Saturday, November 20, 2010
Wil Nieves already hurting the 2011 Washington Nationals
We're a good 100+ days away from the start of the 2011 season, and Wil Nieves has already hurt the Washington Nationals.
Currently, the Nationals 40 man roster is full. Since the roster space is finite, including Nieves as one of the 40 is a mistake the Nationals have already come to regret.
Yesterday, all 30 MLB teams had to add eligible minor league players to their 40 man roster or risk them being exposed to the Rule V draft. The Nationals chose to add 1B Chris Marrero, RHP Adam Carr and RHP Cole Kimball. Missing from that list, is 2009 Washington Nationals Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Brad Meyers.
Meyers, who was held to six starts in 2010 due to a foot injury and subsequent allergic reaction to the screws inserted into the foot. What Meyers accomplished in 2010 should not be overlooked. In those six starts in AA, Meyers posted a 1.47 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP, and 35 K's in just 30.2 IP.
Now, on December 5, Meyers will be exposed to 29 other teams in the draft; all the while, Nieves a player who has accrued a -0.8 WAR over his career will comfortably keep a roster space he simply does not deserve.
Quite honestly, there's just not much to like about Nieves. He's at best an average defensive catcher, and to be frank, Nieves cannot hit. As his -0.8 WAR points out, even a replacement player is more deserving of a roster spot than Nieves.
In short, Nieves is a fungible asset. His potential has been reached, and, at best, he grades out as one of the worst players in the major leagues; at worst, he is the worst player in the majors.
When it comes to roster flexibility, Nieves should be the player that gets removed first. Instead, the Nationals decided to remove 23 year old RHP Juan Jaime and put him on waivers.
Immediately, Jaime was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Jaime, who missed all of 2010 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery is exactly the type of player you stash at the bottom of the 40 man roster. Averaging over 9 K/9 in his career, Jaime is a power arm that the Nationals lack among their pitching prospects.
The Arizona Diamondbacks realize that potential is more important than protecting a player that over his career, is worse than a replacement player. By not protecting Brad Meyers or Juan Jaime, the Nationals have shown they do not.
Posted by David Lint at 10:13 PM