Skip to content

How will the roster shake out?

Jan 20, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Alberto Gonzalez could be the odd man out on the Nationals bench.

After a flurry of moves this week, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo admitted he's essentially done reshaping his roster for the winter. There could be another minor move or two between now and the time pitchers and catchers report to Viera in 26 days, and there could always be a surprise trade that comes out of nowhere. But for the most part, the Nats' 2011 roster is set.

Or, I should say, the Nationals' spring training roster is set. The 25-man roster they ultimately bring back from Viera to the District at the end of March still needs to be sorted out.

This week's changes clarified certain aspects of the roster, but they also left other aspects in flux. The Nats' starting lineup and rotation may look set, but what about their bullpen and bench? And what happens to the guys who miss the cut?

Let's take a closer look at the makeup of this roster as it currently stands, broken down into four categories: the lineup, the rotation, the bullpen and the bench…

LINEUP
There's actually not a lot of mystery left here. The starting infield is set, with Adam LaRoche, Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond and RyanRead more ยป

111 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Positively Half St. - Jan 20, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    It's funny how, regardless of who starts the year, the ultimate success of this year's team depends on whether Wang makes a big comeback and whether Maya is much better than the very small sample we saw last year. If they both turn out to be really solid, this team will be muh better than expected.

  2. Positively Half St. - Jan 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    One more thought- given the crazy proportion of our team that is represented by Scott Boras, I'd have to think that the Nats will have better luck signing better free agents for next year. It is one thing I find really heartening, honestly.

  3. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    !

  4. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    I've been struggling with what happens to Detweiler and Maya to open the season, but if they both open the season in the rotation at Syracuse and perform well, they will surely get a shot in the big league rotation at some point. Bottom line, it is depth we haven't had before.

  5. Anonymous8 - Jan 20, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Looking at the Nats abundance of guys who are left off tells me that a trade can be in the offing for prospects.My only change is hoping Detwiler has a great Spring and beats out Gaudin and Alberto Gonzalez for Stairs. I think with Bernadina, Ankiel, and Nyjer there will be 1 or 2 lefties on the bench and Stairs can't play defense so becomes very one dimensional.

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 20, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Yes, I was just thinking how well stocked our minor league staffs at Syracuse and Harrisburg are giung to be this season.There should be plenty of opportunities for the young arms to impress the ML front office and there should be plenty of pressure on the ML staff to perform.

  7. raymitten - Jan 20, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I'm with you most of the way Mark, but I think Joey Cora is going to make the lineup over Stairs. With Riggleman being double-switch boy, and Rizzo being focused on defense, I think the versitility of Cora is going to win out over the bat of Stairs. Plus, Hairston can play the outfield as well as the infield — I don't see them carrying seven different outfield options and only one extra infielder.

  8. alexva - Jan 20, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    The folks at Syracuse should be happy, a AAA rotation including Detwiler, Maya & Milone should create some buzz. Throw win Marrero, Kimball, Lombardozzi & Brown and they're getting some real prospects for a change.

  9. Anonymous8 - Jan 20, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    alexva – Agreed with the AAA, plus I am sure AA will have a few key promotions mid-season from A ball.I wonder if Craig Stammen bounces back to AAA as a reliever or a starter. Now that Rizzo has put together a true MLB roster, guys like Stammen end up being the odd guys out.What are predictions on where Wang starts out the season? AAA?

  10. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    IMO, Wang will start in extended spring training, and his rehab starts will depend on location and weather. Agree with all about Syracuse and how our farm looks soooooo much better stocked, a huge upgrade.Also, I do want Detwiler in someones rotation. DC if he earns it, or Syracuse. I do not want him in the DC bullpen in April. That's bad for everyone involved.Riggleman must be giddy with excitement, aching to get to ST!

  11. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Completing the thought, sorry, if Wang is out of options, and I *think* he is, then after his 30 days of rehab starts, he'd have to come to DC.Also, I just noted that last year, both CM Wang and Jesus Flores went onto the 60 day DL on April 4, which was opening day for MLB. So the 60 day DL must open on MLB opening day.

  12. stoner29 - Jan 20, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Does that mean we would lose Elvin Ramirez if he doesn't make the MLB roster or does he just need to stay on the 40 man roster?

  13. Mark Zuckerman - Jan 20, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    stoner29: Ramirez and Brian Broderick (the two Rule 5 picks) must either stay on the Nats' 25-man roster all season or else be offered back to their original clubs. It's not uncommon for teams to make deals with the original clubs, though, that allow them to keep the player in the minors.

  14. MikeHarris - Jan 20, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Factor in somehow the one surprise of the spring – The Dukes Factor. There's always a surprise. John Patterson cut. Elijah Dukes cut.What will that surprise be this season?

  15. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    What is it about Severino that keeps in him the conversation ahead of guys like Wilkie…simply a spot on the 40 man? On paper (especially this winter) Wilkie appears to have been much more consistent/reliable…yet clearly he seems to remain on the outside looking in with this organization…any insight on the intangibles that are not revealed through the stat lines?

  16. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Patterson's arm was gone and Dukes hates white people.There should be no surprises this Spring.

  17. SCNatsFan - Jan 20, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    The only real surprise could be letting Morgan walk, although management seems enamoured with him. I hope we can work out a deal to keep Ramirez in the minors, he sounds like a find.And one thing is for sure, if you are in Syracuse and pitching well a spot will be found for you on the big club; all 5 of these pitchers unfortunately won't have the season we all hope they will.

  18. Doc - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Good analysis Mark!Thinking that Ballystar and Ramirez will beat out Coffey and Gaudin in ST. Ramirez has some serious heat and has gotten control of his BBs. Rizzo keeps taliking about 'competition' for pitching spots—looks like he's lined that up pretty well. I still wonder how ST innings are going to be available for all the signed bodies.

  19. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    I think the Spring Surprise is conditional. I see Nyjer Morgan going if he shows any of last year's behavior or (lack of) production. In some ways the Dukes cut was an advertisement. "This could happen to you if you aren't all in for the team." Morgan ends up being the Spring Surprise and another advertisement on being a team player and good teammate if he steps out of line. He is likely on a short, short leash.fpcsteve

  20. Tcostant - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Anonymous said at 9:28am:"Patterson's arm was gone and Dukes hates white people. There should be no surprises this Spring."Me –> This is insulting. Dukes was very nice to my family and was great with my 2 year old (ag at the time). We are both white. I never got that sense at all. I'm no Dukes fan, sure wouldn't want him to date my sister based on his past, but this is just downright hateful. Shame on you.

  21. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Anonymous said… Patterson's arm was gone and Dukes hates white people.There should be no surprises this Spring. ———————This is just more stupidity about Dukes. Mike Rizzo's assistant Harolyn Cardozo (white) was like a 2nd mother to him while he was in Washington and anyone who cheered for him especially those in RF at Nats Park will tell you how great he was with the fans.No doubt he had his quirks and I am sure there were plenty of people he didn't care for of all colors of the spectrum.

  22. Not Werth It - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    I'm fine with Mark's starting rotation, I just hope their contracts don't prevent Rizzo from having a quick enough hook if any of them start to struggle (read: Marquis, Jason). With all this depth in the minors it'd be a real shame to be stuck with a gopherballer just because they're rich.I don't get why everyone wants another infielder instead of a veteran pinch hitter. How tired are you of Gonzo or even worse Nieves being our only option to come off the bench for an important late game at bat? In case of emergency, use Stairs.

  23. HHover - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Re: NyjerI know hope dies hard, but let's be real–he's going to be on the opening day roster. The Nats have no other plausible everyday CF option.

  24. Bratislava, Slovakia - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Regarding your comment that "Marquis may have been dreadful last year, but let's not kid ourselves: The guy is making $7.5 million in 2011. Unless he's hurt, he'll get a chance to start the season in the rotation. Perhaps if he continued to struggle, the Nats would cut bait sometime in midseason. But they're not going to do that now": Given both his pre-Nationals track record and his current contract, I don't dispute that Marquis deserves a fair chance in Spring Training to prove that he's fully recovered and is still able to pitch at the MLB level. But if, at the end of Spring Training, either Maya or Detwiller has proven himself to be more deserving of a rotation spot, then I hope that Rizzo and company accept that and jettison (in whatever way, shape, or form they can find — I don't care how). The $7.5 million is a sunk cost; we're not getting it back. So let's not pile up another bunch of dispiriting losses on top of the $7.5 million just because we took a reasonable chance that didn't pan out. Eating that $7.5 million would, IMHO, be just a positive an 'investment' as going out and finding a new pitcher.

  25. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Re: Nyjer–no other CF optionI guess my point is (and I didn't make it clearly enough) that the Nats released Dukes without a proven solution in RF. That is the power of the "advertisement" if you will. Your replacement doesn't have to be here for us to make a move. I don't know. The FO liking Morgan and wanting to stick with that trade probably is the best argument against my point. As you rightly note (HHover), hope dies hard.fpcsteve

  26. DFL - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Stairs will be cut. Either Cora, Gonzalez or someone not on the team will be the 25th man.

  27. Steve M. - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    SCNatsFan said… The only real surprise could be letting Morgan walk, although management seems enamoured with him.To HHover and everyone who thinks Nyjer is a lock, read this. Nyjer has to have a great Spring because if he is regressing, he is worthless based on 2010's stats. Read this from Ben Goessling:http://www.masnsports.com/the_goessling_game/2011/01/nationals-need-nyjer-morgan-to-rebound-in-2011.htmlBen claims some more Nyjer stats and in the comment section under my comment Ben says that Nyjer's 17 steals didn't even include the additional pickoffs:Every time I post this stat, people think I'm double-counting. I'm not. He was caught stealing 17 times, and picked off another 11. Of those 11, he was picked off and then caught stealing four times, but those are included in the 11. But the pickoffs are totally separate from the 17 times caught stealing.BenSo I think with what I think Ben said there were 17 caught stealings of which 4 were classified as pickoffs so with the 11 pickoffs Nyjer was taken off base 24 times and then 7 bad baserunning outs also took him off the basepaths according to Ben so that is 31 times he removed himself from his On Base Percentage. If I adjust his OBP to take off the 31 outs he created with bad baserunning/steals/pickoffs, then Nyjer stayed on base at a .263 pace in 2010!The other surprise could be any day with Justin Maxwell when he is DFA'd. When J.D. Martin was cut, I couldn't believe it didn't say Justin Maxwell as the 1st guy out the door.

  28. Mr. NATural - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    When I read this (excellent) column, I think back to all the frustrating reasons we lost games last year, and see if the 2011 team should improve on those things. I am encouraged. Here's a few of those reasons and why I'm hopeful:Bench: it was pathetic last year. Gonzo set some kind of record for ABs without an RBI. JMax, Willie–failure game after game. We'll be stronger.Catcher: Last year all of us looked at the lineup and said OK tonight we either have a good defensive catcher who can hit (Pudge), or a good defensive catcher who cannot hit (Nieves). This year we'll have a good defensive catcher who can hit ever game of the year. Big improvement.Baserunning: Many frustrations await any fan who cheers for Nyjer; he has never been, and will never be, a good baserunner. Setting that aside, the team's speed in the 30 yard dash (around 90 feet) is way better than last year. Just subtracting Dunn from this computation increases team speed by 25 percent! Bernie, Werth, Espinosa, Desmond can all fly; Zimm is simply an excellent baserunner. Will be more fun and less frustrating for Nats fans in 2011.Defense: Huge frustration area last year. We made our pitchers get 31 or 32 outs night after night. People have made huge logical error in comparing Dunn's and Laroche's fielding percentages. Dunn just got to so FEW balls to his left and right–they never made it into his padded percentage.Pitching and Relief: Better this year; deeper. Less frustration.Finally, two last areas of maximum frustration:Inability to get down sacrifice bunts. No idea if this will improve. Watch a film of Strasburg trying to sac bunt last year–his feet are moving so much it looks like he's walking on hot coals. Something is wrong in the coaching department when the entire pitching staff of a team flails and fails in this area.Finally: Inability to turn double plays. Gawd this frustrated me, a frustrated former shortstop. If we got the lead runner, we seemed happy; another 4-out inning for our pitcher. My guess is we turned 60 percent of the DP's we should have. Zimm/Desi/Espi/Laroche–will be much better, less frustration in 2011.Overall? Less fan frustration, more wins in 2011.

  29. markfd - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Mark,Thanks for the great rundown. I agree with you on almost every point. I think the long reliever slot is a key decision for Rizzo and crew and I think it will not be decided until Spring Training is almost over, however, I will provide my opinion now and I think at least going into Spring Training the last slot in the bullpen is a two man race – Stammen vs. Gaudin. I think Ballester will start the year at AAA but will come up whenever there is a bulpen meltdown (there always seems to be one).BTW, LOVE the Hairston signing.

  30. Wally - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    I guess that I have a different opinion than most of these posts on two points.Re: Marquis, forget his contract, he still deserves to be placed in the starting rotation heading into spring training. He was hurt last year; when he got healthy, he pitched in line with his history and the expectations that we had for him going into the season. You can't project his performance from when he was injured. He does not have the upside of Maya and Detwiler, but he has a long history of average MLB pitching and those guys have to improve from what they have done in the past to reach that level. If they outperform him, fine, but they need to earn it, and more than in ST. Or if you can trade him for value, ok fine, but the idea of just discarding him because he was horrible last year while hurt seems like a bad decision. And that is without giving any thought to his sunk contract cost.And Morgan, even with his lowlights, he still played above average defense last year at the 2d hardest position on the field. We have no one else who can realistically be projected to offer that. Not Bernie, not Werth. As for hitting, yes a bad year, but he also had a better year in his past, and there is some reason to hope for a rebound (as some of the 'experts' are predicting). I would very much have liked to see better alternatives acquired this offseason, but with the roster as it stands, it seems clear to me that each of those guys are the best options to start off in those positions. The idea of just cutting losses and moving on doesn't make sense to me. I think that Rizzo cut Dukes primarily because he didn't think that he was a good player, or the best option. Turned out he was right; the Bernie/Morse platoon produced more than Dukes would have, I think.

  31. HHover - Jan 20, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Anon @ 10:31 – Re: replacing Dukes – Bernadina wasn't a "proven" replacement, but he was at least plausible and worth a shot, given his time in the minors and (very) limited MLB experience. I don't see anyone similarly plausible or worth a shot at CF now in the minors.Steve M My answer to you is the same. You're not going to hear me defend Morgan's 2010 performance, and that's why you and I and anon @ 10:31 and so many others hope he'll disappear. But you can't beat something with nothing. If Morgan goes, who becomes the everyday CF? Until there's an answer to that, he stays.I'd also be careful about over-estimating the extent to which management is really enamored with Njyer. They saw the same crappy performance we did, but they don't see a replacement for him. And knowing they have to play him, they don't have the freedom we do to run around bad-mouthing him.

  32. Steve M. - Jan 20, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    HHover – I agree with your statement but I believe Nyjer shouldn't be playing on games vs. LH started pitching regardless of all other factors if he makes the Opening Day roster. He is very much like Ankiel when it comes to hitting LH pitchers so I would play Werth in CF, Morse in RF, and Hairston in LF on days vs. LH pitchers.Next, I believe Nyjer has to lose the Tony Plush greenlight to steal. When you have extra base guys that can score you with a double when you are on 1st, stay on base, so Nyjer should only steal when the 3rd base coach gives the steal sign. MarkFD – I think for long relief it is Detwiler vs. Stammen vs. Gaudin. Stammen and Gaudin are RH so I go with Detwiler plus Detwiler had a 0.00 ERA out of the 'pen last year. That is where I think he is destined to be for now. I know everyone wants him to be a starter, I just don't see it.MrNATural – Yah, it looked sloppy last year but the stats would disagree about Double Plays on defense as the Nats were in the upper half of all teams last year. Hard to believe, huh?MrNATural – Sacrifice bunts. The team regressed last year. It was a point of emphasis from the early days of the Acta administration where it was the worst in the NL in 2008. Got better in 2009 and as you said, real bad last year.

  33. Doc - Jan 20, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    @ Mr. NATural: Not only the poor bunting skills, but Nyj's baserunning blunders should be rightly laid at the feet of the coaches and manager. There is no real excuse for a MLB player making such a feeble show of basic skills. In any other professional sport, the player would be history!

  34. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Ben Goessling just joined in the fun with his 25 man prediction. He has Alberto Gonzalez and Collin Balester in and Stairs and Gaudin out.http://www.masnsports.com/the_goessling_game/2011/01/an-early-guess-at-the-nationals-25-man-roster.html

  35. Steve M. - Jan 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Doc said… @ Mr. NATural: Not only the poor bunting skills, but Nyj's baserunning blunders should be rightly laid at the feet of the coaches and manager. There is no real excuse for a MLB player making such a feeble show of basic skills. In any other professional sport, the player would be history! Doc – Well said! An effective GM/Manager combo would have seen what everyone else saw in Nyjer and laid down the law. Nyjer appears to be "Nyjer being Nyjer" and he isn't the superstar he thinks he is. This guy just seems to be living in another world.The Grand Illusion?

  36. Cnote - Jan 20, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Guessing the pitchers is a crap shoot, as it's assuming that all will be healthy enough to pitch. My bet is that one of the starters (Marquis, Maya, or Detwiler) will have a case of early season tendonitis and join Wang on the DL. And at least one of the bullpen arms will open on the DL, then one or two will soon be gone for ineffectiveness.

  37. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Altho his second half performance at the plate was less than stellar, Bernadina is perfectly capable of holding his own with his glove in CF. So I certainly wouldn't concede the job to Nyjer based on fielding alone. For all the improvement, the Nats could still use a legit lead-off hitter.

  38. dlb423 - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    A couple of thoughts:There's no way Coffey doesn't come north with the team. This guy is a proven MLB reliever. He's not going to get "beat out" by someone else in ST.Being in the top 1/2 of the league in DPs doesn't mean the Nats are above average at turning them. The first determinant of DP totals is how many runners your pitchers put on base. I think the Nats were pretty highly ranked there. Kennedy, etc. did not turn DPs well. A full season of Espinosa, Hairston, and Gonzalez at 2B should be much better.

  39. DFL - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Looking further ahead, certain players will probably not be on the team after the trading deadline of July 31. Rodriguez and Hernandez will be traded to a contender. Ankiel and Morgan might be waived. Gonzalez and Cora might be shuttled back and forth from Syracuse or one or both might be dropped. If offered a deal he couldn't refuse, Rizzo might trade Marquis and Lannan, especially if the other starters come through and Strasburg makes great progress.

  40. Diz - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    My take on Marquis is that he'll come back to his pre-injury levels and will be extremely effective for us. He always pitches better in the first half of the season, which is great, since his value will be high when we trade him at the deadline for prospects. By that time, either Det, Maya, or Wang will be ready to come up and fill his roster spot.In order to get the value for Jason, Riggs has to let him pitch every 5th day the first three months of the season. I think that's been Rizzo's plan since the end of last year.

  41. Pilchard - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    One possible surprise is that Danny Espinosa could start the season (or spend part of the season) in AAA. Danny had some great games in September, but he also hit .214 with a .277 OBP and 30Ks in 103 ABs. While he is the future, he may still need some seasoning before playing every day at the big league level. Would love for Danny to rake from the start of Spring Training, but if he struggles, the Nats won't hesitate to send him down to work out the kinks. Also, I understand the assumption that Wang will not be ready by April (even with Rizzo's comments to the contrary), but if Wang shows that he is ready coming out of Spring Training (and if there are no injuries, two big "ifs"), the Nats may need to make a move (the same situation could arise with Maya).

  42. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Cnote, clearly you're right. Very often these competitions work themselves out via injury.

  43. Jimmy - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Since everyone thinks we have a surplus of pitchers now, why don't we trade Lannan and Morgan to the Yankess for Gardner. Our CF problem would be solved and we get rid of a head case in Nyger, plus Gardner would be just as good or better in the lead-off spot.

  44. Mr. NATural - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Someone said Pudge will be traded before 31 July. Any chance we can keep him here for his 3000th hit?I think that would be great for the Nationals, our history, for DC, and for attendance. Any chance?

  45. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    It would be great if Stairs made the team for no other reason than those cool "In Case of Emergency, Use Stairs" shirts might go on sale at Nats Park. It would also be fun, at least for a while, keeping track of how many times our TV crew referred to Stairs as a "professional hitter".

  46. NatinBeantown - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    I think everyone agrees that the biggest potential difference between a potential 70-75 win season and a 80+ win season is Morgan rebounding and becoming what he can easily be: a rangy CF, a better leadoff hitter and a better baserunner. I think Hairston taking 150 AB's against LHP will improve Morgan's OBP by 40 points alone.What's the #2 most important development?A) Bernardina/Morse/Ankiel replicating Hammer's 2010 first half?B) Marquis pitching 4.00 ERA and .500 W-L?C) Maya or Wang emerging?D) Other?

  47. Peyton Dowdy - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Jimmy, why would the Yankees do that? Gardner is heads and shoulders above Nyjer. Our garbage is not going to get a player like Gardner from an organization like the Yankees.Lannan also doesn't translate into much of an upgrade over what the Yankees already have. I think he would get shredded in the AL East.Gardner was worth 5.4 WAR last season, only Zimmerman was worth more than that on the Nats.

  48. Steve M. - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Mr. Natural – Unfortunately Pudge won't get 3,000 this year even if you say he can replicate his 2010 stats. He's at 2,817 now and most likely won't get 100 hits in 2011.As much as I would like to see it in Washington, I just don't see it happening.

  49. Steve M. - Jan 20, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Peyton Dowdy, I think Jimmy and the rest of us are dreaming……The good news is the farm system has 2 guys in Corey Brown and Eury Perez who really need to step up. The other choice would be to trade John Lannan to the Royals straight up for Lorenzo Cain who could start on Opening Day in CF.

  50. N. Cognito - Jan 20, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Steve M. said… "Unfortunately Pudge won't get 3,000 this year even if you say he can replicate his 2010 stats. He's at 2,817 now and most likely won't get 100 hits in 2011."He might not reach 3000 hits at all. He is rapidly declining and I see a .150 BA before he gets to 3000.

  51. SonnyG10 - Jan 20, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    I've been hopeful for Detwiler ever since he was drafted and I'm still rooting for him to become a big part of our rotation, but he must earn it. I hope he is not going to be injury prone since he throws across his body. Only time will tell.

  52. alexva - Jan 20, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    SonnyG – then I would guess that you've been disappointed in the way they have handled him. I tend to root for most all home grown prospects and I hope he gets it this year. I hope he goes to Syracuse, gets 25 starts every 5th day and develops the pitch command he has been missing.

  53. SonnyG10 - Jan 20, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    alexva, yes you are correct and I agree that 25 starts in Syracuse would be a good place for him. At this point I would rather not see him relagated to the bullpen. We need a left-hander who is not a soft tosser and I want to see Ross fill that role. In any case I really respect and like Mike Rizzo and I trust his judgement as to what's best for our Nats.

  54. Doc - Jan 20, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    As Mark opined way back when, Pudge starts the MLB season, and Flores starts at Syracuse. Somewhere towards the middle of the season, Pudge takes the last year of his 2-year contract to a pennant contender, and Flores joins Ramos on the Nats. Maybe the best catching duo in baseball, and something of which the Nats fans can be super proud!It'd be nice to see Pudge get his 3,000th hit with our Nats, but it isn't gonna happen that way. He'd make a great coach/manager some day.

  55. JD - Jan 20, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Doc, cmon, Pudge to a pennant contender? have you noticed that he has been retired for 3 years but no one has had the heart to tell him?

  56. Peyton Dowdy - Jan 20, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Again, Steve M, I don't think Lannan would have enough value to get that done. That would mean the Royals traded Greinke for Escobar 2 minor leagues and John Lannan. I think people are highly overrating Lannan on the trade market. Watch and see what the Tigers get back for Galarraga and MAYBE add a little to that. That is probably what the Nats would get for Lannan.

  57. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    who bats leadoff if Nyjer is let go?

  58. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jan 20, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    I know the minors is not the focus of your work but what is the outfield situtation given that Burgess is now out of the picture and we picked up some legitimate AAA OFs like Van Every and Brown. I am especially interested in depth in LF, where we do not have any ONE candidate for even the major league spot? Thanks!

  59. Peyton Dowdy - Jan 20, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Harper_ROY, The outfield depth appears to be relatively young with Destin Hood, Eury Perez, JP Ramirez, Harper. They also brought in Jeff Frazier who hit 25 HRs for AAA Toledo last season. He isn't a prospect but he is also only 28 so he isn't completely worthless.National's Prospects has a nice scouting report/watch list for each position up at the link below. You might have to copy and paste it to your browser.http://nationalsprospects.com/watch-list-and-player-reports/

  60. Mark Zuckerman - Jan 20, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Harper_ROY_2012 and Peyton Dowdy: I'd also point out that the Nats don't really need to be concerned with stockpiling corner outfield prospects right now. Jayson Werth is signed for seven years. And a certain No. 1 draft pick I think you've heard of figures to start a lengthy big-league career sometime in 2012 or 2013.I think left and right field are pretty much locked up for a while.

  61. Pilchard - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Yes, Harper and Werth will likely make corner OF a non-priority for awhile. Among the remaining prospects, Destin Hood probably ranks highest on the projection meter. Hood was a 2nd round pick in 2008, and was signed away from Bama football commitment (so, he is a very good athlete). He and Eury Perez have advanced together over the past couple of seasons, and Hood will play in Potomac this year. Hood is only 20, and if develops the power that the scouts project (he hit only 5 homers last year, but is 6-1 225), he could be an intriguing corner OF possility in 2013.

  62. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    I am especially interested in depth in LF, where we do not have any ONE candidate for even the major league spot? Thanks!I think left and right field are pretty much locked up for a while.I refer you to the right of this web page and your browser: http://nationalsprospects.com/watch-list-and-player-reportsThis list still includes Burgess which makes it easier in a way. You subtract him and move the rest up:Corey Brown (five-tool)Bryce Harper (five-tool)Chris Curran (a top fielding prospect)JP Ramirez (a top hitting prospect)Eury Perez Destin HoodAfter that its guys who missed a year or drafted in 2010.Jeff Frazier constitutes improved AAA veteran depth over the last fiveat least. As with Mike Morse you never know …

  63. mockcarr - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Detwiler says he was throwing across his body because his hip problem made his normal delivery uncomfortable.

  64. DFL - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Pilchard, at 21, Hood's power may improve greatly with age. Think about this. Jeff Bagwell hit 6 home runs in 1 1/2 minor league seasons. And look what he did. Who knows, maybe Hood or Harper will play centerfield in 2013 and the other leftfield.

  65. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    There's also a guy in Harrisburg that Espinosa happened to mention named Jesus Valdez.

  66. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    And look what he did. Who knows, maybe Hood or Harper will play centerfield in 2013 and the other leftfield.Unlike Perez, Hood failed to make the top 10 or even top 20 prospect lists. There's a reason. Corey Brown is in AAA and just about ready. He is a five-tool outfielder who can play every outfield position. He bats and throws left. Bryce Harper might be next up and should feature the same ability both at bat and in the field.Hood will get his chance in Potomac (Woodbridge) this year. He now has more competition there than ever before: Harper, Ramirez, Perez, Bloxom … he might not make it.

  67. Drew8 - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    One of the encouraging things about the roster overhaul is that, for once, we have plausible pinch hitters.How many times in recent years did the Nats come up in late-inning situations and send to the plate guys like Ryan Langerhans, JMAX, Will (Who?) Nieves and Alex (Why?) Cintron.Seems that Morse, Stairs, Hairston, Ankiel give the Nats a fighting chance with the game on the line.

  68. Sunshine_Bobbyt_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    Anonymous 12:50 pm gets the Post of the Day, and perhaps the Idea of the Year for this:It would be great if Stairs made the team for no other reason than those cool "In Case of Emergency, Use Stairs" shirts might go on sale at Nats Park. For some reason, I am extremely pumped about the prospects of this 25-man, and the work Rizzo has done retooling the club. He may have struck out on his No. 1, but there are enough proven major league arms to make a decent rotation. And if Zimm'nn this year and SS next can perform post-TJ as we think they can, this could be a top-flight rotation.I agree with those who are predicting a trade coming. I think Galarraga could be heading this way. I also think we could package Lannan, Storen, an excess middle infielder or two and come up with a decent No. 1 or 2 hurler.At least we're not watching D-Cab throw 56-foot sliders in front of Wil "Jaroslav Halak" Nieves any more? Who? Wil "Jaroslav Halak" Nieves.

  69. mockcarr - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    I think Lannan stands to benefit the most from better infield defense – they should not be in a hurry to move him – he has a lot more value to the Nats than what they would likely get trading him. As deep as the pitching looks, it'll all be needed.

  70. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Some Nats fans must drink a lot more kool-aid than I do. I can't see Chien-Ming Wang coming back in ST 2011 and beating out anyone for a starting job and then pitching 200 innings. I think he, like similar pitcher Ryan Mattheus, might eventually be used in the bullpen … somewhere … if not with the Nats. Not after a 2+ year layoff from all pitching and that sort of injury. He is coming to spring training to prove he is still viable and worth taking a flyer on … he has no chance at winning a slot in the rotation of this team. Now, the 2008 Bowden creation? Perhaps. Not now. I cannot see Livan Hernandez as the #1 slot guy on any team Rizzo is GM of. Yes, he deserves accolades for his efforts and for his contribution to this franchise. But he is not a #1 pitcher on any major league club. He is at best a #5 innings eater. He might pitch on opening day … but after that … John Lannan because of his soft speed pitches also falls in this category. And Jason Marquis cannot be relied upon to produce even as a #4 starter. Its between the prospects and Gorzelanny. None of the prospects have ever pitched more than 120-140 innings in the majors. Zimmermann, Mock, Detwiler are returning from injuries. Maya is the only other possibility I can see. Broderick? Please. It sure looks like another starting pitcher is needed before the Nats break camp and head north. I still think there is going to be at least one more trade.

  71. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    I don't understand why we would use one of our bench spots on Stairs.Yes, he's left handed. But he's turning 43 years old before spring training begins.Over the past 2 years, he's 43 for 202, an avg of .213. And in those 202 AB's he's got 63 strikeouts. He managed a base hit 21.3% of the time, and a strikeout 31.2% of the time!Moreover, he's worthless to us in the field, and last I checked, we played in the National League, where all managers often use of most or all of their bench in tight games, the only games where we'd potentially need his bat.I hope Rizzo and Riggleman recognize what a handicap it would be to carry Stairs and use that last bench spot on Gonzalez or Cora or heck, even JMax. (Yes, I am THAT opposed to Stairs). Carrying Stairs just cause you hope he can hit .230 against righties just doesn't make sense.

  72. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    It's Rizzo who named Wang a possibility, not us fans/kool-aid drinkers, as we've all read/heard from multiple sources that Wang wouldn't be MLB ready till late May the earliest. In fact, I'm really puzzled why Rizzo said that as he's always a straight shooter and prematurely hyping Wang did him/team no good. Perhaps just to hint to a couple of pitchers to come to ST in a better shape? But I doubt it.

  73. Peyton Dowdy - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Sunderland, you left out some key stats when talking about Stairs. Over that same time period he has drawn 34 walks which gives him an OBP of .333. Not to mention in the 240 plate appearances he has hit 11 home runs. His OPS was .781 and his ISO was .242 last season. Those numbers all say he is a very good bat to have coming off the bench. He strikes out a lot because he takes an aggressive approach as a PH. If we have Morse, Ankiel and Hairston on the bench there is probably enough versatility between them to carry Stairs and let him swing for the fences as a PH.

  74. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    Gallaraga doesn't do nothing for me. He's never been able to get lefties out (.272 BAA lifetime). His K's/9 is regressing, down to about 4.5/9 last year. He doesn't throw very hard, fastball topping at usually 92 (compared to mine at 42). There's no point in working out a trade for guy, and paying his $2M+, unless you're gonna give him the ball every 5th day. Out of Livo, Marquis, Lannan, Gorzelanny and Zimmermann, who you gonna push down? Are you so sure that Gallaraga is better than one or more of them that you're willing to give up some prospects (probably not much though), shell out $2M, and either send one of those guys down or expose them to waivers?(Cause it's not like any of them would fetch much in trade at this point)

  75. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    4 weeks from tomorrow, I'll be in Viera at the workout and get to watch them sort all this out.I can't wait.

  76. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Peyton, fair enough, but I'd argue that walks for a pinch hitter like Stairs are pretty worthless (just like many of Dunn's walks were worthless).OBP is important for top of the order guys. For middle of the order guys, much less so. You want hits and power. Stairs would not likely be leading off an inning too often. If he walks, you send in someone to run for him, so that PA costs you two of your bench spots?And keeping Stairs means the only bench guys who can play IF are Gonzalez/Cora and maybe Morse at 1B? If he hit .300 and slugged .480, it might be worth it. But with what you can reasonably expect from him, not worth it at all.2010 RISP Stairs hit .200, but he walked often, to an OBP of .382. You carrying that guy to come up with guys on base and take a walk?

  77. Peyton Dowdy - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Now that one I completely agree with you on Sunderland. Galarraga is probably not any better than the guys we have. While pitching inventory is fantastic to have, it isn't when they are out of options.If by some freakish incident Rizzo could trade Lannan for a RH hitting CFer then maybe Galarraga makes sense, but not at this point.

  78. Peyton Dowdy - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Also good points. I guess if you are going to keep one of Gonzo or Cora I would take Cora for the LH "bat." I think I just like Stairs cus of the whole quote about getting his a** hammered from when he hit the HR for the Phillies in the playoffs a couple years ago.I think you try to flip Gonzo for something and keep Cora if you want another fielder.Speaking of Stairs, found this interesting article on the coolest and lamest homerun hitters ever. Pretty amusing.http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-coolest-and-dullest-homer-hitters-ever/

  79. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    I'm really puzzled why Rizzo said that as he's always a straight shooter and prematurely hyping Wang did him/team no good. Perhaps just to hint to a couple of pitchers to come to ST in a better shape? But I doubt it.My take is different. Rizzo made a point of saying Wang was in preparation mode, not rehabilitation mode. Yet both 'double switch' Riggleman AND Wang himself felt he would be ready much before May?Who do you believe? Both. I believe Rizzo is laying down the law. Wang has to show him something, enough to continue to take that flier to let him get his feet under him … or else its bye bye Wang before March 29th and no big pay checks.The kool-aid drinking is associated with just plain craziness. People believing this is the Wang from 2008. The guy has not pitched in over 2 years! He has just finished rehabbing from a very serious and often career ending injury to his pitching shoulder. He should probably start in the minors … and then the bullpen … not taking the ball every fifth day.And you are actually going to stand there and tell me you think that guy could beat out a decent left handed starter like Gorzelanny for a spot on the roster. By believing that you are basically admitting that the LSD in your kool-aid is a quadruple by-pass dose!Just plain nuts!

  80. Doc - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Some interesting stats, on all sides, on Stairs. Just for old times sake, I'd like to see him as a former Expo and Canadian. But for issues of competition, the Nats need to have the luxury of balancing out what Stairs does as a bat off the bench, with whatever the other benchies can do in the field and at bat.

  81. Sunderland - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    Anon 4:25, I'm with you. I can't believe Wang will pitch prior to May. Or that he could pitch even 80 innings this year, or be half as good as the guy he's touted to be.And your point that Rizzo might cut his losses prior to the season opening is a good one.

  82. Peyton Dowdy - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Very true on cutting Wang prior to the start of the season. If they do that they would only be on the hook for a pro rated version of his salary. If the guy isn't ready to pitch by spring training, what is the logic of thinking he will ever pitch again? He had ALL of last off season and season to get ready to pitch and threw 1 inning. If he was ready to throw 1 inning then, why wouldn't he be ready now unless he had a setback?

  83. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Wang's signed for $1MM I believe. How much could Rizzo save to cut him by 3/29? $750K? Not that I'd ever piss off $750K I just don't see this is the intention/motivation. Unless he's not impressed with Wang's work ethic, but then why re-sign him in the first place and talk it up for potential failure? No one criticizes him for trying to hit the Wang jackpot for the second time, as we all know the risks. He didn't even have to mention Wang's name and I doubt anyone would've asked.

  84. Peyton Dowdy - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    "No one criticizes him for trying to hit the Wang jackpot for the second time, as we all know the risks."Priceless.

  85. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    BTW Wang's a one-trick-pony sinker-baller. Any successful story for a sinker-baller coming out of the bullpen?

  86. Anonymous8 - Jan 20, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    Peyton Dowdy said… Again, Steve M, I don't think Lannan would have enough value to get that done. That would mean the Royals traded Greinke for Escobar 2 minor leagues and John Lannan. I think people are highly overrating Lannan on the trade market. Watch and see what the Tigers get back for Galarraga and MAYBE add a little to that. That is probably what the Nats would get for Lannan.========================== What the Gorzelanny trade taught me was that teams performing under .500 and smaller market teams will trade prospects for starting pitching and Gorzelanny proved that in 3 prospects.Some in NatsTown have stated the Nats overpaid for Gorzelanny and some say he is no better than Lannan. The Royals may not do Lannan for LCain straight up but maybe they do it with Lannan and Nyjer.Again, I like the theme here, "We can dream"!

  87. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    As far as I am concerned, the sure players on opening day are Desmond (SS), Danny (2B), Ryan (3B), Adam (1B), Jayson (RF), Nyjer (CF), Pudge (C), Livan – Lannan – Jordan – Tom G. (SP), Drew – Sean – Tyler – Doug (RP), Morse – Ankiel (bench). Let spring training decide rest of the spots. Hairston, Coffey, Ramos, Marquis, etc should be able to win their respective (and 'deserved') place on the roster.

  88. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Unless he's not impressed with Wang's work ethic, but then why re-sign him in the first place and talk it up for potential failure? No one criticizes him for trying to hit the Wang jackpot for the second time, as we all know the risks. He didn't even have to mention Wang's name and I doubt anyone would've asked.Well, there are fans in Taipei who think Wang will be pitching in the world series any second now. If Wang shows he can't pitch at major league levels, at least for now. Of course Rizzo will release him before the March 29th deadline. What are you thinking? It costs more than the $750K? He has to have scouts and coaches watch and work with him. He needs translators. He needs to push another prospect with some potential out of his slot in a minor league rotation to let him pitch. Its an expense that at some point you have to call it a day on and focus on the many other pitchers Rizzo has and will bring in.Wang has plenty of money in his pocket from last year. There should be enough for him to continue his rehabilitation if he so chooses … but he will know the odds are heavily against him ever returning to the majors. The minors perhaps … overseas? Maybe …

  89. SonnyG10 - Jan 20, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    mockcarr said… "Detwiler says he was throwing across his body because his hip problem made his normal delivery uncomfortable."I had never heard this. This would mean that he had the hip problem coming out of college, because he was throwing across his body when he first was drafted by the Nationals. If his hip is fixed now and totally healed, maybe he is ready to make some big progress.

  90. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    "Wang's signed for $1MM I believe. How much could Rizzo save to cut him by 3/29? $750K?"Nope. Wang signed a free agent contract, not an arbitration contract like Patterson, Hill, etc, did. Wang's money is all guaranteed even if they cut him the day after he signed.

  91. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Nope. Wang signed a free agent contract, not an arbitration contract like Patterson, Hill, etc, did. Wang's money is all guaranteed even if they cut him the day after he signed.Perhaps, or perhaps there are clauses in his contract about innings pitched? Showing up ready to go for Spring Training? I find it hard to believe that its all guaranteed after last year.

  92. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    Believe it. The $1M base amount is guaranteed. Incentives over and above that of course have to be earned to be paid. Look at past examples like Dmitri Young, Guzman, Kearns, etc, who would have had to have been paid in full even if they'd been cut early for being out of shape or not performing or whatever.

  93. BinM - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    And the last three posts are why an 'Anonymous' posting handle is crazy – It's like watching a schizophrenic having an argument with one of their other personalities.

  94. Theophilus - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    The Nats are paying Gorzelanny 2.1 MM, for Pete's sake. One MM for Wang if he can approach his previous form is worth waiting for. At his best, he could get three outs (on three ground balls) faster than anyone in baseball.

  95. Jack - Jan 21, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    If Antonelli is givin a shot he is going to open alot of eyes. He is healthy and is going to put up some exciting numbers what ever level the Nationals put him

  96. Rob Dibble's Ghost - Jan 21, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Any update on a new radio deal for the coming season? There was a rumor earlier this month that WFED would remain the flagship station(s), but WJFK would also carry the games, as an affiliate station. That would be a win-win for all involved. But Bonneville just sold their Washington stations, which include WTOP, WFED and whatever 1050AM is, to Hubbard. Word is the Nats and Bonneville always had a great relationship, so with Bonneville out of the picture, it'll be interesting to see what happens…

  97. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    At his best, he could get three outs (on three ground balls) faster than anyone in baseball.And at worst:1 W 6 losses: ERA 9.64, WHIP 2.024, 29K's, 19 BB's, 7 home runs in 12 games and 42 innings. Worst than Garret Mock. The year before this debacle is likely when the injury first occurred and he only pitched 95 innings against a 4.07 ERA and a 1.316 WHIP. So, in essence Chien-Ming Wang has not been an effective starter for any major league team for 3 years. That is a very long time in baseball.

  98. TimDz - Jan 21, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    All this talk about Wang getting cut is going to give me some serious nightmares…Somewhere, John Bobbitt is grimacing…

  99. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    If you truly believe Rizzo is giving Wang the ST ultimatum through the media, less than 30 days after giving him an incentive laden contract, while the only 'new development' is Wang recently told Taiwanese media he wouldn't be MLB ready till late May, then I say there's serious mis-communication and mis-understanding between the two camps about the status of Wang, and Rizzo is showing signs of buyer's remorse.

  100. Andrew - Jan 21, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    Just saw the MLB Network Hot Stove report on the Nationals. Larry Bowa and Ken Rosenthal project the Nats in 4th place ahead of the Mets!

  101. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2011 at 4:01 AM

    If you truly believe Rizzo is giving Wang the ST ultimatum through the media, less than 30 days after giving him an incentive laden contract, while the only 'new development' is Wang recently told Taiwanese media he wouldn't be MLB ready till late May,Rizzo said almost precisely the same last year. That Wang would pitch at some point, and start in games in the major during the 2010 season. Pretty much the entire season. While Riggleman and most of the coaches seemed dubious to the point of dismissal. You tell me what that means? The difference this year? "Wang is not in rehab mode he is in preparation mode getting for spring training". Yet, again both Wang AND Riggleman said they probably wouldn't see Wang before May. I sincerely doubt that Rizzo and Riggleman will force Wang or any other pitcher to pitch when they aren't ready … creating injury as when Tracy overused Gorzelanny instead of shutting him down because he had never pitched 140 innings much less 200. The fans in the Bucs dugout were even predicting a sore arm and limited innings the following season. Which did happen. So, yeah there appears to be a communication problem probably between Wang's agent Nero and Rizzo. Not just now but last year. Rizzo has to respond to that. If Wang isn't ready to show that he's made significant progress (and that does not mean jumping right into the rotation and pitching) I believe he Rizzo will cut his losses. You justcan't keep lying to the guy.

  102. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    I do take the point, but would note that multiple personality disorder is not the same thing as schizophrenia (and neither is particularly comical, imo).—BinM said… And the last three posts are why an 'Anonymous' posting handle is crazy – It's like watching a schizophrenic having an argument with one of their other personalities. January 20, 2011 7:43 PM

  103. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 21, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    This is almost a rehash of the "bi-polar" thread of 2 weeks ago.

  104. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Yes, and perhaps I should not have commented about it at all. It's partly that I've seen firsthand how a brain disorder can have a negative impact on a person's quality of life. Also, finding the right terminology is important in my line of work. I realize that it's probably a lost cause, as such language being used for dramatic/comic effect is quite common generally.

  105. JD - Jan 21, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    natsfan1a, I can't agree with you more. I was also very upset when people here were calling Greinke a nutcase etc. when in fact he suffered from an anxiety disorder; people should should really refrain from amateur medical diagnosis unless they are in the profession and are intimately familiar with the case they are discussing. As far as Wang; what's the point of this back and forth until we see how it shakes out? I mean at $1 mil a year it's a great gamble because you are talking about a pitcher who was in the Cy young discussion when he was healthy. Rizzo knows the odds are long but the upside makes it a worth while gamble. Other teams are also taking fliers on Webb, Capuano, Francis, Sheets etc. and at higher prices.

  106. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    "Also, finding the right terminology is important in my line of work. I realize that it's probably a lost cause, as such language being used for dramatic/comic effect is quite common generally."Thanks, natsfan1a. I was part of the "bi-polar thread" two weeks ago, and I haven't changed my mind about the reckless and careless use of terms that describe mental diseases. Those conditions are serious and painful for both individuals and their families. I have read this blog enough to know that the people who post here are capable of finding better ways of making their points that don't end up hurting others. You are right; our words do matter.fpcsteve

  107. TimDz - Jan 21, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Two weeks? Can I come out of the corner now?

  108. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Heck yes, TimDz. Come on out! Didn't realize that you'd been there all this time. You didn't need to be, imo. :-)

  109. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    To clarify, my intent was not to shame anyone specifically, but more generally to raise consciousness. (Now I'll go stand in the corner for excessive touchy-feely commentary on a sports blog. :-))

  110. knucklehead smif - Jan 21, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    OK, Ms. Strunk&White, how does one express the concept "arguing with themselves" in that context?(I'm thinking Paul Winchell & Jerry Mahoney, but that doesn't quite get it.)Srsly. An interesting problem.

  111. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    At the risk of offending puppet masters, sock puppetry (if I understood the question)? :-Dhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_%28Internet%29

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 71 53 --
ATLANTA 66 60 6.0
MIAMI 63 62 8.5
NEW YORK 59 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 55 71 17.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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