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Thursday news and notes

Mar 25, 2010, 7:54 PM EST

VIERA, Fla. — Several quick-hit items to report in advance of tonight's game against the Tigers…

— Jim Riggleman said "it's a good bet" that Craig Stammen will make the Opening Day rotation. That's not exactly shocking news; Stammen has pitched better than just about anyone in Nationals camp and hasn't allowed an earned run over his last eight innings. But it does seem to solidify the club's starting five, which as we've been predicting for a while now would be: John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Garrett Mock, Livan Hernandez and Stammen. Now, J.D. Martin does start tonight against the Tigers and could turn some heads with a lights-out performance. And Scott Olsen is scheduled to start Sunday against the Braves, and it's possible he could suddenly get it all together and put himself back in the mix. But it seems pretty unlikely either of those things is happen to happen at this point.

— Speaking of upcoming starts, here's how the rotation is set up for the next few days … Martin tonight vs. Tigers, Lannan tomorrow vs. Cardinals, Marquis Saturday vs. Braves in one split-squad game, Stammen vs. Mets in the other split-squad game, Olsen Sunday vs. Braves, Hernandez Monday vs. Mets.

— Riggleman said no matter who ends up in the mix for the right field job, no one will hold that position down by himself. In other words, look for some kind of combo of Willie Harris, Mike Morse, WillyRead more »

  1. john d - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    can we sign dye already!!!!!!! whats the holdup? hes clearly better then any of the AAAA guys we would b throwing out there. i dont get it

  2. (j)on - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    That last quote doesn't bode well for a long term extension.

  3. JayB - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    I agree on Dunn extension. When I was at camp earlier this week I watched Dunn carefully. He has not improved much at all. He is just too slow to react to ground balls. He also has a really bad habit of cheating off the bag when he is holding a runner….I think that is going to hurt when real base stealing guys get this tip off…he will be jumping off and Reyes types will take off and you will be looking at an error and a runner on 3rd on the pick off or a easy steal.

  4. greg - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    can we not sign dye at all? i think the hold up is defense on par with putting dunn in RF. and his bat is declining, so he won't overcome the horrible defense with terrific offense.

  5. cadeck13 - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Why more platoons? Haven't we done that in the outfield and else where for several years now and why don't we realize it doesn't work to keep changing the line up???? Didn't we have more line up changes than most teams last year? How is anyone supposed to "meld" as a team if we keep sending out different players everyday??? We need to field the same team every night or close to it instead of changing the line-up…just my humble opinion!

  6. cadeck13 - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    Yeah, JayB I agree about Dunn, I didn't see any improvement at 1st base either. He booted 2 routine balls and just didn't look all that great. I still gotta wonder why an MLB player would wait until his 11th season to work on his defense – new position or not.

  7. JayB - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    I sat with him at the Season Ticket Lunch…great guy and he works hard….My heart really wants him to get an extension but it would be a huge error in judgment. He is not going to improve any at first Base and that means he is a wash at best over a replacement type. That is a waste of $10 Million a year. I hope Rizzo is smarter than that. Still while he is here I am glad to have him but longer term….not so much.

  8. bleedNATSred - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:31 PM


  9. peric - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    I had a chance to watch Jim Bowden's latest installment (week 7). He must still read these blogs … ~laughing~ changed his whole backdrop .. to early baseball geek. Still photos of his lady Joy in the montage but only the more tasteful portrait shots. Yikes!!!!That said. Probably the very best show yet. Over in Ben's game thread we were talking trades … what would you have to give up to get Ryan Zimmerman. So, I trotted out the six best prospects in the Texas system and asked Ben if he would do it. He said yeah, but he would save the game in his playstation so he wouldn't lose it. If you watch this show these guys are basically saying, that yeah, they do throw stuff like that out to the other GMs! However, its extremely hard to make a trade. An immense amount of research is apparently done … seems like today with access to so many different reports and records it may actually be harder to complete deals.But I am spoiling it … highly recommended viewing for all those interested in seeing a deal done for a right fielder. And on how players feel about being traded. The keynote message: you must have good relationships with all 29 GM's. Poisoning even one of those relationships could hurt your team.

  10. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    1.) Would dye make that big of a difference in the long-run? I think we still have to see if some of these players can get out and play at this level.2.)Dye still wouldn't make the nationals competitive enough to win the east. 3.) What happens if you move Dunn in a trade mid-season, which includes an outfield prospect? What do we do then? Bench dye? Bench Willingham? There needs to be roster flexibility with a growing organization that is committed to winning in a few years, not now. Adding dye will just block any prospects from moving into a major league spot. 4.)Give Morse a shot.

  11. Traveler8 - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    @ bleedNatsRed, gotta tell you, i am humming Deutschlande, Deutschlande, uber alles…

  12. JMW4th - Mar 25, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Dye is Adam Dunn. with half the power, a quarter of the OBP, and ALL of the bad outfield defense.Pass.

  13. court - Mar 25, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    Considering Dunn is going thru his first spring training as a 1B, I think the jury is out on whether or not he can improve defensively. You have to throw UZR out when it comes to Dunn playing 1B because the sample size is too small. I think what he lacks at this time in range, he makes up for with size and his ability to dig balls out of the dirt. If he can improve his range somewhat and become better at knocking balls down, then I think he will be well-worth a contract extension. 40-hr guys don't grow on trees. Here's hoping the on-going negotiations push him to improve – which I think he still can considering his lack of prolonged experience at the position.

  14. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    In response to the RF platoon discussion, the Nats aren't doing this because they want to. They'd prefer to have a bona fide, everyday guy out there. But at the moment, they simply don't have one, so they'll try to maximize production by rotating guys in and out based on the best matchups.

  15. Andrew - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Where is Roger Bernadina in the mix?Nice to read great stuff about a class guy like Craig Stammen!

  16. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    For all those Nats fans/posters wailing about management's decision to platoon 3 so-so players instead of finding one regular everyday Right Fielder (aka Jermaine Dye)…I must quote former Nats reliever Joey Eischen: "You're just gonna have to suck on it and like it!"





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