Filed Under (Chatter Up) by mrose on 12-09-2009
Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Alberto Gonzalez, Chatter Up, Christian Guzman, Cody Ross, Dan Uggla, Elijah Dukes, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Freddy Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, Ian Desmond, Jeremy Hermida, Jesus Flores, John Garland, John Lannan, Jorge Cantu, Josh Willingham, Livan Hernandez, Logan Morrison, Matt Lindstrom, Mike Rizzo, Mike Stanton, Nyjer Morgan, Philadelphia Phillies, Ronnie Belliard, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
|Welcome to another edition of Chatter Up! here at NLEC. This week will match up Mark P CenterfieldGate against Wally Londo of Londo of FishGuts. Enjoy!|
|Stickguy(TRDMB): rate the odds (highest to lowest) on which guys will get traded in the off season. For the Nats, special emphasis on Dunn.|
|Mark P(CFG): The odds? I think the odds of Cristian Guzman being traded are about 80 percent, Dunn about 10 percent and Zimmerman 0 percent. The marginal, veteran .230 to .250 hitters (Belliard et al) are gone and what is left are prospects, projects and the core. No one will touch the core (Zimmerman, Lannan, Dunn, Willingham, Flores, Morgan) the projects (Gonzalez and Dukes) are projects (no one really knows how good they will be — or if they will be good at all) and the prospects are the great unknown — like Ian Desmond and Stephen Strasburg are coming, they are good, and they will make a difference. But not right away. So trades? There’s not much to trade, to be honest, with the exception of Guzman.|
|Prismo(TRDMB): What do you think is the most needed area for improvement in the offseason for the Nationals?|
|Mark P(CFG): Defense, defense, defense. And I don’t see how the Nats get better at defense without moving Guzman off the ballclub. The problem is his $8 million (due next year) and his shakiness at short. So if you can’t move him and Ian Desmond is going to be handed the shortstop job, you think odd things: like shifting him to second. It’s a bad idea, but you never know. With Nyjer Morgan playing a full year and Flores back from an injury the Nats should be better in the field, but should be probably won’t be good enough. They need a good glove man, like Orlando Hudson, up the middle.|
|Prismo(TRDMB): Starting pitching seems like the obvious pick, but the offense has been bipolar, the bullpen mostly terrible, and the defense very shoddy at times. Or should they just ignore these problems, and fully focus on minor league development?|
|Mark P(CFG): If you ignore these problems for this next year, the next problem you will have will be putting people in the seats. And right now, that’s not a crisis. People here in DC still go to the games and still root for the team. But it could be a problem in the future and you can’t ignore it. So I don’t think the Nats are just going to focus on minor league development. Yes, it’s important to Mike Rizzo, but the Nats lost so much credibility before he was named as Bowden’s replacement this year that the team just can’t afford to ignore what’s happening in the parent club with all eyes on the future. I would expect them to resign Livan Hernandez and pick up another veteran pitcher (like John Garland, or a John Garland type) and sign a middle infielder with a good glove. And their offense hasn’t been “bi polar” — it’s been good. Very good, in fact. You know, I also hate to read on the internet about how some club has a top ranked farm system. Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati — they have very solid farm club operations. But who the hell cares? And Nats fans will sometimes say that: well we have a good farm system. That’s great, but you know, I don’t live in Harrisburg.|
|Matt R(NLEC): Strasburg watch: is he pitching yet in the minors? off season plans?|
|Mark P(CFG): He’s not pitching yet, but he’s close. He’ll be in Arizona and he’ll then do some offseason throwing. I get the feeling from the front office that they’re watching his pitch count very closely: he has had an entire year of college ball and no one wants to see him with a dead arm. I would expect, also, that we won’t see him next year until sometime in July. He needs to get to know professional pitching — and the people in the franchise need to get a good look at his tendencies. That takes time.|
|Matt R(NLEC): Is it just that I don’t know much about the Nats, but who is Ian Desmond? Where did he come from?|
|Mark P(CFG): Hope springs eternal: so here goes. He is the bright shortstop of the future who is going to hold down that position, with Gold Glove after Gold Glove for the next ten years. Well, that’s the hope. More specifically, Ian Desmond is a 24 year old talent rich guy and former 3rd round 2004 draft pick of the Montreal Expos who has had his share in injuries, but who has gotten through them and worked hard at his game. Everyone in the Nats organization predicted that sooner or later he would be in the show. “Later” ended up being this September. He showed this year in AA and AAA that he can hit the cover off the ball. He’s solid. The only question is: has he really arrived? He looks ready to me. The other night, against the Phillies (and in his major league debut) the thing that impressed the most is that he didn’t look nervous, he didn’t look scared, he didn’t overswing. He looked like he belonged. You kind of had to be there to feel it, frankly. Down in the lower boxes, the Nats new brain trust just fell silent as he trotted on the field. And when he put one into the center field seats later in the game, they didn’t really cheer — they just kind of looked at each other. Mike Rizzo had this “I told you so” grin on his face. I think he’s here to stay.|
|Thanks again Mark, now onto Wally @ Fishguts|
|Metsfan4decades(TRDMB):Anything to the rumor of trading Uggla? If yes, what kind of chips would the Marlins want?|
|Wally(FG): He’s gotta be gone. Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla each look like 6m players at least in arbitration, and we can’t afford to pay one player that much if their name isn’t Hanley. For the price of one Dan Uggla, we could have a Cody Ross and a Jeremy Hermida and a Matt Lindstrom. To me, you have to spread your resources around unless it’s an absolute slam dunk of a player, which Uggla isn’t, unfortunately. He’s very good, and a big reason why we’ve been so successful recently, but he’s not worth it to us anymore.
They’ll be looking for at least what the Pirates got for Freddy Sanchez: A B+ pitching prospect, at the very least.
|Prismo(TRDMB): How do you feel about the future of the organization?|
|Wally(FG): Wonderful. There’s a stadium 2 years away, Hanley’s locked up long term, and Josh Johnson will probably be locked up this year too. Plus there are 2 real monster prospects in AA right now (Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison) and a couple of other really really nice ones in AA or higher. The future of this franchise looks great.|
|Prismo(TRDMB): Are you satisfied with the low payroll, the failure so far to build a new stadium, and the low attendance numbers if the team can still be competitive?|
|Wally(FG): I’m a realist. I understand the limitations of our franchise, and I’m done complaining about it. it’s not worth it. A lot of Marlins fans whine endlessly about how cheap Jeffrey Loria is and the crappy fan base and all that, but at the end of the day, my team has been close to or better than .500 6 of the last 7 years, with a World Series in there. And the stadium is being built. The concrete is mixed, the base is set, the first pitch has been thrown. It’s just a matter of laying brick now.|
|Matt R(NLEC): Will Hanley Ramirez hold on for the batting title in your opinion? Has that spat ended now and with any permanent damage to the team?|
|Wally(FG): He’s definitely going to win it, I think. It’s going to take a lot for him to fall off, and he’s got a 30 point advantage on Pujols.
Everyone is saying the spat is over now, but I’m sure Hanley and Danny aren’t chummy anymore. But you know what? Hanley’s hitting .440 since that spat, and both have 3 home runs. If they hate each other and hit like they have, I’m all for it.
|Matt R(NLEC): Has the buzz around the Marlins making the postseason all but diminished now? Or are you hoping for a Phils/Rockies collapse??|
|Wally(FG): Well, 5 games back from the Phillies with 6 games left against them. It’s a very, very, very slight chance, but I’ve got some faith. And they can’t hit right now, so it’s certainly not completely out of the realm of possibility. I’m hoping the Phillies play this years Mets, while the Marlins can cue up some of the magic the Phillies had last year.|