Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: December 12, 2011 11:56 am
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
We continue the series today with the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos. Yeah, remember them -- the best team in baseball in 1994 before the strike ended the season without a World Series? If you don't, you'll need to be reminded of a certain Bartolo Colon trade, which ended up being awful for the Expos, who got 17 starts from Colon after coughing up three future All-Stars for him. What we see is a team that looks pretty good, but has loads of young talent either already developing in the bigs or soon to be arriving.
1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Danny Espinosa, 1B
7. Ian Desmond, SS
8. Brian Schneider, C
1. Cliff Lee
2. Stephen Strasburg
3. Jordan Zimmermann
4. Javier Vazquez
5. John Lannan
Closer - Drew Storen
Set up - Bill Bray, Craig Stammen, Collin Balester, Miguel Batista
Long - Armando Galarraga, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, Ross Detwiler
Notable Bench Players
Bryce Harper, Chris Marrero, Wilson Valdez, Anthony Rendon, Jamey Carroll, Orlando Cabrera, Geoff Blum and Roger Bernadina.
The starting rotation is really good, especially if you start to think about the future. Much like the real Nats, Peacock, Milone and Detwiler all have the potential to break through and really make this a strong top-to-bottom rotation. Here, you have a perennial Cy Young candidate sitting at the top, too. The batting order definitely has the potential to be good, but there are a lot of question marks, so we can't really be overly excited about it. But, much like with the rotation, there is some serious potential on the way in Harper and Rendon. Finally, the bench is really good. This team has depth.
And in case you're curious, the three All-Stars the Expos gave up for Colon were Sizemore, Phillips and Lee. None of the three had made their major-league debut at the time of the trade.
If we were really going to stick Vlad in right field, we'd have to pray no one hit the ball out there. Should I have gotten more creative and put Vlad at first, moving Espinosa out to right? Maybe. We could move Vlad to 1B and throw Harper into the fire, play Bernadina in the outfield and move Vlad to first or just bench Guerrero. I'm open to any idea, but the idea I used was to maximize the offense. Hey, it worked when the Cardinals put Lance Berkman in right this past real season, right? Also, Schneider is a pretty bad catching option at this point, but there were zero other options on current 40-man rosters or in free agency in the MLB (which is what we used to build these rosters). Finally, the bullpen is very thin in front of Storen in the late innings.
Comparison to real 2011
The real-life Nats are just on the cusp of breaking through, though it'll be tough in the stacked NL East. These Nats would be a bit better with the legitimate ace Lee and a great bench. Maybe mid-80s in wins, but with tons of help on the way. Much like with the real Nats, it's kind of a "watch out next year" type deal -- with the likes of Harper, Rendon, Peacock and Milone waiting in the wings while Strasburg, Zimmermann, Storen, Espinosa et al continue to get better.
Next: Boston Red Sox
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Tags: Anthony Rendon, Armando Galarraga, Bill Bray, Brad Peacock, Brandon Phillips, Brian Schneider, Bryce Harper, Chris Marrero, Cliff Lee, Collin Balester, Craig Stammen, Danny Espinosa, Drew Storen, Expos, Geoff Blum, Grady Sizemore, Homegrown, Ian Desmond, Jamey Carroll, Jason Bay, Javier Vazquez, John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann, Matt Snyder, Miguel Batista, Nationals, NL East, Orlando Cabrera, Roger Bernadina, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Tom Milone, Vladimir Guerrero, Wilson Valdez
Posted on: December 10, 2011 1:06 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
On TV and in the movies, when a player gets traded, he's called into the manager's office and given the news. That's usually how it's done during the season still, but during the offseason you'd expect a team's general manager to call up a player and break the news to him.
And once upon a time, that was probably how it happened. In 2011, though, news moves faster than that -- or at least faster than Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane.
Another player traded on Friday, former Nationals reliever Collin Balester, got the news from his wife. He was shopping for a Christmas tree and had left his cell phone at home, but his wife -- who was due with their first child on Friday -- started getting calls and texts about the trade to Detroit, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.
As someone whose wife was due Thursday (and still hasn't delivered), I can tell you it's a huge mistake to leave your cell phone at home at this point, but for reasons other than baseball. The good news, though, is that Balester's wife, Ashley, is from Perrysburg, Ohio, not far from Detroit, so they'll be headed to her home, which will be convenient with a new kid in the house.H/T: Yahoo's Big League Stew
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 7:33 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Balester, 25, was 1-4 with a 4.54 ERA in 23 appearances with the Nationals, striking out 34 batters in 35 2/3 innings. He was 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA in 28 appearances with Triple-A Syracuse, striking out 46 batters in 39 1/3 innings.
Perry also split 2011 between the big leagues and Triple-A. In Detroit, Perry appeared in 36 games with a 5.35 ERA. He struck out 24 in 37 innings. At Toledo, he recorded seven saves in 20 appearances, going 3-0 with a 3.03 ERA. He struck out 30 batters in 32 2/3 innings with the Mud Hens.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.