Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nats roster almost finalized

According to Ladson, Alex Cintron has accepted an assignment to AAA Syracuse. He also notes that Josh Bard and Wil Nieves will probably both make the team and Kory Casto will be waived today or tomorrow. That leaves the bullpen as the only place not yet decided. 

Chico was right that Bard and Nieves would stay and Cintron and Castro would go and predicts Tavarez, Shell, Hinckley and Bergmann will be the remaining 4 relievers (with Colome, Mock and Ledezma losing out). I think it should be Bergmann, Mock, Colome and Shell, but I think it will be Bergmann, Mock, Shell and Hinckley.

Bergmann has to be a lock now with a 0.00 ERA in 11 and 1/3 innings (although he has allowed 4 unearned runs). I'd have to think Mock's chances are pretty good as well, with a 2.42 ERA in 26 IP as a reliever last year and 3.94 in 16 ST innings this year, so he hasn't done anything to lose his spot. Shell is in the same boat, with a 2.16 ERA last year and a 4.09 in Spring Training. I'd like to see Colome make the team, despite my dislike of his "Human Rain Delay" tactics. He has allowed 1 run in 10 innings in ST and has an impressive 9:0 K:BB ratio (yes, that's right, Colome has not walked anyone in 10 straight innings!). Tavarez has simply sucked in his 2 games and probably needs more seasoning before he plays in the majors this year, so I don't see why he would stick with the big club (and waste another 40-man spot). I don't see why Hinckley would win a spot over Ledezma (although I don't think either should make the team). But there's my rant.

In Ladson's article, he also mentions a possible competition between Elijah Dukes and Austin Kearns as the starting RF. While I love Elijah Dukes, I do think that Kearns has earned a job at least every other day somewhere-he's an outstanding fielder and will improve greatly with the bat (he was playing hurt last year, that's why his numbers were so terrible). While Dukes' numbers haven't been terrible in Spring Training (and not that it would matter anyways, because ST stats mean very little), his K rate is alarming-43% of his at-bats! He's being overmatched by pitchers (and Spring Training pitchers at that)...does that not scare anyone else? 

Ideally, I'd like to see Willingham traded and have the ratios go like this:
1B: Johnson-80% of starts, Dunn-20% of starts
LF: Dunn-70% of starts, Kearns-25% of starts, Harris-5% of starts
CF: Milledge-70% of starts, Dukes-15% of starts, Harris-15% of starts
RF: Dukes-60% of starts, Kearns-40% of starts

Giving Johnson starts in 4/5 games, Dunn starts in 9/10 games, Harris in 1/5 (plus some 2B/3B time), Kearns in a little more than 3/5, Milledge in 7/10 and Dukes in a little more than 7/10. We've got 5 good outfielders, we just need a time and place to use them.

1 comment:

  1. Sean-

    Especially after all the ranting on Nationals Journal, it was really good to read your measured discussion of how playing time might be divided.

    I really don't see the point about worrying about Casto- he really should be waived. I was thinking that maybe Dallas McPherson was a good substitute, but I see that he is another strikeout machine, and his gaudy AAA numbers were residue of playin in the PCL.

    So, let the games begin! Let Austin Kearns earn back his good name, and Lastings Milledge finally hush his critics. Let Dunn and Johson draw walks and hit HRs, let Josh Bard steal the job from Wil Nieves.

    Let the Nats sign Steven Strasburg dear God, please.



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