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Martis = Number Four Starter?

If the Nationals were leaning towards naming right-hander Shairon Martis their fourth starter -- and I believe they were -- today's start may have sealed the deal: Six innings, three hits (one of them an infield hit), no runs, one walk, four strikeouts, 78 pitches. His spring ERA: 1.23.

Martis is running in the outfield now, as the Nationals bat in the seventh, and Garrett Mock is finished warming up in the bullpen, so he'll be your new pitcher.

The Nationals lead the Orioles, 3-0, having scored a run in the fifth on Justin Maxwell's leadoff single and stolen base, and an RBI single to right by Ian Desmond. Here in the seventh, they loaded the bases against Alfredo Simon on two walks and an error, then scored on Roger Bernadina's sacrifice fly to the warning track in right.

By Dave Sheinin  |  March 24, 2009; 2:38 PM ET
 
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Next: The Arbitration Clock, & What it Means for the Rotation

Comments

Alright bullpen....do your job!!!

Posted by: FloresFan | March 24, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

So Zimmermann starts in AAA? If so, ESJ called it in the last thread. Props.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 24, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Don't make a mockery of the bullpen, Garrett.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

FYI: ESPN.com now has a feature on Strasburg on their frontpage. I'm not an insider, but Keith Law starts out his blog like this, "What you have heard on Stephen Strasburg is true. He is bar none the best college pitching prospect in at least 10 years, and there's nobody close to him -- college or high school, pitcher or position player -- in this draft."

Posted by: dclifer | March 24, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

More importantly, the Bard is in the house.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The top of the flop list has Kasten looking brilliant.

1. Todd Van Poppel
The Atlanta Braves wanted to draft him No. 1 overall in 1990, but were wary of the bonus demands of a pitcher many scouts called the best high school prospect they'd ever seen. (Atlanta instead drafted Chipper Jones.) As for Van Poppel, he was drafted by Oakland and Baseball America rated him the best prospect in 1991, second-best in 1992, seventh-best in 1993 ... (see the trend there?)

Posted by: dclifer | March 24, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Not truer words have been written. Kasten not only was boring, he couldn't type fast enough to answer more than about 5 posts in an hour.

PB: In a chat that just ended, Stan Kasten revealed a sum total of zero interesting items of new information, is there anyone else you cover who can talk as much as Stan K. without providing a single morsel of substance?

Dan Steinberg: I haven't had a chance to read it yet. But if that's the case, I'm disappointed. I had high hopes. He seems to be getting duller as the years go on.

But to answer your question, his level of public dullness is not even in the same universe as Ernie Grunfeld's. Not the same galaxy, assuming a galaxy is bigger than a universe. Or whatever's bigger than a universe. Stan at least has the benefit of an amusing speaking voice and frequent groan-worthy puns. Ernie--who I like very much--could easily put you to sleep in a Web chat.

_______________________

Posted by: Wallpass | March 24, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery; For where a heart is hard they make no battery."

(Venus and Adonis)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

So if this Nats Lite seems to be working so well together, let 'em keep playing together until they prove to be otherwise.

Posted by: charley42 | March 24, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Let's see if Mock can close this out, get the three-inning save and take his ERA back under 4.00. That might lock up two roster spots in one day.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 24, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

re: Van Poppel ... Caveats exist for all pitching in the MLB draft but high school pitchers are in a separate stratosphere than college pitchers

Posted by: Brian_ | March 24, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Ummm, guess not, Mock just gave up a run.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 24, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann had a 1-2-3 inning. Nice.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Wonder whether Rivera or Hanrahan made the trip.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"Not truer words have been written. Kasten not only was boring, he couldn't type fast enough to answer more than about 5 posts in an hour."

Still faster than Boswell is in his chats.

" is there anyone else you cover who can talk as much as Stan K. without providing a single morsel of substance?"

Boswell (again)?

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I just got back from the weekend at spring training and WMP has to go. Everytime I saw him he was goofing around and for someone in his position it shows me that he has no work ethic.

Posted by: sec218 | March 24, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"And so I shall catch the fly." (Henry V, Act V, Scene II)

On to the bottom of the 9th.

Come on, Ryan!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

There is a huge difference between high school pitchers and college pitchers. I still think they have to pick Strasburg.

Posted by: johndec | March 24, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Woo!

Posted by: OldDude | March 24, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

1-2-3 for Wagner. Nats win! Nats win!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for all those Nats fans out there who are now against drafting Strasburg (and no Boz isn't against doing it he just brought out a sense of caution for the price): Why is it that last year when the Nats took Aaron Crow the general consenus was that it was a good pick and the right pick, when Justin Smoak who most people would say is better and other guys like Hicks and Wallace who were in the ballpark of Crow and would have been cheaper? Yet this year there is that once in a generation pitcher who is far and away the best player in the draft is available and now you want to take an inferior player because of money? Folks Strasburg is not getting a 6 year $50 million dollar deal...esp. not in this economy. Look Boras floated a 4 year $100+ million dollar deal for Manny Ramierz and that didn't come to pass...not everything Boras says happens. I think Strasburg will set a record bonus but its not gonna be too over the top. The price will be determined by a number of things including years, where the economy is, additional perks in the deal ect. We have to take this pitcher (if he's healthy by draft day) we can't pass up this chance for a star.

Posted by: Steveo11 | March 24, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann has been having quite a good ST so far (knocks wood). I wouldn't mind if they stretch his arm out a liitle more these next couple of weeks and let him start the season as the 5th starter. This lets Martis start as the #4 and lets ZNN to start in Syracuse to keep the arb-clock from starting.

Posted by: erocks33 | March 24, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Shairon Martis is good, I want to learn more about him..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 24, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Where's Chico today? Is he too embarrassed to come out and cover some baseball, or did he have to go out clothes shopping because he now realizes he's fallen behind this guy that the Washingtonian is now featuring? http://tinyurl.com/c4tm3g

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I said it on the last thread, but I'll re phrase (since I hate re posting).

I bet Martis is the 4th starter (in a 4 man rotation through April) to push back the Zim Reaper's arbitration clock. This is not being cheap, it's smart baseball to keep your best players under team control as long as possible. 5-6 starts in '09 will seem like nothing if we get 33 extra starts in 2016!

If Rizzo really does have some big brass balls he might keep Martis in AAA to push back his arbitration date too and start Bergmann in the #4 rotation spot. Idealy you would want to start Balester since he'll have to spend almost all of 2009 in AAA to push his clock back another year, but he (much more than the Martis and Zimmermann) needs at least a few weeks (months?) in AAA to straighten himself out.

Posted by: estuartj | March 24, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Shairon Martis is good, I want to learn more about him.."

Then perhaps you could ask Chico Harlan if he knows of a good wine pairing for that dish. Mmmmm....Danish.

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The top of the flop list has Kasten looking brilliant.

1. Todd Van Poppel
The Atlanta Braves wanted to draft him No. 1 overall in 1990, but were wary of the bonus demands of a pitcher many scouts called the best high school prospect they'd ever seen. (Atlanta instead drafted Chipper Jones.) As for Van Poppel, he was drafted by Oakland and Baseball America rated him the best prospect in 1991, second-best in 1992, seventh-best in 1993 ... (see the trend there?)

Posted by: dclifer | March 24, 2009 3:04 PM

OTOH:

The list of pitchers taken BEFORE some guy name Tim Lincecum in 2006
Luke Hochevar
Greg Reynolds
Brad Lincoln
Brandon Morrow
Andrew Miller
Clayton Kershaw

Think the Royals would like a mulligan on that one. Or all these other teams for that matter.

Draft him and pay the man.

Posted by: traderkirk | March 24, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"I bet Martis is the 4th starter (in a 4 man rotation through April) to push back the Zim Reaper's arbitration clock."

Wouldn't they have to keep Zimmermann in the minors until mid-May or later in order to push back his arb clock? They can't go with a four-man rotation for that long.

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the arbitration clock argument is over-blown. My understanding is that someone (ZNN) would have to play about 80-100 days in the minors to avoid starting his clock. One of our starting pitchers will begin the season in AAA so we can carry an extra position player until we need the 5th starter - around the end of April. I think ZNN's clock will start this year if we call him up on 4/19 or so, but maybe I'm wrong.

I think the decision between Martis and ZNN will do with how many innings they threw last year - whoever threw more will be the 4 and come up with the big club, the other will be the 5 and make a start or two in SYR (with a limited pitch count) before joining the Nats in an effort to curb the innings pitched this year.

The biggest problem with these two rookies is the added innings they'll be asked to pitch. I think about a 30 inning increase over last year's totals will be the ceiling for both guys, which probably won't get either thru the whole year.

Bergmann is trash as a starter. Don't be fooled by his numbers - he's as inconsistant as it gets and he has had plenty of opportunities to prove himself as a starter and has failed. He's strictly a bullpen guy from here on out. That said, I think we will be one of our better bullpen guys and he still brings the ability to make a spot start in the event of injury.

Posted by: sec307 | March 24, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann is actually a pretty good starter most games, through 5 innings anyway, then he gets shelled.

I know Manny said he'd carry 7 relievers, but if they only have 4 starters through March and half of April they can use that extra roster spot for an 8th reliever instead of a 14th player. That would make it easier to deal with the limited starter inning Bergmann would give you and I really don't see much value in a 14th position player vs an 8th reliever.

Posted by: estuartj | March 24, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"I bet Martis is the 4th starter (in a 4 man rotation through April) to push back the Zim Reaper's arbitration clock."
Wouldn't they have to keep Zimmermann in the minors until mid-May or later in order to push back his arb clock? They can't go with a four-man rotation for that long.

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 3:55 PM
___________________________________________________________


Spamcastin,

What, no witty Chico food joke with your last post in an attempt to dazzle us all?

Posted by: Section505203 | March 24, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

What's Bergmann's longest outing this spring? Two innings, maybe? He's not going to be starting in two weeks if they haven't started stretching him out yet.

Don't be misled by the double N at the end of his name. He's not that good.

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Spamcastin,

What, no witty Chico food joke with your last post in an attempt to dazzle us all?

Posted by: Section505203 | March 24, 2009 4:09 PM
------------------------------------------

Ah, so you're a glutton, eh? Chico will be right with you.

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, so StanK is as boring and nondescript on line as he is he print and on air? Who would have guessed? BTW, am I the only who believes Boz's rip job on Strasburg today was planted by Nats FO to give them complete cover for passing on the phenom so as to avoid the embarrassment of not signing ANOTHER first-round pitcher?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | March 24, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

cy sharoin....daydreamer here.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 24, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

We needed the Stanspeak translator for his chat today. Now that, would have been funny.

Food jokes tend to bore me.

Spamcastin,

Tell some more so I can catch a nap at my desk before my commute home, you witty devil you.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 24, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of acknowledging the horribly horrible spamcastin, NN needs to wait it out in AA/AAA until around June 1st to delay the arbitration clock starting.

Seriously, dude, there's nothing witty or clever to your posts. They do have one thing going for them though. Redundancy.

Posted by: Section138 | March 24, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Just don't catch a nap DURING your commute home. Then you might end up as roadkill.

Hmmm. I wonder what Chico Harlan might have to say about The Original Roadkill Cookbook? http://tinyurl.com/39se9t

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously, dude, there's nothing witty or clever to your posts. They do have one thing going for them though. Redundancy."

Speaking of redundancy, do you know how many times over and over a good chef will make a particular recipe to ensure that it's just right? I bet Chico Harlan does.

Posted by: spamcastin | March 24, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"Why is it that last year when the Nats took Aaron Crow the general consenus was that it was a good pick and the right pick, when Justin Smoak who most people would say is better and other guys like Hicks and Wallace who were in the ballpark of Crow and would have been cheaper?"

1.) It's not cost that has changed my mind, it's the availability of position players that fit organizational needs (farm, you don't draft for need at the majors). The stats Boz cited about the success rates of No. 1 pitchers was sobering, to understate it.

2.) Crow is the wrong example for recent buyer's remorse. Detwiler would be much better. When, in the same class, we got Jordan Zimmermann much lower, why not take a position player in the first round and a pitcher in the sandwich round? I still believe in comparative advantage -- go pitching heavy and trade them for position players -- but having a ringer every draft wouldn't be a bad thing.

Posted by: Section506 | March 24, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

spamcastin = food fight

Posted by: BobLHead | March 24, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

BobL,

In my mind spamcastin = a lot of things but, "food fight" is not one of them. We'll just leave it at that.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 24, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

... help needed please, from any of you with auditory capablilities.

... does one pronounce "Shairon" as 'Sharon' like the English name, or like 'Shea-ron' like the Mets old place of business, or 'Shy-ron' like "he's just shy of making the roster? Or something else entirely?

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 24, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

>Food jokes tend to bore me.

It's gone beyond food now.

And we never saw it coming.

Posted by: Brue | March 24, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

506: JZim wasn't a sandwich round guy he was a 2nd rounder. And Detwiler was a good pick for that position. I wasn't talking hindsight when i mentioned Smoak, Hicks, and Wallace I was talking about their value at the time...Hicks and Wallace could have been had for slot where Smoak was the best player available. In 2006 the comparable players were Jarrod Parker, Casey Weathers and Bumgardner...while Parker and Bumgarner have passed up Detwiler they were high school picks as were the two best availble hitter Heyward and Dominguez. I don't think we can fault Detwiler too much especailly b/c he could still turn it around.

Posted by: Steveo11 | March 24, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Someone was looking for the StanSpeak translation of today's chat. I actually saw it out there, although I'm embarrassed to admit where. Like Scott Olsen, he's lost a few miles off his fastball.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 24, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, poor sentence structure made it look like Zimermann was a sandwich pick in my post. I was suggesting that a sandwich pick could be a top pitcher that would normally be a second rounder, entirely separate from the mention that it was our No. 2 pick, not our No. 1 that is major league ready, despite near universal assurance that Detwiler would be playing in the majors by the end of 2007.

I'm also not giving up on Detwiler at all, and I didn't think I had to specifically state that, but I guess the way things go around here these days, if you're not someone's mom, you're his ex-wife.

I think my point still stands, though, that it is reasonable to ask oneself, "why use a top pick on a pitcher that statistically is likely to join the ranks of flops, when you can use a top pick to snag a position player that statistically has an even chance of being a success AND fills a gaping organizational hole?"

Posted by: Section506 | March 24, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"spamcastin = food fight"

Ooh, good one, BobL.

Or it could be the method used by a troll to deliver a particular type of bait.

Posted by: joebleux | March 24, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"spamcastin = food fight"

It also rhymes with the name of the President of the Washington Nationals.

Or maybe I'm the only person that figured that out this late in the game. Regardless, for this one moment I feel brilliant. I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Posted by: Section506 | March 24, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

In addition to the fact that Strasburg has the potential to be incredibly good, I think that those who are now buying in to the "pick someone else" line of thinking are missing out on another key issue here: namely, buzz, and marketing.

The Nats need something or someone to stir things up. They need some excitement. Strasburg and his triple-digit gun readings would provide that. You think President's Club seats wouldn't become a hot ticket when SS is on the mound? The guy could generate real buzz and enthusiasm. When you add that factor *on top of* his talent level and demonstrated potential, the pick should really be a no-brainer.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | March 24, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"I think my point still stands, though, that it is reasonable to ask oneself, "why use a top pick on a pitcher that statistically is likely to join the ranks of flops, when you can use a top pick to snag a position player that statistically has an even chance of being a success AND fills a gaping organizational hole?"

I think people have totally missed the point of Boswell's column. (Not surprising that would happen, actually, given who wrote it.) His point was that it doesn't make sense to draft a hugely hyped pitcher as the #1 overall pick, hand him an exorbitant contract, and expect to get a HOF pitcher in return. That has never happened, as Boswell pointed out, whereas it does occur sometimes that hugely hyped position players get drafted first overall, get exorbitant contracts, and do deliver HOF careers. But the takeaway from that is not that a pitcher shouldn't be drafted #1, it's that the pitcher shouldn't be overpaid if he's drafted there. Some pitchers drafted #1 have had perfectly serviceable careers, even if they never made the HOF. Operating under the principle of always drafting the best available player regardless of position (which is the way most GMs do their drafts) there is no reason not to take a pitcher if he's the best player available. You just don't want to vastly overpay him. That's all Boswell was saying - or all he should have said if he wanted to make any sense, which I'm not clear is a big consideration for him most of the time.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 24, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I think that I've heard the "shy" pronunciation, natscan.

That's good, 506. I'd not figured that out about the moniker (though I did get the troll part).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

If the #1 pick is Strasburg, cool. But please choose a position player with the 9a pick.

Posted by: dclifer | March 24, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Is it Shy-run or Shy-ron? Accent on the first or second sil-obble? Mar-tis, Mar-tiz, Mar-tees or Mar-teez? I wish I'd paid more attention during those WBC commercials that featured him. Why can't he just change his name to Zimmermannn, anyway?

Posted by: nunof1 | March 24, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Would you all think I was crazy if I said that I would enjoy it if O's Exec made a guest appearance only every once in a while? He was most annoying on the whole, but at least at times clever.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 24, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"They need some excitement. Strasburg and his triple-digit gun readings would provide that. You think President's Club seats wouldn't become a hot ticket when SS is on the mound? The guy could generate real buzz and enthusiasm."

CiL admonishes me, thoroughly.

"But the takeaway from that is not that a pitcher shouldn't be drafted #1, it's that the pitcher shouldn't be overpaid if he's drafted there. Some pitchers drafted #1 have had perfectly serviceable careers, even if they never made the HOF."

nunof1 points out, accurately.

And so I say to myself, "Self, you didn't explain things very well."

So let me try again, and excuse my previous ramblings:

1st) Boz points out becoming a HOF pitcher as a No. 1 pick is a tiny probability, no matter how hyped the prospect.

2nd) Boz points out becoming a HOF position player as a No. 1 pick is around a 50 percent probability.

3rd) The Nats need both awesome pitchers and awesome position players in their system and at the major league level.

4th) Second highest rated draft participant and fourth highest rated draft participant are position players, first, second, and third are pitchers.

5th) If we take the pitcher of a lifetime, history tells us we will be disappointed in HOF, but scouts tell us not this time.

6th) If we take a really good position player, history tells us we have an even chance of making HOF.

It adds up in my mind to forgoing the pitcher of a lifetime and picking the safer option. We don't need busts, we need players. It ain't glamorous or ballsy, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Now, what would be interesting would be to see whether those position players that were picked No. 1 were lower ranked than the pitcher they proceeded. Was Tulowitski taken before a higher ranked pitcher? How about Evan Longoria?

Posted by: Section506 | March 24, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"... another key issue here: namely, buzz, and marketing. ..."

... that's exactly what I was getting at, CiL, in my earlier response to Boswell's column. Unfortunately my meaning was not quite clear enough in my overly multiloquent and rambling disputation.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 24, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

It's good to have someone like Bard as a backup option. Or, "For this relief much thanks" (Hamlet, Act I, Scene i).

1a, this may be an inside joke that only you and I share, but I for one am glad you're still at it.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 24, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"... change his name to Zimmermannn, anyway."

... oh, nunof1, that's way too clever, by half.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 24, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

506, I'm not sure where the 50% probability of a #1 pick position player becoming a HOFer comes from, but it's surely wrong (Boswell, probably).

Anwyay, the point here is that the guy needs to merit being a #1 pick. If a pitcher and a position player are close as far as relative talent level and upside are concerned, then that might be one thing. But in this draft, the consensus is that no one is close to Strasburg. No position players are rated as the next Junior or the next Chipper. If a position player who doesn't merit the #1 pick is picked at #1 (see, e.g., Bush, Matt) he doesn't magically transform himself into having a 50% shot to do whatever it is Boswell said. Here, apparently, none of them have the talent level to even merit consideration on talent alone.

Also, the point you are making has no logical stopping point as far as first round picks are concerned. If you shouldn't pick a pitcher at #1, why should you pick a pitcher at #2, or #5, or #10? By your analysis, the better bet is always to go for the highest-rated position player. That would be a tough way to develop a pitching-deep farm system.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | March 24, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

506, would Boswell's stats still measure up if we're talking about essentially taking fourth-pick talent with the first pick?

I mean, if someone picks Joe Shlabotnik with the first overall pick, he doesn't have a 50/50 chance of getting an invitation to Cooperstown.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 24, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Or, you could say what CiL said.

A Shlabotnikless response, but a thorough one.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 24, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

... really tho', we can talk all we want about what to do in the draft. It's going to be up to Mike and Stan to get it done. In our (NJ) case, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so". - Will S.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 24, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's just hope that we're not hearing Strasburg echo this sentiment come Summer:

"I have no joy in this contract" ("Romeo and Juliet," Act II, scene ii).

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 24, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"506, I'm not sure where the 50% probability of a #1 pick position player becoming a HOFer comes from, but it's surely wrong (Boswell, probably)."

50% probability of a #1 pick position player who has the Strasburg-level "once in a generation" label making the HOF might be reasonable. But not just any garden-variety #1 pick position player. That I think is what Boswell meant to say.

And in regard to 506's argument that it would make more sense to pick a position player over Strasburg, I don't believe there are any position players getting that "once in a generation" label this year. That's the point. Strasburg is by all accounts in his own league compared to any other potential draftee. You have to pick him. But you have to avoid overpaying him once you do.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 24, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Personally I prefer the lame food jokes over the incessant Shakespeare quotes. I don't come here looking to re-live 10th grade English class.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 24, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the game at Ft. Lauderdale. Martis looked great. Bernadina and Patterson played great defense. WMP looked like crap. I don't know the Os at all so I can't say if it was Nats Lite vs Os Lite. But it was great to stand behind the bullpen bench and watch the players watch the game and talk opposing batters. Bergmann seemed to have the line on everyone.

Posted by: ramgut | March 24, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Boswell did NOT say anything as remotely idiotic as that there's a 50/50 chance of a #1 pick going to the Hall of Fame.

Maybe some of you who find Boz incomprehensible are actually reading the fun house mirror interpretation of his work that's propagated here rather than the actual words he wrote.

There are no #1 picks in the HoF. Not too surprising since the Hall is kind of exclusive, and the draft's only been around since 1965. There are a handful of active or recently retired #1 picks that will be there eventually (Griffey Jr., Chipper, etc.). In fact, from a quick eye-balling of the list, not even half of the #1 make an All-Star game.

For reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_MLB_first_overall_draft_choices

Posted by: joebleux | March 24, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

>"... another key issue here: namely, buzz, and marketing. ..."

... that's exactly what I was getting at, CiL, in my earlier response to Boswell's column. Unfortunately my meaning was not quite clear enough in my overly multiloquent and rambling disputation.

Just imagine how much it will pump up the TEAM. We get him in June, and maybe see him in August. After they pick him, they'll probably give him some mandatory time off, then start throwing on the side with St. Claire watching him, then another few weeks in the rotation in AA, and then he's up here. And he could definitely give us a few wins this year, and who knows how much difference that might make. All you have to do is be within a week of .500 and anything can happen.

The thing is, everyone is worried about blowing up the bonuses in the slot system, and Prior got over 10 million EIGHT YEARS AGO. And nobody's been close since then. Look at it in that context, because I can guarantee every other team is looking at it like that. Give him 20 million and you've got a steal. He pitches 12-14 games at home a year, ch-ching, 12-14 games on the road (also ch-ching profit sharing). Strasburg jerseys? Come on. Bobblehead day? He might even get a mention in one of Chico's foodie columns in the Washingtonian. It'll be insane - but it'll be a good insane instead of a Bowden bad insane.

One last thing - all of the high picks Boswell mentioned played for bad teams at one time or another. Some of them stayed with their drafting team for awhile. And sometimes that means bad coaching. ohhh Stras-burggg

Posted by: Brue | March 24, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I like the Bard references (obviously).

PHS, I'm going to break with my usual preference of not giving attention to trolls (it's what they thrive on, like little kids who tease others in school) to note that my own preference would be to just say no to O's Exec (along with spamcastin and other trolls). Not that we have a choice about it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Also, Shlabotnikless should be added to the NJ lexicon.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I caught that alphabetical humor, natscan. Well done.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 24, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

... yeah, you're right nunof1. speaking for myself, both have run their course - the Josh Bard-inspired references and the Chico food-based nasty slagging.

... they should both disappear, cuz "methinks we doth protest too much". Since we are all "masters of our fate", we've no one to blame but ourselves. Don't forget, "men of few words are the best men". We need to get back to baseball where "fair is foul, and foul is fair". In the end, "the game is up."

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 24, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I guess the way things go around here these days, if you're not someone's mom, you're his ex-wife.

Very funny 506.

Let's draft Strasburg and...

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 24, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Would you all think I was crazy if I said that I would enjoy it if O's Exec made a guest appearance only every once in a while? He was most annoying on the whole, but at least at times clever.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 24, 2009 5:35 PM
___________________________________________________________

I found him to be a fool and his act is tired.

He is now Poopy McPoop and he stirs things up over on the Terps Insider, slamming the basketball and football coach's constantly, evethough, he claims to be an alumni.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 24, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

One other thing, when considering Strasburg. He's 21/22 and from So. Cal. There have been studies done by my fellow SABRites that show that players who develop in the 12 mo. baseball areas (i.e. FL, TX, LA, AZ, So.Cal.) have been much closer to reaching their potential when they turn pro than those who come from other parts of the country. Whether it is because the H.S. / College competition is significantly better, or whether they play more games each year, has not been seriously addressed.

The point is that, while Strasburg may seem a blow away arm against college competition at his age, it is likely that he will not improve significantly as he matures.

So, what you see is likely to be what you'll get, now and later.

Bad bet!

Posted by: Catcher50 | March 24, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and with apologies-

I am all for clever posts. If someone finds Shakespeare quotes just because we have Josh Bard, but they fit a particular situation, I will be impressed.

There are only so many ways to call the Lerners cheap, or the coverage lacking, or the farm system weak without giving it some twist. I am happy to read everybody's best shot (and to have you tell me to can it for saying so).

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 24, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Predictions!

Time to show your hands folks...

Milledge: .275/18hr/90rs 25sb. 50bb.
Guzman: .275/10hr/80rs 12 triples.
Zimmerman: .270/24hr/85rbi no extension.
Dunn: .268/32hr/98rbi .375obp. 198Ks.
Dukes: .285/28hr/75rbi 21sb. 100bb.
NJ: .280/15hr/70rbi .385obp. no trade.
Flores: .250/15hr/60rbi 150Ks.
Hernandez: .245/5hr/30rbi 300atbats.

Lannan: 12 wins 4.05 era. 175inn/120k
Olsen: 10 wins 4.30 era. 185inn/120k
Daniel Cabrera: 8 wins 5.30 era. 150inn/150k
Zimmermann: 7 wins 3.80 era 120inn/80k
Martis: 9 wins 4.25 era

Hanrahan: 22 saves.

Our bullpen/staff will win 25 additional games. 71-91. 5th place.

Posted by: longterm | March 24, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

looking at that, i'm not as optimistic as i thought.

Posted by: longterm | March 24, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

@506:

Who gives a rat's patootie about the HOF at this point - you're talking about a college senior! If he's clearly the best player on the board come June, draft him. Hold Boras's feet to the fire to get a reasonable deal (for both sides) - trust me, even the Devil incarante feels the heat occaisionally (see, Ramirez, M.) & gets a deal done for his "client".

It might take until mid-August, but it needs to get done.

Posted by: BinM | March 24, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

@longterm:

A 12-game "bounce" is about, or slightly above MLB average for a 1-year improvement by a team. That sounds about right (I had the team at 65-67 wins before the Dunn signing).

Posted by: BinM | March 24, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I love the useless advice here.
"Hold Boras's feet to the fire to get a reasonable deal (for both sides)" -- what the kip does that mean? "We'll pay $3.5M but not $3.95M"? It's a contract, they don't have to sign it. Strasburg will get tens of millions of dollars, maybe in Japan, maybe next year, but he's looking at the fire.

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 24, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

maybe keith law isn't so stupid, after all... (from his mlbtradrumors.com Q&A)

MLBTR: What's your favorite major fast food chain?

Law: Five Guys, assuming that's "major." I like In-n-Out, but their burgers are not close to Five Guys', and I like Rubio's as well (I used to like Baja Fresh, and then I tried Rubio's).

Posted by: sec231 | March 24, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Nice projections, Longterm, and I tend to agree with most. But you didn't give an over/under for Nick "60-day disabled list" Johnson? I especially liked the 150 strikeouts for Kid Flores. Also, does 71 wins keep Manny's job? Bigger question: who gets replaced first, Manny or Chico?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | March 24, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

>looking at that, i'm not as optimistic as i thought.

Your RBI totals are wacked. You have Milledge hitting leadoff and getting 90 ribbies with Dunn chipping in 98. While Dukes, who has both of these guys ahead of him, only knocks in 75. Dunn will be over 100 because he plays every day. If Dukes plays every day, he gets 100 too. But only if he plays more than 3/4 of the games. You could insulate Dukes with a high OBP guy like Nick behind him. It's not that hard, you have the power core in the middle with the surrounding insulation>

Posted by: Brue | March 24, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@longterm -- I don't see Olsen winning more games than both Martis and Zimmerman. Possibly one of them, especially if one of them doesn't go north with the team as a starter -- but not both. He's not as good as either. I also doubt Cabrera wins more than Zimmermann.

Also -- I'd be surprised and delighted if Milledge puts up those kinds of numbers...especially the power numbers. However, if he and Guzzy hit 275 and score that many runs, there's no way that Zimm has only 85 RBIs. Also, Dukes would have more RBIs, especially if he hits .285 with nearly 30 HRs.

Right now, I'm not thrilled with Olsen or Cabrera, the bullpen, or the outfield defense. So, I'm going along with the 5th place idea. However, if they hit as well as you project, they're going to win more than 71 games.

Posted by: fischy | March 24, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

For those wondering who pitched more last year - Shairon Martis (mar-tees) 137 IP, Zimmermann 134 IP (13th & 14th in the organization).

Ballester = 158
Mock = 145 (led org in K's with 142, ZimmyMann 2nd with 134, Martis tied for 10th with 122).

You don't want to add too many innings in a year, around 30 more would be safe for them both, so around 170 IP is a nice goal.

Last year no one pitched over 182, so I don't think overwork is a worry!

What is a worry, until JZimm can mow down ML hitters at least 2 times through the order, he should start in AAA, not giving a hoot about the Arby clock.

Posted by: VladiHondo | March 24, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

BTW -- the Miami City Council voted to authorize building a downtown stadium with a retractable roof, so the Marlins' invisible fans don't get wet. I still don't get why anyone thinks a baseball team in Miami is viable. On the other hand, I thought DC would support a team....

Posted by: fischy | March 24, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Good info Dave. Thank you. :)

Posted by: thom202 | March 25, 2009 4:27 AM | Report abuse

"So, I'm going along with the 5th place idea. However, if they hit as well as you project, they're going to win more than 71 games.

Posted by: fischy | March 24, 2009 10:11 PM"

... I have to say that, spring training glee and optimism aside, I have to - ALMOST - agree with fischy about the end result of the Nats' year. I'd suggest fourth. (Can't say today which team comes last; it'll depend on which one has a worse year than expected. Something like that always happens.) Fourth isn't great, but it ain't last either. Neither Rome nor Washington was built in a day ... or even in one season.

... as for the covered stadium in Miami, a word to the wise. Jeffrey Loria scammed the city parents of Montreal as well; had a great model of the downtown ball park made up, and got lots of photos taken with councillors standing around it. Front page on the Montreal Gazette ... just before he pulled up stakes, took his boy-wonder Samson, and skipped town.

... don't buy it till you see the bums in the seats.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 25, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Well the offense isn't that great. No studs. I didn't give anyone 100 rbis or even 100 runs. But it should be balanced.

Milledge and Guzman's numbers include Runs Scored. I didn't include their Rbi.

I tend to think our starters are going to be the problem but our staff as a whole should be okay. I think our offense will win games late but our starters won't be going deep into many games.

I think our rbi will be spread out evenly among those 3-7 guys. a lot of walks should spread the love around. no rbi hogs. dunn is definitely not one.

I think Zimmerman has a strong year. May even lead the team in runs scored. He looks in better shape compared to past couple years. Maybe he can run a little more also.

Dukes getting 100 walks would be a very big deal for me. He has the best season overrall i think.

NJ plays 130+ games.

Flores does strike out a ton. It's a big concern but he has a knack for rbis and is young. He should see a lot of people on base this year too.

Posted by: longterm | March 25, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

PHS, no "can it" instructions for you here. I also welcome clever posts, and I am free to scroll through whatever ranting or armchair postulating or doesn't happen to interest me.

Generally speaking, I could do without posts that feature ad hominem tactics, whether they target individuals or an entire fan base, but such tactics come with the territory on the Internet (hence my comment we don't have a choice about it) and historically they have tended to be much less common here than in other forums I've visited. That's part of the reason that I keep coming back here and have stopped visiting some other forums.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 25, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"Well the offense isn't that great. No studs."

You must be one hell of a big dude yourself if you don't consider Adam Dunn to be a stud. If you ever meet him and Elijah Dukes in a dark alley, you better run the other way or you dead dawg.

Posted by: spamcastin | March 25, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of posts, there's a new one.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 25, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

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