Ranking the Senators’ MVP – Part I: 61 to 45

Photo courtesy Chris Knight / The Patriot-News

Photo courtesy Chris Knight / The Patriot-News

61. Drew Storen – I love Storen, but his one rehab appearance with the Senators this season was gawd awful. He managed to record just two outs while giving up four runs on three hits (including a bomb by Johnny Monell) and a walk. Thankfully, he’s been much better with the Nationals as they make their run to the NL East title.

60. Cole Kimball – Kimball had a rough go as he tore his lat muscle in his lone and short rehab outing.

59. Cameron Selik – Selik’s AA debut was tragic as he came off the mound badly injured after facing just two batters. Although it appeared to initially be his elbow, Selik actually pulled his lat muscle right off the bone.

58. Jeremy Mayo – The 24-year old catcher saw one game behind the plate for the Senators before he was reassigned to Hagerstown where he only played in 17 more games in 2012.

57. J.R. Higley – Higley was the Nationals’ human yo-yo this season as he played at five different minor league levels. Higley appeared in eight games with Harrisburg in mostly a pinch-hitting and defensive replacement role.

56. Adam Olbrychowski – Olby got the call from Potomac to start the final game of the season and took the loss as he allowed three runs and struck out five in 4.2 innings.

55. Jeff Howell
– Howell was one of eight catchers to wear the tools of ignorance for the Senators this season and he hit .364 with two runs batted in during three games.

54. Joe Testa
– The submarining southpaw began the season with the Senators but after five rather unsuccessful appearances was demoted back to Potomac where he spent the rest of the year.

53. Ryan Mattheus
– Mattheus made two appearances as part of his rehab stint from plantar fasciitis in his left foot. If it wasn’t for a third-strike wild pitch that ultimately resulted in a run, his line in both games would have been spotless.

52. Henry Rodriguez
– For the second year in a row, H-Rod put on the Senators’ uniform and was once again “pretty frickin’ bueno” during his time here. He worked three innings and held the opposition hitless and scoreless while striking out four and walking only one batter.

51. Chris Marrero
– The former first round pick came back to City Island as part of his long, arduous comeback from the torn hamstring injury he suffered playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Marrero rapped six hits in 22 at-bats including a couple of doubles and a home run on his way to Triple-A Syracuse.

50. Michael Morse
– The Nationals’ leftfielder started the year with Harrisburg for the season’s first three games in Bowie while recovering from a lat injury that sidelined him during spring training. After struggling in the first game striking out three times, Morse connected on a home run, two doubles, and drove in four runs.

49. Jim Negrych
– Negrych was expected to give the Senators a veteran infielder with the ability to consistently hit and he did that…for three games. Instead, Negrych spent the year in Syracuse and made the International League All-Star team.

48. Rick Ankiel
– The former pitcher turned outfielder started all four games during the Senators’ opening weekend in Bowie. Ankiel collected three hits (two of which were home runs) and walked twice. This marked the second straight year Ankiel played with the Senators, but neither of the rehab stints were at home.

47. Chien-Ming Wang
– By my limited interaction with the Taiwanese righthander, Wang is a humble guy that is just trying to get back to where he once was. But after struggling through nine separate rehab starts with the Senators, I’m completely sick of seeing him pitch. The Nationals are in deep trouble if they need him to deliver anything for them down the homestretch.

46. Rafael Martin – Martin was once a great story. After throwing once a week in an adult league, Martin was signed to a Mexican League team out of an open tryout. From there, the Nationals signed him and he performed well over the last two seasons in Harrisburg. But 2012 didn’t go the way Martin would have hoped. He struggled in Syracuse to begin the season, drew the ire of the Nationals when he violated the MLB drug policy, and struggled again when he returned to Harrisburg. At this point, it appears Martin’s story doesn’t have a happy ending.

45. Jhonatan Solano
– Solano was always a guy that reminded me of the Phillies’ Carlos Ruiz. Defense first, but a bat that seemed to improve each and every year. All he seemed to need was an opportunity to showcase his skills and he got that this year when the Nationals had a litany of injuries to their catchers. But unfortunately, Solano was also one of those backstops that was out more than they were healthy. He ended the season playing the last 11 games with Harrisburg on a rehab assignment and struggled with the bat but defensively solidified the position.

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