Monday, January 01, 2007
Ladson, Logan & The Outfield
I can't understand Nationals.com 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 Nationals.com 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.