Saturday, March 12, 2005
2005 Season Preview: Washington Nationals
Carlos Baerga, IF: Baerga had his uses as a pinch hitter, but he really does not do anything much with the bat.
Vinny Castilla, 3B: Doesn't anyone remember what happened to Castilla last time he left Colorado? I happen to have the stats typed up somewhere already, and I'm pretty sure that is what is going to happen again. Waste of money.
Wil Cordero, 1B: Back with this organization again. Hard to believe Cordero is only 33 years old.
Cristian Guzman, SS: "Hi, I'm a shortstop who hits below league average, usually can't defend too much except for my completely out of place 2004, and I enjoy strolling down the streets of Washington D.C. while being significantly overpaid and expected to improve and provide production. Sadly, no one will give me a job...wait, no Jim, you'll hire me? And give me more than I'm worth? This is too good to be true!"
Jeffrey Hammonds, OF: Hammonds is made out of same thing as Pop Tarts I think. He is never healthy and always broken.
Esteban Loiza, SP: The big catch of the offseason for the Nats. If Loiza can find a happy medium between his 2003 and 2004 White Sox numbers then maybe they are on to something. A capable inning eater at worst.
Antonio Osuna, RP: Pitched very well out of the bullpen for San Diego last year, and should help the Nats out of the pen.
Jose Guillen for Juan Rivera made little sense to me. As a regular, Juan Rivera is capable of almost the same hitting stats as Jose Guillen; plus he is younger and much cheaper. Of course, keeping Rivera to play wouldn't make a "splash".
1) Jose Vidro
2) Endy Chavez
3) Nick Johnson
4) Brad Wilkerson
5) Jose Guillen
6) Vinny Castilla
7) Brian Schneider
8) Cristian Guzman
Chavez needs to learn some plate patience (.318 OBP in 2004...yuck). Nick Johnson needs to stop getting injured and play at least 140 games some time. Such a great player who can never seem to be on the field. Brad Wilkerson is very good, and hopefully for the sake of Washington will continue to improve. Jose Guillen
is good, but the same could be said about Juan Rivera, whose skills have been cornered into 4th outfielder roles in Los Angeles of Anaheim of Earth. Well atleast Rivera gets to represent a larger audience than Guillen, who is relegated to simply a city rather than a planet. Vinny Castilla is not what I like to call a hitter so much as an unexplainable void in time and space that continues to get other people's jobs. Don't get me started on Guzman.
1) Livan Hernandez
2) Esteban Loiza
3) Tony Armas
4) Tomo Ohka
5) Zach Day
Now if this rotation could stay healthy, it might be better than the Mets and the Phillies. Hernandez is another unexplainable force in the universe, but in a positive way. Loiza, if effective, will be key to the success of the rotation. Tony Armas always teases us with potential and then gets injured. Tomo Ohka is capable of being a very good #4 starter, and Zach Day was pitching well before getting hurt in 04'. Lets just say no one here is Cory Lidle, Kris Benson, or Victor Zambrano (thank God).
Chad Cordero and Luis Ayala anchor the pen, that with the addition of Osuna has some really good arms in it. Hopefully this offense can produce enough to give the pen a chance to win or save some games.
Overall, even if the Nats perform better than expected (everyone stays healthy being the key) and Termel Sledge (.269/.336/.462 in his rookie campaign) replaces Endy Chavez in the outfield I don't expect them to do anything but finish in last place. If they do play well though, the good thing about this last place finish is that it is not like a Royals or Pirates last place finish; the team is just in a really good division at the wrong time.