July 19, 2005

Don't Bench Goooz

I'm a Goooz guy, that's no great secret... I've own his freakin' jersey (and soon I may be the only one left in DC). I'm a Goooz guy because, even including this year's mind-numbing .190, he's a career .260 hitter with nearly 150 doubles and more than 300 RBI. He's not Sammy Sosa or Brett Boone, he's not older, he's not slower, his body's not breaking down. Whatever the problem is, it's under his cap. And even with his repulsive hitting, which you know bothers him as much as it bothers us, he goes out every day and plays solid, sometimes spectacular defense.

Guzman is signed for 4 years at $4 million per, but even discounting the money the Nats need him. There simply aren't any other major league-ready shortstop prospects in the organization. SS-of-the-future Ian Desmond is batting .282 at Single A Potomac, not exactly the kind of stats that will get you jumped up to AAA ball, much less the big show. At AAA New Orleans, neither Rick Short or Brendan Harris or is a natural shortstop, and the other infielders have stats that make Goooz look like an all-star slugger.

This team has shown that it is capable of carrying Guzman's bad bat. When the team was winning, Goooz hit below .200, and now that the team's losing Goooz is hitting below .200. You can blame the current slump on a lot of things, but for once Frank is right to say that Guzman ain't one of them.


Dave said...

I want to clarify my statement -- I'm not viewing benching Gooz as a long term solution. I think it's a shot in the tail to the team to focus, and it would give Gooz some time to work on his swing, which he apparently needs to rebuild.

Give him time to rebuild the swing, and then come back to the Nats. That's my position.

Watson said...

Nate makes the excellent point that the Nats have shown they can carry Guzman's bad bat and still win.

The problem is they're not winning. They no longer have the luxury of overlooking his mendoza line stats. When you're pressing you need to squeeze every ounce of juice you can out of your lineup and Guze doesn't have anything left to give. Right now the need for a spark in the lineup is outweighing his defensive abilities.