Tagged: John Lannan

Leading Off for the Nationals…Gerardo Parra?

Good Morning Nats Fans!

Reports surfaced February 25th (last Saturday) that the Nationals have interest in Arizona Diamondbacks Left Fielder Gerardo Parra. Rumors and and speculation has been running rampant since the D’Backs signed former Twin Jason Kubel to a 2 year/ $15M deal, which left many people scratching their heads. So, with that said, why would the Nats have interest in this guy if a Defending NL West Championship team doesn’t want to start him?

For one, he’s versatile. He can play all 3 Outfield positions, and batted .292 with 8 homers, 46 RBI, 15 Steals, a .357 OBP and .427 SLG in 141 Games. Kubel is definitely more of a power threat, which could be what they’re looking for in a Left Fielder. They might also have been using Parra the wrong way. I think that if the Nats get him, they should use him to leadoff and in Center.

I don’t think it’s a terrible idea. The Nats only other leadoff option that’s Major League Ready is Ian Desmond. Everyone knows my opinion on him. Parra stole 15 bases in 2011, and had a .357 OBP, .059 pts higher thatn Desi’s .298 OBP. Parra’s Slugging also kills Desmond’s (.427 to .358, a difference of .079 pts). If you want to look at things statistically, when your only other option is Desmond, go after Parra. Parra’s also a Left Handed Hitter, something the Nationals don’t have enough of. Your Lefty locks are LaRoche and Espinosa (who’s a switch, but let’s be honest, he’s a Lefty 80% of the time) if Harper doesn’t make the team. If Harper makes the team AND they get Parra, all of a sudden, their lineup is pretty balanced (1 Parra {L}, 2 Werth {R} 3 Zim {R} 4 LaRoche {L} 5 Morse {R} 6 Harper {L} 7 Espinosa {S} 8 Desmond {R} 9 Pitcher). Now, I may have the 4/5 spots wrong, but I think that’s a pretty solid lineup regardless.

Parra could defnitely help this team. The only issue is that Center Field is his “worst” position. That’s where he would most likely play. The other issue is what Kevin Towers would ask Mike Rizzo for in return. John Lannan? Roger Bernadina? Ross Detwiler? I think Bernie makes the most sense. I don’t want Lannan traded.

BOTTOM LINE: If the Nats can get Parra, they should. It’s either that, or a 2011 platoon, and pray Michael Bourn, BJ Upton and Shane Victorina sign extensions with the Braves, Rays or Phillies, respectively.

GO NATS!

-Nick

John Lannan: What’s the issue?

Morning Nats fans,

I sit in my Italian class, waiting for it to start, and I thought a Natsrant was in order: what is the issue, both in the organization, and amongst fans, with John Lannan?!

Last week, a few hours before the signing of Edwin Jackson, it was reported that the Nats had beaten Lannan in the arbitration case ($5.0M beats $5.7M), and that the Nats were “aggressively shopping” John Lannan. Earlier in this same offseason, after the acquisition of Gio Gonzalez (and even before) there was word that Ross Detwiler, the 2007 first round pick by the Nats who has never shown anything except inconsistency and injury, was going to get a long look at making the rotation, even if it meant bumping John Lannan (38-51/4.00/751.0 IP) out of it. Lannan is coming off his best season, 10-13/3.70 ERA, and has done nothing but be a relatively consistent pitcher. He has good numbers against every team, save the Phils. Yet, for some reason, fans and Nats dignitaries alike don’t seem to think he’s worth their time. Here’s why I believe he is:

1.) He’s never pitched in the right rotation spot: For as long as Lannan has been on the Major League squad, he’s never pitched in the correct rotation spot. On a good team, he’s a #4 or #5 starter, which is exactly where he projects to be THIS season. He’s exactly what the Nats need; a lefty who can give them innings at he back end of a rotation and keep them in games.

2.) They know what he is: This doesn’t always work in Lannan’s favor, but nobody can deny it. They know what they’re gonna get from him every start, save for a day where he’s off or a day where he’s just locked in. For the most part, they know what to expect, which is more than they can say for Ross Detwiler.

3.) He’s never been hurt/has no injury history: I think a lot of people underestimate the importance of this. When a pitcher has a history of injuries, teams look for insurance plans (end of the road vets, not ready yet rookies) to make up for the lost time. With Lannan, they don’t have to do that. Does it hurt if they DO have depth like that? Absolutely not. But the fact is, when you are forced to make deals like that, you’re sacrificing something else. Maybe the Nats don’t make the Gio Gonzalez trade because they need Milone and Peacock as stand-ins and spot starters they can TRUST. Point is: a pitcher with no injury history is one you hold on to (or trade while this fact reigns true, depending on your outlook on life)

I think that these three reasons are probably the most important reasons as to why Lannan should stay with the team. He’ll be in the correct rotation spot this year, they know what he is, and he doesn’t have an injury history. I think the jury needs to stay out on Lannan. If he can bring back a CF/Leadoff hitter, like a Peter Bourjos, then go for it, but otherwise, keep him as long as you can. The last thing the Nats need is an incosistent, injured 5th starter in Ross Detwiler when they could have kept Lannan.

*Note*- I’ll be doing an analysis of every team/division soon. My first division will probably be the AL East. The series will be titled “Let’s get Divisional.” Will it be cheesy? Hell yes. Will it be fun? Hell yes. Should you be excited for it? Hellz yeah, you should!

GO NATS!

-Nick