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Nationals Minor League Report

Morning roundup

HE'S JUST A GLUV MACHINE: Yup, a minor league report and a Morning Brushback in one post. Nationals PR maverick Bill Gluvna provided the NMLR a couple days ago. My apologies on the delay posting it, but here it is. Come for the minor league information, stay for the puns.

This Week's Top Headline
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF: In 10 combined starts with Triple-A Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg, RHP Stephen Strasburg is 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA...Strasburg's stingy .157 batting average against is the 2nd lowest in minor league baseball among starting pitchers...with 60 strikeouts and 12 walks in 50.1 innings pitched, Strasburg owns a 5.0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and averages 10.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings...in 5 Triple-A starts with Syracuse, he is 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA (4 ER/28.1 IP)...prior to joining Syracuse, Strasburg went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA (4 ER/22.0 IP) in 5 starting assignments with Harrisburg...Strasburg is scheduled to make his final Triple-A start tomorrow at Buffalo (Mets).

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs
International League North Division
30-21, 2nd Place, 0.5 Game Back

SAVE-A-LOT: RHP Joel Peralta's 16 saves in as many opportunities rank 2nd in the International League and 3rd in minor league baseball...in 21 appearances, he is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA (2 ER/24.0 IP)...Peralta last allowed an earned run on April 30 at Toledo (Tigers), or 33 days ago...the Bonao, Dominican Republic native has fanned 30 in 24.0 innings, an average of 11.25 strikeouts per 9.0 innings...Peralta was signed by Washington as a minor-league free agent, December 15, 2009.

START ME UP: RHP Jeff Mandel is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA (5 ER/23.1 IP) in 4 starts with Syracuse...Mandel began the season in Harrisburg, where he posted a 3.83 ERA (17 ER/40.0 IP) in 7 outings...Mandel, 25, was a 2009 Single-A Carolina League All-Star last season with Potomac...following the season, Mandel played with the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the highly-acclaimed Arizona Fall League.

THRILL OF THE CHASE: 2B/3B Chase Lambin's .318 batting average paces Washington farmhands, ranks 4th in the International League and 13th among Triple-A hitters...he has hit safely in 38 of 48 games overall...Lambin signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent, January 7, 2010.

Syracuse Player and Pitcher of the Month - May

2B/3B Chase Lambin - hit .314 (32-for-102) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 17 RBI in 28 games.

RHP Joel Peralta - went a perfect 11-for-11 in saves and did not allow an earned in 13.0 innings of work.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators
Eastern League Southern Division
26-26, 4th Place, 8.5 Games Back

MY, OH MEYERS: RHP Brad Meyers, Washington's 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, is 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA (4 ER/28.2 IP) and a .194 BAA (20-for-103) in 5 starts...he's fanned 33 and walked only 5 (6.6/1 SO/BB ratio)...the 24-year-old has allowed 2 earned runs or less in each of his 5 starts...Meyers was selected in the 5th round of the 2007 Draft out of Loyola Marymount University (CA).

THE BIG PAHUTA & DR. KIMBALL: 1B/3B Tim Pahuta and RHP Cole Kimball were promoted from Single-A Potomac to Harrisburg on May 27...in just his 4th career game at the Double-A level, May 30 at Erie (Tigers), Pahuta blasted 2 home runs (11,12)...at the time of his promotion, he led the Carolina League with a .593 slugging percentage...including 4.0 scoreless frames in 3 appearances since joining the Senators, Kimball has fired a combined 15.1 consecutive scoreless innings (13 appearances) with Harrisburg and Potomac...he's offered scoreless relief in 20 of 22 appearances overall...the 24-year-old out of Centenary College (NJ) was Washington's 12th-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Harrisburg Player and Pitcher of the Month - May

C Jhonatan Solano - batted .299 (20-for-67) with 3 homers and 12 RBI in 18 contests.

RHP Brad Meyers - went 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA (4 ER/28.2 IP) and a .194 BAA (20-for-103) in 5 starts.

Single-A Potomac Nationals
Carolina League Northern Division
23-29, T-2nd Place, 6.0 Games Back

BURGESS KING: OF Michael Burgess recorded 31 RBI in May, 3rd most in minor league baseball during the month...the left-handed hitting slugger ranks 2nd in the Carolina League in RBI (40) and walks (27)...he has hit safely in 24 of his last 31 games, going 37-for-120 (.308) with 11 doubles, 5 homers and 33 RBI...the strong-armed outfielder is tied for 4th in the Carolina League with 5 outfield assists...Burgess, a 2-time Minor League All-Star (2008, '09), was drafted by Washington in the sandwich round (49th overall) of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

IN LEHMAN'S TERMS: RHP Patrick Lehman struck out a season-high 8 in 5.1 innings to earn his 3rd win of the season, May 30 vs. Salem (Red Sox)...the 6'6" righty from George Washington University ranks among CL leaders in strikeouts (4th, 55) and K/9.0 IP for starters (4th, 9.66)...Lehman was selected by Washington in the 13th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

SCORING RUNS IS FUN: 2B Stephen Lombardozzi ranks among the top 5 CL hitters in runs scored (t-2nd, 37), triples (3rd, 5), walks (t-4th, 25) and hits (t-5th, 59)...the 2009 mid-season Single-A South Atlantic League All-Star finished 2nd in the SAL in both runs scored (90) and hits (147) last season...Lombardozzi was a 19th-round pick in the 2008 Draft out of St. Petersburg JC (FL).

Potomac Player and Pitcher of the Month - May

OF Michael Burgess - hit .313 (35-for-112) with 10 doubles, 4 home runs, 31 RBI and 15 walks in 29 games.

RHP Patrick Lehman - in 6 games (5 starts), went 3-1 and struck out 33 in 31.2 innings.

Single-A Hagerstown Suns
South Atlantic League Northern Division
28-25, 3rd Place, 5.0 Games Back

CULTIVATON OF ROSENBAUM: In his last 5 starts, LHP Dan Rosenbaum has allowed just 4 earned runs in 29.0 innings (1.24 ERA)...he has 25 strikeouts against just 3 walks (8.3/1 SO/BB ratio) in that span...despite his 1.87 ERA (13 ER 62.2 IP) in 11 starts, Rosenbaum hasn't earned a win since his season debut on April 8...the southpaw was the MiLB.com South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the period of May 10-16...among South Atlantic League pitchers, he is tied for 6th in ERA and tied for 7th in WHIP (1.01)...Rosenbaum was selected in the 22nd round of the 2009 Draft out of Xavier University (OH).

HOLDING HIS OWN: RHP Trevor Holder has won 4 of his last 5 starts, going 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA (7 ER/31.0 IP)...he's struck out 20 and has issued just 2 walks in those contests...overall, he is 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 9 starting assignments...the former Georgia Bulldog has allowed 2 earned runs or less in 7 of those starts...Holder, 23, was Washington's 3rd-round pick in the '09 Draft.

Hagerstown Player and Pitcher of the Month - May
3B Steve Souza - led the team in homers (5), RBI (26) and slugging (.505) during the month.

RHP Trevor Holder - went 4-1 with a 2.75 ERA (11 ER/36.0 IP) with 22 strikeouts and just 2 walks in 6 starts.

FROM THE POST

Stephen Strasburg has bided his time, and now it's on to the majors, Dave Sheinin writes.

With their 6-4 walkoff loss to the Astros, the Natioanals had a miserable end to a miserable road trip.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Syracuse 7, Buffalo 1: Pete Orr, Chris Duncan and Devin Ivany all hit two-run home runs. Atahualpa Severino pitched two perfect relief innings, striking out one.

Harrisburg 4, Richmond 3: Chris Marrero went 2 for 3 with a double, raising his average to .269. Michael Martinez went 2 for 4 with a home run. Chuck James allowed no earned runs on one hit and no walks in four innings, striking out four.

Wilimington 4, Potomac 3: A.J. Morris pitched four scoreless innings, walking three, striking out two and allowing an unearned run.

Hagerstown 7, Lakewood 2: Justin Bloxom went 2 for 4 with a triple. Mitchell Clegg allowed no runs on two hits and three walks in five innings, striking out one.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

With the Nats at the one-third mark of the season, Ben Goessling gives his review.

After a long road, Chad Cordero made it back to the majors -- and he took Ken Griffey's roster spot with the Mariners.

Likely No. 1 pick Bryce Harper was ejected from his last amateur game.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 4, 2010; 10:14 AM ET
 
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Next: The Streak remembered: Frank Robinson

Comments

Good luck to the Chief. I fondly remember the sound of "Hail to the Chief" as he walked in from the bullpen at RFK to save (sometimes barely) another game during that amazing first half run in '05.

Posted by: mojo6 | June 4, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

THE BIG PAHUTA & DR. KIMBALL is my nominee for winner this week.

Now, back to defense. I really think the defense problem is overblown: a) Guzman in right-field is a management failure b) Guzman at shortstop is just going to make errors because of his age c) the real problem is at the plate.

What do I mean? Nine men on base when the last play of the inning started (seven men stranded, since two of them were involved in double plays). Here is how each of them did not advance:

1 - Zimmerman on 2B, 2 out; Dunn on a 2-2 count K

3 – Martin on 1B, 1 out; Guzman on an 0-0 count F8; Morgan on a 1-1 count F8

4 – Willingham on 1B, 1 out; Bernadina on an 1-0 count F7; Kennedy on a 1-1 count L8

6 – Willingham on 3B, Bernadina on 1B (then steals), 2 out; Kennedy on a 3-2 count 3-1

7 – Moldonado on 1B, 0 outs; Harris on an 0-0 count F8; Guzman on a 2-2 count DP 4-6-3

8 – Morgan on 2B, Zimmerman on 1B, 0 outs; Dunn on an 0-2 count K; Willingham on a 1-1 count SP 6-4-3

9 – Guzman on 2B, 2 outs; Morgan on a 2-2 count 3U


Not all of those are bad at bats, but overall you notice a trend of aggressiveness leading to failed opportunities. And 7 LOB is a lot. Even 5 men left on would have made Berkmann's hit only a tie.

Posted by: Section506 | June 4, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@506 -- I agree. Now, I'd like for someone to research how many times a Nat has been walked on 4 or 5 pitches, then the next batter swings away early in the count and makes an out or DP, instead of taking a few pitches to see if the pitcher will walk him too. It just seems to me that once they get a runner on base via walk, the Nats aren't being as patient as they should be ...

Posted by: erocks33 | June 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

After watching the Harper video:
1. He deserved the ejection.
2. That was an epically bad call.

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | June 4, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Well we can now say one thing for sure about Bryce Harper: he is no Amando Gallaraga.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 4, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

After watching the Harper video:
1. He deserved the ejection.
2. That was an epically bad call.

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | June 4, 2010 11:09 AM

Yep

Posted by: Kev29 | June 4, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Section 506 is right on the money. I was thinking the same thing as I watched the last three games of the Houston series, but 506 put things into words much better than I ever could. Adam, I think your "he's just a Gluv machine" pun is this week's best.

Posted by: VaNat | June 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Dunn's struggles this year with RISP are pretty well known.

Our regulars, with BA with RISP

Nyjer .211, about .050 lower than his season BA
Guzman .342, he's been good this year
Zimm .324, a little better than his season BA, plus walks to push his OBP over .470
Dunn .176, ugh, this is killing us
Hammer .370, surprising no one
Pudge .371, this kid's gonna be a good player one day
Desmond .368, way to go rookie
Bernadina .250, in line with his season BA
Kennedy .212, roughly in line with his season BA
Harris .200, in line with his season BA
Nieves .235, higher than his season BA, higher than I would have guessed
Gonzalez .222, but it's only 9 AB's

So, better than season average by a decent amount:
Willingham
Pudge
Guzman
ID

Worse than season average by a decent amount:
Dunn
Nyjer

Here's my conclusion.

Fixing Dunn here (if possible) goes 80% of the way to fixing our offense. Immediately takes us from average and inconsistent to better than average and a lot more consistent.

If he hits, he drives in runs obviously, since he's batting with RISP a lot.
It also forces pitchers to then pitch to Zimm and to Willingham more.

Can this be fixed?
I dunno.
Might need a psychologist more than a batting coach.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Sunderland, I'm running to a lunch meeting, but what does Dunn look like in the last 10 games with RISP? He's been hitting a lot more singles lately, could much of this be from his early slump?

Posted by: Section506 | June 4, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-lots of interesting stuff from you all lately...I try and refrain from saying much when we look this bad-remind myself it's a long season, who'd a thunk we'd be so improved already (me!)....but that's what is so...irritating? I think we can ALL sense that, whatever our expectations, this team has a chance to be down right GOOD...and so playing like this, on the heels of our start, is magnified.
SO-our personnel problems notwithstanding-I mean we looked O.K. with 'em a few weeks ago...what gave me some unease was the apparent sense on this team that they had "made" it...as if being merely mediocre gave them the right to...
to STRUT a bit......can you be overconfident when you've accomplished so little? Anyone else out there seeing that sense of...dang, I can't think of the word.(Born on third, think you hit a triple...man, this is driving me crazy!) And while I genuinely like Riggs-think he's done a solid job-there too are we seeing a bit of hubris in all his La Russa-ian moves?...maybe a bit too smart? As i keep pointing out, I don't know what goes on in the locker room...and a player can't be something he's not in terms of personality/leadership (see Cal Ripken). I also don't question this bunches' grit or competitiveness...but I'm waiting for "that's not acceptable"-said with intensity and anger and fire...not the "when we get going" or "well we gave a good effort but". Yea, I KNOW it's a long season-but the off-season's even LONGER (well, mebbe not technically, but you know what I mean). So have fun-it's baseball!-but....oh, heck-I don't know what to say to get 'em going again-just sweep the Reds!(Would help my old team, the Cards, too!)....
WHAT is the WORD I was looking for-oh well
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 4, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Pudge .371, this kid's gonna be a good player one day

Posted by: Sunderland | June 4, 2010 11:41 AM

:-D

Posted by: Kev29 | June 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

To offer the anecdotal in support of the statistical - if memory serves me, Cincinnati fans lamented this tendency in Dunn as well. Comments such as: "He hits a lot of HRs when it doesn't matter."

I'm not bashing; just curious. What is Dunn's career BA with RISP relative to his BA?

Posted by: lowcountry | June 4, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry: Dunn is career .230 BA w/ RISP; career .250 BA.

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | June 4, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

506, I'll try and calculate that, but I did note a couple days ago that Dunn just went through a 10 game streak where he did not walk once, and he hit .333 during that streak.
He's need to be imposing and get that bat moving, not to be selective. If he wants to be selective, he should climb into Adam Kennedy's body (and Kennedy's approaches AB's like he's 6'6" and 285).


Zendo, great to hear from you.
Part of what I think you're saying is that this team needs a leader. Pudge certainly has helped, but they need a vocal, upbeat, in your face leader.
Hard to think of who that is in today's game.
Frank Robbie, Don Baylor, even Paul O'Neill from back in the day.

Who are good leaders in today's game?
Perhaps a Jason Varitek?
Derek Jeter?

Guys who lead but in the wrong direction?
Hanley Ramirez

Anyone else come to mind?

Posted by: Sunderland | June 4, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-thanks, Suderland-of course the appreciation goes both ways. Yea, I've thought about that, too......Thurman Munson, for an old name.....Ray Knight, to hear him tell it!(and I dig the Silver Fox!).Maybe Scott Rolen today-seems to have had a big impact on the Reds. I'm hoping with Zimm, but those commercials with the British accent....hmmm. Maybe Ian in a few years.....Still, I don't think we're gonna loose 39 in a row.....
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 4, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Kirk Gibson.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 4, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Still need a RF, Catcher, 2B, CF, and maybe if they trade Dunn (which they should do) a 1B. No, I'm not remotely excited by this team yet. Too much work remains to be done, and I won't be fooled by this record - the Nats remain at least 3 years away from contention. That's if everything goes right, but with all those high-round draft choices the numbers will improve...see Tampa Bay. It will just take time.

Posted by: bendersx6 | June 4, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

bendersx6, I think you're giving too much credit to the rest of the NL. Nearly every team has a bunch of holes.
Looking at it the way you are, there's no one in the NL West who could contend. They all have holes in their rosters roughly equivalent to ours.

We're close to contending for a playoff spot now. Not one starting pitcher close, but closer than needing upgrades to 4 - 5 field positions (and much of the pitching staff).

I'm not saying the Nats are a really good baseball team, not at all.
I'm saying you don't have to be a really good baseball team to be able to play meaningful games in September.

There are plenty of places we can and should improve, and your list is a fair one.

But the 25 guys we got, they couldha been a contendah.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 4, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I liked "In Lehman's Terms," probably because I'm one of those pinch-lipped editor types. :-)

But I also liked "He's Just a Gluv Machine" (and he won't pun for nobody but you...ooh ooh - oops, sorry, got carried away there).

I also wish the Chief well, and will be rooting for him to succeed with the Mariners. I still get peeved thinking about how Bowden fired him over the airwaves. Chad handled the situation with much more class and maturity than JimBo.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 4, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I love Ryan Zimmerman. I love how the kids in the stands love Ryan Zimmerman. What a great ballplayer he is and is going to be. Hope to see him in Cooperstown someday. Also play on a winning team before he retires.

Posted by: markfromark | June 4, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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