Transaction Update

Baseball America released its update on transactions from the period of December 15, 2011 to January 3, 2012. As the pic suggests, not a whole lot of excitement. All but three names were covered in our previous transaction-related post.

Those names were:

  • RHP Dan Cortes
  • LHP Michael Ballard
  • RHP Kyle Winters

Cortes is right-handed and throws hard, which Rizzo favors like Hugh Hefner does buxom blondes (OK, I’ve said too much). He turns 25 in March and has had two cappuccinos with Seattle the past two seasons.

Ballard is soft-tossing southpaw but works from a four-pitch arsenal. He turns 28 next month and pitched in both AA and AAA for the Baltimore organization last season.

Both pitchers appear ticketed for Syracuse, which lost one of its relievers yesterday with the suspension of longtime Nats farmhand Zech Zinicola for what he said was the use of synthetic marijuana.

Winters is a RHP that lost most of 2009 and 2010 to shoulder problems but turned in 19 starts for Greensboro of the Sally League. He turns 25 in April and the early guess is that he’ll be the #5 SP for the Potomac.

Two former, longtime Nats have hooked on elsewhere:

  • UT Leonard Davis signed with Colorado
  • C Brian Peacock signed with Cincinnati

As always, discuss in the comments while we, well, while away the winter.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

40 thoughts on “Transaction Update”

  1. Luke,

    So Brian Peacock is probably slated for Bakersfield (high A) and Leonard Davis in Tulsa (AA) or Colorado Springs (AAA)? Best of luk to both of them.

    What are your thoughts on ZZ? Will this suspension ultimately lead to his release?

    1. I’d love to be wrong, but that’s my initial assessment. Certainly not the level of judgment you’d expect from someone who’s nearly 27.

  2. The signings look to be orginizational filler; Not a bad thing, but it is what it is.

    Congrats to Brian P. for taking the offer from CIN. Maybe he’ll finally get a shot at AA-level ball.

    1. The one thing to Peacock’s detriment is that he may have developed a ‘tell’ in his setup when he calls off-speed pitches. Catchers with average to sub-average arms sometimes cheat away from the hitter when calling an off-speed pitch with a runner on base. I’ve watched him for a couple of years now, and noticed a slight tendancy to him to shift when faced with that situation.

      Otherwise, I think he calls a smart game, mixing pitches nicely, blocks the plate well (on both crossup pitches & runners on 3rd), and puts in maximum effort every day. I like the guy & wish him well in the CIN org.

      1. Totally agree with you. I’ve always liked him…seemed to play baseball the way it should be played. Sorry to see him leave but wish him the best.

  3. What is the AAA starting rotation project to be?

    Could it be the following? Or are there some roster fillers coming along to fill in the AAA gap post Rule V draft and Gio trade?


    1. Rosenbaum only made a half-dozen starts for Harrisburg last season… I don’t see him starting in Syracuse in April.

    2. markfd: As of today, I’m thinking Stammen / Ballard / Maya (if healthy) / Arnesen / Tatusko, with Buschmann should Maya start the year on the DL.

      1. Should Meyers be returned by the Yankees, then Arnesen drops to a LR/SpS role for SYR, and Fulchino probably gets bumped off the roster.

    3. Here is my AAA rotation

      Yunesky Maya
      Erik Arnesen
      Craig Stammen
      Mike Ballard
      Matt Buschmann

      I also have there pen as this

      Atahualpa Severino
      Ryan Tatusko
      Josh Wilkie
      Jeff Mandel
      Rafael Martin
      Cory VanAllen
      Jeff Fulchino

      with Cortes and Hyde waiting in the wings

      1. John Lannan
        Yunesky Maya
        Erik Arnesen
        Mike Ballard
        Matt Buschmann

        Stammen makes the club as long relief in tandem with lefty Gorzelanny.

        Lannan cannot beat out Wang and Detwiler. The odds are stacked heavily against it. And unlike those two he does have an option and is a lousy reliever.

        1. Oh yeah I keep forgetting the “ace” of the rotation Bradley Meyers. Have to assume (per Luke) that we get Myers back so … (okay I’m really bad but I put Meyers ahead of Lannan).

          Bradley Meyers
          John Lannan
          Matt Buschmann
          Erik Arneson
          Maya Yunesky ( I could see AA Harrisburg here.)

          Stammen makes the club as long relief in tandem with lefty Gorzelanny.

          Lannan cannot beat out Wang and Detwiler. The odds are stacked heavily against it. And unlike those two he does have an option and is a lousy reliever.

  4. I know lack of experience is a con for Rosenbaum but the cupboard has been depleted just looking down the line and assuming everyone will get a bump up to fill the holes. A big difference from last offseason when there were more thn 8 potential AAA starters in the organization.

    1. Yes, but Rizzo has not shown Bowden’s proclivity for social promotions. There are still quite a few six-year FAs out there; hell, the indys — the Atlantic League especially — are built on that premise. Rizzo has shown a pattern of signing AA/AAA guys that he can plug in as stopgaps. Way too early to worry about or project.

      1. speaking of here’s one from Byron Kerr:
        Club source confirms 2B jeff kobernus will likely be promoted to Harrisburg for 2012 #nationals

        1. Kobernus in AA is pretty close to the majors. He has leadoff hitter potential if he reduces strike outs increases walks and OBP. Good gap power. Not the best fielder I guess.

          Trades? Lombardozzi? Espinosa? Desmond?
          Is the FO preparing for that?

          1. Nope. Kobernus runs well, but doesn’t control the strike zone and doesn’t walk. His defense is adequate, but compared to Espinosa and Lombardozzi, he’s Mrs. Howell to Ginger and MaryAnn. Hasn’t proven himself at AA, and the jump from A+ to AA is the most difficult on the ladder.

          2. While Byron Kerr is sourced much better than I am, but Kobernus would need a couple of dominoes to fall in order to start 2012 in HAR.
            1) Steven Lombardozzi sticks with the big club;
            2) Josh Johnson moves up to SYR, opening a spot on the projected HAR roster for 2012; or,
            3) Rizzo makes a trade that creates MI gaps at either SYR or HAR.

            Looking at the current system rosters, I’m having a hard time seeing Kobernus anywhere except POT to start 2012.

          3. I see the Harrisburg Infield as Bloxom, Kobernus, King, and Johnson. I still cant figure out the Potomac infield, as you have Souza, Sanchez, Kelso, Martinson, Freitas, Walters, Hague, and Rendon all ready for A+

        2. Sounds like a better leadoff hitter than any other internal choice? If he does well in AA does that change “the plan”?

          “Jeff was an unbelievable baserunner,” LeCroy said. “He is real fast. He knows how to read pitchers. The thing about him is he improved so much on his defense from the first year that we had him. Plus, he stayed healthy and played in 120 or so games, which is awesome for him. He is so athletic that he can do a lot of things: offensively, defensively and on the bases.

  5. Shouldn’t Brian Peacock get a plaque or something after 5 years at Potomac?
    At least a certificate of achievement!

  6. Thinking of potential starting rotations for AA, High A, and Low A leagues, what is everyone’s thoughts (or a thought for later post(s))?

    1. Here is what I have

      Danny Rosenbaum
      Tanner Roark
      Sammy Solis(would go to Bronson if Solis needs TJ)
      Paul Demny
      Adam Oldrychowski

      Matt Purke
      Alex Meyer
      Robbie Ray
      Trevor Holder
      Robert Gilliam

      Matt Grace
      Wirkin Estevez
      Jack McGeary
      Brian Dupra
      Taylor Hill

        1. I’d swap Estevez with Mayer. I think Estevez looks pretty advanced. (You would think Grace and McGreary would be there by now.). Mayer is 6’9″ and growing. He still needs to adjust to his height. That I think belongs in A ball or below. Also, I think Nate Karns would be in the Hagerstown rotation. He is now too old not to be.

          1. Has anyone ever gone from SS-A+ in one season under Rizzo. I have Karns in the Hagerstown bullpen, as I couldnt slot him in ahead of anyone in the current rotation. I would expect Grace, and McGeary to get the call to Potomac, or be sent to the pen fairly quickly, and Karns would than get the rotation spot

          2. Ryan Demmin was jumped from Vermont to Potomac last year, but he was 23. The two others (Pat Lehman, Clayton Dill) that have gone SS-A to A- to A+ from Year 1 to Year 2 were also older (23, 24 respectively). I have a feeling that Karns was a starter for the purposes of stretching him out and learning to pitch (e.g. Adam Carr, 2009) and my gut tells me that Grace is also headed back to the ‘pen.

        1. Possible, but not probable. I feel stronger about seeing Meyer in April than Purke.

          Remember the rule of thumb with Rizzo: Guess the level, then go one lower.

          1. I see Purke as the one to progress faster only because he is the more refined. But, the injury concerns could also be a factor. I think Meyer as a starter could take some time. But, both have huge upside. But, I see Monar and Dupra as the two pitchers from that draft that may surprise some people.

  7. I was so looking forward to Potomac’s rotation. And then Cole and Jordan…Ah well you get the picture.

  8. Buschmann had an excellent winter league performance. I wonder how he will fit in the major league depth pecking order in Syracuse? Would he slot before Maya?

    1. I dont think he will be ahead of Maya, just because Maya is on the 40 man roster. I think Maya would be the first call-up, unless Arnsen or Buschmann is out pitching him by a good amount(which I could see happen)

      1. Yeah and Maya might be recalled from AA Harrisburg the way things are going … I’d rather see guys promoted that really deserve it.

  9. If Brian P does go to Pensacola, that’s also where Jonathan Griffin when to be ballpark manager. Its a new faculity, pictures of it look real nice. Great news for Brian…lets hope this means his luck is changing for the better.

  10. followed kyle winters for years as a Marlins fan. Never thought he got the advancement he deserved. Check out this you tube of him vs Bryce Harper. Saw him pitch against him last year and he mostly dominated him. Was the winning pitcher for the Hoppers in the SAL championship game. Think he is a good addition, hope the Nats give him a shot. youtube: bryce harper vs kyle winters 5/22/11

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