UPDATED: The Sins of MLB.. ..Why the Nats need a Catcher
Updated: June 19th, 2009
After watching the Nat's take two of three from the Yankees this week at the brand new House that George Built it occurred to me that... ...
And this is no knock on Nat's coach Manny Acta... ...
who quite frankly seems to be the glue that hold the Nat's together.
But the Yankees don't just top the Nat's when it comes to on-field catching experience.
The Yankees also surpass the Nat's in dug-out years spent guarding home-plate with two former all-star Catcher sharing the managing duties. Yankees Head Coach Joe Girardi was an all-star back in 2000 and a three time World Series Champion (96' 98' 99'). Well Bench Coach Tony Pena made five all-star appearances to go along with four gold gloves. Although Pena has yet to capture a World Series ring the Coach of the Year award he claimed as coach of the Kansas City Royals in 2003 is a testament to Pena's teaching skills.
If finding a Veteran Cather is completely out of the question, perhaps the Nat's would consider making an obscenely high bid for Yanks Bench Coach Tony Pena. Of course that would mean bringing an end to the Manny Acta era in Washington something I'm not sure I'm all together in favour of.
Original Post: June 12th, 2009
With the phenomenal set of promising young hurlers on the Washington Nationals 40-man roster, not to mention the recent selection of San Diego State stand-out Stephen Strasburg (Strasburg was the first overall pick in this years MLB Draft) would the club be content to lumber through an entire season without having an everyday Catcher to monitor the progress of the club's young guns?
This is no knock on either Josh Bard or Wil Nieves... ...
but not having a quality everyday Back-Stop, well trying to raise a fleet of under-aged hill-toppers seems akin to having a really nice smoking jacket without a pack of Philip Morris finest.
Major League Baseball has not sinned like this since Allan Huber "Bud" Selig put an end to the 04' All-Star Game in the bottom of the 11th inning with the two sides deadlocked at seven.
With 5 starting Pitchers, a potential first-round ace and a recently signed potential closer (Drew Storen) all under the age of twenty-five, Major League Baseball should create an anti-development clause that would prevent teams like the Yankees from hoarding veteran Catchers (Jose Molina, Jorge Posada) whose skills could be better utilized developing young arms for teams like Washington.
Why shouldn't teams in the Leagues upper tier be responsible for maintaining at least the status quo?
Let's face it the Yankees don't develop their young, they leave that job to the caretakers of the League (K.C., Washington, Etc) and sooner or later young guns like Detwiler and Zimmermann will collect their pinstripes, shave their sideburns and join the most exclusive club this side of the Atlantic.
I say that when Molina returns from the DL (disabled list) that the Yankees should be forced to move either him or J. Posada to the Washington Nationals in the first ever exertion of the Leagues anti-development clause.
A brief introduction to the Washington Nationals baby-faced five man pitching rotation.
1) Jordan Zimmermann -- 05/23/1986 -- I'm not the only one that thinks this 6'2" 220 pounder is going to be something special. The Nats organization projects this young man to be a future #1 starter (Hopefully with the Nationals). A second round pick out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Zimmermann has all the tools and polish to be successful at the big league level. After just 9 career starts Jordan has collected 54 strikeouts, allowing just 14 walks over 52 innings of work.
2) John Lannan -- 09/27/1984 -- At twenty-five years old Lannan is what passes for veteran talent from the Nat`s starting five. John has started 50 games for the Nationals and his composure and gameability have jumped leaps and bounds since he made his debut back in July of 2007. It`s always easy for a lefty to "catch on" with a big league club, which might explain why Lannan appears to be the current "ace" of the Nats pitching staff. With 77 innings pitched in 13 starts this season, Lannah has developed into a true innings eater, the type of guy beloved by the folks down in the bull-pen.
3) Craig Stammen -- 03/09/1986 -- At 6'3" 210lbs they don't make'em much bigger and at twenty-five years of age the Nats starting rotation does have'em any older. Although Craig has only tallied 4 starts and 22 innings of work, the twenty-five year old is the oldest of the Nats starting pitchers. Despite lacking big league experience Stammen has been plying his trade in the minors since being drafted by the Nationals in the twelfth round of the 05' MLB draft.
4) Ross Detwiler -- 03/06/1986 -- A lefty with a mid-nineties heater and a nasty breaking ball. Ross was drafted by the Nats in the first round (sixth overall) of the 07' MLB draft. After his first 5 career starts Detwiler has yet to record a win but has only given up 1 home-run in 27 innings of work. Many believe that Detwiler's potential is even greater then teammate Jordan Zimmermann. An interesting conundrum if you can find your way into it (Remember when the Toronto Blue Jays were raising both Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay? Well this tandem Zimmermann and Detwiler has the similar potential)
5) Shairon Martis -- 3/30/1987 -- A native of Curacao, Martis competed in the 06' World Baseball Classic pitching 7 hit-less innings against Panama on March 10th. At just twenty-two years of age the 6'1 225lbs Martis has already pitched almost 100 Major League innings. Martis has a 5 win 1 lose record on the season to lead all Nats pitchers.