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Minor league report

I suppose if there's a silver lining in all this, it's that the Washington Nationals still have a minor league system, stocked with players who might someday lose ballgames at the big league level less regularly.

Again, thanks to Nats PR man Bill Gluvna for the thorough reportage.

NATIONALS MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

This Week's Top Headline
P-NATS PITCHING IN: Entering today's action, the Potomac Nationals of the Single-A Carolina League own the 7th-best ERA (2.92) in minor league baseball...Potomac relievers have a 2.68 ERA (49 ER/164.1 IP) while the starters have allowed 70 earned runs in 203.0 IP (3.10 ERA)...the P-Nats lead Washington affiliates in wins (27), ERA, and shutouts (5).

Triple-A Columbus Clippers
International League West Division
25-22, 3rd Place, 5.0 Games Back

MASTER DE CASTER: INF Yurendell de Caster is 20-for-66 (.303) with 14 runs scored, 4 home runs, 13 RBI and a .413 on-base percentage in 20 May games...de Caster, who signed as a minor league free agent in the off-season, is batting .296 (32-for-108) with 4 homers and 21 RBI in 31 games since being promoted from Double-A Harrisburg April 19...overall, he is hitting a combined .305 with 8 homers, 37 RBI and a .403 OBP in 46 games with Harrisburg and Columbus.

MOCK TRIAL: RHP Garret Mock owns a 3.00 ERA (8 ER/24.0 IP) in 4 starting assignments in May...he has struck out 16 and walked just one in that span...the 25-year-old is 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA and a 3.6 SO/BB ratio (33 K's, 9 walks) in 8 starts...he is scheduled to make his next start Friday vs. Buffalo (Indians)...Mock was acquired from ARI with LHP Matt Chico in exchange for RHP Livan Hernandez, August 7, 2006.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators
Eastern League Southern Division
26-15, T-First Place, 0.0 Games Ahead

CORY IN ALL HIS GLORY: LHP Cory VanAllen is a combined 6-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 8 games (7 starts) with Harrisburg and Potomac...among minor league starters, the Baylor University product ranks 3rd with a .161 (23-for-143) batting average against and 7th in ERA...he is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA (4 ER/ 18.2 IP) through his first 3 career starts at the Double-A level... VanAllen, who was selected in the 5th round of the 2006 First-Year-Player Draft, is scheduled to make his next start Friday at Connecticut (Giants).

ZIMMERMANN WITH TWO N's AT THE END: RHP Jordan Zimmermann earned his first Double-A victory Sunday at Erie (Tigers), holding the SeaWolves to 3 earned runs in 6.2 innings, fanning 8 and walking just one batter...in a combined 7 appearances (6 starts) with Harrisburg and Potomac, he is 4-2 and is 2nd among Washington minor leaguers with 43 strikeouts (47, Tyler Clippard) and a 2.04 ERA (1.17, Cory VanAllen)...Zimmermann, selected in the 2nd round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, has a 3.1/1 SO/BB ratio through 20 games (17 starts) as a professional, fanning 114 against just 30 walks.

OFILIO THE BURN: After going just 5-for-31 (.161) in April, INF Ofilio Castro is batting .438 (21-for-48) in 16 May contests...Castro, 24, is hitting .329 (26-for-79) since being promoted from Potomac April 19.

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: C Luke Montz Despite missing a week after suffering a concussion, catcher Luke Montz leads the Senators in all 3 triple-crown categories: .330 (29-for-88), 8 home runs, 33 RBI...he has a team-best .659 slugging percentage in 26 games, and his RBI total is good for 4th in the Eastern League...the 24-year-old ranks among Nats farmhands with 8 HR (t-2nd) and 33 RBI (3rd)...selected by the Expos/Nationals in the 17th round of the 2003 Draft, Montz has 67 career homers and 278 RBI in 452 games as a pro.

Single-A Potomac Nationals
Carolina League Northern Division
27-15, First Place, 2.0 Games Ahead

HUGO ROSS: LHP Ross Detwiler allowed just one hit and struck out 9 in 4.0 scoreless innings last night at Wilmington (Royals)...Detwiler, Washington's top pick (6th overall) in the 2007 draft, is 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA (8 ER/20.1 IP) with 24 strikeouts in 4 starts this month...overall, the 22-year-old, who became the first player from the 2007 First-Year Player Draft to reach the big leagues, is 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA in 9 starts.

DON'T DISS CHRIS: OF Chris Marrero is hitting .286 (18-for-63) with 12 runs, 4 home runs and 11 RBI in 17 May games...after committing 6 errors in April, he has played error-free ball this month...Marrero, Washington's 2006 first round pick (15th overall), leads the club with 19 walks and has hit 6 home runs and 19 RBI in 40 games.

NOVOA'S ARK: LHP Yunior Novoa is 2-0 with 2 saves and has tossed 12.0 consecutive scoreless innings spanning his last 7 appearances...he has 16 strikeouts and has not issued a walk in that stretch...Novoa, 23, is 2-0 with 3 saves and a 1.17 ERA in 11 games overall...he owns an 11.5 SO/BB ratio (23 K's and 2 walks), and is limiting opponents to a .177 BAA (14-for-79).

Single-A Hagerstown Suns
South Atlantic League Northern Division
23-22, 5th Place, 6.0 Games Back

IT'S A THRILL TO WATCH BILL: INF Bill Rhinehart leads the South Atlantic League and is tied for 2nd in minor league baseball with 43 RBI...he ranks among the South Atlantic League leaders in doubles (t-1st, 15), total bases (2nd, 92), slugging (3rd, .536), hits (4th, 54) and batting average (7th, .325)...the 11th round pick in last June's draft is hitting .481 (25-for-52) with 7 doubles, 3 homers and 38 RBI with RISP...the University of Arizona product was a 2007 New York-Penn League mid-season All Star.

BURGESS KING: OF Michael Burgess paces the SAL and Washington farmhands with 11 home runs...the 19-year-old has hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games, going 13-for-38 (.342) with 7 extra-base hits (4 doubles and 3 home runs) and 5 RBI...Burgess entered the season as the No. 4 prospect and 2nd-best hitting prospect (behind only Chris Marrero) in the Washington chain according to Baseball America.

MR. BOOMBASTIC: OF Boomer Whiting is batting .364 with 18 runs scored, 11 RBI, 9 steals and a .485 OBP in his first 14 games, after beginning the season at extended spring training in Viera, FL...he is 10-for-24 (.416) with 5 RBI and 5 stolen bases in his last 5 games...Whiting, who led the New York-Penn League with 37 stolen bases last season, was selected in the 28th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Louisville.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 22, 2008; 9:17 AM ET
 
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Next: Kearns to the DL

Comments

Pay attention, kids. These guys are the Nats of the future!

SoCH ... can you give us a run-down of whom acquired each of these players so we can get an idea of what to expect?

Posted by: i hate walks | May 22, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Nice round-up. It seems as though the Nats' far, system remains stocked both with ML starters and "fill-ins". I'm looking forward to '09 & '10.

The downside is that a number of the prime prospects had a bad April. Maybe the Karma is that this club will, forever, struggle to get out of the gate. The question arises as to whether, when they are geared for a playoff run, they will have to overcome a below .500 first month.

Posted by: Catcher50 | May 22, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Chico, I know it is too early in your Nats beat tenure for you to form a definitive opinion on this, but perhaps after your afternoon tea yesterday you might have some initial thoughts on this important question: Who is more senile, JimBo, or JoePa?

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | May 22, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Good to see Marrero and Burgess heating up, though they are obviously still adjusting to their respective levels. Detwiler showing signs of life, too.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | May 22, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Dear C-is-L,

Once upon a time, I asked JoePa a press conference question about his running back situation, which at the time featured a logjam of equally strong sophomores, particularly Austin Scott and Tony Hunt.

Paterno responded with a 10-minute soliloquy -- spoken to a room of silent, dropped jaws -- on why believed "Scott" was no better than "Austin."

"You guys all keep telling me to play Scott instead of Austin!" he gasped at one point.

Oh dear.

I'd say for now, and probably for decades, JimBo is safe.

Posted by: Chico Harlan | May 22, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Good story Chico, thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | May 22, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Chico, I'd beg to differ, based on your gamer:

"I'll always say this," Bowden said. "[Players] will develop and learn quicker [in the big leagues]. It's just very painful to watch."

Apparently Jimbo has already forgotten that he thought it would be better for Flores to develop in the minors. Or maybe his philosophy-of-the-moment depends on what he needs to say to defend his latest dopey moves.

Posted by: joebleux | May 22, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

brought forward to new post:

"This is a lineup full of guys that 'could' hit well but have never proven it."

It's also a lineup full of guys (with the exception of Guzman and Flores) who aren't even hitting as well as their WORST performances of previous stints in the majors. Ryan Zimmerman's face of the franchise has sprouted new zits this season. The Wily Mo Pena who added one run per game last August/Sept has now become Wily Less Pena. Dukes is underperforming even the crappy .100something/10 HR line he put up in Tampa Bay at the beginning of 2007. Milledge is underperforming what he did with the Mets last year. Kearns has never looked so bad his entire career. Let's not even go there when it comes to the underperformance of the likes of LoDuca and Estrada. At best you can say that a few of the team's batters are holding their own relative to their demonstrated career numbers (Lopez, Johnson given the caveat of his coming back from a year off), but at this point nearly 50 games into the season not one batter has shown any improvement or given any indication that he's starting to turn it around. A malaise has settled on the Nats' bats, across the board, for more than a quarter of a season now, and it shows no signs of lifting, despite JimBo's optimistic comments yesterday. Could that be due entirely to coincidence? Perhaps. It is possible. But it seems far more likely to me that inadequate coaching has more to do with it. Fire Lenny. It may not help, but it sure couldn't hurt.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 22, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Detwiler showing signs of life, too."

Indeed - 9 SO's in 4 innings pitched is pretty impressive no matter what level.

Posted by: Bazz | May 22, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Olney's blog offers a quick take after linking Chico's vote of confidence article:

"Look, if every team fired its hitting coach because of declining numbers in 2008, it would be an ugly year. And pitching coaches league-wide would be getting multi-year deals."

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | May 22, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Who is this Bill Rhinehart? He was the Vermont Lake Monsters MVP in 07 and he is an IF who set all kinds of records at Arizona?

Why isn't he more well-known?

Posted by: goNats | May 22, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Last night reminded me of a story from another, far worse, loss last year. 15-1, at the hands of the Tigers. Jason Simontacchi was pitching and went 3 innings, giving up 10 earned runs. The Tigers had 7 doubles and 2 home runs in the game. I got to watch this all five rows back from first base. It was miserable.

Here's the box score:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WAS/WAS200706190.shtml

Starting in the 6th inning, every time the Tigers took the field this one fan ran down to the front row and held up his Sean Casey jersey so the Detroit first baseman could see it. He would then spend the ENTIRE top of the inning screaming "Casey, Casey! Look, Casey! Casey!" which Casey ignored, mostly because Casey was in the middle of an inning. In fact, this moron was trying to get him look over in the middle of a Nationals at bat.

People yelled at him to sit down, to stop holding up his jersey and blocking others view, but not even the ushers could dampen his enthusiastic determination to let a professional player know he had bought a jersey with his name on it.

Finally, in the midst of another round of attention seeking, a voice bellowed from somewhere, "Hey ___hole, where's your Lions jersey?"

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 22, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I meant, of course, that he spent the entire bottom of the inning screaming, as Casey wasn't standing on first base during the top of the inning.

Because he kept hitting extra base hits.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 22, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

It looks to me like we may not be as threadbare in the INF as previously assumed.

Posted by: MKevin | May 22, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Ugh. After reading Fisher's column this morning, I may be boycotting Nationals Park for the forseeable future. Love the team, hate the owners. Now I now hoe Skins' fans feel.

Posted by: Trapper John | May 22, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

CiL, I think you have a fan. First, you're mentioned by Chico himself two chats ago. Now, he's responding to your questions with anecdotes.

Somewhere, Shawn Hill's sinker is letting out a sigh of relief.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 22, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

WMP = Weapon of Minimal Production

Posted by: First Timer | May 22, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What a great story.

Posted by: nat hole | May 22, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Rough game last night; i'd say actually last night was worse to witness than the 15-1 debacle (I was at both as well). The Tigers just pummeled the ball, they were and still are the most impressive team i've seen at the ballpark. Simontacchi took one for the team and kept pitching to rest the bullpen.

Last night a bit different. The Colome inning was just brutal. Being around a bunch of phillies fans was even worse.

Is the Matt Chico experiment done yet for this year? Is there a reason we havn't brought up Mock or Balester yet?

Posted by: Sec131 | May 22, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Was at last night's disaster. I hope the Schroder last night wasn't the real Schroder and the one the past two years was the fake one. Still a fan boy, but gee, when you come into a game and your team needs you to pitch a few innings, do not nibble. Save your arm and the bullpen.

Speaking of buts, I'm convinced that Jesus Colome's abscess last year was really a cover for the opposing NL teams replacing the microchip they had implanted in his butt that made him groove pitches. It's a different microchip than the one the AL had implanted there when he was getting shelled in Tampa Bay. The AL one only works when there is a DH in the line-up.

Thank goodness Hanrahan used the opportunity to pitch efficiently and mop up. Maybe he earns a shot at higher leverage sitauations. Schroder needed to take notes.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 22, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

For those interested, a link summarizing multiple 2008 mock drafts:

http://tinyurl.com/3jl9y3

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | May 22, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

As a college guy, Rhinehart should be a little advanced for Rookie league last year and low A this year. Let's see how he does at Potomac after this month or June.

Also Chico (the writer, not the soft-server), suggest that whenever the Nats put together a farm report on a pitcher and quote season stats, they include innings pitched. Hard to tell if someof the K totals are impressive if we don't know the K/9.

Finally - is there any speculation about which of the minor league starters might be converted to relievers at the major league level? A lot of closers pitch as starters in the minors.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 22, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Marrero drawing some walks....a little plate discipline will certainly inflate that raw power - it's amazing how many pitches you'll get to mash when scouting reports are showing that you're leading in walks

Way to work the count, Chris - a lesson obviously forgotten by some big leaguers.

Posted by: Corey | May 22, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I love this, Chico! Please keep including it evbery time the Nats PR staff send it out.

It's nice to be updated on members of the "Plan".

As for the strikeouts in innings pitched comment by PTBN...I'm assuming if it's impressive, it would be listed. Just a thought.

Posted by: NatsFan10 | May 22, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I love this, Chico! Please keep including it every time the Nats PR staff send it out.

It's nice to be updated on members of the "Plan".

As for the strikeouts in innings pitched comment by PTBN... I'm assuming if it's impressive, it would be listed. Just a thought.

Posted by: NatsFan10 | May 22, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I love this! Please keep including it every time the Nats PR staff sends it out.

It's nice to be updated on members of the "Plan".

As for the strikeouts in innings pitched comment... I'm assuming if it's impressive, it would be listed. Just a thought.

Posted by: NatsFan10 | May 22, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I posted 3 times...the web page kept telling me there was an error.

Posted by: NatsFan10 | May 22, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"is there any speculation about which of the minor league starters might be converted to relievers at the major league level?"

From what I can gather, the following guys are likely to be relievers if they make the majors: Cory VanAllen, Marco Estrada, and maybe even Garrett Mock at this point in his development. Guys like Collin Balester, Jordan Zimmermann, Shairon Martis, Ross Detwiler, & Adrian Alaniz still project out as starters

Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I can understand the saying "you can never have enough good catchers," but with Montz playing the way he is in Columbus, and Jesus and Wil doing okay as well, how big a trade bait is Montz right now?

Posted by: Juan-John | May 22, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Man I wish those mocks had Gordon Beckham falling to us.

Some Nats-related stuff from yesterday's draft chat on MLB.com:

"sablo04: Can you tell me more about Gerrit Cole? You said the Rangers might be interested in him but Freidrich or Hunt seem to be "surer" things. Also, what are the chances now that Eric Hosmer falls to them or that they take a shot on Tanner Scheppers? Thanks for answering!

Mayo: One word: arm strength. OK, so that's two words. Cole can throw awfully hard and has been up to 98 mph at times. He's got a slider and a changeup, too, but it's the heater that turns heads. There have been some concerns with his delivery as well as his makeup (he gets too emotional on the mound, among other things). Oh, and he's advised by Scott Boras. I don't see Hosmer slipping to No. 11. If the Royals don't take him, the Marlins or the Nationals might. I'll never say never, but it's unlikely. As for Scheppers, I'd be shocked if he went that high. There'd have to be some pretty conclusive medical reports that he'll be fine and even then, to take him at No. 11 doesn't make sense to me.

GMUtrkstar: Any word on who the Nationals are looking at in the Draft?

Mayo: In my most recent projection of the top 20, I still have the Nats taking South Carolina first baseman Justin Smoak. He's a switch-hitter who can hit with power from both sides. Only thing is he could be gone by then. There's been talk of high school outfielder Zach Collier getting a look, but I'm not sure on that one. Hosmer would be a possibility if he slips, as would one of the top college arms, Aaron Crow or Brian Matusz."

I put this next exchange in here because it made me wonder whether the Nats might pull another Cordero:

"txboy2004: Do the Astros take the best available player with the No. 10 pick since the farm is so empty or do they go with a college closer to try to help quickly?

Mayo: I don't think i'd necessarily go college closer at No. 10 overall, though that is a strength of this Draft and there are some guys with some big arms to choose from, like Ryan Perry and Andrew Cashner. I think they can take the best available guy who'll get there pretty quickly. To me, that's a college bat like Yonder Alonso."

And this one about one of our projected picks:

"csu_bucs: What are you hearing about Smoak? Seems like his "down" year was pretty darn good.

Mayo: Didn't realize he was having a down year. He's a Golden Spikes semifinalist who is up to .389 with a .758 SLG as a switch-hitter. I think he could go as high as No. 3 and won't make it out of the top 10."

A bone for O's Exec, who has (mostly) avoided gloating lately:

"mdturtle: Thanks for the chat. If you had to guess, how would you say the O's top 4 shake out?

Mayo: Thanks for coming. I'm guessing you mean where you think the O's will go with their No. 4 pick, because there's no way I can project what they'll do with their first four picks. Right now, I still say Matusz, the lefty out of San Diego. But they do like their bats and it wouldn't shock me to see them turn to a Smoak or Gordon Beckham."

More Nats stuff:

"natsfan89: Is it an indictment on Chris Marrero if the Nats take Smoak or Hosmer? what do they do with both of those players?

Mayo: Not necessarily. The Nats will take the player they like best when they pick, regardless of what they have in their system. If they think that's Smoak or Hosmer, then they cross the bridge of worrying what happens when they get there. Maybe you move Marrero back to the OF and hope he's ok in left. Maybe you trade someone. Point is, it'd be a nice problem to have, no, with those kinds of bats in your organization?"

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 22, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"but with Montz playing the way he is in Columbus, and Jesus and Wil doing okay as well, how big a trade bait is Montz right now?"

It's a nitpick but Montz is actually playing in Harrisburg right now (homered in today's game). As for his trade value, it's honestly minimal at this point. Non-premium catchers in Double-A might bring the Nationals a relief pitcher in the best case. Montz is more valuable to the Nats if he sticks around to allow the Nats to dump Lo Duca or Estrada for whatever minor league longshot(s) you can get.

Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Could you provide an update on Mike O'Connor's status and your analysis of his prospects for the future. Thanks.

Posted by: Barry Trebach | May 22, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I must of read JimBo's comments yesterday at least six or seven times at the same time I was watching the Nats lose 12-2 at home in ridiculous fashion.

What do you think, Chico, what do you think JimBo was thinking watching the game last night?

I am wagering he was thinking about a rum and coke and an nice pair of tits.

Posted by: NatsNQ | May 22, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"Is it an indictment on Chris Marrero if the Nats take Smoak or Hosmer? what do they do with both of those players?"

I do not understand this mindset. Is it the football POV creeping into baseball? You can never have too much depth. And moreover, the MLB draft is really unlike the other more popsular drafts in the NFL or NBA. In those drafts, you draft for need because the players are going to be part of the major league team now while in MLB, 99% of the palyers drafted are years away from being regular contributors. And there is more uncertainty in who will develop.

Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site.

Posted by: Hello?? | May 22, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I am wagering he was thinking about a rum and coke and an nice pair of tits.

Posted by: NatsNQ | May 22, 2008 1:05 PM

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site.

Posted by: Hello?? | May 22, 2008 1:15 PM

Posted by: pick me! pick me! | May 22, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

indeed.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I think that depends on how he's got his money invested. If he's been smart and lucky, he won't have to work for a while. If not, well, what did major in at G-Dub?
**************
Could you provide an update on Mike O'Connor's status and your analysis of his prospects for the future. Thanks.

Posted by: Barry Trebach | May 22, 2008 1:03 PM

Posted by: MIB | May 22, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This from Sheinin's chat this morning:

Baltimore: Will the Orioles finish above .500, and does that bother DC fans a lot since we are clearly better than they are this year?

Dave Sheinin: No, I don't believe the Orioles will finish above .500 this season. They've played a fairly weak schedule so far (only two games against Boston, for example) and don't (in my opinion) have the pitching to hang in there for the long haul.

In fact, here's my bold prediction for the day: When the season is over, the Nationals will have a better record than the Orioles.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I never knew that the NJ crowd was so PC and easily offended by a natural occurance of nature. I wonder how you react when you look in the mirror every morning.

Okay, I will fix my original posting:

I must of read JimBo's comments yesterday at least six or seven times at the same time I was watching the Nats lose 12-2 at home in ridiculous fashion.

What do you think, Chico, what do you think JimBo was thinking watching the game last night?

I am wagering he was thinking about a rum and coke and an nice pair of "mamallian protruberances."


Posted by: NatsNQ | May 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Chico, seriously: you have the keys. One of them is marked "delete," isn't it? If you don't get in front of this, it's going to go fugly in big hurry.

Posted by: CE | May 22, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

STFU, jackass.

How's that for PI?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info on potential starter to reliever switches. I'm a little suspect of Van Allen as a reliever because, while he has been quite successful this year, his K/9 is pretty low even in high A (6.3), where he was a little old for that level (23). Hard to criticize his results, though, and his success has followed him up to AA. I just wonder if we'll start seeing more 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K lines.

Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, and what I said is "inappropriate?" What I said was a simple joke that apparently some just aren't mature enough to handle. My apologies. I will not make such comments again in order to preserve the sanctity of the NJ.

But seriously Chico, props to you for sitting in there and listening to JimBo spew that rot. Honestly, you can tell us, do you really believe he believed in what he was saying?

Posted by: NatsNQ | May 22, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Brian, that last Van Allen post was actually me replying to you.

Posted by: PTBNL | May 22, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

NQ, if you had simply said "Jim Bowden is a boob," then many here would have applauded ...

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 22, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm still relatively new around here, Bob. Thanks for the info.

But it's hilarious how easily offended by one word, a natural, real word, people get around here.

Oh well.

Posted by: NatsNQ | May 22, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I was more insulted by the use of the word "fugly," and the fact that people still think that Chico has nothing better to do than spend every moment monitoring this blog.

I didn't realize school was out for summer already.

Posted by: nat hole | May 22, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

We've had a few bad troll experiences. And we're also not quite as irreverent as your site. There is (was?) a bit of a "play nice" ethic in here, although it's hard to see that when the team is losing in horrific fashion. It was a lot easier last year when they were overachieving.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 22, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"SoCH ... can you give us a run-down of whom acquired each of these players so we can get an idea of what to expect?"

Posted by: I hate people who use whom as a subject | May 22, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

LOL, thanks Bob. Yeah, sometimes I forget not all places are as "open" as my blog and I sometimes take the pure entertainment value and weirdness from there into other places and it doesn't always mix as well.

I'm sure the Nats Nation is all aggravated and on edge currently.

Posted by: NatsNQ | May 22, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

So I've been thinking, and here's my new theory on the Nats' woes: we're coddling them with the new stadium and luxury clubhouse. They started to click right when old RFK and its rodent and plumbing problems was in its last days. I think we have to go all "Major League" on these guys and make them take a ratty old plane or bus on road trips, maybe replace the jacuzzi with a tub of ice and an outboard motor, etc. The Tribe won the pennant in the movie!

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | May 22, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

That's a good idea. If Dave Leitao were the manager, they'd be putting on their uniforms at home.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't know anything other than what I've read the last few weeks, but I would love to see Skipworth or G. Beckham fall to the Nats at 9. Hosmer would be sweet, especially since he could move to the OF, but I don't see the Nats playing ball with Boras.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | May 22, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice that D-Train's been banished to the pen to make room for Armando Galarraga?

I've always been a big booster of the Soriano deal, but it's starting to look like our guy got snookered (again).

I'll just go ahead and reply to the predictable excuses:

Predictable Bowden Excuse #1 (aka, "the Condi Rice 9/11 excuse"): "It's not Bowden's fault because no one ever could have predicted that that Galarraga was going to be good."

Response: Bowden's whole job is to evaluate players and predict whether they will perform or not. If it's impossible to do this, then why even hire a GM? Why hire scouts? And in fact Galarraga was regarded as a real prospect at the time of the deal--a guy with definite major league stuff. The knock on him was never talent, but whether he could stay healthy.

Predictable Bowden excuse #2: "We got Smoker and Burgess as compensatory picks for Soriano, and they're better than Galarraga."

Response: Maybe so. We'll see. But an big leaguer in the hand is worth 3-4 in the bush leagues.

Predictable Bowden excuse #3: "Galarraga's just had a few good starts. He's not really that good."

Response: Maybe so, but this is getting less and less likely with each start, and when a guy making 10 million a year goes to the pen to make room for the guy making the rookie minimum, its probably the case that the Tigers don't think he's lucky. But hey, what do the Tigers know about developing young pitchers? I mean, Verlander, Bonderman, Zumaya... those guys are nothing compared to Brett Tomko!

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | May 22, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for the outboard motor ice bath or team bus, I'm just afraid the team would resort to using a large cutout of Bowden with strategically placed win pieces for motivation.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | May 22, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I was more insulted by "I must of read"

It's "I must HAVE read"
******************
I must of read JimBo's comments...

Posted by: NatsNQ | May 22, 2008 1:28 PM

Posted by: Grammar Lady | May 22, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

occurance

mamallian

Posted by: not to mention | May 22, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"But it's hilarious how easily offended by one word, a natural, real word, people get around here."

And as the great George Carlin said some 35 years ago in his classic bit The Seven Words You Can't Say On Television, "[the T-word currently in question] doesn't even belong on the list. That is such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname, right? 'Hey, [T-word], come here, man. Hey [T-word], meet Toots. Toots, [T-word]. [T-word], Toots.' It sounds like a snack, doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is a snack. I don't mean your sexist snack. I mean New Nabisco [T-word]!, and new Cheese [T-word], Corn [T-word], Pizza [T-word], Sesame [T-word], Onion [T-word], Tater [T-word]. 'Betcha Can't Eat Just One.' That's true. I usually switch off. But I mean, that word does not belong on the list."

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 22, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

grammar lady is that you? Sorry 'bout my typo, really.

... http://tinyurl.com/2vpas9

sed -e 's/who/whom/'


NatsNQ, to echo what Bob L. said ... your premise is well-received. Keeping the language family-safe has a secondary effect of keeping the conversation relatively baseball related.

(but I will grant you a snicker for the Zappa reference in the "corrected" version)

Posted by: i hate walks | May 22, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

you know, SoCH, it could just be that he missed it. pointing out one part of a deal like that a couple of years down the line and indicting the GM for it would pretty much get every GM in baseball fired. i didn't hear many people complaining about gallaraga at the time of the trade. there was far more grousing that wilkerson was going to blow up and be big time in texas with the bandbox and finally being healthy, some even going so far as to say wilkerson in texas would outhomer sori in RFK (which, obviously, couldn't be further from the truth).

anyway, it wasn't doyle alexander for smoltz or liriano/nathan/bonser for pierzinski.

could it turn out, long run, to be a negative for the nats? sure. but until you see where smoker and burgess end up, the story isn't over yet. and like i said, even the best GMs have trades where a low A guy they include as part of a deal turns out to be someone special. i'd have worried more about it if lots of baseball folks were saying, "wtf? why'd they put galarraga in that deal?" at the time of the trade. it's a whole lot easier to criticize a couple of years down the road.

there are a lot of things you can criticize bowden for. i'm not inclined to get my panties bunched up over this.

Posted by: 231 | May 22, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

for the last time, smoker and burgess were not who we got for Soriano.

It was Smoker and ZIMMERMANN.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

that was me.

Posted by: GoNats | May 22, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

What does SOCH win for posting the same thing for the One Millionth Time?

Posted by: nat hole | May 22, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

But what about the two centerpieces of the Soriano deal? One is now a certifiable journeyman in the majors, the other is in Japan. Bowden doesn't get any credit there? And Galarrage wasn't exactly tearing it up in the minors at the time. Not terrible, but far from great.

So, we have Galarraga for Smoker, Zimmermann (not Burgess), and one season of Soriano. I'll still take my chances with that deal.

I'm far from a Bowden fan, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over Armando Galarraga.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | May 22, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"What does SOCH win for posting the same thing for the One Millionth Time?"

Sadly, nothing more than the opportunity to post it yet again for the One Million and First time.

SoCH: the gift that keeps on giving.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 22, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of FLop, what about WiMP?

Posted by: clarquito | May 22, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of FLop, what about WiMP?

Posted by: clarquito | May 22, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

A bus ticket back to Lambeau Field?

Posted by: natty bo | May 22, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

good point to consider... does texas feel they got the better of that deal? methinks not.

Posted by: 231 | May 22, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Predictable S/CH post: "Bowden doesnt develop players"

Predictable NJ response: "Yawn"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"SoCH: the gift that keeps on giving."

He's a generous fellow.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 22, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I hate losing. Our pitchers need to throw strikes and work fast. Our batters need to come to work at 10 am and spend a lot of time in the cages.

Posted by: 6th and D | May 22, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Predictable SoCH post: "Bowden doesnt develop players."

Predictable Bowden response: Develops gas.

Predictable SoCH post: "Bowden doesnt release the right players."

Predictable Bowden response: Releases gas.

Predictable SoCH complaint: Bowden.

Predictable Bowden complaint: Gas.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | May 22, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I had a great English teacher in high school who put it this way - use "whom" where you would say "him," and use "who" when you would use "he." It's a lot simpler than the object/subject verbiage that tends to confuse folks.

Of course, this leads to the problem many have with the "It is him"/"It is he" issue.

I actually had an advanced grammer book in college in which the author argued one should not answer the door when someone replies, "It is I" (rather than "It's me," for example) to the question, "Who's there?" The author, discussing prescribed and described grammer, said that such a person would be too uptight or boring to be worth meeting.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 22, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

FYI ... Kearns to the 15-day DL; no replacement named yet

Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

SoCH = Broken Record

Posted by: Section 505/203 | May 22, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey! The P-Nats won 10-3 today in a game that evidently started at 11:05 this morning. Call up the P-Nats! There's no Pfarting around at the Pfitz!

(Flynnie loaned me some of his exclamation points! I'm trying to stay awake on an off day!)

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 22, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

And Brian scoops our beat reporter. I actually think this might be good for AK. It takes some of the pressure off. When he comes back, he's not slumping, not pressing, he's just regaining his stroke after an injury. He might benefit from that change in mindset.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | May 22, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget he'll get rehab at bats, Bob. Some minor-league pitching will give him time to practice on the "Easy" level.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | May 22, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I had a great English teacher who said to use the word "nerd" when you would use the phrase "great English teacher."

Posted by: Suicide Squeeze | May 22, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Props to Chico for taking an immersion class in Spanish so that he can talk to our best hitter and best bet for shortstop of the future, but are things so tight at the Post that a Spanish-speaker can't go to the clubhouse with him? How many journalism departments in the area have Spanish-speakers available to cover baseball as a dream internship? It's sad that we know nothing about one of our best players, and have no hope of knowing Guzman until Chico picks up enough Spanish to talk to him. Ray and Johnny were speaking in Spanish on TV the other day. Ask them to help. Indeed, Coverage IS Lacking!

Posted by: flynnie | May 22, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Probably nobody will read this, as it is to an expired post. However, these PR notices are difficult to read, with their silly puns. Brian Oliver does an incredible job on Nationals Farm Authority, and I prefer it.

However, I am grateful that you do this. Any fan of the Nats needs to pay attention to who is on the way up. Even with a silly presentation, this information is valuable. Thanks.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | May 22, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I read it.
And agree, fwiw.

Posted by: CE | May 22, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

besides, I don't think anybody called "new post" yet.

NEW POST

Posted by: MIB | May 22, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

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