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Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609482
06/10/2020 08:19
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Btw, he made a point about the Lerners in a seperate post that I had not thought of before: Commercial real estate has been one of the hardest hit industries by the pandemic, and it's the industry they have alot of their assets tied up in. So will the team payroll in 2021 take a dip as a result?


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Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609489
06/10/2020 14:58
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Originally Posted by SilverFox1
Q: Nats priorities

Should the Nats prioritize signing Realmuto or a power hitting outfielder this offseason?

A: Thomas Boswell
1) Realmuto. The clear choice and worth the $125M it might take to get him. If he goes much higher, forget it.

2) Ozuna, though his price may now be too high after a big year.

3) Tough call. Anthony Rizzo knows Dave Martinez very well from Cubs days. That might help get him and solve 1st base. There's no way Zimmerman is coming back, imo. You'll probably have a DH spot for Kendrick, when healthy. Nats have a $3M mutual option, with $1M buyout with Eric Thames. That shouldn't be an obstacle. This one makes me nervous because I like Thames personality on the team and think he'll bounce back next year.

4) Will Nick Castellos opt out of his Reds contract. Where will Justin Turner, Dodgers, land and will he be a 1st baseman in future.

Lot of interesting options. And supply (a lot) versus demand (fewer teams willing to spend after a pandemic year) favors the Nats.

— OCT 05, 2020 12:46 EDT


Strong comment he makes about Zimm. I'm assuming he saw Zimm's recent quote about wanting to return in '21. Wonder if he has heard anything on the Inside about them not wanting him back.


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Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609508
07/10/2020 18:17
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That is not great news about the Lerner's finances taking a hit this year. When the team was under long term rebuild it was frequently mentioned that the Lerners were not going to pull money from their other businesses to fund the Nats, so ideally the status of their commercial property operation will not impact their baseball budget. Interesting point by Boz that there is a strong free agent market for bats, I was leaning towards bringing in another top pitcher but I would not complain about a power hitter.

I'm not sure why Boswell thinks that Zimmerman will be gone next year. I don't think that his status has changed, if he is willing to sign for a low price we have a bench spot for him, particularly if there is a universal DH.

Boswell wants Scherzer extended but I'm less enthused. He's got a bunch of good years left but he'd have to take a heck of a pay cut. My big concern is that Max is chasing strike out numbers.

Lots of chatter about letting Menhart go. I don't understand why the team is being asked to justify shit canning a pitching coach after the team ERA was over five for the season. Just the Washington Post stirring up crap as usual.

Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609516
08/10/2020 07:32
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I dont know what the bitching about his firing is about either, almost every pitcher regressed BADLY in 2020 (Cant read the articles, I dont subscribe to the WP).

This is interesting:

Q: Pitching coach change

Sort of out of the blue was Saturday nights news of Paul Menhart not getting a new contract from the Nationals when his current one expires Oct 31st. Do you feel this is a nod to the future analytical ways of pitching coaching or just a new voice?

A: Thomas Boswell

If you are going to fire somebody, and you both like and respect them, then fire them early so they have the best chance to get a new job at the MLB level. Do NOT wait.

"New voice and new eyes" for sure. But a pitching coach who can envision an entirely new pitcher --transforming the old one-- is a rarity but can be enormously important.

Look at Lucas Giolitio --exhibit A. With the Nats, he had a long flowing "beautiful" over-the-top pitching motion. It was supposedly to be one of his strengths --like a Jim Palmer, who looked similar. Instead, that "classic" motion just semed to help hitters time his fastball. It made him like a pitching machine --predictable, no quirks. As a result, Giolito, before he was traded, had onme of the WORST swing-and-miss rates in MLB. Every person (at least as I remember it) in the Nats press box, which contains some good eyes, said, "This guy is NOT as advertised. Maybe trade him while he still has some hot prospect value."

Also, Giolito's 2nd best pitch was a big curveball and he tended to work his fastball more down in the zone that up.

Look at Giolito now --he is unrecognizable. He throws the ball like a catcher, cocking it behind his head, where the hitter can't see it, then firing it with the shortst possible motion, not the longest motion, like he had as a Nat. H's added a twist --"throwing" his glove at the hitter, which is legal, as he comes forward. Some can do that little trick. Others are thrown off by trying it. For Giolito, that "here's my glove, now HERE'S the ball" really works.

Next, the White Sox improved his change-up so it was his 2nd-best weapon and also had him focus in four-seam (rising) fastballs at the top of the zone. Now, Giolito is 1) funky, 2) a top-to-bottom of the zone pitcher, not side-to-side and 3) they've tightened up his curveball so that it is more like a slider. The high fastball, low changeup and slider away (to RHers) or slider down-and-in (to LHers) has made Giolito a strikeout machine.

THAT is what a pitching coach, or a whole staff, including stat geeks, can do to change a pitcher.

The last two years combined Giolito is 18-12 with a 3.43 ERA and 325 strikeouts (!!!) in just 249 innings. He still gives up some homers (32). But I would never have believed that the disappointing rookie, who'd lost some velo after TJ surgery, that I saw a few years ago would, by age 25, turn into this imposing vastly-in-demand pitcher.

Could the Nats have made those changes? That combination of changes, all interlocking? NO WAY. Out of the 29 other teams in MLB, I bet there were not more than a handful that could have done a Giolito Remake and come up with this monster --and the few who might have done it might have done it differently!

That's one of the wonders of MLB --both hitters and pitchers can, in just none year, transform themselves into different players if they get the right theory, the right application of stats or the right coach. Look at Daniel Murphy. Kevin Long was his perfect coach. He turned himself into a flyball pull hitter and suddenly went from journeyman to 2d for MVP!

The Nats were smart enough to spot that "somethibng is goig on with Murphy" and signed him --though as their Plan C, not Plan A or B. They were, and still are hoping for something similar from Starlin Castro who did a hitting Makeover in mid-'19. He was just starting to hit when he got hurt. That makes him a very interesting piece of the puzzle in '21.

When you replace Menhart, what you are hoping is that the next coach, plus ideas from other in the front office, may produce a makeover, or perhaps just a tweak, that turns either Voth, Fedde or Ross into a 3.75-4.00 ERA 4th or 5th starter. That is enormously different than what they look like now --4.50 to 5.25 ERA projects who hold you back. Look at their FIPs, not their ERAs to project where they really stand right now: Voth (career 5.28), Fedde (career 5.58) and Ross ('18-'19 combined psot-TJ surgery, 4.84.)

Maybe none of them is a rotation piece. But it's a lot easier to get a new pitching coach to work on them than it is to magically come up with three different prospects who might still be your 4th or 5th starter.

— OCT 05, 2020 12:39 EDT


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Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609519
08/10/2020 08:43
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I don't disagree with anything he wrote, but typical Boswell, as soon as a guy is let go he writes about how he knew all along about the issues that led to the parting.

Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609523
08/10/2020 12:52
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Only thing that bothers me about boswell is his politics. During the summer there's no sports and he's yakking about politics in his Q&A's. Which I havent read in months until recently. He's as lefty loopy as they get.


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Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609568
10/10/2020 16:20
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Big changes with the Nats coaching staff. Third base coach Chip Hale and hitting coach Kevin Long are out. Puzzling move to extend Martinez and allow him to completely overhaul his staff. Is the belief that Martinez gets the credit for the World Series and the assistants get the blame for the collapse? I guess Davey has his set of friends that he plans on bringing in.

Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609575
10/10/2020 20:38
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The Nationals need a righthanded bat to hit behind Soto. That's essentially Realmuto or Ozuna, and I think the outfield if they don't add Ozuna is in better shape than the catching if they don't add Realmuto (especially since Suzuki is a free agent.) So I would target Realmuto first. I'm comfortable with Stevenson, Robles, and Soto as the starting outfield.

As usual, the bullpen needs help. I'd look into Liam Hendricks and Shane Greene. Greene also has the advantage of taking him from a divisional rival.

Anibal Sanchez is a free agent. I'd like to re-sign him, but if not, there are other starters available. Robbie Ray? Bauer? Gausman? Taijuan Walker? Chris Archer might be a good buy-low opportunity.

What else?


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Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: PowerBoater69] #609596
11/10/2020 05:15
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Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
Big changes with the Nats coaching staff. Third base coach Chip Hale and hitting coach Kevin Long are out. Puzzling move to extend Martinez and allow him to completely overhaul his staff. Is the belief that Martinez gets the credit for the World Series and the assistants get the blame for the collapse? I guess Davey has his set of friends that he plans on bringing in.


Just read the original news report on this. Not 100% sure but appears possible Long decided to look at other options? Did he want more $$ than the L's wanted to commit? Tough one, Soto has sung Long's praises time after time.












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Re: Offseason Decisions: Who to keep, who to add, etc. [Re: SilverFox1] #609597
11/10/2020 05:25
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Roenis Frikkin Elias declares for free agency. Dude saved 14 games for Seattle in 2019. Nats needed LH bullpen badly this season. Who knows what the guy couldve accomplished here.


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