Monday, December 03, 2007

It's Gibson

Glenn Gibson is the player headed to Tampa Bay, one of the Vermonsters. In Baseball America's recent Top 10 prospects list, he was ranked 8th. Here's what I wrote about him.
Gibson has succeded not because of the quality of his stuff, but because of his smarts. He doesn't have an over-powering fastball, but he's got a decent curve, and apparently has decent command, and knowledge of how to attack the strike zone to keep hitters off balance.

In 58 innings at Vermont, he struck out 58 batters and impressively walked just 15, showing that his command and his plan worked really well. But there's also probably a limit to how far that can get you, and he's going to need to refine those secondary pitches to continue to succeed at higher levels and to keep those K rates up. You don't need a plus fastball to succeed, but you certainly need strong secondary pitches. How well those develop will show how far he'll go. But the mental aspect of pitching can't be knocked -- and he's certainly demonstrated that.

In a pure talent sense, it's a solid swap. I'm not especially high on Gibson's long-term potential, thinking that he's putting up stats with excellent command of mediocre stuff.

But the stathead side of my is superseded by the fanboy side. Any player whose Wikipedia profile needs a separate off-field issues section is one you've gotta be careful of. And it's a player I'm going to take no joy in rooting for.

The next day should be instructive. Anyone comparing the acquisition of Milledge with the trade for Dukes is an idiot. Other than the color of their skin, there's not much linking the two of them. There's a big difference between being an asshole and a sociopath, and its pretty clear which player is in which camp.

Uncle Teddy's home for wayward youth isn't a bad idea if you're picking up assholes like Milledge or Jose Guillen (or even someone like Milton Bradley) -- players of that ilk. But when you're acquiring players with long arrest records and a player WHO THREATENED TO KILL HIS KIDS, then you've probably gone too far.

I'll give $100 to any of the beat reporters who get Bowden on the record with the answer to this question: "Jim, when you acquired celebrated asshole Jose Guillen you were so confident in his ability to be a model citizen that you said that you would be happy to leave your children with him. Will you say the same for Dukes?"

  • Alternatively, there's the ubiquitous Jeff Passan's take.
    Bowden fancies himself Father Flanagan, it seems, and the Nationals held a meeting today with Dukes and first baseman Dmitri Young, as Barry Svrluga notes.

    Can't imagine the tenor of that meeting.

    Nats: Elijah, are you done beating women?

    Dukes: Yes, sir.

    Nats: Elijah, you still getting high every day?

    Dukes: No, sir.

    Nats: Elijah, do you promise not to get in the face of umpires like you did in the Dominican Republic earlier this week? You know, the place where you're trying to rehabilitate your reputation and show you're not insane?

    Dukes: Yes, sir.

    Nats: Welcome to Washington!


    • Albert Belle For Bench Coach!!!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 6:01 PM  

    • This article in an interesting read about him.
      Obviously it was a month before the incidents that severely damaged his credibility and people's good will for him. I will refrain from commenting on his character until he proves he's truly a malcontent or simply a recovering malcontent.

      From a baseball perspective, the player is an elite talent. He's the type that can single handedly carry the team for a few games at a time, IMO.

      As for what we gave up in Glenn Gibson, I think he is probably going to be a MLB player. The pedigree is too good not to be. Although he will probably be a 4th/5th starter type. It seems like our entire rotation currently consists of 4th/5th starters so it would seems we are dealing from a position of strength.

      Hmm, I guess I will have to sit on my pitchfork and put my torch back down until the players decide their fate.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 6:08 PM  

    • They sure didn't pay pennies on the dollar on this one!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 6:15 PM  

    • Anon -

      Careful sitting on your pitchfork. That kind of wound can fester.

      By Blogger Nate, at 12/03/2007 6:17 PM  

    • I can't help but think that this has to be a prelude to some sort of move with Kearns and perhaps Cordero for some starting pitching.

      If that's the case, the Nats would have a Pena/Milledge/Dukes outfield. Lots of upside, especially when you include Zimmerman. If we can just take care of our middle infield and add some starting pitching, we'll have a deep and talented core along with Belliard, Young and Lopez on the bench (hopefully).

      By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 12/03/2007 6:39 PM  

    • "Birds of a feather, flock together"---JimBo isn't exactly squeaky clean. He's a big boozer who has been arrested for drunk driving and his girl friend was arrested for attacking a police officer.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 7:07 PM  

    • Over at Nationals Journal, they're wondering if Rick Vaughn is going to be hired for the Nationals' rotation next year...

      By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 12/03/2007 7:22 PM  

    • Somebody give Ron "Dibs" Dibble a call-i've got a job for him.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 7:31 PM  

    • *Ron (this fucking cold is making my hands freeze up)

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 7:33 PM  

    • *ROB!!!!!!!!!!!!

      son of a bitch!;)

      You can see i'm pretty worked up about this Dukes thing.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 7:34 PM  

    • "Uncle Teddy's Home for Wayward Youth" = Awesome
      The 2008 Nats have been officially renamed; nice work, Chris.

      By Blogger andrew, at 12/03/2007 7:39 PM  

    • You think Dukes is going to be SBF's new MAIN MAN?

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 7:40 PM  

    • Even though Dukes is an X factor, for the first time in a long time, I feel like the Nats have taken a step forward. Sure, we're gambling on two guys who aren't established, but it does feel like we're starting to establish an identity by these transactions. If they succeed, we're going to be a young, athletic, toolsy team much like the D-Backs this year except with the offensive overload rather than the pitching excess. Yes, our guys may end up arrested or in prison, but they may also end up as superstars. Prior to these moves, there wasn't that much hope and most of us couldn't tell that they even had a plan. We had a bunch of slightly above average players with virtually no upside (other than Zimmerman) playing for us. Sure, they were reliable, dependable and consistent, but they were (kind of) boring and we couldn't really see any potential for substantial improvement. That all changed with Willy Mo' Pena from the Red Sox and the subsequent acquisitions of Dukes and Milledge. Sure, these moves might be busts, but they also might be slam dunks in Zimmerman-esque style and we're going to have a younger, more talented (better raw skills, although performance might be questionable) team that has some kind of an identity (even if it's not necessarily a positive one). Considering that Church and Schneider were aging anyway and that Gibson only projected to a #4 or #5, we're not losing much, but we stand to gain a team if we're successful.

      By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 12/03/2007 7:50 PM  

    • What Michael said

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 8:07 PM  

    • I won't disagree. The 25 man roster right now is better than the 25 man roster from yesterday.

      But, like I said, that's where the fanboy in me grumbles.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 12/03/2007 8:08 PM  

    • No--Dukes will not become My Main Man!! But, I did very much enjoy the comment. The first time I have busted out in a chuckle over the past few days. It was funny. You can leave a comment like that on my site anytime. If you can't enjoy the humor--its not any fun. Thanks.

      By Blogger Screech's Best Friend, at 12/03/2007 8:29 PM  

    • Well, I guess this is a happy day for Milledge. Nobody in DC is complaining about HIS character anymore.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 8:47 PM  

    • Crap!

      Svrugla just said there's a chance WMP might end up on the bench next year with Dukes in left and Milledge in center. Didn't they learn the lesson of the Red Sox and realize they have to start him full time?

      Also, apparently they're saying that Kearns won't be traded. While I like Kearns, when you make a move like this, you should be in for a penny, in for a pound and move him and Cordero for starting pitching. Benching WMP would be a hell of a waste.

      By Blogger Michael Taylor, at 12/03/2007 8:57 PM  

    • Nothing to get excited about. There are a lot of ABs for everyone, especially with the injury track records of Pena and Milledge. (Not to mention the suspension chances for Dukes!)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 12/03/2007 9:00 PM  

    • Nice one Chris!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/03/2007 9:23 PM  

    • I assure you Jose Guillen was not above threatening to kill his children when he was 23. We were just lucky not to know him until he was "more mature (?)" Dukes is 23... let's wait and see. He had more production last year than Milledge will and , in my opinion, Milledge is more of a question mark given the past two years stats than is Dukes.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/04/2007 12:02 AM  

    • Chris...

      Nice mention by Neyer...even though he parts company a bit with your opinion.

      Interesting doin's so far.

      By Blogger Jim H, at 12/04/2007 12:51 AM  

    • This comment has been removed by the author.

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