Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Position analysis: Infield

US Presswire photo
Second baseman Danny Espinosa impressed during his rookie season.
Throughout the week, we'll be breaking down the Nationals' roster by position (catcher, infield, outfield, rotation and bullpen) and looking both where things stand at the end of the season and where things might stand moving forward. Today's position: Infield...

Stats: 43 G, 177 PA, 3 HR, 15 RBI, .172 AVG, .288 OBP, .258 SLG
0 E, 3.8 UZR, -0.2 WAR
2011 salary: $7 million
Contract status: $8 million in 2012, $10 million mutual option in 2013
Where he fits in: After missing most of this season with a torn labrum in his shoulder, LaRoche is expected to be 100 percent healthy for spring training. If so, he'll retain his starting job at first base. Team officials love his glovework, and they believe he'll produce at the plate again once his shoulder has healed. Because he'll be a pending free agent (unless both sides want to pick up that 2013 option) he'll be a prime trade candidate come July, a move that would allow the Nationals to move Michael Morse back to first base.

Stats: 158 G, 658 PA, 21 HR, 66 RBI, .236 AVG, .323 OBP, .414 SLG
14 E, 1.0 UZR, 3.5 WAR
2011 salary: $415,000
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2014, free agent in 2017
Where he fits in: Though he tailed off dramatically at the plate during the second half, Espinosa did finish strong and he played stellar defense throughout his rookie season. Now that he's got that experience under his belt, the Nats will expect a more consistent hitter next year. He may never hit for a high average, but Espinosa is certainly capable of maintaining a .250 average with a .340 OBP and 25-to-30 homers.

Stats: 154 G, 639 PA, 8 HR, 49 RBI, .253 AVG, .298 OBP, .358 SLG
23 E, -5.4 UZR, 1.4 WAR
2011 salary: $441,500
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2013, free agent in 2016
Where he fits in: After an abysmal first half to the season, Desmond turned things around, hitting .289 with a .338 OBP after the All-Star break. He also made major strides at shortstop, cutting his error total from 34 as a rookie to 23. The organization seems committed to him; the biggest question now is where Desmond best fits in the lineup. He did surprisingly well out of the leadoff spot, perhaps well enough to open next season atop the Nats' batting order.

Stats: 101 G, 440 PA, 12 HR, 49 RBI, .289 AVG, .355 OBP, .443 SLG
12 E, -3.1 UZR, 2.5 WAR
2011 salary: $9.025 million
Contract status: $12.1 million in 2012, $14.1 million in 2013, free agent in 2014
Where he fits in: His season derailed by a torn abdominal muscle that forced him to the DL for more than two months, Zimmerman didn't come close to posting his usual numbers. But he'll 2012 fully healthy, and with a revamped throwing motion that caused people to cringe for a while but ultimately was mastered. Though he's signed for two more years, the time for Zimmerman and the Nationals to begin talking about a long-term extension is now. It's possible the two sides will work something out before Opening Day, but don't fret if they don't. There's still a long way to go, and neither side has expressed any desire to break up this happy marriage.

Stats: 31 G, 117 PA, 0 HR, 10 RBI, .248 AVG, .274 OBP, .294 SLG
2 E, -1.6 UZR, -0.7 WAR
2011 salary: $414,000
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2015, free agent in 2018
Where he fits in: The organization's top pick in the 2006 draft, Marrero finally reached the big leagues in September and acquitted himself fine. He especially impressed in the field, which had long been considered the weakest part of his game. He didn't hit for any power, which was a bit of a concern. With LaRoche and Morse already in the fold, he doesn't appear to have any hope of winning an everyday job. But Davey Johnson seemed to indicate he'd like to have Marrero off his bench next season. If not, there's nowhere for him to go except back to Class AAA Syracuse.

Stats: 13 G, 32 PA, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .194 AVG, .219 OBP, .226 SLG
1 E, 1.1 UZR, -0.2 WAR
2011 salary: $414,000
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2015, free agent in 2018
Where he fits in: After a superb minor-league season, Lombardozzi was rewarded with a September call-up. He didn't show a whole lot in very limited playing time, but he did show the versatility to play second base, shortstop and third base. Ultimately, that may be his best hope of sticking in the majors: as a utility infielder. Though some team officials think he could become an everyday second baseman, the initial reaction of those who watched him this September was that he's more likely destined to come off the bench.

Stats: 91 G, 172 PA, 0 HR, 6 RBI, .224 AVG, .287 OBP, .276 SLG
4 E, 1.9 UZR, 0.2 WAR
2011 salary: $900,000
Contract status: Free agent
Where he fits in: The veteran, along with Jerry Hairston, did an admirable job filling in at third base while Zimmerman was on the DL. But once Zim returned, Cora became an afterthought on the roster. He got plenty of pinch-hitting opportunities during the second half but wasn't particularly effective (6-for-32 with two RBI). Tough to see the Nats re-signing the soon-to-be 36-year-old for next season.

The late-season promotions of Marrero and Lombardozzi left the organization without a lot of infield talent at their upper levels, but that could change quickly if Anthony Rendon works his way up the ladder as quickly as many believe he will. The sixth overall pick in this summer's draft will play in the Arizona Fall League, then come to big-league spring training before beginning his minor-league career. It wouldn't be shocking if he opens 2012 at Class AA Harrisburg, though team officials may want him to establish himself at Class A first. No one in the Nats' farm system (not even Bryce Harper) has hit for power like Tyler Moore, who for the second straight year clubbed 31 homers. He turns 25 in January and should open the season as the first baseman at Class AAA Syracuse. Second baseman Jeff Kobernus, a second-round pick in 2009, hit .282 with 53 stolen bases at Potomac. Shortstop Jason Martinson showed surprising power at Hagerstown, hitting 19 homers. Oh, and remember Esmailyn Gonzalez Carlos Alvarez? He hit a combined .321 with a .420 OBP in the GCL and at short-season Class A Auburn. Unfortunately, he was 25 years old playing against competition right out of high school and college.

Though the Nationals appear to be set around the horn, they could be in need of some infield help off the bench. Much will depend on what the organization does with Marrero and Lombardozzi. Are they ready to be reserves in the big leagues, or would they be better served as regulars at Syracuse? If it's the latter, the Nats will need to find some veteran infielders to back up the starters.


Drew8 said...

The shakeout in the middle infield will be fascinating.

From Boz's Sept. 27 chat:

Q. "Care to predict the Nats' infield in 2013?"

A. "You mean Zimmerman, Espinosa, Rendon and Morse? I assume Desmond and LaRoche will get a chance to prove in '12 that they are really good (contender) players, rather than decent MLB every day players."

From Boz's Oct. 3 chat -- the question was about offseason trade possibilities.

A. "The Rays need a SS who can hit, not a Lannan. If you can do a B.J. Upton for Desmond (plus somebody else) trade, I'm for it. Espinosa can move to SS. Either Lombardozzi or, probably Rendon can take 2nd someday. But the Nats love Desmond's attitude and while Z'man vouches for B.J., not many others think he gets the most out of his ability."

joemktg said...

1) The leadoff/CF position continues to hang over the club's head like the Sword of Damocles. Get that resolved before ST and not go into ST just as they did last spring so that we know where Desmond lies in the lineup. Regardless, Desmond needs to step-up to the next level, especially the OBP.
2) Lombardozzi was fast-tracked, and it's a bit premature to say that his performance in the bigs leads "those who watched him" to believe that he's a utility player. Can we give him a full season at Syracuse before passing judgement?
3) Espinosa lived up to the hopes. Would love to see him drive the OPS to above .800 and give 30-40 more base hits. Do that, and he's an All Star candidate middle infielder.

baseballswami said...

I would rather see Marrero and Lombardozzi play every day in Syracuse and be called up in case of an injury or be trade fodder. I think it's a waste of a developing player to sit them on the bench - basically halting their careers. Lombardozzi has not had enough developing time to be relegated to utility infielder.

Anonymous8 said...

Drew8 said...
From Boz's Oct. 3 chat -- the question was about offseason trade possibilities.

A. "The Rays need a SS who can hit, not a Lannan. If you can do a B.J. Upton for Desmond (plus somebody else) trade, I'm for it. Espinosa can move to SS. Either Lombardozzi or, probably Rendon can take 2nd someday. But the Nats love Desmond's attitude and while Z'man vouches for B.J., not many others think he gets the most out of his ability."

October 4, 2011 7:57 AM

I am glad to be watching the Playoffs especially to see this guy BJ Upton. Thrown out at 3rd stealing. Thrown out at 2nd on a pitchout not his fault. No hits w/ RISP. They do seem to pitch him carefully and he has taken the walks they give him.

Just not seeing any reason to trade away Desmond for him as BJ Upton is a 1 year guy. Rendon isn't ready yet. The whole thing is ridiculous as Kemp/Bourn/BUpton are all FREE Agents in a year from now.

Why give up 4 years of Desmond for 1 year of a guy who is not going to be an upgrade over Jayson Werth.

Scarey thing is Boz has been much better lately on getting his head around the real issues.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
I would rather see Marrero and Lombardozzi play every day in Syracuse and be called up in case of an injury or be trade fodder. I think it's a waste of a developing player to sit them on the bench - basically halting their careers. Lombardozzi has not had enough developing time to be relegated to utility infielder.

October 4, 2011 8:22 AM

One of them probably has to be on the team so you have the 1 "yo-yo" player with options to send back and forth kind of like Bernadina last year.

ehay2k said...

It's nice to be able to have a discussion about what to do with our excess of talented infielders. In years past, offseason discussion would center on hoping Nick Johnson would be healthy, that FLop would show up, and that Willie Harris would buy a cup.

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's even better to see that the system has developed to the point where it won't be necessary to rush players through like Lombardozzi who really needs another full minor league season. Guys in the system like Blake Kelso, Jason Martinson and Jeff Kobernus can get the prerequisite minor league at bats necessary to establish reasonable expectations on their future development. These guys, health permitting, can spend 2 or 3 more seasons in the system and still be only 24 or 25 if ML ready.

The same problem has existed for the pitching staff. Matt Moore has progressed through the Tampa Rays system increasing his annual innings total from 54 4 seasons ago followed by 124, 144 and his current count at 170 (combined minors and ML).

Find one pitcher brought through the Nats system with similar numbers.

Got to see another FIL game yesterday along with fellow NI poster dj in Fla and will post later today on our observations.

Anonymous said...

Let's not leave Zach Walters out of the discussion. He had a slow start, but finished very strongly, with good power numbers for a SS. If Kobernus can cut down on his strikeouts and improve his OBP, he would be the prototype base stealer at the top of the order that the Nats are seeking. Martinson and Kelso can hit.

Rizzo is looking at a number of options in the not-so-distant future, besides Lombo and Rendon. Things will shake out next year. One or two of the current crop are likely to step up and make us take notice this time next year.

DFL said...

Remember that Lombardozzi had a low batting average getting few at-bats. All batters have ups and down, that's why baseball plays a 162 game schedule.

As an Oriole fan as well as a Nats fan, I'd love Lombardozzi in Charm City batting lead-off. But it's hard to say who on the Oriole squad I'd want of similar status with Lombardozzi. Most Orioles worth having couldn't be had for Lombardozzi. Perhaps Markakis, who is proving to be just a mediocre starting right-fielder with limited power. But the Nats are already set in right.

Anonymous said...

I would not be surprised if they were to deal Desmond in the off season and bid high for Jose Reyes. That would fill their lead-off table-setter need. With Espinosa and Lambardozzi, they have plenty of flexibility for Reyes inevitable stay on the DL. Espinosa was a talented SS and Lambardozzi at 2b may be their infield of the future.

Nats1924 said...

haha - I love the Carlos Alverez piece "25 years old playing against competition right out of high school"

That was funny, but true !

Nats1924 said...

please, no Reyes!

Jose Reyes will be a huge disappointment

Mark'd said...

Reyes would be a great fit if this was a 120 game season. You can't risk the most premium position on the field to a guy who has missed a total of 191 games the past 3 years.

Desmond has been durable and improving defensively. His brain was with his wife and baby for the 1st half of the season. His 2nd half numbers make him a TOP Shortstop.

I don't know who the real Ian Desmond is and hoping the player who excelled in August/September is the guy I want to see a full consistent season.

Mark'd said...

In my where's Waldo segment, where is SteveM. He hasn't posted since the last game a week ago. I know he doesn't post over weekends and during family time so just hoping he is on vacation.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Mark'd: Steve M, along with several other regulars, have been unable to post comments for nearly a week now due to some kind of glitch that appears to affect mostly those who use recently updated versions of Internet Explorer.

To all of those still experiencing the glitch: Apologies we haven't figured this out yet. The CSN web folks are in the middle of a major project of their own -- they're launching a redesigned site later this evening -- so they've been consumed with that. I'm still trying to figure out what, if anything, can be done.

I know people don't like to hear this, but it does appear you're far less likely to experience problems if you use Firefox or Safari or Chrome as your browser instead of IE. I know that's not always possible for a lot of you, and I'm still hoping to figure out how to get this to work again on IE. But if you do have the ability to change browsers, I'd recommend it (for many reasons beyond your ability to post comments to this site). It's pretty well-established that IE is the least-secure of the major browsers out there and leaves you more susceptible to viruses and other problems.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I downloaded Firefox on my lap top, my home tower, and my work computer and the problem went away. When I do go to Internet Explorer the "Comment as:" box is still "ghosted" so the problem still exists.

FS said...

Actually Chrome does not work well with this site. Any versions of firefox do perfectly fine with this. Main problem with Chrome is updating and sometimes posting comments.

Wally said...

My take on the infield situation goes back to something I said a few posts back: do the Nats want to go for it in 2012, or wait until 2013? 2013 is more logical because of Stras and Harper, but I have a hunch that they will try to go for it.

Which brings me to this conclusion: if we want to realistically contend in 2012, I don't see that as likely with the offense that we will get from both Desi and Espy at MI. I think that we need to pick one, play him at SS and add offense at 2B. Reyes is great, probably my most disliked opposing player, but the cost and injury history are valid concerns so I probably would pass. Could they trade for Brandon Phillips? He would fit at the top of the order, and has a good glove. Phillips is also a 1 year guy, which allows them to keep a spot for Rendon in 2013.

If they aren't going to try to load up for a playoff run, then I would leave Desi and Espy as is and see how they do in 2013.

jd said...

Desmond - Totally changed his approach at the plate in the last month of the season for the better and I fully credit DJ for getting through to him that you can be an aggressive hitter without giving away at bats. I would love to see him start the season with us at short and batting 1st or 2nd.

Espinosa - Needs to develop a better 2 strike approach. He does well early in the count but when the pitchers (especially veterans) get ahead of him he is easy prey. I think he needs to temper his aggressiveness some (ala Desmond) and I trust DJ will get through to him as well.

Marrero - I don't think he'll ever hit enough to be more than a fringe major league 1st baseman; the position requires serious productivity and I don't see it with him and the defense while improved is still so so.

Lombardozzi - I think another full season at AAA will crystallize his potential. Not sure if he's an everyday player or a utility player.

Rendon - too soon to tell but I have a hunch that if we sign Zim long term that it has to be 2nd base for Rendon.

jd said...

Wally; I think you nailed it and I think 2013 with Harper and Strasburg post innings limit as well as the possibility that Rendon, Meyer and Purke may be ready is the better scenario.

This also gives us a another year to see what we have with Espi and Desi. I would hate to give up on either of them and see them flourish elsewhere.

I am all for going for it in 2012 as long as you don't sacrifice any of our future.

Wally said...

jd said ...I am all for going for it in 2012 as long as you don't sacrifice any of our future.

I think that is the rub, meaning I don't think that you can 'go for it' without some kind of sacrifice of the future. It could be a prospects-for-vet trade, or even signing a FA and losing a 1st rounder.

I am in your camp of waiting (meaning don't make a big move yet, although CF needs to be addressed), but I am not adamant about it. The flip side is, they are pretty close and baseball is funny that performances can vary wildly year to year. Look at Ari the last few years. Playoffs, horrible, back to playoffs. Padres had a similar stretch.

I mean, if they signed Beltran and Oswalt (assuming Philly declines, which I think likely), and trade Desi for Phillips? What would you think about our chances? What if Philly loses Rollins in FA. We are probably a notch below still, but only a notch and with a little luck, who knows?

I am not saying that they should do that, just that I think that we would be a pretty strong playoff contender (and likely have a horrible 2012 draft class).

It is hugely fun to be in a position where we can realistically posit something like that, isn't it? Such a new feeling.

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

Looks like Rendon won't be going to the Arizona Fall League after all...

Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 10/04/2011
Arizona Fall League: Washington Nationals pitching prospect Matt Purke will play; top draft pick Anthony Rendon will not

By Adam Kilgore

TheYellowSlant said...

Anyone else think these UZR numbers are way off?

Anonymous said...

If Werth returns to past levels, how long more do you see him playing at that level. Assuming one outfield spot already belongs to Harper and one to our Cf, What if Hood/Goodwin/keys and a couple of our outfielder are absolutely killing it in AAA or AA in the next two years assuming none of them are traded for an arm now and we have great arms that we dont need to trade for anyone. Also assuming our infield is intact. What do we do. Also Werth has a no-trade clause, so how will we work around that? Do you trade prospects for younger prospects? what will we do? good problem to have though.

Wally said...

Disappointing news on Rendon. Hopefully NatsJack has some first hand observations to share.

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

Wally, according to Kilgore's post, they want his shoulder and mechanics stronger before he plays in real games.

And fwiw, the Rockmelt browser works fine (and faster than the others), too.

captcha: "gatess" as in, blame bill gates (hissssssssss)?

someone else said...

this is a test of the emergency broadcast system

Anonymous said...

can we comment as anonymous, though?

Commenting as anonymous said...

use chrome, no problem...

jd said...


I am not convinced that Desmond won't be as good as Phillips just yet. I think it's worth another year. I don't love Oswalt and Beltran because of injury concerns and I wouldn't sign either of them for more than 1 year and they won't go for that.

There is a temptation to knock Espinosa because when he looks bad he looks real bad but he had such a productive 1st half and he is so great with the glove that you want to be real careful about under valuing him.

Mark Zuckerman said...

OK, I think we've got it figured out. If you've been trying to comment but have seen your text disappear when trying to post, and if you use Internet Explorer, please do the following...

1. In Internet Explorer, click on the Tools drop-down menu from the IE toolbar.

2. Select Internet Options from the menu.

3. In the Security Tab, click on the Trusted Sites zone (it's the green checkmark).

4. Click the Sites button.

5. Add the following sites:

6. Uncheck the "Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone.

7. Click the Close button.

8. Click the OK button.

9. Restart Internet Explorer.

This should solve the problem. If you still can't get it to work, please email me at zuckerman12@gmail.com

MicheleS said...

Testing.. Testing 1-2-3

MicheleS said...

Fix worked on my computer!

baseballswami said...

I Don't think we have seen enough of Marrero to write him off. As a matter of fact - I think he handled himself quite well. Glad you are getting your glitches fixed!

John said...

NatsJack, I am dying here. Can you at least tell us who won the game? Thanks. ;)

Theophilus said...

I don't think the organization has ever seriously contended that Lombardozzi was going to be more than a utility guy. In that sense, he'd fit in just fine in the 2012 scheme. Except Johnson might prefer having a veteran (but not Cora) on the bench. And it is conceivable Lombardozzi would improve his hitting with another year at Syracuse -- but it's hard to imagine him doing better than he did in 2011.

Marrero really looks like a marginal big league prospect at 1B. And what would he do if sent back to Syracuse? Split time w/ Tyler Moore? Try to learn the outfield again? So he could be Johnson's RH hitter off the bench, but I imagine Rizzo and Johnson could find someone (not Gomes) that was better, w/ more power. Marrero, in particular, would be better used as part of a trade for a good-field, not-an-embarrassment-at-the-plate back-up catcher. (Flores is ready to be dealt, also.)

Until someone actually sees Rendon in the field, he can't be counted at any of the infield positions. I wonder if he isn't the Dan Uggla-type, who would have been better served by moving him to LF early in his career and letting him concentrate on hitting.

Richard said...

What no love for Matt Antonelli, he with the .293/.393/.460 slash line at Syracuse this year, 17th overall pick by Pads in '06? No call up by Nats in September, no FIL, no AFL, no love from Mark ... I assume he won't be in the Nats organization next year. (P.S., had to use Foxfire to post this lament.)

Anonymous said...

The WaPo is reporting that Rendon will not participate in the AFL, and that Zach Walters will take his place.

John said...

Thanks NatsJack.

Anonymous said...

@DFL, I can only hope the Orioles front office thinks the same of Markakis. I recently wondered what it would take to pry him away. I doubt they'd take Lombardozzi but if it were up to me I'd offer Espinosa, Marrero and Lannan.

Wally said...

NatsJack - that sounds ominous. I wouldn't have figured that Purke would be ready before Rendon. Any word of mouth scuttlebutt going around about him down there?

JD - I was close to as optimistic as you on Desi coming in to the year, but have lowered my view of him. Not given up, and I won't mind if he comes back, but at some point a duck is a duck.

DFL said...

Anon, no to Espinosa but yest to Lombardozzi, Marrero and Lannan. The Orioles could use all three. So the Nats would have an outfield of Morse, Werth and Markakis for 2012 with Harper possibly allowing a shift of MOrse to first in 2013, Morse's better position.

Anonymous said...

DFL, interesting that you value Lombardozzi over Espinosa. I realize Danny's shortcomings but he has proven he a major leaguer. If I'm the O's I want his power to offset Marrero at first.

Anonymous said...

DFL is also an O's fan, he wants Lombardozzi

Mark'd said...

Wally, some say its how you finish and Desi and Espi finished strong.
Much more optimism on them and especially their defensive duo.

Mark'd said...

And to DFL, skip Markakis and give me Adam Jones and you got a deal if the Nats can extend him. Jones is a FA in 2 years.

Skata said...

Angelos would never trade his special buddy Markakis.

jd said...


I don't think you are getting Jones for any package mentioned above. Also 2 years is not bad; you need some flexibility and you have Werth tied up forever and you need Zim signed long term as well.

Like you I am bullish on Desi not because his results were good in the second half but because he changed his approach; Espi; not so much.

JUST SAY NO said...

BJ Upton strikes out for the 3rd time looking. 0-4. I think he had 2 or 3 ABs with men on base and no outs and couldn't do anything.

DFL said...

At this point, I would put much more value on Adam Jones than Nick Markakis. The only untouchables on the Orioles major league roster appear to be Jones and Matt Wieters unless the O's are foolish not to want to give Jones a big pay day.

Mark'd said...

JD, the Os may not want to pay Jones in arbitration as they have done in the past with Bedard and others. If McFAIL leaves, may be some wheeling and dealing.

Mark'd said...

DFL, looks like we agree on the O's. Still with Angelos nothing would surprise me. When he let Mike Mussina walk you knew his whole vision was to fool the fanbase.

So funny the Orioles are attaching their name to Prince Fielder like they do every year with every big Free Agent to give the appearance they are trying.

sunderland said...

I had a whole host of brilliant observations that I could not post, and now all I have left is the same rantings as before. Ah well. Your loss.
Good news, SteveM will soon be back.
Bad news, I can post again too.

Missed you all.

Captcha - protan, what NatsJack sports all year round.

Getting to be more than a casual Nats' fan said...

info for the uninformed. (and i apologize if this is obvious or easy to find....). But, with that said, could someone point me to a good explanation of UZR that includes an example of what good, poor, and average UZR ratings. And whether its an objective or subjective evaluation. thanks

DFL said...

Why would Fielder come to Baltimore except to pad his stats and play in a low-stress environment? After all, the Orioles are usually out of contention by Memorial Day.

Wally said...

Getting to be .....

Go to Fangraphs and click on the Glossary button. You'll see an 'UZR Primer'. It may not answer all your questions, but it is a good start

natsfan1a said...

Welcome back, Sunderland. Can't say that I had your back as far as rantings goes, but we missed you. :-)

BinM said...

Mark'd: The O's have a gaping hole at 1B for the immediate future unless they think Chris Davis or Joseph Mahoney could be a solution; The pundits should be associating Prince with them, based on need alone. What I fail to understand is why his name is still being linked with the Nats when LaRoche / Morse / Marrero are available in 40-man depth, and Moore is in the wings (minors).

Mark'd said...

DFL said... Why would Fielder come to Baltimore except to pad his stats and play in a low-stress environment? After all, the Orioles are usually out of contention by Memorial Day. October 4, 2011 5:30 PM

Well said and of course he isn't. Those rumor articles are just good for laughs. It is funny to see who gets all worked up over rumors and as you saw at the trade deadline, it certainly affects the player in the rumor.

Sunderland said...

BinM, I think it is as much a ploy of Boras as anything else. Boras has people plant these seeds, and lazy pundits repeat it. Plus, we have oodles of payroll flexibility.

Mark'd said...

Bingo Sunderland

BinM said...

Eureka! Mark's IE patch works - Many thanks.

Back to the current question of the day - the infield. Going into Viera 2012, the projected alingment of LaRoche / Espinosa / Desmond / Zimmerman is fine; Should LaRoche still be at less than 100% entering the regular season, Morse slips back to 1B and the team loses very little, imo. I think both Marrero & Lombardozzi wouldn't be hurt by spending a little more time in Syracuse to start the year, with a couple of IF-FA's added to the WSH bench to start the year should all things remain as they are currently.

For the sake of argument, I'll toss out some rough projections for 2012...
Scenario #1 - If LaRoche is healthy;
LaRoche (1B- 145GP, 75RS, 22HR, 85RBI, .270/.330/.420. [Gold Glove candidate].
Espinosa (2B- 150GP, 70RS, 25HR, 70RBI, .240/.325/.425, 20SB. [GG candidate].
Desmond (SS- 150GP, 95RS, 10HR, 55RBI, .270/.315/.400, 35SB.
Zimmerman (3B- 145GP, 90RS, 28HR, 100RBI, .290/.350/.450. [GG candidate].
- or -
Morse (1B- 150GP, 85RS, 28HR, 95RBI, .295/.355/.525.
Espinosa (2B- 150GP, 70RS, 25HR, 70RBI, .240/.325/.425, 20SB. [GG candidate].
Desmond (SS- 150GP, 95RS, 10HR, 55RBI, .270/.315/.400, 35SB.
Zimmerman (3B- 145GP, 90RS, 28HR, 100RBI, .290/.350/.450. [GG candidate].

Add on the catching corps (Ramos & ??) with a rough 162-game line of 60RS, 18HR, 58RBI, .250/.315/.395, and either way, It's not bad imo.

BinM said...

Sunderland & Mark'd: Good point. Given the recent history, Boras / Free Agent = Rizzo / Nationals, the national pundits and talking heads are just playing to a trend, but the wrong one. The Nationals have probably signed more Boras clients as Draft choices (Strasburg, Harper, Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin) than as Free Agents (Rodriguez, Werth).

BinM said...

Interesting that my last captcha was "chash"; A curious combination of "chase" and "trash" in a post referencing Boras clients.

Anonymous said...

I think Lombo has a big future in the Majors. Gets on base, very nice glove. Whether that future begins next year or not, that is a tough question...


Anonymous said...

Let's not leave Zach Walters out of the discussion.

Not at all. He's already on the AFL roster having only played to the A+ advanced level (Potomac at the end) so far. The organization must be pretty impressed with him to do that! Good return on Marquis. And as good as Rendon may be he will need competition to bring the best out him. As does Harper ... and perhaps Rendon will put a bit on the golden boy to boot.

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