Wednesday, March 30, 2005

End of Endy

Nice, I haven't been able to log into blogger, so sorry if this commentary is less than timely. I wrote up this post last night, and I'm just now getting to publish it (11 AM-ish).

The Nats sent down three more. Gary Majewski doesn't surprise me. He got off to a slow start this spring, and was a long shot in my book, anyway.

Jon Rauch surprised me a little bit, considering that Armas is spending 15 days on the DL. I'd expected to see Hernandez, Ohka, Loaiza, Day, Patterson, Osuna, Ayala, Cordero, Eischen and Horgan go north. I'm surprised that T.J. Tucker sat over Rauch in the pecking order. Anyway, when Armas is healthy, except Tucker to be the one sent down.

The demotion that surprised me the most was Endy Chavez. I'm pleased as punch, as the indication was that the team was going to look past his history and his awful spring.

This is amazing, because from the traditionalists view (i.e., F-Rob), there is no obvious lead-off hitter, and there is no obvious center fielder. This may very well indicate that a trade for a traditional CF is lined up, or otherwise expected. Nick Johnson's name keeps coming up, even though his value is probably near an all time low. With Armas on the DL, I'm less worried about a guy like Rauch being traded, because there is now a depth issue. I don't see people like Majewski and Vargas as off-limits, though, so one of those guys could be packaged up.

If there's no trade, Robinson suggests Ryan Church will get the day to day nod in CF. That's fine by me. I'd also be fine with Wilkerson in center and Sledge in left, or seeing J.J. Davis out there on a daily basis. In reality, I expect him to give all three a lot of time until there is a clear reason to prefer one of the three on a day-to-day basis. Davis is already set up to be the odd man out, since there's always a strong case for Sledge and his bat.

This means that someone is going to be getting some time in CF that one wouldn't want to see there. That might be Wilkerson, who, earlier in the offseason, was all but begging to be put in a single spot and stay there. That would keep Sledge out of CF, who is definitely a guy you would want to keep in the left corner. But Wilkerson himself is
better suited for left.

They could also switch Wilkerson around, or fix him in left and cross their fingers when Sledge is in center. I can't imagine he'd be much worse than the 2005 Bernie Williams!

Beyond our 5 outfielders, 11 pitchers and 2 catchers, we're expected to carry 7 infielders. Barring injury, we can expect to see Johnson, Vidro, Guzman, Castilla, Cordero and Carroll. The last spot is between Blanco and Baerga. My crystal ball is hazy, but I would keep Baerga, myself.


At 12:08 PM, Blogger Sam said...

If you feel bad, think about how the Special Section folks feel -- their team summary starts by noting that Endy making it as a CF/LO hitter is the most important issue in the lineup. Darn pre-printed sections . . .

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Basil said...

I noticed that when I was leafing through the section outside during lunch on this beee-u-ti-full day, Sam.

Also, John, I like the angle you took regarding a "traditionalist's CF." Interesting way to frame the issue and where we go from here.

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