Lots of Washington Nationals news and comment as we slowly move closer to pitchers and catchers reporting. I wore a Nats cap today to work for the first time in a long while.
First off, Wilson Ramos kidnapping in Venezuela is detailed in this week’s Sports Illustrated.
Breaking this morning was the Nats plan to have a DC/VA/MD only presale for the first Phillies series. Too little too late, but at least they are trying, I guess. I doubt I’ll even make it to a game in that series.
The Nats farm system was rated #1 by Baseball America, a complete reversal in 5 years. Nats Enquirer puts it in the best perspective, but that’s not unusual. One thing though, if it is the best farm system, why hasn’t it produced a leadoff hitter or a centerfielder?
That #1 ranking was before the trade for Gio Gonzalez that sent three pitchers — A.J. Cole, Tom Milone and Brad Peacock along with catcher Derek Norris to the Oakland Athletics. No worries though, you build up a farm system for inventory as well. Yay for The Plan. Or Phase II. Good job by Mike Rizzo in getting to this point, it certainly is his strong suit. It helps that he had Jim Bowden precede him as general manager to build all the awful teams that meant high draft picks.
One of the few early alumni of the Nats minor leagues, John Lannan just lost arbitration and will have to settle for $5 million instead of $5.7 million. Had Edwin Jackson not been signed, he’d have been the highest paid starter in the D.C. rotation. Lannan is almost certainly on the trade block though. I’ll admit to being sentimental about Lannan, he was pitching out of position in the #1 spot for so many years when the Nats were dreadful and holding his own (except against the Philadelphia Phillies). Lannan has also increased velocity over the years and finally broke the 10 win barrier in 2011. He has the second most wins on the Nats staff since 2005.
Back to Jackson, he’s a good pick up with a one-year deal. Plus, Rizzo has had a thing for him, like Jim Bowden did with Wily Mo Pena. Rizzo’s infatuation is much more defensible. Jackson is looking for a big season to hit free agency with next year in full force and the Nats get another pitcher who strikes people out. This is interesting:
Over the past three seasons, the league has hit for a .283 batting average, .344 on-base percentage and .438 slugging percentage with no runners on base against Jackson, when he is pitching with a windup. The league has hit .246/.308/.385 with men on, when he’s pitching from the stretch.
They are going to work on that.
The pitcher with the most Washington wins in the 21st century has moved on. ¡LIVAN! singed a minor league deal with the Houston Astros. I got over my sentimentality for him sometime between his last appearance and the end of the season because at the end of the day, you can’t rely on charitable umpires forever. Good memories though, I like what Natsradamus had to say.
When are we going to get a nice printable schedule for our office cubes? The Yankees already have theirs out.
I’m thinking about keeping score this season. I know Bob Carpenter isn’t everybody’s favorite, but how is his scorebook?