Nov 242013
 


While perhaps stealing the thunder from the next Baseball America transactions post, its primary author Matt Eddy relayed the following signings via the twitters yesterday:

  • RHP Daniel Stange
  • IF Melvin Dorta (re-sign)
  • RHP Chris Young (re-sign)
  • C Jeyner Baez
  • RHP Gabriel Alfaro

OK, now put down your beverage because Stange was originally drafted by… wait for it… the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 7th round of the 2006 Draft. He spent 2013 in the Angels organization, making 26 appearances for AAA Salt Lake with a record of 4-1 with five saves and an ERA of 5.06. He allowed 16 runs on 31 hits over 26⅔ innings while while walking 13 and striking out 30. He made three relief appearances for the Angels in his second MLB stint (the first was in 2010), and was hit hard in his first outing, walking a pair and giving up a walkoff blast in a 14-11 loss to Texas. His second and third outings were scoreless, pitching an inning in an 8-2 win and getting the last out in the top of the 9th in a 6-5 loss (both games vs. Toronto).

Dorta, like Sean McCauley last week, was a player-coach for the Senators in 2013 and looks to be re-upping for the same duty in 2014.

Young, who was signed to a similar deal last offseason, made seven starts for Syracuse and was pounded like a drum to the tune of 31 runs on 50 hits (including nine HR) over 32 innings before going on the DL for most of the season (he made one appearance in the GCL and one in the NYPL in August and September respectively). He reportedly has had surgery to repair thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition in which nerves and/or blood vessels become compressed in the space between the collarbone and the first (thoracic) rib and causes pain and weakness in the shoulder.

Finally, as noted by Eddy first, the Nationals have released RHP Yunesky Maya after four less-than-stellar seasons. Signed as an IFA in July 2010 to a four-year/$6M contract, Maya made just 16 appearances in the major leagues, 15 of which came in 2010 and 2011. He made 76 of his 79 starts in the minors for Syracuse over the past four seasons and went 24-28 with an ERA of 4.13 over 453⅓ innings with 456 hits and 44 HRs allowed.

UPDATE:
The latest BA transaction post was published on Monday. Additions are in blue

…The presumption is that Baez is an IFA, given the surname and the lack of an entry on baseball-reference.com.

…WaPo Nats beat writer Adam Kilgore had the story on Alfaro last week, along with details on the Young contract.

Aug 092013
 

GBI for NPP 2Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 55-64, 6th place I.L. North, 10 games behind

Good Yunesky Maya 3-1, 1.52 ERA since All-Star Break
Bad Syracuse catchers .205BA, .264SLG, 30RBI
Interesting .975FA 12th in 14-team I.L.



HARRISBURG SENATORS 63-55, 1st place E.L. West, ½ game ahead

Good Matt Grace 2-0, 1.46 ERA, 1.30 WHIP since All-Star Break (9 appearances)
Bad Carlos Rivero .567 OPS in 32G since demotion
Interesting Team Offense ranks in E.L. .240 BA (12th), OBP .321 (11th), SLG .371 (11th), R/G 4.16 (11th)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 27-17, 1st place C.L. North, 8 games ahead (69-44 overall)

Good Brandon Miller 12-for-27, HR, five RBI in first six games
Bad Paul Demny 0-1, 4.70ERA, 2.35WHIP in three starts since demotion
Interesting Excluding rehabs, 21 pitchers and 29 position players have been used thus far



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 28-19, 2nd place Sally North, 2½ games behind (66-48 overall)

Good Shawn Pleffner .320/.402/.430 since All-Star Break
Bad Bryan Harper 8HBP in 39⅓ IP
Interesting T3rd with 32 holds in 14-team Sally League



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 16-33, 6th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 15 games behind

Good Austin Voth 1.42/1.31/0.89 in five starts (19IP)
Bad David Masters .466 OPS in 29G
Interesting NDFA Greg Zebrack .267/.368/.333 in 25G



GCL NATIONALS 37-6, 1st place East Division, Gulf Coast League, 18 games ahead

Good Rafael Bautista .340/.432/.410, 22SBs in 39G
Bad Michael Boyden 2.20WHIP over 10 appearances (what’s a small sample size?)
Interesting Today’s win clinched the GCL East title



DSL NATIONALS 31-25, 5th place Boca Chica South, 7 games behind

Good 18-y.o. Jose Morales 2-3, 1.36 ERA, 0.83 WHIP
Bad 18-y.o. Miguel Atencio .459 OPS in 21G
Interesting Team pitching 11th in 35-team DSL
May 252013
 

Moving On Up for NPP
Following the news that Danny Espinosa has bone chips and will need prolonged rest, if not a stint on the DL, the Washington Nationals have promoted IF/OF Jeff Kobernus from the Syracuse Chiefs.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Kobernus over the past six months. He was selected by Boston then traded to Detroit in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft in December and played well into the spring for the Tigers before his return in late March. The experience may have proved beneficial, as he was asked to play outfield for Detroit to make the club as a utilityman — a position he hadn’t played since his collegiate days.

Upon his return to Nationals, he was assigned to the Chiefs and continued to play outfield, mostly in left field (19 games) but occasionally in center (9 games) as well as second and third base (12 and 3 games). More noticeable was the hot start as the 24-y.o. batted .367/.408/.467 with a home run and eight stolen bases in April.

He’s cooled some in May (.298/.344/.369) but has picked up the pace on the basepaths with 13 steals this month. Speed is his calling card as the Nats’ 2009 2nd Round Pick out of California led the Carolina League with 53 steals in 2011 and the Eastern League with 42 last season despite playing only 82 games.

To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Yunesky Maya was designated for assignment (as previously hinted in this space). Putting it as mildly as possible, Maya has been a tremendous disappointment, signed as an international free agent as a Cuban defector in 2010 for four years and $6 million. In three-plus seasons, he’s pitched 59 innings at the major-league level — all but 1/3rd in 2010 and 2011 — and 367⅔ innings in the minors, mostly at AAA.

Last season was the only one in which he had an ERA below 4.00 as the 31-year-old went 11-10 with a 3.88 ERA in 28 starts for Syracuse.

RHP Taylor Jordan was also promoted, going from Harrisburg to Syracuse, though it’s likely to be a temporary move that will be reversed once Maya’s fate is ultimately determined. Likewise for the shift of RHP Brian Rauh from Hagerstown to Harrisburg, a move to replace whichever reliever (best guess: Matt Swynenberg) replaces Jordan in the rotation when his turn comes up next.

May 032013
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 9-17, 6th place I.L. North, 8½ games behind

Good Chris Marrero .337/.385/.614, 6HR, 20RBI
Bad Yunesky Maya 0-3, 7.45 ERA, 1.62WHIP .310 OBA
Interesting Danny Rosenbaum 1.14ERA, 5K, 45GO in 23⅔ IP

HARRISBURG SENATORS 13-14, T2nd place E.L. West, 2 games behind

Good Nathan Karns 2-0, 1.13ERA, 0.88 WHIP in last four starts
Bad Brian Goodwin 36K in 27G
Interesting Justin Bloxom .325/.341/.500 in last 10G

POTOMAC NATIONALS 13-14, T2nd place C.L. North, 2 games behind

Good Michael Taylor .270/.341/.486, 2HR, 5SB, 8RBI in last 10G
Bad Christian Meza 2.28WHIP, 9.31ERA in six appearances
Interesting Blake Schwartz 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 11K in 11IP over first two High-A starts

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 15-11, T1st place Sally North, 2½ games ahead

Good Pedro Encarnacion 1.93 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, .207 OBA
Bad Hunter Bailey .528 OPS
Interesting Wes Schill 18BB in 18G, team-best .455 OBP
Aug 312012
 

For most of the Nationals’ existence, the September call-ups have represented the hope of better things to come, especially in the wake of last-place finishes in five of their first six seasons. Most years, it was an audition for making the club the next spring — John Lannan in 2007, Shairon Martis in 2008, Ian Desmond in 2009, Wilson Ramos in 2010, Steve Lombardozzi in 2011*, etc.
*Honorable mention to Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock, too, since their September showcase helped make the pickup of Gio Gonzalez possible

Well, things have changed. The better things have come. And thus, the endgame has changed.

The “five or six” guys that have been promised to play in DC this September aren’t necessarily auditioning — they’re gonna be asked to add depth to the bench, pinch hit, perhaps mop up in the ‘pen. Starting assignments, with a couple of notable exceptions, aren’t terribly likely.

Who they gonna call? Well, let’s take a look:

John Lannan — Cheap and easy, just the way we like… to make predictions. Back-to-back shutouts is just gravy. And of course getting the nod the past two times the parent club has needed a pitcher for a doubleheader makes this an easy call. He’s expected to replace Stephen Strasburg in the big-club rotation.

Sandy Leon — A third catcher is de rigeur for contenders in September. A foundering backup (Jesus Flores) may be also be served notice, particularly when this Venezuelan backstop has a 46% CS rate and can switch-hit. I’d expect him to get at least a start per week, perhaps more if the team can clinch before the final weekend.

Eury Perez — As noted in the comments, Perez was nearly a given to get a look as a defensive replacement and a pinch-runner; hitting safely in 37 of 40 games at AAA and doubling his walk rate might actually garner him some starts.

Corey Brown — Brown is still on the 40-man and can serve many of the same functions as Perez, but with a bit more pop and adds another lefthanded bat off the bench.

Carlos Rivero — Working against Rivero is the possibility that ineffective but experienced veteran Mark DeRosa will get activated instead, but like Brown, he’s on the 40-man and as we know, Rizzo makes 40-man moves less often than he goes to the barber. Remember that before mentioning Zach Walters in the comments.

Mike MacDougal — That “said,” if ever there was a guy that Rizzo would add then jettison, it’s Mike MacDougal — veteran reliever who can work in a variety of situations, but mostly he’d be asked to spell a bullpen that’s been ridden hard all season long. This is purely a gut pick.

Other Possibilities
• Chris Marrero
• Yunesky Maya
• Jhonatan Solano

All three are on the 40-man but have big strikes against them. Marrero has been battling a bum hamstring and hasn’t exactly lit it up since returning to Syracuse two weeks ago. Maya isn’t likely to start, thus his best role is long relief, which doesn’t get the kind of work it used to get in DC these days. Solano is rehabbing from an injury and isn’t going to be chosen unless Leon gets hurt.

Not Gonna Happen
• Anthony Rendon
• Christian Garcia
• Ryan Perry
• Chien-Ming Wang

When Rendon got the call to Harrisburg two weeks ago, there was breathless typing about him getting a look this September. Since then, nearly every reputable source outside of the Natmosphere has dismissed that as talk-radio blather. Christian Garcia seemed like the “mystery guy” that manager Davey Johnson alluded to in some pressers, but his surprise invite to the AFL seems to take him off the table. Likewise for Ryan Perry

And Wang? Well, my favorite J-school professor taught me that it’s always good to end a column with a joke, and the idea of a has-been that can’t get AA batters out being sent up is pretty damn laughable.

Aug 032012
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 54-58, T5th place I.L. North, 7½ games behind

Good Eury Perez .408/.453/.490 in 13G since callup (hit safely in every game)
Bad Austin Bibens-Dirkx 6.27ERA, 1.61WHIP in last 10 appearances
Interesting Yunesky Maya 3-1, 3.00ERA since I.L. All-Star Break (4 starts)

HARRISBURG SENATORS 53-59, 5th place E.L. West, 13½ games behind

Good Trevor Holder 2-1, 2.84 ERA in last three appearances
Bad 11-for-65 (.169) with RISP on last road trip (eight games)
Interesting Chien-Ming Wang in 2011/12 — 15GS in MLB, 16GS in Minors
(H/T Geoff Morrow of Patriot-News)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 20-20, 1st place C.L. North Division, ½ game ahead (51-59 overall)

Good Alex Meyer 1-0, 0.53ERA, 0.94WHIP, 15K in first 3 starts (17IP)
Bad 849 team batting K’s — 1st in eight-team C.L.
Interesting Erick Fernandez .393/.514/.429 in last 10 games

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 23-18, T1st place Sally League North Divison, 1 game ahead (65-45 overall)

Good Richie Mirowski 3-0, 1.76ERA in first 8 appearances
Bad Carlos Alvarez .417OPS in 13 games since callup
Interesting 167 teams SBs lead Sally League

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 27-16, 1st place Pinckney Division, N.Y.-Penn League, 3 games ahead

Good Brett Mooneyham 1-0, 1.37 ERA, 1.02WHIP in first five appearances (4GS)
Bad Jordan Poole 44K in 100AB over 28G
Interesting Estarlin Martinez .913OPS, 15G hit streak

GCL NATIONALS 16-24, 4th Place GCL East, 11 games behind

Good Austin Chubb .262/.319/.500 in 16G
Bad Adalberto Mieses 1.75WHIP in 24IP
Interesting Will Hudgins 2.93ERA, 1.08WHIP in 27⅔IP

DSL NATIONALS 28-24, 4th Place Boca Chica South Division, 8½ games behind

Good 17-y.o. Jonathan Aquino 1.06WHIP in 10⅓ IP
Bad 17-y.o. Wester Suarez .529OPS in 16G
Interesting 19-y.o. Rafael Bautista 34SB, 4CS (89.5% success rate)
May 252012
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 23-24, 5th place I.L. North, 6½ games behind

Good Corey Brown .381/.426/.929, 6HR, 14RBI in last 10G
Bad Josh Johnson .576 OPS, 7E in 34G
Interesting Yunesky Maya 2-1, 1.35 ERA, 1.013 WHIP in May

HARRISBURG SENATORS 25-21, 2nd place E.L. West, 4 games behind

Good Erik Davis 4-1, 2.17 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 31K in 29IP
Bad Destin Hood .197/.275/.239 in May
Interesting Kevin Pucetas 1.59 ERA, 0.926 WHIP in last 10 appearances

POTOMAC NATIONALS 18-25, 3rd place C.L. North Division, 6½ games behind

Good Justin Bloxom .292/.350/.542 in May (4HR, 14RBI)
Bad Francisco Soriano .173/.276/.267
Interesting Neil Holland 2-0, 0.00 ERA in May (6 appearances)

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 26-19, 2nd place Sally League North Divison, 6 games behind

Good Caleb Ramsey .323/.387/.600, 5HR, 17RBI in May
Bad Justin Miller .175/.237/.310, 38K in 35G
Interesting Ben Hawkins 1.98 ERA, 80% LOB, .157 OBA
Aug 052011
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 49-61, 4th place I.L. North, 13½ games behind

Good Chris Marrero .325/.398/.494 since All-Star Break
Bad Yunesky Maya 0-2, 11.30 ERA, 5HR in last 3 starts
Interesting Just three current Chiefs have played more than 50% of the games at their primary defensive position: Marrero, Jesus Valdez, and Corey Brown

HARRISBURG SENATORS 62-50, 1st place E.L. West, ½ game ahead

Good Jimmy Barthmaier 3-0, 1.59 ERA last 10 appearances
Bad Team OBP .326, third-worst in E.L.
Interesting 77 opponents’ SB second fewest in the E.L.

POTOMAC NATIONALS 21-18, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 4 games behind (50-58 overall)

Good Destin Hood .340/.400/.520 in July
Bad Paul Demny 8.70 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 8HR in last 6G
Interesting 147 SB leads Carolina League, on pace for 191 (affiliation record 186 in ’09)

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 20-19, 4th place Sally League North Divison, 3½ games behind (60-49 overall)

Good Paul Applebee as a reliever: 5-1, 3.29 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
Bad 2.19 WHIP by Ps promoted from Auburn/GCL
Interesting 7PB by “hitters at catcher” fewest in Sally League

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 28-19, T1st place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 2 games ahead

Good Bryce Ortega .370/.473/.457, 13SB in 30G
Bad Alex Kreis 8.35 ERA, 2.13 WHIP
Interesting Billy Burns .406/.513/.563 in 10G

GCL NATIONALS 12-26, 5th place GCL East, 16½ games behind

Good Jason Smith 1.14 WHIP in 21IP
Bad Johan Rodriguez .496 OPS in 27G
Interesting Brandon King 1.02 WHIP, 5.93 ERA, 11 HBP

DSL NATIONALS 28-27, 4th place, Boca Chica South Division, 5½ games behind

Good Junior Geraldo (18 y.o.) 1.000 OPS in first 6G
Bad Wander Suero (19 y.o.) 9.95 ERA, 2.13 WHIP in last 7 appearances
Interesting J.J. Hernandez 1.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP in 14G
May 062011
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE 9-17, 6th place I.L. North, 7 games behind

Good Yunesky Maya 2.57ERA last 3 starts
Bad Ross Detwiler 2.06WHIP last 3 starts
Interesting Roger Bernadina 7SB in last 10G

HARRISBURG 14-12, 1st place E.L. West Division, ½ game ahead

Good Cory VanAllen 1-1, 0.64 in 10G
Bad Shairon Martis, 23H in 13.1IP in 3 starts
Interesting Bill Rhinehart .310/.375/.655 in last 10G

POTOMAC 10-16, 4th place C.L. North Division, six games behind

Good Sandy Leon .303 last 10G, 4CS last 5SB attempts
Bad Ryan Demmin 6HR allowed in 11.2IP
Interesting Carolina League leaders with 44 steals

HAGERSTOWN 18-9, 2nd place Sally League Northern Division, ½ game behind

Good Cameron Selik 3-0, 0.31ERA (makes his High-A debut tonight)
Bad Jason Martinson 9E in 26G
Interesting Blake Kelso .361/.400/.454
Mar 182011
 

Yunesky Maya is one of three pitchers battling for the No. 5 spot in the Washington rotation, but four runs on five hits (including two long HRs to center) last night in a 7-6 loss will hurt his chances, even if it was his first truly bad outing of the spring.

That’s because Maya and Ross Detwiler are already handicapped in this (media created, but that’s what we do) horse race by a singular word: options.

Listening to the radio last night while watching the video from the MLB Network, that word that kept coming from Mike Rizzo in discussing how team will break camp. For a GM, they’re wonderful thing, but for a player they’re not — just ask a reliever like Adam Carr or Cole Kimball, who both got cut despite stellar results for the same reason. They’ve got options left and they’re competing against guys that don’t (e.g. Henry Rodriguez, who struck out two in the 8th last night and did not walk a batter).

Maya was decent for the first three innings last night, stranding a leadoff double in the first while flashing some serious leather. It’s not often that a scorekeeper writes 1-5-1-3 in the scorebook, as Maya made three throws and a tag in making the Braves pay for bad baserunning.

He also worked his way out of two-out, two-baserunner jam in the second that he created with a hit batsmen and a walk to 2010 ROY runner-up Jason Heyward and 2011 ROY contender Freddie Freeman.

But in the fourth, Maya wasn’t so fortunate as Chipper Jones took him deep to CF and a Heyward walk followed by a Freeman HR put the Nats in a 3-0 hole. Jones would double again in the next inning for the fourth run surrendered by Maya. His final line 5IP 5H 4R 4ER 2BB 2SO 2HR and a HBP.

Other notable prospects…

  • Wilson Ramos went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Tyler Moore pinch-ran and scored a run, then grounded out in the 9th. He played an inning on defense but had no chances.

The loss drops the Nats to 10-9 for the Spring. They return to Viera to face the Cardinals this afternoon, a game that will broadcast on 1580AM (not 106.7FM) as well as MLB Radio and XM Radio.