Thursday, March 15, 2007
Who Gets The Boot
When Manager Manny Acta announced this afternoon that Shawn Hill is penciled in as the Number Two Starter for Our Washington Nationals, he also made it perfectly clear that Jason Simontacchi is still not guaranteed a spot. Only because: "..at the end of the day, it's going to take some important decisions when you are going to take someone off the [40-man] roster -- guys who have options," said Manny.
So, WHO GETS THE BOOT? Does Joel Hanrahan or Tim Redding get released because of their poor performances this Spring? Have they seen enough of Brett Campbell, Jermaine Van Buren and Chris Schroder to take a chance of outrighting them to The Minors? What about Bernie Castro? The Nationals have made NO MENTION OF HIM THIS SPRING--Zilch!!
And the thought process doesn't stop with Simontacchi. In all likelihood, Ray King makes The BIG CLUB, as a second Non-Roster Invitee. Ronnie Belliard makes a third choice. Robert Fick is already guaranteed a spot. Both of whom are Non-Roster Invitees, also. Who of the lessers, do Our Washington Nationals choose to potentially lose? Possibly, even Michael Restovich? (although I have a personal fondness for the guy after my great conversation with him in Viera last month. I am pulling for him, somehow, to make it.)
I am expecting Castro and one of the lessers to be traded for some low level minor leaguer in some other organization. Castro has tremendous speed, but does not seem to do much else well enough. Four total moves on and off The 40 Man Roster are definitely going to happen by March 31. General Manager Jim Bowden is probably burning out the battery life on his Blackberry, figuring out HOW TO MAKE LESS INTO MORE.
PS--Someone I am sure can correct me, if I am wrong. But, I believe only a player on the 60 Day Disabled List does not count toward the 40 Man Roster. Nick Johnson will, most likely make that list to start the 2007 season. 15 Day Disabled Listed players still count on the 40 Man Roster.
PSS--And Jason Bergmann didn't help himself tonight in his opportunity to get a starter spot in the Nats Rotation. Jason, unfortunately, got torched in Vero Beach against The Dodgers, giving up 4 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks and 2 HR's in 2+ innings. He did not look good. Matt Chico, on the other hand, struggled through 4 innings against The Tigers, but still did not give up a run, lowering his Spring ERA to 3.86.