Updated at 1:00 am 12/21...
"The Perpetual Project"...
Not even the great Leo Mazzone, who'd enjoyed so much success all those years with ATL's aces could harness the potential of 6'7'', 230 lb, 27-year-old right-hander Daniel Cabrera when the two crossed paths a few seasons back in Baltimore, but now Randy St. Claire, Washington's Pitching Coach extraordinaire, is going to get a shot at it, as MLB.com's Bill Ladson is reporting, in an article entitled, "Nats, Cabrera agree to one-year deal", that the Nationals have signed the free agent starter to a 1-year deal that will pay the 5-year MLB veteran (an undisclosed-as-of-now amount) to pitch in the nation's capital in 2009.
The second new pitcher added to the DC rotation, along with left-handed former Marlins' starter Scott Olsen, Cabrera, signed as an Amateur Free Agent with the Orioles back in 1999, has tantalized scouts and fans since his debut on May 13, 2004, enjoying, arguably, his best season in the Majors the first time through, putting together a (12-8) record in 27 starts and 28 overall appearances in 2004, in which he posted a 5.00 ERA with 76 K's in 147.2 IP.
Over his five MLB seasons, Cabrera's eleven games under .500 at 48-59 with a 5.05 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP, (though the Orioles themselves haven't finished above .500 since two years before they even signed Cabrera), but the Orioles apparently grew tired of waiting for the towering righty to get it together, with AP Sports writer David Ginsburg noting in a Yahoo! Sports.com article entitled, "Orioles cut ties with inconsistent Daniel Cabrera", that the pitcher, who's known for a fastball and curve, and had added a change-up to his repetoire last season, ultimately, "...never ended up mastering the strike zone and often turned one mistake into another, leading to a big inning."
Cabrera's high walk, wild pitch and HR totals will attest to his lack of control, but it's not as if he's unaware of his issues, telling ESPN.com's Enrique Rojas, for an article entitled, "Mazzone has tall task in Cabrera", from March of 2007, that the then-Orioles' pitching coach, Mr. Mazzone had:
"...discovered a slight movement toward first base that hurt my ability to locate pitches," said Cabrera. "Now we're working on the psychological aspect of things, in order to not fall back into that same mistake."
Two seasons, a (17-28) combined record, 49 HR's and 198 walks later, it would seem that Cabrera still hasn't quite figured out "the psychological aspect of things," but, Randy St. Claire will now attempt to succeed where others have failed.
Daniel Cabrera vs The NL East *...
Cabrera vs Atlanta - 2 GS, (1-0), 1 CG, SO, 14.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 1.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP.
Cabrera vs Philadelphia - 2 G, 1 GS, (0-1), 4.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 5 K's, 13.50 ERA, .2.36 WHIP.
Cabrera vs Florida - 1 GS, (0-1), 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 HR, 2 BB, 9 K's, 9.53 ERA, 1.76 WHIP.
Daniel Cabrera vs DC???
6/25/06 - Washington at Baltimore - L, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 3 K's.
6/12/07 - Washington at Baltimore - L, 4.2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K's, 3 HR's
6/27/08 - Baltimore at Washington (Nationals Park) - L, 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's.
(ed. note - " * = Daniel Cabrera's never faced NY's Mets.")
WINTER LEAGUE ROUNDUP...
Dominican Winter League...
A five-run third broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the Tigres del Licey to a 7-2 victory over Azucareros del Este, aka Los Toros del Este, who dropped their second-straight in this home and home weekend series with the Tigres. DC second baseman to be Anderson Hernandez was 1 for 3 with a walk, 1 K, and 2 runs scored, and he ends the day hitting .359. Ronnie Belliard, batting fifth and fielding third, knocked in a run, going 1 for 4 with a run scored and his 16th RBI. Belliard's hitting .338 after 17 games.
Venezuelan Winter League...
Jesus Flores was 1 for 1 with 2 RBI's last night to lift the Navegantes del Magallanes within one run at 6-5 in favor of the visitors Friday night, the Cardenales de Lara, who held on for the win at the Navegantes' home park, Estadio Jose Bernardo Perez. Saturday night, the Navegantes traveled to Estadio Luis Aparicio El Grande to take on the Aguilas del Zulia, and Flores, in another pinch hit appearance, according to milb.com's Game Recap, collected an RBI on a sac fly that turned into a DP when Edgardo Alfonso was thrown out on the basepaths. Flores is batting .237 with 5 doubles, 1 HR and 13 RBI's after 28 games.
(ed. note - "Venezuelan Winter League Note: The Nationals were interested in Rockies' outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who plays for Aguilas del Zulia, when they were discussing a trade with Colorado earlier this offseason, and MLB.com writer Thomas Harding has a feature article today about Gonzalez entitled, "Gonzalez red-hot in Venezuelan League", which at least shows that DC's got good taste...Gonzalez started in center Saturday, going 0 for 4 with a K, and he's now hitting .281 with 2 doubles, 2 HR's and 13 RBI's in 18 games.")
Puerto Rican Winter League...
Criollos de Caguas' right fielder Justin Maxwell was 0 for 4 with a walk and a run scored, and left fielder Garrett Guzman was 1 for 5 with a double, (his 8th) in an 8-4 Caguas' victory over Indios de Mayaguez Saturday. The two DC prospects have 30 games played so far this winter for the Criollos, with Guzman collecting 31 hits in 106 AB's for a .292 AVG, with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR's and 17 RBI's, and Maxwell's hit in 22 of 99 AB's for a .222 AVG, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR's and 21 RBI's.
Teixeira Update...as of 1:05 am EST 12/21/08...Mark Teixeira has not yet accepted or rejected the Washington Nationals' generous offer...
ESPN baseball reporter Peter Gammons suggests listening to "Revolution 9" from the Beatles' White Album backwards to gain insight into the ongoing negotiations between at least four MLB teams and Mark Teixeira in his most recent post entitled, "Trying to make sense of the Teixeira dealings".
While MLB.com writers Lyle Spencer and Bill Ladson team up for an article entitled, "Teixeira's decision could come soon", where the two writers indentify the Washington Nationals as, "...the club most likely to approach Boras' early target of 10 years and $200 million."
(ed. note - "I don't want to scare anyone, but the most recent articles say, 'family and geography' are going to play the biggest role in Tex's decision...?")