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Eddie Guardado caught by surprise by release

In his 17 years of professional baseball, Eddie Guardado had never been released before this morning, when the Washington Nationals included him in their first round of cuts.

"They caught him totally, pretty much, by surprise," said Kevin Kohler, Guardado's agent. "I don't think he was expecting it at all."

Kohler said Guardado has received calls from several teams interested in his services, either as a pitcher or in a front office or coaching capacity. Guardado plans on mulling his options, including simply staying with his family.

"He's had a lot of people call him today," Kohler said. "He just said he wants a day or two to think about it. He's had just a lot of people calling. He's doesn't know if maybe he wants to go home. I think, partly, his family wants him to come home."

Guardado, whom the Nationals signed to a minor league contract in late December, pitched just two innings this spring. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits, but he expected more of an opportunity, Kohler said, particularly in his specialty: retiring left-handed batters.

When Kohler spoke with Guardado today, "he said, 'I've been busting my [butt] out here everyday, and they give me two innings?' " Kohler said. "If he signs somewhere, it will be with someone he knows. He's going to have to trust them; let's put it like that.

"I don't know what they're thinking. It's not like the other guys are really tearing it up."

Despite the surprise, Kohler appreciated the Nationals not holding on to Guardado longer if they knew they were going to release him.

"Letting Eddie go today, if he does want to hook on with another team, they are doing him a favor," Kohler said. "They really did do him a favor. Eddie's not pissed or bitter. It's just a tough day."

After 17 years as a reliever, Guardado, 39, could have walked away from baseball after last season, when he had a 4.46 ERA in 48 games with the Texas Rangers. Earlier this spring, Guardado was asked why he chose to keep playing.

"The most important thing is just, I love playing baseball, man," Guardado said. "I love competing. What keeps us coming back, I think it's being in this clubhouse, being around the guys and having fun and trying to give your knowledge to younger guys."

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 11, 2010; 5:48 PM ET
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Next: A hard rain's a-gonna fall


Weird. 2 innings does seem premature.

Posted by: tgerbracht | March 11, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

by the same token, if they didn't see him making the team, he only would be eating innings of the guys they really wanted to look at.

Guardado was a fallback, and if they want to carry two lefties, it'll be Villone, the guy they know. not that they need a second lefty, cause Clippard gets lefties out better than right handed batters.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | March 11, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Burnett, English, & Severino are still on the 40-man roster as RPs, as well as Chico & Thompson (both SPs), and both Slaten & Villone are still in camp. It's not like they lack for LHP options in the bullpen.

Posted by: BinM | March 11, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

>by the same token, if they didn't see him making the team, he only would be eating innings of the guys they really wanted to look at.

Like who? It's been the bomb squad out there, and I haven't seen any new names from the organization that were supposed to make an impact. It's the same guys they brought up last year. They were so sick of the way most of those guys threw, that they signed a bunch of veterans to displace them. They sign this guy who's hanging on by his fingernails and then somehow they're surprised that his stuff isn't that good anymore. The guy's been around for 20 years, and they don't even wait long enough to see if he can still figure out how to get people out. So why sign him in the first place? Don't they ever watch any friggin video? Bad teams do things that players don't expect. On good teams, you rarely hear 'I was totally shocked', because they know who's in front of them, how many slots there are, and who's competing for the extra spots. On this team, you get someone like Matt Chico, who throws a couple of scoreless innings, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN HE'S A FAVORITE FOR THE THIRD STARTER. It's kind of like knowing where you stand, so you can get the best out of the players SO THEY CAN CONCENTRATE ON PLAYING, and not worry about whether they'll be on the next greyhound out of town. And then you have two guys, Stras and Storen, who should be on the opening day roster without question, because the only thing they can come up with is - 'Strasburg has to learn how to pitch every fifth day'. THEY PITCH EVERY FIFTH DAY IN THE MAJORS SO THERE IS ZERO DIFFERENCE IN THE ROUTINE. He's not going to learn a damned thing by buzzing AAA scrubs. Not a thing. They're gonna have him on the same friggin pitch count too! They really don't know wtf they're doing. They pull **** like 'developing Strasburg' so they can PRETEND they know what they're doing. Right. Only a baseball professional would know the difference. My ass. You know how I know they don't know what they're doing? I watch the scoreboard.

Posted by: Brue | March 11, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

2 months of year 0 SS >> 1 yr of year 4 SS

no matter how you cut it, that's going to be the equation. So I don't care about your rant.

Posted by: swang30 | March 11, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Brue, Spring Training doesn mean crap stop freaking out.

Ya he pitched two innings, but he also has been pitching in practice, split squad games, etc. They obviously saw that he doesnt have it anymore.

Everyone chillax, these guys use spring to get loose not win.....

Posted by: Cartaldo | March 11, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Off subject, has anyone received their season tickets yet?

Posted by: swanni | March 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

For starting pitching, Lannan & Marquis are the only 'locks' to make the 25-man; Balester, Chico, Hernandez, Martin, Mock, Olsen & Stammen are all still in the mix for the final three SP slots, imo.

Should Olsen make the cut as a SP, either Batista or Chico will become the LR/Spot starter; Balester, Mock or Stammen might get a look as MRs, but will probably go to SYR as starters if they don't earn a rotation slot with WSH. The rest of the bullpen is still open (even the closer role), with 11 additional players contending for the 6 or 7 remaining roster spots.

Posted by: BinM | March 11, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Yo Everyday Eddie---you're 39 f'n years old!
Sorry, but it's over. Everyday is now tomorrow.
If you can hook onto one more team---great, god bless and good luck---but 2010 is your last year. Deal with it---it happens to all of us---a career ends/youth wins.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | March 11, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I should have better said: Everyday is yesterday.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | March 11, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Both Thompson and English have thrown well this week and made Guardado expendable. He threw very poorly on Tuesday - almost all off-speed stuff. If the Nats had kept him around he would be headed for accepting a minor league assignment - something I don't think he would accept. Indeed, his comments reflect a real ambivalence about his desire to play at all this year - an ambivalence that probably did not begin this morning.

We have too many pitchers in camp right now. Other teams' SPs are throwing four inning stints by the end of this week. It's time to fish or cut bait.

Posted by: lowcountry | March 11, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

The only mistake they made was ever bring him IN to camp. He is basically an older, more worn down version of Ron Villone. And Villone probably won't make the team either. Love the way his agent is trying to spin the "interest" in him by other teams. It is very clear that he has no respect for the Nationals organization. Had other teams been interested, he would have never been with the Nationals to begin with.

Posted by: kfisher32 | March 11, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I think I'll stick to drinking the Kool-Aid, as opposed to the "brue."

Posted by: MikeH0714 | March 12, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Batista is headed for Syracuse ... unless he is cut. He has a minor league contract and is not on the 40-man You are going to get Livan Hernandez (also with a minor league contract) in your rotation well before you would even consider a Batista. He is almost surely headed for the land of Hyde Park Cooney hot dogs given the way he has pitched this spring.

I suspect that Olsen will be sent to Harrisburg along with their other recovering arms: Matheus, JZimm (at some point) and Wang. Perhaps Flores will end up there as well?

Based on Riggleman/Rizzo's statement about not needing additional lefties their plan may be to put both Chico and Thompson in Syracuse along with Balester and Martis. Juan Jaime is also on the 40-man but we have yet to see him? And
Stammen needs to pitch better than he has.

Right now Mock and Martin look like they are working pretty effectively. Have to assume that Stammen and Jaime also end up in Syracuse. Add in Kown and you have a lot of starters down in SYR leaving the possibility of additional releases? Walker at least?

One thing is for certain. There may be a large number of left-handed relievers and starters in Syracuse ... far more than we might see on the 25-man.

Perhaps Severino sticks? But then, what about Bergmann?

Posted by: periculum | March 12, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

It's not necessary to 'dis' Guardado. He had a good MLB career but, at his age, was not what the Nats need. His agent recognized the team did him a favor by letting him go now, rather than later. A contending team may still want him. Would you expect a veteran guy who gets cut that quickly to say, "Gee, I deserved it''?

Posted by: nats24 | March 12, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Bergman is out of options, and there's no way of guessing if he'd clear waivers.

I'm thinking that the April bullpen is pretty set, and has been since camp opened.
Capps will close, Bruney, Burnett, Clippard, Bergman, plus 2 others.

It seems the MLB mindset is not "let's have these guys compete and see what we have", it's more "let's give these guys roles and have them develop confidence and see where this gets us".

Posted by: Sunderland | March 12, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I know it's ST, still, I'm concerned that they haven't won a game yet and the pitching staff is giving up football score run totals. After back to back 100+ loss seasons I think that is a rational thought, for anyone.

As for Storen and Strasburg starting in the minors, I mean, it's a no brainer. 2 months in the minors for a another year of team control, for two dudes that have huge potential to be a big part of the teams future. Frankly, it would foolish to not do that.

Thanks to Uncle Teddy's repeated cheapness this team has no shot at the postseason so why rush them.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 12, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Yet give Mike Rizzo his due. If he had succeeded in signing Chapman for 25 million you would be looking at a playoff run next year with the possibility of a world series. It did come that close ... in spite of the cheapness.

Still, as MLBTradeRumors points out, (and they seem to agree with 505203):

"I'm not sure what the plan is here: the Nationals have Keith Law's #23-ranked farm system and should probably launch a full-blown rebuild, but they're adding relatively pricey free agents."

Posted by: periculum | March 12, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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