See You In September? Larry Broadway

It's become an annual game; Guess the year when Larry Broadway finally gets a shot in the majors. For a guy who has always put up decent, if not spectacular, minor league numbers, Larry Broadway doesn't seem to be getting a lot of respect within the organization.

Ho-Hum! Another season, another line full of solid minor league numbers from Larry Broadway. Broadway - who turns 28 in December - is used to putting up good numbers, but those numbers never really seem to matter too much. This season is his third full Triple-A season and he first reached the highest level of minor league ball for 18 games in 2005 with New Orleans. He's hit 37-190-.268 in just over 1,200 Triple-A at bats in the Nationals organization, but hasn't gotten as much as a sniff of playing in the majors. Keep in mind that in that span, the Nationals have lost first baseman Nick Johnson (repeatedly) to injuries and replaced him with re-treaded major leaguers and finally with Dmitri Young, who they signed to a two-year deal just before the trading deadline in 2007, meaning that he's signed through the 2010 season with Washington.

Yes, even with all of those injuries and late-in-their-career veterans who have manned first base for the Nationals, Larry Broadway hasn't been one of them.

There is no reason to believe that Larry Broadway would develop into an all-star caliber player, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could give the Nationals at least what they've gotten out of their fill-ins this season. Just this season, Ronnie Belliard, Aaron Boone, Kory Casto and Paul LoDuca have filled in at first base and those four have a combined mark of 16-78-.242 and that includes the respectable numbers for Belliard, who has hit 10 home runs and is hitting .271 on the season. Broadway would also give the Nationals better defense at first than any of those others have.

One reason why Broadway doesn't get a shot at the majors is that he's limited to playing just first base. While he's very strong defensively at first, he can't legitimately be considered ready to play other positions although he has played very sparingly in both left and right field this season. In fact, he's also pitched in five games for Columbus and has a 2.70 ERA in 6.2 innings of work. Maybe that will be his key to reaching the majors.

The bottom line: Since Broadway is not on the 40 man roster, his chances of getting a shot this September aren't very good. He'll be a minor league free agent after the season and it will be interesting to see if he winds up going elsewhere to look for his chance to reach the majors. He's not a stellar player and is getting a little old to be considered much of a prospect, but it would be interesting to see what Broadway could do with a shot at some playing time with a major league club that is going nowhere and doesn't have anything to lose; oh, wait, that describes the Nationals.

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