Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Over These Last 13 Games

Over these last 13 game of 2009, The African Queen and I would like to see all the following from Our Washington Nationals:

Adam Dunn's 40th Home Run, Josh Willingham's 25th and Ryan Zimmerman's 100th RBI.

Elijah Dukes continuing to show more patience at the plate and being capable of hitting a curveball. Justin Maxwell too.

John Lannan not only getting his 10th personal victory (a career high) but also his 11th. Livan Hernandez finishing off with two more wins as well.

J.D. Martin to complete his rookie campaign with an above .500 record. Only Shairon Martis, who was sent down in June to Syracuse, currently is our only other starter with more wins than losses.

Mike MacDougal to save his 20th game of the season for Washington. Tyler Clippard to give up less of the long ball and find a little more control. At times this season, Clippard has been absolutely lights out on the mound. Impressive, just not consistent enough.

We want to get a better feeling about Ian Desmond. Is he really a potential answer for our 2010 lineup? Or, someone that's close but needs more time to grow at AAA?

A modest winning streak would be nice. A few more Curly "W's" put into the books. Down six to The Pittsburgh Pirates for the worst record in baseball, it's unlikely Washington will catch up. But an above .500 record over these final 13 games would go along way toward showing our team hasn't quit.

And finally, as he has proven all season, The Z-Man is rounding himself into the finest fielding third baseman in the game. No one has better range, no one has a better glove. Our Number 11 has even cut down on his throwing errors in the second half of this season. He can't do much more to make Sohna and I believers. But, we want Ryan to use these last two weeks of 2009 to prove to the rest of baseball that he is deserving of his first Gold Glove Award. Hopefully, the first of many more to come.

In fact, Ryan Zimmerman receiving this post-season award is more important than any other of the modest goals mentioned previously in this post because a Gold Glove brings respect. Admiration and attention for a job well done. Homage that Zimmy is a solid young man to build around.

Our Franchise Player bringing honor to Our Washington Nationals.

All Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


An Briosca Mor said...

I want to see Ian Desmond playing every day, preferably at short but if not there then at second. Definitely not in right field.

I also want to see no more stupid manager tricks before Interim Jim's name gets changed back to just Jim.

SenatorNat said...

I like this wish list from SBF - very reasonable. I think that Riggles magic number remains 8 wins out of remaining 13 - very tough, but not impossible. He needs to finish matching Acta's 2008 win total, and thereby achieving 33-42 record, playing at .440. Anything less is difficult to explain as your rationale for signing him to two year contract, which is minimum the next manager should receive.

Tim Foli makes sense should Riggles not bring team in at 59 wins, since he would be elevated along with his batting and pitching coaches to manage many guys he groomed in Triple A.

Team may go West and hire Bob Melvin or someone like that whom Rizzo has connections with and admires - that would be fine, as well. But, my money is on Foli, since they brought him up to sit on the bench, and that is what they did with Rick Eckstein last year, for example.

Team needs to count on Dukes and Desmond to be on the team and playing regularly or often. And, it needs to be able to rely on Pete Orr to be the Ronnie Belliard utility guy in the infield, backing up Dunn and Zimmerman principally and pinch-hitting. Gonzalez is servicable middle-infielder and Schneider can be signed as excellent defensive back-up to Flores.

Planning on Desmond to play short and Guz second everyday would free team to make the offer I am urging: pay big money to lure Matt Holliday to the Nats to play left and bat 5th behind Dunn, moving Willingham to right. I know that both Guz and Dunn would be in their final contract years; that Williamgham is average at best in right; that Desmond is unproven as everyday shortstop; that Holliday is no spring chicken; and that big money should logically go to starting pitching.

But, should team pay to have Diamondback starter Doug Davis join a rotation of Lannan, Olsen, Hernandez and Detwiler (plus Martin), the $7-8 million expended therein, plus $2 million more for a Beimel type to round out a bullpen of MacDougal, Burnett, Clippard, Stammen, and a Valone situational reliever replacement {S Martis penciled in below}leaves the team $10-12 million for Holliday. Then, question is: are Nats willing to give 5 years $60 million contract to him?

Consider the following as Opening Day line-up (roster) 2010:

1. N. Morgan CF (W. Harris)
2. C. Guzman 2B (A. Gonzalez)
3. R. Zimmerman 3B (P. Orr)
4. A. Dunn 1B
5. M. Holliday LF
6. J. Williamham RF (E. Dukes)
7. J. Flores C (B. Schneider)
8. I. Desmond SS
9. J. Lannan M. MacDougal
D. Davis J. Beimel
S. Olsen S. Burnett
L. Hernandez T. Clippard
R. Detwiler C. Stammen
J.D. Martin {S. Martis}

Recognizing that Strasburg, Storen, Maxwell could be making a play to come up at the All-Star Break to replace or supplement roster spots, this seems like a decent team altogether. If Holliday is out of the question, then use the money he would garner for Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson. This is the more likely scenario, since they would be stop-gap guys.

But, I am convinced that Matt Holiday hitting 5th elevates the Nationals starting line-up into play-off caliber hitting wise, and that the defense as I have set the roster would be adequate. And, if everything broke right, the pitching would be adequate too.

Trust in the Hot Stove league. More fun than the real thing...All fantasy.

SenatorNat said...

Will add here that Buster Olney is saying that Nats are interested in signing Buck Showalter, who has 11 year record of .514 and did well at Arizona for three years (1998-2000) before doing sub-.500 for Rangers 2003-6. Key here is Rizzo's familiarity with him and that his middle name is Nathaniel, which, of course, begins with the word Nat...

JJ Hardy, all .228 of him hitting, but with good numbers in 2007-8 and solid fielding and some power, can be part of a trade with Brewers which Rizzo is probably looking at - 27 years old is a selling point. Trade AGonzalez for him straight up sure would not bother me. Put Orlando Hudson on the roster O.K. too; but both would be there as utility and/or starter placekeepers for whom? Logic suggests: for Desmond at short, but I haven't a clue for second base. Smiley? Should team deal Gonzalez, that will close out Bonifacio, Hernandez, & Gonzo as middle infielders of the future for Nats in one brief season.

Frustrating to see FLOP holding on to that .308 BA with Brewers - how is it possible that a guy that couldn't hit himself in the face with a fly-swatter can do this - believe me, I do not wish him back were he Ty Cobb - but, it is still mind-boggling. Let's give Brewers the $10 million option on Kearns - perhaps he shall hit 50 homeruns at Miller Park!