May 3, 2010

Chronicles of Pitching Depth: Volume 2

I think we've discovered the multi-part featurette that Adam Kilgore keeps in the can for a rainy off-day. Every one needs an obsession, I get that. I'm just not sure there's much more gold to mine from the tragic tale of Matt Chico and his inability to crack the AAA rotation. Chico was a mediocre (and lucky) pitcher on a very bad team. Now he's an older, surgically-repaired pitcher, competing with other failed major leaguers to be the mediocrest of them all. If there's a riveting story in that, I'm not seeing it.


Your Improbable 2o11 First Baseman of the Week: Alex Gordon

The official NTP editorial position is that, in the abstract, the Nats should sign Adam Dunn to an extension. We figure the Dunnkeys alone are worth a million a year. Of course, the abstract could give way to a five year, $85M albatross, and nobody (except possibly Adam) wants that. With that in mind, this is the first in an occasional series of looks at the men who could, but probably won't, replace Dunn in DC in 2011.

Alex Gordon (aka the guy drafted two places ahead of Ryan Zimmerman) is in the doghouse in Kansas City. Gordon is undeniably guilty of not being the second best player selected in the 2005 draft. Apart from that, the 26-year old's particular sins are as follows: He doesn't hit for average; he'll probably never be a 30 HR hitter; he's not an elite defensive third baseman, and he's injury-prone.

On the flip-side, he takes a walk with the best of them, he's only a few years removed from being MILB Player of the Year, and a move from third to first probably improves his defense in the long run. Best case scenario? Nick Johnson v. 2.0. Yeah, he's probably not going to be the Nationals' first baseman in 2011, (see the headline). Still, any time a player with Gordon's talent is on the outs with his club, we should hope Rizzo is kicking the tires.

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