In what has become an annual tradition around these parts, I gazed into my crystal ball for potential promotions and demotions affecting the Harrisburg Senators. As we are at roughly the quarter pole for the 2013 season, this is as good a time as any to let the wild-ass guessing begin on who might be headed to Syracuse next (arbitrary odds are next to each player’s name).
Josh Johnson (25-1)
Johnson played 76 games with the Chiefs last season, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him start the season with the Senators. Johnson didn’t let the disappointment affect his play as he produced solid April numbers. However, the same reasons he started the season in Harrisburg still exist in the crowded Syracuse infield.
Mike Broadway (18-1)
Broadway was a free agent signing in late March/early April after getting released from the Padres organization. Broadway reached Triple-A only once before in 2010 for 17 games when he was with the Gwinnett Braves, but the 6’5″ righthander has been superb thus far. Broadway carries a 1.42 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and has allowed earned runs in only one outing so far. If he keeps this up, he just might find his name on the back of a Chiefs jersey in the near future.
Jimmy VanOstrand (15-1)
VanOstrand’s recent reassignment back to Harrisburg had nothing to do with his performance as he was batting .283. Instead it was just a lack of playing time as opportunities didn’t exist with Chris Marrero, Carlos Rivero, and Mike Costanzo as the primary corner infielders. That isn’t bound to change any time soon, but if it does I would expect VanOstrand to be in consideration.
Aaron Barrett (15-1)
Barrett has appeared in only 14 games at Double-A, but the 25-year old reliever has impressed as he has become the workhorse at the back-end of Matt LeCroy’s bullpen. Recent history has shown the Nationals aren’t afraid to promote relievers like Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia, and Erik Davis up the chain to see whether they’ll succeed or fail and possibly get them on the fast track to Washington.
Nate Karns (10-1)
In a perfect world, Karns would spend the entire season in Harrisburg. But it also wouldn’t shock me to see the Nats potentially using Karns as a weapon out of the bullpen late in the season (a la Christian Garcia last year). If that’s a possibility, they’ll want the righthander to get some innings under his belt in AAA.
Brian Goodwin (10-1)
Don’t look at Goodwin’s numbers, instead look at the progress he’s made in all facets of the game especially defensively in centerfield. Yes, he has a lot to improve on in the batter’s box and on the basepaths, but the ceiling on his tools is so high that the Nationals might be willing to push him through the system.
Sandy Leon (8-1)
The Nationals want Leon to catch every day. With Jhonatan Solano in Syracuse, that spot for Leon is in Harrisburg for now. But if Suzuki, Ramos, or Solano go down for a significant amount of time, Leon will likely become the #1 catcher in upstate New York.
Ian Krol (7-1)
The Senators’ youngest player is also a guy that has scouts salivating at his upside potential. It’s no secret that the Nats only lefty in the pen is struggling, long man Zach Duke (8.40 ERA). Free agent signings J.C. Romero, Xavier Cedeno, and Fernando Abad are percolating down on the farm in Syracuse but Krol is a kid who could get a look see at the next level.
Bill Bray (3-1)
Everything I just said up above about southpaw relievers in the Nationals’ organization applies as well for Bray. The Nats are more than likely to give the six-year MLB veteran a shot before anyone else especially because his contract reportedly has a June opt-out date in his minor league contract.
Anthony Rendon (2-1)
Since returning from his MLB stint, Rendon has been a man on fire. In nine games back with the Senators, Rendon is batting .452 with a slugging percentage of .839. Just like Leon, the Nats want Rendon to play everyday and Harrisburg seems to be the ideal fit for him with the logjam of infielders in Syracuse. But if Rendon continues at this pace, there is nowhere to go but up for the system’s #1 rated prospect.