Time the Nats Start "Waiving"
[August 7th] - Maybe it's time to finally say the "r" word. Yep, at some point, the Nationals have to consider that "rebuilding" beats the heck out of losing almost every game 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2. The Nationals mustered only five hits yet again as Washington was swept by the first place but below .500 Padres. Over the three games, the Nationals scored 8 runs and collected 15 hits. This is not a slump, it's simply the way it is.
This is tough to say, but it has to. Why should the Nationals continue to play Vinny Castilla, Cristian Guzman and others every day when the team is losing almost every day now and they are not part of the team's long term future? These starting 8 players are showing that, whether it's their fault or not, they can't hit as unit. So what do we do?
Nick Johnson: Great defensive skills with good on base percent but has shown yet again that he can't stay healthy. The team needs more power at first base, but there is no one in the minors ready to take over. Larry Broadway the Nats best prospect at first, is back at AA Harrisburg trying to overcome an injury. Johnson stays.
Jose Vidro: I thought last year was a fluke. But for the second year in a row, he is showing that he is becoming more fragile as he gets older. He is 31. Is he hurting himself by playing him every day in 2005? If no, then I guess it makes sense to keep him out there. But if he's hurting himself, he's hurting the team's future as well. Play him sparingly, but keep him.
Cristian Guzman: Where do I begin? He is signed for four years, but please, cut him loose at the end of the year and eat the remaining 12 million in salary. Ian Desmond was promoted to Potomac and is steadily gaining confidence, but how much worse could he hit than Guzman?
Vinny Castilla: He's done. Some players get old overnight, and I'm afraid this is what happened to Vinny. Sure, he's been injured, but not bad enough to hit this poorly. Ryan Zimmerman has played well at both Savannah and Harrisburg; now is the time to see what he can do. Start Zimmerman for the rest of the year.
Preston Wilson: He's not going to be here next year, and he's not doing that much this year. Make him the 4th outfielder and give Ryan Church, the team's future in left, back his position. Brad Wilkerson is fine for the rest of the year, but I'd rather trade him for someone with speed who doesn't strike out as much as he does. I love Jose Guillen in right and Brian Schneider behind the plate. Both deserve long term contracts. Take care of them over the winter.
I'd rather finish a few games under .500 while learning what our young kids can do versus finishing around .500 with the "old boys" taking up space on the roster. New ownership will spend money, and will likely sign at least one starting pitcher and two starting fielders. Better to know now who can and can't play in Washington this year.
It's a tough decision, but the way things are going, now is the right time to make the moves.