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Your official spring training 25-man roster prediction

Spring training, were it ever depicted visually, might resemble the shape of a funnel -- wide open at the top, narrow on the bottom. Sixty-some players (or more) report at the beginning. And weeks later, only 25 emerge, ready for the season. The process of selection and survival happens so quickly, that sometimes, it's funny just to recall all the names on the roster at the start of camp. Last season, for at least a couple weeks in early March, Brad Eldred looked like the nephew of Frank Howard. Wil Ledezma, in an egregious case of false advertising, looked briefly like Warren Spahn.

And so on. Every year has its battles for starting spots, for roster spots, for jobs. Forecasting the results is half the fun.

So before the Nats pitchers and catchers formally report to camp on Friday (Friday!), here's one prediction for the 25-man roster on April 5. Comments included. Just FYI, this is an injury-free forecast. Yes, that's also guarantees a reality-free forecast, but hey, we'll cover the hamstring pulls as they come.

STARTING PITCHERS (5)

Jason Marquis -- He's the de facto ace, on account of his experience and contract. By 2012, perhaps Strasburg can make sure "de facto" and "ace" never again comingle in NatsTown.

John Lannan -- Backed by better D and better relief pitching, maybe this year he can win 12 or 13.

Scott Olsen -- Pitchers with shoulder injuries are never a sure thing. Same goes for Chien-Ming Wang, who could sign with the Nats later this week. Washington will be lucky to get 20-25 starts from either Wang or Olsen. If both are in the rotation, Mike Rizzo should start buying scratch cards.

Craig Stammen -- Stammen has plenty of fans in the organization, especially after he pitched the final months of '09 in pain. He could develop into a 10-win, 4.50-ERA type.

Ross Detwiler -- Of all the candidates for the back of the rotation, Detwiler has the best stuff. Plus he's a lefty. He makes the club with a strong spring. (I don't think the same goes for Stephen Strasburg, fun as it would be.)

RELIEF PITCHERS (7)

Jason Bergmann -- Despite pitching well late last year (3.38 ERA), the righty will again have to battle for a job. Veteran Miguel Batista will also get a look.

Brian Bruney -- The likely set-up man. Better than Saul Rivera.

Sean Burnett -- The Nats will hope for more of what they saw from this lefty in '09.

Matt Capps -- He'll get first dibs on the closer's job. But the ERA has to drop.

Tyler Clippard -- This year, he might not be counted on for so many three-inning, please-save-us-from-seeing-Jorge-Sosa appearances.

Eddie Guardado -- He's not on the 40-man, but he might as well be. The Nats signed him because they think they need him.

Tyler Walker -- One of the offseason free agents, Walker was a good depth signing.

CATCHERS (2)

Ivan Rodriguez -- He's the new, old catcher. We know he can still play defense, but what about the bat?

Wil Nieves -- You'll notice I don't have Jesus Flores on the roster. If -- if if if if -- Flores has fully recovered from shoulder surgery, he'll of course be coming north. But the Pudge signing, and the decision to retain Nieves in an arbitration year, shows that Washington has concerns.

INFIELDERS (6)

Adam Dunn -- Yup, he's an infielder now. The first baseman, for better or worse. He showed in 2009 that he can hold his own.

Adam Kennedy -- He won't dazzle, but at least he's not Anderson Hernandez.

Cristian Guzman -- His 2010 season could fluctuate wildly. Maybe: He's healthy, his range improves and he hits .300. Or: He's sullen, he's bothered by shoulder problems, his range continues to decline and he's burning $8 million.

Ryan Zimmerman -- Yeah, he'll make the roster.

Eric Bruntlett -- Ian Desmond can play every day in Class AAA, at least to start the season. Alberto Gonzalez probably isn't a major leaguer.

Mike Morse -- Morse has some pop, some versatility, etc.

OUTFIELDERS (5)

Josh Willingham -- The starting left fielder. A trade looks increasingly unlikely.

Nyjer Morgan -- Hard to believe, but this is the first time Morgan has ever entered a season with assurances that a job is his. Last July-August was a honeymoon, but 2010 is a long-range test.

Elijah Dukes -- A make-or-break season.

Roger Bernadina -- Remember Bernandina? He's now trying to recover from a devastating right ankle fracture. If he's healthy, he's got the speed and D to make the club. But Justin Maxwell has just as good a shot. Both probably see time in the bigs this year.

Willie Harris -- He could be a bench guy on any roster in baseball.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 15, 2010; 4:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Strasburg era set to begin

Comments

I'm so excited - I just printed out the 2010 schedule for my cubicle wall. :) Please, Nats, just be better than last year! Can't wait to see you in SF at the end of May!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | February 15, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"Ross Detwiler -- Of all the candidates for the back of the rotation, Detwiler has the best stuff. Plus he's a lefty. He makes the club with a strong spring. (I don't think the same goes for Stephen Strasburg, fun as it would be.)"

For the sake of Detwiler's own long-term development, I really hope you are wrong on this one. The fact that he might make the rotation is a shining example of how the Nats' refusal/inability to bring in some real MLB-quality starters hurts their own kids' long-term development and is therefore detrimental to "The Plan." Detwiler never should have been in the rotation last season. The time that he spent getting shelled in DC was just lost development time for him. And especially after his disastrous '08 performance, he really needs more time in the minors and the chance to learn how to pitch with his re-worked delivery.

If the Nats think Detwiler has any chance of being a successful pitcher for them in the long-term, the best thing they can do for him is to let him learn in Syracuse. This is looking to be another lost season for the team anyway, so they may as well use Matt Chico, Mock, and Martis as cannon fodder until Detwiler is truly ready, if he ever is.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 15, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Nice job Chico.

OK. I am thinking add:

-Martis (big ST, still has the K's, avoiding the BB's)
-Batista (versatile SP/RP, hard thrower on a club that needs a few, vet)
-Duncan (now healthy, the big masher off the bench finds the roster)
-Storen (has climbed the minors well and they can afford to rush the reliever -- nice fan buzz generator too)

Take away:

-Stammen (with all of thse pitch to contact guys, they'll need someone to throw the ball hard and with his hittability, he's going to have to be brilliant to make the roster)
-Guardado (age shows in ST, a lefty specialist was never his thing and they have that covered already)
-Morse (with Bruntlett, Harris and Desmond there's not a lot of need for this guy)
-Bernadina (better suited to be in AAA playing every day coming off his injury and with Maritis on the roster they'd already have 1 guy who can speak some Dutch).

We'll see. And there might be a couple of different guys on the 40 man by the start of ST.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 15, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

MLB Trade Rumors listed players with no options for each team. For the Nationals:

Jason Bergmann, Brian Bruney, Sean Burnett, Matt Chico, Tyler Clippard, Doug Slaten, Tyler Walker, Mike Morse, Josh Willingham

Of those, the players who are most likely to not make the team are probably Chico and Slaten. Both could conceivably clear waivers and sign a minor league deal. But if the Nats don't think either is going to make the team, wouldn't they want to release them from the 40-man now to make room for Kennedy and Wang?

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 15, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

CiL,

Does Detwiller's September not count? He was the best SP we had coming down the stretch last year. I also disagree that last year was a waste developmentally for him. I think he learned a lot getting smacked around and made some adjustments. He was a college guy so there's no reason to baby him. I agree with Chico, that if he pitches well, he's in regardless of what others may do.

I also disagree that this is "another lost season". By June we could have a rotation that features Stras, Wang, Marquis and Lannan in addition to the solid O the team had last year. This year's OF of Willingham-Morgan-Dukes is an upgrade from Dunn-Milledge-Kearns. Dunn, Kennedy and Pudge are all upgrades over last year's gang. What Dunn loses to NJ in range, he makes up for in digging balls out of the dirt. He's a big target and I expect Zim's E total come down because of the big guy corralling some throws that NJ let get by him.

This is not the week to be pessimistic, now is it?

Posted by: sec307 | February 15, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and yeah I sort of had the same 25 man roster in my head - except for Morse. I think Duncan finds a place on the team - probably at Morse' expense.

And I would still like to think we'll see a trade before opening day that leverages one of their 5th starters for a more balanced middle infielder than Bruntlett.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 15, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

307, there is an old baseball adage about not relying on September performance--and not relying on March either.

Here's what concerns me about Chico's post--and about your response about "if he pitches well." If the Nats really think Detwiler is a part of their long-term future, then his performance in Spring Training should be irrelevant to whether he makes the rotation, or not. If he's ready, he's ready. He should be the kind of guy the team has a "plan" for; his progression should be mapped out and he should get a rotation spot when Rizzo determines he is ready, and not because he "won" a battle as best of the worst because there is no one else.

As for my optimism or pessimism, I'd love to be optimistic heading into Spring Training. And then I see Jason Marquis penciled in as our #1 starter. All winter we've been hearing from the Kool Aid drinkers around here about how we should give Rizzo the benefit of the doubt and wait until Spring Training before we jump to any conclusions about additions to the team. We kept hearing "the offseason isn't over yet." Well, the clock has almost struck midnight, so here we are...with Jason Marquis locked up against Roy Halladay on April 5. Sweet.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing Wang gets inked. If he does then, once he arrives in DC 00 say mid May? -- he's the Ace. That gives the club at least a fighting chance to compete (presuming Wang has something close to his old form, of course, which is no sure thing).

If no Wang or no trade for someone else that can be inked in as a No. 1, then I think the club has a very serious uphill fight to be even respectable.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 15, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I know they love Willie Harris, but I'm not sure we can't do better than a .240 corner outfielder. Desmond must not be the plan for our future SS, and he could be a multiple position guy.

Posted by: Sonny9 | February 15, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Bruntlett. I see Willie Harris as the utility infielder w/ Morse which allows for Justin Maxwell with Bernadina.

So I agree except swap Justin Maxwell essentially for Bruntlett.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 15, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Harris makes a bunch of guaranteed money, he'll be on the roster. And Riggelman has been saying Desmond might play SS, 2B and all 3 OF positions.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 15, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks to me like Taveras replaces Maxwell? ... Bernadina the lefty probably stays.

Martin starts. Eventually, you'll all have to mark it on you calendars every fifth day. I told you the same last year ... and you can call him AAAA or whatever ... but unlike say a Wilkie he's a leader and guts it out to win. He's in camp too, they didn't DFA or release him. Olsen coming off of a shoulder injury? I don't think he will make it past June Chico. And Stammen had injury issues as you mention.

Other than that ... they need a starting power pitcher to be their ace who is good for 200 innings to make it past .500. I don't know how or when but they need someone other than Strasburg.

Posted by: periculum | February 15, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Is this the first spring training where the entire Nats starting line up was locked up before they got there?

And even though the rotation isnt set its nice not to see 40 starting pitchers at ST that no other teams wanted.

So it looks like:
(2 of) - Detwiler, Stammen, Mock, Martin, Chico, Martis, Balester

Bergmann v. Batista

Morse v. Duncan v. Whitesell for one slot.

Bernadina v. Maxwell

I think thats it. Do any of the other invitees even have a chance at making the opening day roster? I must say I like this stability finally, this is what real teams ST look like, not Jimbo's 3 ring circus.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 15, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Harris == trade bait? Why? If he has a good spring. With Bernadina, Maxwell and Taveras ... with three lefties sitting in triple A in Daniel, Davis and Orr?

Will they get much? Probably another prospect.

Catcher with IRod, Nieves, Flores, and surprisingly Norris in camp. Doubt that Norris will get far because he like Flores is coming off of an injury. But they still want to look at him. Guess may also be watching switch hitting Sean Rooney closely.

Pitching will be the issue throughout the year unless they trade for someone a lot better than Marquis.

Posted by: periculum | February 15, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

What, no Livo? Every taco joint in town is in mourning...

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | February 15, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Detwiler in the rotation before Strasburg. Storen likely to be a factor. Strasburg needs time in the minors without rushing him ... just as the really good teams do.

Thus Wang ... ??

In this case any predicted rotation appear to suffer from depending on too many guys coming off of serious to mild injury: Olsen, Chico, "Wang", Stammen ...

59-102 last year ... given the starting rotation, the high risks associated with depending on guys coming off of injuries. Depending on guys to repeat career years (Zim, Nyjer, Willingham) I can't see them winning more than 65 games at
this point.

Posted by: periculum | February 15, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Reading all these posts, it is obvious we are far ahead of last spring training - I am rooting for Duncan and Martin - there will be some interesting battles and it can't help but benefit - 75 wins here we come!

Posted by: sjm3091 | February 15, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Willy Taveras has been looking for his bat since 2007. Come on people, if he makes the team, the Nationals are in trouble i.e. Bernadina and Maxwell stink. I like the Nook Logan analogy except Nook and his steroids were better with the bat.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 15, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

If Taveras was a Mafioso, no one would have broken knees!

Posted by: Nataholic | February 15, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll be pulling hard for bernadina and desmond

Posted by: bford1kb | February 15, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

My take, such as it is, is that they almost desperately need a starting pitcher. I wonder if any other team in the majors has as weak starting pitching?

Spring training ... injuries happen ... trades happen. Have to assume right through June (and beyond) Rizzo will do everything in his power to improve the starting pitching now that he has shored up the infield and the outfield.

Posted by: periculum | February 15, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Might want to keep this list in mind when figuring lineups: MLBTR's list of players out of options, for the Nats. They would have to clear waivers before being sent to the minors.

Jason Bergmann, Brian Bruney, Sean Burnett, Matt Chico, Tyler Clippard, Doug Slaten, Tyler Walker, Mike Morse, Josh Willingham

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 15, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Olsen and Detwiler out of your prediction. Strasburg and Wang in. Bank on it.

Posted by: tramellcanady | February 15, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Still only having to two legitimate albeit average pitchers in our rotation is still a little disheartening. Add Strasburg eventually and you can say the Nats have a 3 major league pitchers in the organization with JZimm potentially being a 4. After that I'm glad that Mike Bascik and John Patterson aren't out there at least the young pitchers are getting an oppurtunity to show they belong. Furthermore it will be interesting to see what Wang has left but I would not say he is still definitely a legit major league pitcher.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 15, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

CiL,

I agree with your post. Detwiler should be in the minors. This is, I think, a key point and one that the Lerner apologist's have trouble understanding because they only see it as a "Lerner's are cheap" jab.

When the Lerner's and StanK don't spend at least the ML average on the ML roster it hurts the development of "the Plan."
Players are being rushed and forced, in essence, to be in the Bigs. Balester, Martis, Detwiler, Bernadina, Desmond, etc. should have been/should be in the minors developing and not being rushed to the Bigs. I see the same thing happening to Strasburg and Storen and I think it is a big mistake.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 15, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg out of the equation. If they rush a guy who makes "eights" (some say he is nine or even 10) where the max is eight, then you are taking a very expensive risk ... for what purpose?

The Nats may finish .500 or above if Strasburg can pitch 200 mostly quality innings ... which he has never done. Trevor Holder I think has pitched more than that in his college career. Strasburg has not even reached that. It would be a monumental mistake anda huge risk any less than 1 year in the minors for Strasburg.

What is the return on that risk? He needs a year or two in the minors working up to a major league season. He needs work with the teachers they can give him down there.

This is why I keep asserting that Rizzo really need to get a real ace for this staff ... a power pitcher like Matt Cain ... not just to gain respectability and perhaps finally field an above .500 club but to take the potential pressure off ... to keep the organization from rushing prospects to the majors too soon. They have so few top drawer prospects as it is.

Posted by: periculum | February 15, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Agreeing with Periculum...awkward.

But yes, Strasburg should not, and I bet will not, be a factor this year. He may get a call up. But the way the Nats limit innings on their young pitchers, I wouldn't even bet on that.

And the notion that Wang will be our ace in June is really overreaching. A guy coming off surgery is on track to be his perfectly healthy and effective self, and the Nat's are the only ones who can figure this out, and they steal him for $2MM plus incentives?

Projecting this club to finish .500, with Wang and Strasburg joining Marquis and Lannan in June is a bit too rosy a prediction for me.

And yet.....Go Nats!


Posted by: Sunderland | February 15, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Before Rizzo wanted Nyjer ... the Nats were looking seriously at Taveras ... and perhaps that's a reason why he signed ... the team was seriously interested in him?

____________________________________________________________

Nats Working on Redding-Taveras Trade
The Nationals are working on a trade tonight that would send right-handed starting pitcher Tim Redding to the Colorado Rockies for center fielder Willy Taveras, according to a baseball source with knowledge of the talks.

Taveras, who turns 27 on Christmas Day, is a speedster who stole 68 bases this season, but his OPS (on-base plus slugging) of .604 was the second-worst of any player in baseball who had enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title.

The Nationals had been seeking a defensive upgrade in center field over Lastings Milledge, who played there in 2008. If Taveras were added, Milledge would join a glut of corner outfielders on the Nationals' roster, which could spark an additional trade or two.

Both Taveras and Redding were candidates to be non-tendered later this winter, and both are under team control for two more seasons.

By Dave Sheinin | December 9, 2008; 9:46 PM ET
___________________________________________________________

Posted by: periculum | February 15, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

"Agreeing with Periculum...awkward."

-- and yet I was right about Martin ...

Posted by: periculum | February 15, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"Better than Saul Rivera''

Look out, NL East! If that's not damning with faint praise, I don't what is.

Posted by: nats24 | February 16, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Careful; Setup men ... pitchers who are the hardest for GM's scouts, etc. to evaluate. They are "should be" starters who have
a weakness that kept them from becoming starters ... lack of enough pitches, consistency to get to the sixth inning. These are guys who come in in the seventh and hold for the closer. Sparse few make the big bucks.

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Bowden speaking as though he is in on Rizzo's plan:

"Nationals looking at Anthony Ranaudo, Deck McGuire and Bryce Harper as considerations for the first pick in this year's June FA Draft."

[ source Baseball Rumor Mill]

Deck McGuire: RHSP
Ht 6'6" 220 lbs.
age: 20
Scouting Report: McGuire is an impressive young pitcher, winning the 2009 ACC Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore for Georgia Tech. In just his first year as a weekend starter, he went 11-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 118 while walking 41 in 100.1 innings, not losing a game in the regular season. The Richmond native is armed with an array of pitches, including a low to mid-90s fastball plus three solid off-speed pitches in his slider, changeup, and curveball. Due to some problems in postseason play in 2009, there is some speculation as to whether he can handle tough situations, but most believe McGuire will be a big-time starting pitchersomeday. The coming junior campaign could land McGuire in the top half of round one, if not top five overall.

Anthony Ranaudo: RHSP
School: LSU
Drafted: Available for 2010 draft
Ht. 6'7", 240lbs
age 20.
Scouting Report: Originally drafted in the 11th round of 2007 draft by the Texas Rangers before deciding to go to college. Hard-throwing right-hander with mid-90s fastball who is considered one of the best pitching prospects in the country ... projected to be one of the starters in LSU’s 2009 weekend rotation ... a big, intimidating pitcher ... throws a curveball and changeup to complement his fastball ... has a tremendous feel for his pitches, especially for his height.

Looks like these guys are what they have in mind to augment Strasburg et al.

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Its so funny that they signed Easy Eddie. That is a Jim Bowden Special right there. Storen will take his spot prior to June 1st. I'll be shocked if Desomond doesnt become the fulltime SS by the AllStar break as well due to Guzzy geing injured, having 30 errors or just sucking. I fear I-ROD is Paul Lo Duca part 2 with a better paycheck, still scratching my head.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | February 16, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Redskins2; I hear you. I have been thinking that Rizzo's moves are generally in the same vein as Bowden's. Maybe the always thin budget has something to do with that.

But, as I did year after year with Bowden, I come to spring with some optimism at this point on the signings. Many of Rizzo's moves could turn out very well.

Pudge is way better than Nieves, who simply cannot call a game (how many sliders was Hanrahan going to have bounce in the dirt in a row before Wil called for something else? Answer: at least 8). Marquis adds a bunch of reliable innings, if nothing else. The bull pen should be much improved. Nyjer in CF for a whole season makes the club much better. 86 Kearns and add Dukes, again big upgrade even if Dukes does not go en fuego in 2010, which he might. Guz should field better and he'll hit. Kennedy will be very solid at 2B and he'll be a fan favorite. Dunn will blast 40 bombs and his D at 1B will be tolerable. The bench is deeper and much more athletic and Duncan could be a real find. And the club is likely not done making moves. Getting a front end SP somehow, if that is possible, remains a must, but overall at this point there are many things going on in Nats Town that lead me to have some comfort that the club will be much more fun to watch and much more competitive in 2010.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Chico, I agree with your prognosticating for the most part but I don't see us going North with 12 pitchers, the 5th starter is typically not needed right away so you go with 11 pitchers 4 starters and 7 relievers and then send down a reliever to clear up the spot of the 5th starter so I see the pitchers as follows:

Starters: Marquis/Lannan/Olsen/Stammen (If we sign Wang he becomes the 5th starter when he is healthy, not until May at least by most reports).

Relievers: (long to closer) Bergmann, Clippard, Storen, Burnett, Bruney, Capps (Guardado, Speier and Walker battle for the 7th spot and likely whoever wins is the guy who gets moved down for the 5th starter)


Position players:

C: Rodriguez, Nieves
IF: Zim, Guz, Kennedy, Dunn, Bruntlett (mainly defensive replacement)
OF: Morgan, Willingham, Dukes, Tavares (mainly PR)
IF & OF: Harris, Desmond, Duncan (mainly PH)

Posted by: markfd | February 16, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Garrett Mock makes this team. Most likely as a replacement for Scott Olsen. But if not, then a pen job at worst.

Mock has shown some ability to be a big league pitcher. 7.1 k/9 is not elite but it's respectable. He walks a few too many. The 114 hits in 91.1 IP would be worrysome until you see his .360 BABIP. Given a normal BABIP of .300 he would have given up only 92 hits facing 422 batters with equal k/BB numbers. Now that's something we can build on.

Posted by: traderkirk | February 16, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The lineup is definitely improved over last year and last year it was solid. We need to upgrade the middle infield for next year but Guzman/Kennedy will do for this year w/ Desmond/Espinoza on deck.

The rotation is significantly improved over last year. Although I am quite diappointed that we could not land another solid, healthy SP like Marquis. As for Marquis being the ace, at least he is an all-star, established ML pitcher. This is progress. No legit ace is going to sign here yet. The fact that Marquis was willing is big progress. Walk before you can run.

But, the big change is the bullpen is transformed. That's the easiest to fix and Rizzo fixed it. It was a joke last year. Probably the worst bullpen any MLB team has had the last several years. Now, they are solid. That alone is 10 wins at least.

If guys are healthy and perform generally at career averages, this team flirts w/ .500.

Moving in the right direction. If three years from now we have no ace, weak middle infield and no all-star in the 5 hole, then we can rag on Rizzo. For now, he's dramatically better than Bowden.

Posted by: Avar | February 16, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

here is Tavares OPS from last year- .559 here is Tavares OPS from 2008- .604 Why on Earth would anyone think this guy could be useful in any way other than pinch-running. And who on Earth puts a pinch-runner on a 25 man roster (Charley Feenley excluded)?

Posted by: colezig37 | February 16, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

For your consideration....

Tavares has a career .649 OPS and a .985 fielding percentage, not to mention 194 SBs in 643 games. Wille Harris has a career .683 OPS and .987 fielding percentage in the OF and has 96 SB in 763 games.

Posted by: markfd | February 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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