Odds and Ends

Starting Pitching Health last words

I spent the last 2 posts talking about the Nats likelihood of facing an injury to a starting pitcher and while that still holds true, I may have sold short their ability to have 4 healthy starters all year. Yes, these great healthy rotations fall apart because of injury, but they also fall apart because of free agency. The reliable pitcher goes away and the team is forced to replace him with someone less reliable. That's not a problem the Nats face with their main four. I looked at the last 5 teams to have 5 starters hit 30+ starts and instead of seeing how they did do the following year, I looked at how they would have done if everyone stayed. (You might have seen this in the last comments - but hey not everyone reads those)

06 WhiteSox - 4
05 Indians - 3
05 Cardinals - 4 (though Morris was terrible and probably hurt)
03 Mariners - 3 (misread this originally)
93 Dodgers - can't be sure, strike year but 4 likely.

Bolstering my theory that an injury will happen, no one would have replicated  five healthy starters.  It's just THAT hard to keep five guys throwing 200IP  healthy all year. But two teams would have hit the 4 level, and another one would have likely also done it if not for the strike.  More importantly, no one would have crashed to the "only 2 healthy starter" level.  Personally that's the level the Nats would have to get to for me to worry about their playoff chances. (So in other words - to reiterate - pitcher injury will happen but alone is not a worry)

Danny is good

Rendon hit a home run!  It's time to begin talk of replacing someone!

Last year, prior to the season, the prevailing theme was "Ian is no good! Trade him and move Danny over! Let Rendon play 2nd".  Then Ian had a breakout year.  Now the talk is "Danny is no good! Trade Danny and let Rendon play 2nd!" The problem is that Danny IS good.

Danny does strikeout a lot and had an off-year hitting. With his pop though, it was still good enough to be average for a 2nd baseman.  His speed? Above average. His fielding? Among the best in the majors. Basically Danny does nothing wrong. It depends on how you look at the defense but last year Danny was somewhere between average and above average.And this is the guy you want to replace? With a guy who primarily projects to be a 3rd baseman?

I feel like this is a "don't know what you've got till it's gone situation".  With a slight improvement at the plate (really it would not take much) Danny is a Top 5 type 2nd baseman. Danny is 26, team controlled until 2017 and  by all accounts a decent fella. This is not the type of player you eye for replacement.I know we're always fascinated by the next big thing but it's not the Espinosas that good teams deal. It's the Skoles and Moores. The guys that haven't produced full-time in the majors and might be overproducing now.

(What should they do with Rendon?  Well IF he does well enough in AA - you play him all over the infield in September.  Then you begin the grooming process for which corner spot you want him to take. Hell - maybe it will be 2nd base even but the 2013 season is going to decide that, not a couple homers in Florida and the fact Danny struck out too much in 2012)

Christian Garcia

Seriously.  Usually I defer to the judgement of the guys in charge because they know this team better than me, but the whole Garcia to starter move was one that I couldn't agree with. So many injuries, so long since he's pitched even close to a starters level of innings. It just didn't make sense. Now he's injured. Still they persist with this starter fantasy. Stop it. Honestly. Stop it. Squeeze what use you can from this broken arm and move on. (I don't expect them to.  Rizzo is loathe to admit defeat - see "The 100 Chances of Wang")

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