May 14, 2010, 4:43 PM EDT
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 »
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.
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