I walked later than I should have this a.m. and it was already too hot so maybe that turned my brain to mush. Maybe I'm drinking UncleStanKoolAid instead of Arizona Iced Tea. But I got to thinking about a lineup that won't require much tinkering. I think I could be OK with this if it happens, which it won't. I'll list and make comments later
1. TBA, 2B
2. Guzman, SS
3. Zimmerman, 3B
4. Dukes, LF
5. Milledge, CF
6. Kearns, RF
7. Flores, C
8. Montz, 1B (you knew that was coming)
9. Some ragarm
I'd be OK with a bench of Harris (versatile), Orr (versatile), Langerhans (channeling Bobby Cox, I like the guy. Please hit just a little), backup C TBA and some Boone/Young type. Casto could fill that role, I guess. Play both corners and the outfield.
I'm hoping Belliard is moved for prospects.
At the top, I dream of Orlando Hudson. He'll probably cost too much but a guy can dream, can't he? Barring that, I don't have much of an answer. I'd be OK with Belliard there, further down in the order. I just think he could bring some good value now.
I don't think we can count on Nick Johnson being a healthy Nat again, sad to say. Dmitri was a great story last year but he has way too many liabilities. If he's OK with being a bench guy, fine. If not, well, it was fun.
Yes, Dukes in the cleanup spot. Ray Knight said he was the team's only five-tool player and he's probably right. He was really growing on me as a player and we just have to hope he keeps himself together away from the field. I have a friend who likes to be a wiseacre and he asked me what would come first - a 30-home run season for Dukes or a 30-year sentence? He accuses me of being a fanboy looser (well, I am) when I tell him Dukes has been reformed. I hope it isn't wishful thinking.
Now the big question - who gets people out? Are there any pitchers worth pursuing? I've always liked Ben Sheets. He's hurt a lot, it seems, so he'd fit in here. He'll also be expensive.
If Lannan is the only carryover, I'd be OK with that. Redding's value fades with each start like last night's. I don't think Bergmann will fetch anything. I don't think we'll see Hill or Chico (injured/injured and not very good). I'm not convinced Balester doesn't need more time in AAA. Will Zimmermann be ready?
Would a rotation of Lannan, Bergmann, Zimmermann, Clippard and who the hell knows be good enough? Is Martis any good? VanAllen?
Rauch will be elsewhere, I suspect, hopefully in return for a wheelbarrow full of prospects. Does Hanrahan close? Zinicola? I don't think we'll see Cordero next year. I hope Colome and Ayala are elsewhere. I'm actually OK with Manning and Rivera. Who else might emerge?
Yep, every time I start to think things might actually be OK sooner than I expect, I start thinking about pitching and my dreams turn dark.
Your thoughts? Free agents to pursue?