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Nats vs. Astros — 3/13/10

Mar 13, 2010, 2:59 PM EST

Photo by Rachel Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Former president George H.W. Bush (second from right) and wife Barbara (left) are here.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — What do you know, the sun is back out and baseball will be played today. After two straight washouts and some of the longest stretches of intense rain I've ever seen, the Nationals can breathe easy knowing there are no weather concerns today.

Well, actually, that's not entirely true. The system that passed through the state of Florida the last two days has left a vicious wind in its wake. So we've got a stiff, 21-mph breeze blowing out to right field today at Osceola County Stadium. Scott Olsen and Co. will have to be careful not to leave the ball up in the zone, lest they want to add to the Nationals' already unsightly spring pitching numbers.

Check back for updates throughout the day, and check out other new posts for non-game-related stuff…

Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: Astros radio via XM and MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees, Wind 21 mph out to RF

CF Nyjer Morgan
LF Willie Harris
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Chris Duncan

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  1. Anonymous - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Good, Desmond is playing shortstop today. Can't suffer the weak throwing arm named C. Guzman.

  2. Anonymous - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Oh, look. Someone bitching and moaning. How novel.

  3. peric - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    But he is right to point it out. You have to wonder if Guzman is going to be able to start the season at short with a sore arm. Its an exaggeration but its kind of like putting Jesus Flores back at catcher.Maybe the guy needs to go to Harrisburg hospital AA along with soft-tosser now AAAA pitcher Scott Olsen, CM Wang, Jordan Zimmermann, and Ryan Mattheus. Probably Flores will end up there as well.Still you have to wonder … with that new stadium they built in Harrisburg it behooves the Nats to field a better team there than they did last year.

  4. Kim - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Mark, Just wondering if you are hearing anything more about trades for starting pitching. The Tigers are throwing Robertson, Willis (gulp) & Bonderman three innings each today, all with no concrete role. Do you think there is any interest on the Nats side?

  5. Doc - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Mark, wad ya think about Morse vs. Duncan? Don't think we'll see both on the roster. Morse is more versatile in the field. His bat may be just as good.

  6. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Doc: That's going to be one of the more interesting decisions Rizzo and Riggleman will have to make. The subject came up the other day and I've been meaning to expound on it, will try to do that in the next couple days. But Riggleman did say there's a chance both guys could make the roster because of the lefty-righty difference. Obviously, they're very similar players in every other way.

  7. peric - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Both Morse and Duncan hit for power … something Harris, Bernadina, and Maxwell (potential but still not there yet) don't do. Meanwhile, it looks like Dukes was scratched in favor of Maxwell. We'll get to see Duncan and Maxwell.

  8. peric - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    Olsen, Storen, Capps, Chico and Burnett?My theory about Mr. Obvious selections for IntraSquad pitching continues to hold water.

  9. Anonymous - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    @peric – Stadium in Harrisburg is being renovated; it's not new. Also, the Nationals do not own the Senators and therefore have no business interest in "fielding a better team" there. They had the chance, for example, to defend the 2008 Carolina League title but did nothing in terms of player movement last August.

  10. JayB - Mar 13, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Mark,Does anyone in the Media (I would do it, believe me) ever going to hold Nats FO and Manager's feet to the fire about anything they say….Come on…for months they have been saying Guzman is 100% and ready to go….lots of us have been well schooled in being skeptical about what they say about injuries. This constant wishful thinking winter planning every year leads to a team that is not competitive in April and out of the race by May 15. Now on the plus side of the news….Guzman always sucked going back to 2005 in the field and never should have been given the Starting SS anyway. Omar V or Adam E should be in camp as insurance for Ian D. Nats Front office is not looking like they had any clue what they were doing this off season. Eddie G was held out as a major signing at Fan Fest…now what? Mark, please do not let them just say anything without the follow up of…."that is not consistent with what you have been telling us for the past 3 months, what happened?"

  11. peric - Mar 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    Given the amount of "renovation" they have done in Harrisburg you might as well call it new. They must have some business interest in fielding competitive teams? Look what they did in Syracuse … and they did promise Syracuse they would field a competitor and came through on the promise to the folks that own that franchise.JayB is right. Guzman was the starting shortstop on a team that LOST OVER 100 games twice in a row!!! One of the things both Rizzo/Riggleman/McCatty pointed to was poor fielding as a culprit in the poor pitching performances. They pointed to the middle infield. I'm not sure they have fixed the problem.

  12. Anonymous - Mar 13, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Mark–are you sure today's game is on XM radio? I can't find it on the XM lineup on the web.ThanksFC

  13. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 13, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    Astros media notes say game is on KTRH-AM in Houston. Don't XM and Gameday Audio always pick those up?

  14. JayB - Mar 13, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Just Gameday….XM has dropped several Nats games they could have covered….100 loss seasons have wide reaching effects…

  15. Anonymous - Mar 13, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Mark,I'm cutting and pasting from the main XM site and find only these games:Blue Jays @ Braves N/A 1:05PMET 183 Twins @ Phillies N/A 1:05PMET 184 Marlins @ Rays N/A 1:05PMET 176 Pirates @ Red Sox N/A 1:05PMET 177 Dodgers @ Diamondbacks N/A 3:05PMET 185 Rangers @ Indians N/A 3:05PMET 186 Angels @ Royals N/A 3:05PMET 178

  16. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 13, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Hmm, guess it's not on XM, only online to those who have Gameday Audio. I'll try to provide as much update as I can here for those who can't listen.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 13, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Mark– Raining and miserable here. No TV. No Radio.No baseball. You are it, brother! Waiting on your impressions of Olsen. Fingers crossed. Also, concerned that we have yet to see our starting lineup on the field all at the same time. How can they get ready for April 1 if they never play together? When will they put the team together for a dress rehearsal? The night before the play opens?

  18. JayB - Mar 13, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Anyone else tired of Maxwell? Year after year it is the same story. I thought we had these great new front office guys who could make solid baseball decisions….why is Maxwell still in camp? Same of Alberto G….really, is it that hard to see they are not ever going to be more than AAA guys?

  19. Anonymous - Mar 13, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Zimmerman hit an 0-2 pitch out to RIGHT field?Those outfielders must be staggering around out there trying to keep up with those fly balls. Hope nobody breaks an ankle.

  20. alexva - Mar 13, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    Storen was sharp, the hit was a misplayed popup.

  21. BarneyBear - Mar 13, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    JayB – Nope, its definately just you.Now shut up and quit whining.

  22. JayB - Mar 13, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    When the Nats play some decent baseball and I will get more positive….oh and nice handle BB….mine is my name…yours?

  23. Positively Half St. - Mar 13, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    JayB-I am with you on Gonzalez, and I have been fading in support for Maxwell for a while Willie Harris needs a larger role.I was hoping for a monster spring from Chris Duncan, but so far it is just monstrously bad defense and a low average. Bring on Mike Morse.I am doing my best to remember that Spring Training records are meaningless, but it is getting harder all the time.

  24. JayB - Mar 13, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    I liked Mike Morse back in September….He has to have a big role on the team. Harris is the 4th OF in my view and Morse should get time at 3rd, 1B and RF. Roger B. is the 5th OF. Time to make cuts and get rid of Duncan, Maxwell, Willie T., Alberto G., none of those guys can help this team and they are hurting moral right now.

  25. Wally - Mar 13, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Has there been any report on Olsen's radar readings?If Desmond keeps this up for another 2 weeks and doesn't win the SS job, there will be a real credibility gap with the players. He has been their best position player so far, and I don't even know who would be next

  26. Wally - Mar 13, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    Mark, I am also curious about Chico's radar readings.

  27. jeeves - Mar 13, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Oh, shut up JayB. I used to be a regular on Nat's Journal. I essentially quit blogging there, mainly because of you and your ilk. And, of course you are here too.I'll be surprised if Maxwell does not become an above average major league player.Normally, I don't get confrontational like this, especially considering you love the attention. But I guess we all have a limit.

  28. JayB - Mar 13, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    Sorry you feel that way Jeeves….but you are very off on Maxwell….he is not going to be "an above average major league player"… if you want a fantasy and sunshine blog I can not help you there.

  29. JayB - Mar 13, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    But hey Jeeves there are sites where all is rosy with this near 300 loss team over the past 3 years….I am sure you can find people who believe all is well and all our prospects as highly respected by the League…Stan's email is I think…he sounds like someone you would believe.

  30. peric - Mar 13, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    I think he never posted above 88 on radar. So, really no difference from the previous start. In this one he had only 1 ground out, 1 strike out, and the rest all fly outs. For those who consider JD Martin a "soft tosser", it seems that Scott Olsen has now permanently joined those ranks along with Matt Chico. It really doesn't look they will be the same pitchers in the end.

  31. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 13, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Olsen's fastball was clocked between 86-88, according to a scout who was in attendance today. Still trying to find out about Chico. Just posted a new, in-depth analysis of several issues that emerged today.

  32. Anonymous - Mar 13, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    JayB why cut position players now or send them to minor league camp? There are still 15-20 spring games left, so I guess the Nats should play Zim and friends every game all nine innings. Surely you have never coached any team in any sport before for it makes no sense to wear out your primary players in the pre-season. Do other teams cut the AAA fodder two weeks into spring training? No…on April 5th, your wishes will most likely come true as Alberto G. etc. won't be on the roster. Until then, the team needs warm bodies to play some innings and keep the starters fresh. Chill please. joNAThan

  33. JayB - Mar 13, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    They have plenty of none starters who will be sitting most of April on the 25 man roster. I am just asking to get ride of the ones who suck so bad they take all the energy out the the team. Danny E should be getting AB's before Alberto. Harris and Morse and Bartlett and Roger B all will be sitting in April on the Bench…play them a lot now….and bring up Chris M for a week too….there are better prospects in Minor League Camp right now than who is "just taking up air in the MLB Camp."





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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