Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Farewell, Randy

I'm not going to lie, I didn't want the Nats to fire Randy. The more I looked at what he did with little talent over the last 4+ years, the better it looked. But then I realized that I was looking at the stats with the intention of taking his side in the neverending Nationals pitching saga (forget Moneyball, they should make a movie about a Nationals relief pitcher. Oh wait, they are).

The Nats' ERA's since 2000:
2000: 5.14 (Olympic Stadium)
2001: 4.69 (Olympic Stadium)
2002: 3.98 (Olympic Stadium)
2003: 4.01 (St. Claire's first year, Olympic Stadium and Hiram Bithorn Stadium)
2004:  4.33 (Olympic Stadium and Hiram Bithorn Stadium)
2005: 3.87 (RFK Stadium)
2006: 5.03 (RFK Stadium)
2007: 4.58 (RFK Stadium)
2008: 4.66 (Nationals Park)
2009: 5.69 (Nationals Park)

The first 3 years for St. Claire were impressive, with an average ERA a little over 4. He struck gold with guys like Esteban Loaiza and Hector Carrasco, revitalizing their careers by teaching them change-ups. But the thing is-that was in RFK, where the park really supressed runs as it was. As impressive as it was that St. Claire turned these guys' careers around, he did his job-making adjustments to make the team better. But since Loaiza/Carrasco, who has he really transformed from a mediocre pitcher to a good one?

I liked Randy, but looking back, he was never really that impressive. The team needed a change and maybe this will spark them. The key to a firing is that you shake things up without hurting yourself, and I don't think the Nats hurt themselves here. Firing Manny mid-season I think would be counter-productive, as there are simply too many fragile youngsters in the locker room. Let the season end and let Manny walk and promote Tim Foli or something.

Quick edit: Terrible break (no pun intended) for Flores and the Nats. We wish Jesus a speedy recovery from his stress fractured shoulder and hope the Nats don't do something stupid by rushing him back. Guess it's more Bard/Nieves...meh.

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