Monday, February 07, 2005

Day to the bullpen?

According to the Sporting News, the Nats are considering moving Zach Day to the bullpen, in favor of either Patterson or Rauch (with Hinkley likely being a dark horse in that scenario).

I wish I had time to analyze the stats to see how much of a jump his ERA takes subsequent times through the batting order, compared to other people in the rotation. But, I suspect that this is probably a good move, as it will keep him from tiring, and thus help him keep his sinkerball down. Ultimately, I think this is good news for the pitching staff, as I'd rather see either Rauch and Hinkley in the rotation than Day. Under this scenario, I'm wondering if the guy who doesn't make the rotation gets placed in the bullpen, or demoted to AAA, to keep them on a regular rotation. I'm starting to think that the later may happen, because the bullpen is starting to get crowded.

In this scenario, Cordero, Ayala, Osuna and Day are destined for bullpen spots. I'd expect Eischen to be the left-hander out of the pen, and would be a bit surprised if T.J. Tucker got dropped. Will the last spot go to the guy who doesn't make the rotation, or will it go to Gary Majewski or Joe Horgan, both of whom pitched well enough last year to merit competition for that spot.

Also in that article, Ken Rosenthal states that the Nats weren't willing to give up Wilkerson, but would have put together a package including Brendan Harris, Terrmel Sledge and maybe a minor leaguer. Considering that, and considering the amount of cash that the Cubs ended up ponying up for Sosa's salary, I'm a bit surprised we didn't get him. While it is easy to assimilate everything published on this and say, "Bowden wasn't going to spend a cent of his $6-7M budged on salary", I am starting to believe Guillen, who claimed last week that it boiled down to Sosa choosing which team he wanted to join. The other option is that Bowden valued Brendan Harris enough to not make it worth the cash to Bowden, which would make me extremely happy, because Harris is the guy on our 40-man roster who should really be playing 3rd base.

All in all, I think Bowden probably did a reasonable job, from the sound of it. Despite the fact that people still seem to think Bowden focuses on things like RBIs to make his decisions (instead of using those things as a way to try to sell his decisions to the public), I am still giving Bowden the benefit of the doubt, willing to tell myself for the moment that he's likely doing the best job he can, considering he's got no budget, and has had a difficult time attracting interest from talent, even in his price range. Though, I'm still stumped on Guzman... maybe every other SS on the market who was better gave Trader Jim the finger...

Other than that article, it was a very slow news weekend. The Nats Fan Club meeting went well, with the Washington Post's Barry Svrluga there, interviewing people. It looks like the club will get a plug in the Post soon! I enjoyed meeting people from the Ballpark Guys forum there, and was a bit disappointed that none of my fellow bloggers showed up! By the way, the Nats Fan Club has taken over give them a look!


At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure the Day to the bullpen idea makes a lot of sense, at least based on Day's 2004 stats. His ERA last year for pitches 1-45 was considerably higher than his ERA for pitches 46-90. (For pitches 1-15, 16-30 and 31-45, his 2004 ERAs were 4.61, 5.17 and 4.35, while his ERAs for pitches 46-60, 61-75 and 76-90 were 0.48, 3.63 and 2.57.) See

At 1:17 PM, Blogger John said...

Thanks for the link. It does seem to indicate he'd be worse off in the bullpen, but I still think Jon Rauch starting with Day in relief is likely to be more effective on the whole. Who knows, maybe Day will actually adjust. It does seem incredibly unfortunate that it takes him so long in a game to hit his stride, and something should be done about that, one way or another.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that this has anything to do with your article but I was curious what happened with your seats in Sec 227 - did you keep them or toss them back. FWIW I paid for mine on the promise that I might be upgraded - ie. "pay up and we'll take care of you". Now I call today and it seems they are giving priority to all those who did NOT get their first 3 choices - this includes everybody. The distinction between early depositers and everybody else seems to be lost. So even though I got my 3rd choice -albiet about the worst possible, I fear the prospects of getting moved have now turned to nil.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger John said...

Because they made a mistake and didn't consider me for my first choice, they did end up getting me into the Diamond Box.

You're right about the priority issue, as I heard the same thing from multiple people in the ticket office. You might want to bitch loudly on the BallPark Guys forum. Byron there works for the Nats ticket office, and may have a good chance of being sympathetic to your plight.


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