All Quiet On The Minor-League Front, Redux

Bulldog-Hates-SnowFolks, just a quick note to assure you that we’re still here, hating on the weather and waiting for the games (and spring) to start on Friday.

There’s not much for me to pass along that I’m not sure that you’ve already seen. This is the week where the beat writers discover the guys we’ve known about for months, if not years, as they must file stories and fill time. Of course, I don’t begrudge them that — I’ve long known that their job is tougher than most people realize.

As previously noted, we’ll post about spring training from the minors perspective for about three weeks, which is usually how long it takes before the majority of the minor-leaguers are sent down. We hope to be surprised, have one of “our guys” outplay the veteran NRIs, but I think the conventional wisdom — and trades of Nathan Karns and Robbie Ray — is spot-on that the Nats are unlikely to have any rookies make the Opening Day roster.

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.

18 thoughts on “All Quiet On The Minor-League Front, Redux”

  1. Wondering if Jeff Mandel will latch on anywhere – one of the few MLFAs not to sign somewhere. Is he headed for the indies/retirement?

  2. Here’s some minor league seamhead material. From a National League scout — “There is no better defensive centerfielder that walks the earth than Michael Taylor”. “Majors, minor leagues, whatever”.
    Pretty powerful stuff.

    1. Saw that quote somewhere else on the interwebs yesterday. Taylor’s better than Span? Span is beautiful!!! He’s a gazelle in center!!! Best jumps I’ve ever seen in person from a Nat.

      1. Taylor is faster and better and he has a shortstop’s arm. His original position.

        You’re talking Curt Flood with a shortstop’s arm? That’s better than Span. Remember, Span lost his job to Revere and both were traded away. There is a reason don’t you think?

  3. Will be curious to see the fan turnout
    For Lucas G- force in Harrisburg on
    His nights to take the bump.
    Detweiler with a cutter. Good

    1. If he gets there sooner rather than later you have to begin wondering whether they will get his feet wet with some major league action this season before his innings limit and shutdown. Many scouts seem to think its almost fait accompli.

      1. Many scouts? Outside of a couple of internet commenters, I’ve not seen anyone that thinks Giolito gets a cup of coffee in the majors this season. With an innings limit, only 39 innings to his credit and none of them above short-season A Ball and a lot of pitching depth between him and the majors to absorb emergencies, it would be foolish to start his ML service clock by putting him on the 40 man roster this year, much less on the active roster.

        1. Here ya go dude.

          “The scout I spoke to raved about Giolito’s poise and said the only thing he needs now is experience. But when I asked how soon it would be before Giolito would be ready, I was surprised when he told me, ‘Maybe sooner than you think. End of the (2014) season? Early the next? Only thing he needs is innings.'”

          And there’s more that this. Surprised you haven’t been reading? Well maybe not too surprised.

          1. Meh. One anonymous scout who raises it as a theoretical possibility, but more likely 2015. It’s a lot easier to find scouts and executives (and pundits, FWIW) who don’t expect Giolito until 2015/2016 than it is to find one that talks 2014 for him. But then again, it was awfully hard to find those that were bullish on Corey Brown, Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore (etc), but that didn’t stop commenters from talking them up. It’s a free country, more or less.

            And also FWIW I agree with the anonymous scout on Giolito possibly arriving in 2015; I think it’s quite possible that Giolito, if he has a strong season, works his way from Hagerstown through Potomac to Harrisburg before he gets to his innings limit. Since Harrisburg is essentially the on-deck circle for the bigs, depending on how he does and what the team’s needs are I can easily see him getting some big league time in 2015 before contesting for a rotation spot in 2016. Even if the Nats rotation stays healthy and productive (I’m in favor of this!), if Giolito stays on course then he almost certainly gets a cup of coffee in September 2015 and competes for a roster spot in 2016.

          2. I suspect more than a roster spot … a spot in the rotation which to me is the real why of the Karns trade … not a new anathema toward rookies as Luke seems to subscribe to.

            In the end a slot in the rotation seemingly must be allocated to Giolito if he turns out to be all that the scouts claim he can be. Not just a roster spot.

            If this is true then we are looking at Taylor Jordan being showcased for a trade. As opposed to Detwiler and Roark who both seem capable of providing both starts and bullpen coverage. And Detwiler may be too ‘fragile’ to generate 180-200 innings a year?

            I think they feel they can still wait a bit on AJ Cole and if they lose Zimmermann to free agency?

  4. Throwing Latin around Peric. Smooth
    This Zimmerman time @ 1b reminds
    Me of Davey trying to stack the RH bats
    Versus a tough LH like Kershaw.
    Hairston sees more time in line ups like that
    Cue Pat Methany tune – spring ain’t here!

    1. Rizzo likes left-hand bats. But he likes the idea of Curt Flood’s glove along with a plus-plus arm better methinks.

      1. Flood could hit, too. Taylor hasn’t proven that he can hit enough to justify his place on a major league roster, much less as a starting CF. Taylor whiffs more than once per game in high A ball (244 K’s in 242 games) and his career minor league splits are .249/.319/.399. At least he will take a walk, unlike Eury Perez of Jeff Kobernus. But unless his OBP increases as he rises in the system (not easy to do) he’s not going to make it.

        I’m not dismissing him out of hand; there’s some potential there if the reports on his defense are correct. But right now he’s on track to be a marginal 4th/5th OF. If his offense improves he could be something, but he has work to do.

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