It’s been an interesting week to say the least. And as much as I’d like to say there’s been a lot of news, if you look more closely, there’s a hell of a lot more smoke than fire. The entire Nats coaching staff — many of whom have been mainstays in the organization before the current GM assumed his role — was “informed their contracts would not be renewed” while the Nats have reportedly “offered several jobs to several of our former major league coaches in our system.”
I’d like to know which coaches were offered which jobs. Not that for a minute would I actually believe that Rizzo or the Nationals would answer that directly or honestly, but it would nice if somebody, somewhere would ask such an obvious (and necessary) question. Maybe it was asked, but I doubt it.
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
Perhaps biggest “news” is that Trea Turner won’t be playing on the taxi squad after all. This never made much sense and sounds like a (yet another) tone-deaf PR maneuver. Meanwhile, Christopher Bostick replaces Wilmer Difo, who was injured last weekend. Games start up on Tuesday the 13th.
BA TOP 20 PROSPECT LISTS
Three Nats made the Carolina League Top 20: Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Austen Williams. Not much argument about Giolito, but the previous accolades and perhaps a weak year seems to account for the picks of Lopez and Williams respectively. Giolito as the top dog in the Eastern League also reeks of laziness, as does the naming of Joe Ross — who is no longer an MLB rookie — at No. 8.
Let me be clear: I’m criticizing Baseball America here. Yes, we get that Giolito is a great talent, but double-dipping means that another guy elsewhere doesn’t get named. And a pitcher that made 13 starts for a second-place team might be a major-leaguer someday?
Even F.P. Santangelo could make that call.
Still fairly slow, as P.J. Walters was re-signed. That’s it.
A look over the rosters of the Venezuelan Winter League, which started up on the 7th, has turned up two pitchers and two position players who were with the organization at the end of the 2015 season:
- Reegie Corona
- Mario Lisson
- Paolo Espino
- Mario Sanchez
So far, no Nationals have been listed on the Mexican Pacific League teams, which began last night.
THE AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS
In 2011 and 2012, the Doubldays were contenders to win the NYPL league. In 2013, they bottomed out with the league’s worst record and worst pitching. The past two seasons, it’s been a slow climb to the .500 mark. It’s worth noting that the first two teams were among the league’s oldest while the last three have been edging towards the average, falling below this year (20.6 vs. 21.1 for bats; 21.1 vs. 21.3 for arms) with the influx of more players from the D.R.
Just two of the seven Washington affiliates surpassed the league average runs scored per game. Not coincidentally, both clubs — Auburn and Hagerstown — were the closest to a winning record. Funny how that works. The Doubledays scored 4.82 R/G (vs. 4.25), which was good for second-best in the league. The pitching and defense let in 4.88 R/G which was third-worst in both categories. Thus, the 36-38 mark is only one off from the Pythagorean projection (for the folks who still mindlessly lament the “collapse” of the 2005 parent club, look at the second paragraph under “Justification”) of 37-37.
Before I unveil the Top 5’s, a note: I’m not listing Victor Robles twice, even though he was head and shoulders above the rest (.311 GPA). If that doesn’t make sense, re-read “BA Top Prospects” above 😉
|TOP 5 BATS
||TOP 5 ARMS
|1. Max Schrock, 2B/SS, .272 GPA, .308 BA
||1. Erick Fedde, RHP, 2.57/2.60/1.31, 9.26 K/9IP
|2. Dalton Dulin, 2B, .273 GPA, .410 OBP
||2. Mariano Rivera III, RHP, 5.45/2.70/1.64, 0.82BB/9
|3. Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B, .265 GPA, 21 doubles in 62G
||3. Tommy Peterson, RHP, 2.66/2.83/1.23, 1.8 BB/9
|4. Edwin Lora, SS, .238 GPA, .414 SLG%
||4. Taylor Guilbeau, LHP, 3.88/2.89/1.39, 1.6 BB/9
|5. David Kerian, 1B, .236 GPA, .995 FA
||5. Grant Borne, LHP, 3.59/2.99/1.26, 1.3 BB/9
Honorable mentions to Rhett Wiseman and Matt Crownover; the former was just a tick below Kerian, the latter because he finished very strong — 2.22 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in August. And it pained me to have to include Mariano Rivera III because I am really not a fan of legacy picks (*cough* Shane McCatty *cough*) but like Crownover, getting pounded early skewed his stats.
This is why I like FIP and include it as a “pitcher’s triple slash” because it’s less volatile. Indeed, you’ll see that a lot of the pitchers listed had one thing in common: they didn’t issue walks. We can complain that they didn’t strike out many, either, but that’s a conversation for the comments section.
As always, folks who want to see the numbers for the full team can find them here.