Off-day on draft day
1) Once again, the biggest news this past week was on the injury front. Ryan Madson and Brian Goodwin returned to the Washington Nationals from the DL. Adam Eaton started a rehab assignment with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and Matt Grace is on-deck and close to returning from his rehab assignment. Matt Adams and Jeremy Hellickson were injured and the extent of their injuries is not yet known. The biggest and most ominous news came from Hartford where the Harrisburg Senators were this weekend. Reports and videos surfaced showing a very gimpy Daniel Murphy who is scheduled to be evaluated in DC today. His bat in the middle of the order is sorely missed.
2) The biggest debate last week was about the respective value of Juan Soto’s bat vs. Michael Taylor‘s defense in CF. There were 2 camps both completely convinced in their case. The 1st camp felt that MAT’s offense is so poor that it is preferable to play an average defender like Eaton in CF to keep Soto’s bat in the lineup. The 2nd camp felt that MAT’s defense is not a luxury but a necessity and if that means sending Soto back to the minors so be it. In the meantime, MAT had a good offensive week, and Soto pretty much cemented the fact that he possesses a solid major league bat. So the situation remains unresolved and the debate will continue.
3) Brian Goodwin took a lot of unfair shots from fellow bloggers yesterday. He was playing in only his 2nd game after missing 2 months; he is in spring training mode. While I agree that Goody is not a star by any means, I don’t agree that he is a replacement level player. He put up a 0.5 WAR in his 1st full year last year which is very respectable for a 5th outfielder. Batting him 5th was probably a stretch yesterday but with our current lineup and the reasonable decision to rest Harper there aren’t many options.
4) With all due respect to Wilmer Difo who I think can be a decent Zobrist like roving player he is not a replacement bat for Daniel Murphy, with other holes in the lineup this might become a priority need for Mike Rizzo. If Murphy is out for most of the year I think I’d find out what the cost of Scooter Gennett is.
5) Our catching tandem is not major league level. Pedro Severino is a fine defensive catcher whose athleticism is a fun contrast to the lumbering slogs we have become used to, but his bat is what we thought it was.
6) With all the attention on injuries and lineup holes what really killed us in Atlanta was the combined slump of 1 through 4. Yes, Trea Turner got a big home run and Anthony Rendon a couple of hits but the overall inability to put anything together consistently was glaring. Bryce Harper was a combined 2-14 in the Atlanta series with no RBIs or runs scored in the entire series. Even worse was the combination of Mark Reynolds and Matt Adams who have carried the offense the last two weeks until the Atlanta series where the 1st base duo went the big 0-fer in an 0-17.
7) The bullpen minus one glaring moment with Shawn Kelley was nails. Justin Miller is a breath of fresh air, Jefry Rodriguez saved manager Dave Martinez from having to completely abuse the pen. In a strange way, Tim Collins paternity was a blessing in disguise for the bullpen.
8) I would have used Wander Suero in the 9th yesterday and let him pitch 3 innings if necessary. In fact, losing the game was less harmful than having it go many more innings. I hated using Tanner Roark regardless of the outcome.
9) Stephen Strasburg pitched great on Friday, but he has to stop giving up home runs every time out.
10) I found the idea Draz put out about a 3-way trade between us Miami and Cleveland interesting. In that scenario Harper goes to Cleveland, JTR to us and Miami gets a couple of top prospects headlined by Mejia and perhaps Carter Kieboom. We also get salary relief under that scenario, a big bat for the lineup and get under the luxury tax threshold.