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Minor league update

So while the Vermont pitchers continue to be ridiculous - and my goodness, they seem to win 2-0 every night, and Jim Bowden was telling me yesterday that Manager Darnell Coles is doing a fantastic job - I thought in this minor league notebook we'd reflect on some of the guys who played for the Nationals this year but are now back in the bush leagues, something of the "Jerome Williams Memorial Minor League Update."

Of course, then, we focus on Class AAA Columbus. And let's start with everybody's favorite would-be leadoff hitter in Washington, Brandon Watson.

(As an aside, what the heck is up with Nook Logan? Apparently someone has introduced him to a bat, and he now gets like two hits a night. Deserves some more investigating - though Manager Manny Acta did say the other day that it's obvious his bat speed from the right side is so much better, and giving up switch hitting seems to have been a good idea.)

Anyway, Watson continues to hit. In 14 games beginning July 14, he's hitting .379 (22 for 58) with a homer, eight RBI and nine runs scored, bringing his season average up to .319. (Cue chorus of "Why can't we just give him a chance in the majors?")

And now for some guys we saw so long ago. Michael Restovich, anybody? He's hitting .285 with 20 homers and 56 RBI in 87 games for the Clippers. Slightly better than his .143 average in his grande no foam vanilla latte with the Nationals earlier this season.

Kory Casto? A quick Nexis search shows that, beginning Feb. 13 I mentioned Casto in 37 different stories. The last time? May 23. That's how far he's fallen off the radar. His numbers at Columbus: 86 games, .252 average, 11 homers, 45 RBI, .348 OBP, .419 slugging.

Alex Escobar? Does he really exist?

Moving on. Pitching.

The other day, after the trade deadline, I asked Bowden if he thought they had come a long way since they invited 37 pitchers to camp. He jumped all over me. "I don't get it. I don't get why that's such a big deal, with the 37 pitchers," or some such thing. I asked if he planned on inviting 37 pitchers to camp next year. "Yeah," he said. (Buck sez it's under 30, Jim.)

Anyway, he pointed to having guys down on the farm like Winston Abreu, that they built depth. (Depth that posted a 6.38 ERA in the majors this year, but let's not be picky.)

No, really, Abreu has been dominant for Columbus. He's 2-0 with a 0.85 ERA in 28 appearances with an absurd 71 strikeouts in 42-1/3 innings. We could see him again, I suppose.

Levale Speigner. He of "Reverse Lock" fame, beating Johann Santana back in June. It's quite possible we never see him again, which is too bad. He's pitched in 10 games for Columbus and has a 7.39 ERA. Eighteen strikeouts and 16 walks in 28 innings. Tough.

Chris Booker hasn't had a save since July 18, but he's still 1-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 46 appearances.

(One guy I think we will see who we haven't yet is Arnie Munoz, a lefty who is 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA in 43 appearances and is holding left-handed hitters to a .203 average. Couple people have mentioned to me that they'd like to get a look at him.)

Couple of guys who played here last year who I won't get into (Melvin Dorta, Brandon Harper).

Oh, and I might as well throw in a Mike O'Connor update. He got shellacked for eight earned runs in two innings the other day for Class AA Harrisburg, and he's now 1-5 with a 7.09 ERA. He's given up 13 homers in 45-1/3 innings. Ouch.

One more bonus guy: Mike Hinckley, the former top prospect who was supposed to have a chance to make the major league rotation in 2005? He's 9-9 with a 5.42 ERA. No longer on the 40-man roster.

Which brings us to what's becoming our weekly "Lake Monsters on Parade" update. Today's subject: Jordan Zimmermann. Or, as Bill Gluvna, left-hand man of Nats PR guy John Dever, put it in his weekly Minor League Report (known inside the Nats' offices as the "MLR," known to me as "The Bible" or "The Good Book") he's "The Zimm Reaper." Guy's from Wisconsin-Stevens Point, pitched this year with a broken jaw, blah blah blah. He struck out nine guys in four shutout innings last night for Vermont, and in his last three outings, he's allowed one run in 15 innings with 19 strikeouts and three walks. (My favorite thing about checking out the Vermont stats is the strikeout-to-walk ratios.)

One more Lake Monster: Glenn Gibson, whose father Paul was a major leaguer who also worked with one John Lannan on Long Island, is 3-0 with a 0.32 ERA in his last five starts (1 ER/27-2/3 IP). Overall, he's 4-0 with a 0.62 ERA in eight starts. I'm new at this, so maybe you all could help. Is that good?

Okay, seven hours till that Mike Bacsik-Barry Bonds showdown. And I'll leave you with this tidbit from the aforementioned Mr. Dever: As I mentioned before, Bonds is 0-2 with a HBP against Bacsik. Dever points out that Bonds's father, Bobby Bonds, went 1-2 with an RBI against Bacsik's father, Mike J. Bacsik. Neither Bonds has homered against either Bacsik.

I'll get you lineups later.

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 7, 2007; 3:41 PM ET
 
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Next: The Lineups for Bacsik vs. Bonds

Comments

even though we're talking about short-season A ball, it still is exciting to talk about how good our young pitchers seem to be. Let's hope they get a chance to impress even more as they steadily move up the organizational chart.

Barry -- how about you mention how the hitting prospects are doing?

Bill Rhinehart, Vermont 1B:
.306 avg, .376 obp, .433 slg, 33 rbi in 45 games
Aaron Seuss, Vermont OF:
.361 avg, .396 obp, .493 slg in 40 games
Garrett Bass, Vermont OF:
.294 avg, .317 obp, .522 slg, 4 HR, 29 rbi in 41 games
Jake Smolinski, GCL SS:
.305 avg, .387 obp, .410 slg, 8 2B in 28 games
Michael Burgess, GCL OF:
.301 avg, .405 obp, .527 slg, 4 HR, 23 rbi in 26 games

Posted by: e | August 7, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Wily Mo Pena cleared waivers...Jim didn't even put a claim in. Is he getting over his man-crush???

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | August 7, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah and hey Barry, that was a nice shot for CNN with you and Bill G. in it. I talked to him and he didn't even know he was in it until I showed him the story link!

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | August 7, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Paging Larry Broadway...

(.251/.376/.432 in 77 games with 10 home runs. Has been hot lately - 6 for 17 with 3HR in August)

Who is the 1B of the future for this team? Is this the spot that gets plugged by a big bat FA in '08 or '09, and who would it be?

Posted by: Section 434 | August 7, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Cut and paste from the previous thread:

"However, do you really think that Lannan's performance would have been different if Dmitri would have been traded? I don't believe that for a second."

Hard to disprove this statement, but I really think the 3-2 game would have been a 1-0 game if Dmitri had been traded. And there would have been that many fewer hits during the back-to-back sweeps.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 7, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris Marrero would likely be the long term solution

Posted by: 1B of the Future | August 7, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Possible 1B of the future;

Josh Whitesell (AA) dob: 4/82
.282 avg/.414obp/.515slg (.929OPS)
19HR 168TB in 99 games
92SO/65BB

I very curious if WMP getting through waivers means he is headed for Washington. We (or at least Bowden) really wants him and it looks like we might have just the bit players (Logan for one) that fit a team trying to fill some small holes for a championship run.

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

... Barry Svrluga, sarcasm dripping profusely from his quill, has not yet found an eatery in San Fran to his liking. Or perhaps another explanation for his surliness is that he had to spend an hour or so watching Barry Bonds make lovely and nice with his children, to the exclusion of all others.

... but on the plus side: this is very good information Barry, and useful for anyone casting an extended glance to next spring in Florida.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 7, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris Marrero will be starting at LF when DY's contract runs out after '09 or '10.

We might see Marrero in Harrisburg by the end of the year and he will probably be invited to camp next spring for a "look" before heading to AA for next season and AA or AA in '09 and get called up in 9/09 and be a full time MLBer in '10.

That is according to The Plan anyway, though Michael Daniel is actually doing better at Potomac since they were both promoted from Hagerstown, but Daniel is 4 years older and played at UNC.

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Re: Future 1B
I thought it might be Marrero, as well. It sounds like he's getting work in exclusively in the OF this year, though.

Who are the big 1B's who will be FA's in the next couple of years?

(BTW, it's really sad that no one has answered "Nick Johnson" to my question. He's young! If only God didn't make him out of tiddlywinks.)

Posted by: Section 434 | August 7, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

[carrying on from previous thread]

Nick715 asks provocatively: "However, do you really think that Lannan's performance would have been different if Dmitri would have been traded? I don't believe that for a second."

... I don't believe I said that at all, but my words may have inadvertently conveyed that notion. If so, it was my error. I was simply responding to someone else's comments about Dmitri's image as a clubhouse guy and noting that most of us on this blog find that to be a positive.

... in the matter of how much value ought to be attributed to same, however, I fear you and I will simply have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 7, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

434,

Nick will be back next year, and all the Meat lovers here need to remember that Johnson's numbers last year before he got hit by a car (ok just Kearns) were unbelievable.

I think his OPS was a Howardesque .948, far better than any of those hard hitting outfielder Free Agency prospects we keep talking about.

I'm very interested to see if the talk of Young in LF are for real. If you see Bowden talking to Adam Dunn in the off-season you'll have your answer...

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe Nick Johnson will be back. I'm just putting it out here. I am really, really sad about that, even if I am a Carnivore. The best situation I see happening is him starting at first lacklusterly, then getting hurt again.

Believe me, typing that makes me want to cry.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 7, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

estuartj-
Agreed on both counts with NJ and DY.

Speaking of Kearn's vehicular body structure, for anyone who stayed up and watched last night, there was a situation that would have been scary if it weren't hilarious: Kearns camped under a fly to right center, and Nook came flying in, for some reason calling off Kearns. AK (correctly) stayed under the ball, Nook literally bounced off of him, and Kearns made the catch without incident.

Posted by: Section 434 | August 7, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

434,
I had forgotten about that play last night. One good thing about having more...substantial outfielders is that when I guy like Logan (who ways like a buck-eighty when dripping wet) runs into you they just bounce off.

If only that were true of 215lb first basemen...

Nick will be back.

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

... as for Nickie J, I disappointedly agree with Sect506. I can recall following Nck when he came up with the Yankees (and yes, this is my on-line confession: I am an unapologetic Yankees fan; have been since the days of Maris and Mantle). But I remember the promise Nick showed ... until it became clear he was fragile. Another year or two and he was very fragile. The Yanks realized his uncertain future and he ended up with Montreal where he became awfully fragile. Now with the Nats, I fear he is incredibly fragile, and I have to ask 'why oh God, did he start with such promise only to slip so fast?'. Well that's the way it is sometimes.

... another way it is sometimes, is that the person in question will get just too tired of hearing this stuff about himself and turn himself around. Please God, let that be the case with NJ here and now.

... if he is a solid sturdy 1B next year, I'll applaud, and then start moaning to JimBow et al "Find a place for Dmitri; don't let him go!"

... but unfortunately to my pessimistic mind, there's every bit of reason to expect the opposite: that NJ's days are destined to be as a Junior Circuit DH.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 7, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Natscan, from Bowden's comments it sounds like Barry's not the only one pitching a bit of attitude in SF.

I agree, it surely is a needful defensive mechanism in the wake of Everybody's Favorite Giant.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Irrespective of Nick Johnson's future as a player, if he can teach patience and good mechanics as well as he practices them, seems to me he'd make a real fine hitting coach someday for some team.

The one that's going to play on South Capitol Street, for instance.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I swear I have read every post and comment since spring training and for the life of me I can't remember what was meant by the "Reverse Lock" with Levale. Can someone indulge me?
Awesome little tidbit about Bascik's and Bonds' dads.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 7, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Bar,

Thanks for logging in all these tidbits on what I am sure is a long few days. I literally check your blog 50 times a day to see if it's been updated. Love the commitment and fairness, also enjoyed your book. Thanks for all you do my man.

Posted by: Eugene | August 7, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Reverse Lock:

From Barry's 6/10 column ($1.50 edition):


There is, of course, no betting in baseball. But for entertainment purposes, folks have long whispered about the concept that is the direct opposite of that sure bet known in Las Vegas. It is "The Reverse Lock."

Take, for example, Saturday night at the Metrodome. Left-hander Johan Santana, he of the two Cy Young awards, took the mound for the Minnesota Twins. Right-hander Levale Speigner, he of the 14.44 ERA in four career starts, opposed him for the Washington Nationals.

The final: Nationals 3, Twins 1. The Reverse Lock in full effect.

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | August 7, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Barry's Babe. Hm. So Reverse Lock isn't some kind of wrestling move like I thought?

(Hey. I know baseball, isn't that enough?) ;)

Posted by: NatsNut | August 7, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"So Reverse Lock isn't some kind of wrestling move like I thought? "

Not in relation to Nat's pitchers....but I wouldn't be surprised if Zambrano had one in HIS repertoire.

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | August 7, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

good one.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 7, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The Wily Mo Pena comment can't go without an answer. One reason that Bowden might not have put a waiver claim on Pena is because the Nats are the team that Boston is trying to trade him to. However, the question would then be who we could trade for him. I am hoping nobody, because I think he is a stiff. Still, pay attention if the nats try to slip anybody through waivers.

Posted by: Kevin | August 7, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

How about Nook Logan straight up for Willy Month Pena?

1. Would Nook clear waivers?
2. Would Nook be enough?
3. Do we actually want WMP?

One of my roommates is a huge 'sox fan and even she couldn't tell me too much about him.

I like his age and SOME of his numbers in past years, but I'd love to hear more from some of you who know his history (and potential) better than I.

PS - Nick will be back.

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Pass on Pena, I think. He's said (by Baseball Prospectus) to be loaded with potential, but I see some potential for heartburn if the Nats dealt for him.

Nook's hitting a groove. He's living up to the potential that was projected for Pena this season. Pena is not.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Nook has been great for a week, but It's only a week. Maybe after swutching to being a pure right handed hitter he has turned it around with the bat, BUT one week does not a season make.

Also, this team needs more power, a lot more and Logan is a slap and dash hitter. If Bowden and company don't see him as the leadoff man of the future (and the future is now), then trading or replacing him is a good move. If all you Nick bashers are right that is especially true with Young at 1B.

That said I'm not sure if Pena is your guy (though he is a former Red and you KNOW how much "We" love former Reds).

And on the other, other, hand Pena is 3 years younger....

Can Pena play CF? If so he might look good playing next to Adam Dunn and "We" will finally have our all Reds outfield (God help us!).

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the report, Barry!

Wow, I didn't know Darnell Coles was the skipper in Vt. That's a blast from the past, whom I used to watch in the minors coming up through the Mariners org.

Those of you who have read Moneyball should recognize Darnell Coles as one the 5 high school phenoms at the scouting trial which Billy Beane turned to dust on foot. Former #6 pick - I heard a lot about was how good this guy was going to be.

In 14 seasons, only a .245/.387/.382 with 75 HRs over 10 teams (repeat stints with the M's and Detroit). Often guys with so much natural ability don't relate to coaching fundamentals, but I'm glad to see him still in the game...

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | August 7, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, whoa! There is not a single Nick Johnson basher on this blog!!! There are Felipe Lopez Bashers, Nook Bashers, Kearns Bashers, Batista Bashers, Church Bashers, Jiminez Bashers, Schneider Bashers, and even a handful of John Patterson Bashers, but there IS. NO. NICK. BASHER. All of us love Nick Johnson, and even Meat lovers like myself want Johnson as first bagger.

What you hear is hopelessness that that dream will come true.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 7, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Hendo and Barry S.,

"... it sounds like Barry's not the only one pitching a bit of attitude in SF"

... perhaps I was a little too blunt in my characterization; I merely wanted to note what I had perceived, but without any judgement added.

... but yes, JimBow did snap back with a healthy retort of his own.

... well as you say, BB has the power to set anyone's teeth on edge. The truly sad part is the fact that back in the (Pittsburgh) day, he gave promise of possessing the power to set everyone's seat on edge ... and did. The second truly sad part is that I believe he could have continued doing so without external assistance.

... as for his attitude and aloof nature, I remember Lefty Carlton, and often heard sports scribes decry his demeanour, and wail about their loss of access. My response then was " why should he have to yield to you?" Today, I feel quite the opposite, and realize that both he and BB should have been more forthcoming and outgoing in the sheer understanding that it is to the fans they speak when they interact with the media.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 7, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

To quote my favorite movie "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist"

All you Nick bashers are out there, I hear you in my sleep. Whispering, undermining...I'm on to you.

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Hendo: All the more reason to trade Logan now. Logan's hot streak gets him to about where Pena's cold streak gets him...

I am not necessarily advocating that trade... I don't know enough about Wily Mo Pena... but how many times have we seen someone cold get traded and get hot (other than Langerhans)? I don't know that Logan would ever be a .280 hitter, which is kinda where you'd want him to be so that he could use his other tools (speed) (because Niik is so fast, you get to count speed as two tools).

Posted by: Wigi | August 7, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Wigi contributes honest perspective: ". . . how many times have we seen someone cold get traded and get hot (other than Langerhans)?"

That parenthetical exception speaks to me. Langerhans' performance this year jibes with no one's expectations. Is there a deeper, darker problem at the root of it?

I'm wondering what an MRI would reveal about Langerhans. Or Pena, for that matter.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

As Barry predicted on Friday, Ross Detwiler, late of Vermont, is slated to climb the hill on Thursday night for Potomac.

Apropos Detwiler, Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein opines: "Detwiler is too good for the Gulf Coast League, but the Nationals didn't want to break up their prospect-laden rotation at Short-Season Vermont. . . . he'll likely be ready for Double-A by 2009."

Double-A by 2009? Help me here. We're supposed to see Detwiler at RFK in September, and there's a chance of his making the 2008 rotation. What am I missing? (I emailed Goldstein this question, too, and will report any reply he may make and deem worthy of sharing.)

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I hope Goldstein didn't jinx Detwiler. Considering the host of failures detailed in Barry's above column I hope it won't be Detwiler BACK in AA for '09.

Speaking of minor league pitchers, aside from their gaudy number at VT what is the line on the pitchers up there?

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"All you Nick bashers are out there, I hear you in my sleep. Whispering, undermining...I'm on to you."

I'm laughing pretty hard, that was good.

Last night I dreamed my dreams in Bob Carpenter's voice. It was terrible.

I'm off to Missouri, take care everyone, go Nats. No GB/A this week, sorry, but maybe I can do a special one on the Thursday I get back.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | August 7, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Lawdamighty, those Vermont numbers are gaudy all right. Innings pitched, W-L and ERA for Lake Monsters starters:

Glenn Gibson - 43.2, 4-0, 0.62
Cole Kimball - 41.2, 2-2, 3.67
Hassan Pena - 41.0, 4-2, 2.41
Colton Willems - 39.2, 3-0, 2.27
Adrian Alaniz - 36.2, 6.0, 0.98
Jordan Zimmermann, "The Zimm Reaper" - 30.2, 3-1, 1.76

It must be something in the water up there.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Have a great trip to MO, 506. Surely you'll peek in on us from time to time?

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,
I'm on my blackberry so I can't look them up, but how old a each of these guys, who went to colleg (and where) and when (and what) were they drafted at?

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I brouoght up the idea of manny getting the Manager of the Year award. Since then (no credit to me, I am a biased fan), both Buster Olney and Pasquerelli of ESPN brought up manny as a candidate. ESPN up to now has been more than happy to make fun of the Nats. Now both are talking about momentum, and a plan, and could raise the profile of the team nationwide. We do scoff often, but it would be really important to the team if we could raise teh profile so that the team stops being described like the Pirates.

Posted by: Kevin | August 7, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I meant we scoff at ESPN, not our guys.

Posted by: Kevin | August 7, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Scouring bios at the hutch. Ages as of 7/1/07:

Gibson: Age 19, University of Central Florida, selected in the 4th round of the 2006 draft.
Kimball: 21, Centenary College (Louisiana), 12th round in '06.
Pena: 22, Palm Beach CC, 13th round in '06.
Willems: 18, John Carroll HS (Ft. Pierce, Fla.), 1st round in '06.
Alaniz: 23, University of Texas, 8th round in '07.
Zimmermann: 21, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, 2nd round in '07.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

ESJ:

Alaniz 23
Gibson 19
Kimball 22
Pena 22
Willems 19
Zimmerman 21

It's great that these guys are doing well. However, let's remember that short season rosters are generally filled with guys who are non-prospect college players and 2 year HS draftees. There might be 2 future big leaguers on each roster in the league. I'll get excited when they produce at Potomac and higher.

Posted by: #4 | August 7, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

By the way, none of the Lake Monsters' pitchers' names contains "Ryan." We seem to have drained that well dry.

Apparently the most exciting middle name is Willems', which is Kristofer.

And what's up with "Hassan"? Sounds faintly Arabic to me. Are we harking to the Near East, heritage-wise? (Good on us if we are.)

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks #4 and Hendo, I agree about how good these guys probably are, didn't Zenicola light up VT last year and now the blush is off the rose at AA.

Aside from our VT prospects and Detwiler, what is the state of our farm system as arms go?

It seems from what I've heard and read from Kasten that The Plan has more to do with pitchers than position players. You can go out and find a hard hitting good defensive player at whatever positions, but no matter the cost good piching just never reaches the market.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

#4 counsels caution in re short-season leagues: "There might be 2 future big leaguers on each roster in the league."

True that. But Gibson, Willems, and Pena post New York-Penn League ERA rankings of first, third, and sixth respectively. I'm thinking (and hoping) that might indicate some promise above the norm.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Hendo:

... Kevin Goldstein opines in never never land, dreaming in something a few hues short of technicolour. Or maybe it was all just a typo, and he meant to say Detwiler would be ready for the 2009 All-Star game.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 7, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Ranks of the farm arms (not accounting for promotions or demotions that I might not have noticed):

The NY-P league you already heard about, so I'll not reprise that. Nor shall I delve into the Gulf Coast League, which is a developmental league focused more on instruction than on winning.

South Atlantic League (low-A): No top-10 performers here. Hagerstown's Jhonny Nunez is 16th in ERA at 3.63 with a 4-6 record, 104 IP, 85 SO, 45 BB.

Carolina League (high-A): Detwiler has not yet debuted at Potomac. Shairon Martis is at #20 in ERA, posting a 4.56 on a 10-7 record in 118.1 innings, striking out 84, walking 47.

Eastern League (double-A): Collin Ballester, now in Columbus, ranks 14th in ERA at 3.74 on a 2-7 record, fanning 77 on 25 walks.

International League (triple-A): Nobody from Columbus (save perhaps Ballester, but he just got there) ranks in the top 20, not surprising as we've already mined that lode.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I would think that on the up-town team, A.J. definitely would.

---

"So Reverse Lock isn't some kind of wrestling move like I thought? "

Not in relation to Nat's pitchers....but I wouldn't be surprised if Zambrano had one in HIS repertoire.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 7, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Natscan: Goldstein, like many of the BPers, may drink too deeply at the well of raw stats.

He's no Shirley Povich, or Bob Considine (a Washington sportswriter whose reputation has unaccountably fallen off the map since his decease).

No Svrluga, either, but he could work on it. And if Svrluga ever picks up some of Considine's riffs, look out.

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Have a good trip, 506! Meeting the parents, eh? Be sure to let us know where you register for gifts. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 7, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Where do we expect our VT boys to be next year. I figured the older guys and college kids should be at Potomac or Harrisburg and the younger guys who are only 2 years out of HS will be back in VT or in Hagerstown.

Detwiler will probably either be on the Nats roster or in AA. Balester will be getting his shot at the majors too, but if guys like Redding, Bacsik, Patterson, etc. make the rotation that the younger guys like Lannan and Hanrahan might get another year in AAA.

Posted by: estuartj | August 7, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Hendo: re Goldstein,

... once again, I have indulged in an all too frequently ill-informed response, when I ought to have kept quiet. It's not as tho' I don't believe what I said, but that my way of phrasing my comments gave an erroneous impression.

... truth is, I was simply commenting on the very words you quoted of his. Otherwise I don't know anything about Kevin Goldstein, and have only marginally heard of Baseball Prospectus. That admission in itself separates me from a huge percentage of my NJ co-bloggers, and ought to be the impetus to learn more about these peripheral (or maybe not so peripheral) baseball analysts.

... it is interesting however, that you characterize him as being overly immersed in a pool of statistics, which often cloud a possibly clearer view of the game. That is how I see myself - as someone who follows up on gut reactions and instincts over a stats-based evaluation process.

... so maybe if I read him, I'll learn more statistics, but also why those same stats don't always give an accurate image.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 7, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Natscan: The day we keep quiet is the day this blog dies. Thankfully, that ain't gonna be soon.

Closing it down at the hutch with a musical salute from Little Feat: "Oh please, let it roll tonight..."

... and with the call: Oh you Nats!

Posted by: Hendo | August 7, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Long live the blog, and the many voices of the blog!

---

Natscan: The day we keep quiet is the day this blog dies. Thankfully, that ain't gonna be soon.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 8, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Traditionally in the NY-P League the first half of the season belongs to the pitchers. But the batters get used to wooden bats (month of August) everything starts evening out. Let's hope our pitcher continue to stay ahead of the batters.

Posted by: Tom | August 8, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

This New York-Penn League where our wunderkind pitchers are toiling for Vermont: are the batters just getting accustomed to wood bats for the first time or is it that batting blindfolds are de rigeur and the hitters are just trying to time the sound of the pitch?

Posted by: joetink | August 8, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

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