Who Is Brad Eldred?
Some of you have asked about Brad Eldred. I'll say this about him: He's large. Stands 6-foot-5, listed at 270 or 275, and that's not a Dmitri-like 270 or 275. This guy is solid. And he's turning a few heads simply because he has two homers in his past two games, both of them absolutely crushed -- one out to left to win Monday's game against the Astros, the other out to right-center against the Mets' John Maine on Tuesday.
"He's a big strong guy," Manager Manny Acta said. "When he puts good wood on the ball, there's no ballpark that's going to hold it."
Eldred is 28, played at Florida International, and came up through the Pirates' system. He played parts of the 2005 and 2007 seasons with the major league Pirates, and in 2005 he had 12 homers in just 190 at-bats in the bigs. The problem: He struck out in 77 of those 190 at-bats, a staggering rate. In his brief major league tenure, he averages a strikeout per 2.5 at-bats.
Last year, he signed on with the Chicago White Sox and played for Class AAA Charlotte. There, he homered 35 times and drove in 100 runs in only 427 at-bats. But check out those strikeouts: 144 of them. Indeed, over a minor league career that began in 2002 and spans 610 games, Eldred averages a strikeout every 3.2 at-bats.
He is, though, having fun right now. "It's awesome," he said Tuesday after his three-run shot off Maine. "This is how you want it to go."
Though Acta has responded to questions about Eldred's future with the Nationals by saying, "You never know," you pretty much do know. He has almost no chance to make the major league team. The list of people who can play first that would be ahead of him include Nick Johnson, Dmitri Young, Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham, Ronnie Belliard and perhaps even Matt Whitney.
"I can't worry about that," Eldred said. So he is not. These stories happen every spring training, some guy coming out of nowhere and making a splash. Remember that big kid from last spring, the first baseman who kept hitting homers? Name of Luis Jimenez. He went on to split the year between Class AA Harrisburg and Class AAA Columbus, homering 15 times. Perhaps a similar fate awaits Eldred.
Poll: I think the most interesting results have been for the last question, about what you all would like to see happen by the end of spring training. With more than 700 votes in, there appears to be nearly a dead heat between signing Zimmerman to a long-term extension and acquiring a reliever. How about both? That would be a nice start for the Mike Rizzo Era, such as it is.
Tomorrow: Nationals at Braves in Disney. I'm pretty sure it's Scott Olsen on the hill, but I am not 100 percent sure. First of three straight road games, so some of the regulars will have to make one or more of the trips. I'll talk to you from the land of Mickey Mouse. (May try and sneak out to see "Slumdog Millionaire" right now.)
Posted by: NatsNut | March 11, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Section406 | March 11, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: trezmartin | March 11, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: AnonymousSources | March 11, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: arlingtontwb | March 11, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 11, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 11, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JayBeee | March 11, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: estuartj | March 11, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NatsNut | March 11, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 11, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: traderkirk | March 11, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 11, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kevincostello | March 11, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bigcountry22 | March 11, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 11, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dfh123 | March 12, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.