Monday, January 01, 2007

Ladson, Logan & The Outfield

I can't understand Beat Writer, Bill Ladson's, continued push for Nook Logan to be the everyday starting centerfielder for Our Washington Nationals in 2007.

In his latest post on the site , Ladson looks over the teams makeover since the end of the 2006 season. The leaving of Alfonso Soriano & Jose Vidro, among others, along with the arrivals of Chris Snelling, Emiliano Fruto and the ton of Major and Minor League Free Agents. The story is fairly run of the mill, nothing really special, or new, except for his continued insistence that Logan WILL BE the everyday starting centerfielder, over Alex Escobar or, even Ryan Church, if Church is not traded by April, 2007.

Logan has tremendous speed, and is capable of using that speed to enhance his defensive glove work, and run the bases very well. That's it. Nook has a terrible arm for a centerfielder, he will not be able to throw out just about any opposing baserunner. At the plate, he has proven in his 7 seasons of pro ball, that he just can not hit lefthanders, at all. Nook Logan is a platoon, 4th outfielder at best. In that role, Logan would have value. As an everyday player, I can just see him failing, badly.

Escobar is the most injury prone player to come along is quite some time. Since the newly acquired from Seattle, Chris Snelling has a similar history, maybe the two can compare notes and find a way to stay healthy, together. Both Alex and Chris could actually help the Nats over the long haul. Escobar is a 5 tool player, doesn't have the speed of Logan, but outdistances Nook on every other level of play. And, no doubt, Escobar has one of the finest cannon arms in the game. Watching Alex throw a ball from deep centerfield, is nothing short of breathtaking to watch. Snelling appears to be a fine contact hitter, with power. Escobar and Snelling could complement each other nicely in the outfield.

Obviously, General Manager, Jim Bowden, is looking to move, Ryan Church--which unless Jimbo is able to return a fine starting pitcher for number 19, would be a waste of time. For some time, its been clear Nats Management does not like Church. The Nats don't need any more corner outfielders to receive in return on any trade, when, in all likelihood, their current potential starters may not be able to get out of the 3rd inning of any game.

Church as been a favorite player of mine, since the very first days of the Nats Franchise in Washington, and I have always felt that, if given a fair chance, Ryan would play well over the course of an entire season. He hits lefties better than right handed throwers. The team has messed with this man mind for two seasons. Unfortunately, its affected him, and, he struggles to hit a curve or off speed pitch--frustratingly so, sometimes.

But, considering the fact that we are not going to be too good in 2007, it doesn't hurt to give him an honest chance. Although I could never see Jimbo making this maneuver, I would be far more comfortable trading Austin Kearns and keeping Church. The more I have seen Austin play, the less he impresses me. The opposite of my previous view of him, when he competed for Cincinnati. Austin has power, a good arm and plays right field well, if not spectacularly, but do find find him special? I haven't yet. Kearns must have far more value than Church, and bring a far greater return in any trade. As much as I would go for this scenario. I just can't see Bowden trading one of his boys. He might. Just not expecting it.

Finally--The Boston Globe continues to pounce all over the Boston Red Sox looking to pick up "The Chief", Chad Cordero from Washington, to be the Sox Closer. Its OK to listen to any offer, but if, Bowden is convinced and Cordero is traded, Jimbo better bring back some seriously good pitching for our Nats. Nothing short of quality arms (Multiple Players) will suffice. Nothing else--please.


farid said...

Almost seems as though we compared notes before writing our Monday columns.

I guess that Ladsen's man-love for Nook Logan got to you as much as it got to me.

Say Hey Klib said...

I believe the Nats want Righthanders Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen (both who split time between the majors and minors last season) and Clay Buchholz, who finished last season in high A ball and is supposed to be the pitching stud of the Red Sox system. He struck out 140 in 119 innings with only 33 walks, a 2.42 ERA and a .208 OAV. Buchholz is bieng touted as a star in the making.

I think the big hang up with the Sox is if they want to give away so much young pitchers (Buchholz)

farid said...

That's just too much for Chad Cordero. I'd consider (were I the Red Sox)trading Bucholtz and a second tier pitcher -- maybe Hansen.

I've always believed the proper ratio for getting a star in trade is to offer a prized rookie who could be better and another rookie who won't be as good.

Eddie Cunningham said...

This is slightly off-topic, but I just want to say the mystery of the $30 convenience fee has been solved! The truth is that I could have paid the exact same $20 convenience fee that SBF and other season ticket holders get. My mistake? I ordered them over the internet so thus an additional $10 fee was added. So I'm a little poorer and a lot wiser.

SenatorNat said...

Should the Nats bundle Church and Cordero, the bet is that we are back to dealing with the Reds, since the Red Sox have a GM too saavy for Bow-Bow. the Reds may feel it is pay back time for Gary "Not-So Majestic"!

WillyMo, and a starter - yuk, plus some minor league pitcher. Nats probably see Big Jon Rauch as a Dick Radich-styled closer. We could have just swapped starting line-ups with the Reds a year or more ago, and saved the machinations.

Seriously, Nats should hold on to "Real Nats" like Church and Cordero; pray that Escobar can defy the Gods in 2007 - sacrifice a goat or Peter Angelos to satisfy them perhaps in March; and pay Toma Ohka about what Livo was getting, so we can actually have four starters in 2007. Logan is great for pinch-running, in my view, and little else, but I hope that I am wrong.

Clay Buchholz is far too valuable sounding, I agree - for American Idol, where guys named Clay do very well - as for another Class A phenom, the Nats have stockpiled a few already. The Chief is a Real Nat, and we should stay with him, in my view. Trade ONLY for .500 or better proven starter.

Say Hey Klib said...

It looks like the possible deal with the Red Sox may be dead. The Red Sox signed Joel Pinero, pending physical. With the Sox list of starters and set up men, he could end up as their closer.