Tuesday, February 2, 2010

From NatsTown to oblivion

A couple of commenters brought up an interesting subject yesterday: Many of the players who have been systematically scrapped off the Nationals' roster in the last year don't even show up on any other club's 40-man roster.

This is something I've thought of before, and in fact researched a bit last season. How many guys who have played for (and subsequently been released/traded/demoted) by the Nats never returned to the majors again?

The list is staggering. By my count, 61 people played their final major-league game with the Nats between 2005-08. Obviously, there could be more off the 2009 roster, but we can't really include them until they have a chance to play again in 2010.

The full list (and you may want to hide the women and children before reading this, cause it ain't pretty) ...

2008 (12)
Paul Lo Duca (currently attempting comeback with Rockies)
Chad Cordero (currently attempting comeback with Mariners)
Wily Mo Pena
Kory Casto
Dmitri Young
Rob Mackowiak
Johnny Estrada
Odalis Perez
Mike O'Connor
Levale Speigner
Ray King
Chris Schroder

2007 (13)
Nook Logan
Robert Fick
D'Angelo Jimenez
Tony Batista
Michael Restovich
Brandon Watson
Mike Bacsik
Jason Simontacchi
John Patterson
Jerome Williams
Ryan Wagner
Arnie Munoz
Chris Booker

2006 (20)
Damian Jackson
Bernie Castro
Alex Escobar
Brandon Harper
Wiki Gonzalez
Henry Mateo
George Lombard
Mike Vento
Melvin Dorta
Luis Matos
Pedro Astacio
Felix Rodriguez
Zach Day
Beltran Perez
Joey Eischen
Travis Hughes
Ryan Drese
Kevin Gryboski
Brett Campbell
Santiago Ramirez

2005 (16)
Carlos Baerga
Junior Spivey
Tony Blanco
Wil Cordero
Deivi Cruz
Jeffrey Hammonds
J.J. Davis
Rick Short
Kenny Kelly
Keith Osik
Tyrell Godwin
T.J. Tucker
Joe Horgan
Matt White
C.J. Nitkowski
Antonio Osuna

Are there some doozies on that list or what? Wow. There are a couple of names in there I had completely erased from my memory bank, and probably for good reason. Really, was it worth wasting valuable brain space remembering Brett Campbell's four relief appearances in 2006?

So what does all this mean? Is there any conclusion that can be drawn from this data? I would say yes, there is: The Nats' roster has been littered with players who 1) were well past their prime but got one last shot with this club, and 2) were marginal prospects who probably wouldn't have reached the majors with most other organizations.

Until they're able to develop more legitimate major-league talent from their system and sign more free agents still in the prime of their careers, it's hard to believe the Nats will become a real contender. I do think they're making strides in that department, and I expect there will be fewer of these types of players on the 2010 roster than there have been in the past. But they've still got a ways to go. ...

One public service announcement to share from the ballclub, which wants to get this message out: They'll be testing their fireworks system in the neighborhood around Nationals Park at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday). The test is not open to the public, but if you live in the area and are wondering why the sky is suddenly getting peppered with explosives, you'll know there's no reason to panic.


An Briosca Mor said...

It's interesting to note that the number of washouts in 2007-2008 is much less than the number in 2005-2006. That would tend to absolve the Lerners from culpability for dumpster diving. It clearly didn't start with them.

Wally said...

Mark - that does, indeed, seem like a staggering number. Is there any way to get some context to it, like how it compares to other organizations? I would guess very high, but it would be interesting to see who is #2 (and by how much).

Anonymous said...

Undeniable proof that Jim Bowden was a HORRIBLE General Manager.

Mac said...

@JMW We needed proof? As if PLOD, FLOP, Meat, and WiMP weren't enough...

MikeHarris said...

There went what's left of my head.

I had such high hopes for WMP. Seemed like such a good guy and the name sounded like music on the PA when he came up to bat. He had that mini hot streak not long after he arrived, if I recall. Oh what could have been.

I saw Matt White's start. He's done OK since leaving the Nats (and baseball). Some of those names. Wow. Just wow.

Anonymous said...

Schroder I think has a minor league contract and an invite this year from the Marlins.

Anonymous said...

I had completely forgotten Arnie Munoz..thanks for the great update Mark!!

NatsGirl said...

Mark: could we get a tally of how many/which of those names also showed up on in the Mitchell Report?

An Briosca Mor said...

Nook Logan was named in the Mitchell report. He had to have received the placebo.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Wally: If I had time, I'd try to compile the list from other teams for comparison's sake, but unfortunately I don't at the moment. Maybe later tonight can run through a couple of other examples (one bad team, one average team, one good team maybe).

NatsGirl: To the best of my knowledge, I think Lo Duca and Logan were the only ones on that list who were named in the Mitchell Report.

JayB said...

Thanks for the leg work. Not sure what this list says about the Nationals....could be cover for people who were in charge like Stan and Lerner or could shout out Jim Bowden sucked worse than anyone thought. Something went terribly wrong as they had enough money at the MLB level to put a better roster together than what this data shows.

NatsGirl said...

@ABM: Sometimes the juice doesn't make you big, it makes you fast and keeps you on the field when you should have been in the hospital ;-)

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 said...

Great postings!! I hope you get a paying position very soon. I understand there is an opeing at the Post. You would seem well qualified on it.

I do not include Meat Hook as one of Bowden's mistakes. He had one great season that was a joy to watch.

SpringfieldFan said...

Oh, but you have to like a story like Rick Short's. Yeah, he wouldn't have had a chance in any other organization, but I think the silver lining -- and one of the things that's been great about being a fan of this team -- is that we've been able watch the Rick Shorts and the Jorge Padillas finally make it to the show after all their work.

Of course, I'm fine with, you know, a winning record instead.

Todd Boss said...

This is partly an indictment of Jim Bowden for sure, but also an indicator of just how bad our farm system is right now. Look at someone like Kory Casto. He was a golden-boy in the farm system for years. And proved that he was never going to be more than a AAA player.

This statistic, by the way, is only going to get worse for the 2009 season. By my count, i see no less than 22 guys who played a major league game for us that, at this moment, are either unsigned FAs, have been DFA'd and are off a 40-man roster or who have signed minor-league deals only for 2010.

FAs: Wells, Colome, Tavarez, Villone, Livan Hernandez, MacDougal
DFA'd to AAA: Orr, Kensing, Garate, Estrada, Burke
Minor League Deals only for 2010: Ledezma, Shell, Hinckley, cintron, Cabrera, Sosa, Padilla, Kearns, Bard, Rivera, Segovia

How many of these guys, especially the ones on minor league only deals, have a realistic shot of playing major league ball again?

Let Teddy Win said...

This is great stuff, Mark. So glad you're on the case!

Of course it's an indictment of both Bowden and of the horrible team we inherited.

NatsGirl said...

Speaking of now-AWOL players and the Nats, I don't like the rumblings I hear about the Nats picking up John Smoltz--I'm sure JZimm last summer. Please tell me they'd be looking at him as a member of the coaching staff!

James Bjork said...

Just for a bit of perspective, all the boneheaded decisions by Bowden on spendy salaries that didn't produce = only about 1.5 or 2 bum years for Kevin Brown or Carl Pavano or.... (insert free-agent Yankees bust here).

Oh yeah, +1 on Rick Short (the Nats' version of "The Rookie"), and +1 on rather winning, though.

periculum said...

Still I find it interesting that players were drafted from the Nats in rule 5, like Zech Zinicola (Toronto) at the MLB level. He ostensibly was one of the Chief's closers when Kensing wasn't on the active roster. Three others were also drafted at the minor league level.

Clint Everts (another closer/relief type) went to the Mets of all teams?

Kearns, of course, went to Cleveland. As did Saul Rivera.

Zach Segovia also went to the Mets. Jorge Padilla, SYR's and one of the minor league's leading hitters BA wise also went to Toronto.

Attributions and gratitude to Brian and the NFA for providing on the spot and rapid info on all things Nats.

Anonymous said...

Great blog Mark. Keep up the good work.

Positively Half St. said...

I love this kind of post. It is analysis we don't get from the Post. I think that while Jim Bowden gets some "credit" for this list because of his propensity to dumpster-dive, I think much more of it is on MLB. They didn't spend the money on the draft when they owned the team, because they wanted the good players for themselves. That left the Nats with a sad-collection of marginal prospects, and they didn't give Bowden much to work with before the Lerners took over.

I have really felt that the overall quality of the reclamation projects this year is higher than in the past. Chris Duncan and Kevin Mench really were something once, as was Chuck James. I feel like Miguel Batista is more of a Bowden-like move- like Bowden getting over-the-hill pitchers from Cinci, although for Rizzo the old home is Arizona.

Anonymous said...

A great blog item from a great Nats reporter (hey Post editors-I hear there's an opening). Looks like the Nats are a kind of farm club for Atlantic League (independent) ball. It'd be time-consuming but fun to see the value of each of these contracts.

Stuart said...

I selected the '61 Tigers (101-61) at semi-random. They had 3 players who never played again:Jerry Staley(P), Frank House(C), & Manny Montejo(P).
Stanley was a 3 time allstar, he and House shared the 9/25 game @ KC as their final game.

NatsGirl said...

Psst...hey guys: there's a newer post to comment on!

Pete said...


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