Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 2:36 PM ET, 01/24/2011

Nationals designate Shairon Martis for assignment

By Adam Kilgore

The Nationals designated right-handed starting pitcher Shairon Martis for assignment in order to make room for newly signed utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. on the 40-man roster. Martis, who will turn 24 in March, spent all of 2010 with Class AAA Syracuse. He began the 2009 season in the Nationals rotation and won his first five decisions. He compiled a 6.34 ERA in his next eight starts and has not pitched in the majors since.

The Nationals made the move now because Hairston's contract was officially approved by the league today. The Nationals will have to remove two players from their 40-man roster in order to make room for reliever Todd Coffey and Tom Gorzelanny once their contracts become official. Among the most likely candidates to banished from the 40-man roster are outfielder Justin Maxwell, Luis Atilano and Garrett Mock.

By Adam Kilgore  | January 24, 2011; 2:36 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tom Gorzelanny and the Nationals' dearth of strikeouts
Next: A Nationals opening day roster guess

Comments

Isn't Martis righthanded? If he was throwing lefthanded of late, that might explain why he was designated for assignment.

Posted by: JOC44 | January 24, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Justin Maxwell is first in line. Top bad, it would have been fun if he had managed to put it all together, i.e., hit Major League pitching consistently.

Posted by: Donkeyfarmer | January 24, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Happy memory: Martis pitched a game at Nats Park in September 2009 (I think) which the Nats won and eliminated the Marlins from postseason contention. Ryan Zimmerman had a home run.

Best memory, though: My folks were visiting from outta town, it was the first baseball game they'd been to in over 40 years (for my dad the last one being Yanks-Sox at Fenway when Mickey Mantle was playing), and they thought Nats Park was the equivalent of Disney World. That game was the highlight of their visit to DC.

Best of luck, Shairon.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | January 24, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

If nothing else, the new signings will clear some real dead weight off our 40 man roster. In each of these cases, the player we are adding is better than the one he is replacing.

Posted by: DCPowerGator | January 24, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I would think worst to best would be
Worst Garrett Mock - always hittable at every level and walks too many.

Second Worst Atilano - same problems as Mock.

Third worst Maxwell- Can't hit MLB pitching but is a plus fielder and plus pinch runner, if your manager is into that kind of change.

Posted by: PNatsFan | January 24, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

You know your team is in trouble when Jerry Hairston Jr. replacing someone on the roster is considered an "upgrade."

Hahahahahahahhahahahahhahhaaha. Good luck with all that.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 24, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hmm my guess would be Atilano. No space for him. Just like Martis. He ended up doing worst than Martin ... then again
Martin was better than Mock and Marquis for that matter. If they release Atilano it will likely be an unconditional release like Martin's.

But Mock has exceptional stuff and Rizzo did mention that he would be competing for a spot in the rotation. They'll probably
put him in Syracuse with Barthmaier, Chico, Tatusko, and Milone for starters. I would guess that Arneson would again be the spot starter swing man and Jeff Mandel would go to the bullpen as he did in winter ball.

No mention of Atilano, no space for him. After that Atahualpa Severino. It seems like he has been on the 40-man forever yet never pitched a major league inning? Last year Riggleman wouldn't even use him when they brought him up. HOWEVER, he is left handed.

Ankiel was one of the free agents ESPN listed as among those teams should stay away from. They consider him a poor hitter but perhaps a left handed reliever. JMax at least is a superior fielder. He does provide some value on the bench as a back up to Morgan. That way they figure they can let Corey Brown continue to develop until he is ready to supplant Morgan or move into left field.

We don't which spot Harper will end up in. Its why he will likely start in Potomac. He will likely get work in RF and CF. He will probably get a bit of time in left as well.

Posted by: periculum | January 24, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It'll be a little bit of a shame to get rid of Martis, Martin and Maxwell for nothing. Could have gotten a little something for them a few years ago - maybe.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 24, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I think that Martis might get it together for some club as a reliever. Who knows.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 24, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I'd dump Maxwell. Nice guy, can't hit.

Really don't like Mock, but I'd be willing to see him given a chance to do a Balester - go to the pen and see if you can give the team a good inning every other day.

Severino will survive because he's lefthanded. Plus I want to see him wear his cap over the tops of his ears again (quite possibly a first in the big leagues)...

Posted by: baltova1 | January 24, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Well........This was to be expected since Rizzo saw fit to give everyone but Martis a shot at the starting rotation after Martis was sent packing to Syracuse.This will not be a move that will come back to haunt the Nats(i wish it would)i personally thought Rizzo had it in for Martis while everyone looked like krap in the starting rotation Martis couldn't even get a return cup of coffee to the majors. The real truth to me is that Rizzo made it personal with Martis and that pissed me off.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 24, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

dargreg - -why would it be personal betweeen Rizzo and Martis? Sorry if I am missing something obvious here.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 24, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Martis was about as bad at the AAA level as he was in the majors.

Posted by: RireGrist | January 24, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

>>This will not be a move that will come back to haunt the Nats(i wish it would)i personally thought Rizzo had it in for Martis while everyone looked like krap in the starting rotation Martis couldn't even get a return cup of coffee to the majors. The real truth to me is that Rizzo made it personal with Martis and that pissed me off.

Posted by: dargregmag

Dude, Pants is pitiful enough, you don't have to pull out the race card. He's way worse than that. He's more like a space card. Although, Martis did drop to the back of the line permanently after he cooled off with that 6-something ERA. Must have lost his fastball completely because that one game where he threw that complete game shutout - which btw is probably one of the top-five efforts I've seen from a Nats pitcher in the last 4-5 years. He basically sucks like the rest of the those clowns that can't get the ball up there at 90 mph or even close. Good luck to him, but you can't be afraid to throw strikes, and I think that was his main problem.

Posted by: Brue | January 24, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Two roster spots left to clear for Gorzelanny & Coffey; Lowest rung players = Mock, Maxwell, Atilano, Severino.

My best guess would be Mock & Severino - Mock is 28 this year, and has shown little beyond being a decent AAA pitcher in six years of professional baseball. Severino is a slightly built (5'9", 170lb), 'sneaky-fast' LH reliever who could become a LH specialist at the MLB level.

Maxwell, we already have some knowledge of (good glove, decent speed & range, can't hit for average at the top level). With Atilano, we saw him for a while last year, and much like Martis in 2009, he started well, but apparently got 'solved' after his 1st time through the division.

While I believe that Gorzelanny can make a positive contribution to the Nationals, I'm concerned about the addition of Coffey to the roster; His historic numbers aren't that good, imo. He averages less than an inning per appearance, his K-W ratio isn't overwhelming, and has mostly been deployed in what looks like (to me, at least) low-pressure 6th-7th inning situations in the past. Needless to say, I'm not sold on this signing; It feels like Bruney, redux.

Posted by: BinM | January 24, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

>>While I believe that Gorzelanny can make a positive contribution to the Nationals, I'm concerned about the addition of Coffey to the roster; His historic numbers aren't that good, imo. He averages less than an inning per appearance, his K-W ratio isn't overwhelming, and has mostly been deployed in what looks like (to me, at least) low-pressure 6th-7th inning situations in the past. Needless to say, I'm not sold on this signing; It feels like Bruney, redux.

Posted by: BinM

Coffey's got a screw loose too unfortunately. He's in the million dollar arm ten cent head club, which gets wider every day. You are right that you'll only get so much out of him, especially innings per/appearance ratio. If Bowden had done it, they would have called it a Jimbo move. Exact same mentality - 'makes us stronger because he's a hard throwing nutjob'

Posted by: Brue | January 24, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Brue: You hit what I think is the big point w/Martis. When he started the '09 season, he went after hitters & challenged them by moving inside-outside with pitches - About mid-May, hitters started to develop a 'book' on him, laying off the breaking stuff & waited for the 91-92mph fastball.

His adjustment was to try painting the outside corner, and the umps aren't going to give that to a rookie. End result = option to SYR. When he muddled along in SYR in 2010, then got mashed in winter ball, I think Rizzo had seen enough. He's pulled the plug on a few players like that (Hinckley, Schell, Bruney, Cabrera) in his tenure.

Posted by: BinM | January 24, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"He basically sucks like the rest of the those clowns that can't get the ball up there at 90 mph or even close. Good luck to him, but you can't be afraid to throw strikes, and I think that was his main problem."

@Brue,

Nice unintentional, off-handed compliment to "Pants" Rizzo. He doesn't like starters who can't hit 90 consistently. That's for darned sure!!! Exactly why he will keep Mock. Not sure about Severino but my understanding is that the guy can throw mid-90's and is left-handed. However, another thing Rizzo appears to like? He appears to want guys on the fringe or just on the edge of the majors to play winter ball. And if you don't? (See Dukes, Elijah).

Severino did not pitch winter ball. However, Elvin Ramirez and Henry Rodriguez did. As did Hassan Pena. As Arneson, Mandel, Spradlin (a lefty), Van Allen, Wilkie. As did Maya a starter.

Elvin Ramirez, Henry Rodriguez, and Hassan Pena appeared to do the best of the relievers while Maya was the best starter in his league.

I think this, along with spring training will factor into comes north when the Nats return for the March 31 opener.

It also may factor into who will be released from the 40-man. Mock is returning from surgery ... and has the great stuff. None of the guys returning from injuries pitched winter ball.

My guess? Atilano and Severino or Maxwell go next.

Posted by: periculum | January 24, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Can Coffey beat out Elvin Ramirez and Henry Rodriguez? I wonder? And a flame thrower like Balester? I wonder? He may not.

Lots and lots of relievers with great stuff variable skill levels with control. Plus one reliever who looks an awful lot like a 5 pitch (with excellent command) starter of the top-of-the-rotation variety?

Hmmm, what to do with Drew Storen. I still wonder if they might not see if the guy is up to the challenge in spring training. I think I'd love to see Storen tried before Grienke ... he has the right mentality to be a stopper. If JZimm, Gorzelanny do in April what they've done in April's of the recent past. And Storen can slide into #3. Maya makes an interesting #4 possibility. Then Lannan? I wonder ...

Posted by: periculum | January 24, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

BRUE!!!! Did i pull out the race card? when in my post did i ever mention race? I said Rizzo made it personal i.e. Martis poor starts after he won five straight and Rizzo banishing him to Syracuse after his blowup against the O's. I am black and i don't hesitate to call anyone one out when i detect race as a factor, but i thought Rizzo could have given the kid another shot, say like last season when every tom,dick and harry had a shot but Martis. I thought Elijah Dukes was treated unfairly by this franchise last spring now some will say well no else picked him up, but who knows what was discussed among the gm's in this league as far as Dukes attitude and his approach to the game? The puzzling thing to me was that the reason for his dismissal was never explained to the fan base it was like you know his history so......................... I am a serious fan of this game i'm not a seam head but i will pit my knowledge of the game against anyone who post on this blog and i don't need to pull the race card in defending a player black or white!

Posted by: dargregmag | January 24, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo is loading up on middle inning relievers to "compliment" our 60 pitch starting rotation. Adding Coffey is an admission that Riggo will likely go to the pen early and often. Question is, are there enough seats to accommodate all the extra butts? Gonna be nice and roomy in the dugout, lol.

Posted by: howjensen | January 24, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

If Mock gets DFA'd on the heels of Chico getting the same, aren't they the two guys the Nats got when Livo was traded to the DBacks? At least the Nats got a season out of Chico, and Livo came back, so I guess it all worked out to some extent.

Posted by: nats24 | January 24, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Probably should hold the negativity until Rizzo works out the next trade that all know really must come. Fausto Carmona and Grady Sizemore keep getting bandied about ... now by MASN announcer Phil Wood adding to the Nats rumor mill.

Where's AK and Goessling on that? And Zuckerman ... and the rest of of the Nats bloggah's like Mike Harris the guy who first let the cat out of the bag for the Werth deal?

IN any case Rizzo and FO, after getting spurned and burned by multiple free agents, are hungry for a .500 and above club. This year. Not 2012. Be interesting to see how he ends up building that roster.

Posted by: periculum | January 24, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

"I am a serious fan of this game i'm not a seam head but i will pit my knowledge of the game against anyone who post on this blog and i don't need to pull the race card in defending a player black or white!"

Still, its interesting to note that the Nats starting infield will be entirely white ... the outfield as well except for Morgan. And Corey Brown and eventually Harper could change that? Pudge and Wilson Ramos/Jesus Flores the only real hispanics.

The bullpen and bench are different ... and starting pitching does have Livo there to act as International Rescue.

Oh, yeah ... the point I'm making? Is NOT that the Nats are 'racist' instead that the quote unquote "corporate culture" of the team may be less african american compatible as a result? African American players might not be able to find enough of a comfort zone that would lend itself to optimal performance? Given Riggleman and his coaches? Makes me wonder now.

Posted by: periculum | January 25, 2011 12:01 AM | Report abuse

That's really interesting, periculum. Worth thinking about.

Posted by: skidge | January 25, 2011 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Man, things are really sour here in Natinals town (but who can blame them given the state of the team), what with fans having verbal internet fights with other fans, people pulling out the race card, delirious fans thinking Jerry Hairston is the franchise savior.

Oh my, what a day.

Good thing O's fans are above that kind of nonsense.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 25, 2011 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Jerry Hairston is a serviceable sub who may be called upon if Espinoza doesn't pan out. If memory serves, he gave the Orioles several reliable seasons at second base.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 25, 2011 4:59 AM | Report abuse

Before you delve into the racial makeup of the team, maybe you consider a few basic facts: African-Americans comprised about 9 percent of the rosters in MLB last year. That works out to about two guys per 25 man roster. If Morgan and Hairston make the team, that would give the Nats two African-Americans.

Latinos make up about 27 percent of the rosters. The Nats will probably have around 5-6 Latinos on the team (Livo, Pudge, Ramos, Bernadina, maybe Gonzo, maybe Maya).

IOW, they're in line with the major league average.

BTW, is Desmond of mixed race?

Posted by: baltova1 | January 25, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-well!!!!....I guess that seeing dargreg posting (hey now!) has begun to stir me from hibernation! Been reading all along.....but it's been too dang cold a winter (for my tastes) to make any comments. Mebbe the dismal play during the Nats years here in DC cooled my ardor as well. But I AM encouraged that we appear to finally be reaching MLB status. And unlike Brue (you still have some great insights-keep banging away!)- I think Rizzo is starting to get some momentum going.
And now, as always- my insanely optimistic
prediction: 87+ wins...a real run at playoff contention....heck, maybe even 90!
Now-of course this provides me with cover when I nihilistic-ally BLAST the team at some point in the season for ineptitude, right?
Any hoo......19 days! 19 days! 19 days!
Go Gang and
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | January 25, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Zendo!!!! Dude good to see your post not sure i agree with your prediction(87-90)but i hope you're right yeah 19 days should be fun this year hopefully we'll make some strides and the starting pitching will come around.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 25, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Happy to see some optimists posting here... team isn't perfect, but it is a lot more fun, especially this time of year, to be positive about your prospects in regards to the team you love.

There really have been improvements here... significant ones... I looked at a boxscore from about September 2008, and the middle infield was Alberto Gonzalez and Anderson Hernandez, the 1st baseman was Aaron Boone, and the OF from left to right was Willie Harris, Lastings Milledge and Elijiah Dukes...

I would say Espinosa/Desmond up the middle, Laroche at 1st, and the depth of the 2011 OF is a big improvement over that, at least talent wise... with a much better bullpen, both talent and depth wise...

The killer, of course, is still the rotation... it is clearly not a strength... it isn't going to compete with the Phillies by any means...

But, I can at least dream of a .500 season with putting some real MLB quality competition on the field...

Posted by: Ghost7 | January 25, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

So how does the signing of Jerry Hairston or the fact that Rizzo attempted to sign Derrick Lee fit into the conspiracy theory du jour?

Posted by: ouvan59 | January 25, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, zendo!

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 25, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

ouvan59; It's not about any conspiracy theory, Hariston & Lee are just two players out of how many? look i'm not accusing this franchise of anything but they don't have one black coach and i said this last year concerning Nyjer's drop off in performance that i thought he missed Marquis Grissom. I played baseball all over the DC area and had mostly white coach's but i alway's sought advice from Mr.Levern Allen who was my little league coach and coached my neighborhood 15 and under team. Mr Allen was very well versed in every nuance of the game and i trusted his judgement because he had played at every level(except mlb)it was for me a comfort thing and my dad had played with him. I was very pissed at this franchise for their treatment of Frank Robinson by Stan Kasten who to this very day i can't stomach especially after he went on the John Thompson show and annouced that "i'm am not a racist" after the firing of F.Robby and it wasn't even about that but that statement by Kasten spoke volumes as far as i was concerned about him and at that time the mindset of the franchise. I stated last night that i am a fan of this team and will continue to be, sure i would love to see more black players i think young black kids identify with black ball players but i also want my granchildren to appreciate Ryan Zimmerman,Jesus Flores, Stephen Strasburg, and Nyjer Morgan and to love the game like i did when i was growing up in DC even though the Senators made you want to root for someone else.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 25, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't think dargreg was playing the "race card." I think he just made a point that Martis "couldn't even get a return cup of coffee to the majors."

Dargreg has brought up a few situations in the past like, Frank Robinson's firing and the Elijah Dukes release that troubled him for reasons he stated at the time. I for one wonder about those situations myself, particularly the Robinson firing. The was handled very poorly.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 25, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

As always, I appreciate dargregmag's passion even when I don't agree with him but I just don't think he has an argument here. The current makeup of the roster is in line with MLB averages, from all indications their shopping list includes an attempt to bring in a wide range of players, and they've had three managers so far, two of whom were minorities. I think there's nothing here of note.

As for letting F. Robby go, it was time. I grew up an Orioles fan and think, to this day, that in some ways he was the greatest Oriole ever, because they turned them into champions. But I thought the Nats needed a younger manager who would hopefully be part of their growth. Didn't work out that way but I still think it was the right thing to do.

Not surprised that Frank may still be mad; he's a hardcore, competitive guy, even now. Again, I just don't think that's a big sign of any underlying issue.

Posted by: baltova1 | January 25, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

batlova1; When you say the Nat's roster is in line with that of MLB that to me speaks of the word "quota" which makes me think of the 50's'and 60's when a lot of MLB's team's had that unwritten rule of having only so many minorities(black's,latinos). I would hope that we are way past that part of our history.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 25, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, I don't think baltova1 is talking about quotas. I think he's just trying to say there's no significant evidence that the Nats are somehow a racist organization. Nothing that the makeup of the on-field team would support, anyway (don't know what the FO looks like, beyond Rizzo).

As far as players being treated unfairly goes, Michael Morse looks pretty white to me. Best explanation I can think of involves uncontrolled flatulence and terminal halitosis.

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 25, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

...and frankly, any front office that would build its lineup based on skin color might as well announce, "We intend to be a second-division team for the foreseeable future."

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 25, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

>>BRUE!!!! Did i pull out the race card? when in my post did i ever mention race? I said Rizzo made it personal i.e. Martis poor starts after he won five straight and Rizzo banishing him to Syracuse after his blowup against the O's. I am black and i don't hesitate to call anyone one out when i detect race as a factor, but i thought Rizzo could have given the kid another shot, say like last season when every tom,dick and harry had a shot but Martis. I thought Elijah Dukes was treated unfairly by this franchise last spring now some will say well no else picked him up, but who knows what was discussed among the gm's in this league as far as Dukes attitude and his approach to the game? The puzzling thing to me was that the reason for his dismissal was never explained to the fan base it was like you know his history so
Posted by: dargregmag

Lol I know man. You might be slightly sensitive in that direction?? Anyway, the Dukes thing pissed me off equally - I thought it was a case of profiling at its finest. You know - 'big, black and scary, and it's only a matter of time before he goes off, etc.' He just disappeared, and the thing that got me was that they never had anyone to step in and replace him. The whole thing wreaked, imo.

Posted by: Brue | January 25, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

'I don't think dargreg was playing the "race card." I think he just made a point that Martis "couldn't even get a return cup of coffee to the majors."'

Are these moves any worse than the way Adam Dunn was treated? Or Matt Chico? By singling out the questionable moves against minority players it is completely playing the race card. And are we really questioning the release of Elijah Dukes? Really?

Posted by: ouvan59 | January 25, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Lol I know man. You might be slightly sensitive in that direction?? Anyway, the Dukes thing pissed me off equally - I thought it was a case of profiling at its finest. You know - 'big, black and scary, and it's only a matter of time before he goes off, etc.'"

-----------------------------------------
Yeah, he was released because he was big, black and scary...doh.

Nevermind his storied history of assault, abuse, drugs, anger management issues et al. He stunk. Have you ever seen anybody swing at more first pitch sliders in the dirt after the pitcher has walked the previous two batters? Do you think that just because the Nats didn't announce a reason for his release that it was racism? He was released for the same reason that Wily Mo Pena isn't a Nat. He stunk. We are finally recovering from the Jim Bowden "big potential", horrible fielding, big strikout guys and you are really questioning why he was released.

But "profiling"? Please!

Posted by: ouvan59 | January 25, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

>>He stunk. Have you ever seen anybody swing at more first pitch sliders in the dirt after the pitcher has walked the previous two batters?

Posted by: ouvan59

Yes, I have - Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, Nyjer Morgan, Jerry Hairston, Matt Stairs. Shall I go on?

Posted by: Brue | January 26, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the reason it's profiling is that he couldn't get a job with another team, not even a minor league contract. That never happens when a guy gets cut from a major league roster in his prime. The rest of your examples all got jobs somewhere.

Posted by: Brue | January 26, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company