Tag Archives: Cristian Guzmán

Recipient of two large contracts from Jim Bowden. Not a great shortstop and slap hitter with no patience. Actually made the All-Star team one year as the token Washington Nationals player. He killed the 2005 season, hitting under .200 until September.

Nats all-time stats will blow your mind (not in a good way for the most part)

The Nats’ (updated) all-time stat leadersNats Insider
Going all the way back to 2005, Mark Zuckerman compiled the Washington Nationals all-time statistical leaders. He provided this warning:

WARNING: Reading these lists will elicit a wide range of emotions, from smiles to frowns to laughter to tears to sheer dumbfoundedness (and yes, I know that’s not a real word, but trust me, it will apply to a few of these names)…

To qualify, a player needed at least a full season with the team.

  • Perennially injured Nick Johnson has the third most games
  • Michael Morse is already 3rd on the home run list
  • Ryan Zimmerman has 283 more RBI than the next closest Nat — Johnson
  • Zimmerman has 366 more hits than the next closest — Cristian Guzmán
  • Dmitri Young is the only player with a batting average over .300. Morse is in second place with .295.
  • Reliever Tyler Clippard has the 3rd most wins with 19
  • Livan Hernandez and John Lannan are the only pitchers with more than 100 starts with 129 and 128, respectively
  • Nyjer Morgan is the leader in stolen bases.
  • Errors committed was not included
  • Neither were managerial wins/winning percentage

The Nats really have been as awful as people said. Thanks to Zuckerman for compiling this it had to have been depressing.

I’d love to see the all-time D.C. stats with both incarnations of the Senators included as well.

UPDATE: Here they are from the blog D.C. Baseball History – D.C. Baseball Yesterday and Today Hitting | Pitching. Not a lot of modern Nats on those lists yet. Chad Cordero is the all-time saves leader though. It is safe to say most of the pitching records will never be broken.

Pitchers and catchers report one month from today.

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Nats: I am so glad Cristian Guzman was traded

Curly W in sand
Going down the Shore the day of the trade deadline is curious timing for someone who blogs about the Washington Nationals as much as I do, but I am not complaining. It is the one week of the year that I am never online. In fact, the television at the house we rented in Avalon was not turned on once. So, the only way I kept up with the Nats was through newspapers, including The Inky, paper of record for that weekend’s opponent, the Philadelphia Phillies. I was not getting scores until two mornings after a game happened. Among other things I noticed — the Nats are best last place team in the majors. Um, yay?

I am pleased the Nats took 2 or 3 from the Phillies. The season series now stands at 4-5 — the Nats would have been leading if they had pulled out that extra inning win last Sunday. At least John Lannan faced the Fleas without getting shelled. As for the Inky, the dead tree version does a great job covering the home team — 2 stories above the fold daily, plus another story inside and maybe a column. The Post could learn a thing or three about baseball coverage from The Inky.

By the way, how did that Phillies invasion go? I guess a win for the home team must have helped matters.

Getting back to the original subject the one thing I wanted to blog about more than anything else was the departure of infielder Guzman. More than every other player, Guzman is a microcosm of what is wrong with the franchise. He signed for 4 years, $16 million before the 2005 season which was a catastrophe — Mendoza line hitting, some terrible fielding and playing hurt. Guzman had an undiagnosed shoulder injury that cost him the 2006 season. He came back in 2007 and to his credit, used his corrected vision and repaired shoulder to hit for a decent average before getting hurt. In 2008, he was the team’s token All-Star. That seemed to help Guzman get a second contract from then Jim Bowden for $16 million, but over 2 years instead of 4. Ugh. I am half-convinced that even as his batting average went over .300 for most of the last 3 seasons, his on-base percentage was actually lower.

Maybe I’m just picking on him because his play in 2005 cost the Nats a winning record, if not a playoff spot, but I just did not like having the guy around. Had you told me that Guzman would be the longest lasting everyday player from Opening Day 2005, I would not have believed you. Now, when you think about it, that kind of says everything about the state of the franchise doesn’t it? Oh well, at least they brought back Livan Hernandez so that the likely last original National will be someone likable.

Also, I am glad to see that Adam Dunn is still in a Washington uniform. I would be more encouraged if he had signed an extension, but for all I know, it has yet to be offered. If the team is as close as Stan Kasten says it is, they need him in the lineup for a few more years. Oh and apparently, he’s been homering an average of every other game since I have been gone.

One bright side of being off-line last week — the Nats were out West and I would not be watching those games anyway. They split the series 4-game at the Arizona Diamondbacks. I’ll admit that I will be listening to Vin Scully for a few innings today — I love Charlie & Dave, but Scully is the master and the Nats only get him when they visit the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Nats lose to Astros again: Guzman,taketh, giveth, but mostly giveth

Well that was an ugly series for the Washington Nationals. 3 loses in a row to the lowly Houston Astros. Two blown saves, though they can’t be completely put on closer Matt Capps. Take yesterday for example. The Nats came back in the top of the 9th with Willie Harris tripling to knock Michael Morse, who had just singled, in for the tying run. Cristian Guzmán knocked in Harris to take the lead. Both runs came with 2 outs. The Nats were up 4-3.

In the bottom of the inning, Capps got the first out, gave up a double to Michael Bourne, then got a groundout. Lance Berkman hit one to right field, where Guzmán had been moved after committing 2 errors at shortstop. This despite the fact the Guzmán had only started playing the outfield this season and it was a one-run game in the ninth inning. Morse was available, but manager Jim Riggleman rationalized that Guzmán had more experience this year, so the switch was not made. Well, the Berkman liner got lost in the lights and Guzmán missed it. Bourne scored to tie the game. This lose is as much on Riggleman as it is Guzmán.

The next pitch landed in the left field seats 366 feet away from home plate. Carlos Lee earned two RBI for his walk off home run.

The 3-7 road trip is mercifully over. The defense has been a disaster (Nationals Journal, The Post).

NOTES

The Nats want Nationals Park to host the D.C. Winter Classic in a few years.

Let Teddy Win
points out that a Mike Holden blog post suggesting Teddy win tonight. The idea has merit.

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Nats: When it comes down to it, I’m still mad about Guzman’s mudball

Cristian Guzman is in the last year of his second bloated contract with the Washington Nationals. He’s barely been a part of spring training and he probably doesn’t have the arm to play shortstop everyday if at all. In the wings behind him is the “original Nationals prospect” Ian Desmond. We know what Guzman can do — turn a lot of ground balls into singles (at the plate and in the field!) and never walk; I want to see what Desmond can do. Apparently, Guzman is going to play a lot, whatever that means.

Guzman’s dreadful 2005 campaign may have cost the Nats a playoff spot. It certainly cost them a winning record (see the mudball game) and when it comes down to it, the Nats would have probably won more games with Jamey Carroll playing shortstop every day that year. The sooner we don’t have to watch Guzman, the sooner we can put the Jim Bowden era behind us.

In other news, Adam Dunn is not as far along as he hoped to be as a first baseman (The Post). I really want him to get the hang of it, because I think Mike Rizzo is going to extend Dunn. I like Dunn at the plate and his attitude is good, but really the guy is playing in the wrong league.

Miguel Batista (Nationals Journal, The Post) as the long man out of the bullpen, ugh.

Jon Heyman previews the NatsSports Illustrated

I guess bloggers won’t get season press passes, BBWA to blame?

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Nats don’t need a captain Zimmerman; Guzman though?

@washingnats, aka nationals.com beat writer Bill Ladson, asked if the Washington Nationals should name Ryan Zimmerman captain of the team. While Zimmerman seems to be doing quite well as a quiet team leader on and off the field, I don’t feel its necessary to make anything official. @dcsportsbog tweeted this by the way:

Yikes, all of those players are not playing in D.C. anymore. Let’s definitely not name Zimmerman captain. Actually, I think the Nats would do well to formalize Cristian Guzman‘s leadership role, don’t you?

Captaincy seems to be working out ok for one fellow and his team though.

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Nats: Surgery for Guzman, Norris

Surgery for Guzman, Norris – Chatter, The Wash. Times
Guzman to undergo shoulder surgerynationals.com
SS Cristian Guzman is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder today. He missed the 2006 season with a torn labrum in the shoulder.

Say hello to second base in 2010 Guzman.

Down on the farm, so to speak, catching prospect Derek Norris broke the hamate bone in his left hand. Norris was going to be Stephen Strasburg‘s personal catcher in the Arizona Fall League.

Ian Desmond had a broken hamate earlier this season and I think Ryan Zimmerman did in the 2007-2008 offseason.

I don’t think this news got much if any real estate in today’s D.C. print editions.

Also, I’m pleased the Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins on two fronts; I have Yankees DNA and the Twins abanndoned Washington nearly fifty years ago.

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Nats lose; Zimmerman contract talks heat up; Guzman to DL

Pleasant Shifts, But Another LossThe Post
Mistakes continue to haunt NationalsThe Wash. Times
John Lannan had his first quality start of the season last night, but the bullpen faltered and the Nats lost 3-2 to the Marlins in the 10 innings. Manny Acta got ejected too.

Zimmerman, Nats Appear Close to DealThe Post
Zimmerman out of contract talks loopThe Wash. Times
Remember when 3B Ryan Zimmerman said he would not negotiate a contract during the season? Reports are that a 5 year, $45 million contract is close to being finalized. Zimmerman denies being involved at this point.

Guzman Placed On 15-Day DL – Nationals Journal, The Post
SS Cristian Guzman becomes the first National of 2009 to go from day-to-day to the 15 day DL. He strained his hamstring in the ninth inning of the home opener.

Washington Natinals – Nationals Journal, The Post
Thru 3: Two 0s, missing two Os – Chatter, The Wash. Times
Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman’s jerseys spelled NATINALS for several innings. Oops.

Today is going to be a beautiful day — wish I had not had to turn down tickets to the 1:35 game this afternoon, but we couldn’t get a babysitter. We’ll still get lots of time outside though.

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Guzmania; Dukes sweep Dodgers

SS Cristian Guzman made Jim Bowden look less stupid last night by hitting for the cycle. The last Nat to do that — Brad Wilkerson in game 2 of the 2005 season. Those were the days, no?

Also, Elijah Dukes, fresh off his third trip to the DL, hit two home runs last night. I really hope he behaves himself on the field, in the clubhouse and when he is away from the team because he is the most electrifying player we’ve had since Alfonso Soriano. Oh Dukes needs to stay healthy too.

The Nats swept the Dodgers (by the way, the script Los Angeles looks pretty good on their road grays) and have won 5 of 7.

Guzmán’s Cycle Caps Nats’ SweepThe Post
Nats tee off to finish sweepThe Wash. Times

Elbow Pain Ends Hill’s SeasonThe Post
In case you don’t remember who Shawn Hill is don’t bother, he’s not coming back this season/ever.

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Why does Jim Bowden think Cristian Guzman is worth $8 million a year?

It turns out that being the token All-Star for the Nationals is the way to GM Jim Bowden‘s heart. Last year’s All-Star, DH Dmitri Young*, cashed in for $5 million a year, despite being a overweight diabetic. Young is now on the DL because his blood sugar is out of control. Hopefully he can get that straightened out because that is scary stuff. It kind of proves that spending $5 million on him was perhaps an uneccesary risk.

This year, Cristian Guzman, yes that much-maligned Cristian Guzman, was rewarded by Bowden with a 2 year, $16 million contract. Seriously. This two the player that was regarded as a major bust for several seasons at $4 million.

Now, I am no sabrmetician (or whatever a stats lover is called), but a quick look at his baseball-reference.com page last night produced these numbers.


2005 27 WSN NL 142 456 39 100 19 6 4 31 7 4 25 76 .219 .260 .314
2007 29 WSN NL 46 174 31 57 6 6 2 14 2 0 15 21 .328 .380 .466
2008 30 WSN NL 96 416 56 129 26 3 5 34 3 3 16 36 .310 .339 .423

It is just a coincidence that the most recent pull from baseballreference broke down so neatly. Guzman played 142 mostly awful games in 2005. Since then, he has played exactly 142 more games over parts of the last two seasons. A bum shoulder kept him out of all of the 2006 season. His bad shoulder is certainly part of the reason for being so awful in 2005, as was the fact that he was um, blind — he got laser vision correction before 2007. That being said, his numbers in the last 142 games are pretty good, but the guy still swings at the first pitch he sees after the previous batter walks on four pitches an awful lot. He is not much of a fielder either, so I got to wonder what Bowden is thinking? Is the market for shortstops really $8 million a year? I cannot help but think that this is an incredibly irresponsible decision. How can this work with THE PLAN of developing within and spending money on free agents when the team comes closer to contention? It just does not make any sense to me. How could Stan Kasten, architect of THE PLAN sign of on this one? Since nothing happens without his stamp of approval, I don’t think we will get our wish.

Sigh.

Nationals Deal Rauch, And Re-Sign GuzmánThe Post

Guzmán, the team’s lone all-star this season, had wanted a three- or four-year deal, he said, but was receptive to something shorter in large part because of sympathy. His first three years with the Nationals had been wasted by injuries and underperformance. Said Guzmán, “They had to pay for a player who was not on the field every day.”

Guzmán was “sensitive to what we went through with his last contract, the four years where he was hurting for the most of it,” Bowden said. “He gave back to the club by signing a two-year deal and he knows on the free agent market he gets the four years.”

Asked about the length of Guzmán’s contract, Bowden said: “We preferred two. We went through four years of injuries with Cristian. We didn’t want to have another contract and all of a sudden we have injuries again.”

Nothing like doubling someone’s salary to make them sympathetic. Methinks Bowden just got grifted. You have overpaid Cristian Guzman twice Jimbo!

Oh and on the Jon Rauch for Emilio Bonifacio trade, I am not too impressed yet, but I am willing to view it with an open mind. I think Distinguished Senators has addressed it the best:

We got some papally-named infielder I ain’t never heard of in return. Is this good? Well, here’s how I look at it: Jim Bowden seems committed to spending his time exploring, like a tracksuited Magellan whizzing around on a Segway, novel forms of bad behavior. Every minute he dedicated to exiling Giant Jon to the desert was a minute he wasn’t stealing money from Dominican teenagers, so whatever the outcome from a practical point of view, morally the trade’s a winner.

I will miss the big guy though, it was entertaining having the tallest player in the majors ever on the roster, even more so than having the only two Marlons at one time. In fact, much more so, Rauch was solid out of the bullpen.

Guzman agrees to two-year extensionnationals.com

Oh and the Nats lost in San Francisco last night.

*This is problematic as the Nats play in the NL where there is no DH.

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