Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

When I'm in a Hurry, All I Can Think of is ¡Livan!

Jamey Carroll fever is running wild. I'm not the first to link to this must-read post at Oleanders and Morning Glories, in which Jamey himself defends the logic of keeping him on the bench.
Maybe someday, after I start playing everyday, I’ll get the chance to play everyday but not yet.
Luckily for Jamey, Nats infielders are dropping like Spinal Tap drummers. Cristian Guzman just joined keystone kompatriot Jose Vidro on the pine, so we're going to see Carroll at short and Carlos Baerga at second base. This could be hilarious, assuming you're a Diamondbacks or Cubs fan. Needham's looking forward to it:
[Baerga] wasn’t a good fielder in 1995. And he’s definitely not a good fielder ten years and fifty pounds later.
So this is going to hurt us defensively. Offensively, though, we're not missing much. Consider these batting lines, expressed in the traditional Avg/OBP/Slg format:

Guzman: 222/264/291
¡Livan!: 250/286/450

I suppose it would be rubbing it in to point out that ¡Livan! has as many home runs as Guzman, as well.

Speaking of our #1 starter and hearthrob, ¡Livan! is currently on pace for a 25-10 record, and 4.02 ERA in 284 innings. I'd take that. Yeah, I know the ERA looks high, but is the kind of guy who can be useful even with a less than eye-popping ERA. A couple of months ago, I used the example of 2004 Jake Peavy vs. 2004 ¡Livan!. Peavy's ERA was 2.27, ¡Livan!'s 3.60. Yet ¡Livan! was more valuable because of a near-100 IP advantage. The 284 ¡Livan! is headed for is the most anyone's thrown since Charlie Hough in 1987, and there's a lot of value in that even with that ERA. And the great part is that our hero is pretty likely to lower the ERA -- he's striking out fewer and walking more than he has in years -- and is a fair bet to continue the inning-eating. And, of course, he's hitting better than our $16 million shortstop.

Time to watch the game. Tony Armas is back, and you can imagine my excitement. Reigning Nat of the Day Ryan Church is sitting against lefty Shawn "T" Estes. He's not upset, though. Church:
It’s really easy to explain. I haven’t gotten to hit left-handed pitching, because I haven’t had a chance to hit left-handed pitching. Once I get some at bats versus southpaws, maybe then Frank will let me get a couple swings in against port-siders, but until I get in the batters box against a few lefties, I don’t think I should get a chance to go one-on-one with those crafty guys who throw with the other hand, not the right one.
I'm completely serious that you need to read this thing.

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