Skip to content

Viera: Home to second chances

Mar 23, 2011, 10:43 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
A bust with the Mets, Oliver Perez will try to straighten himself out with the Nats.

VIERA, Fla. — As news emerged this afternoon that the Nationals had signed Oliver Perez, the shrieks and groans from D.C. could be heard all the way down here on the Space Coast.

Why on earth would the Nationals take a flyer on a guy who was such a bust in New York that the Mets were willing to eat his $12 million salary earlier this week just to rid themselves of his presence in camp?

Surely, the Nats don't believe Perez is about to rediscover his lost velocity and command and become a trusted member of their pitching staff. Right? Right?

Rest assured, no one has any grand illusions about the 29-year-old left-hander starting 30 games in the majors this season and striking out 200 batters. Few have any reason to believe Perez will even appear in a big-league game for the Nationals.

But given the current lack of sure things in the organization's pitching ranks, and given the bare-bones price of signing Perez to a minor-league deal — even if he gets to the majors, the Nats will only be responsible for a pro-rated portion of the big-league minimum salaryRead more ยป

  1. sm13 - Mar 23, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    MLB Network had a great piece the other day breaking down how the Mets screwed up Ollie's mechanics. Spin Williams is either going to get him back to his old form or Ollie is going to set the AAA record for walks in an inning.

  2. Doc - Mar 23, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Well said Mark. Don't think that a trip to The Spin Williams Velocity Mechanics Treatment Center will zip up an 85 mph fastball into the 95 mph fastball.Not even Mr. Williams would spin that one!!

  3. JamesFan - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    This does not look smart to me in so many ways. A cast off from the poisonous Mets?

  4. JayB - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Come on Mark this is not 2007…IT IS 2011 and this should not happen. Just like Alex Cintron signing you miss the point here. This type of trash hurts the perception of the organization far more than it will ever help it. Just inexcusable on Rizzo's part…..I think this has everything to do with Scott Boras….at some point Rizzo is just going have to say no to his Boras until Lerner gives Scott an ownership stake….and that may well be coming at this pace.

  5. Anonymous - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    and Tom Gorzelanny is guaranteed a spot in the rotation regardless of how he performs in spring training, you're left scrounging the trash heap.Before Gorzelanny there's Jason Marquis. Do you think **HE** should be guaranteed a spot in the rotation given his last 2 years? He WAS worst than Gorzelanny? And Lannan was worst than Gorzelanny … A LOT worst in 2010. Mark, the only guy who did better is LIvan Hernandez AND you should be asking HOW HE could be guaranteed a spot in the rotation.Everything starts from the top? What are you thinking Mark? If worst came to worst they could use Gorzelanny in the bullpen. Given his lack of velocity would Lannan be as effective? Livo? Marquis? NO!Give the guy a break Mark at least there is some flexibility with Gorzelanny in that he could be a left-handed reliever coming out of the bullpen? And right now they have only two?

  6. BinM - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Master Z: The cries of agony & rending of flesh by the faithful will continue so long as the perceived dumpster-diving occurs. Every time you'd think that the orginization is in good shape, the FO 'pulls a Bowden' on us and signs yet another warm body out of the trash bin in a WTF moment. This year alone, we have Stairs, Cintron, Villone, and now O.Perez. Rizzo, Kline, someone make it stop, please.

  7. Positively Half St. - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    I agree that I am not impressed, but I am not convinced that Garrett Mock or Matt Chico are better "prospects" at the AA or AAA level than a retread like Perez. The difference is that Perez is not being slotted immediately into the rotation like Redding or Simontacchi had been in years past. Gorzelanny is not a retread, he is a back of the rotation starter who actually earned his spot on the Cubs last year.Dmitri Young actually worked when we got him. The problem was that Bowden didn't sell high. Bret Boone never played for the Nats, and so he cost nothing, including time for younger players. Chien-Ming Wang is a higher class of reclamation project, like Brandon Wood or Jake Peavy- he won 19 games twice, and would be valuable to the Nats if he could win 12.It does stink that we aren't able to pooh-pooh the waiver wire, but the team is closer than it used to be. Please don't pretend that isn't true. Jerry Hairston, Jr. is no Willie Tavares.+1/2St.

  8. Mr. Doggett - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Anon 7:18… Mark wasn't taking a shot at Gorz. That wasn't the point. The point is that this is where we stand. In addition, I don't buy this idea that signing the guy "hurts the perception of the organization." 15,000 people watch on TV every night(old stat, I know, but one that still haunts me). The perception can't really get any worse.

  9. Constant Reader - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Wow Mark, I am stunned at the level of vitriol in your post. Did Oliver Perez kick your dog when you were covering him? Someone was going to take a cost-free flyer on Perez; why not the franchise who has a coach with experience with him during his succesful years? If Perez or Wang or Marquis or Gorzelanny get flipped mid year for a player that allows us to package a catcher and a middle infielder to get the pitcher that turns Lannan into our fourth or fifth starter in '12, is that such a bad thing? This is not singing Daniel Cabrera with the expectation he will be our third starter. Tell me whose development at AAA or AA Perez or Wang will hinder and maybe I'll reconsider. Tell me Detwiler and Maya have pitched so much better than Gorzelanny that the Nats are missing an opportunity with either of those two by starting them at AAA and I'll reconsider. Otherwise this just feels extremely overheated.

  10. JayB - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    The point is on perception that is won't get better…not that it would get worse…how could it possible get worse……The only hope this team has to improve is to sign Free Agents now and for the next 3 years running…good ones…like Zack G and all the others who said no way this winter….this type of move continues to make the Nats the butt of every MLB joke…..Stupid move.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    In spite of the couple of naysayers that ALWAYS slam the organization and what you write from time to time, I found your take well said and to the point. The minor league organizations rank has moved from the bottom of the rankings to the upper half and one more good draft will really set us up for the future. Glad to have you back telling it like it is.

  12. JayB - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Njack……how does this help? How does this move us forward? How does this not hurt the perception of the organization for prospective FA's…..Perez is the poster child for LOSER!

  13. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    The "loser stench" is all over Oliver Perez. That's why you don't sign.Let the Phillies or Braves sign him!

  14. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Njack,You know enough baseball to know players do not want to be around head cases and losers….guys run from people who walk runs without getting outs….guys who can not throw to first like Sax…..why would you want that type of player in your minor league camp…..stupid, stupid!

  15. BinM - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    Anon@7:18 – Look past it; Gorzelanny is a easy plug-in #5SP, possible long reliever right now, with the benefit of being left-handed on a one-year deal. I'll be ok with that, as he buys time for pitchers like Detwiler, Maya & maybe Milone to stretch out for the show.Livo is a big, loveable inning-eater who will take the ball every 5 days & give the team everything he's got. Lannan has been another solid inning-eater, despite being overmatched as a #1-#2SP early in his career. Marquis has a fairly solid track record, despite his injury in 2010; If he pitches reasonably well early in 2011, he'll be trade bait as we approach the deadline.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    NOBODY judges minor league contract deals. Heck, he may not even get out of Viera. When he's assigned somewhere, then start your rant. To think this has some sort of reflection on the organization at the ML level is ludicrous.

  17. BinM - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    JayB: Don't hold back; Tell us how you really feel about the Perez signing. And I thought I was irritated by the announced signing…

  18. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    I disagree…..You yourself just linked Minor league progress to perception of the organization….perhaps you are correct but I know how top players think…they hate being around guys who embarrass themselves…if you don't get that I am really surprised and it tells me you did not play at a high level.

  19. Tim - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    I agree with Constant Reader… I'm a little shocked my Mark's rant and then all those that followed. This is a very low risk signing at the minimum salary… Less than $500k.It may arm fatigue, but I would be willing to bet that it's a matter of mechanics, conditioning, and attitude. I like Oliver Perez and the potential upside. Why not take the risk. Flame away.

  20. Constant Reader - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    So Oliver Perez is a known low-character guy who literally smells. Does anyone believe Perez and Wang would be out of baseball if not for the Nats. Even Daniel Cabrera got major league innings after the Nats (Arizona).The New York f'n Yankees are auditioning Sergio Mitre, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia for fifth starter. Is Gorzelanny that much worse than those guys? Making a big deal of this is just silly.

  21. bdrube - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Starting Pitchers whose careers were extended by the Nats or who only started a big league game BECAUSE they were Nats:White (Matt)DreseDayHalamaBergmannOrtizO'ConnorAstacioTraberPerez (Beltran)ChicoBacsikReddingSimontacchiBowieSpeignerTraberWilliams (Jerome)Perez (Odalis)MockMartisMartinOlsenCabreraEstradaStammenAtilanoSo yeah, it would surprise me to see Perez (Oliver) wearing the Curly W this year.

  22. Bob Neuman - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    Mark, Is Chad ("the Chief") going to make it in Toronto? The Post story was a heart breaker.

  23. David - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    This is Rizzo doing Boras a solid. Who cares.

  24. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    So, if I'm reading these comments correctly, some of you are criticizing me for being too harsh on the Nats, while some of you are criticizing me for being too soft on the Nats.Evidently, I didn't do a good job making my point.I'm not saying this was a terrible move by the Nats, and I'm not saying it was a fantastic move by the Nats. I'm just saying it's the kind of move they'd prefer not to be in a position to make but at the moment still are. There will come a time when the Nats don't need to take a last-ditch chance on a reclamation project, but that day hasn't come yet.Doesn't make the Perez signing right or wrong, good or bad. Just explains why they did it.

  25. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    Mark,Thanks but I disagree….it is wrong and should never been done. It has zero upside and tons of desperation tones that is exactly why FA refuse to come to DC…..Only a Loser organization would sign a guy with as much baggage as Perez.

  26. RickH - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Mark … Exactly right.

  27. Jeeves - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Imagine how Syracuse fans feel! And I wouldn't have liked this deal if Perez still had his heat.

  28. natsfan1a - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    Mark, I would posit that if some think you are being too harsh while others think you are being too soft, then you are doing a good job. fwiw, I took your point, and I'm not upset by the low-risk signing (not that it matters what I think).In other news, I just finished reading "Spring Training," by William Zinsser. The book features a behind-the-scenes look at Spring Training with the 1988 Pirates of GM Syd Thrift and skipper Jim Leyland. Very interesting read about one team's approach to teaching fundamentals in Spring Training. I really enjoyed the book, and it whetted my appetite for my first ever visit to Viera.

  29. Constant Reader - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Hey Mark. Your butt's down there in Viera while I'm here in my armchair. I'm in no position to ever be critical of you, so how about 'gently chided'?My point was and remains that almost every organization in baseball takes a flyer on a pitcher with some sort of resume in hopes of catching lightning (an appropriate phrase here in DC tonight). Arizona gave Daniel Cabrera the ball after he was laughed/cried out of town. Look at the list of pitchers we were all combing through in January before the Gorzelanny deal. Plenty of reclaimation projects and reaches there(I called Dave Bush). Look at the three battling it out to be fifth starter in the Bronx. There aren't 150 dead-solid locks manning the rotations in baseball. Maybe Mark if I took issue with your post it was that I read into it a tone that implied the Nats NEEDED to take a flyer on Perez. I don't think that's the case at all. I think the team considered Spin Williams' history with him and certainly the Boras connection didn't hurt. Oliver Perez was going to be in a big league camp somewhere this week. I just don't think it's a big deal or reflective of much that it's us.I know the Nats would rather have Perez '04 or Wang '07 in the rotation that Livo or Gorzelanny. That's somewhere between guardedly hopeful and totally outlandish, I know. In the interim, and since you are there, should we read into what you said that we are holding onto Livo and Gorzelanny only because we are contractually obligated and they should be let go (a la Perez) so others can get in the rotation. Just how I read it.

  30. JaneB - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    What natsfan1a said. I'm grateful for your insights, your reporting. And I know we all have Big Opinions on this page, and we are grateful for a place to voice them. Just as long as we don't start acting like phillies phans and start booing our own team — or our own personal sportswriter.

  31. nats24 - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    The Mets are eating $12 million on Perez. $12M is a lot of dough, especially when your owner is facing a huge lawsuit, and you just ate $6 million on another guy. From his comments when he was cut, it seems pretty clear that, unlike last year, Perez would have accepted a minor league spot if the Mets had offered one. They didn't because they saw that there is no hope for a guy who has lost 10 miles on his fastball and can't throw strikes.Because I want the Nats to win, I hope he makes me eat my words, but I'm not holding my breath. This signing was a waste of time and money.

  32. Drew8 - Mar 24, 2011 at 5:39 AM

    Deep breaths everbody. Sure, Ollie Perez throws like Rosie Perez. But better days are coming.A.J. Cole, Sammy Solis and Robbie Ray are in the pipeline.And remember, the Nats have the 6th, 23rd and 34th picks in a pitcher-heavy draft. This rotation is going to get really good.I think this is the sunset of the journeymen.

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    And I'll say it again. I'll be suprised if he is still in a uniform whe he leaves Viera.

  34. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Njack….Then why do it….I still think this is Rizzo being pushed around by Scott Boras…It makes not baseball sense and makes Nats look desperate and hopeless to all aspects of the sport…players, fans, other GM's….

  35. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    Approach, attitude, confidence and self doubt have been the biggest issues in this clubhouse for the past 3 years. They underachieve their talent year after year….even the Sabre stats show they should win more but don't….this type of move is one reason they underachieve….they have no fire or guts and Perez is exactly the wrong type of player to give this type of last chance to.

  36. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    On the plus side….NIX should make the team…he is exactly the type of player who should be on the 25 man roster over Roger and Morgan who are both have weak mental approaches to a 162 game campaign.

  37. N. Cognito - Mar 24, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Mark-You shouldn't have to explain yourself to those who have an agenda when they post. I can't believe you even put up with the condescending attitude of some of them.Your meaning came through loud and clear to the rest of us.

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    I absolutely love the relationship with Boras. If you've heard any of his radio interviews on MLB Radio, you know that there is no one more knowledgeable and more caring for the overall welfare of baseball in general. He has the utmost respect for both Rizzo and the Lerners.You want this team to flourish going forward? Then be thankfull for this relationship. I'm a Lance Nix fan myself but I have a hard time labeling Bernadina as having a "weak mental approach". And I love the MLB Trade Rumors note yesterday that the Nats were trying to "give away" Morgan.

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    Another_Sam….. I'll be at the game tonite in section 110 Row 7 wearing my NatsJack shirt. Hope to see you there.

  40. Rabbit - Mar 24, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Meanwhile, in Libya…….Aren't the problems and perceptions of baseball great!!

  41. Another_Sam - Mar 24, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Thanks, NatsJack. See you there. We were at the Braves yesterday. We've got the Astros game pencilled in for this afternoon but if we go to that we'll likely leave early.

  42. NatJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    @Rabbit…. my sentiments exactly. Some of us always understand that the discussion here is about a GAME, a game all of us care about passionately but game none the less. It's the occaisional poster that exudes parnoia about some of the topics that make me shake my head.

  43. NatinBeantown - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    One is not stupid for buying a lottery ticket now and then. One would be stupid to depend on lottery winnings as primary income. Rizzo is the former.Every team in baseball tries it from time to time, and the notion that low-risk minor league signings affects the league-wide perception of the Nats is ridiculous.

  44. Anonymous8 - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    bdrube said… Starting Pitchers whose careers were extended by the Nats or who only started a big league game BECAUSE they were Nats:++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Redding went on to play in 2009 for the Mets and O'Connor and a few others are still bopping around in the Minors.

  45. NatinBeantown - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    And yes, by implication, I'm calling Jim Bowden stupid.

  46. Avar - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    JayB, I think you give people rant fatigue. You often have good points but the anger is so constant it gets hard to keep taking you seriously. Virtually nothing pleases you. This is a game, it's a hobby. I think if you could make a joke sometimes or something, that might help. But, what do I know?On the issue. I don't buy the notion that signing a non-guaranteed minor league deal with someone hurts the club's reputation. Always finishing last, losing 100 games, these hurt our reputation.Making a great run at Tex and Lee, signing Werth, these help. Having good drafts helps. But, mostly winning will help and the good drafts will help us win.I think Mark is right. Signing flameouts is not what Rizzo wants to do but he can't land Lee or Greinke no matter what he pays them so he has to take what he can get.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Thank you for more voices of reason.

  48. CapPeterson - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    And let's not forget the good news about the Nats' ranking 13th on the BA list. Granted, we'll slide down somewhat when Harper makes the bigs, but the 3 picks out of the 1st 36 (with Roy Clark et al involved in the picking)should help to balance that.

  49. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    JayB's constant presence hurts the perception of this blog. Turns it into Loser Town.

  50. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    I wouldn't go that far…. close but not that far.

  51. Feel Wood - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    ALL teams make these kinds of signings. Rizzo even had a word for it a couple of years ago that a lot of people found fault with: INVENTORY. Do you know what a minor league player makes? $67,300 a year. Don't believe me, look here:http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/03/major-league-baseball-uniform-players-contract.html$67,300 is like nothing in the grand scheme of things. It's buying a lottery ticket. If Oliver Perez is willing to take his $12M from the Mets and ride the minor league bus in an attempt to revive his career instead of going home to lounge by the pool, then good for him. If on the odd chance he succeeds, the Nats get to cash in their lottery ticket. If not, they cast it to the curb.All teams play this lottery, every season. Every once in a while, someone wins.

  52. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    And Sammy Solis and A.J. Cole see Perez in camp and say "This guy used to hit 95 regularly on the gun? What happened?….. and Spin Williams says "In two short years, he quit increasing his off season work out routine, lost his mechanics, and became the shell that you see here. He will probably never get back to what he was. Learn from this."

  53. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Njack,Now that is an interesting view….hope that is what Spin does say…doubt it based on how this team has handled this type of vet in the past…..On Boras…I also am a fan of his but the relationship has gotten too close in my view. It appears that Boras now is able to call up Rizzo and tell him what to do…and his fiduciary responsibly is to the player not the Nats. That is a problem.

  54. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Of course you doubt it. And everything's a problem. That's the difference between us.

  55. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Njack….I am a season ticket holder…I watch every game for 6 years….Until this team proves they understand basic baseball fundamentals and play to win…why would I not see a problem. I do believe this year is going to be much better…I am optimistic but moves like this really hit raw 300 loss nerves if you know what I mean.

  56. Water23 - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    And to the lottery notion, 2nd/3rd tier CF/IF/P (Nyjer) come at a prices. Sometimes, it is the vaunted Player to be Named later(PTBL) that gets the deal done. If Perez performs at an average level then he could be a free PTBL at mid-season when another team is looking for a Pitcher. So, there are many upsides and granted a few downsides but Inventory is need for all teams and this is a decent move. In addition, we are all forgetting one more plus, if Perez actually pitches for the Nats in some capacity. We then get to enjoy watching the Mets pay $74,074.074 per game to have him help the Nats! The Mets are not hated as much as the Phils but still sticking it to a division rival is not a bad thing.

  57. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Mark,Being in the middle doesn't always computer to doing a good job, not that you aren't doing a great job. Just saying, being out on the edge has its merits too…UNTERP

  58. JayB - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Njack what is your view of Sue D's write up on why Perez signing is a problem….check link for Nationals Prospects blog

  59. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    As I have stated…. WHEN HE GET'S ASSIGNED, THEN START YOUR RANT! Every hand wringing comment starts with "supposedly" or "it appears" or, In Ms. D's case "allegedly" when talking about Perez's landing place.I maintain that he will have a hard time getting out of Viera in a uniform. Why is this so hard to understand?

  60. N. Cognito - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I would assume/hope the Nats signed Perez because of input from Spin (and Marty). Perhaps Spin as an idea how to get Perez back to the form he had in Pittsburgh.I thought AAA was primarily where teams kept replacement parts and AA was the true last stop for prospects. If that's true, Milone and Tatusko should spend the year at Harrisburg, not Syracuse.Let's wait and see what the Nats do with Perez before we cut off Rizzo's you-know-whats. Complaints now are premature and self-serving, but then perhaps I'm forgetting this gives the complainers something more to complain about.Possibilities for Perez other than starting at AAA (regardless of his assignment to AAA – that could be a purely procedural move):1 – extended Spring Training2 – development as a relief pitcher3 – reassignment to a lower level minor league team to work on mechanics and/or arm strength4 – release

  61. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Every minute you or I spend reading one of JayB's clueless rants is a precious minute that you or I will never get back. That is the true cost of signing Oliver Perez.

  62. MGG - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Because he hasn't been assigned anywhere yet I don't have a problem with this. I think if he goes to AAA then we need to get up in arms and scream at the Nats about another crappy signing. I think N. Cognito has it right, what if Spin knows something or said "lets take a quick two week flyer on the guy, see if I can get him to be a reliever." We just don't know and I think its WAY too early to start screaming about the sky is falling over this.

  63. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    EXACTLY…. Thank You!!

  64. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    @ Anonymous 9:42…. This is what I meant when I told JaneB last Sunday that I didn't want them to sign Perez…. It wasn't the baseball side so much but the firestorm it would create with the JayB's of the world.And N. Cognito has covered exactly what will happen. If Perez can't hit 88 on a gun, with command, he'll never leave Viera with any sort of Nationals unirform.

  65. Steve M. - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    NatsJack, I agree wtih you. If he was added to the 40 man then it would be a head scratcher. This is low risk and probably down on the dept chart but ahead of the 4M boys (Mock, Martis, Martin & MChico).ESPN on the Nats today said Nyjer Morgan could be outright DFA'd. Did that last embarassing caught stealing in the Cardinals game finally get Rizzo to open his eyes?

  66. A DC Wonk - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    "bdrube said…Starting Pitchers whose careers were extended by the Nats or who only started a big league game BECAUSE they were Nats:"Ho Hum. Every team could make a list like that. Granted, the Nats list is longer, but that's because MLB ripped them off for so many years and decimated their farm system.Perez' signing is, as so many have already said, a cheap lottery ticket — and it really is a good analogy. Almost no cost, little chance of panning out, but if it does pan out, it's like a free gift. Criticisms of this signing are really far fetched.Criticisms of how Mark wrote this up are even *more* far fetched.

  67. N. Cognito - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    "ESPN on the Nats today said Nyjer Morgan could be outright DFA'd."NO!!!The ripple effect will mean that high school kid we signed in the 3,487th round of the draft will get bumped out of the organization entirely.Now I'm sad.

  68. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Steve M…. Bo Porter has worked extensively with Morgan from late January on all the nuances necessary to become an adept base stealer as well as an acceptable center fielder. Neither has happened.It sounds to me like they have finally realized that at 31 years old, the light bulb is not going off. They want Corey Brown to start in Syracuse and have a couple of other guys not named Eury Perez that they can plug in at Harrisburg.

  69. Feel Wood - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    I read that Sue D writeup that JayB mentioned. It seems that signing Oliver Perez may cost Garrett Mock some innings, or maybe even his job. You know, I fail to see the downside to that.

  70. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Mark Zuckerman said…Ross Detwiler and Yunesky Maya have made major strides and will pitch in the majors sometime early this season.That is a bold statement saying "will" instead of "possibly will".I think there is a high probability but I wouldn't go out on that limb as it will make you sound like Bill Ladson often does.

  71. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Feel Wood… Again… That's if he can find his way out of Viera. (But I totally agree.)

  72. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    PAY TO PLAY…. Mark is correct. They WILL pitch at the ML level this season. And sooner rather than later.

  73. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Mark Zuckerman said…And until it does, the Oliver Perezes and Chien-Ming Wangs and Dmitri Youngs and Bret Boones of the world will continue to have opportunities to don the curly W cap and attempt to resurrect their careers with a franchise that hasn't reached a point yet in which it can just say no to reclamation projects. A team called the Yankees did really nothing to improve their rotation and that is with Andy Pettite riding off into the sunset while Yanking their chain so they sign Bartolo Colon who is the reclamation project of the year as he has been out of baseball since mid-2009 after his release from the White Sox. Colon may actually make the Yankees rotation…….and oh yah, the Evil Empire also traded for Justin Maxwell who was probably the most villified Nat next to Nyjer Morgan and JMax has an outside chance at playing for the Yankees this year.And the PHILLIES just took another Mets outcast in Luis Castillo so this is probably not the year to be to critical of reclamation projects as the Nats have really curtailed their robust enthusiasm in that category until yesterday unless throw in Cintron and Matt Stairs.

  74. Theophilus - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    According to my recollection, one of the retreads run thru the Nats Spring Sausage Factory in 2009 (or maybe it was '08) was Colby Lewis, who went to Japan and then made the Rangers rotation, won a bunch of games, and started in the WS. Strange things happen.

  75. Theophilus - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    NatsJack, etc., said — "This is what I meant when I told JaneB last Sunday that I didn't want them to sign Perez…. It wasn't the baseball side so much but the firestorm it would create with the JayB's of the world." Jack, are you saying the Nats' front office should be influenced by the fear of JayB's halitosis?

  76. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Theo…. They don't even know he exists on these sites… it's us that suffer.We went through the Colby Lewis stuff last season. His stint with us was BEFORE he went to Japan to figure things out. Then he went to the Rangers.

  77. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… PAY TO PLAY…. Mark is correct. They WILL pitch at the ML level this season. And sooner rather than later. Sometime this season seems a better probability, Mark says early this season. I just don't like Ladsonian statements without corroborating sources to say it will happen.I think Detwiler should be either in the bullpen or 1st man in the rotation if someone falters but to say Maya will be on the 25 man also early in the season is a stretch unless Mark has a source that says a trade is going to happen.

  78. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Early in the season to me means prior to July (1st half)and I can see injuries or performance coming in to play.

  79. Theophilus - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    NatsJack — I know Colby Lewis is old news. But who knows whether he "figure[d]things out" before or after he went to Japan? I'm not saying they should have named him Opening Day starter but I don't think his stay in camp included more than a tuna salad sandwich and a fruit cup.That's really my pet peeve about the Nats' player evaluation processes. They bring in more candidates than American Idol instead of focusing on (A) teaching and evaluating real prospects — like Norris, Carr, Kimball — or (B) getting the veterans (e.g., Bernadina) ready for the regular season. And before anybody says anything, that's not support for the theory that Bernadina is getting the shaft.

  80. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    NatsJack, come on July is clearly mid-season. It is a 6 month season. Early is April and May. June and July are mid-season. August and September are the stretch run.I think it is noble you are trying to help Mark but don't stretch the integrity of what is correct as this is seriously as if someone else wrote this piece and is very un-Mark like.If I want Ladson crazy proclamations, I can read Ladson and if I want ultra-negativity I can read Poopy McPoop over on NJ. Mark is very much towards the side of journalistic integrity which I admire.

  81. Theophilus - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    PtoP — I think the oversupply of ML could-have-beens is so acute that an early trade (or trades) is imperative. If they don't move some of these guys, quickly, they're going to end up w/ arterial sclerosis throughout the system at several positions.

  82. Mark'd - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    NJack, are you a journo-sniff now? You won't get anywhere kissing Mark's a$$ so quit while you ate ahead.

  83. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Theo.. I understand your position. There has been a more concerted effort to seperate the two operations, ML for establishing the 25 man roster and Minor league for evaluation and teaching. That didn't exist with Bowden and Foli. Bob Boone was more ML then. Now he's strictly Minor League Director. Mark'd…. I've got to pass the time some how when works slow.

  84. Steve M. - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Theo – Yes, the Nats have an abundance of AAAA guys and a few #5's.Boswell was right on with his assessment of Livo and Marquis is on a 1 year deal. This is an improvement year and 2012 has to be a push for the top of the standings.The gaping holes in this organizational depth is CF and shortstop, and 1st base and finding #2 pitchers to go behind Strasburg. There are no #2's in AA or AAA in my opinion. AJ Cole is the closest I can see he he is a few years away. Solis and RRay project to be back of the rotation guys.Stockpiling #5's isn't a sound strategy with this notion they will turn into #2's doesn't happen often and all the time and opportunities wasted with Mock is frustrating. At least with Balester they made him serviceable. Something needs to be done sooner than later on the future of Detwiler before they waste his quality time.

  85. Mark'd - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    NJack, thanks! I just spit out my COFFEY laughing.

  86. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    I can see Mark Z. came out with a new entry and just in time to change the subject.

  87. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Ah, the Washington Nationals: the 12-step rehab program of the MBL."Hi, my name is Bob, and I'm terrible baseball player…""Hi Bob. Welcome to DC!"

  88. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Oh, give it a rest. I'll bet half of you never saw a curve ball or a sinker going away that you tried to hit.What did you expect? Rizzo buying up the choice starters and making the Nats a contender this year?The rotation is better than it was last year and we'll have to see how the bullpen halls the starters mediocre performances out of the ashes and we get a win.That's all we can hope for, for the time being. When SS gets back and Harper has worked his way through the minors and some other starters of note come on the market next year, then we'll see what Rizzo can do to get us a full starter squad that can muzzle the others and get us into the top tier.Unitl then, hope the Nats make .500 and we get to wish for the 2012 season.Enjoy it. It's baseball at it's highest level and we're in one of the best divisions.What goes on down in the minors will mature and new faces will be in the stadium or on your HD TV. I love it!Norm

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 18.0
Through Tuesday's early games
x-Clinched division title
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats 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