Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Nats Cut Hinckley, Call Up Ron Villone

The Nationals, looking for yet another way to Band-Aid their bullpen, today swapped left-handed relief pitchers, designating the struggling Mike Hinckley for assignment and selecting the contract of veteran Ron Villone.

Villone, 39, will be added to the 40-man roster. Hinckley, who was out of options, will be traded or placed on waivers within the next 10 days; if he clears waivers, Hinckley can either report to Class AAA Syracuse or become a free agent.

The latest bullpen roster move is a telling sign of both Washington's problems and its desperation. Hinckley had shown promise during his big league debut last September, throwing 13-2/3 scoreless innings. But that performance didn't carry over, and this year, the 26-year-old walked too many hitters and worked into too many jams. Some 45-percent of the batters he faced reached base. His final outing yesterday ended with his lowpoint -- a bases-loaded 3-2 pitch that slipped from his hand and soared like a kite toward the backstop.


Hinckley is just the latest in a run of bullpen-hopefuls to falter; he joins Steven Shell and Wil Ledezma as the latest reliever to be designated for assignment this season.

Villone's ascension to the big leagues continues the flip-side of that trend. More and more, Washington is filling its bullpen with veterans signed this spring to non-guaranteed minor league deals. Villone, who last season pitched in 74 games with St. Louis (4.68 ERA) was brought into the organization on April 11. With Class AAA Syracuse, Villone appeared in eight games, allowing two earned runs in 7-2/3 innings. With Villone in the fold, a full five-sevenths of the Washington bullpen was not in the organization before March 11.

Only one of the seven bullpen members, Joel Hanrahan, has been with big league club all season. And he performed poorly enough to lose the closer's job.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 7, 2009; 4:10 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Looking For Help for Nats' Bullpen
Next: Attending The Circus

Comments

Wow, I used to laugh at teams for having to have Ron Villone on their squads.

Now, it's just so sad . . . .

Posted by: VladiHondo | May 7, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

That's some bullpen you left us, Jimbo.

Posted by: deMille_Ondefloss | May 7, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

repost

Mr.Mad

the bottom line is that no relief pitcher can keep a job in the majors by allowing two runners per inning. nats fans have to stop being seduced by such small sample sizes as what hinckley did late last year under no pressure on a team going nowhere.

Posted by: surly_w | May 7, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: surly_w | May 7, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

who had the best nats' wild pitch of all time? chico in fla or hinckley in la? phone lines are open and operators are standing by...

Posted by: surly_w | May 7, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

mrmad

a team like the nats can't afford the luxury of a lefty specialist when neither he nor any other relief pitcher except beimel is regularly retiring the opposition. hinckley HAD to face righties because the rest of gasoline alley was stoking the flames.

Posted by: surly_w | May 7, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Is there any discussion about when the Nats are gonna shut down the D Cabrera experiment? This guy stinks. Enough already.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 7, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

dove

What made Jim Bowden think he was smarter than Andy MacPhail?

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 7, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

That lollipop by Hinckley to the backstop was a thing of beauty. At least he went out with a bang. That should be on youtube.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 7, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Bob Uecker's call in "Major League" never seemed more appropriate for Hinckley's last pitch or his current status, now that he's been DFA'd:

"...juuuuust a bit outside..."

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | May 7, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

dove What made Jim Bowden think he was smarter than Andy MacPhail?Posted by: leetee1955

The Greeks called it Hubris. I call it dumb.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 7, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Definitely Chico's pitch. At least Hinckley's was in the general DIRECTION of home plate.

Posted by: JennX_ | May 7, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Ominous note...

Villone pitched in Cincinnati for the Nats' former general manager. These guys are harder to get rid of than roaches.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 7, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

cincinnati is REALLY natstown, right?

Posted by: surly_w | May 7, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the bullpen is in deep doodoo but holy cow, a little defense could help mitigate the disaster. Guzman isn't much better than A. Gonzalez at this point. And after watching Johnson distract Belliard on the botched pop up I am inclined to agree with Boz that he isn't that good of a fielder. He needs to cut out the twinkle toes act and let the smaller, nimble guys do the dancing for flyballs. Big guys need to stay at home and minimize the pounding.

Posted by: SackMan | May 7, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

When does anyone include the coach as part of the problem? When has a young pitcher ever improved (besides Lannan whose father watches him like a hawk) under this coach's tutelage?

Posted by: ecmdfan | May 7, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Hinckley in 2009:

vs RHB 27PA 18AB 7H 9BB 3K
vs LHB 17PA 13AB 1H 2BB 1HBP 0K

Righties: .389/.593/.611 (1.204 OPS)

Lefties: .077/.250/.077 (.327 OPS)

just throwing some stats out there, so the Phil Wood-ites can discuss them.
Posted by: MrMadison | May 7, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

for those who missed it, this is what Surly W is talking about.

Surly - I disagree with you notiong that Hinckley HAD to face right handers more than he faced lefties. not when Rivera is left to die against the 2-5 of the Phillies, all of which are left-handed.

Posted by: MrMadison | May 7, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

cincinnati is REALLY natstown, right?
Posted by: surly_w
--------------------------------------
Of course. That's why the slogan is "Get Your Red On"...

Posted by: HotNats | May 7, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Our wildest pitch was our offer to Texiera, thinking he would even consider coming to this God awful team.

Posted by: inthestreetindustry | May 7, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the latter as it was past my bedtime, but Chico's came to mind immediately when I read about it.

---


who had the best nats' wild pitch of all time? chico in fla or hinckley in la? phone lines are open and operators are standing by...

Posted by: surly_w | May 7, 2009 4:24 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 7, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I want Cabrera's "theme song" at Nats Park to be "Wild Thing." And buy him some glasses.

Posted by: ramgut | May 7, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

mrmad

doesn't make any difference about my opinion, what matters is how axta used hinckley letting him face all of those righties.

Posted by: surly_w | May 7, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I want the Nats Bullpen to be renamed the Calfpen. And I agree with JennX. Hinckley's was at least in the direction of home. Chico's still confuses my fragile little mind as to how it went where it did...

Posted by: HotNats | May 7, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chico, Tavarez has been with the big league club since opening day.

Posted by: skippy1999 | May 7, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It's funny to think that other teams might be interested in our offal. Still, bullpen ERA is up, and the Mariners did claim Shell.

Still, Hinckley's legacy - that final fastball to nowhere - might make teams think twice.

That's the only pitch I'd have thrown Bonds in 2007, by the way.

-----

Hinckley, who was out of options, will be traded or placed on waivers within the next 10 days; if he clears waivers, Hinckley can either report to Class AAA Syracuse or become a free agent.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 7, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Ha!

I was thinking "bullplop," but your idea is much better!

-----

I want the Nats Bullpen to be renamed the Calfpen.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 7, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Ah, "Bullplop!" The perfect substitution for what I would've loved to have put here, were it not for the (to some) offensive language, thx, JiM!
(Kinda reminded of Col. Potter's "Horse Hockey!" as well...)

Posted by: HotNats | May 7, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"what matters is how axta used hinckley letting him face all of those righties."

Hinkley was in last night to face two switch hitters, Furcal and Hudson(and make them bat right handed). Furcal got a hit and Hudson walked (oh my, how he walked). Hinkley was going to be gone when Manny came up anyway.

The rain mercifully knocked out my DirecTV reception during Manny's at bat, so I went to bed.

Posted by: Section222 | May 7, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Conducting a little test; ignore me.

Posted by: traceeh | May 7, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Villone should do well, we'll see. Fingers are crosse!

Hinkley will be inked by another club. The kid has talent and the small sample size this year is not indicative of what he can do, sorry to see him have to go. The Nats can't just jetison every guy that struggles. Saul Rivera was a very solid RP for the Nats in 07 and 08, throwing a lot of innings with decent numbers -- this year, he struggles out of the box and its off to 'Cuse with a kick in the ass form Acta on the way for lacking the will to just throw strikes. Play poorly for a handful of outings and get DFA'd is no way to manage a club. FIRE ACTA!

Posted by: dfh21 | May 7, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"Our wildest pitch was our offer to Texiera, thinking he would even consider coming to this God awful team."

Think the Yankees would trade him straight-up for Adam Dunn?

Posted by: Section506 | May 7, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Credit goes to Homer Simpson. He used the term repeatedly on the "Island" episode.

Still, with this calfpen, I'd rather watch horses play hockey!

-----

Ah, "Bullplop!" The perfect substitution for what I would've loved to have put here, were it not for the (to some) offensive language, thx, JiM!
(Kinda reminded of Col. Potter's "Horse Hockey!" as well...)

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 7, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Bob Uecker's call in "Major League" never seemed more appropriate for Hinckley's last pitch or his current status, now that he's been DFA'd:

"...juuuuust a bit outside..."
-------

I think "one ball, no strikes to Willie Foster" would be a more accurate description.

Posted by: Section406 | May 7, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

my internet service has been down and just saw where ramirez is banned for using a fertility drug. mannypause? lol!

Posted by: surly_w | May 7, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

new post.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 7, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Villone obviously isn't a long term solution. It's hard to be too critical though, the Nats bullpen is so dreadful what does the team have to lose?

Posted by: grforbes | May 7, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera should have been DFA. Wells moves into the rotation and call up Villone. Too early to give up on Hinckley....

Posted by: goexpos2 | May 7, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Earth to Manny, let your starters minus Daniel "I So Bad" Cabrera go as long as they can from here on out. The site of any of the Chicken-Coop bunch heading to the mound in the 6th will continue to be a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | May 7, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

So Hinckley and Shell start out struggling after solid last seasons and we just let 'em go, but JH doesn't set fire to the house in a couple no-pressure situations and right away we re-promote him to the closer's committee after he's already proven he's not prepared for it...oh well, makes about as much linear sense as signing D-Cab on the premise we're somehow gonna do better with him than Leo Mazzone could...

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | May 7, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company