Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What We've Learned, Three Weeks In

Beyond the obvious, that the 2009 Scats are probably not much if any better than the 2008 debacle, here are some of the more significant observations I've made so far this season:

1. Elijah Dukes has massive, enormous, stupendous power. He has 17 hits, 8 for extra bases, 3 homers, and .268 ISO power. OK so we knew he could do that. But I didn't know he could do this and this.

2. Ryan Zimmerman is good again. He's hitting .295 / .360 / .526, which is better than ever, and he's historically a slow starter. And his fielding has been excellent--you remember the throwing errors, but he more than makes up for it with the best range of any third baseman in the league.

3. Adam Dunn is what we thought he was. He won't keep hitting .311 / .475 / .607, but he might keep walking more than 20% of the time. And he's certainly going to keep hitting for power. He's terrible in the field, but dude can hit.

4. Joel Hanrahan isn't a closer. You can't walk over 5 guys per 9 and be an ace reliever. Just doesn't work.

5. I'll just let Chico tell it: "I think it's already fair to say that Jim Bowden greatly miscalculated his team's needs/weaknesses this offseason. Think back, for instance, to the bullpen this team had in February. No Beimel. No Wells. No Tavarez. No real back-up plan whatsoever if all the young guys failed. Bowden, w/r/t his bullpen, was counting on a pipedream."

10 comments:

Will said...

6. Manny doesn't understand how to construct a batting order.

There is some part of me that will excuse Manny for putting in "speedy" guys like AHern in the leadoff spot (even though he's never stolen a base in the major leagues). But now he's plugging Ronnie Belliard there? Is he deliberately doing everything possible to avoid starting any one of the three or four guys who'd actually be effective in the lead off spot (Dukes, Johnson, Kearns, etc)?

I can't rationalize what Manny is thinking here. Is he so stuck into these "roles"- NJ bats second, Zimmerman third, and Dunn 4th- that he can't even consider putting a high OBP guy into the leadoff spot?

flippin said...

The only rationale I can think of is that guys get "comfortable" knowing their spot in the order. And, though irrational, the three "locks" are all crushing the ball where they are, why goof that up? That said, I think Dukes batting leadoff would be outstanding as he tends to get into scoring position with one swing more than the other guys. Assuming Acta wont move JZD, Duke's OPS is better than the alternatives.

El Rey said...

What I've learned is spending money on the Washington Capitals instead of the Nationals is much more enjoyable, Manny Acta is not a major league manager, the new TV color commentator is awful, and Nats Town is a ghost town. On the plus side, the Nats are at least more exciting and Ben's Half Smokes are still yummy.

Basil said...

the new TV color commentator is awfulI can't believe I'm going to say this, but: I find Dibble to be non-awful. He's hyper-intense and pretty much nuts, sure, but he's about as no-nonsense as you'll get out of a team broadcaster. And, for a guy covering this piece-of-crap team, is a virtue. I don't feel like he's trying to sell me something, as I often felt watching a Sutton game.

I also get the feeling that Dibble would like to punch his broadcast partner sometimes.

As for what I've learned: I guess I've learned that Joe Biemel is supposed to be some kind of savior, and, on this team, that might actually be something of the case!

Steven said...

It is truly bizarre the way Beimel is being talked up as the solution to all our problems. I think it's just that people assume that since we paid a free agent some money that he must be good.

Don't get me wrong--I'd probably put him in high leverage situations over anyone else at this point, but geez.

Basil said...

Well, it's sort of like this. Your football team has the ball. Play starts, penalty flag is thrown, your ball carrier fumbles, and it's returned for a touchdown. The ref says it's delay of game; that's a dead-ball penalty. You lose five yards but don't surrender the opposing touchdown, thanks to the flag.

The analogy ain't perfect, but Joe Biemel is our flag!

phil dunton said...

Since your blog is dedicated to the firing of the Bodes and since you haven't yet changed the blog name from FJB to FMA, I can't believe that you haven't commented on Thom Loverro's article in todays Washington Times covering the Bodes resurfacing in LA-LA Land. It is a must read.

Steven said...

sorry job responsibilities are a bitch. But I will.

Guy McGuffin said...

I too enjoy Rob Dibble in the booth. I think you need to go in understanding that he will make no less than 3 out of nowhere funny voiced remarks during the broadcast. Some highlights have included imitating a crooner, imitating the Aflac duck, imitating the Wicked Witch of the West. He definitely keeps it light in there. I appreciate that.

Sasskuash said...

Sorry about your boy, Bergmann...

re Dibble: The only reason I can tolerate him is because he's the less awful voice next to Carpenter. I cannot stand Bob Carpenter. I've only been watching baseball since the Nats came to DC, but I really think I would be a better play-by-play announcer than him. I just listen to the radio and deal with the 2 second difference between TV and radio.