Friday, March 12, 2010

Time for New Scouts

The Nats dumped the bloated corpse of Eddie Guardado today, shoving him off Cocoa Beach before a marine mammal emergency could be declared. Fair enough. Teams dive in the dumpster, and sometimes they come up with a mouth foll of bananas with greasy, black peels. Minor league deals = no harm. Might as well see what the dude's got.

But this one struck me as kinda funny. For one, when the team signed him, they made a bit of a big deal out of it, going so far as to announce it in a press release. While the release is mostly a mindless regurgitation of statistics/record -- of the sort that Chuck Slowes loves to rattle off -- it's also somewhat indicative of where the team viewed him. After all, "senior vice president and general manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement."

Eddie was a bit of a courtship. There were a few articles leading up to his signing, and one of 'em includes this gem: "team scouts told general manager Mike Rizzo that Guardado would be a big help to the club."

Such a big help that they cut the guy about 4 days into spring training, eh? Good thing we beefed up that scouting department! Though, in fairness, this might've been Rizzo's dad. He probably played with Eddie back in Class-C ball in the '30s. And in fairness, too, it doesn't say HOW he'd be a big help to the club. Maybe he did some decorative scrimshaw to improve the clubhouse? Perhaps he was conscientious about making a new pot of coffee when Riggles drained the first one?

Another article says that Eddie "is expected to be a mentor as well as a setup man." The ol' passive voice hides the subjects, so maybe this is correct: the senile scouts and Eddie certainly thought that.

But at least it's just these faceless scouts who figured the first guy cut was going to be key to the Nats' resurgence this year, right?



Hey, Riggles! What's improved this season? "I think Mike Rizzo has improved our roster a great deal since the end of last season ... Two areas that were targets, most importantly, were pitching and defense and we feel like those two areas have been addressed with the additions of Pudge Rodriguez and pitchers [Jason] Marquis, [Matt] Capps, [Brian] Bruney, [Eddie] Guardado and [Tyler] Walker."

Well, at least it's just the field staff. Eddie hasn't cast a spell over everyone, right?



Hey, Mark Lerner! What's worked this offseason? "The most important thing we did was stabilize our team leadership -- building the kind of brain trust that will position us to see more young talent others might not, and to develop the ones we sign... We also grabbed veteran reliever Matt Capps. He is a proven setup man and closer. We certainly needed bullpen help, and he will make a big difference. Other bullpen help could come from Brian Bruney and Eddie Guardado."

At least he said 'could'. I can cling to that, right?




  • and pitchers [Jason] Marquis, [Matt] Capps, [Brian] Bruney, [Eddie] Guardado and [Tyler] Walker."

    I can't help but notice that eveyone on that list has sucked balls so far this spring. If that keeps up, a 3rd consecutive 100 loss season is in the bag.

    By Anonymous bdrube, at 3/12/2010 7:26 AM  

  • You should get back to work on that Fake Charlie Slowes twitter account of yours, because clearly you don't have a clue what you're talking about here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/12/2010 7:38 AM  

  • Well argued, anonymous. You really put me in my place.

    Nice guess on the Fake Chuck thing though. I'm disappointed you'd think that though. I think I've demonstrated that I'll rip without having to resort to a pseudonym.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 3/12/2010 8:08 AM  

  • Something felt strange about his release after only two innings. I think you nailed it. I guess he wasn't what they expected in the workouts and bullpen sessions as well, but that just goes to show their scouting failed.

    I wonder when Walker's going to be cut? I think his biggest problem is that he is on the wrong team. Definitely needs to sign with the Texas Rangers.

    By Anonymous cass, at 3/12/2010 8:30 AM  

  • Don't get too worked up, Chris. You actually nailed it in the first couple paragraphs. There's not much gold in the scrap pile.
    And considering what was out there in the FA market this year, I'm kind of glad we didn't throw a bunch of cash around.

    By Blogger Rob B, at 3/12/2010 8:51 AM  

  • If I could borrow your negativity cap for a moment, I'm going to completely agree regarding the bullpen. This bullpen is not ONE BIT improved from the bullpen at the end of last year. In fact, one could argue it is WORSE. It's not just this spring, Capps sucked all of last year. 5.80 ERA? And this is our savior? To be honest, I probably prefer McDougal. And Bruney? They talk as if he is Joba Chamberlain. No, they got the wrong fat Yankee. He walks everything in sight. Oh, but he does it at 95 MPH. Whoopee. Capps and Bruney are no better than McDougal and ... say... Saul Rivera. Don't agree? Wait for the season to play out. Glad they cut Guardado, however. He was not the answer and would have only served as a drain on the buffet.

    Here's your negativity cap back, thanks...

    By Anonymous Jaxpo Nat, at 3/12/2010 9:01 AM  

  • Hell, at least they cut him. Two years ago the front office wouldn't have let something as pesky as observable performance dictate whether or not they let a guy go. With this kind of push, PT would have kept trotting him out there until July just to prove a point. At least Rizzo folded early.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 3/12/2010 11:15 AM  

  • If the "stuff & puff" Tyler Walker is one of the examples of how the roster has been improved this year, then we are in for a long, painful season. Walker is even worse than Marco Estrada and Logan Kensing.

    By Anonymous phil dunn, at 3/12/2010 6:19 PM  

  • You know, for some needless dissing on "marco estrada" is like calling out "cleaning woman" to Rigby Reardon.

    Just saying.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 3/12/2010 7:07 PM  

  • JaxPo Nat,

    That's not really a fair assessment of Capps. Yes, he didn't have a great ERA last year, but he was also unlucky (.364 BABIP) and he did post a career high in K/9, a respectable 7.6. His big problem was control. At only 26, he could certainly right the ship and at least come close to the RP he was from 06-08.

    To me, too much focus on relief pitching and not enough on the starters. Just because most of them are young, doesn't change the fact that they are average to below average.

    By Blogger RPS, at 3/12/2010 9:20 PM  

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