You have to like this move that Rizzo pulled off.
He turned a guy who was flat out released by Pittsburgh last year into the #2 prospect in Minnesota’s system (Wilson Ramos, a major-league ready catcher
from a defensive standpoint and probably Pudge’s understudy in a few weeks) plus a lefty reliever with staggering K/9 ratios the last two seasons (but not
so much this season, where he’s struggled a bit in high-A).
I love this move. Capps did great for us undoubtedly and some will say that he is the reason our bullpen has stabilized this year versus last, but reality is:
- - a closer is an absolute luxury on a last place team
- - a closer can be great one year (Capps in 2010) but awful the next (Capps in 2009) and you have to sell high.
- - Saves are overrated and even mediocre bullpen guys can serve as the “closer” for a team that’s not in a pennant race.
- - The nats have a couple of very lively arms in the bullpen now that can immediately step up and open the door for the next reliever to come up (Severino?) to work towards the future. As a last place team, that HAS to be the priority.
Now, here’s an interesting question. Why did we get yet another upper-end catching prospect? Right now the catching situation for the Nats looks like this:
- - Pudge; coming back to reality after a great start, signed through 2011
- - Nieves; classic good D no hit guy who is hitting .187/.223/.252 in 134 plate appearances this year and is just killing the team when he spells Pudge. Great guy; but he’s probably getting his release inside the next couple weeks.
- - Norris: Nats #1 prospect in the minors right now; struggling after having hamate bone surgery (same surgery Zimmerman had a few years back) in high-A. He tore up low-A and short-A though so he’ll get it back. Question remains about him though; does he stay at Catcher?
- - Flores; another setback reporeted recently. at this point in his “recovery” he’s throwing from 90 feet and hitting off a tee. Which is exactly what he was doing in March. Despite everything that we expected from this kid, you almost have to write him off as a complete injury loss at this point.
- - Harper. Catching prospect but he’ll be far faster the majors as a right fielder (which we have a need for anyway). Boras wants him out of the catching position because it will mean more money and longer career (and thus more commissions).