The Nationals traded 2007 48th round draft pick Kyle Gunderson (who let's be honest I'd never heard of before today, had you?) to the Marlins for hard-throwing fastball-slider reliever Logan Kensing yesterday. It has the feel of another cheapskate move by the Marlins, dumping an arbitration-eligible player for whatever they could get. Yeah, I know he was only making a couple hundred thousand over the major league minimum, but these are the Marlins we're talking about.
Kensing can touch the mid-90s and miss bats, striking out 21.4% of batters faced for his career. He's walked 12.4% though, and that's been his undoing.
Last year was his best year, going 55.1 IP with a 4.23 ERA, though it's important to note an important stat I've invented called ERANA, or ERA Nationals-Adjusted, which tells you how a pitcher did against teams other than our Nationals. It's an important measure to consider when trying to isolate a pitcher's true skill level. In 2008, Kensing's ERANA was 4.50 in 50 innings, still pretty good but not as impressive.
Still, it was somewhat surprising to see the Fish DFA a live-armed young-ish 26-year-old, and Rizzo jumped. Hardly a game-changer, but it seems fine.
One thing I'm wondering though after watching Joel Hanrahan melt into a puddle of jelly the other night in Philly is whether Rizzo's Donald Trump routine ("you're fired!") is backfiring. Everyone talks about how you can't pitch scared, but it's a lot harder not not pitch scared when you know that if you get the fat part of the plate once you could end up in Syracuse or worse. I know it's satisfying to fans to hear tough talk about accountability, and maybe it's true the Manny's been too permissive, and that's related to our annual slow starts. But I'm not sure. This might not be the best way to pull a team or a pitching staff out of a tailspin