Author Topic: SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.  (Read 1552 times)

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Offline JMW IV

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Topic Start: February 16, 2006, 02:08:43 PM »
This thread is for the purpose of discussing the various Position Battles  that will occur in Spring Training, and what uncertainties position-wise that our boys need to get sorted out before Opening Day.  We have quite a few Battles that will be going on. and a whole lot of uncertainty.

This post is really more of a list, so we can remember who we should be paying special attention to during ST.

Center Field:

Ryan Church vs. Marlon Byrd vs. Brandon Watson

Shortstop:

Cristian Guzman  vs. Royce Clayton

Starting Pitchers:

Ryan Drese vs. Brian Lawrence vs. Ramon Ortiz vs. Tony Armas vs. Jon Rauch

Comment: 5 Pitchers, 3 spots. FUN.

Reserve Catcher:

Wiki Gonzalez vs. Alberto Castillo vs. Brandon Harper vs. Robert Fick vs. Matt LeCroy

Comment: SOMEBODY has to be the backup Catcher.

Reserve 1st Baseman:

Matt LeCroy vs. Robert Fick vs. Daryle Ward

Reserve Infield:

Damian Jackson vs. Marlon Anderson vs. Brendan Harris vs. Bernie Castro

Comment: Whomever loses out at SS will be the primary backup there. so this is more of a super-sub 2b/3b type deal.


((did I miss any that warrant discussion??))

Discuss.

Offline tomterp

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #1: February 16, 2006, 02:11:14 PM »
Jmad, you seem to think the bullpen is settled.  I'm not so sure about that...

Offline JMW IV

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #2: February 16, 2006, 02:13:54 PM »
Quote from: "tomterp"
Jmad, you seem to think the bullpen is settled.  I'm not so sure about that...


what's uncertain about it?

I'd think about the only thing, is Jon Rauch's status.  I'd imagine they will give him a shot at 5th starter, and if he doesn't make that, he'd be the final Bullpen guy.

Offline tomterp

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« Reply #3: February 16, 2006, 02:25:55 PM »
Well, for one thing we have 6 starters, excluding Rauch.

One of the six starters will be competing for a bullpen slot, if all 6 are healthy as we break camp. I have to think Hughes and Rauch are also competing with Bergmann for a slot on the 25 man roster.  So I think we have 4 guys competing for 2 -3 slots in relief.

Didn't they pick up another lefty recently, off the Yankees slag heap?  Potential competition, but more likely just backup in case Stanton or Eichen goes down.

Offline JMW IV

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #4: February 16, 2006, 02:30:15 PM »
oh dammit. i forgot all about Hughes.

Offline The Chief

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #5: February 16, 2006, 02:49:39 PM »
My picks:

Center Field:
Marlon Byrd - This man has some serious passion, and if our new hitting coach can keep his swing on track, I think he can reasonably be expected to be a .280 hitter, perhaps better.  Hopefully steal some more bases, too.  His fielding ain't too shabby either.

Shortstop:
Cristian Guzman - whether or not the forced batting stance rumors were true, I definitely saw a different Guz in September than we saw the rest of '05.  I seriously doubt he's going to allow himself to be embarassed by being benched with a $16mil contract.

Starting Pitchers:
Tony Armas, Brian Lawrence - I think Lawrence is a lock, at least in the beginning.  They're going to want to try out their new man.  I picked Armas over Drese because Armas is more consistently mediocre.  With Drese, you know pretty much after the first few innings if he's going to blow the game, and when he does, he usually blows it badly.  Armas on the other hand, is much closer to the median whether he's winning or losing.  He can reasonably be expected to tough it out longer than Drese (or at least, be allowed to by Frank) as long as he doesn't get dehydrated :roll:

Reserves
I don't know too much about any of these guys, so I won't comment.

Offline JMW IV

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #6: February 16, 2006, 03:00:49 PM »
Quote from: "The Chief"
My picks:

Center Field:
Marlon Byrd - This man has some serious passion, and if our new hitting coach can keep his swing on track, I think he can reasonably be expected to be a .280 hitter, perhaps better.  Hopefully steal some more bases, too.  His fielding ain't too shabby either.

Shortstop:
Cristian Guzman - whether or not the forced batting stance rumors were true, I definitely saw a different Guz in September than we saw the rest of '05.  I seriously doubt he's going to allow himself to be embarassed by being benched with a $16mil contract.

Starting Pitchers:
Tony Armas, Brian Lawrence - I think Lawrence is a lock, at least in the beginning.  They're going to want to try out their new man.  I picked Armas over Drese because Armas is more consistently mediocre.  With Drese, you know pretty much after the first few innings if he's going to blow the game, and when he does, he usually blows it badly.  Armas on the other hand, is much closer to the median whether he's winning or losing.

Reserves
I don't know too much about any of these guys, so I won't comment.


keep in mind that there are THREE starting pitching slots open. 3, 4 and 5.

I'll render mine here:

Center Field:

Marlon Byrd, for much the same reason as you.

Shortstop:

This is a tough one. Royce-a-Roni isn't the ideal solution anywhere, but I'm sure he can put up more than Guzman did for most of the Season.

I think that Guzman's gonna stumble again this spring.  so I am going to go with Clayton.

Starting Pitcher:

3 - Brian Lawrence
4- Ryan Drese
5 -Ramon Ortiz

Like you, I think Lawrence is a lock for 3rd Starter.  However, the other two I differ.  I think Ortiz will turn out to be a serviceable #5, and Rauch Spot-starting in that slot.  Drese also was pitching injured and had surgery in the off-season.  He had that one brilliant game against Anaheim, and his shoulder was shot beyond that.  I have a feeling that this shoulder injury was carried over from Texas, when the Rangers couldn't figure out what was wrong with him.  My hunch says that Drese comes back close to 100% and turns a lot of heads in ST, and becomes a very reliable 3/4 Starter over the course of the season.  Ryan Drese is going to be the VERY pleasant surprise that Esteban Loaiza was last season.  barring injury, of course.

I have ZERO faith in Tony Armas.  and this is me being nice.

Backup Infielders:

I'm pretty sure Marlon Anderson WILL be on the bench, if only to Pinch-Hit. he was the BEST pinch-hitter in the NL last season.  I think Brendan Harris makes it as the backup 3rd Baseman, and 1st Base is going to be a tough call between Daryle Ward and Matt Lecroy.

Offline tomterp

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #7: February 16, 2006, 04:36:52 PM »
Brendan Harris isn't even listed on the MLB depth chart.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/depth_chart/index.jsp?c_id=was

Offline JMW IV

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #8: February 16, 2006, 04:41:36 PM »
Quote from: "tomterp"
Brendan Harris isn't even listed on the MLB depth chart.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/depth_chart/index.jsp?c_id=was


that's because MLB.com only lists players who are on the 40-man roster on the depth chart.

Brendan Harris is not on the 40-man.

neither are Daryle Ward or Royce Clayton.

Offline tomterp

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #9: February 16, 2006, 04:49:16 PM »
Quote from: "JMadisonIV"
Quote from: "tomterp"
Brendan Harris isn't even listed on the MLB depth chart.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/depth_chart/index.jsp?c_id=was


that's because MLB.com only lists players who are on the 40-man roster on the depth chart.

Brendan Harris is not on the 40-man.

neither are Daryle Ward or Royce Clayton.


Harris listed on the MLB one right now.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=was

Offline JMW IV

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #10: February 16, 2006, 04:52:12 PM »
Quote from: "tomterp"
Quote from: "JMadisonIV"
Quote from: "tomterp"
Brendan Harris isn't even listed on the MLB depth chart.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/depth_chart/index.jsp?c_id=was


that's because MLB.com only lists players who are on the 40-man roster on the depth chart.

Brendan Harris is not on the 40-man.

neither are Daryle Ward or Royce Clayton.


Harris listed on the MLB one right now.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=was


then MLB.com isn't on the Ball somewhere heh.

Harris is currently slated to be the backup 3rd Baseman, if I recall. *not* Tony Blanco.

Blanco's not going to be on the 40-man at all, come season time. He spends a full year in Triple-A, at the least.

JammingEcono

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #11: February 16, 2006, 05:00:46 PM »
CF: Church, despite his rumored doghouse status with F-Rob, simply because I don't think that Byrd or Watson are really starter material.

SS:Guzman.  He's motivated to improve and he can't possibly be as bad as last season.  Plus this team's management is too proud to just let $16M rot on the bench.

SP: #3 Lawrence, #4 Ortiz, #5 Armas.  Lawrence would be a lock to be the #4 starter on a real team, so he's a lock to be the #3 with the Nats.  Ortiz and Armas get their slots by default since Drese is going to take a while to get healthy and Rauch has never shown that he can handle the starting role with any consistency.

Reserve C:
Probably a Fick/LeCroy platoon due to limited space on the 25 -man roster.  Gonzalez/Harper/Castillo will see limited time (if any) outside of AAA methinks.

Reserve 1B: All three (Ward, Fick, LeCroy) will platoon depending on the matchup, who's covering for Schneider that day, F-Rob's mood, the alignment of the planets, etc.

Reserve IF: Anderson or Jackson (probably more Jackson), again depending on the matchups, whether Frank's taken his Zoloft that day, etc.

Re: the bullpen situation, the only battle I could see developing is for the 7th inning guy to setup Ayala.  If Felix Fodriguez returns to form, I think he could take Majewski's job.

Offline tomterp

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #12: February 16, 2006, 10:10:12 PM »
Quote from: "JammingEcono"
CF: Re: the bullpen situation, the only battle I could see developing is for the 7th inning guy to setup Ayala.  If Felix Fodriguez returns to form, I think he could take Majewski's job.


No way anybody's taking Majewski's job, IMHO.  If anything, Chad had better not falter out of the gates this season, cause Gary's nipping at his heals.  

I could see Rodriquez picking off a low performer on the staff, if there is one, but Majewski is a rock.

Offline Kenz aFan

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Re: SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #13: February 17, 2006, 12:39:46 PM »
Starting Pitchers:
Brian Lawrence is a groundball pitcher who is coming to a better defensive club in the Nats. That in itself should help his numbers, so he's a lock in the rotation. With the limited working budget the Nats have, Bowden didn't sign Ramon Ortiz as a FA pitcher for $2.5 million to have him battle for the fifth spot. Coming from park that heavily favor hitters, plus the added defense, I also expect his overall numbers to improve. Ortiz is a lock in the rotation. That leaves, Armas,  Drese, Rauch and company. (Was the $2.1 million contract Armas signed guaranteed or not? If it was, at well over $1 million more than what Drese and/or Rauch are making, along with anyone else, he has a decided edge over the others. I'd also love to know what the Nats plans are for Billy Traber, who they signed as a FA (minor league contract?) on November 15th. Will he be in camp with the others, or is he a minor league project?

Bullpen:
Cordero, Ayala, Majewski, Eischen and Stanton might be considered locked in. That leaves Felix Rodriguez and Jason Bergmann, along with whoever the best pitcher who loses the 5th starter spot fighting for one spot in the bullpen, two spots if the Nats decide to carry 12 pitchers going into the season.

Backup Catcher:
Fick is penciled in as the 3rd catcher, behind Schneider and whoever gets the official (or quasi official) backup job. Gonzalez, Castillo and Harpers would have to have more than impressive camps to earn the backup job. If one of then does, I think Gonzalez has the biggest upside. Remember LaCroy's contract is non-guaranteed, also Neither Fick or LaCroy are upgrades defensively from Gary Bennett, so if they end up being the backups, their advantage as a pair, would be they together they hit from both sides of the plate.

Backup 1st Base:
Between Fick, LeCroy and Ward,only Fick has that guaranteed contract in hand, plus Fick can also play the outfield.

Shortstop:
If both players play up to par, it may come down to who's glove they want at SS everyday. If that's the case, Guzman might end up being the backup at 3B and SS, pushing Harris back to the minors.

Reserve Infield:
Anderson and Jackson are locks as subs. Together they play every infield position and can play the OF. I think whoever loses the battle at SS pushes Harris back to New Orleans, so there may not even be a battle here.

Center Field:
You best insert the name of Alfonso Soriano because it's possible that the only way he agrees to play the outfield, might be if he was in the glamor spot in center.

Synopsis:

Starting Pitchers: At least 7 pitchers vying for 5 spots.
Bullpen: Assuming a 6 man bullpen, at least 4 pitchers for one spot.
Backup Catcher: Last season all the Nats had, was Bennett.
Backup 1st Base: 4 guys (5 if you include Broadway) capable of winning the job.
Bench: Assuming a 6 man bench, 11 players (8 infielders, 3 outfielders) will be battling to be on it.

Because of the versatility of players like Anderson, Jackson and Fick, there very likely only will be one backup outfielder.

One word sums up the outlook for the Nats 2006 camp, and that word would be, SWEET!

Offline PC

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #14: February 20, 2006, 07:53:13 PM »
Does anyone know how Rick Short is doing?

Offline JMW IV

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #15: February 20, 2006, 09:36:28 PM »
Short is playing in Japan.

Offline PC

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #16: February 20, 2006, 10:29:04 PM »
Quote from: "JMadisonIV"
Short is playing in Japan.


Thanks for the info.  I just did a quick check around and found that he was "sold" to Tohku Rakuten for cash.

Offline tomterp

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SPRING TRAINING Roster Talk: What we DON'T know.
« Reply #17: February 21, 2006, 01:22:18 PM »
He did have a fairly serious shoulder injury, and at his age he may not ever get back to what he had last year.  What a shame we didn't keep him up the first time.