Friday, November 04, 2005

Super Sub

I know I'm late to the party, but I've been trying to craft a minor league angle with regards to the Vinny Castilla for Brian Lawrence trade. Plenty of others have commented on the major league impact of the trade. I'll move beyond the obvious impact on Ryan Zimmerman. The player who should be smiling the most might just be Brendan Harris. Harris spent most of the 2005 season on Jim Bowden's Do Not Call list. With the bat, the 24-year old Harris has shown he can hit ... at the minor league level. Though his 2005 regression is a concern.
  • 2003 West Tennessee [Double-A] 285/345/480 with 5HR and 51BB/72K in 435AB
  • 2004 Iowa/Edmonton [Triple-A] 302/354/515 with 17HR and 26BB/61K in 377AB
  • 2005 New Orleans [Triple-A] 270/329/417 with 13HR and 40BB/77K in 470AB
The story we have continued to be fed through the media (Barry Svrluga, Bill Ladson, etc) was that Harris could not play his position at the major league level, be it 2B or 3B. Barry's analysis of the Nationals' opinion of Harris would be best summed up as follows:
Brendan Harris cannot play 2B or 3B at the major league level. But we are going to play him at those positions that we know he cannot play in order to show other teams that he can play those positions.
Makes complete sense in a Ryan Church cannot hit lefties because he doesn't hit against lefties kind of way. Proving that he was not completely off of Bowden's radar, Harris was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he has been playing alot. Alot of SS. All while hitting 397/446/562 with 1HR 5BB/6K in 73AB. In his chat this week, Barry stated the Nationals were doing this as a means of shopping Harris to potential suitors. Well, all of the discussions of Harris moving onhave been put on hold (apparently). Bowden specifically mentioned Harris as part of the reasoning behind moving Castilla. Harris is now the frontrunner for the Carlos Baerga/Wil Cordero utility player/PH. In my opinion, this is the ideal spot for Harris and a solid move for the Nationals. Harris does not appear to have the ability to be an everyday player. I see him as a Tony Graffanino type for the Nationals. Harris has the ability to fill in at 2B, SS, 3B, and likely 1B. If you run him out there everyday, his weaknesses are going to be exposed. But if you let him play the super sub role, spelling Zimmerman (a rookie), Guzman (if he doesn't bounce back), Vidro, or Johnson (both oft-injured). Carrying a guy like Harris allows Bowden to turn two bench spots (Carlos Baerga and Junior Spivey) into one bench spot in 2006. This permits Bowden to carry an extra OF or two, something he clearly loves to do. From my perspective, and more importantly, Harris', this is a good second step in the off-season rewickering of the Nationals roster.

1 comment:

Nate said...

Have your sources told you anything about why Larry Broadway was pulled out of the AFL?