Nats Grab Bag: All-Star Nonsense, Trade Issues, and Science

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, July 06, 2010 | , | 0 comments »

I'm not outraged as some are with the selection of Matt Capps as the Nationals All-Star representitive.  Do I think Capps is the most valuable Nat?  Heck no.  Closers are found of opportunity, not made or bred.  It's the most overrated spot on the roster. 

But in the grand scheme of things, he's done his job, has the numbers to back up the selection, and ends the silly notion that a guy with seven total starts in the Majors was even in the discussion.

And I have a hard time arguing for Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn or Josh Willingham.  If Joey Votto can't make Charlie Manuel's All-Star team, then the Nats guys can't really argue too hard.  At one point this season, Zim looked like a shoo-in, but he slumped his way out of consideration.  Willingham too, to a degree.  And Dunn is stuck behind Pujols, Gonzalez, Howard and Votto.

Lots of talk about whether the Nats should be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline this year.  They should be sellers.  The hot start (20-15) got a lot of folks in NatsTown thinking the team -- as constructed -- was good enough to contend, but that simply wasn't reality.  In both 2008 and 2009 the team has stretches of competency similar to the 35 game start of the 2010 season -- it was just in the middle of the season where it was less noticable.

The team has too many holes in the batting order to be competitive, and way too little quality starting pitching.  If Capps, who will be due a HUGE arbitration raise, and Dunn, a free agent at the end of the season, aren't moved at the deadline for younger, more athletic, better rounded players, the Nationals are making a mistake.

And if they can find a taker for Guzman and/or Kennedy for a low-level prospect, they should run -- not walk.

Today's Interesting Link of the Day is this.  It describes, in detail, the science and physiology of pitching -- specifically, Stephen Strasburg pitching.  It's a great read on the stress that the body goes through to throw a baseball, and not just the arm, but the entire body. 

It's an easy-to-read piece with terrific graphics, so don't be afraid that it's a science piece out of The New York Times.