Thoughts On The Last Offseason Weekend

Offline, it’s been a busy week, which has conveniently coincided with the last lull before the season starts up.

Folks are starting to ask when the rosters will be released, and the answer is… soon. Media Day is Tuesday, April 1 (no, really) for Potomac, Hagerstown, and Syracuse and the player lists are usually a day or two before that. Harrisburg is usually the first affiliate to release its roster, and it could be as soon as tomorrow if history repeats itself.

With the acquisition of Kevin Frandsen, the Nats optioned Jeff Kobernus to Syracuse and Sandy Leon to Harrisburg to whittle the camp down to 26 players. This, of course, was about as surprising as the DC Fox News station mistaking Fairfax County for Frederick County (well, they do both begin with the letter “F”) but reinforces the disturbing trend of position players having an especially hard time making the Opening Day roster.

Yesterday’s news that Doug Fister experienced tightness (don’t go there) pitching yesterday, which was reported as a lat strain. In the short term, no problem — Fister goes on the DL, both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan make the rotation. However, if the injury is more severe (like the torn lat muscle suffered by Cameron Selik that ultimately ended his career), we might see Ross Detwiler returned to the rotation, Jordan or Roark optioned, and a reliever from Syracuse (Mike Gonzalez or Xavier Cedeno) recalled to take Detwiler’s place as the second lefty that manager Matt Williams has said he wants.

That is long, roundabout way of saying: Don’t count on that injury possibly opening the door for a prospect (Aaron Barrett vis a vis Ryan Mattheus not withstanding) Let’s hope that it’s merely the Nats being overcautious and that Fister will merely miss April and be ready come May.

For the folks not on the Twitters, Zach Spedden of the Hagerstown Suns Fan Club has begun his series of interviews with the bloggers covering the affiliates, which began with some idiot covering Potomac and continues with Mick Reinhard of Mayflies and Big Flies, who covers the Senators.

Last but not least, for those following the fate of the Suns, you’ll be surprised to learn (no, you will not) that neither ground has been broken nor has land been acquired in Fredericksburg. Considering how long it takes to construct a ballpark properly, this is not a good sign for anyone rooting for a move for the Low-A affiliate from Maryland to Virginia. As previously (repeatedly) noted, the snail-like pace of this could lead to another extension of the Hagerstown PDC, unless, of course, some other facility were to become available and the Sally League would consider realignment (there are also NAPBL-standard facilities open in other cities, like Kinston, NC and Columbia, SC).

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.

25 thoughts on “Thoughts On The Last Offseason Weekend”

    1. Living within 25 minutes of Kinston now, it’s my HOPE that Fredericksburg whiffs on the team, the City of Hagerstown keeps acting all a fool about the Suns, and they wind up in Kinston. If this happens, make sure to come back to this post and give me a thumbs up. 🙂

      IMHO, Hagerstown really does need to tell the Suns ownership to stick it and not renew the lease, or make them PAY through the nose for the stadium use. Since they have been paying nothing to be there, minus the 50K for improvements, it makes sense for the City to give them the boot and find someone that wants and will stay for the long term.

      Fingers crossed for Kinston…..let’s move SUNS!

  1. Good call , Luke !
    There has to be a G Force tee shirt
    Marketed in Hagerstown !
    Fontenot release is a sign of some
    Serious cutting with 17 bodies @ the Syr
    Teepee and several sens deserving a push for
    That late season EL push!
    I will take a stab at Gardner’s infield :
    Laird, Walters, Burrissss, Rhymes, Peterson
    Tejeda?? Moore may push Souza back to
    I do not envy the job in brass office

    1. No Souza has earned that promotion to AAA. He basically replaces Corey Brown. Moore sees time in left-field but mostly first base alternating with Brock Peterson. Its Peterson who could end up in AA if Skole starts tearing up the Eastern League. You’d want to get a left-handed first baseman to go with your right-handed in SYR. Then does Moore get traded to Bo?

      1. Hmm, the Syracuse and Harrisburg rosters are posted. I thought Goodwin would go to AAA, but they’ve still got him in Harrisburg. How is he going to learn to play CF on the same team with Taylor? Are they keeping him in AA just because Perez is already in AAA? Why is Perez standing in the way of their top OF prospect?

        In Syracuse, they have T-Mo and Kobernus listed among the six OFs. You would think Souza is going to play regularly in RF. I’m sure they want Moore to get regular ABs as well. Really, it’s time to trade Moore and give him a chance somewhere else. The reason they might not do that, however, is that they seem (rightly) concerned that Hairston is fading fast. If he hadn’t been on a $2.5M contract, he would have been cut.

        They only have one backup INF list for the Chiefs, so you would think Kobernus will get some time there. I don’t know if they would want to give Souza another look at 3B, just for flexibility sake. It’s hard to see Souza getting 1B time with both Peterson and Moore on the roster.

        1. I know folks are champing at the bit to see the OD rosters, but these aren’t them. When I get the official releases, I’ll post them as soon as I’m able.

          1. I appreciate your integrity on this issue, Luke. Better to have actual rosters without errors late than something that speculates and makes embarassing mistakes.

          2. I agree, that Harrisburg website is pretty fleabag, wouldn’t trust that over any official announcements.
            Although speculation is fun.

        2. I agree that we need to see the final rosters. But the issue still stands: it’s going to be hard to get all the potential OFs the regular playing time that they need, particularly if Moore is taking up an OF spot. Goodwin and Souza in particular need to be playing every day. Kobernus and Perez have already been at AAA and figure to stay there. But it’s a good “problem” to have.

  2. Thanks for all the links … nice interview Luke (and Mick)!
    Starting to finally feel like the season is here … hooray!

  3. A ton of great links make for some fun Saturday reading. Thanks.
    As I have some connection to the Batavia Muckdogs, that relocation article on the NY-P league was fascinating.
    What is it about Virginia and stadium building? Can somebody please tell the truth!

    I bookmarked the Harrisburg blog; didn’t even know it existed and the Senators will be a great story this year.

    1. As much as I’d love to rip on Virginia — where no traffic problem isn’t addressed with a four-way stop sign first, speed bumps second — I think it’s mainly that municipalities have gotten wise to the myths of stadium building and are demanding more ROI. It also doesn’t help that in Virginia they’re only now just realizing that they gave away too much to the developers in the `00s and they’re spending millions to reduce the ensuing traffic congestion.

      1. Yeah huh? Developers are nefarious. Care nothing about the environment, quality of life, infrastructure. Just the god almighty dollar.

  4. Outstanding article, Luke. Always blessed by your knowledge, wit and love of the game.
    My favorite quote:
    “ZS: Who do you think will be the first person to earn a promotion from Hagerstown to Potomac this year?
    LE: I can see Drew Ward, he did so well last year that he could challenge with Hagerstown. If that’s the case and he does that well, we could see him, ala Chris Marrero, in High-A at the age of 19.”

    Based on his season last year, and my trip to Viera, Drew Ward’s my dude. For him to adjust to effortlessly to professional ball after not seeing nearly that tough a competition in high school awes me. Kind of reminds me of Otto Porter, Jr. for the Wizards, Otto opted out of the AAU professionalization at an early age and worked on his game and his character. In the brief 2-5 minutes of one to one time I got with Ward, he came across as a precocious young man who loves baseball, respects fans, and will do anything it takes to improve himself. He is the type of person that I would love to introduce student-athletes to and I suspect that should Drew Ward realize his full potential, he will remember all of the people that made it possible. You got room to house Drew Ward in Potomac, Luke? Maybe he’s a good babysitter too!

    1. Great article, my man. Were I annointed baseball commissioner, one of my first acts would be to give the player’s every other Sunday off. I know the Sundays are big bucks with all of the kids games, but you’d think that it would be nice for all the faithful ballplayers to be able to attend church/mosque/syngagoue/otherhouseofworship every other Sunday. But I’m just as guilty. I’m probably going to switch churches now because my church doesn’t switch service times earlier during the summer like my old church in New York used to.

  5. I didn’t realize until this article that Cameron Selik had to call it quits because of a Lat. tear. If that’s all it is, maybe he comes back eventually. Like they, make ’em tear the uniform off your back.

  6. I’d just like to offer that as excited as I am to see where our affiliates go this season and whether “our guys” (like Drew Ward and Deion Williams and Michael Taylor) get the promotions that will launch them to the show, I am more excited to see where our community goes. Your comments to my earlier article were so affirming to me at a very hectic time in my life as I work on some huge projects in real life. I know Luke has real life to work on, too. I think that has grown to the point where we can become a real community, supporting each other and hopefully planning some get togethers. If you guys are interested, I’d love to work with the Potomac Season Ticket Holders who follow this site on some kind of get together where we can fellowship, meet some Potomac staff, and build the community of baseball lovers that all are sometime during the early summer. I used to do that kind of stuff for another web site in the Natmosphere that shall remain nameless. It would be a joy to do that kind of stuff for Luke and help learn more about how I can be helpful to him.

  7. Souldrummer – you should join the Potomac Booster Club (I think it’s $15/year for a family membership). One of the things our Booster Club does is coordinate a mtg with the Potomac staff so that everyone knows who is who. We have a very active Booster Club at Potomac who assits the boys in many different ways. Let me know if you want me to send you an application.

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