In case you were wondering…
It seems like years ago that Daniel Cabrera opened Nationals Park for the 2009 season. He isn’t the only Nationals player that is somewhere else in a land, far, far away… here are a few other notable Nats no longer on the team.
Nick Johnson: The Marlins are on the outside looking in for a playoff spot, the chances are slim to none–4.8 percent to be precise. They are 4.5 games behind the Wild Card leading Rockies with 16 games remaining and six games left against the Phillies. Johnson has been as good as advertised for the Marlins since he was traded moments before the trading deadline on July 31st. He made his annual trip to the DL and missed the latter half of August with a strained right hamstring but he is back for the stretch run. He has been doing exactly what he did for the Nats. He is batting .333 (27-for-81) with two home runs, 17 RBI, 27 walks and an astronomical .505 on-base percentage in 25 games. Don’t forget… he will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Joe Beimel: He became known as the “Steroid Stopper” for his ability to get Barry Bonds out during his days with the Dodgers–Bonds batted .063 (1-for-16) against him. He isn’t having as much success with the Rockies after joining the likely NL Wild Card team on July 31st. The left-hander isn’t the set-up man or the closer, but is used primarily for the lefty-lefty matchup. He has been hit hard at times and posts a high .306 BAA in 19 games. He has a 4.38 ERA (6 ER/ 12.1 IP) with 15 hits and 10 strikeouts. In 2006, he missed the entire Divisional Series with the Dodgers when he cut his hand on glass at a bar in New York City. Don’t expect him to miss the 2009 playoffs.
Joel Hanrahan: He wasn’t built for the pressure cooker situation, late in the game with only a run one lead. With the Nationals in 2009 he blew five saves in 10 chances. Hanrahan was traded to the Pirates with Lastings Milledge in exchange for outfielder Nyjer Morgan and reliever Sean Burnett on June 29th. In Pittsburgh, he has flourished in his new role as a reliever, just a reliever without the stress of saving a game–he hasn’t pitched in one save situation. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in nearly a month, a span of 13 games to be exact. Overall, he has a 1.84 ERA (6 ER/ 29.1 IP) with 36 strikeouts and a .215 BAA.
Lastings Milledge: The free swinging, show-up-when-I-want-to leadoff hitter didn’t quite fit in the Nationals clubhouse. (It is hard to believe that he lead the club in home runs (14) and RBI (61) last year). He is still the same free swinger but he isn’t leading off for the Pirates. Milledge bats primarily sixth but has also batted second, fourth and fifth. Dropping him in the orderhas helped to lower the pressure and raise his average. He still strikes out a lot, doesn’t hit for power and has been caught stealing four times in seven attempts. On the bright side, he is batting .287 (43-for-150) in 41 games with the Pirates.
Ronnie Belliard: He is becoming the Marlon Anderson of 2006. (See HERE), filling in nicely at second and third base with the Dodgers since he was acquired on August 30th. He has played error free baseball in 12 starts and is batting .319 (15-for-47) with three home runs and eight RBI in 15 games. Last night, he had his second three hit game with the Dodgers in the 3-1 win over the Pirates.
Anderson Hernandez: He returned to the Mets on August 5th and quickly became their everyday shortstop. His numbers are nearly identical to his Nats numbers, batting .257 (26-for-101) with 1 home run, 11 RBI and two stolen bases in 34 games.
Daniel Cabrera: Control, Control and Control. That has been the top three things that Cabrera has needed to work on most during his pro career. He walked 35 batters in 40.0 innings in eight starts with the Nats. Cabrera went 0-5 and the Nats went 0-8. The results have been the same with the D-backs. In his first relief appearance with Arizona, Cabrera didn’t retire a batter, gave up five runs, two hits and two walks. His last appearance was much better. He went three innings, didn’t walk a batter and only gave up two hits. It is anyone’s guess how he will pitch in his next appearance.