Author Topic: The Nunez Dilemma - Should he stay or should he go?  (Read 1373 times)

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Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Baker is a 50 FV baserunner. Nunez is a 70. Moreover, the sprint speed data backs it up. He has 2 very good / outstanding MLB skills in his base running and D. Baker, OTOH, is a more rounded ballplayer (still no power) but is less :shock: in any skill.

The best argument right now against Nunez is that the Nats really have no use for his skills on the current roster. They aren't in a position where the occasional pinch running situation is going to impact an important incremental win (contrast that to Dave Roberts Game 4 2004 ALCS). Millas would upgrade the catching defense when he plays and let the Nats more easily DH Adams or Ruiz. That said, maybe the move to bring in Millas is to send Meneses down rather than release Nunez.

Right now, Nunez on the bench serves as a backup defensive MI when Vargas is otherwise used. He lets you play Vargas a bit more.

Online imref

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i'd argue, without any statistical basis, that this team would be better with Millas as the regular catcher and Adams/Ruiz in a DH platoon.

Online welch

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I'll stick my neck out and say that he's going to be in the majors in September even if the not with the Nats. He's just a deadly runner and his D is very good. He is not a well rounded player, but he's more or less a specialist. You say "until MLB starts using Designated Runners," but they've done it for ages. Dave Roberts was a legit ballplayer, but his most famous role was strictly as a pinch runner. The names Quintin Berry and Terrence Gore have come up. They always managed to find a spot on 25 man rosters down the stretch as specialists. With a 26 man, it's a lot easier.

Nunez runs fast. So did Herb Washington, who was an NCAA sprint champion, and who tied or broke the world record several times in the 50- and 60-yard dashes. Finley signed him as a dedicated runner, but gave him up after a season.

Who were Quintin Berry and Terrence Gore? I looked them up, finding that one of then had a good rookie season, but later played in 13, 10, 8, and 7 games, each with a different team. If he was worth a roster spot, some team would have kept him a second year. Gore once stole 11 bases and once stole 13. That's so little that he accumulated .1 WAR, while Berry was rated about -5.

How often have the Nats found a use for Nunez this season? Nunez has gotten into 14 games, scored 5 runs and stolen 2 bases -- caught once. Nunez has contributed nothing. I was a Yankee fan for most of those seasons after Bob Shorted Washington, and while MLB gave expansion franchises to small cities like Miami, Tampa, and the rest. I watched more than a few World Championship teams, and Yankee teams that went to the playoffs. Also some Met teams. I can't remember either team bringing up a guy just to run fast in October.

If Nunez goes back to Miami, will they just dump him again? Where would they use him?

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Who were Quintin Berry and Terrence Gore? I looked them up, finding that one of then had a good rookie season, but later played in 13, 10, 8, and 7 games, each with a different team. If he was worth a roster spot, some team would have kept him a second year. Gore once stole 11 bases and once stole 13. That's so little that he accumulated .1 WAR, while Berry was rated about -5.
right. They were specialists teams brought on board for the end of the season when they were in contention. Used to be when rosters expanded, but they also played some in August. Strictly pinch runners, although I believe Berry was in the field and saved Mark Buehrle's perfect game with an amazing catch.

Just an example of who might give Nunez a shot in August / September? How about LAD? If they grab a lead, then they can play Nunez at short and shift Mookie to the outfield. Big defensive upgrade that way.

By the way, I agree the Nats should get rid of him now and clear the roster spot. Offer him back to Miami. I don't think he'd get claimed by anyone if they had to keep him on a 26 man roster now. My only point is if the Nats wait much longer, say until August, they will not be able to sneak him through waivers.

Offline varoadking

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I believe Berry was in the field and saved Mark Buehrle's perfect game with an amazing catch.

That was DeWayne Wise, who later played with the Yankees...

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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That was DeWayne Wise, who later played with the Yankees...
Thanks. Berry pretty much became a pinch runner who was added to contender rosters in 2013. He got added to rosters pretty much every year from 2013-17. 38 games, 13 plate appearances, 8 steals. From 2014 -18, Gore had more steals than plate appearances for the good KC teams and the Cubs.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Bob Dernier turned into a decent player after he was traded to the Cubs in addition to being a burner. The Phillies had an even faster guy whose name I can’t remember at that time. But he could never hit.

Offline blue911

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Bob Dernier turned into a decent player after he was traded to the Cubs in addition to being a burner. The Phillies had an even faster guy whose name I can’t remember at that time. But he could never hit.

Jeff Stone?

Offline Smithian

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Hasn't touched the field in over a week. Nats calling Lipscomb up to sit him on the bench tells me they don't trust Nunez to back up the infield.

Him being on roster wastes a spot on a team scrapping for .500 and probably is terrible for his development to not be playing every day.

Online IanRubbish

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Hasn't touched the field in over a week. Nats calling Lipscomb up to sit him on the bench tells me they don't trust Nunez to back up the infield.

Him being on roster wastes a spot on a team scrapping for .500 and probably is terrible for his development to not be playing every day.

This is not about his development, but the job security of the GM who has oddly politicked his way to a bobblehead night.  Nunez will burn a roster spot for the rest of this year so Rizzo doesn't have to admit to making a mistake. 

Offline Smithian

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This is not about his development, but the job security of the GM who has oddly politicked his way to a bobblehead night.  Nunez will burn a roster spot for the rest of this year so Rizzo doesn't have to admit to making a mistake. 
At this point, what is the top upside of Nunez?

They're not playing him in different spots, so no idea if they trust him to develop away from SS. Which is strange for a SS. His bat only works every day if he is at SS, which means they're betting on Abrams not making it there, which isn't the worst bet but still not a great one.

If the Nats had traded for Nunez and he was playing every day in Rochester, hitting above the Mendoza line while moving off SS occasionally, I'd be really intrigued in him as a future utility guy. At the moment, he looks like a utility player no trusted to be a utility player.

And I am cheering for him. He clearly is a dynamic baserunner. Surely he is good with the glove. I just feel like this year is a waste of his and everyone else's time.

Online Slateman

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At this point, what is the top upside of Nunez?

Jacob Young at shortstop

Offline Smithian

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Jacob Young at shortstop
Live look at me considering that possibility


Online welch

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Nunez is Jordy Barley taking a spot on the 26-man roster. He is the Jeter Downs of 2024.

Online Slateman

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Live look at me considering that possibility

(Image removed from quote.)
But it is the ceiling. ~.320 OBP with fantastic defense and a ton of speed.

The truth is he should he utilized more. Theres no reason for Luis Garcia to finish any game in the field. Nunez is the fastest runner on the team.

And, honestly, if you were going to  stash a guy, this is the season to do it. He has two elite tools. Its totally fine to stash him on a team that you never expected to be .500.

Offline Smithian

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But it is the ceiling. ~.320 OBP with fantastic defense and a ton of speed.

The truth is he should he utilized more. Theres no reason for Luis Garcia to finish any game in the field. Nunez is the fastest runner on the team.

And, honestly, if you were going to  stash a guy, this is the season to do it. He has two elite tools. Its totally fine to stash him on a team that you never expected to be .500.
And right there is the truth.

Online welch

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The Nats have a short bench with Nunez taking a spot. If a starting player gets hurt, as Winker did today, then the team has one replacement plus the backup catcher. What if today's game had gone to extra innings?

Nunez hit .250 a few years ago in combined A+ and AA. He failed to make the Marlins 40-man after he hit .225 last year in AA, a year when he played in 125 games. He had plenty of chances.   

Offline varoadking

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Tells me again why we have to keep this ghost on the 26 man roster?

Offline aspenbubba

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I’m firmly in the camp to dump Nunez and have been as he is a wasted spot on the roster. The only thing that hasn’t been explicitly mentioned is Rizzo and Davey must see something in him that screams potential. We ( the fans) obviously don’t and his lack of appearances reinforces our opinions. Management could be wrong but they got rid of Dickerson last season so they do admit wrong decisions and dumped Rosenthal while owing him 7 M. Don’t pile on me as I still want him gone.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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I watched Slaten handle the Yankees last night for the Red Sox. Rule 5 from the Rangers system. Some of these Rule 5s work out. Santander for the Orioles is one of the better ones in recent history. It's just you hope to be able to get a guy into enough games not to waste a roster spot.

As for Nunez, the guy has outstanding speed and is supposed to play great defense. He also had a decent enough eye in the minors to take a lot of walks. OBPs of .390/.371 at A/A+ in 2022, .341 at AA in 2023. If he gets on, he steals. No power at all, and needs a bit more contact to keep that OBP up. 

The year is a waste in terms of development, the roster spot is more important than the hope he will contribute to the Nats long term, he probably should be gone, etc...  I would have offered him back to the Marlins in May. All that said, I would not be surprised at all if he has a better MLB career than any SS we have in Wilmington, Harrisburg, or Rochester. He's scored a run, so that may be enough.

Online Slateman

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FIRST BIG LEAGUE HIT!!!!

Online IanRubbish

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FIRST BIG LEAGUE HIT!!!!

Thank God Rizzo held that roster spot for him.

Offline readonly

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Now that we know he can hit, might as well keep him.

Offline Smithian

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Ain't even mad fam

Online welch

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Bring up Darren Baker. DFA Nunez. Baker is not as fast in a stright-line as Nunez, but baseball is not track and field. Baker is a good baserunner.