a career 1.404 OPS for the Nationals on this list?

      (caveat only 15ABs)

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/17/2007 1:42 PM  

    • What ever about former Cleveland great Carlos Baerga? And wherever Deivi Cruz is right now, I can guarantee 2 things: 1 - he's not taking walks there, and 2 - he's keeping himself in peak physical condition.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/17/2007 1:55 PM  

    • Since this is the season for grand RFK retrospectives and nostalgia and crap like that, I thought I'd cite (yet again) my favorite memory from 2005: Henry Mateo's amazing .500 OBP.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/17/2007 2:31 PM  

    • Man, this is fun stuff. Wish you followed the club further back. The former scrub lists from Montreal are probably even more hilarious.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/17/2007 3:58 PM  

    • Booo! No Rick Short link! Must be a Seibu Lions fan. I'll fix that!

      By Blogger Harper, at 9/17/2007 4:27 PM  

    • Fun post, Chris. I was in the team store at RFK last saturday and noticed that they have finally marked down (to $11) all of their player T-shirts from previous years. I saw Day, Armas, Castilla, Vidro, and Hernandez shirts available in a range of sizes. Probably still available if anyone wants to go "retro," and one would hope that they mark them down even further in the coming days.

      By Blogger Unknown, at 9/17/2007 4:31 PM  

    • Yea, there was some Vlad guy, um, some minor league guy named, sizemore or something, some pitcher, short guy, P something.

      Tall fellow with a somewhat poor chase of a name, at least grade school wise.

      It is a strange to think, if the Expos were not starved, they could have so many good players.(not all of them, but Sizemore and some others.) Also, if they were not starved, we would all still be wondering if that drive up to baltimore was worth it.

      So I guess the scrap heap we got in washington is better than a first rate team up north.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/17/2007 4:33 PM  

    • Great list!

      I will add one. Former Nat Kenny Kelly had a thoroughly mediocre year for the Charlotte Knights (White Sox AAA): .259 9 HRs 12 steals as a part-time player.


      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/17/2007 6:44 PM  

    • Those various former player T-shirts have been on the markdown rack at the $11 price in the RFK Team Store all season long, not just recently. I wouldn't look for the price to go down any more than it already has. If you find a Livo shirt on the rack, buy it!

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 9/18/2007 12:09 AM  

    • I was lucky enough to see one of Drese's rare appearances against the P-Nats in August. J-Max banged an RBI double off of him.

      Man, that dude went from opening day starter for the Rangers in 2004 to single A washout in only three years.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/18/2007 7:46 AM  

    • This comment has been removed by the author.

      By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 9/18/2007 10:34 AM  

    • Rick Short has made only 7 errors in 109 games in Japan. Is he a gold-glover? No. But he can hit and always will hit. He wouldn't hurt any team with his defense by starting one day a week at first or in the OF and he sure as heck would be able to get on base more often than Fick.

      Bring back Rick Short!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/18/2007 11:41 AM  

    • Good thought on Wilky repalacing Fick next season. Wilky can hit and field better than Fick, so it is maybe realistic.

      However, Fick said hello to someone's grandkid in June, so maybe he's a better role model?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/18/2007 12:32 PM  

    • i would LOVE to see wilky as next yr's backup 1B / OF / potential dameethook style comeback player!!! is that just because i bought his jersey for 80% off last year? possibly, but i still think it would be a great thing for this team.

      By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 9/18/2007 6:47 PM  

    • Remember that cut you made about Hanrahan heading to the Long Island Ducks? Well, guess where Halama is.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/19/2007 10:49 AM  

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