Monday, February 01, 2010

A Tony Orlando

Now that the Reds have saved Rizzo from himself by signing Orlando Cabrera, hearts are all a-flutter about the O-Dawg, everyone's favorite pimp-caller-outer. If you can't have one Orlando, why not have another.

There's only one thing I wonder about... why? He's really not that good anymore.

Here's what you get with Orlando: Good, not great on-base skills, and a decent batting average.

Here's what you don't get: power, speed, a player who's able to stay healthy.

I mean, he's not a terrible player. He's certainly better than O-Cab would've been, but to read/listen/hear, it's as if many have talked themselves into believing that Hudson's the difference between being .500 or not.

Here's what he's done in the last three years: .286/ .342/ .445

Oh, wait. I'm sorry. That's what Ronnie Belliard did the last three years. Here's what Hudson did: .293/ .366/ .435

So a little more on-base, a little less power. They're the same damn player with the bat.

But the bat isn't the reason they're talking about signing him; they want his glove. It's golden, I hear. But for all the talk about the awards Hudson's won, is he actually a good defender? Not according to most of the stats.

But before we get to that, think about this. Is having won a Gold Glove evidence that a player is a good fielder? We know first-hand that the best player doesn't always win the award. And if you've ever read anything on it, you know the voting process is all sorts of screwed up. So that he has a Gold Glove shouldn't tell you much.

Your fancy-schmancy UZR stats say he's basically average, maybe a tick below.

So you think the stats are screwy. Think of it logically. How many second basemen can you think of that were still elite defenders into their 30s? They all lose a step eventually. To assume that he's still one of the best defensive 2B in the game at this point requires a bit of a logical leap.

All-in-all, he's a perfectly average acceptable player, but not a panacea.

If he signs, great. If not, eh.

It's not like Rizzo's going to trap Guzman in a burlap sack and sink him in the Anacostia; that's the real problem.


  • Needs more curse words.

    By Blogger Section 138, at 2/01/2010 10:21 PM  

  • Hmm...sounds like Rizzo leaked his "$9 million? Try $3 million!" negotiation talking points to you. The good news, no matter what happens with the O-Dog/Dawg: Orlando Cabrera is out of the equation.

    By Anonymous The Nationals Enquirer, at 2/01/2010 10:56 PM  

  • I'd like to believe that Rizzo is smart enough to recognize that Cristian Guzman is a crappy player, and he's probably well aware that he has no trade value. I also hope Rizzo has a basic understanding of economics, particularly the term "sunk costs".

    If he gets the chance to field a middle infield of Desmond and Hudson, I sincerely hope he jumps at the opportunity. Not so much that Hudson is a huge upgrade on Guzman, but rather to appease my (somewhat) irrational hatred of Guzman.

    Furthermore, considering the Twins $3mil offer, it looks like the Nats could get him for quite a club-friendly deal.

    By Blogger Will, at 2/02/2010 1:43 AM  

  • I am happy to agree with you that Hudson is average, but average is better than what we have now. Given we all seem no longer happy with average (thanks to Mr Plush), might you suggest a trade that nets us a better than average 2B? I don't know enough about the other 2B's in the game to make my own suggestion.

    By Anonymous Gus, at 2/02/2010 6:28 AM  

  • Honestly, the Nats would have been best off bring back Jamey Carroll at a fraction of the cost. He gets on base, fields a tick above average, and has no power or real speed. The problem at second base isn't so much skill or hitting as it is attitude. Belliard had a crappy one, so does Guzman. Hudson isn't going to want to play lineup roulette with Guzman and Desmond every day to see who starts.

    In the end, they would still be trotting out 3 slightly below average defensive middle infielders; Hudson is being picked for his bat and ability to bat second (which is well outside the scope of Cristian Guzman's free swinging approach). If he outplays the other guys defensively, gravy.

    By Blogger Deacon Drake, at 2/02/2010 8:52 AM  

  • Sure, Henry Mateo would listen if the Nats called.

    (Team-leading .500 OBP in 2005!)

    By Blogger Basil, at 2/02/2010 9:47 AM  

  • Well know we've advanced as a fanbase when fans stop clamoring for Jamey Carroll.

    By Anonymous Chris Needham, at 2/02/2010 10:25 AM  

  • Rick Short!

    By Blogger Harper, at 2/02/2010 11:13 AM  

  • I see your Rick Short and raise you by one Carlos Baerga

    By Anonymous Sec314, at 2/02/2010 11:22 AM  

  • Well know we've advanced as a fanbase when fans stop clamoring for Jamey Carroll.

    So, when we've blown past Ned Colletti, huh?

    By Blogger Unknown, at 2/02/2010 11:51 AM  

  • This feels like old home week. Here's a thought... what if Guzman is actually better with the glove than Hudson at this point?

    By Blogger Nate, at 2/02/2010 12:21 PM  

  • Someone needs to mention Wil Cordero.

    By Blogger Basil, at 2/02/2010 12:27 PM  

  • Someone needs to mention these! (points to biceps)

    By Anonymous Wil Cordero, at 2/02/2010 1:40 PM  

  • Nate, Orlando Hudson's extra .100 points of OPS would like to have a word with you.

    By Blogger Will, at 2/02/2010 3:00 PM  

  • Will,

    Unless they folded UZR into OPS while I wasn't looking, my response would be, "Huh?".

    O-Dawg gets the clear edge with the bat, but he's been a slightly below average defensive 2B for a while now. Guzie's been a slightly below average SS, which if you buy into the defensive hierarchy, means he should be average or better at the keystone.

    Assuming Guzman's $8M contract is going to play everyday somewhere, moving Guzman to 2B puts Desmond into the lineup, so it's really a question of whether Hudson's contribution would outweigh Desmond's contribution.

    By Blogger Nate, at 2/02/2010 4:25 PM  

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