Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Ladson’s Inbox 9/15/16


Turner is the biggest surprise of the year for me.  photo via

Turner is the biggest surprise of the year for me. photo via

Wow, what a treat!  I’ve been kind of slacking in the content department and suddenly our favorite beat writer Bill Ladson pops out an unexpected mid-September mailbag.  So here’s something to argue about this weekend.

As always, here’s how I would have answered his questions.

Q: Who do you think is the most pleasant surprise on the Nationals this year

A: Trea Turner without a doubt.  We knew he was going to be good, but I don’t think anyone knew he was going to be *this* good.  Keith Law in his chat yesterday  pointed out a fun little fact about Trea Turner: he’s got a (now) 3.0 bWAR this year, which would rank him (unadjusted for position) as the 6th best ever for either the Rays or the Padres, the two teams that passed along Turner (and Joe Ross) in that trade two years ago.  What a steal.  And despite his only playing 57 games this year you have to think he’s in the mix for NL Rookie of the Year.  Corey Seager probably has it wrapped up, but a 2nd or 3rd place for Turner seems warranted.

Ladson said Stephen Drew, which I guess you could argue for … except that he’s a bench player who has missed a ton of time and isn’t a lock to make the post-season roster given his illness.


Q: How far do you think the Nationals could go in the postseason?

A: Could?  They could go all the way!  🙂  In reality, I think the Stephen Strasburg injury really, really hurts them in their likely NLDS match up with Los Angeles.  If the Nats rolled out Scherzer-Strasburg-Roark-Gonzalez versus the Dodgers’ Kershaw-Hill-Maeda-random 4th starter i’d feel pretty good about our chances in that series.  Right now we’re basically auditioning pitchers for that 4th spot and Gonzalez has been shaky, and Los Angeles’ arms are daunting for a team that routinely gets shut down by starters from teams like Philadelphia and Atlanta.  Right now, I think we lose a close NLDS series to Los Angeles.

Even if Strasburg was healthy, I think we’d really be hard-pressed to beat Chicago in a 7 game series either.  We took 2 of 3 here, lost 4 out of 4 there this year (though as we’ve discussed here, that sweep wasn’t nearly as dominant as the press made it seem), but we still lost to them, and they’ve stayed at full strength basically the whole season.  I don’t see how anyone beats the Cubs this year.

Ladson hedges his answer, saying he wants to see how the bullpen and offense go the rest of the way.  Why is he worried about the bullpen?  Isn’t it one of the best in the game?  The Nats bullpen is #1 in baseball in ERA, #2 in Fip.   What more do you want?

Q: Do you think Stephen Strasburg will be ready to pitch in the postseason?

A: Nope.  Strained Flexor Mass is usually a 30 day injury; he got hurt on 9/7/16.  So at best t hat’s 10/7/16 … or basically at the end of the divisional series.  But … where’s he going to rehab?  There’s no more minor league games; i guess he could throw simulated or instructional league games.  But more importantly, this is a notably conservative team medically, especially with Strasburg over the years and especially since they just committed $175M to him.  No way do they rush him back from a serious injury just on the opportunity to make one post-season start.  Ladson agrees.

Q: Why do you call Jayson Werth “The King” on Twitter?

A: (me shaking my head): who knows.  Maybe because he’s the king of getting caught doing triple digits on the beltway?  I’ve lived here all my life and can’t tell you how many times i’ve hit 100 on the interstates around here without getting caught.  Ladson says he calls Werth the king because he turned “clubhouse from unprofessional to first class.”  Well, except for all of last year under Matt Williams … I guess even the King couldn’t salvage that dumpster fire.

Q: What do you think of the job Danny Espinosa has done this year?

A: Good power, good defense, bad hit tool.  About what we expected; his plus defense and power this year have outweighed his strikeouts and his low batting average.   He’s got a 1.8 bWAR and a 1.9 fWAR on the year, so its not like he’s totally useless out there.  Its one of the reasons i’ve supported him and havn’t been completely ready to get rid of him; he’s ranked 15th among qualified Shortstops in fWAR this year.  So that’s right in the middle; league average.   I mean, if he had negative WAR, didn’t have power, or wasn’t a plus defender, I could see the huge rush to replace him.  But moving him this coming off-season (as many want to of my readership) opens up another hole in Center that’s probably harder to fill right now than Short.  Its why I suspect the team may just stand pat, keep Turner in center another year, and roll out basically the same lineup in 2017.  Ladson gives him a “6.5 out of 7” and says he deserves the NL Gold Glove.  I dunno about that; there’s 5 or 6 NL shortstops that probably rate better defensively than him.

Q: Was Murphy what you expected this season?

A: No way; Murphy a ton better than I expected.  I was hoping for a solid 6th hitter, not a frigging MVP candidate.  He earned his entire $37.5M contract this year.  Ladson Agrees.

Q: What do you think of Dusty Baker as a manager? I know you often said Davey Johnson is the best manager you ever covered. Where does Baker rank as far as Nationals manager go?

A: I think Baker has done a fantastic job of calming this group, bringing some order, and not showing any of the faults that he was accused of in the past.  He’s shifted, he’s managed the bullpen decently, he’s stuck to his guns and rested players, he’s communicated well, he hasn’t burned out starters.  I think he’s ridden his primary catcher too hard … but then again, Ramos is having a career year and Lobaton is a huge step back offensively.  Is he better than Davey?  Not yet for me: lets see what happens when Baker has to deal with some injury issues or a better divisional rival.  Ladson has them 1-2 with Davey still on top.


52 Responses to 'Ladson’s Inbox 9/15/16'

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  1. I thought the KLaw comment was for the Rays and Pads shortstop seasons, not any position player season I don’t even think it would be one of Longoria’s top 6 seasons, for instance. But maybe I misunderstood. Anyway, I wonder what Turner’s WAR would be right now if his batting, running and fielding stats were identical but he played SS all year? I know Fangraphs, at least, makes positional adjustments.

    If you bring back Espy next year and keep Turner in CF, at some point it becomes hard to move him back to the IF. Not saying one more year is that time, but the question at least has to be asked if they need to move him to SS next year or permanently accept that he is an OF.

    It’s still Davey for me, although Dusty has rebounded from some questionable pitching decisions to move firmly into second. Not a lot of competition there, to be honest. Robby comes next, I think. Couldn’t stand Acta.


    16 Sep 16 at 5:01 pm

  2. I also thought KLaw’s comments were to that end; if I didn’t make that clear in the post then my bad. I think his point was, “those two franchises were fools to trade away a quality short stop prospect like turner and if they had just kept him they’d already have had one of their best single season short stop seasons by WAR.”

    Historical Nats manager ranking for me: Johnson, Baker, Robinson, Riggleman, Acta, Williams. But then again, it probably isn’t that hard to rank these guys. I always thought Riggleman did a better job than he was given credit for, especially the way he departed (which, long time readers know, i put on Rizzo as much as Riggleman), but there’s still a big gap after the first three.

    Todd Boss

    17 Sep 16 at 8:37 am

  3. Yes, we’re on the same page. Also agree with you on Riggleman as a manager, but it was crap how he quit, and even if Rizzo didn’t treat him well, I put the lion share of that exit on him.

    KLaw tweet today:
    Update from my chat this week: Trea Turner now at 3.3 WAR as CF/2B. San Diego has only had two shortstops top that, ever.


    17 Sep 16 at 12:58 pm

  4. Sorry, that last comment was me.

    Also, one other thing about Turner. Homers are up across baseball, so looking long term, we shouldn’t necessarily expect Turner to be a 20-25 HR guy. I think we need another season or two to see where his true power level is.


    17 Sep 16 at 1:00 pm

  5. I love the Turner season, odn’t get me wrong, but there’s some serious potential issues in his performance so far.
    1. He has just 8 walks in 58 games this year.
    2. he has a .402 BABIP.

    Both of those numbers are, well, problematic.

    Todd Boss

    17 Sep 16 at 7:32 pm

  6. Daffy answer about Drew, but otherwise I can’t really disagree with Ladson.

    Unfortunately, it looks to me like this year’s Nats aren’t even waiting until the playoffs for the offense to tank. Harper is the key–if he hits like he did in the 2014 NLDS they could go all the way. If he continues to be the player he’s been for the past four months I don’t see how they even win the first series.

    As for Turner, I agree that he’ll come back to earth a bit, and his lack of walks in particular is not a good indicator. That said, his tremendous speed combined with his excellent power will keep teams from cheating up on him in the field, which should make him a perennial .300+ AVG, .800+ OPS guy.

    I also think you’re right that Espinosa will be the team’s opening day SS next year. If they make a major offseason acquisition, I’d expect it to be someone who can play both corner OF and 1B. Even going through arbitration again, Espinosa will still be a reasonably priced starting SS.

    Karl Kolchack

    18 Sep 16 at 3:30 pm

  7. Re: Espy, he’s about negative 1 WAR since his great month. His defense has been good (Arm), but not great (range). Since the ASG, he is .179/.281/.263 with 70 Ks in 190 ABs. That’s awful. If he wasn’t playing SS which (I believe) has earns the highest dWAR, then he’d probably be around 0 WAR. At worst, he should be platooning with Drew or Difo. It’s really tough having 3 guys in the lineup (incl the pitcher) who have hit sub Mendoza in the 2nd half.

    Andrew R

    18 Sep 16 at 11:16 pm

  8. Espinosa is the #8 hitter–the offense is not supposed to flow through him. Were Harper & Zimmerman contributing at the level they were expected to contribute, the latest Espinosa slump would be irrelevant. Additionally, his br/d/WAR is 1.4, which is pretty darn good.

    Given that attendance is down this year and the MASN mess hasn’t been straightened out, the Nats are unlikely to add payroll in the offseason, especially if they have to bite the bullet and pay Ramos. Even if Espinosa doubles his salary in arbitration he will still make less than $6 million next year, and ultimately THAT is the number that is going to keep him in a Nats uniform.

    Karl Kolchack

    19 Sep 16 at 12:49 am

  9. On the future of Espinosa: I guess it all depends on what the Nats could “get” for him. There’s not a lot of “dumb” GMs out there any more who would be dazzled by his 25 home-run and plus defense capabilities. So the Nats have to ask themselves if the return would be worth the forced juggling of the team. If Espinosa goes, Turner->SS but then you need a CF. Now, I’d *love* to see them deploy Harper in Center and buy one of the big bats on the FA market on a short term/bigger money deal; imagine Jose Bautista in the middle of this lineup for three years?

    Maybe a smart play would be to flip one of our SPs (since there’s absolutely nothing on the FA SP market) for something of need. I think you keep Roark (since he’s always going to be undervalued) but consider flipping Gio or Ross; Ross at his mlb-minimum salary probably fetches more. But I suppose you could buy your CF that way. Is a full season of Lopez or Giolito or Cole going to be any worse than what we’re getting out of Gio Gonzalez right now? Of course, that being said, that means that we pawn him off on a “dumb” GM who somehow misses the regressing we’re seeing out of him.

    But all of the above scenarios require multiple teams to express interest in multiple players…. and as pointed out, the MASN thing still requires the Nats to ask everyone to take deferred salary, which not everyone wants to do.

    Todd Boss

    19 Sep 16 at 8:34 am

  10. Karl: 1B/OF type: how about Mark Trumbo? Would that be a huge overpay based on his monster 2016 versus what he normally does? Probably. Edwin Encarnacion? More of a 1B only though. how about Ryan Howard? (just kidding).

    Todd Boss

    19 Sep 16 at 8:37 am

  11. Harper…. I cannot believe teams still walk him at a high rate. Smart thing to do is to make him swing.

    I don’t think his problems are injury related. He still swings hard as hell. Just in the wrong direction. They just need to shift the foul lines 45 degrees to the right and his swing will be square to the field.

    Those who don’t watch every day have no idea how bad he’s really looked to the eye all year. Teams crazily walking him have obscured some of his stats to look not as bad as his performance really is. Most star players in a slump, it’s usually a timing thing or a spell where they are not seeing the ball well. But Harper’s is such obvious horrendous swing mechanic problems. That’s rare to see in MLB. Who else swings like that in the whole league?

    On the flip side. Just truly remarkable seasons Murphy and Turner are having. For Murphy especially, even his outs are good looking hard hit outs all year long. Been a real treat watching him all year. What a hitting clinic he’s putting on.

    Scherzer too has been amazing, and is pitching exactly like we all hoped. Both in talent and attitude.

    Marty C

    19 Sep 16 at 10:18 am

  12. I’m reading how Scherzer is now the NL Cy Young favorite in some circles … has there been a more “quiet” Cy Young season that you can think of than what Scherzer has been doing?

    On that topic (NL Cy Young), I wonder how the voting will go. Scherzer’s record isn’t as flashy as some other competitors (Lester is 17-4, Cueto is 16-5), and his ERA isn’t the best (he doesn’t even lead his own staff in ERA, and Kyle Hendricks’ ERA is ridiculous), but his workload and his strikeouts are so huge when compared to these other candidates. Scherzer has nearly 100 more Ks than Hendricks for example. He’s faced more than 100 more batters than Lester.

    I wonder how the voters are going to flesh the NL Cy Young race out honestly…

    Todd Boss

    19 Sep 16 at 10:33 am

  13. Todd, good analysis (I suppose this means I have to say Bill L. gets credit for good analysis too). One quibble: you should know better than to make predictions about what will happen in the five-game NLDS, or say things like “I don’t see how anyone can beat the Cubs.” Show me someone who’s consistently better at picking the winner in a 5-game series than a coin flip. It’s undeniably true that that a healthy Strasburg is better than no Strasburg for our chances, but to say his absence is outcome-determinative really underplays how random a 5-game series is. Also, the Cubs are objectively the best team in baseball, but the best team in baseball isn’t guaranteed a trip to the World Series. The 100+ win Cardinals last year didn’t make it out of the first round. The 116 Mariners in 2001 lost 4-1 in the ALCS.

    It’s always better to be the better team in any series, 3, 5, or 7 games, but we need to respect the fact that unpredictable occurrences have a huge effect on the outcome of such a small sample of games. In 2014 the 96-win Nats with 3 great starters (Strasburg, Zimmermann, Fister) and Gio lost to the Giants, who featured Bumgarner and the corpses of Jake Peavy, Tim Hudson, and Ryan Vogelsong. And we beat Bumgarner and lost to the other 3! It’s easy after the fact to point to things like “the Nats weren’t ready for the moment” or “the Nats always have trouble with once great but washed up SPs” or “the Nats have trouble hitting in games that start at 4pm” or “introverts don’t do well in the playoffs” but these are all post-hoc explanations for events that are largely random. Weird things happen in short series. Weird things will probably happen in the 2016 NLDS too. These weird things will affect the outcome of a game or two, which will affect the outcome of the series. It’s what happens.

    A few other notes:
    – MartyC, I think a lot of what you say about Harper’s swing confirms what I see as well, but I don’t think it’s fair to chastise the other teams for walking Harper. Harper himself is earning those walks with his superior strikezone management. He leads the league in BB%, which has been fairly steady throughout the year despite the fact that he’s been drawing many fewer IBBs since early in the season. Harper’s ability to draw walks is a skill – it’s repeatable and we should expect it to continue at a similar rate to this going forward. Harper’s ability to draw walks is a main reason he can have such a crappy batted ball season and still be a valuable offensive player. It’s not something that happens to him. He’s making it happen. For that reason, it’s not going to stop.

    – Turner’s .400+ BABIP does suggest that regression is coming, but I think he has all the signs of a very high BABIP player – speed, right-handed (meaning harder to shift against), hits the ball hard. Mike Trout’s a career .360 BABIP guy. There are reasons to think Turner could be higher – more speed – but there are also reasons to think Turner could be lower – doesn’t hit the ball as hard. A Trea Turner with a .360 BABIP is still likely hitting over .300 and slugging over .500. A .340 BABIP Turner is still very good too. My larger concern is the ultra low BB%. Not walking makes BABIP-related hitting slumps a lot more painful. His minor league history suggests he’ll improve, but he may not ever be good at it. This affects his ceiling and his floor.

    – In a world in which pitchers like Ian Kennedy and Mike Leake get 5 year deals at $70+ million, Gio Gonzalez (with all his faults) at 2/24 is a steal. He has legitimate trade value. The Nats have a real live surplus of starting pitchers, with the starting five plus Giolito, Lopez, and Cole (not to mention Fedde and Voth, the latter of which could probably be counted on right now to throw some decent MLB innings in an injury situation). Ross probably has the most trade value (assuming he is able to demonstrate health between now and the end of the season), but a Gio trade offers the potential for getting a nice piece in return AND salary relief. Gio’s not fetching a star, but he could get you a useful piece. If the Nats think Strasburg’s health is in reasonably good shape for next year, they really should trade somebody. Cole, in particular, should be somebody’s 5th starter (could be the Nats). The others have higher potential (to varying degrees that have been debated a lot here). My preference would be to trade a SP, get rid of Espinosa, put Turner at SS, and use money/trade chips to get another OF (while being open to Harper in CF). But circumstances may dictate that we endure another year of Danny at SS, which probably isn’t as terrible as it seems right now.


    19 Sep 16 at 11:20 am

  14. You got the right blog Todd…. It is all about pitching.

    Harper has a historic season last year and we don’t even come close to making the playoffs. His other average, or injured years we make it.

    That stint with Lopez, Giolito making all the starts reminded how truly important great starting pitching is.

    Saturday… our rookie lead off hitter goes 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and we lose by a ton thanks to a stinker by Gio.

    Marty C

    19 Sep 16 at 11:23 am

  15. Derek; fair point on making predictions in short-series. Of course its folly to think that the Cubs “cannot be beat.” I guess all post-season predictions in print should start with a caveat that says “anything can happen, thats why they play the games, etc.” I think the Cubs are prohibitive favorites yes; they have great pitching, great hitting, have out scored their opponents by more than 220 runs (!) … yet they probably only have one chance in three of really winning thanks to all the dumb things that happen in playoffs.

    But if we prefaced every opinion with 3 lines of caveats, then nobody could argue with us! 🙂

    Todd Boss

    19 Sep 16 at 11:38 am

  16. Derek on SP value; couldn’t agree more. Cole has earned himself some money this year. Even though his ERA looks bloated, there’s some positive points here. Only one of his 5 starts has really been an “easy” matchup (home to phillies). He’s had a good K/9 rate and a decent K/BB rate. Ross is just as valuable as a Giolito/Lopez in terms of dollars for performance … so you’d think that the team would look to move Gio for value if they decided on rolling the dice for the 5th spot.

    Todd Boss

    19 Sep 16 at 11:43 am

  17. Derek.. Agree that Harper is good at getting the walks. I’m just saying I would not walk him. Just like you don’t walk a pitcher. I would throw him a ton of strikes because I don’t think he’s going to him them how he is swinging now.

    How do you deal with Turner not getting walks? Do we care to change it radically? As it might take away some if his aggressiveness?

    If he’s never going to walk, is he more a #2 or #3 hitter?

    Interesting that our 2 best hitters and most clutch hitters by far do not walk. Murphy and Turner. Our walk hunters like Werth and Harper have low average, low Slugging pct and low RBi’s.

    Marty C

    19 Sep 16 at 11:45 am

  18. Its always about pitching, indeed. You can never have enough. But you also have to be willing to take action and utilize what you have to get something you want. Barring no changes, our rotation is already set for 2017 and thats with 3 or 4 guys sitting at AAA who I think we all agree can be at least 5th starters for other squads. Perhaps better. If we don’t leverage that depth it becomes wasted.

    Todd Boss

    19 Sep 16 at 11:46 am

  19. Generally speaking, assets should flow to their most highly valued uses. That’s why it was sort of weird that the Nats kept two guys who could play SS – Desmond and Espinosa – rather than trade one to play SS somewhere else. Anyway, some other team in a contending position has to value one of the Nats’ surplus starters more than the Nats do. They should be willing to pull the trigger (Rizzo has never seemed shy on this front before, so I won’t expect him to start now).

    I don’t do anything – now – about Turner not drawing walks. Plate discipline tends to be an “old man” skill, so I would expect him to get better at it as time goes forward. He’s not a low K% guy like Murphy (Turner’s K% is slightly higher than Harper’s), but he’s not a hacker like Danny or MAT. But if the BB% doesn’t come up and the K% gets worse, TT could be vulnerable to deep slumps. He’s now at 3.4 BB% and was 2x that in the minors. If he gets to ~10% (where Trout lives) or 12% (where Werth lives) that would be great. But he probably can live at 6% (Murphy level) and be fine if he keeps hitting.


    19 Sep 16 at 12:14 pm

  20. Murphy leads the majors in BA and doubles and the NL in SLG, OPS, and OPS+. I’m as excited as everyone else about Turner, but on the list of surprises, let’s not forgot the guy who has carried the club since Day 1. I’d have Ramos and Roark pretty high on that list as well. Drew wouldn’t even cross my mind . . .

    I think Danny has been about what I expected in the field at SS. We knew he had a cannon arm, but I didn’t expect his range to be Simmons-like. Should he be in the Gold Glove conversation? By the stats, probably not. Here’s a question about defensive metrics, though, which I don’t claim to understand very well. The Nats have done significantly more shifting and advanced defensive positioning this year. I wonder in such circumstances whether Danny doesn’t get as much “range” credit because more balls come more directly to him that they would have if he was positioned more standardly as SS. Does that make sense? Or would the probabilities still likely even out over 162?

    Derek, good points on how Turner might play to a higher BABIP. Boz also has some good thoughts in his chat today on how Turner is already thinking like a veteran about how to respond to adjustments that teams are making against him. After years of watching Desi and Danny be so stubborn at the plate, it’s amazing to see a kid who “gets it” from first blush.

    Turner and walks: teams HAVE to pitch to him. They’ve shifted from fastballs to off-speed stuff, but it’s still over the plate because a walk is the same result as a double (or triple). His two HRs on Sat. were on change-ups, but they were in the strike zone. We’ll see. They’re going to have to start going more off the plate against him, but they haven’t really been doing that much yet. When they do, we’ll see how his patience holds out.


    19 Sep 16 at 12:45 pm

  21. KW: great point on Murphy as most surprising. Murphy was probably just as big of a surprise as the debut of Turner. You can only pick one…

    Shifts effect on defensive stats: I think it depends. I’m pretty sure UZR (my favorite defensive metric) ignores plays where the shift occurred (at least that’s my interpretation of this link). Here’s a good link on the same topic: that seems to imply that DRS used to include shift data until it was shown that certain “shifty” players really skewed the data. Now they ignore ‘extreme shifts” like when the 3B plays in short right field against pull lefties .. but this also leads to skewing of DRS in general (which is why I don’t like it as much as UZR). Can’t find anything like that on two other defenive stats (TZ and FRAA).

    Todd Boss

    19 Sep 16 at 1:09 pm

  22. Todd… this point about Cole having some real value now is why I also like the idea of constructing a roster with a young prospect like a Goodwin and a Skole as bench players instead of a Robinson and a Heisy.

    Because if they perform at the MLB level, they will really have value. Either as trade bait or a long term piece.

    I think one older vet on the bench like Drew is enough. Three is too much. I’d rather use the other spots for younger guys building experience and value through the system.

    Granted Robinson and Heisey have had their moments, but nothing they’ve done has been extraordinary and changed the course of the season. We don’t miss them if they don’t happen to get an AB in a game. Nor do you want them playing every day. Except Drew who would arguably improve the team as a starter.

    And the younger guys in those spots would have had some great moments too left unseen while building experience and roster value to the team. Almost everyone thought Cole was AAA or value-less until he comes up here and actually looked good. People look at Goodwin differently now because he’s not flailing at the plate per the eye test like many were expecting. While Clint Robinson really has no trade value as a potential starter even if he performs decently.

    Trevor Gott another good example from his short exposure in Anaheim that nabbed the Angels a .300 hitting starter. ( I still think Escobar would be much better defender at 2b than 3rd. He just has no idea how to play 3b).

    Marty C

    19 Sep 16 at 1:45 pm

  23. Marty, I understand that you’re king of the “Replace Clint Robinson” club with Matt Skole, but what’s the point? Robinson has 15 at bats this entire month; his whole job is to spell Ryan Zimmerman and hit 7th once a week. Yes he’s hitting .232; do you think its easy to hit .280 when you’re not playing regularly?

    Robinson won his job in 2015’s spring training then performed admirably when thrust into somewhat regular playing time. He was in the same camp that Skole was. So there wasn’t really that much of an surprise when Robinson was on the inside track for the “lefty off the bench” for 2016. If there was that much of a difference between Robinson and Skole, then not only would Skole have made the team but Skole would have been protected in rule5. But he didn’t, and he wasn’t.

    lets also take into consideration who the manager is. Who do you think Dusty Baker wants on his bench? Some wide-eyed rookie or a guy in his upper 20s who has been there before?

    Now … maybe 2016’s downturn will be Robinson’s as well … but not until next off-season/next spring training. Maybe the team cuts a deal with Skole and tells him he’s the inside-guy for the “lefty off the bench” role for 2017. Maybe they didn’t want to give him a shot because they looked at their existing 40-man and didn’t want to lose anyone; if you add Skole tomorrow, who do you cut? Martin? Grace? Lobaton? Not much room on the Nats roster right now for trimming.

    Todd Boss

    19 Sep 16 at 1:59 pm

  24. Skole is already 27 years old and has had exactly one full season where his OPS was above .800, and that was in Low A ball back in 2012. By contrast, Robinson had SIX full seasons where his OPS was over .800 in the minors. Additionally, our old friend Zach Walters, who completely bombed after the trade to Cleveland two years ago, hit 5 more HRs than Skole this year and a had higher OPS as a 23-year-old at Syracuse in 2013. Say they call him up and give him a couple of starts the last week of the season agains Arizona and Miami. Even if he hits a couple of HRs, it isn’t going to change the perception of him as AAAA player.

    I’m also not sold on Cole as a starter. He is way too prone to being hit hard, as he now has been his last two outings. I said a while back on this blog that I don’t understand why the Nats don’t convert him to relief pitching where he could dial up his FB and maybe have Tyler Clippard-like success. Since they only control his rights for one more year, they need to either do that next year or trade him this offseason since it indeed makes no sense to have three or four guys down at AAA who could make the rotation for most teams.

    Karl Kolchack

    19 Sep 16 at 9:24 pm

  25. Talking trades, especially of the Nats’ young pitchers, I would think they are going to have to swap at least one of their young starters for some MLB quality LH pitching. They would seem to have little choice but to bring Gio back, despite the fact that he seems to be walking a tightrope every time out. They’ll also likely at least start the season with Perez in the bullpen again rather than eat his $3 million salary, but like P-douche this year I don’t see him making it through the whole season. That leaves Matt AAAA Grace and Sammy “MASH Unit” Solis as the only other lefties on the whole staff.

    Fun fact about Solis: he has pitched a TOTAL of just under 180 innings the past FIVE seasons, for an average of just over 35 IP per year. He is the anti-Scherzer.

    Karl Kolchack

    19 Sep 16 at 9:39 pm

  26. Karl beat me to it on the Skole smackdown. There has been some irrational exuberance about Skole at Nats Prospects over the last couple months as well. I get the fact that the organization doesn’t have anyone else who topped the 20 HR mark, but Skole’s overall stats just aren’t that good. He struck out 119 times over just 36 BBs. Those Ks don’t decrease in the majors; they go up (see Taylor, Michael A.). Skole’s overall “power” wasn’t that great, either, with a .437 SLG, and his BA was only .244.

    I’m fine with people giving Skole credit for posting a decent year that might get him an MLB look with a noncontender. But he’s done nothing close to the phenomenal minor-league career that Robinson had, so please stop making the comparison. Robinson’s background is actually a good example of how good you have to be at the minor-league level just to be half-decent in the bigs — not amazing, not even average, just half-decent.


    20 Sep 16 at 5:33 am

  27. Here’s one for Marty, also king of the “Trade Anthony Rendon because he’s a bum” club:

    Todd Boss

    20 Sep 16 at 8:53 am

  28. My take on Skole was not necessarily him specifically, but rather that you can build more value in your system I think using your near ready prospect players as bench players instead of the old vets we always get.

    Kind of the same idea as using your young pitchers for your bullpen like the Cardinals do. Builds experience and value for these guys.

    Most of our old vets don’t work out.

    So a guy like Robinson… yeah he hit great in the minors but as a bench player for us is average to below and showing absolutely zero power for a huge human, and lousy defense. We’ve had dozens of these guys now. So there is really no downside. The younger guys are not going to hit .000 just like Cole or Voth would not have that much worse ERA’s than Gio Gonzalez. I’d rather rotate a set of younger players up like we’re often forced to do with the bullpen, and hope one of these young guys gets hot for a while or builds some value. Will give some of these guys in the minors hope and motivation. We do it via injury and I would argue that the experience has been good for players like Difo and Goodwin. Maybe someone like Dendekker would not have rotted on the vine had he known he had some chance of getting back up. Turner was alluding to the fact that Syracuse is a pretty crappy place to play and hit. And I would imagine especially so in April and May.

    Marty C

    20 Sep 16 at 10:27 am

  29. I was on the “Skole for bench bandwagon” a couple of years ago, and the “Skole for LaRoche 1B replacement” one before that. But he hasn’t lived up to either level of expectation. As someone noted above, Skole was in camp when Robinson won the job in 2015, and in camp, with a new coaching staff making the decisions, when Robinson won the job again in 2016. Management has left him exposed for Rule 5 for the last two years and no one has ponied up $50K to see what he’s got. I’m not hatin’ on Skole; I’ve been pulling for him for a long time to get to MLB quality. But he’s not in a position to help a contending team right now. An argument can be made that Robinson isn’t, either, but that doesn’t make Skole a better option than CRob.

    There aren’t a lot of hidden gems of position players hiding in the Nats’ system right now. Pitchers, yes (what other team could bring up so many arms without giving Voth a look?); hitter, no. Goodwin played himself into a look, largely by out-playing Taylor and den Dekker, and he got it. But Goodwin’s 106/46 K/BB numbers don’t give me a lot of sustainable confidence in him, either. Difo wasn’t great this year. Bostick was hot at AA but tanked at AAA. There just aren’t a lot of fruits of the farm to be picked.


    20 Sep 16 at 1:50 pm

  30. This isn’t specific to Marty’s comment necessarily but my ears perked up when you said you wanted to change the bullpen; what improvements do you sense the Nats major league bullpen needs? I get irritated when I hear analysis that says the Nats bullpen needs fixing. Here’s the fangraphs team-stats for Relievers:,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=15,a

    Nats are #2 in the majors for bullpen ERA (by 1/100th of a point), #2 in FIP, #5 in xFIP (if you believe in that stat). They’re just 11th in K/9 but they’re third in BB/9.

    So the bullpen, as a group, is about as good as you can be on the year, and they made a trade to acquire one of the best closers in the game. Not sure what needs to be done here.

    Todd Boss

    20 Sep 16 at 3:11 pm

  31. KW – yep, the best of the Nats’ farm system, which include a Top 10 prospects list that is actually quite strong, are either pitchers or positional players like Robles, Soto & C Kieboom who are 2-3 years away from making it to the majors. The regular lineups for Syracuse & Harrisburg were full of retreads, AAAA players and organizational guys.

    Todd – I like this bit from the article you posted about Rendon: “When you think about the Nationals, you think about Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. You’re doing your own self a disservice if you stop there.”

    Actually, as we head into the 2016 playoffs the Nats are being led by Rendon, Murphy, Turner, Scherzer & Roark, all five of whom are currently more valuable than our two former uber prospects. The fact that the Nats are cruising to the divisional title with Strasburg hurt and Harper almost a non-factor is a real testament to the seasons those five guys are having. It is also interesting that of the five, only Rendon was drafted & developed by the Nats.

    Karl Kolchack

    20 Sep 16 at 3:22 pm

  32. Re: the bullpen. Those stats are a bit misleading because they include a first half of the season in which Papeldouche (2.83 ERA vs 11.37 in the 2nd half), Petit (2.62 ERA vs 7.63 in the 2nd half) & Perez (3.12 ERA in April & May, 6.59 ERA since) were actually quite good.

    And how can you NOT say that the bullpen is in dire need of a quality lefty? Alphabet is meh at best, and Burnett’s fastball is registering at a mere 88 MPH these days, which is no doubt why he couldn’t even make it onto the Twins’ awful staff.

    Karl Kolchack

    20 Sep 16 at 3:42 pm

  33. Per, here’s the Nats 2016 bWAR leaders:
    1. Scherzer 6.2 (FA)
    2. Roark 5.3 (trade as minor leaguer)
    3. Murphy 4.6 (FA)
    4. Rendon 4.2 (Draft)
    5. Strasburg 3.7 (Draft)
    6. Turner 3.2 (trade as minor leaguer): 3.2 bWAR in just 61 games by the way. That projects to about a 7-win season. wow.
    7. Ramos 2.8 (trade as minor leaguer)
    8. Ross 2.4 (trade as minor leaguer)
    9. Treinen 1.9 (trade as minor leaguer)
    10. Espinosa 1.8 (Draft)
    11. Harper 1.5 (Draft)
    12. Kelley 1.1 (FA)

    That’s not too bad actually; I always like to credit the GM for acquiring prospects and having them turn into value. Roark is the big outlier; i’m not sure his progression to be the near cy Young candidate is really credited to the Nats player development factory as much as it is credited to pure luck. But there’s a lot of value here acquired via the draft or trade acquisitions acquired as prospects.

    Todd Boss

    20 Sep 16 at 3:44 pm

  34. Todd, you are the the first one, nor will you be the last, to not give proper respect to Paul ‘Magic Man’ Menhart.

    Mark L

    20 Sep 16 at 6:58 pm

  35. Okay, maybe bad English there, but you get my point.
    Tanner Roark was a scrub throw-in who took his time to perfect his craft, but without Menhart he is probably still finding his way.

    Agree with KK that Repz. is mediocrity defined, and we gave up one of our best middle infield prospects for him.

    I’d rather had seen what Bostick could do rather than watching another performance from Latos. That was the trade– Bostick for Latos.

    Mark L

    20 Sep 16 at 10:19 pm

  36. Karl: good point on the finer points of bullpen need. I guess I was making my point about the “overall” performance of the pen this year, which has been fantastic. Even more so when you consider just how bad some of the guys were in the 2nd half who have been released/deprioritized.

    Need for a lefty matchup guy; fair enough. There’s not much we can do; Solis goes down, Perez under-performs, Rivero was what was needed to acquire Melancon. All of this happens after the trade deadline … so its a ton more difficult to find waiver-clearing lefty relievers. That’s why the best we could do was Rzepczynski (and yes I had to look that up as I typed it), and it cost us a decent (if limited, in my humble opinion) hitting prospect in Schrock. If Solis can’t make it back, yes we’re in trouble. Then again, the lefty splits (which I think I looked up recently for all our relievers) isn’t that bad; Perez may suck overall but his lefty splits are pretty good. And I like his moxie on the mound when he succeeds.

    Todd Boss

    21 Sep 16 at 8:53 am

  37. Bostick fall out; man i hope he falls through and accepts the outright. We’ll know soon enough. He is young (still just 23), but as a HS draftee he has one more year before he hits MLFA if I read the transactions correctly.

    Loogy: what about Grace?

    Todd Boss

    21 Sep 16 at 8:57 am

  38. My issue with the bullpen is that they mostly pitch to contact. The playoffs favor bullpens with big swing and miss stuff, which is one reason that pens can score well in regular season stats and not so well in the playoffs. Losing Rivero hurts on this front, but my feeling on his, and Scrabble’s trade, remains the same: high cost but if they perform, especially in the playoffs, its a trade working making for a team in the Nat’s position. And so far both have performed well, but their real measure will be in Oct.

    Bostick – had some potential, but no reason to think he ever gets more than a cup of coffee. Jake Smolinski type at best is how I see him


    21 Sep 16 at 10:49 am

  39. The thin recent news on Solis hasn’t been encouraging, so I’m not counting on him being available, at least for the first round. I would bet that Nats are thinking about three LHP for the ‘pen against the Dodgers, who are awful against LHP. The pecking order would seem to be Scrabble, Perez, and then Burnett or Grace, neither of whom have gotten a lot of work.

    Bostick had an .818 OPS at AA this year (where Difo posted .672) before really struggling at AAA. Last season, counting A+, AA, and AFL, Bostick had 16 HRs. Bostick is also a year younger than Difo. I think he may have more of an upside than Difo, although neither is close to threatening to be an MLB starter.


    21 Sep 16 at 1:19 pm

  40. FWIW, Maybe the Bostick decision also factored in the current 2B depth situation. I mean, yes I know he has played some 3B, SS and OF in his minor league career, but the huge majority has been at 2B.

    So, what is our 2B depth chart right now, organizationally? Murphy, Turner, Espinosa, Drew, Rendon, Difo and then maybe Bostick? At that point you’re off the 40-man and looking at AAA middle infielder depth (Lombardozzi, Lozada, Martinson) or AA (Perez, Norfolk, Sanchez)? It gets thin.

    Drew a FA, the rest are in for the long haul, so what good is the 6th choice to play 2nd base?

    Todd Boss

    21 Sep 16 at 3:26 pm

  41. I never weighed in on the playoff question. There’s nothing to keep the Nats from going all the way, even if Stras doesn’t come back and Harper remains in a funk. The playoffs are a crap shoot. They’re also about momentum, and monkeys on backs (including 108-year ones), and unlikely heroes and goats (or both, if you’re Daniel Murphy). Man for man, the Nats are better than the Giant team that beat them in ’14, and that Giant squad won the whole thing.

    Ah, that Giant club, and the Card club in ’12, both of which had recently won the Series (twice before for the G-men). What we need for an opponent is a team with a bigger monkey on its back than we have, a team like, well, the Dodgers! They’ve got two straight NLDS losses and an NLCS one before that. They haven’t been to the WS since 1988. Big monkey there. Haven’t heard anyone mention it. That’s not a playoff-confident squad, and if they don’t get a first-game win from The Claw, the noose will tighten rapidly (to mix a few metaphors). And beyond Kershaw, who do they have?

    And the Cubbies are shoe-ins, right? Just like they were going to stomp the Mets last year? Then they ran into Babe Murphy . . . And to play the Nats, the Cubs would have to get past those Giants, the Mets (depleted but beat them last year), or the Cards, who have been in the playoffs the last five years. Frankly, I think I’d rather that the Nats play the Cubs than the Giants, as illogical as that sounds. The Giants have a mojo; the Cubs have, well, a curse. Playing teams with a curse is good. Plus Dusty can probably get good seats for Steve Bartman . . .

    Was there a prediction in there? I’ll take the Nats to beat the Dodgers and take one step forward, but lose to the Cubs. But anything can happen in the playoffs, and often does. Just ask Dusty, or Bartman. Long live the Cubbie curse!


    21 Sep 16 at 6:55 pm

  42. We do a lot of running down of the Nats minor league position player talent. But the fact is that Severino and Difo, two players completely marginalized by us and others, came up and performed well above their hype. Difo has played well enough to be taken seriously as in line for a major league career, even with AA statistics that do not inspire excitement. Severino as a defense first catcher whose offense has sparked calls for the Nats to dump Lobaton in favor of him next year. Surely if the Nats keep Ramos there will be interest in trading for Severino as a starter for another team.

    The lessons from those players are that you cannot assert a qualified opinion about a player’s ceiling until he has even been given a chance. Did any of the pundits see where Sandy Leon was headed?

    Are there other unheralded talents? I don’t think anyone at Nationals Prospects was irrationally exuberant about Skole. There was an active discussion about whether he deserved a chance on the roster in September. What’s so controversial? His future is undetermined and he is blocked by the current Nats roster (Robinson and Murphy). Since none of us would have envisioned Tony Renda to be playing in the majors, and this quickly, who is to say that Skole can’t make it with someone? He hasn’t had a chance to fail yet. So his ceiling is undetermined. But he has improved his game. Why root against him? It’s like the folks running down Schrock because he was traded and snickering about the people at Nationals Prospects who valued him like they are prepubescent minor league jock sniffers. Gimme a break. People disagree, that’s that.

    On the other hand, there is Taylor. Some people, like me, believe in him. Others do not. He has been given chances and has fallen short. So at least it is a qualified opinion to write him off. Same with denDekker. We’ve seen him. But can anyone say that Rafael Bautista will not be a major league outfielder, or even that he will be marginal at best? No one knows that.


    21 Sep 16 at 11:53 pm

  43. One more truism.

    Every not-quite player in the Nationals system, every player who is still here, is just one winter away from taking their game to the next level. It happens every year, in every organization, and this year was no exception in this organization. Goodwin, Turner, Lopez all did so in the upper minors. Others like Weston Davis and McKenzie Mills contributed to Auburn having the most interesting five man rotation in the whole system, and came out of oblivion to be relevant going forward. Let’s just enjoy the mystery of knowing that by the end of spring training 2017, someone else will rise, the first tipoff (as it was with Roark) that he is a non-roster invitee.

    I find it was more fun to speculate on whom that might be. Michael Brady? Nick Lee? Who knows? Not even Menhart, but you can bet he will be one of the first.


    22 Sep 16 at 12:02 am

  44. Totally agree. These guys put in their time and some of them deserve a chance to prove themselves either way.

    Many here think if they don’t match the incredible Souza AAA stat line, they will never be able to get a hit in MLB.

    Marty C

    22 Sep 16 at 8:56 am

  45. Tony Renda as a “major-leaguer”: .190/.261/.214. The fact that he got his cup of coffee with a crappy team still doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a terrible overreach for a 2d round pick.

    Here’s the deal, guys: the days when those types of players can see regular time with the Nats are over, thank goodness. They just don’t play for contenders. Billy Burns played for the A’s but got sent to the minors with the Royals. Eury Perez has kicked around for some bottom-feeders. Bautista looks like Perez 2.0. Tyler Moore couldn’t even make the Braves.

    Michael Taylor is more talented than all of these guys. He deserved the look he got. But he’s also fundamentally flawed with his plate discipline. The best-case scenario is that he’s Danny 2.0, puts it together one day, and goes 30/30 (while hitting .220). He’s that kind of talent. But for a guy who can’t make consistent contact, such an outcome is unlikely, and it’s very hard to build for the future around such unlikelihood. He’s gone from starting for a good part of the season to likely not even being on the playoff roster. That doesn’t mean that his career is over, or even that he won’t still get another serious look from the Nats, but it’s also possible that his big chance to lock down a regular position with a contender has eluded him.


    22 Sep 16 at 9:20 am

  46. On Nats prospects: its also fair to point out that not every decision the Nats make turns out to be good. The Nats had, for example, Marco Estrada languishing in their farm system for years at a time when we were one of the worst teams in the majors … now he’s a near Cy Young candidate for another team. Same with Rich Hill, who I hope is sending Mike Rizzo flowers for helping resurrect his career.

    Imagine the Nats rotation if they still had these two guys in the fold… yes its “hindsight is 20/20” stuff, and yes its making an assumption that is probably wrong (that they would have become what they become had they stayed here). But hey, what are sports arguments for?

    I guess you could also put Sandy Leon in this category; man he exploded this year. Nobody saw that coming when the team sold him to Boston for probably a few thousand dollars.

    Todd Boss

    22 Sep 16 at 10:24 am

  47. No team makes every call right. You just have to make more of them right than the next guy. And it does help to have guys like Menhart and Spin Williams who seem very good at tuning up some things that other teams may have missed. Unfortunately, the Nats don’t seem to have similar bat doctors on the hitting side of things, particularly ones who can summon any power.


    22 Sep 16 at 11:25 am

  48. Well, sure, if the Nats kept players who are having career years (Estrada, Leon) then they would be in much better shape … this year. What is often overlooked in these is that keeping them would have meant putting up with some other, crappy performances. Leon got his first cup of coffee in 2012 with the Nats, but since then has been bad (.542 OPS in AA in 2013; .692 OPS in AAA in 2014; .676 OPS in AAA in 2015; .655 OPS in AAA in 2016). Yes, even this year he was bad in the minors before pulling his Shane Spencer routine in the majors.

    I refer to this as the “Bonifacio Mirage.” Emilio Bonifacio was on the Nats briefly, putting up a 0.2 rWAR season in 2008 before being traded as part of the Willingham deal. Three years later he had a career year with the Marlins, putting up 2.7 rWAR and a career-high 107 OPS+. Boy, were Nats fans annoyed that the Nats “let this guy get away” (we weren’t giving Hammer back, though). Every 2-3 years or so Bonifacio goes on a hot streak, and the same bitching noises crop up in corners of the InterNats. Which everyone forgets when Bonifacio goes back to being Bonifacio (on a FG chat the other day some wag asked “Trea Turner: bona fide or Bonifacio?” – I wish I’d thought of that line).

    John C.

    22 Sep 16 at 12:18 pm

  49. I guess I should have added to my note the fact that i wasn’t passing judgement on the team’s decisions for all these one-off cases. I mean, who ever looked at Marco frigging Estrada and thought he was going to be so good? Same with all of the other guys I mentioned. Bonifacio too; great example. Nobody in the game can predict these kinds of blow-ups or blow-outs.

    Todd Boss

    22 Sep 16 at 12:42 pm

  50. I’m not quite sure what the rationale is that Bautista is Perez 2.0. Because they both steal bases? Because they both speak Spanish?

    The idea of whether the Nats make good decisions about their minor leaguers is threadjacking and has nothing to do with my point. What I am saying is that no one here is so sage to run down players who have never even had a chance when demonstrably, players like Difo and Severino THIS YEAR played above expectations at the big league level, and other players we have dismissed validated the Nats faith in them (Leon, who stuck around for a bit).

    These facts should imbue us with more of an openness to the idea of seeing what players have when they are thrown into it — as we saw Ross shine, and then leapfrog more hyped players in the system — rather than just drink the Koolaid of articles by beat writers who have less expertise than half of the people on this board and 75% of the people on Nationals Prospects.

    Right or not, thankfully the Nats patience has been rewarded time and again. There is ample record of me encountering the same haughty snideness here when I argued Souza’s merits while he was in AA because he was “too old,” etc. We could learn from the patience the pros have. For every HRod who overstays, there is a Solis who finally breaks through. Even Danny, limited though he is, has brought way more to the table than anyone, myself especially, envisioned. But the Nats were PATIENT with what they wondered would translate for Danny as a new opportunity – starting SS. Can’t argue with first place.

    Even Tony Renda is worth some slack. He had no more than part of a year in AAA before hitting the Reds in a year he started in AA. This isn’t a discussion about his draft position, signability influenced though it was. It’s about the presumption that Skole is a dogpile who could not even help a bench when he has never even been given a chance. That is the point.


    23 Sep 16 at 1:16 am

  51. I don’t think anyone is “running down” Nats prospects; most of us are simply trying to reasonably assess the likelihood that the players are a better bet to improve the team than the players that are already on the team. Sure, sometimes someone comes out of nowhere (wth Sandy Leon?!?). But every now and then someone wins a huge pot of money drawing to an inside straight. But if you decide that makes drawing to an inside straight a good idea, I hope you can afford the staggering losses you are going to sustain over time.

    And yes, Matt Skole is the #1 example here. I hope that he gets a chance in the majors, and if he does I hope that he does well. I have nothing against the guy. But I also don’t see any particular indication that he’s likely to be better than either Clint Robinson or Ryan Zimmerman. And yes, the prospect could easily be a lot worse – a fact that prospects mavens tend to gloss over or ignore. Baseball teams aren’t run on behalf of the individual players – they don’t “owe” players a shot at MLB just because the player has been in the system for X number of years.

    John C.

    23 Sep 16 at 10:26 am

  52. If anything, I try to under estimate my own opinion/exuberance for our prospects because I know its a simple trap to fall into.

    Plus, its good to take a look at these “top 10” lists for prospects and realistically talk about how many of them at any given time will be significant MLB contributors. I’ll take a couple of samples from the past few years.

    – MLBPipeline (Callis & mayo) spring 2014: Giolito, Cole, Goodwin, Taylor, Solis, Purke, Skole, Severino, Rodriguez, Walters. Clearly too early to really pass judgement here, but you’re trending towards most of these guys being bench players or 4-A right now. Where’s the super star here outside of Giolito on potential? Cole’s looking like a 4-A starter, Goodwin a 5th outfielder, Taylor a 4th outfielder, Solis a reliever, Purke 4-A, Skole 4-A, Severino a backup, Jefry Rodriguez who knows, and Walters 4-A.

    – Keith Law 2012 top 10 list for Nats system: Harper, Rendon, Meyer, Hood, Goodwin, Solis, Purke, Lombardozzi, Ray and Taylor. All 10 have now made the majors (an accomplishment). I would say that 3 are “significant” MLB contributors right now (Harper, Rendon, Ray), another two are marginal (Meyer, Solis), two others are MLB bench guys at best (Taylor, Goodwin), and the other three are 4-A (Hood, Lombardozzi, Purke).

    – BA handbook 2012: harper, Rendon, Peacock, Cole, Goodwin, Meyer, Purke, Solis, Norris, Lombardozzi. 2 significant (Harper, Rendon) 2 marginal (Meyer, Norris, Solis), X bench (Peacock, Cole, Goodwin, Purke), 1 4-A Lombardozzi

    – Baseball Prospectus/Kevin Goldstein 2009: Zimmermann, Burgess, Detwiler, Norris, McGeary, Marrero, Hood, Ramirez, Gonzalez, Bernadina. 1 significant (Zimmermann), 4 marginal (Detwiler, Norris, Hood, Bernadina), 4 4-A/washouts (Burgess, McGeary, Marrero, Ramirez) and 1 fraud (Smily Gonzalez).

    Point is: most of your top 10 is never going to be much more than marginal contributors.

    Todd Boss

    23 Sep 16 at 1:40 pm

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