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Roster preview: Jamey Carroll

Jan 18, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

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Age on Opening Day 2014: 40

How acquired: Minor-league free agent, signed Jan. 2014

2014 salary: Minor-league contract

2013 Stats: 73 G, 249 PA, 26 R, 48 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 2 SB, 17 BB, 39 SO, .211 AVG, .267 OBP, .251 SLG, .518 OPS, 2 E, -0.5 UZR (at 2B), -1.5 UZR (at 3B), -0.9 WAR

2014 storyline: Nine years after playing a key role on the inaugural Nationals club, Carroll is back with the franchise that originally drafted him. His career peaked after he left D.C. — it included two nice seasons in Colorado, including a run to the 2007 World Series, and a couple of productive seasons in Los Angeles — but he struggled last year between Minnesota and Kansas City.

Carroll will be 40 before Opening Day, and he’ll have to prove he deserves a spot on the Nationals’ roster. He’s guaranteed nothing, and his fate may be tied to how Danny Espinosa performs in spring training. But the Nats are hoping he can provide veteran leadership, continue his career-long skill as a .339 pinch-hitter and prove valuable to this club.

Best-case scenario: After a strong showing in Viera, Carroll makes the Opening Day roster. He fills in at all three infield spots and becomes the everyday second baseman when Anthony Rendon spends time on the DL. Carroll winds up getting 400 plate appearances, hits .290 with a .360 OBP, plays solid defense and is one of the clubhouse leaders on a Nationals club that reaches the postseason.

Worst-case scenario: Carroll shows his age, struggles this spring and doesn’t make the club. He refuses an assignment to Class AAA Syracuse and becomes a free agent. Unable to find a big-league job anywhere else, he decides to hang up his spikes and retire after an admirable, 12-year career.

Most-likely scenario: It really is 50-50 whether he makes the roster, and his fate may rest more in Espinosa’s hands than his own, but let’s assume he does make the club. Carroll probably isn’t going to duplicate his peak offensive numbers from a few years ago, but he should be better than he was last season. He hits .250, provides some clutch hits off the bench, fills in when needed and is a strong influence for his younger teammates.

  1. sjm308 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    That might be the sunniest “best case scenario” we have had on these posts Mark, but I know a certain poster on here is hoping for something along those lines (her last name starts with 1A).

    I have mixed feelings here. I would love to see Jamey with the club but I would much rather see Espinosa break out of the two year funk and really be a contributor. I am guessing there is not room for both players on the 25 man roster. Is that correct?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jan 18, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Anthony Rendon to the DL is a sunny scenario? Not in my book.

      P.S. – I do, of course, understand what you’re saying.

    • natsfan1a - Jan 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      Thanks for thinking of me, sjm. I would be fine with the most-likely scenario. :-)

  2. Hiram Hover - Jan 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Maybe it’s just me, but any scenario that has Rendon spending time on the DL doesn’t seem that “best case” to me.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jan 18, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Okay, I should the whole thread before posting my own version of something that’s already been written.

  3. sjm308 - Jan 18, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    You are right of course. I was talking about the numbers Mark had for Mr. Carroll, not how he got to play.

  4. TimDz - Jan 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Off topic….
    I’ve been one of the more vocal about the shaft the Nats are getting in this MASN deal…

    Interesting article by MLBdailydish…

    The Nats need to get this resolved…

    http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2014/1/18/5319804/cubs-tv-deal-clark-the-cub-clayton-kershaw-dodgers

  5. Doc - Jan 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Jamey Carroll is all about stocking our AAA roster. Anything other influence he might have on the Nats’ roster is regressive.

  6. therealjohnc - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    On the “worst case scenario” – Jamey Carroll signed a minor league contract. Can a person on a minor league contract refuse a minor league assignment? I wouldn’t think they could unless he has an opt-out clause – and I haven’t heard anything about an opt-out clause in Carroll’s contract.

    • sjm308 - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      yes, he can refuse the “assignment” and become a free agent. Chris Snyder, one of the guys in the running for our back up catcher did this last year. There is no way Carroll will be playing in Syracuse at 40 years of age.

      • therealjohnc - Jan 18, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        Chris Snyder didn’t refuse an assignment to Syracuse; the Nationals released him outright.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    I really enjoyed watching the over achieving JameyCarroll at RFK. That said, that ship has sailed. I think he’d make a good coach, maybe a minor league manager.

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