Network News

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

Dukes And Sosa Added To Roster

After Friday's 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh at PNC Park, the Nats made two moves, refilling their 25-man roster with an outfielder and a reliever.

* Recalled from Class AAA Syracuse: Elijah Dukes.

* Purchased from Class AAA Syracuse: Jorge Sosa.

Sosa will be added to the 40-man roster. Dukes, meantime, will be added to the regular lineup. Interim manager Jim Riggleman said of Dukes, "He's gonna be in there. Every day? Well, we've got a lot of good players there... But he's predominantly going to be in there."

Dukes had been sent to the minors on July 1 after scuffling with a .244 average. He was chasing pitches and showing little patience at the plate. But in 19 games with the Chiefs, Dukes hit .288 (19-for-66) with three homers, 10 RBI and a .545 slugging percentage.

Said acting GM Mike Rizzo: "We're looking to see what we're gonna be doing in the future -- who belongs, who's a keeper, who's gonna be part of the future of the organization."

Sosa replaces Joe Beimel in the bullpen. The 32-year-old righty, even before this promotion, had an interesting season. He had some February visa problems and later needed to wait out a minor league suspension connected to amphetamines use. But in 20 games with Syracuse, Sosa put up strong numbers -- a 1-2 record, a 2.79 ERA, just 13 walks and 53 strikeouts in 48-1/3 innings.

"He's thrown the ball the best of the staff right now [in Syracuse]," Rizzo said, "and he was by far the manager's and the pitching coach's choice to be called."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 31, 2009; 10:42 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Few More Trade Notes
Next: Post-Trade Reading Material

Comments

Dukes was the logical conclusion to fill the void when they traded Nick. Which finally creates offensive power at every power defensive position. 1B, 3B, LF, RF

Dukes is solid money. Always has been. Just needed a break.

Posted by: Brue | July 31, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

In other news, Trevor Holder went 5 innings, giving up 1 run, 1 hit, and 5 Ks to get the win in his first start in Potomac tonight.

Posted by: jp2000 | July 31, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there enough room for Dukes to play every day up here unless his attitude becomes a detriment to the team? We need to play him to get him the experience to start next year or play him enough to earn him a Milledgesque trade sooner rather than later.

Dukes handled his demotion to Syracuse reasonably well for all I can tell, much better than Milledge handled his. He's probably not a likable guy and won't be invited to the company fishing trip, but he's an asset that we have to exploit and I'll be glad to see him back up here, hopefully starting at left field tomorrow.

Posted by: souldrummer | July 31, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

curse of the Nick takes another form...

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | July 31, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

In another aside, Marrero hit another home run tonight just to remind us that he's closer to the answer for us at 1B in 2011 then Nick Johnson is.

I'd like to see Dukes get a 2 month audition to see whether he's worthy of being considered a starter for next year.

Think of this lineup for next year:
Morgan
Dukes
Zimm
Dunn
Willingham
Flores
Guzman
Gonzalez
Lannan/Zimmermann/Stammen/Detweiler/Battle Royale amongst Martis, Ballester, Martin, Mock, and Chico.

That's not a godawful squad. I'll be even more impressed with the Nats if they can unload Guzman at some point, give Desmond an audition this year, and sign a free agent infielder over the offseason. The questions for this team would then be infield defense at everywhere but 3B, bullpen issues, and can the starters pitch at their recent level and progress.

If their "not rebuilding", I'm looking for 1 starting pitcher and one infielder acquisition by trade or free agent signing for next year. They're not going to contend with the Phillies with the team I just described, but they don't look like a last place team and may be closer to the 70+ wins that Bowden sold us on last year.

Posted by: souldrummer | July 31, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Well Hallelujah (sp?). I officially rescind the fatwa I put out on Mike Rizzo. I certainly hope they do not mess Dukes around now the first time he goes 0-for-4 with a couple Ks. This is a *rebuilding* team, no matter what the confused Mr. Rizzo says. That means you play your 5-tool outfielders - especially those who ALREADY PROVED the year before that they belong here.

And I must comment on this:

"Dukes had been sent to the minors on July 1 after scuffling with a .244 average. He was chasing pitches and showing little patience at the plate."

Lest I sound like a broken record... in a larger sample size known as the 2008 Major League Baseball season, Elijah Dukes walked at nearly TWICE the rate that the rest of the NL's centerfielders did:

2008 NL
League average RF: 9.5 BB/100 PA
League average CF: 8.3 BB/100 PA

Elijah Dukes: 15.0 BB/100 PA

Yes, he ran into an impatient spell in 193 ABs at the start of this season, but that was out of line with his career tendencies.

A generally-useful tip for the rookie wannabe-GM Mike Rizzo: when you're rebuilding, er "building" a team that's in tatters, you need to take a slightly longer view than "what has he done this month?".

Another tip: the real baseball fans amongst your customer base care more about you building a winner for 2011/12 than whether you win 58 instead of 53 games this year. Pursue, obtain and play some young "upside" players (like, ahem, Lastings Milledge), rather than the safe 29-year-old role players like Nyjer Morgan. Trust me, come 2011, you'll be glad you did.

Posted by: B2O2 | July 31, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I get points for calling the Dukes call up when Chico guessed Morse (I still want Morse up, but to replace Belliard).

Another note on this trade, I think Rizzo was very smart in targeting AA level pitching, the biggest whole in our minor league system and player development is in Harrisburg and this should go a long way to equalizing the talent spread.

Posted by: estuartj | July 31, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Thought we had em tonite with Nyjer up with two on in the ninth but it was not to be,happy for Milledge although that dive and miss in the seventh was classic Lastings. Good luck Nick hope you get to the postseason and welcome back Elijah you need too make the most of this oppourtunity.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 31, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

souldrummer, I'm with you on Marrero. He lost some time last year to that broken somethingorother, but he's going to be good. An .860 OPS in high A ball when he started the year as a 20-year-old is pretty good. I notice he's gotten better as the year's progressed, too.

I just wish Justin Maxwell could learn to make better contact. The guy's got everything else - power, speed, defense. But hitting .220 in AAA at age 25. He'd be a more well-rounded Nyjer Morgan otherwise.

Posted by: B2O2 | July 31, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"Pursue, obtain and play some young "upside" players (like, ahem, Lastings Milledge), rather than the safe 29-year-old role players like Nyjer Morgan."

Listen, I have no problem with trading Milledge. He was a headache in the clubhouse, and most importantly he was not that teachable. I feel that the Morgan for Milledge deal will probably help both teams. You can't have all upside guys, especially upside defense. Morgan helps reinforce the message that our coaches are giving that you have to pitch to contact. You don't just say pitch to contact. You say pitch to contact because we're going to put enough defense behind you to make you look good if you do.

The next guy that's got to go is Guzman. If someone sees value in Guzman, trade him and pay off part of his salary. There's no need to have his bad defense at shortstop.

It's a puzzle to me, though, why AGonz has made so many knuckleheaded plays in the field. You'd like him to make it impossible for them to bench him and his slump plus bad defense is disconcerting.

Posted by: souldrummer | July 31, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

"I just wish Justin Maxwell could learn to make better contact. The guy's got everything else - power, speed, defense. But hitting .220 in AAA at age 25. He'd be a more well-rounded Nyjer Morgan otherwise."

Yeah, I don't know's happened to Maxwell, but somebody has to convince him to sacrifice some power and focus on recognizing the strike zone. He can play the defense and he can run, but he's looking very AAAA right now.

Desmond is the intriguing one for me. I wish that I could actually see him play. He's drawing walks and recognizing the strike zone well at both levels he's played at. If he continues to show selectivity at the plate, he may earn his way back into the mix for next year. Between Desmond, Espinosa, and Kobernus, we've got to have a home grown middle infielder at some point.

It's also good that Hood is doing well in Vermont so far. All true Nats fans need to invest some time getting to know Potomac and the guys who are passing through. I'm hoping to head down to Potomac tomorrow and see if I can catch an affordable glimpse of Storen.

Posted by: souldrummer | July 31, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

souldrummer asks: It's a puzzle to me, though, why AGonz has made so many knuckleheaded plays in the field.

Maybe because he's a knucklehead?

Even with Nyjer blessedly holding down center field, we are extremely weak up the middle: catching, pitching, shortstop, second base. Lots and lots of offseason work and changes ahead, folks.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 31, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"Even with Nyjer blessedly holding down center field, we are extremely weak up the middle: catching, pitching, shortstop, second base. Lots and lots of offseason work and changes ahead, folks."

I don't think that catching is our biggest problem come next year, though. We'll get Flores back. Plus we'll have a backup prospect in Rooney, who has continued to hit passably at Harrisburg and a long term prospect in Norris if he can improve defensively next year.

2B and SS seem are the weaknesses of greatest concern to me. If we're "not rebuilding", it seems that one of those might be best addressed through free agency and that we should be looking to get rid of the Bermuda triangle of Guzman, AAAHernandez, and Belliard sooner rather than later to get Desmond a look this year so that we can see what we have in him at the major league level.

Posted by: souldrummer | July 31, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

@souldrummer: Tremendous line on the "Bermuda triangle" of Goozie, AAAHernandez and Belly-hard. Actually, more realistically I think its the Caribbean triagle, but same difference. It's like they take turns making some plays and stupid at-bats. Gonzo is right there too, swinging at the first pitch from Gascanrahan last night. Pure idiocy.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 1, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

The real trade today turned out to be Johnson for Dukes (a gentleman for a street thug). They got screwed on that one too. I'm really getting to have a hate for MLB. The value of people's character is really skewed. As long as they can hit, run, or throw they can be juiced, thugs, or wife beaters.

I have really hated what the Nats have done today. On this site the players are treated like the images on MLB The Show. Where is the humanity? I will miss the kind of player Nick Johnson is and not welcome Elijah Dukes.

Posted by: WashOut | August 1, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

>Posted by: B2O2 |

re: Dukes

I guess you're just gonna have to suck on it and like it.

If you ever found two more disparate characters than Manny and Dukes, this can't help but work out better.

Posted by: Brue | August 1, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Actually I don't have to suck on it and like it.

Posted by: WashOut | August 1, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

>Actually I don't have to suck on it and like it.

Posted by: WashOut

Nonetheless, you may want to try it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5jxgSBuaTQ&feature=related

Posted by: Brue | August 1, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, I don't know's happened to Maxwell, but somebody has to convince him to sacrifice some power and focus on recognizing the strike zone. He can play the defense and he can run, but he's looking very AAAA right now."

I think Maxwell is a "young" 25 in that he's lost a *lot* of development time along the way to injuries. He's the kind of guy I could see being a late-bloomer perhaps. But that doesn't look like it's gonna be this year, or even next. Besides hitting .220, the guy's struck out 111 times in only 280 AB in AAA! That like means he's not hitting a tough-luck .220, but rather a lucky one.

Brue - not sure why you're on my case. I'm glad Dukes was brought up, and I think he never should have been sent down. Sorry if that makes me a spoilsport amongst the self-congratulatory "stone-Dukes-to-death" crowd here. I don't believe in writing guys off because they've had a rough start to things in life. He was showing some signs of growing past his earlier sins this spring. Give the guy a chance.

Posted by: B2O2 | August 1, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I look forward to the day Dukes is an ex-Nat.

Posted by: WJStephens | August 1, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

I was always was an NJ backer, even when he was out for the year, and I intend to cheer migthly for him (BEFORE the AB) on Tuesday, but at last, all the Expos are gone. The tie is broken.

It took so much longer before the last of the Griffith Nats stopped producing for the Twins -- Killebrew, Pascual, Allison, Battey, Kaat, Versalles -- all Senators. It tore your heart out way back then.

I don't wish him ill, but I just hope Nick doesn't kill us next week.

Posted by: nats24 | August 1, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

No mention in the gamer, but it's worth noting the Willingham played 1B in the 8th -- first time this year. Presumably, he'd been taking a few ground balls. Right, Chico? We're waiting to hear.

Posted by: nats24 | August 1, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Actually I don't have to like it or try it. I have had it with this team and MLB.

Posted by: WashOut | August 1, 2009 2:37 AM | Report abuse

After those long days in AAA, Mr. Dukes will be a model citizen under the Riggle regime as he never wants to go back.

Nobody has more raw talent than Elijah Dukes on this team although we only see flashes of his skills and not all 5 tools all the time. His arm is a cannon, speed, and power. Plate discipline is a must to keep that BA up.

What I like is what he can do to the opposing team. Base coaches think twice about sending runners on hits to Dukes and pitchers have to be real careful of any thing that finds too much of the plate.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 1, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Jim Bowden often was criticized often for bringing in low-budget "toolsy" prospects with upside, most of which were longshots for success.

In contrast, Mike Rizzo is not inclined to waste money, bringing in low-budget guys who do not have the big upside, but might have a better chance to make a little contribution to the club down the road. The three pitchers acquired yesterday fit this mold. The Rizzo approach is regarded as more comforting and predictable to many Nats fans, since no false hopes are generated by the moves.

It will be interesting to see which low-budget approach to losing will prove superior over time.

Posted by: EdDC | August 1, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

I simply do not get the Dukes hating on here by some. I'm with GGG. The guy has great skills, greater potential and he's young. He hasn't hit well this year. In fact, he was doing so badly that he was sent down to AAA, but he still has a better OPS this year than all but seven regular or semi-regular players on the team, just under Harris and Morgan, and way better than Nieves, Bard, Belliard, and Hernandez, and way, way better than than pillar of a good clubhouse guy -- Austin Kearns. I'm delighted he's back and hoping he can get hot. And please, where's the evidence that he's so much of a "problem" and so un-well-liked in the clubhouse? A few stray, cryptic comments? The fact that he was showed up late because he stayed too long at a little league event? Give the guy a chance folks.I really believe he's trying. His workmanlike showing in AAA demonstrates that.

Posted by: Section222 | August 1, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

@222: Right on Dukes, IMO. We are so filled with star talent on this team that we can trash someone before he's even had a serious chance???

Meanwhile, we keep on keeping on with the Hernandez/Gonzalez show--stupid plays in the infield, and no hitting (OK, Gonz got a single last night.)

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 1, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Exactly right NL. Hey, I love Super Willie as much as anyone, but he's not having a great year either at the plate. No one's beating on him for that. Dukes has alot of upside, let's see how far he can go.

And while I'm at it, though I understand that Riggleman likes giving everyone a chance and resting guys every now and then, if that means Kearns starts even once a week... well, don't get me started.

Posted by: Section222 | August 1, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Here is the immediate impact, defense in the outfield improves as you essentially replace Dukes for Dunn and shift Willingham to LF. Nyjer Morgan can expand "Morgantown" to take up more real estate in LF as Dukes can more than take charge in RF.

Sure, you lose a little defense with Adam Dunn at first, but Nick had a hard time playing balls vertically and into foul territory.

If Dukes can hit .280 with a .500+ slugging percentage and put together some snazzy Sabremetric runs scored numbers than the offensive gain should exceed the loss of 50 points on OBP.

For a 1st baseman, Nick had horrible power numbers with a 2009 OBP that was actually higher than his Slugging % and that has to be an oddity for a 1st baseman.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 1, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm one that is not going to hammer Dukes either. I think we all know he has tremendous upside possibilities. If he can keep his head on straignt the skys the limit. Hopefully his time in AAA gave him time to appreciate the difference between the farm and the city. I will miss the class Nick Johnson brought to clubhouse and his work ethic. If NJ can remain healthy til seasons end, I wouldn't mind at all if he rejoins the club for next season.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 1, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I'll be BGinPA tonight, as I will be heading up to Pittsburgh to see tonight's game. I've always wanted to see PNC Park, so I will be there rooting for the Nats. I really hope that Dukes starts tonight, as he adds some legitimate power to the lineup. Remember how Dukes struggled mightlily at the start of last season, hitting something like .067? I'm confident he'll be able to turn it around.

Oh, and so far, I am pretty happy about how the Pirates treat their fans. First off, they have tickets that include all-you-can-eat concessions and a lower level outfield seat for $35. And from July 31 - August 7, they are waiving all the service charges for tickets ordered online (the per-ticket service fee, the order fee, and the print-at-home fee). This saved me probably $15 for two tickets. I'm anxious to compare PNC Park to Nats Park, so I'll let you all know how it works out. So far, so good though.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 1, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Honestly while I can complain about what we got for NJ, I think everything is shaking out as it should. Dukes went down because he was not going to play enough to justify being here. Now Dukes and Willingham play everyday and that is a good thing.

Morgan to me is a no brainer. We have young pitchers and we can't have centerfielders who give up extra outs.

Rizzo actually has a philosophy and I hope he gets to play it out in full.

On trading Willingham, to any contender he is a bench bat, and they were offering prospects along those lines I am sure.

I wish they would DFA Belliard and Kearns, and hope they can find someone desperate enough for a waiver deal with Guzman, but I am not optimistic.

Now on to Strasburg.

Posted by: RedBee | August 1, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

BGinPA/VA: I wonder if the Nats management has any IDEA how much the online fees aggravate those of us who are not season-ticket-holders.

I'm not saying taking off the fees would affect which games I go to (that's determined by my work schedule and the weather :-) ), but I would order online, and maybe go up a level or two in price if it weren't for the fees. And for handicaps like me, not having to go to the box office would REALLY improve my fan-experience.

So good for the Pirates--I hope the idea spreads.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 1, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

> And for handicaps like me, not having to go to the box office would REALLY improve my fan-experience.

From what I've seen, the ADA seats at the ballpark tend to be the last to fill up, across the board. Since you're making your way to the ballpark anyway, the box office is right there by the gate and I'd think you'd have your choice of seats even if you waited until the day of game to buy them.

Posted by: nunof1 | August 1, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company