Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nats add Karns, Davis to 40-man

The Nationals purchased the contracts of Nathan Karns and Erik Davis tonight, adding both right-handers to their 40-man roster and protecting them from being selected in next month's Rule 5 draft.

All major-league clubs were required to finalize their 40-man rosters before midnight, with any eligible players who were not added to the roster now available to other clubs via the Rule 5 draft.

Among those left unprotected by the Nationals were left-hander Danny Rosenbaum, second baseman Jeff Kobernus and outfielder Destin Hood.

The Nationals were more worried about Karns and Davis being plucked away in the draft, which requires the player's new club to keep him on the big-league roster for a full season or else offer him back to his former organization.

Karns, who turns 25 on Sunday, earned organizational pitcher of the year honors after going a combined 11-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 24 games with low-Class A Hagerstown and high-Class A Potomac. A 12th-round pick in the 2009 draft out of Texas Tech, the husky right-hander battled a shoulder injury early in his professional career but put himself back on the radar screen with his breakthrough 2012.

Davis, 26, was less well-known in the organization. Acquired from the Padres for infielder Alberto Gonzalez in March 2011, the reliever went 8-3 with a 2.71 ERA in 48 appearances between Class AA Harrisburg and Class AAA Syracuse. Perhaps more significant, he currently sports an 0.56 ERA in 14 games with Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League, a dominant performance that left the Nationals worried he'd be vulnerable via the Rule 5 draft.

Tonight's moves leave the Nationals with 38 players on their 40-man roster. They need to keep spots open in order to acquire players via free agency or trades.

134 comments:

Michael S said...

So what happens to Lannen

Michael S said...

So what happens to Lannen

pdowdy83 said...

This scenario didn't have anything to do with Lannan's situation. His is related to the non-tender deadline which is approaching soon.

phil dunton said...

Tonights deadline does relate to Lannan, in that Rizzo could have deemed him not worth protecting by dropping him from the 40 man roster, yet he chose to keep him. Same goes for Flores.

Steady Eddie said...

Hard to believe some mediocre team wouldn't take a risk-free flyer on Rosenbaum. Try him as a 5th starter, if that doesn't work, send him to the bullpen, if that doesn't work send him back to Harrisburg, and you're only out $50k. Where's the downside?

NatsLady said...

Eddie, agree it is hard to understand not protecting Rosenbaum. Makes me think he is possibly injured.

NatsLady said...

As regards Lannan, having no deal signed for a 5th starter, Rizzo's being careful with Lannan's status. I'm not sure why he's being so careful with Flo, given that you have Suzuki and Ramos at the ML level with Leon and Solano basically ready as backup catchers.

NatsLady said...

Look at this picture of Davis. He's got Clippard goggles. Explains everything! :)

Erik Davis

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121120&content_id=40387168&vkey=news_was&c_id=was

rogieshan said...

There's ten days before the tender deadline for Rizzo to make a decision. It makes perfect sense to hold on to Flores to see if a trade could be made to get something in return rather than to designate him now where he would surely be picked up. I'm actually surprised he hasn't been moved yet, given what Flores can offer: a fairly solid catcher with power, experience, and a manageable salary.

Unknown said...

I think Rosenbaum's second half of the 2012 season led to him being left off the 40-man roster.

From 2009-2011, his highest ERA was 2.52, and half way through 2012, his ERA was hovering around 2.20. But he suddenly became hittable and I mean very, finishing the season with a 3.94 ERA.

He reminds me a lot of Tommy Milone, tremendous control and a so-so fastball. Kind of a John Lannan type.

I don't think another team will take a chance on him.

Farid @ Idaho

MicheleS said...

This is a really excellent article on ESPN. Amanda posted the link on twitter:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2878650

NatsJack in Florida said...

Notice the guys not put on the 40 man are all guys who have had 5 years in the developement program and the two placed are guys that have alot less exposure to the Nats system. Karns missed alot with his TJ and Davis was a 2011 pick up.

The guys not placed all have been slow to develope or in the case of Rosenbaum, hit their ceiling.

Rosenbaum will probably get a look from someone in Spring Training so expect him to go in the Rule 5.

MicheleS said...

The article I posted is about Davis and when he got hit in the face.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sorry. I meant to say "perceived" ceiling when describing Rosenbaum.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I believe Storen is also from Stanford. any connection between him and davis?

Rosenbaum's game log: http://bit.ly/RTv5RH

I guess injury could possibly be one reason. anyways, looking at davis' game logs. he faces at least four hitters in every appearance of one inning. I wonder why they moved him to 40 man roster.

fast eddie said...

I don't follow the Nats minor league prospects, mainly due to the collective wisdom of my imaginary friends here.
I barely heard Karns' name here, and never heard of Davis. Can I conclude these were surprise additions to the 40-man?

Faraz Shaikh said...

What happened to my comment @ 7:45 AM?

Faraz Shaikh said...

fast eddie, everyone was expecting karns and rosenbaum to be added. davis was the surprised one.

NatsJack in Florida said...

fast eddie..... not really. Their ages and initial projections at time of draft coupled with their performance makes them valuable commodities. Certainly more so than those left off the 40 man.

Rosenbaum and Konerbus were the other two potential candidates and both may go in the Rule 5.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I could certainly see the Twins taking a flier on Rosenbaum.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I wonder if Porter will take someone unprotected Nats.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Twins were my thought re Rosenbaum, also. For a team interested in Rosenbaum, the downside -- if $50,000 can be called a downside -- is that he is a starter and might be worthless (worth less than $50,000 plus the major league minimum) if he didn't work out as a starter and had to be stashed in the BP for the whole season.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Rosenbaum had a really peculiar season. He was great through his first half-dozen or so starts, then started getting hammered like a nail. Injury is certainly a possibility. But I think exposing him to the draft is a sign that, his stellar 2010-11 nos. notwithstanding, the Nats didn't really think he had much of a ceiling in the first place.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Porter already has a 2B who has been Rule 5-ed twice, so Kobernus isn't on his radar screen. Hood isn't just a guy who ran out of time, he's a guy who never approached his [perceived] potential, should have taken the football scholarship at Alabama (or wherever). Maybe there's still time.

pdowdy83 said...

Theo, I think Hood still has plenty of "time". He is only 22. Another team probably won't take a flyer on him so he is probably going to get another go around in the Nats organization this year. He stalled a bit in low A 3 years ago and then had a pretty solid season the next year in high A. I think he will start out at Harrisburg again and force an eventual promotion mid season to AAA. Next off season will be the telling one for Hood.

Rosenbaum proved to be more hittable and struck out far less hitters this season as he got into a more advanced league. His numbers at AA don't compare that favorably to Milone. In AA Milone struck out a batter per inning and posted a sub 3.00 ERA. I think the Nats don't see him as a true option moving forward with guys like Karns, Meyer and hopefully Solis, Purke and Giolotto. He is organizational filler with a possible loogy future if he stays in the organization.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I still believe Rosenbaum was hurt. Pitchers don't from Ace to bad like that in the same season.

blovy8 said...

Yeah, and the Nats may need a loogy if that were ultimately his fate.

NatsJack in Florida said...

As I said earlier, I've seen Hood from his initial training camp through 4 Fall Instructs and never saw much improvement.

On the othet hand, Eury Perez showed plate improvement every year and his fielding made a major improvement after that day I saw him take those fly balls shot to him for 8 straight innings on an adjacent field after getting yanked out of a game for non-chalant play in the top of the first 3 Falls ago.

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

There's ten days before the tender deadline for Rizzo to make a decision. It makes perfect sense to hold on to Flores to see if a trade could be made to get something in return rather than to designate him now where he would surely be picked up.

The Cubs are selling All-Star/bench warmer Bryan LaHair to Japan. So there's options if you're a little creative.

SCNatsFan said...

With the season Rosenbaum previously had you have to think the team knows something about him to do this. Expect someone to take a look at him but at the rate he got hit the second half of the year no MLB team can stash that for a season. Remember just how awful Broderick was after a good spring.

blovy8 said...

Even if Hood had shown improvement, you're right that there's a few guys ahead of him developmentally for the outfield now, so it's hard to justify saving a spot when you have Brown ready to fill in, and Goodwin and Perez further along. Three homers in 94 games at AA after five years isn't going to cut it for a guy drafted based on power potential.

fast eddie said...

As a regular reader, here are some lessons I have learned from my imaginary friends in recent weeks:
1) The vast majority want to re-sign ALR, but no more than 3 years
2) Sentiment is split on LannEn and there's no agreement on which FA pitcher to sign
3) Eckstein/Davey have lost patience with Espi's hitting approach(according to an "inside source"); expect him to be included in a trade
4) Look for Rizzo to surprise us with a significant trade and/or front-line FA signing

Theophilus T. S. said...

Hood may never make AAA. If the Nats can trick someone into taking him the way they tricked the Cubs into taking Burgess, more power to them.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, Eury was also a star in the Dominican Winter League 2 years ago.

sjm308 said...

Fast Eddie
you certainly nailed me on #1,#2 & #4.

As for Espinosa, I have no inside sources and prefer him to Lombardozzi and I am not sure about how Davey feels but I have learned with this team under Rizzo that anything could happen.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Fast Eddie, nobody wants to go more than 2 on ALR but he isn't staying for less than 3 years.

If ALR isn't re-signed, expect a trade. I still think it will be Justin Upton.

LaHair was just DFA'd. He went from 2012 AllStar to Outcast. He is a platoon type of guy. May be worth scooping up.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Bryan LaHair was DFA'd. If the Nats don't resign ALR, LaHair is a platoon lefty. Can't hit lefties at all but slashed .291/.362/.503/.865 against RH pitching this year. He was also an AllStar this year.


SCNatsFan said...

With how Desi turned his career around to become - dare I say - one of the best shortstops in MLB I don't see the team giving up on Espi just yet assuming everyone sees the potential we all do, mitigated by the 'chicks dig the long ball' approach of Danny.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Fast Eddie, the consensus on ALR is 2 years but go no more than 3 years.

JD said...


Ghost,

LeHair has the hitting numbers to platoon at 1st base but his defense is not good.

JD said...


What does everyone think of the contract Kuroda got from the Yanks? it just goes to show you that if you are willing to do 1 year deals teams are willing to give you the big bucks. I think it's a good deal for both parties because if he has another good year he will get another big contract next year and if he drops off the Yanks aren't on the hook beyond next year.

I bet EJax gets a solid 1 year deal as well and if ALR would compromise on the years he could get a great contract money wise.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

SCNatsfan, they aren't giving up on Espi or Henry but this Spring could create some other scenarios and a Trade is always a possibility. Espi won't be DFA'd as some think is a possibility.

Lombo in the Jamey Carroll role is a starter in waiting plus Rendon could be ready in June.

JD said...


Ghost,

You have to be a moron to think that Espi will be DFA'd.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, I would still grab LaHair and see where the chips fall with ALR.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, are you calling me a moron? If so, re-read what I wrote.

NatsJack in Florida said...

How could anybody in their right mind think Espi could be DFA'd? (Although I DO question the correctness of one or two minds on this site.)

SCNatsFan said...

I agree Espi or Henry could be moved, but for Danny to get moved something significant would have to be returned. I think at the end of spring Henry could be moved for a prospect if bad Henry shows up in Viera; if good Henry shows then Lord knows what to do with him.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And any trade that would include Espinosa would be a blockbuster.

But the patience HAS worn thin on his hitting approach.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, it was a commenter to Ladson discussing Espinosa's future.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ooops... owe you one SCNatsFan.

blovy8 said...

I think his defense and power still makes Espi valuable to anyone, but when you make an impact trade you usually DO have to give up someone good. There's no shame in talking about him as a target for another team as a shortstop where he could have even more value.

That 1-yr deal seems a bit on the high side for Kuroda, but it also give us a bit more information about what it might take to get pitchers above him in the pecking order. There were plenty of rumors about southern California with that guy, for instance.

NatsJack in Florida said...

That's precisely why I only read Ladson's tweets. You could go insane ready that stuff on the Nats website.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I still like the Esprdozzi platooning at 2nd. They become a combined All Star at that position at .285 BA and .345 OBP.

That's a short-term solution as platooning isn't the longterm answer.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Blovy8, precisely. Espi is young and still a shortstop in a trade.

Plenty of teams need him but the return has to be significant.

I still think Justin Upton is the key in any trade with Espi.

JD said...


Ghost,

much too sensitive. I was definitely not calling you a moron. I said that anyone who thinks Espi should be DFA'd is a moron. I haven't see you advocate that action.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ghost...you nailed it..

It wouldn't suprise me if some group not including Rendon or Meyers has been floated in front of the D-Backs in an Upton deal.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, I've been called worse. ;)

JD said...


Ghost,

I agree with you 100% about Espi and Justin Upton. The problem with constructing that trade is that the DBacks also want Rendon, Clippard and Ramos. To me once you bring Rendon into the discussion you have to have Bauer or someone with his potential come back and I really would prefer to hold on to Ramos; good young catchers don't grow on trees.

JD said...


Ghost,

'JD, I've been called worse. ;)'

by better I'm sure.

Faraz Shaikh said...

by the way, has anyone looked at danny's number over the course of last season against LHP? his numbers might have been high BABIP-induced. I am just going by my memory of Danny's at bats.

then again one season's split numbers are not enough to make any conclusions. and didn't danny have opposite numbers the season before? i will check these later on fangraphs but I am not entirely sold on danny as a platoon guy.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, Towers shopped JUpton hard and nobody was rolling over. Rizzo can't do anything until the decision on LaRoche is reached.

Faraz Shaikh said...

'DBacks also want Rendon, Clippard and Ramos.'

JD, I would like to know where you heard that please.

peric said...

How could anybody in their right mind think Espi could be DFA'd? (Although I DO question the correctness of one or two minds on this site.)

I don't why folks can't tell a good athlete from a bad one. And Espinosa is an RG III level athlete.

As for the minds too many think like band wagon fans.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, I think Towers was trying to piece together 2 trades. The DBacks have a SS in Bloomquist for one more year. They definitely need a 3rd baseman, backup catcher, LOOGY, and a 7th inning setup man.

Why not shoot for the stars. So far everyone has said NO. Doesn't hurt to ask.

The Nats shouldn't trade Rendon or Ramos as they're part of the young future here. I wouldn't trade Purke either.

peric said...

NatsJack, Towers shopped JUpton hard and nobody was rolling over. Rizzo can't do anything until the decision on LaRoche is reached.

Or Rizzo could make the call and just let him go. NatsGM makes a good case for a positional lineup where the Nats cover all their bases so-to-speak without LaRoche. It allows for the eventual ascendance of Anthony Rendon without pushing him in to early.


peric said...

The Nats shouldn't trade Rendon or Ramos as they're part of the young future here. I wouldn't trade Purke either.

Or Solis.

peric said...

still think Justin Upton is the key in any trade with Espi.

Is he left-handed or a switch hitter? No. They would get more value having the true CF in his brother BJ.

Again, why do the Nats have so many left-handed outfielders? Erik Komatsu? Corey Brown? Brian Goodiwn?

Espy for Jason Heyward NOT Upton.

JD said...


Faraz,

That was a rumor floating around last week during the GM meetings. It may be BS but it does kinda seem to have some semblance of sense.

Ghost,

You never say never on anyone. Nothing happens in a vacuum; it all depends what the overall package looks like.

peric said...

That's precisely why I only read Ladson's tweets. You could go insane ready that stuff on the Nats website.

No, you have to carefully read to grasp Ladson's tone Natsjack. If he gets real excited then you know its one of his hare brained ideas.

if he puts out something from a source with little emotion meaning he doesn't agree ... that's when you listen.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz, before it became public on JUpton being dangled out there, Towers put out the package he needed of young controllables. I put names to the package as Rendon and Espi were the only 2 specifically named and I speculated on the others meeting the criteria. The DBacks already have a #1 catcher. They did the same with the Braves, Rangers and Red Sox. The trade then shifted to 2 infielders and a top prospect pitcher. Again, no takers.

peric said...

But the patience HAS worn thin on his hitting approach.

To some extent sure. He is stubborn. But his work ethic is undeniable as is his attitude. They guy is a make or break every year as Davey put it he may be working too hard.

Compare to your description of Eury Perez (and Hood as I recall) acting lackadaisical because of their superior athleticism compared to most of the other players?

Espinosa wants to be a hall of famer and he is willing to kill himself to get there. And he has the natural talent and athleticism.

I still strongly believe that he is a keeper.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Peric, NATSGM said Swisher as the pickup. I don't like that. Still holding out hope for ALR and not trading prospects.

Also, BJ Upton is a rightie.

Dave said...

A little surprised about Rosenbaum, but then, I didn't pay very close attention to the minors the last half of the season.

In other news, I just talked with a ticket guy at the Nats--getting my post-season charges and credits untangled.

When I asked him about the use of RCR cards for next year's season tickets, he made clear that I (a principal ticket holder for groups with a total of 12 partners) will be distributing tickets electronically someway. He emphasized that we will NOT be handing our red cards back and forth nor printing everybody's tickets out or anything.

He didn't have details on how that whole "Your card is your ticket to the ballpark" thing will work, but he gave me to believe that the Nats totally understand that many season-ticket holders share their tickets with others.

I am greatly relieved. Now to figure out how much my partners owe me for next year.

SCNatsFan said...

But Peric for all the accolades you heap on Espinosa do you think he can be taught to change his approach, or will he listen? Or is he just not smart (never met the guy so not passing judgement here)? Either he isn't taking direction or isn't listening assuming he has the talent.

peric said...

But Peric for all the accolades you heap on Espinosa do you think he can be taught to change his approach, or will he listen? Or is he just not smart (never met the guy so not passing judgement here)? Either he isn't taking direction or isn't listening assuming he has the talent.

Its not like he's doing everything wrong now is it? He did have a better year offensively than 2011 and led the team in doubles with 37.

Looking at Espinosa's splits: He hit .281 with 17 of his 37 doubles on the right side. And he did pretty well in a very small sample size as a right hander against a right-handed pitcher ... he had a .344 OBP which is pretty darned good for the slot he was hitting in for the most part.

So Espinosa is doing some things right.

The problem and the promise are both on the left side. He shows most of his power on the left-side.

I still believe he is adjusting to switch hitting in the majors. Given the athlete, the athleticism, and the attitude he deserves to get the prescribed 1000 at bats in the majors before he is asked to try hitting exclusively from the right-side.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Here is a custom leaderboard I created for all qualified second basemen for years 2011-12:
http://bit.ly/TPU9GN

Just by looking at weighted runs created, one can say Danny is just a league average hitter. Just for sake of comparison, I added up following statistics: 2B, 3B, HR, BB (I am not sure IBB are being included or not), and SB. The guys on top of this list are Zobrist and Kinsler. Espinosa ranks a respectable seventh out of 20. I have not even considered their defense yet. I am pretty sure he beats all of Kinsler, Zobrist, Pedroia, Uggla, Weeks, and Cano. Of course there are problems with his game. Too many Ks is perhaps the only fault I can find with his game. My point is I am not sure I am willing to give him up so Lombo can take over. I agree that this team needs a contact hitter but replacing Danny with Lombo is not the answer.

JamesFan said...

Espi is a more athletic version of Dan Uggla.

UnkyD said...

"JD said...

Ghost,

'JD, I've been called worse. ;)'

by better I'm sure."
-------------
Such nice boys....! ;-)

Faraz Shaikh said...

for some reason, my posts are not going through.

MicheleS said...

JamesFan.. you take that back. Danny at least can field his position and I don't think Danny would ever where a jersey made to fit a 10 year old boy on the field! (at least I hope his teammates would stop him from that)

Anywho, on Espi, he is either going to adjust or he won't. If he shortens his swing, cuts down his strike outs, then we have the best hitting/fielding middle infield combo in the majors for the next 8-10 years. If he doesn't, then Rizzo will find someone that will. And this pains me to say that, since somewhere buried in my closet is the Espi Rookie Jersey (lessoned learned - by the shirsey instead)

Faraz Shaikh said...

another attempt at re-posting

Here is a custom leaderboard I created for all qualified second basemen for years 2011-12:
*http://bit.ly/TPU9GN*

Just by looking at weighted runs created, one can say Danny is just a league average hitter. Just for sake of comparison, I added up following statistics: 2B, 3B, HR, BB (I am not sure IBB are being included or not), and SB. The guys on top of this list are Zobrist and Kinsler. Espinosa ranks a respectable seventh out of 20. I have not even considered their defense yet. I am pretty sure he beats all of Kinsler, Zobrist, Pedroia, Uggla, Weeks, and Cano. Of course there are problems with his game. Too many Ks is perhaps the only fault I can find with his game. My point is I am not sure I am willing to give him up so Lombo can take over. I agree that this team needs a contact hitter but replacing Danny with Lombo is not the answer.

SCNatsFan said...

Without a doub he does a number of things very well. I almost wonder if his arriving at the MLB level so soon hurt him; he might rely on natural ability and instincts more then improving with coaching.

The problem with asking him to go from one side of the plate - which I would love - is learning to hit RHs from the right side at the MLB level could crush a guys spirit; this isn't the place to learn how to hit.

MicheleS said...

Faraz, email mark. you are probably hitting the spam filter for some reason.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Will do michele.

i think it was the external link I was providing I guess.

peric said...

Anywho, on Espi, he is either going to adjust or he won't. If he shortens his swing, cuts down his strike outs, then we have the best hitting/fielding middle infield combo

I don't know how he does it but Davey always, always seems to know how to say it best: I'm not worried ~big huge toothy smile~

peric said...

Espinosa ranks a respectable seventh out of 20. I have not even considered their defense yet. I am pretty sure he beats all of Kinsler, Zobrist, Pedroia, Uggla, Weeks, and Cano.

Unfortunately, you, like so many others miss one intangible attributed that might be the very first thing Rizzo and Johnson look at: Espinosa undoubtedly has the highest ceiling of all the players you listed. In fact only Rendon and Harper might have higher ceilings on the Nats ... might .... Espy's might be higher.

MicheleS said...

Peric, Davey has been working on Espi for over a year. Espi has this year to figure it out (and it better be sooner rather than later) or he will be platooned or traded. Sadly, that's just how things work out.

Dave said...

Michele, would I look like a bruiser if I wore child-sized shirts? Is that all it takes? None of that pesky workout stuff?

Dave said...

This will be Danny's third season fully up in the big leagues. I'd guess that if he can't get it together in the first couple months of the season, we'll say goodbye to him--at least as the regular 2B.

High ceiling is nice, but high ceiling doesn't actually win the games.

MicheleS said...

Dave, I wonder what Uggla would really look like in a shirt that was actually made to fit him.

Feel Wood said...

When I asked him about the use of RCR cards for next year's season tickets, he made clear that I (a principal ticket holder for groups with a total of 12 partners) will be distributing tickets electronically someway. He emphasized that we will NOT be handing our red cards back and forth nor printing everybody's tickets out or anything.

He didn't have details on how that whole "Your card is your ticket to the ballpark" thing will work, but he gave me to believe that the Nats totally understand that many season-ticket holders share their tickets with others.


Well, there's one way for sure it's not going to work, which would be pre-loading plastic smart cards with particular games and making them in effect into mega-tickets. The RCR card will contain only identifying information on its holder, not details of games the holder is entitled to attend. That information will be maintained centrally on the server that the turnstile scanners run on. So there are really only two ways to accomplish the electronic divvying up of a season ticket account:

(1) They issue the standard one RCR card per seat, and after you and your partners divvy up the games among yourselves the guy(s) with the card(s) go into My Nationals Tickets and e-mail the individual tickets to the partners so they can print their own tickets, or

(b) They give you extra cards for all your partners, then you divvy up the games and rely on the partners to only use the cards for the games they're supposed to go to. Of course if someone screws up and shows up for the wrong game, then either they or the person who has that game are going to be pissed off, depending on which one gets to the park first and gets in.

Unless you like being a referee, you won't like option (b). If you only have dial-up internet you won't like option (1).

peric said...

Peric, Davey has been working on Espi for over a year. Espi has this year to figure it out (and it better be sooner rather than later) or he will be platooned or traded.

Davey knows the prescription ... and has learned to be more patient having been bit when he wasn't. Its 1000 at bats ... which as we all know he surpassed this year.

So, this is the year Danny either does it or he is asked to change.

I can't see that Nats platooning him ... ever. But he could end up getting traded if they feel he is being too stubborn about his approach when hitting left-handed which is the majority of the time.

This is actually one reason I was hoping they would find a way to pick up switch hitter extraodinaire Lance Berkmann. He would make the perfect bench player but is probably a better DH for an AL team at this point. He could perhaps mentor Danny if Danny were willing to listen ...

Its a reason why I find the notion of putting Nick Swisher in left-field intriguing. He too could be a potential source for Espinosa's problems at the plate.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Following dave cameron on his weekly chat:

someone - Local radio guy in Detroit just said that Justin Upton is only slightly better than Delmon Young. Just thought I'd pass that on.

Dave Cameron - I'm sure there are things about which that is true. Baseball is not one of those things, of course.
LOL!

JD said...


You can debate the merits of a proposed trade all you want but you can't deny the fact that Justin Upton is a bona fide 5 tool MLB star and there are not many like him around.

In this context I could care less if he hits right, left or one handed.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"Its not like he's doing everything wrong now is it? He did have a better year offensively than 2011 ... "

Espinoza had a better year defensively, but was even worse in 2012 than he was in 2011 with the bat. Fewer homers, even more Ks, fewer walks, etc., etc., etc.

The one adjustment he succeeded in making was to finally lay off the high fast ball. He did that about halfway through the season, and was not completely successful, but he did hold back on a number of occasions, although you could see he was struggling to control his impulse to swing at them, even when he succeeded in holding back.

About midway through the season he managed to level out his swing from the left side, which just goes to show he can do it. He went on a tear that lasted about 3-4 weeks, and then, just as suddenly as the loop in his swing disappeared, it came back, and he struggled for the rest of the season.

Espinoza is one of those guys you root for because you know he has the tools, but, like Ankiel, he has little to no plate discipline. Every pitcher in the league knows it, by now. You just don't throw strikes to Danny Espinoza because you don't have to. He will swing at anything. I even remember him swinging at a pitch that actually hit him. Of course, he missed it for a strike, instead of taking the free pass to 1b.

He swings at pitches that are inside, way inside, outside, way outside, pitches that bounce behind the plate, on the plate, and even in front of the plate. I know, because I watched Danny very closely all year long. I had predicted that 2012 would be his breakout year. It was not. It was a year when he actually took a step back.

If Danny just went up to the plate and kept his bat on his shoulder his OBP would actually go up, because he probably sees fewer pitches for strikes than any other hitter in the league. Almost every AB for Danny is a chance to walk to 1b without even taking a swing.

All competitive sports have a big mental component, and that's where Danny fails himself. A 19-year-old rookie showed how you can change your approach to defeat what the opposition is doing to get you out. Neither Espinoza nor Ankiel was able to make similar adjustments last year. The Nats ran out of patience with the 30-something Ankiel, and it is just a matter of time before they run out of patience with the 26-year-old to be in Espinoza.

I was rooting even harder for Ankiel last year because he has so much ability and is such a class act. You would think that he, of all people, could understand what the opposing pitchers were doing to him and adjust his game, but he just couldn't.

Danny, at least, showed signs that he might be able to overcome whatever it is that makes him want to kill every pitch they throw up there, even the ones that bounce in front of the plate, like he was playing stickball with his buds on the street instead of representing the best team in baseball on the big stage.

He already has over 1000 ABs in the majors. It is worth a shot to see if he can cut it from the right side, full time. If he hit .280 with 15-20 homers, he would be an All-Star because of that glove. Just because his dad taught him to be a switch hitter doesn't mean he should stick to a losing approach. Mickey Mantle he ain't.

MicheleS said...

JD.. I would rather have Justin than BJ.

JD said...


I'll tell you one thing about Espinosa; they won't give him away. If he's in a trade there will be something real good coming back.

MicheleS said...

Laddie, the telling thing about that 3-4 week stetch mid season that Espi had - it's when he was playing SS when Ian was down.

Faraz Shaikh said...

While I agree that will be the case JD, but I don't want to see Danny leave. I love his defense.

JD said...


Laddie,

In this discussion I have to agree with Peric. The problem with all fans is that we watch our players with a microscope. When you step away and look at the overall results for Espinosa in 2012 you will find a 3.8 WAR player. Just as a frame of reference the Yankees paid $15 mil yesterday to a 3.9 WAR player.

It is also not straight forward to extrapolate what a player does from one side of the plate and assume that he will do the same against both type of pitchers. Espi has never faced right handed pitchers from the right side and getting used to the different pitch angles may very well produce results which are much worse than you expect.

JamesFan said...

OK. I take it back. Espi is not a more athletic version of Dan Uggla. He's a much more athletic version of Adam Dunn with equal strikeouts and half the homers.

Espi is a shortstop and has high trade value there. Try Lombo. If that doesn't work, Rendon is a natural for 2d, next phase.

JD said...


Faraz,

I totally agree and I also think he will improve his offense; he has only had 2 full seasons in the majors and not many minor league seasons either; it took Desi longer to jell. Patience is a virtue in this case.

Dave said...

@Feel Wood: (1) They issue the standard one RCR card per seat, and after you and your partners divvy up the games among yourselves the guy(s) with the card(s) go into My Nationals Tickets and e-mail the individual tickets to the partners so they can print their own tickets, or

(b) They give you extra cards for all your partners, then you divvy up the games and rely on the partners to only use the cards for the games they're supposed to go to. Of course if someone screws up and shows up for the wrong game, then either they or the person who has that game are going to be pissed off, depending on which one gets to the park first and gets in.


I strongly suspect it will be the former, option #1. That's how they distributed Red Carpet Rewards tickets the past two years, so that system is already in place.

Maybe people with dial-up Internet hate the Red Carpet Rewards program too, but that's what they've done the past two years.

I won't mind that ticket-distribution system, actually, if that's what it is. It'll mean I won't have to physically deliver tickets to partners like I have the past seven years.

I agree that there is huge potential for screw-up if we are all showing up with nothing but a plastic card with radio ID in it. In particular I scratch my head about usher control of seat assignments. Haven't heard a word about that, and I suspect the Nats haven't thought about it much.

In fact, I made a point to "give my input" when I talked to to the guy on the phone this morning. I think people need to do that now, because the Nats are still working out how this will function.

JD said...


JamesFan,

It's a good thing you don't make the Nats player personnel decisions.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Lombo is an above average defender and possibly better to his right than Espi. Where Lombo is weaker is his arm but you don't need a cannon at 2nd. Danny has a shortstops arm and the only reason Danny isn't playing SS is because he is blocked.

The good news is the Nats don't have to make a trade and other teams want what the Nats have.

NatsJack in Florida said...

MicheleS has it right on Espi. His real problem is Desi. Desmond took his natural position and hit all those homeruns, something Espi thinks he can do as well.

He has to accept his role as a second baseman wth " tweener" power aslong as he is in D. C.

He is not Desmond in the power category bit certainly could be a better all round hitter if he' d lose the ego and take the approach preached incessantly to him by Eck and Davey.

Faraz Shaikh said...

what do you all think it will take to get Hammel from Os (I highly doubt he is available) as our fifth starter?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Excuse the fat thumb issues of my previous post.

Faraz Shaikh said...

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/ichiro-surprises-keeper-ichimeter-special-thank-presents-232543149--mlb.html

Ichiro's appreciating gesture towards a fan.
WOW that handwriting is as unique as his hitting style. pretty good!

MicheleS said...

Not sure if anyone will be in Indiana, but drew has a pitching camp 12/22-23

http://www.roundtripper.com/pdf/Pitchers%20Power%20Drive%20Camp%202012.pdf

blovy8 said...

I guess it'll come down to need. If there's a weak area that needs to be addressed, there are deals that can be made, but I wouldn't be quick to dump Espi myself. Middle infielders miss time pretty frequently. He has a lot of value if he never really improves. He's got the added psychological problem of hitting for good power already. That's the kind of player he's been, and the success he's known, so it actually IS a big adjustment. The zone recognition that Laddie talks about probably has to be part of it. I think it's tough for him to be more than an averagish hitter striking out more than a quarter of the time.

If Danny played short, what little he's already shown with the bat would be a significant upgrade for most clubs and he's certainly young and cheap enough to get a nice return. I doubt there's much to lose in keeping him for a while unless an impact trade can be made involving him. Desmond was further away from being a good player defensively and offensively than Espinosa until last year. He'd never hit more than 13 homers and lived off that hot 2009 he had while making a ton of errors and being tentative. It's easy for a trading partner to negotiate down Espi's price since his old school stats are suspect, but I don't think it's any secret about how much room to improve there still would be at his age. His defense might not be a bad thing to have if the fifth starter is a groundball RH pitcher, for instance.

pdowdy83 said...

Farahz I don't see where trading for Hammel would be a good idea for the Nats at all. He isn't durable(never pitched more than 176 innings), he has had 1 good run of 20 starts in his career (last year) and he will cost $6 or 7 mil this coming season plus some sort of prospect package.

If you want a guy like Hammel go sign Brandon McCarthy to a 1 year deal and don't give up the prospects. McCarthy has at least managed to put up success over 2 season and is good for about the same number of innings as Hammel.

Other options on the market that would be better than Hammel (simply because you don't have to trade away players) are Ryan Dempster and Dan Haren. I would expect Haren to be looking at a 1 year deal so he can make one more big free agent payday next offseason. Dempster is probably only looking (national writer speculation) for a 2 year deal which wouldn't be bad for the Nats either.

Personally I'd just like to see the Nats make a serious run at Anibal Sanchez but would be content with McCarthy, Haren or Dempster or short term deals.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Well said NatsJack.

NatsLady said...

The Emperor signed with the Royals...


James Wagner @JamesWagnerWP
One of few players in Nats org. from Expos days left quietly Friday. Minor leaguer Atahualpa Severino signed w/ Royals wapo.st/TYvH8j

peric said...

He is not Desmond in the power category bit certainly could be a better all round hitter if he' d lose the ego and take the approach preached incessantly to him by Eck and Davey.

I'm not so sure about that. In 2011 Espy hit more homers than everyone except for Morse I think. So, there's that and this really is Desmond's first "power year".

I believe both Espinosa AND Desmond need to espouse the philosophy proselytized by both Davey and Eck: BE A GREAT hitter first. Spray line drives all over the field so pitchers don't know what to throw to you. Then jump on them with power when they least expect.

That's exactly the approach Anthony Rendon is taking. And that's why he'll be in a major league uni very, very soon.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Espi has pop. The key is getting XBH with that short compact swing. Espinosas success offensively is tied to good mechanics and concentrating on contact and line drives which will cut down on strikeouts and unproductive outs.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I think we can all agree that it comes down to contact. if he starts to stay away from some of those outside pitches, it will only help him be a better hitter. I mean how many times has he gotten XBHs on outside pitches. I wish I could find out exact number but there wouldn't be a whole lot I assume.

Anyways, I don't want to give up on him just yet.

JamesFan said...

JD

It's a good thing neither of us does. Talk to me in five years about Espi. We'll see who's right.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz, Federal Baseball put up Espinosa's O-contact % and Z-contact %. His numbers are amongst the worst in baseball. His swing & miss is what sets him up in too many pitcher counts. It is asking a lot for too much improvement but Espi had a great July and has done it before.

As they say in baseball, if you have done it, it can be done again. Espi gas done it and can do it, but it's consistency we are looking for.





Gonat said...

JamesFan said...
JD

It's a good thing neither of us does. Talk to me in five years about Espi. We'll see who's right.

November 21, 2012 4:44 PM
___________________________________

JamesFan, if Espi could just change one thing it would be a big help to this team.

If he could change his approach with runners on 3rd with less than 2 outs he could really help this team immensely. His 47% K ratio in those situations is a rally killer and many times demoralizing to his team. He has to stop trying to hit it 450 feet and coming up with nothing but air.

Espi's numbers sometimes resemble a power hitter because he has an all or nothing approach but when you dig into the underlying numbers of HR/K Ratio 1 : 11.1 vs Adam Dunn 1 : 5.41 you can see the great disparity. BJ Upton is a K Machine but still has a decent HR/K Ratio 1 : 6.04.

Nats Fan 204 said...

The other nite Mike Rizzo was speaking with Dave Johnson and Phil Wood on the Mid Atlantic Sports Report. Mr. Rizzo made it clear that Espinosa was going to get more time because of his potential upside. He also made a point of saying that Desmond was given time and doing so paid off handsomely for the team and organization.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Nats Fan 204.....What they say in public is one thing. That discussion was intended to quiet the crowd that mistakenly think Lombo is a better option.

Believe me....Esppi will change his approach starting day 1 of Spring Training or find his role with the Nats has changed

Gonat said...

Nats Fan 204, the team is going to talk up any potential trade pieces and the truth is, he will get more time but Desmond didn't have mechanical issues like Espi. Most of Desi's problems were his approach and once Davey took over fully in 2011, you started to see the progress. By mid August 2011, Desi was a .300 batter and was taking walks.

mick said...

Don't know anything about either so I will leave to Mark and others to explain why these two were picked up. Happy Thanksgiving to all NIers, what a blast i had in this forum, i will never forget Charlie Slowes call of J. Werth homer, I listen to it at least 3 times a week and believe it is n the top five greatest DC sports moments in radio history.

On a somber note, I get sentimental at this time each year as i have over the past 49 of them. I leave you with a you tube that puts my sentiment in perspective as I was 5 years old that awful weekend

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N90P3pTjgBc


My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

NatsLady said...

Jonny Gomes just signed a 2 year $10 MM contract with the Red Sox. I understand he had a fairly good year with the A's but---???

NatsLady said...

Oh, Mick, I can't bear to watch it. I will never forget that day, that weekend.

Gonat said...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/11/20/arizona-fall-league-top-prospects/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

ANTHONY RENDON!!!!!!

UnkyD said...

Gee, Mick, I'm 53... Just young enough to not remember that. About 30 years ago, on an anniversary (must have been 20 years?) CBS ran the entire coverage, hours and hours, and I watched every minute. Very sobering... Made quite an impression, I can tell you.

peric said...

Yeah Mick a pretty sad day indeed ... and a very strange and awkward day.

peric said...

ANTHONY RENDON!!!!!!

Your new third baseman. Precursor to having the best infield in all of major league baseball and the best pitching rotation. A duo that will be hard to beat.

peric said...

Believe me....Esppi will change his approach starting day 1 of Spring Training or find his role with the Nats has changed

Potentially back in the minors to give him a wake up call. Followed by a Dutch Uncle talk from his agent Scott Boras.

peric said...

Personally I'd just like to see the Nats make a serious run at Anibal Sanchez but would be content with McCarthy, Haren or Dempster or short term deals.

None are left-handed Hammels is. There's a far better chance the Nats would go for Hammels if he weren't a member of the Phillies.

Your list contains only right-handed pitchers dowdy83 and Davey Johnson is probably feeling pretty desperate for top-notch left-handers.

Gonat said...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here and special thanks to the Zuckerman family and Chase for all they do!

Faraz Shaikh said...

I meant Jason Hammel of Orioles, not Hamels of Phillies. I wouldn't want Hamels unless Phillies ate like $10 million each season and took a prospect so far away in our farm system that we will have to use a microscope.

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