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Roster review: Ian Krol

Oct 28, 2013, 6:00 AM EST

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Age on Opening Day 2014: 22

How acquired: Traded with RHP A.J. Cole and RHP Blake Treinin from A’s for OF/1B Michael Morse, who went to Mariners, Jan. 2013

MLB service time: 117 days

2013 salary+bonuses: $490,000

Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2017, free agent in 2020

2013 Stats: 32 G, 27.1 IP, 28 H, 12 R, 12 ER, 8 BB, 22 SO, 5 HR, 1.317 WHIP, 2-1, 3.95 ERA, 4.69 FIP, -0.3 WAR

2013 analysis: Acquired late in spring training as the player-to-be-named in the Michael Morse trade, Krol opened the season at Class AA Harrisburg and quickly made a name for himself. In 21 appearances with the Senators, he posted a 0.69 ERA and struck out 29 batters.

That earned Krol a promotion all the way to Washington, his first big-league call-up. The left-hander was brilliant at first; he allowed only two of the first 28 major-league batters he faced to reach safely and after 15 appearances owned a 1.72 ERA and .475 opponents’ OPS.

Over time, though, teams started to figure Krol out. He was scored upon in nine of his final 17 games, putting 25 men on base in only 11 2/3 innings. His struggles resulted in a brief demotion to Class AAA Syracuse, but the results weren’t much better after he returned to D.C. in September.

2014 outlook: Krol was a rookie this year, and he had only 21 career appearances above Class A before he found himself on a big-league mound for the first time. So certainly he learned a thing or two this season and will be better for it in 2014.

But the Nationals aren’t going to report for spring training counting on Krol to be their top lefty reliever. They’re going to try to acquire a more experienced, reliable southpaw this winter, then hope Krol makes some adjustments and develops into another top option.

  1. sjm308 - Oct 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    At his age they have plenty of time to see if Krol can develop. I had not realized how young he was.
    Agree with Mark here that Rizzo will add a left-handed arm before spring training. I wil say again that I would also strongly consider Deteiler for the pen but would give him every opportunity to earn a starters job before making that move.

  2. David Proctor - Oct 28, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Krol’s another guy with really good stuff who just needs more experience and to learn how to pitch better. He’ll get it.

  3. Theophilus T.S. - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Krol could be a LH Clippard, including a herky-jerky delivery that puts hitters at a disadvantage. I’m perfectly comfortable with making a place for him on the Opening Day roster. Thinking about the imperfect LH relievers the Nats have sheltered in the past (e.g., Beimel, Ray King), being the second LH in a major league bullpen is not a high bar. With the experience he has from this year, Krol will be at least serviceable, probably better, plus he has potential to be much better (not Kimbrel but better than average).

    • David Proctor - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      I’m fine with him being on our Opening Day roster, but we definitely need a lefty who has already proven he can get lefties out somewhat consistently.

  4. alexva6 - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    would love for him to spend time with Paul Menhart in Harrisburg.

  5. Doc - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    For player TBNL Krol exceeded expectations, and only 22 on ’14.

    Hats off to the scouting department again!

    Krol needs some pitching wisdom to go along with his good stuff.

  6. David Proctor - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I’d look for a guy like Boone Logan or JP Howell. Both have excellent numbers against lefties (Howell is better and can get righties out too–but he will be way more expensive). I also find a guy like Eric O’Flaherty intriguing. He’s coming off Tommy John and probably won’t be ready to return until mid-season. But if you could lock him up on a 2 year deal for a discount since he’s coming off the surgery, I’d jump at it. He’s still young and if you get 1.5 great years out of him, it’s a good investment.

    • jd - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Is O’Flaherty a free agent? I thought Atlanta had control for several more years.

      • David Proctor - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        O’Flaherty is a free agent. Jonny Venters is the injured Brave who they control for several more years.

  7. Hiram Hover - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    is there a specific reason to think that opposing hitters ” started to figure” Krol out, or is this just the explanation that automatically gets applied after a player starts well and then does poorly?

    It’s true he did a lot better in the first half, but in so few IP that it could just be random variation and luck.

  8. Section 222 - Oct 28, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    I remember after Krol’s first several appearances, some people (including FP if I’m not mistaken), were touting him as a closer of the future. It does seem like he has a lot of promise, especially given his age, but I think it would be a mistake to rely on him as our primary lefty reliever next year. Rizzo made the mistake once of not going after a veteran lefty for the pen to replace Sean Burnett. I don’t think he’ll do that again.

    • David Proctor - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      I don’t think ANYBODY wants him to be our only lefty. You need 2 anyway. I’m okay with him being the second one, but we definitely need a veteran lefty.

      • Section 222 - Oct 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        So basically you’re agreeing with me, right? I said it would be a mistake to rely on him as our primary lefty and we should get a veteran for that role.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      I can’t think of many lefty closers. Billy Wagner, Eddie Guardado (who was pissed the Nats cut him in spring training a few years back, as I recall) … going back, John Franco. I thing Righetti closed some.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:45 PM


      • Section 222 - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Right you are. Which made the hype about Krol all the more silly.

  9. David Proctor - Oct 28, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    The AFL All-Star Game is this Saturday. Brian Goodwin will be taking part. It’s televised on MLB Network.

  10. pchuck69 - Oct 29, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    The fact that Krol has to be rushed forward so quickly shows how badly Rizzo botched the composition of the bullpen.





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