May 14, 2010, 4:43 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ryan Zimmerman's all-around play is just one reason the Nats are 20-15.
DENVER — Walking out of Coors Field late last night, a couple of Denver writers were raving to me about the Nationals club that had just thumped the Rockies, 14-6.
"That looks like a pretty good team," one of them said.
We started breaking down the roster and the compliments kept flying. One writer called Ryan Zimmerman "one of the 10 best players in the game right now." Another spoke glowingly of Nyjer Morgan and couldn't understand how the Pirates could have let him go last year. Another guy who has been covering baseball for decades remarked how well-liked and respected Jim Riggleman is around the sport. All agreed Mike Rizzo has done a fantastic job refashioning the roster in his image and ridding the clubhouse of Jim Bowden's underachievers.
All good points, and none of that even included mention of Ivan Rodriguez, Tyler Clippard, Matt Capps, Adam Dunn, Ian Desmond or Stephen Strasburg.
Which got me to thinking: This really is a good team. A great team, no. But a good team, yes.
We're now 35 games into the marathon. By the end of this road trip, the Nationals will have reached the quarter pole of the season. Even if they lose their next five, they'll still come home with a .500 record.
It's time to start thinking of the Nationals as legit. Are there obvious holes and problem areas? Absolutely. The bullpen is still woefully thin. Right field remains a major question mark, Roger Bernadina's recent surge notwithstanding. The rotation is relying on Livan Hernandez,Read more »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Harper wants to be a one team player
- Scherzer and Strasburg learning from each other
- Nationals' Saturday workout is a washout
- Nats sign veteran lefty Hill to minor-league deal
- Do the Nats need another left-handed bat?
- Observations from Friday's workout in Viera
- Nats sing Happy Birthday to Denard Span, with bonus Danny Espinosa videobomb
- PHOTO: Looks like Scherzer will be a Jedi for Nats' 'Star Wars Day'
- LaRoche: Nats have transformed D.C. into a baseball city
- Matt Williams sets the tone for Nats on Day 1