Hokie Hats, and a Move
First of all, what a nice, nice gesture to wear those Virginia Tech hats last night. Too bad it didn't come on a nicer night, when there might have been more people there to show their support. We should get a more palatable night sometime before August, I'm told by several sources in the weather industry. No promises, but it could come as soon as June. Seriously.
Second, and this wasn't in some of the $.35 editions, because it happened late, but: Kory Casto sent to Class AAA Columbus, Michael Restovich called up.
A minor move, yes, but one that could help all parties. (This does involve a change to the 40-man roster, and it hasn't been officially done yet, but they could move someone -- perhaps LHP Mike O'Connor -- to the 60-day disabled list in order to make room for Restovich. UPDATE: This is now official. O'Connor to the 60-day disabled list. He wasn't targeted to come back till June anyway, so it's no big deal. The one issue: Should they want to send Restovich back to Columbus when Logan comes off the DL, he'd have to be exposed to waivers again, and they could lose him, in theory.) Chris Snelling had clearly passed Casto in left field, and there's no reason - no reason at all - to keep someone like Casto on the bench. Remember: He didn't make the club out of spring training (was called up only after Nook Logan's injury) and he had never played above Class AA before this year. It's not like he had an automatic right to be here.
Casto had five hits in 29 at-bats, all singles. Meanwhile, Restovich hit decently at Columbus (.278 with a couple doubles in 36 at-bats). But the key: He's a right-handed hitter with some pop (though he didn't have any homers in the minors this year). The Nationals' bench, when was in the starting lineup, consisted of the following: Left-handed hitting Robert Fick, right-handed hitting D'Angelo Jimenez, Josh Wilson and Jesus Flores. That's not much in terms of accomplished pinch hitters from the right side. Restovich, who has 155 minor league homers, at least would provide the threat of a homer in a pinch hit situation.
Casto: Acta told reporters last night that he needs to play every day. Totally and completely makes sense. And last week, when it was becoming apparent that Casto would be sent down at least when Logan returned, Acta said he expected Casto would be able to handle the news. I would agree. Casto's an affable kid, and it helps that he was slated to be in the minors anyway. (Plus, with that .172 average, he doesn't have much of an argument.)
Casto, in general: Talking to a couple scouts last week. They said he was a "decent" prospect, the best hitting prospect the Nationals had last year at Class AA or Class AAA. But the consensus was he's still probably a fourth outfielder in the majors. We've talked a lot about how he's the two-time organizational player of the year, but he's never hit .300 in a professional season, and though he has shown some pop in the minors, does he really have enough power to be a corner outfielder in the majors, positions from which you need to get 25-45 homers?
Restovich: Been in the majors with the Twins and Cubs and Rockies and Pirates. We'll see.
(And that, folks, is the first link inserted into the Journal. Repeat: I have learned to insert a link into the Journal. The beast is out of the cage. I will not be contained from here on out.)
That's a lot of time spent on what is, essentially, a minor move.
(I promise I won't go overboard with this links stuff. Really. (Though I may already be addicted, as I went back to the previous entry (We're No. 6) and added some links there.))
From the other day: Thanks for your support in the Post Blog Battles. All in good fun, of course. I was in the office yesterday mingling with other members of The Department, and Goff showed me a bunch of stuff on his blog. I mean, he's got embedded video on there, etc. Tremendous stuff. All I have are these rudimentary words. I offer a half-hearted promise to branch out even more than I have today.
Tonight: Phillies at RFK. They got crushed last night by the Mets, Freddy Garcia's first start with Philadelphia (4-2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K). Dominated by Tom Glavine and Moises Alou's first two homers as a Met. Chase Utley hitting .245. Ryan Howard hitting .238. Will that continue?
Others: Alfonso Soriano out a week with a hamstring problem for the Cubs. He has as many homers this year as Ryan Zimmerman - 0. Which reminds me: I need to do a where-are-the-old-Nats-now edition of the Journal. We'll get that done by the end of the week.
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