Here is the Opening Day Lineup

Uggla starts at 2B, T-Mo in LF, Taylor in CF.  I’m really holding my nose on Taylor since he can’t hit ML pitching.

The bench on opening day is: Lobaton, Espi, Dekker, Johnson, Robinson.

The above are just my guesses; the team has not announced these.

I am very disappointed about this, but it’s just the opening day lineup.  Werth could be in the lineup very soon after that.  Rendon and Span will take weeks if not months.  I am almost shocked that Ian Stewart has apparently not made the cut, judging by his name not having been mentioned in print for at least 2 weeks:)

So both the offense and defense will be weak, and the bull-pen will be close to a total F_______-up.

You saw it HERE!!!

The Marlins?

As MLK once said, “I have a dream.”  Well, I had one last night and it wasn’t pretty:)

The Marlins ended up winning the NL East!  By only 2 games, mind you, but what a shock.  Actually I’ve had the thought in the back of my head for a couple of weeks, but refused to acknowledge it.  What happened?  The Nats offense and bull-pen ended up being the problems I predicted. Take a look at the BP’s collective ERA today, March 30.  Look at how the offense has been performing.  Yes, It’s only spring training, I know.

I think I know where Bryce Harper’s ring will be, come October:)

BTW—Tom Boswell’s article in the POST today is another gem.

Offense and Bullpen Suck!

Yesterday I mentioned my concern about the lack of offense, no stranger to the 2014 Gnats.

Today it’s the Pen I’m commenting on; it has been terrible in Spring Training.  You out there who have been following ST results know very well what I’m talking about.  Good starting pitching is important, but with a weak offense and a shakey pen, the Nats are set to lose a lot of games after the first 6-7 innings.

Yoiu heard it here.  nuf said.

 

Color Me Concerned

As we get closer to opening day, The Nats are now without their 4 best hitters from last year.  Span, Rendon, and Werth will not be able to play in the opener.  Laroach has been traded.  So their already suspect offense, could slide to “mediocre” at least for part of April.

Rendon worries me most, because knee ligaments can be very hard to rehabilitate.  I suspect the team may be withholding the full story on Anthony’s injury.

Further, I would put Tony Gwynn in CF until Span returns.  Michael Taylor is just not ready for major league pitching.  Ian Stewart and Clint (?) Robinson have really impressed me in Spring Training.

I am still spending huge amounts of time with moving to Gaithersburg, so have been unable to say much since the start of ST.

Spring Training Comments

In case anyone was wondering, I am still alive:)  I’m extremely busy with trying to sell my house, however.  Hoping to move across town to Gaithersburg, Md, closer to my grandkids.

I have been keeping an eye on the Nationals.  I am not nearly as “all in” that they are a lock to get to the World Series as the media appears to be!  The reasons for my scepticism revolve around the following:

  1. their poor post-season results in recent years;
  2. I am not convinced their offense is as good as most appear to expect;
  3. their new bull-pen has yet to prove itself as post-season-ready.
  4. the makeup of the bench is not at all clear this early in Spring-Training.

Having said that, I do think they will win 90-94 games and the division title.  The starting pitching will be awesome, Ryan Zimmerman will be fine at first-base, Rendon will be the star that we all expect, Cabrera at 2B will be average, Harper will be no better than many other average corner-outfield sluggers, Desi will continue to be one of the very best shortstops in the game.

 

 

Scherzer Revisited, Again

Here is yet one more better move than the Scherzer signing:  Cole Hammels is still out there.  Every staff of starting pitchers should have at least one lefty, right?  They could have acquired Hamels for significantly less than $210M, then traded Gio, the weak-link of the rotation.  With the money saved they might have acquired a top second-baseman, like Ben Zobrist, or at least one who is better than “The Danny,”  and isn’t a clubhouse liability.

More on the Scherzer Trade

With a bit more time to reflect on this massive coup, I’ll admit that the Nats now have some insurance in case JZimm, Fister or Strassburg is traded.  If i were the GM, as I said before, I would make EVERY effort to keep the first two!

They also have some insurance (though not on a par with Scherzer) if Ian Desmond walks after this season, having acquired Trea Turner and Yunel Escober who can both at least fill in at SS until a real good option comes along.

Even with Tanner Roark likely moving to long-relief in the pen (and I predict he will excell in that role) Mike Rizzo still needs one more late inning flame thrower.  Treinin has some potential, but I’m not quite convinced he’s NASTY enough:)

What just Happened?

The Nationals and their fans woke up today to a total shock!  Mike Rizzo had pulled off the biggest deal of this off-season; he played poker with Scott Boras and walked away with Max Scherzer for $210 million over about a hundred years:)  Why?  What the team really needed was Ben Zobrist at 2B and more offense!  Instead they have a journeyman 2B on the downward side of his career and a broken bank account.

I guess Zobrist just didn’t work out, but it’s hard to see why if the team will pay this amount for a pitcher they don’t even need.  Well, having Scherzer does give the team some insurance if JZimm or Doug Fister walk after the 2015 season.  But the odds of them getting their money’s worth out of such a long/expensive pitcher contract are exceedingly slim.  And it seems they are stuck with their weakest pitcher, Gio, because he is their only lefty starter.  If I were in Rizzo’s shoes I’d be trying to trade Gio now for a good hitter for the bench or a better closer than Storen.  The bench and the bull-pen are where Rizzo needs to focus

The only person really happy about this is Scott Boras, agente extraordinaire:)

Looking For a Good Wood Bat?

Most amateur national tournaments have moved to wood bats.  And there is a movement back to wood in the DC area where I play.  Last year I discovered a local source of excellent bats, Baret Bats.  I began to try them out and found that I liked them so much that I took them to the annual Roy Hobbs tournament last November.  My article posted Nov. 26, 2014 has photos of me using a Baret Bat.  Here is some info:

Baret Bats

For the last two years Juan Baret has been perfecting the art of baseball bat making right from his home woodshop. Bat making is the next chapter in Juan’s lifelong passion for the game that has given so much joy in his life. Juan is a military vet and is the founder and bat maker of Baret Bats. This is a boutique style bat company that makes bats the old fashion way on a wood lathe and chisels, using the best available pro stock ash, maple and yellow birch hardwoods.

Baret Bats is a one-man operation that focuses on giving the individual player a truly customized bat, handmade to their specifications and hitting style just the same way the pros get their bats done. As a former amateur baseball player and coach Juan knows firsthand that the quality of wood bats available sold at retail are mass produced with inferior wood, and are not made unique to the individual. A main objective of Baret Bats is to give the same treatment to customers regardless of whether they are in little league or the major leagues.

Many amateur players have used Baret Bats and most are repeat customers who provide valuable feedback in improving the bats. Juan has made bats for two minor league players from the Potomac Nationals, for example.

Juan has mainly used word of mouth to promote Baret Bats, but as the business grows he is looking to include more visits to baseball teams in the DC area and a website. If you would like to know more about Baret Bats or to talk hitting you can contact Juan directly at (808)230-9904 or email baretsports@gmail.com. You can also follow his Facebook and Instagram pages @ http://www.Instagram.com/BaretBats or http://www.facebook.com/BaretSports.