Hello, good evening, and welcome to the third installment of our little tour through the museum of ex-Nats…well, I guess "museum" might not be the right word, as all of these guys are still active in some capacity. Or were, in 2013. Mostly. You’ll see what I mean in a second.
Anyway, in part one we took a look at ex-Nats who spent this past season in the National League; part two examined ex-Nats who played in the American League. We now chart a course into the minor leagues, where quite a few former Nationals spent the 2013 season. In fact, there were so many of them that one post can’t fit them all. So, what we’re going to do here is take a look at ex-Nats who played at triple-A or double-A major league affiliate this season (the Mexican League is generally also classified as triple-A, but we’ll cover them in installment four).
This list is only going to include players who actually played at this level; as you will see next time, there is at least one individual (hint: Victor Garate) who signed a minor league contract early in the year but only played in the independent leagues. This list does, however, include players who split time between the affiliated minors and the independent leagues. Further, this list includes Scott Olsen, who signed a minor league contract with the Rangers last November but did not actually play for anyone this season. As he was affiliated with a major league club this season, he fits better with this batch of players than those we will consider next time (namely, those who played in Mexico, Japan, and the independent leagues).
For a list of sources consulted, check out the first two posts in this series.
Okay, let’s go—first, to AAA, then, to AA. The year(s) that appear right after player names indicate what seasons they played for the Nationals. Onward!
Claudio Vargas (2005):
Buffalo Bisons, International League (Toronto)
20 G, 83.0 IP, 5.86 ERA
Not a great showing for Vargas, who was released from the Toronto system on July 22.
Chad Cordero (2005-2008):
Salt Lake Bees, Pacific Coast League; also Inland Empire 66ers, California League (A+) (Angels)
58 G, 55.1 IP, 5.53 ERA
Cordero was out of baseball last year, but he popped up in the Angels system this year. Most of those appearances came with Salt Lake, and based on his results it does not appear a return to the majors is imminent. Then again—strange as it is to think—he’s still only 31, so who knows? Apparently Mike Scioscia hopes Cordero will continue his comeback in 2014.
Mike O’Connor (2006, 2008, 2011):
Rochester Red Wings, International League (Twins); also Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Atlantic League (independent)
18 G, 36.2 IP, 4.17 ERA
O’Connor started off the year with the Red Wings, but the Twins released him on May 18. On June 25, he earned a 50-game suspension for testing positive for "metabolites of Trenbolone"—i.e., a steroid. His five appearances with the Blue Crabs came after August 20. Because he tested positive while a free agent, and the Blue Crabs are an independent team, I’m unsure if he’s actually served his suspension at this point.
Shawn Hill (2006-2008):
Toledo Mud Hens, International League (Tigers)
26 G, 150.1 IP, 5.51 ERA
After spending the last several years bouncing between the Blue Jays and their minor league affiliates, Hill signed with the Tigers and spent the year with the Mud Hens. Doesn’t look like he was in much danger of getting a call-up this time around.
Jesus Flores (2007-2012):
74 G, 269 PA, .174/.213/.241
I sort of miss this guy, although I’m not sure why. It certainly doesn’t have to do with his pretty lousy showing with the Isotopes and Bulls this year. He was cut after 22 games with the former, and his numbers were not significantly better with the latter.
Jonathan Albaladejo (2007):
New Orleans Zephyrs, Pacific Coast League (Marlins)
57 G, 73.1 IP, 3.80 ERA
Albaladejo had a reasonably decent season closing for Reno last year, but not enough for the Diamondbacks to hold on to him. The Zephyrs made heavier use of him this year. Although his 3.80 ERA isn’t hideous, his 10.2 H/9 was his highest (in the minors) since 2006.
Collin Balester (2008):
Round Rock Express, Pacific Coast League (Rangers)
6 G, 27.0 IP, 7.33 ERA
After a year in the Tigers system, it was off to Texas and Round Rock for Balester. The results were not so good. With so few appearances, I’m inclined to think there must have been an injury.
Garrett Mock (2008-2010):
Reno Aces, Pacific Coast League (Diamondbacks)
33 G, 75.0 IP, 6.72 ERA
Mock has been well-traveled since departing the Nationals system after 2011; this year, he was in Reno, but his season ended when the Diamondbacks released him on August 19.
Brian Sanches (2008):
Omaha Storm Chasers, Pacific Coast League (Royals)
27 G, 101.1 IP, 3.20 ERA
Sanches returned to his roots this season: he began his professional career in the Royals organization. 13 of those games were starts (this was his first sustained use as a starter since 2002), and he went 10-3, so it wasn’t a bad season, but given the Royals’ current ambitions, it wasn’t good enough to get a call-up.
Corey Patterson (2009):
72 G, 288 PA,.199/.232/.320
We are a long, long, long way from Patterson’s days as an elite prospect, but he’s still trying to put it all together at 33. Although he signed with the Mets back in January, he was released on March 30; he played 19 games for Tacoma before the Mariners had seen enough, but the Yankees picked him up near the end of June. With Scranton/Wilkes Barre, he was marginally better, and he made one pitching appearance (he pitched one inning and gave up a run).
J.D. Martin (2009-2010):
Durham Bulls, International League (Rays)
27 G, 160.1 IP, 2.75 ERA, 16-4
Martin has made only a handful of major league starts (all with the Nats), and has had mixed results during his minor league career. This was easily his best season since 2009, and probably his best as a full-time starter. The Rays selected his contract on September 22, but then designated him for assignment the next day.
Kip Wells (2009):
Salt Lake Bees, Pacific Coast League (Angels)
6 G, 24.1 IP, 10.36 ERA
Wells is now 36, and with a season like this one, his career is presumably winding down. It appears that he was released in late May.
Joe Beimel (2009):
Gwinnett Braves, International League (Braves)
30 G, 33.0 IP, 4.36 ERA
Beimel was back after sitting out 2012 while recovering from Tommy John surgery; he was so-so with Gwinnett.
Mike MacDougal (2009):
37 G, 45.0 IP, 5.40 ERA
Remember when MacDougal was an All-Star closer? Yeah, times have changed. He held on with Louisville until June 8; the Phillies signed him on June 25, and he didn’t fare much better with the IronPigs.
Joe Bisenius (2010):
Gwinnett Braves, International League; also Mississippi Braves, Southern League (AA) (Braves); also Lincoln Saltdogs, American Association (independent)
20 G, 91 IP, 5.04 ERA
Following his brief appearance with the Nats, Bisenius spent 2011 in the White Sox system and 2012 in Mexico. This year, he began the season with the Saltdogs before entering the Braves system, where he made one appearance with Mississippi and 13 appearances (8 starts) with Gwinnett.
Willy Taveras (2010):
Omaha Storm Chasers, Pacific Coast League (Royals)
79 G, 279 PA, .239/.308/.340
Taveras didn’t play last year (apparently due to agent problems), but attempted a comeback with Omaha. He was released on July 25.
Miguel Batista (2010):
Buffalo Bisons, International League (Blue Jays)
8 G, 28.0 IP, 8.36 ERA
Everyone’s favorite poet/novelist/pitcher initially signed with the Rockies but was released on March 25; his time in the Blue Jays organization ended swiftly too, as he was released from Buffalo on May 21.
Matt Capps (2010):
Columbus Clippers, International Leauge (Indians)
6 G, 7.0 IP, 1.29 ERA
Capps had a poor 2011 and an okay, but injury-limited, 2012 with the Twins. He signed with the Indians at the start of the year, but was released on May 25. They re-signed him the next day and he made six appearances with the Clippers before landing on the DL with shoulder issues; he had season-ending surgery on June 5. I guess the Indians liked what they saw in his limited appearances, because on October 17 they gave him a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Brian Bixler (2011):
Las Vegas 51s, Pacific Coast League (Mets)
101 G, 345 PA, .259/.323/.372
Bixler is probably not the answer to the Mets’ problems.
Atahualpa Severino (2011):
Omaha Storm Chasers, Pacific Coast League (Royals); Indianapolis Indians, International League (Pirates)
39 G, 55.0 IP, 3.60 ERA
After spending his career in the Nats system, and after a pretty good 2012 with Syracuse, it was off to other, perhaps greener, pastures for Severino. After six games with Omaha, the Pirates liked what they saw and bought his contract from the Royals, so the vast majority of his season’s numbers come from his time in Indianapolis.
Xavier Nady (2012):
Omaha Storm Chasers, Pacific Coast League (Royals); Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Pacific Coast League (Rockies)
124 G, 496 PA, .296/.360/.456, 15 HR
Nady was released by the Royals twice this year (first on March 26, then on June 29), the latter release despite a .309 batting average with the Storm Chasers. He did all right at Colorado Springs, although his OBP was almost 50 points lower.
Brett Carroll (2012):
Indianapolis Indians, International League (Pirates)
89 G, 321 PA, .222/.328/.404, 13 HR
An iffy season for Carroll, although I guess he flashed a bit of power.
Jason Bergmann (2005-2010):
Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Texas League (AA) (Royals); also Sugar Land Skeeters, Atlantic League (independent)
49 G, 57.0 IP, 1.89 ERA, 18 SV, 9.8 K/9
Bergmann was excellent for Sugar Land—he posted a 0.30 ERA in 30 innings pitched and made the All-Star team—and that was good enough for the Royals to give him a shot at AA, where he wasn’t nearly as effective, although he still managed a 3.67 ERA in 27 innings pitched.
Scott Olsen (2009-2010):
The sometimes-volatile Olsen barely makes this list; he did not actually play this year, as the Rangers released him on March 24 (after signing him last November 15).
Bill Bray (2006):
Harrisburg Senators, Eastern League (AA) (Nationals)
4 G, 4.1 IP, 0.00 ERA
Okay, okay, Bray really shouldn’t be on this list, because he played for Harrisburg. But he hasn’t been a National since 2006, so I thought I’d throw him on here.
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And that does it for now, my friends! Tune in next time for our grand finale and see how ex-Nats fared in all sorts of interesting places!