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: " 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.


mike edgar said...

I will be amazed if Simontacchi does not make the starting rotation. After JP and SHill, No one else in camp has really done anything to deserve consideration above him at this point.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Mike: Simontacchi makes the team, The Nats just have to make an appropriate roster move. Those moves are going to be interesting, and telling, at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to see how the outfielders will pan out. Logan will make the 25 man roster, but what about Church, Escobar, Casto etc.?

Anonymous said...

I think it is great that some of the guys who are NR invitees are likely to make the team, this would never happen on the Yankees or Red Sox! I think your assessment is right of the 4 guys who will make the team. Ray King had a good outing tonight as did Redding, so don't count him out yet. Also, with no one really standing out at first base don't Dmitri Young out, he had a good game tonight against the dodgers in his first action with the big club, there are still two weeks of camp left and Manny has so VERY hard decisions.

As for the moves that may occur to make room on the 40 man roster? Here are my thoughts and I am not up on who all has options left etc., so I may be wrong! Then after these moves, active roster decisions will have to be made and I am completely unsure about those....

1) Brett Campbell gets taken off the 40 man, he didn't even get into an exhibition game that speak volumes!

2) Mike Hinckley gets taken off the 40 man roster, he may still have potential but he is far off from coming to RFK.

3) Mike O'Connor, he is suppose to start throwing tomorrow off a flat surface I would not be surprised to see him on the 60-day DL as he is scheduled to come back by June the earliest.

4) I would not be surprised if we return Speinger to the Twins, he has only pitched in 1 exhibition game and I would not be surprised if after we return him we trade a low prospect for him and put him in Harrisburg to start the season.

5) Jermaine Van Buren gets taken off the 40 man roster, he needs to develop something elese besides a fastball in the minors.

6) Something happens with an OF - either remove Frank Diaz, Resotvich, or release Escobar.

Chris Needham said...

You're right on the 60-day DL. They don't count against 40-man limits.

Players like Castro could most likely be outrighted (placed on waivers with the intent of being taken off the roster) with little risk of losing them. And if someone did claim him, it's not like the Nats couldn't scrounge someone like him up pretty easily.

Anonymous said...

My guess:

Added to 40 man: King, Belliard, Fick, simontacchi, maybe Lee or young.

Deleted from 40 man:
(1) Campbell (will clear waivers)

(2) Johnson to 60-day DL

(3) O'Connor to 60-day DL

(4) Castro removed (likely to clear waivers)

(5) If they need a fifth spot, look for a trade (Broadway? Church? Hinckley? Rivera?)

phil dunn said...

I think the big surprise for this season is not how bad the pitching is going to be; everyone knows that. The big surprise will be how weak the offense is. This team has very little punch at the plate.

phil dunn said...

Two other concerns from Viera--

1. Where is John Patterson? Why isn't he pitching in games?

2. Ryan Church seems to be having a worse spring training than last year, when he was sent to the minors. He still takes fat pitches, gets behind in the count and then swings at bad ones.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Phil: John Patterson is pitching. Its just that the team is setting him up to throw on Opening Day. It just so happened that two of his throwing days were off days, so he threw at Accelerated Camp in intersquad games. Unfortunately, Church has not impressed. Even I have to admit that.

Anonymous said...

Where is Claussen in all this?
I don't see him on the 40 man

Screech's Best Friend said...

Claussen is a non-roster invitee that his coming back from rotator cuff surgery. Not expected to play before May, at the earliest, possibly mid-season

Anonymous said...

But, doesn't Claussen need to be put on the 40 man then put on the 60 day DL to keep him?

Screech's Best Friend said...

No-he's considered a minor league player, he's not on the major league roster at all, he doesn't count. All the team has to do is reassign him to whatever minor league affilate they wish. Claussen will only be put on the 40 man roster when he's healthy and the team wants to call him up. Once they call him up, depending on whether he has MAJOR LEAGUE OPTIONS remaining, will decide what they want to do with him, if he's not helping the Major League Club and they wish to send him back down. You can always call up a player, but not necessarily send him down, without exposing him to other clubs. I hope that all makes sense.