Posts Tagged ‘Derek Norris’

“A Fit For Us”

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Sure it’s the off-season, sure there’s a lot of other things to do and yes, there’s not always a lot to report (or comment on), but everytime one of us droogs sits down to write something for CFG, we are stopped cold by the idea that Mike Rizzo’s Big Idea for strengthening the Nats’ front four includes setting out hook and bait for Florida Marlins right hander Ricky Nolasco.  It’s not that Carlos Enrique is such a bad pitcher — it’s just that he’s not what Nats fans had in mind for an off-season upgrade of baseball’s worst starting rotation. Once upon a time, the list for a rotation make-over included the possibility of signing John Lackey or Jon Garland. Those were the days: “We don’t think that the free-agent class leads us to [pay big money],” Mike Rizzo told Nats beat reporter Bill Ladson. “I believe the things we need or want the most are out there, and we are going to address it. I don’t see us going after that super free agent like Matt Holliday or Jon Garland. I don’t see us playing on that level. We don’t think it’s a fit for us.”

It’s the last sentence that is bound to send shivers through the upper arms of Nats’ fans: when Mike Rizzo says that something’s not “a fit for us,” what he means to say is: “we’re not going to spend money to improve.” Ladson then opines that Nolasco’s name is being bandied about — which is hardly a surprise since, if you’re a Marlin, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll be traded. This isn’t the first time that Nolasco’s name has been linked to anywhere-but-Miami: Yardbarker says that Nolasco and Jorge Cantu are on the block (as well as Dan Uggla, of course): “Trading Nolasco, who had a terrible first two months of 2009 and returned to form after being sent down to the minors, should net the Marlins some top major league ready prospects. Nolasco pitched better than his 2009 stats indicate, so there should be many teams looking to deal for him.”

Okay, fine. So the Nats line up a trade for Nolasco. What top prospects in their top-notch farm system do they give up to get him? A recent Baseball America ranking of MLB farm systems put the Nats at #26, with this comment:  “They have the best prospect in the game in No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg, plus solid talents in catcher Derek Norris, right-hander Drew Storen and shortstop Danny Espinosa. Beyond that, though, the Nats have very little help, especially at the upper levels, which is a pity considering the state of the big-league roster.” Who of that bunch would you give up to get Ricky? Derek Norris? Drew Storen? Danny Espinosa? How about: none of the above. It may be, of course, that Rizzo has something up his sleeve that will equal the Nyjer Morgan theft. Or it may be that Rizzo’s veto of signing a “super free agent” (a description he applies to Jon Garland) means that the Nats go into the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis next week with nothing to offer — and come out empty handed.

Zim Wins Goslin MVP Award

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

The Washington, DC chapter of the Internet Baseball Writers Association has voted Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman its 2009 Goose Goslin MVP Award. The award is voted on by the DC-IBWA — an organization that represents Washington Nationals’ internet writers, on-line media outlets, and bloggers. Goslin was a left fielder for the Washington Senators from 1921-30, 1933 and 1938. He also played for the St. Louis Browns (1930-32) and the Detroit Tigers (1934-37). As Nationals News Network notes in quoting from the Hall of Fame’s description: “Burly and strong-armed, Leon Goose Goslin swung the bat with Ruthian effort and forged a reputation as a powerful clutch-hitter. He spearheaded his teams to five American League pennants — three with the Senators and two with the Tigers. He drove in 100 or more runs on 11 occasions and hit .300 or better 11 times, compiling a .316 lifetime average and 2,735 hits. He led the Senators to a World Series title in 1924 with a .344 average and three home runs.”

Zimmerman played in 157 games for the Nats in 2009, hitting .292 with 33 home runs. 106 RBIs and 110 runs scored. His amazing defensive play at third base puts him in line to receive his first gold glove award. Zimmerman finished seventh in at bats, seventh in plate appearances, fourth in runs scored, eighth in extra base hits and sixth in RBIs in the National League. By any measure his was an extraordinary season.  

Zimmerman took first place honors with 88 points, including 14 first place votes. Nyjer Morgan finished second and Willie Harris a distant third. The Walter Johnson Starting Pitcher of the Year Award was given to John Lannan, with second place going to Jordan Zimmermann and third to Craig Stammen. The Frederick “Firpo” Marberry Relief Pitcher of the Year award was given to a deserving Tyler Clippard. Other awards were given to Adam Dunn (Frank Howard Slugger of the Year), Nick Johnson (Mickey Vernon Comeback Player of the Year), John Lannan (Josh Gibson Humanitarian Player of the Year), and Derek Norris (Minor League Player of the Year). Zimmerman took three awards in all: the MVP award, the Sam Rice Hitter of the Year award and the Joe Judge Defensive Player of the Year award.

Voters for the awards were asked to name first, second and third place for each category. First place votes received five points, second place votes received three points and third place votes received one point. Twenty ballots from association members were submitted from the following online media outlets: Nationals News Network, Nationals Pride, We’ve Got Heart, Centerfield Gate, FJB, Federal Baseball, The Nationals Enquirer, DC Sports Box, Nationals Inquisition, Nats Fanboy Looser, Planetary Nats, Bang! Zoom!, Nats Nation, Let Teddy Win!, Nationals Review, DC Sports Plus, and Passing Time Between Wil Nieves Bombs. Full results can be found at Nationals News Network.