Monday, January 25, 2010
Mike Rizzo continues to build Major League depth on Our Washington Nationals Roster. Today, the announcement coming that not only had Our GM signed veteran lefthanded slugger Chris Duncan to a free agent contract, like six days ago, but also continued the revamping of Washington's pitching strength with two more arms (not two southpaws as originally stated).
34-Year Old Tyler Walker signed to pitch in relief (pending a physical), as well as, Chuck James (to a minor league deal). Still just 28-years-old, James was one of The Atlanta Braves better pitching prospects--before a tear in his throwing rotator cuff and a frayed labrum derailed his career. As for Walker, he was pretty effective last year for The Philadelphia Phillies following several years with The San Francisco Giants. Duncan has really struggled the past two seasons, losing his confidence, after what his agent declares was due to a neck injury and subsequent surgery.
On the surface, nothing special here. But what is silently stated in these moves is that quality talent has been added to the mix for Spring Training that might be able to contribute to Washington's lineups sometime during 2010--without being penciled in right now and being relied upon as answers. No promises here--just come and play ball. Let's see what you got.
That has not been the case over the past five seasons when too many of these 2nd and 3rd chance baseball players were EXPECTED to compete and be major cogs in our lineups--even if they were not up to the tasks.
Again, these are transactions that good franchises make during the off-season to make their minor league and major league rosters better. No team plays with just 25 guys on their team all season. No team can say how many injuries will curtail their lineup. No team has a crystal ball to view what the future may hold. These three moves address needs that might develop.
Duncan, Walker and James are protection against that which may come.
Fortification, so the drop off from Washington's Starters to the Bench is not as significant as before.
That's a good thing.