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Series preview: Nats at Diamondbacks

Jun 2, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

Thursday, 9:40 p.m. — RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-6, 3.88) vs. LHP Zach Duke (1-0, 0.00)
TV: MASN2 Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Friday, 9:40 p.m. — RHP Yunesky Maya (0-0, 7.71) vs. RHP Josh Collmenter (3-1, 1.49)
TV: MASN2 Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Saturday, 8:10 p.m. — RHP Livan Hernandez (3-6, 3.87) vs. LHP Joe Saunders (2-5, 4.77)
TV: MASN2 Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

Sunday, 4:10 p.m. — RHP Jason Marquis (6-2, 4.13) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (6-1, 3.01)
TV: MASN2 Radio: WJFK-106.7 FM, WFED-1500 AM

DIAMONDBACKS UPDATE
Who are these guys, and where in the world did they come from? Folks in Arizona are still trying to figure that out after watching the unheralded Diamondbacks win 13 of 14 over the last two weeks to catapult themselves into first place in the NL West.

They may not boast a bunch of household names, but the D'backs are playing extremely good baseball right now. They lead the league with 65 homers and rank second with a .739 team OPS. Right fielder Justin Upton (11 homers, 30 RBI, 10 stolen bases) remains the complete package and won last night's game against the Marlins with a walk-offRead more »

  1. Big Cat - Jun 2, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Hmmmm….Maya tomorrow night….not good. NatsJack….gimme some info on Tom Milone and Brad Peacock. Seems to me this Milone has earned a shot at the big time. 12-5 in Potomac in 09 and 12-5 last year in Harrisburg with a era in the 2's with 155 k's in 158 innings. And he is pretty solid again this year at Syracuse. He is probably one of those fringe players. A guy with not great stuff, but knows how to pitch. Still, he has earned a shot in my book. Peacock is very interesting. So-so in 09 and 10. Throws a lot of innings wherever he goes. But this year he has been off the charts with his stats. Strikeouts are unbelievable. Is he like Kimball, picking up a splitter or something? Detwiler is getting hammered pretty good at Syracuse. This might be his last stop on the merry go round with us. Stammen again is not spectacular, but solid in AAA. Always liked him. Can dominate when he stays down with that sinker.

  2. Big Cat - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Don't look now guys, but Tyler Moore is making a move on Marrero for the future 1B job. Recently named the Eastern League player of the week and after a terrible start has his average up to 283 with 9 hr's and 25 ribbies in 49 games. Also, the big galoot has 3 triples. Must be able to run a little

  3. masnstinks - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    A little competition for future roster spots is a good thing. Let the young guys fight it out with their play. Nobody should know that a spot is theirs without earning it. Well – nobody except a certain teenager in Hagerstown – and even he will have to keep progressing.Who's next on Monday?

  4. joemktg - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Zook: u here or on the road with the club?

  5. natsfan1a - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    He mentioned the other day that he'd be in AZ (yay).

  6. TimDz - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Joe…I'm pretty sure that Mark said he is going to be in 'Zona for this series…Check the preview of the last game..I think he mentioned it there.

  7. joemktg - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Thanks peeps.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Big Cat….. Kilgore had a good write up on Peacock yesterday. He apparently has made some modifications to his delivery over the past 2 seasons and it has made a major difference in his ball movement and command. He's also developed a sweet change up. If he keeps doing this, the organization has no choice but to see if this translates to success at the ML level, perhaps this September but for sure next spring in Viera.As for Milhone, he's another one that has shown success over the past couple of seasons and being left handed, probably is next on the list to advance to the Nats when an opportunity arrives. He's shown an ability to miss bats at the AAA level.The best thing about both these guys is that they've pitched full seasons in the organization and logged 150 innings or better successfully. (Unlike Detwiler who is finally finding out what it takes to pitch every 5th day after 4 years in the organization.)The guy that's been catching my attention is Chris Manno in Hagerstown. Check out his record as a left handed relief specialist and tell me he doesn't deserve to advance somewhere.I think the best part about the organizational approach has been the importance of throwing strikes consistently. This is being preached at the lowest level and pounded into each pitcher every day.

  9. TimDz - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    From Ladson:"Harper is playing for Class A Hagerstown. In 50 games, Harper is hitting .331 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs. He is playing mostly right field, though he has seen action in center field and will see time in left field soon. If he does get promoted, Harper most likely will be headed to Double-A Harrisburg. There isn't a timetable on when the promotion will happen."Is this just a case of Ladson writing out of other body parts, or is it possible that Potomac misses out on Harper too (like SS, who we all knew was not coming to Potomac)?

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    TimDz…I can't see the Nats leaping Potomac with Bryce. The fact that he's dropped 40 points over the past 3 weeks indicates that his developement is not quite as rapid as everyone observed after receiving contact lenses. He's a talent but an 18 year old talent. Each step needs to be taken, no matter what Ladson thinks.

  11. joemktg - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    TimDZ & NatsJack: And he needs the progress as an OF as well as a baserunner. On the other hand, that batting cage at the Pfitz isn't going to do him any favors.

  12. Wally - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    TimDZ – I am guessing body part, but who knows. I was looking forward to seeing him in Potomac for a bit. I can't imagine that I am the only one with that attitude, and it seems unlikely that they pass up a chance to add interest to the parent club by not having him close by for a while.I would like to see them give Stammen another shot. If they clear some space through trades, maybe Stammen and Meyer get rotation time later in the year, with Peacock moving up to AAA. Also figure that Meyer and Milone have some trade value too, if it fills another need.Manno has been unhittable. He is old for low A though, so they should promote him a level or even two before the year is out.

  13. Cwj - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Hmmm splitting the series would be nice, but I'm going with a Nats sweep :)Go Nats!

  14. Cwj - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Oh and the offense needs to give Zimmermann some runs.He is so much better than 2-6 that it's unfair.

  15. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Rick Ankiel owns a couple of LH pitchers. One of them is pitching tonight for the DBacks. Ankiel has very good numbers vs. Duke so we should all be prepared for Ankiel to start in CF tonight and see who Riggleman puts in LF vs. the lefty, maybe Bixler.Espinosa should be happy getting 2 LH pitchers while in Arizona.

  16. SCNatsFan - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Yet another moment for the Nats to show if the team has made progress or if they had one good series. A strong showing here could set an excellent tone for the remainder of the year, a weak one and Coffey, Nix and Marquis can start counting down the days until July 31.

  17. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Cwj said… Oh and the offense needs to give Zimmermann some runs.He is so much better than 2-6 that it's unfair. June 2, 2011 10:28 AMCwj, so true! The other Zimmerman would have helped JZim tonight if he were here. RZim crushes Zach Duke to the tune of a .400 BA and .500 OBP.

  18. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    TimDz said… From Ladson:"Harper is playing for Class A Hagerstown. In 50 games, Harper is hitting .331 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs. He is playing mostly right field, though he has seen action in center field and will see time in left field soon. If he does get promoted, Harper most likely will be headed to Double-A Harrisburg. There isn't a timetable on when the promotion will happen."Is this just a case of Ladson writing out of other body parts, or is it possible that Potomac misses out on Harper too (like SS, who we all knew was not coming to Potomac)? June 2, 2011 9:34 AM I tend to agree with most that Potomac makes the most sense and is the cautious route for BHarp34. Ladson could be right this time just by luck as it is an either/or scenario as in it is either Potomac or Harrisburg. Hearing Davey Johnson speak the next stop for Bryce Harper will be a long stay which is the only reason he may leap frog to Harrisburg and struggle and then succeed. He should be fine in Harrisburg if that is his next stop.If it is Potomac, it will be fun watching him in an outfield wtih EurPer and DHood. Bryce should continue to do well and continue on his learning curve.

  19. A DC Wonk - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Re: Ladson — does he have any basis for saying that? Any sources? Is he just guessing?It's really really hard to imagine having an 18-year old, who's BA has dropped 40 points, getting promoted and skipping a level. The fastest I can see him is: half a year a Hagerstown, half-year in Potomac. Next year: half in AA and half in AAA and *maybe* a cup of coffee in Sept 2012. I can't see it happening any faster than that.

  20. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Big Cat….. Kilgore had a good write up on Peacock yesterday. He apparentlyTo get the quickest synopsis on the former 41st round draft pick Bradley Peacock go to milb.com. Under stats for pitchers select AA. Note that under most categories Peacock is right at the top or close to it. Perhaps a better place to get a read on Peacock is through Sue Dinem's over at Nats Prospects, his analyses which go back 2 or 3 years. Peacock is one of his top prospects. He watched him quite a bit in Potomac.

  21. Big Cat - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    NatsJack….wow, I had missed this Manno kid. 6'3" lefty out of Duke. Hasn't given up a run all season…..18 games and 25 innings with 40 k's. Looks like he is in short relief. We need to get him to Potomac and see what he's made of. Cameron Selik, another college guy in Hagerstown gave up only 1 earned run in 23 innings there. He is taking his lumps at Potomac though 0-4 with a 6.43 era. Robbie Ray is looking like a keeper and it is good to see AJ Cole have a good outing the other night. I think he is finding out you can't just throw the ball buy everybody at the pro level

  22. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Speaking of Top Prospects and the Minor Leagues. Follow the career of Brandon Belt.You all want to watch a crazy career track, look at SFG Brandon Belt's history. 5th round pick in 2009. In 2010, he blows through A, AA, and AAA in his first full season in the Minors at 22 years old and becomes the Giants Top Prospect. He has a great Spring 2011 and starts at 1B for the Giants and comes out strong and then a deep deep slump and gets sent back to AAA on April 19th with a .192 BA.Then due to injuries like Buster Posey, Sabean wants to strengthen his bench and they bring Belt back as a bench role player with spot starts in the OF and 1B.Now this seems to go against the grain of anything you hear a GM do with a top prospect so this will become a test case either way.

  23. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    If he does get promoted, Harper most likely will be headed to Double-A Harrisburg. There isn't a timetable on when the promotion will happen.Is this just a case of Ladson writing out of other body parts, or is it possible that Potomac misses out on Harper too (like SS, who we all knew was not coming to Potomac)?Ladson does get access to rumors, innuendo … like Morse in the doghouse every other tweet. One must admit that Mr. glass-is-full bad-ass-tune does does have connections. Another interesting thing to note is that Carpy has stopped throwing in Harper's eventual move to Potomac in the Ad spots he does. Part of it may be what can he learn in Potomac. Is there some skill he could learn better in Harrisburg or some coach there who will better help him refine his skills? Plus this year the rosters are more crowded with prospects and one has to look at the type of moves that would have to be made and whether they would be good for specific prospects. Given Harrisburg's outfield its just possible that Harper and Hood could end up there together. But Kelso should get moved as well. As should Robby Ray. And Bradley Peacock is way overdue for a promotion … and before anyone faints … Trevor Holder pitched six solid innings last night allowing only 1 earned run and no walks. He has 6 walks this season. He might just be starting to get it and at age 24 its more than past time. Rosenbaum has also been pitching well. They might be get promoted by the end of June or in July. Then you've got some influx of college pitching that might occur toward the end of the year. Be nice if one of the Nats portals would guest blog someone like Doug Harris or Scialabba if they were willing. Be a bit better than seeing Ladson spout rumors as fast as songs for his bad-ass-song list.

  24. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Ankiel has very good numbers vs. Duke so we should all be prepared for Ankiel to start in CF tonight Its fine to put Ankiel in the line up periodically, every once-in-a-while. And CF is okay. But to bat him lead off leads to speculation that Riggleman is incompetent to manage at the major league level. For good reason I might add.

  25. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    NatsJack….wow, I had missed this Manno kid. 6'3" lefty out of Duke. Hasn't given up a run all season…..18 games and 25 innings with 40 k'sWay down in single A. Sad that no one notices the job Ryan Mattheus (a guy Rizzo traded for a couple of years ago while he was recovering from TJ) has been doing in AAA Syracuse?

  26. Big Cat - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    "way down in A ball." You are correct Anon. He hasn't proven a thing yet. Ryan Mattheus has thrown 6 innings this year for Syracuse and given up 1 hit. Very good. Way back when, he was a starting pitcher "way down in A ball," and was a .500 pitcher with a 5.83 era. I wish him well

  27. fpcsteve - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    I saw Mattheus when he was a Rox' AA farmhand in Tulsa. He could chuck it. Good control, too. If he has gotten most of his arm back after TJ, he could be a big help.

  28. Mark'd - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Anon, so if Bernadina is out, do you put Werth leadoff? Who else is there? Please tell us.

  29. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Sports Illustrated just published a list of the 16 most overrated players in baseball, selected by MLB players, and Jason Werth was selected as the FOURTH most overrated player in baseball, today, by 185 of his peers. Any comments? (Can't wait to read them!)

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Big Cat and fpcsteve.. back last fall I posted that there were 3 guys pitching in the Fall Instructional League that I thought had a chance soon… one was Sammy Solis but that thigh injury set him back, A.J. Morris who was part of the Gorzelany deal (turns out he has two slight labrum tears and the Cubs knew this at the time of the trade and still wanted him) and Mattheus who was coming off TJ surgery.Mattheus was hitting 93 – 95 on the gun with great movement. I like him alot.

  31. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    "He's a talent but an 18 year old talent. Each step needs to be taken, no matter what Ladson thinks."Except Ladson doesn't.

  32. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Werth is on this list because he is very overpaid. Whether he is "overrated" or not, I'm glad he is the Nats right fielder. I have no issue with his place on this list, the Nats decision to sign him, or his production thus far this season.

  33. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    This team needed a fiery guy like Werth and while he is hugely overpaid, it is the price paid for being a cellar dweller. His numbers are picking up offensively and when Zim is back will be a very good tandem. Just wish Werth was better going back on balls. Reminds me a little of Ryan Church on that aspect and that's not a good thing. I thought Werth was supposed to have Centerfielder instincts? Maybe he will improve as he gets more use to the wall in RF but those alligator arms as he steps onto the warning track have been costly.Does he have any Web Gems this year besides throwing out McCutcheon at home?

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    I need to add one more thought to Ladson's "Harper to Harrisburg" article. Given that Hagerstown presents playoff caliber talent, as does Harrisburg, and Potomac pretty much sucks, it could be that the brain trust wants to keep Bryce in a (to borrow a phrase from Charlie Sheen) "Winning" environment.Just a thought.

  35. fpcsteve - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    NatsJack, where is Solis? I haven't been able to find him. I'd be interested in what how he is coming along.

  36. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Mark'd said… Anon, so if Bernadina is out, do you put Werth leadoff? Who else is there? Please tell us. June 2, 2011 12:43 PM You can call leadoff the "Player to be named later". The Nats don't have him and that has to be a high priority for next year unless Bernadina shines in that spot.To further talk about Bernadina. He comes up here and has 3 bunt hits in his first 5 games. Then he has the bunt hit in Baltimore called an out because he stepped on the plate and now he isn't bunting anymore. Cliff Lee was the perfect guy for him to drag a bunt much like JRoll did against Drew Storen.I love "small ball/smart ball". Has Riggleman curtailed or nixed Bernie from bunting?You know what the difference is between Bernie and Nyjer? Bernie can actually bunt for a hit!

  37. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    "I love "small ball/smart ball". Has Riggleman curtailed or nixed Bernie from bunting?"Bunting for a base hit is not small ball.Giving up outs to eek out a run or two is small ball. Unless a team has very strong pitching and defense, combined with a good offense, playing small ball should be situational.

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    fpcsteve… He's in Hagerstown. Pitched his first game the other day.I'm going over to Kissimmee Saturday and get a look at Wang in his last extended ST start before he goes out on his rehab assignment.Steve M…. watched the Brewer/Reds game for a minute last night. Saw Morgan immediately get picked off first for the 3rd out of the 4th inning. Just like old times.

  39. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I need to add one more thought to Ladson's "Harper to Harrisburg" article. Given that Hagerstown presents playoff caliber talent, as does Harrisburg, and Potomac pretty much sucks, it could be that the brain trust wants to keep Bryce in a (to borrow a phrase from Charlie Sheen) "Winning" environment.Just a thought. June 2, 2011 1:20 PMNJack, I think Bryce Harper is a winner and brings winning with him. They may not start a winner when he gets there, but this kid is special and they will start to win just having him in the lineup. Just look at guys like Blake Kelso, Newsome and Freitas. Guys like that play up to a higher level with a Bryce Harper with them.Rizzo and Davey Johnson and Boone know where he is going and when, the "word" just hasn't leaked out yet! Bryce does have to be challenged at some point. From what he did in the Arizona Fall League and Viera Spring Training, he should hold his "own" in Harrisburg if that is where he goes next and in Harrisburg he can finish the season there and settle in for a couple of months.I knew Harper wasn't going to start in Harrisburg out of Spring Training but his 1.000+ OPS at Hagerstown shows how he is ready for the next challenge with better pitching. He needs to see better pitchers and learn and progress and also learn how to be an outfielder.Davey Johnson's words have me thinking it will be Harrisburg. The facilities are better, the coaches are good, and the weather will be nice and hot.

  40. Doc - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    MarkieZ is right, the Snakes (like snakes frequently do) snuck up on everybody! Must mostly be their farm system. I think that we have a really good chance of beating these guys to-night.

  41. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    We will probably lose tonight because of the bad things i have done in my life..Sorry guyz

  42. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Steve M…. watched the Brewer/Reds game for a minute last night. Saw Morgan immediately get picked off first for the 3rd out of the 4th inning. Just like old times. June 2, 2011 1:37 PM I just fell out of my chair laughing. So glad that clown is gone. Just wish Rizzo had been planning during 2010 on who his replacement was going to be because if Ankiel really was Rizzo's answer, you see where that has gone.See, I was under the illusion when they signed Ankiel that he was going to be a bench role player, not a starter! I like Ankiel but not his .282 OBP. Also where is this Ankiel power we were promised? 1 HR in 119 ABs. Sheesh.Time to start putting together the 2012 wishlist.Mr. Rizzo, please get us a #3 and #4 starter. 2 lefty relievers, and a high OBP leadoff hitter and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh, and a contract extension for Ryan Zimmerman and maybe extensions for Marquis and Pudge.

  43. Mark'd - Jun 2, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    SteveM, I like the wishlist and for reasons beyond 2011 value, you extend Marquis to get him to Type A Status and tie up Pudge so you have a backup and Mentor to your catcher of the future.Must get a healthy LaRoche and another Rightie outfielder. I would extend Nix too.

  44. SteveM - Jun 2, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Mark'd, on Nix, still wondering if he has changed anything in his approach to get to where he is, otherwise he could be a "one hit wonder". When guys exceed their averages substantially, it is usually a temporary fluke. Now if you tell me he changed his stance or plate approach and this is adding distance to his balls that were flyouts in the past, or soft liners into hard liners, then you may have found a diamond in the rough. Under JimBo, he would have signed him to a big extension already without thinking of the longer term consequences (see Guzman and Dmitri and Kearns for reference).I don't know enough for the reasons for Nix's success but to say, thank you Laynce for saving yesterday's game and hitting the HR that turned out to be the difference.Totally agree on Jason Marquis and go back to my point a few weeks ago that he will fall back to his August/September doldrums most likely but overall he has proven to be a winner and valuable off the bench to pinch run and better than Stairs as a pinch hitter. Need that 2 year average on Marquis to get the all important Type A for sure.

  45. Nats Outsider - Jun 2, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Steve M, said . . ."Mr. Rizzo, please get us a #3 and #4 starter. 2 lefty relievers, and a high OBP leadoff hitter and a partridge in a pear tree. "You're right. We need all of those things. (Although seeing how some Nats batters get immobilized at the plate, I think we already have a pear tree or two.) And all those deficits are why the blaming the Nats' overall performance on Riggleman is so misplaced. When we have even half of the wish list, we can start talking about whether the Nats could interest a top-drawer manager, and whether such a manager would make a big difference. Right now, I think Riggleman is perfectly adequate for what the Nats' can put on the field.

  46. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Dave Sheinin did a great piece in the fishwrap edition of the Post on Jose Bautista and his new swing.There's a guy whose success is driven by change.I wish Sheinin did a piece like that on Nix to figure out how his HR per AB ratio is much higher than career averages while his BB/9 average has dropped so much. On the surface I would say he has gotten more aggressive but the stats don't prove out because he is swinging at the same rate of 33% of 1st pitches that he has done his whole career and that is where his success is coming on 1st pitch strikes now. His percentage of pitches swung at is also at career levels. Over his career, he hits best at cleanup (where he hit yesterday) and batting 6th. Worse at leadoff and the 5 hole. Strange how much his numbers fall off in the 5 hole. Nix actually had a .350 OBP last year so his walks are down but is sporting a 13.6 AB/HR ratio now vs. a career 25.8.

  47. Steve M. - Jun 2, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Nats Outsider, Riggleman isn't the problem and I am with you on that. Just wish Riggles embraces what he has done in the wins, small ball and quicker hook on his pitchers. Only change is replacing Slaten. He got real lucky yesterday.Small ball + HRs = Smart ball = Wins.

  48. Big Cat - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Wonder if that guy posting about Mattheus was actually him. Could of been. I guess the players read this stuff too…..well, some. Nats Jack, I trust your judgement on this guy. Mattheus was also in AA this year and threw well. Who knows, he could be a sleeper. Lord knows he has paid his dues. That frickin Texas league is as hot as hell and the busrides are hell too. Just ask SadMan. Mr. Mattheus, if that was you posting, good luck to you…..and ice that elbow after you throw

  49. Drew8 - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Regarding Solis, this is from the Nationals Top 10 Prospects Watch" section on MLB.com."Solis had to hang back in Florida at the start of the season because of a minor groin injury, but could head to Class A Advanced Potomac when ready."

  50. Doc - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    So how long do the Nats' FO stick with Maya, if he continues to be a 3 inning pitch guy?? Until Gorzo comes back? That could be another 10 starts away!

  51. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    "Dave Sheinin did a great piece in the fishwrap edition of the Post on Jose Bautista and his new swing.There's a guy whose success is driven by change.I wish Sheinin did a piece like that on Nix…"As soon as another writer does such a piece on Nix, Sheinin will be able to parrot it in the Post. Sadly, that is the state of sports writing today – glom on other people's writings.

  52. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Regarding Solis, this is from the Nationals Top 10 Prospects Watch" section on MLB.com.With regard to Solis please stay updated with current news about all NatsProspects and farm system moves at NationalsProspects.com. There, please peruse SpringFieldFan's big board to determine the location of current prospects.If you had you would know that Solis has already started his first game … but in Hagerstown NOT Potomac. He is listed on the Sun's roster. As for Ankiel leading off. Riggleman's starting 3rd baseman replacing Zim is hitting .248 with a .310 OBP. The .310 OBP isn't great but it appears to be improving. He is faster than Ankiel, He has led off more than a number of times in his career. So, he has a breadth of experience.This guy is a veteran something Riggleman is supposed to prefer?Again Riggleman: inconsistent, worst wining percentage in the history of baseball as a manager, almost always finishes below the team's pythagorean, doesn't believe in advanced stats, believes in his guy and rampant cronyism. YES Riggleman IS THE problem … any manager who forces a roster not built to play "small ball" to play "small ball" as he did last year is a losing manager and will always be a losing manager.

  53. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Bunting for a base hit is not small ball.Leading the National League in 2010 calling for the sacrifice bunt in more situations is small ball.Riggleman is a small ball manager.

  54. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Mattheus was hitting 93 – 95 on the gun with great movement. I like him alot.So, do I. He's Wang or at least what Wang used to be except he is now a reliever instead of a starter. And no, Mattheus didn't post that above. I did because I follow the Chiefs. Does anyone know that Matt Antonelli went 4 for 4 with a home run last night? That he is now hitting .389 in Syracuse? There's a guy who might have made a better replacement for Zim during his injury recovery. Instead of Hairston and Cora.

  55. FS - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Anon 12:57, that list is too biased. Except two, I think that list has only Eastern players. Again I don't think many people think too highly of Swisher, Soriano, Drew, etc. And Pujols name on the list is just retarded. His name is mentioned with the likes of Gehrig and co for a reason. As much as I hate all steroid admitted users such as ARod, Manny, etc, they were truly fearsome at one time in their careers. And what is Longoria doing on that list. I can just go on and on.And yes, Werth is overrated but not more than CarGo, and other Colorado or Arizona hitters.

  56. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Why the sudden influx of Anonymous posts? Skipping them makes reading the thread much quicker though.

  57. Mark'd - Jun 2, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Anonymous pots or Anonymous ghosts? SteveM, love the work on Nix, wonder why Nix doesn't perform in the 5 hole?!?

  58. Doc - Jun 2, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    Mrs. Anonymous visited the fertility doctor several years ago, and her progeny are now coming of age.

  59. say what? - Jun 2, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    What's so difficult to understand about why Riggs has Ankiel leadoff when he starts in CF instead of Bernie? Riggs has stated that he's doing this so as not to disrupt the rest of the batting order, as he'd prefer the #2-8 hitters stay in their "normal" batting order. If he doesn't leadoff with Ankiel, then almost everyone else's spot in the order gets shuffled around, and if there's one thing players like more than anything else it's consistency (and superstitions).That being said, I don't want Ankiel leading off (heck even starting) more than 1 or 2 games a week. I think it's perfectly fine having him in there every so often as his defense has been pretty darn good. In a perfect world, Ankiel would be the LH-PH off the bench and Stairs would be sitting in his canoe somewhere up in Canada the rest of the summer.

  60. JD - Jun 2, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Steve M., Extending Marquis and Pudge are Bowdenesque moves designed to maintain and sustain mediocrity over an extended period of time. Marquis is not markedly better than Stammen or Milone who you get at a fraction of the price allowing you the option of spending elsewhere. Pudge may be a nice guy and a great mentor but at this stage of his career he is a replacement level player and with Flores available to back up Ramos and Norris no more than a year away you can allocate your money in a much more intelligent manner.

  61. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 2, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    say what?…. I agree on Ankiel in the lead off spot when he absolutely has to play and keeping the rest of the batting order the same.And somebody, please, show Stairs a couple of cases of Labatt's and a fly rod and send him on his way.

  62. Anonymous8 - Jun 2, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    JD said… Steve M.,Extending Marquis and Pudge are Bowdenesque moves designed to maintain and sustain mediocrity over an extended period of time. Marquis is not markedly better than Stammen or Milone who you get at a fraction of the price allowing you the option of spending elsewhere. Pudge may be a nice guy and a great mentor but at this stage of his career he is a replacement level player and with Flores available to back up Ramos and Norris no more than a year away you can allocate your money in a much more intelligent manner. June 2, 2011 4:27 PM JD, Stammen? How many times will we go down that road? I take Lannan over Stammen although the money savings to spend elsewhere is a good thought over Marquis.I like alot of SteveM's ideas and visions so the thought of a Type A future is intriguing to get some extra Draft picks after 2012.I don't see those moves as a move towards mediocrity if they are reasonable dollar extensions. Nix would be a Bowdenesque move before you know if his numbers are sustainable.Marquis could be your #4 or #5 pitcher in 2012 and better than Gorzo or Lannan and you extend him for one year to get 2 top Draft Picks like what they did with Dunn. Only way to do that is extend him and get his stats to dictate that he is a Type A pitcher which makes him much more valuable even if you trade him as the team that trades for him gets the Type A picks. Still would have to have a very good 2012 too as it isn't guaranteed. Remember, if he leaves now he won't qualify as a Type A or Type B free agent and won't garner decent trade bait at July 31st.On Pudge, you do it if you can trade Jesus Flores for the right type of Prospect in a Prospect for Prospect trade. Pudge makes a great backup as he is no Wil Nieves and then you have Norris as your heir apparent.

  63. Drew8 - Jun 2, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    NJ says Riggs is starting Ankiel and sitting Nix, who has homered in three of his last four games. Why is he continuing to play Ankiel?Why not go with the hot hands and play Bernadina and Nix? (I'd play Stevie Nicks over Ankiel.)

  64. Anonymous8 - Jun 2, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Steve M. said… Rick Ankiel owns a couple of LH pitchers. One of them is pitching tonight for the DBacks. Ankiel has very good numbers vs. Duke so we should all be prepared for Ankiel to start in CF tonight and see who Riggleman puts in LF vs. the lefty, maybe Bixler.Espinosa should be happy getting 2 LH pitchers while in Arizona. June 2, 2011 11:24 AM ____________________________________How's about Bernadina in LF and leading off tonight and Ankiel in CF.

  65. Doc - Jun 2, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    The best way to handle Uncle Jimmy is for the players to 'take the manager out of the game', as ball players say.When Mickey Morse pulls an inside pitch for a broken-bat single, Bernadina bunts to get on base, Desmond steals on his own, or Espi bops one over the fence, not much for Riggsy to do to screw things up NatsFans.3 out of 4 in 'Zona!!Gooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!!!!

  66. Anonymous - Jun 2, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Based on the stats Arizona is actually the better "smart ball" team. As well as in every other category. Rebuilt almost from the ground up by Towers they are winning with all the ingredients Rizzo and Riggleman espouse except one: they aren't playing decrepit, washed up veterans in their lineup eschewing them for younger players. And Kirk Gibson seems able to manage them. So, tonight Riggleman puts Ankiel in after the game Nix had against the Phillies. The excuse being Ankiel's historic record against this pitcher. And he'll find some other excuse tomorrow night … and in the end even that sycophant NatsJack will have to admit that Riggleman sucks. That day is coming …

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WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
THU: OFF
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