It looks like our old friend Dmitri Young is having a bit of trouble down at the Nationals' spring training complex in Vero Beach.
In yesterday's Washington Post, Barry Svrluga wrote about the fierce competition for the reserve first baseman job, and it seems that Da Meat Hook currently finds himself in third place behind Larry Broadway and Travis Lee. What's keeping D.Y. down? A little extra luggage.
However, it appears that Young will be given every chance to shed that weight and win the back-up gig at first base. While Broadway and Lee are acknowledged as superior defenders, manager Manny Acta wants some offense from that position, and of the three candidates, there's really only one who has a proven record of success with the bat.
Keep on sweatin' it off, D.Y. Jim Bowden needs you to make him look good.
In a somewhat hilarious aside, Svrluga followed up on the article in his spring training blog. Apparently, there was one reader who didn't quite like how Svrluga sized up the competition. And look, it's another former Tiger!
So I hadn't mentioned Fick as a contender to start at first base. He appears to be playing first today. He has, in fact, played it sporadically throughout the spring. I fully expect Fick to make the team, in large part because of his versatility, and the club is likely to keep Rule 5 catcher Jesus Flores, which means Fick could serve as a more experienced third catcher.
So count Fick in that mix, please. At least for my sake."
** One more quick thought: Is there any chance the Tigers might be able to talk Bowden into taking Neifi Perez off their hands? Federal Baseball breaks down the Nats' current depth chart, and I think Neifi could fit in quite nicely. Hey, if Lynn Henning can start trade rumors, can't we do it, too?
What's that? Leyland will keep Neifi because he bats left-handed? ¡Que lastima!