Fantasy Notes: Foli Follies
Let’s take a step off the beaten track today and examine a few players in the woefully thin Senator system, currently toiling at Double-A Harrisburg. Why? Why the hell not? I guess I’m in a Harrisburg state of mind.
- Dan Foli made his first start last night in almost four years and promptly reminded all why he’s no longer a starting pitcher. The Cubs’ 31st rounder in 2001, Foli gave up six hits and four runs in four innings, striking out one and walking three. Should we have expected more from a pitcher who came into the game with an ERA of almost 9.00 through seven relief appearances? As desperate as the Nats have been for starters this season, don’t look for this 26-year-old righty to be taking the mound at RFK Stadium any time soon. In his last start, in late-August 2003 when he was with Low-A Lansing, he also lasted four innings. After the Cubs released him in 2004, he caught on with the Mets organization for a couple of seasons before landing in the Washington system. Foli had made 111 relief appearances between starts, and although he’s enjoyed a decent 8.5 hits/per nine rate over his career (prior to this season), he’s only ever made one appearance above Double-A. In short, I wouldn’t be adding Foli to the list of minor league players I’ll be tracking.
- Remember when people said Cristian Guerrero was going to be better than his brother Vlady? Uh, yeah. Originally, signed by the Brewers out of the Dominican Republic back in 1997, the now 27-year-old Guerrero had played exactly four games above the Double-A level before this year. Now in the Nats’ organization, Guerrero was briefly up at Triple-A Columbus (going 1-for-6 in six games) and the small taste of Triple-A must have made him long for more, because he’s been on fire since returning to Double-A Harrisburg. In 21 games, he’s batting almost .330 with all five homers he’s hit this year and a dozen RBI. Despite his struggles against lefties (.171 BA) — wierd since he’s a right-handed hitter, Guerrero is enjoying his finest professional season with an OPS of 804, fanning hopes that perhaps one day he may finally step on a major league diamond. Obviously, we’ve long since discovered he is no Vladimir, but at this point, if he can at least make the majors in the same organization his big brother came up with, that will have to be considered a massive success.
- Jim Magrane, who has looked excellent since moving into the rotation for Double-A Harrisburg last month, was rewarded with yet another promotion to Triple-A. The righty, who turns 29 next month, has spent virtually his entire career bouncing between Double-A and Triple-A, but has never made the majors. You’d have to think that this year may be his best chance considering the paucity of options at the upper levels of the Nat organization. Throw in the fact that Magrane’s gone 1-3, 2.73 since moving into the rotation at the start of May, and this may finally be his year. Originally a 33rd round pick by the Mets in 1996, he never signed with them, opting to go to the University of Iowa instead before signing as a non-drafted free agent with the Rays in 1999. He spent his entire career in the Tampa Bay organization before penning a deal with the Nats in November. Magrane, who certainly held his own Sunday in his first Triple-A start of the year (6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K), is probably best known for leading Durham to the Governor’s Cup in 2003 when he won both his starts and struck out 17 in just 11 2/3 innings.