Thursday, May 18, 2006

In New Orleans, Larry Broadway Going Downtown

With the Washington Nationals new ownership finally established, significant player moves are anticipated in coming weeks, perhaps days. Reliever Bill Bray, 4-1, two saves with a 2.81 ERA and 39 Ks in 26 innings, is a top candidate for promotion. But what about hot-hitting slugger Larry Broadway, who is blocked at first base by Nick Johnson? When Johnson played for the Yankees in 2002, manager Joe Torre used him as a right fielder. It would seem unlikely that Washington manager Frank Robinson would do the same, but then again Broadway is pounding at the door, and Johnson's transition to the outfield would provide Broadway a place to play. Johnson, 25, a former third round pick, has hit at a constant .340 clip in the Arizona Fall League, the Venezuelan winter league and for the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Nationals AAA affiliate. Broadway, a lefty, also plays solid defense, has a fine eye a the plate and hits for power, having hit nine homers last August alone despite battling injuries throughout the season. It would take some imagination to find a spot for Broadway in Washington, but Robinson never hesitated when he moved Rafael Soriano from second base to left field. At the very least, Broadway should be allowed to display his talents when the Nationals need a DH in interleague play. If Broadway performs well, there's always a chance he will stick.