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Poll: Who should be Nats’ All-Star?

Jun 13, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

Four weeks from today, the baseball world will converge in Phoenix, site of this year's All-Star Game. Rosters for both the NL and AL will be announced in less than three weeks.

You all know the rules: At least one player from every team must be included. And in the case of the Nationals, there's not really a slam-dunk choice.
The most-obvious possibility is Drew Storen, who has successfully converted 15 of 16 save opportunities and earlier this year had a 21-inning scoreless streak. But there are no shortage of top closers in the NL, and Storen could easily get left out of the mix.

Danny Espinosa has been one of the most-productive second basemen in the league, and he's also played sparkling defense. But how much has the rest of the sport been paying attention to Espinosa? And will the decision-makers be able to overlook his .212 batting average?

No one the NL has been hotter at the plate over the last month-plus than Michael Morse, who is batting .358 with a 1.086 OPS since May 1. But Morse, who spent plenty of time on the bench in late-April andRead more »

  1. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Mark – shouldn't you at least mention the Nats leader in WAR? Jordan Zimmermann has 2.3 WAR on the season, Espy is 2.0. JZimm is currently tied for 6th in the NL among pitchers.Just sayin'.

  2. Hendo - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Clip. Or Wilson Ramos.Drew Storen… OK, but not J-Zimm? Really?

  3. Binx Bolling - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Clippard, Storen and J. Zimmerman deserve consideration. Nobody else.

  4. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Btw, the poll is blank below the headline "Who should be the Nats' All-Star?" for me (using my work PC, not my home Mac)

  5. Anonymous - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Yeah, how do you not even mention Jordan Zimmermann? I think it will be Storen, but if I was ranking them based on merit it would be:1. Clippard2. Zimmermann3. Storen4. Morse

  6. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Ah, nevermind, it is there now. I'll reiterate my earlier point that JZimm should at least have a button

  7. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Yeah, I probably could/should have included Zimmermann. But if you ask me, Jordan would have to win his next three starts to even have a chance. As much as we've come to accept a pitcher's won-loss record isn't the best indication of his performance, I'm not sure anyone with a losing record is going to get an All-Star nod.

  8. Doc - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Clip is my choice. Mickey Morse maybe. But Clip deserves some credit, ASG or otherwise, for the yoeman service he has given to the team, not just this year, but other past campaigns. The guy's a trooper.My guess is that Storen will be the pick–he's got the numbers!

  9. Hendo - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Agreed, Mark. And if they did, the legacy mediasphere would raise hell about it. (So would at least one GM of my acquaintance.)

  10. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Mark – probably right, although I hope that the baseball powers that be continue to move away from pitcher wins as a meaningful guide to performance.But if you are right, I suggest Danny has even less chance with that BA. At least the traditionalists can look at JZ's ERA (which is 11th amongst starters)

  11. Feel Wood - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Assuming he maintains his current pace, the obvious choice will be Jason Marquis. He's 7-2 now (should be 8-2 except for Riggleman's early hook in Baltimore) and looks to have four more starts before the ASB. Say he goes 2-1 with one no-decision in those starts. That would put him at 9-3. With the other options being two rookies (or almost-rookies) in Espinosa and Storen, a journeyman having a hot month in Morse and a set-up man in Clippard, a veteran starter and former All-Star carrying a 9-3 record would be a shoo-in pick. Could be the second year in a row that the team's All Star gets traded just a couple weeks after the game.

  12. JamesFan - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Storen

  13. Anonymous - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Clippard. Marquis is first runner up for being our best hitter.

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    For those promoting Jordan Zimmermann ( and I really like the guy) let me point out that Dillon Gee (check his stats) of the Mets isn't going to the All Star game so how could you promote Jordan for the honor?I'm a Clippard guy although Feel Wood is right about Marquis. But he has to stay hot for 3 more weeks.

  15. Oscar Sodani - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Clippard – no doubt in my mind. He's the team's best reliever and has been dominant all year.

  16. FS - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Binx is partly right. These three have been pretty consistent so far this season. But Morse also has been pretty amazing since May 1. I am also a huge fan of Ramos' catching. Let us not forget Danny. I remember few fans were calling Adam Kennedy, Chase Utley compared to Espinosa. I repeat myself that he has almost matched their season production before All Star break, in addition to stellar defense. His defense alone should get him in actually. If it were upto me, I would put every single one of them in. But back to reality, we will have only one representative unless Bochy owes Riggs any favors.Before I was convinced that there are better relievers (closers included) than Clippard. After looking up stats, only Venters is the better reliever. Is there a way we can find LOB% for relievers? I am sure Clippard is one of the leaders. He deserves it the most. For now, Clippard gets my vote.All other positions have too many options or players are not 'proven' enough.

  17. JayB - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Danny E is the clear choice here….. on his defense alone…and he is a productive hitter..Someone has to go from Nats…Danny would be the best show case of where this team is heading. The "New" Nats….so glad we are not talking about Guzman ans our all star anymore.

  18. Drew8 - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Morse is leading the club in homers (yes, tied with DE), RBI and batting average, even though he has 40 fewer at bats than his mates.He also has played flawless defense.Storen has been great, but at this point, the big fella gets my vote.

  19. Section 222 - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Mark, this selection is made by the manager, Bruce Bochy, right? I would think he would pick the player who can help the team most, especially in the absence of a consensus choice on who is most deserving. For that reason, Clippard seems like the likely choice. If he needs a strikeout of one batter late, Clippard may give him a better shot of that than any pitcher, much less any reliever, on the staff. I'd certainly choose him over Storen for that task. He's not going to need anothe closer for a full inning's work.

  20. Glomp - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Interesting, I didn't know this before: Morse tested positive for steroids in 2003 and 2005. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2154494

  21. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    NatsJack – as a JZimm guy, here is my two-prong argument.(1) JZ – 2.3 WAR; Gee – .9 WAR(2) every team gets at least one AS, and Jose Reyes doesn't play for the Nats

  22. Original Nats Fan - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Storen, Clippard or Marquis all deserve consideration. I'll vote for Clip.

  23. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    But tho I think it SHOULD be JZimm, I think it actually WILL be Storen

  24. erocks33 - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Mark Zuckerman said… … I'm not sure anyone with a losing record is going to get an All-Star nod.———————————————-Maybe, but most people last year thought the chances of a SP with a 13-12 W-L record shouldn't win the Cy Young, and lo and behold there's Felix Hernandez taking home the award, so anything is possible.As for the comparison to Dillon Gee, if the Mets didn't have Jose Reyes as their most likely representative, then they could make an argument about having Gee go. But since the Nats really don't have any one "no-brainer" choice, I think they have to look at JZim and what he's done so far this year (more specifically, what he's done in his last 8 starts!)

  25. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    One last thought (sorry to be posting so many on this thread).I think Feel Wood's logic is solid on Marquis, but I think that Riggs/Rizzo will have some influence and (a) they will want it to be one of the guys for the future like Storen, so that we can read 'All Star Drew Storen' in the marketing materials/mainline media write ups, and (b) Riggs isn't crazy about Marquis, and won't go out of his way to reward him. So long as the AS rep is something of a toss up, I can see them influencing Bochy towards one of the others. Sorry if that is a little cynical.

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Sorry but I'm still sending T-Clip. How ironic it would be to look down in the National League bull pen and see T-Clip sitting next to Joel Hanrahan. It could happen.

  27. A DC Wonk - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    I've been busy and not able to read all the comments carefully. But has anyone discussed the news about Livo's alleged involvement as "straw buyer" for illegal stuff?

  28. raymitten - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Danny Espinosa, although I doubt his average will be high enough to give him the nod. No matter what the average, he does something either with the bat or with the glove to help the team. Everyday.

  29. JayB - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Njack "it could happen" only because the rules say each team must send one….In reality no Nats are all stars. Question to you though….Is not Danny E the best player on the 25 man roster right now?I would take Danny over Jason W or anyone else except R Zimmerman (who is not on 25 as of this minute right?).

  30. Tcostant - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    I agree with Feel Wood, Jason Marquis is the answer. If he just splits his starts win wins and losses by the break, he'll still be the best looking Nationals. Second year in a row we can trade our All-star!

  31. Gonat - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Jordan Zimmerman should be if W/L wasn't the main emphasis. In the last 8 starts he has become or should I say is a real star. After King Felix won the Cy Young, we have to get off of W/L records. Go through each start like his 4-1 lead that Burnett gave up a grand slam and JZim didn't get his W.After yesterdays discussion here it is disappointing he isn't in the poll. Still over 2 weeks left to decide and a lot of baseball to be played.

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Not when your hitting .165 from the left side. I love the kid and he will improve but Tyler Clippard's been virtually unhittable in what have been constant pressure situations.

  33. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    This is not about who is the "best National's player" but about who is an all-star in the league at a given position, with all-star defined as being one of the top two or three players at that position. Thus, I'd look at it this way:Is Morse one of the two or three top 1B in the NL? No.Is Espinosa (as much as I like him and his potential) one of the top two or three 2B in the NL? Not yet.Is Storen one of the top three closers in the NL? Close, but probably not.Is JZimm one of the top four or five starting pitchers in the NL? No.Is Clippard one of the top two or three set-up guys? Yes.And while I know 'set-up guy' isn't exactly a recognized position, if I'm the NL manager I'm picking Clippard.

  34. sjm308 - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    If Bochy wants to put the best team out there to win the game it will/should be Clippard, because he fills a need. Marquis is not used to coming in to pitch just one inning in the middle of the game and certainly would not be the starter, and Storen is now used to closing and there are better people for that role as well. Morse would be interesting but look at all the others at first base plus, you will probably play Pujols for more than 3 innings. If its just picking players to give the team a rep. then Storen is a decent choice but I like Clippard.

  35. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    sjm – I think that is right. If they pick rosters to win the game, Clippard is the choice followed by Storen.If they pick rosters to satisfy fans interest, I think Clip loses to Storen, Espy and JZimm (not necessarily in that order).This may be the last year we only have 1 AS rep.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    JayB… and "it could happen" because both T-Clip and Hanrahan are the two most deserving reps from their respective teams.

  37. Anonymous - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    If it has to be a reliever, Clippard gets my nod. If they would need a starter, Zimm would be the pick. JTinSC

  38. Bowdenball - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Another vote for Espinosa. He get the sabermetric nod based on his WAR. And looking at it from the opposite direction, he also gets the "wow" factor nod. Nobody else on the team has made half as many highlight reel plays as Espy. To me when you can capture both player value and fan appeal in the same guy, that's the guy you want in the All-Star game.And have you looked at the 2B ballot for the NL? Not exactly a murderer's row. Subtract Uggla who is having a miserable season and Utley who has barely played, and you''re left with Weeks and then plenty of room for Espy on the roster.

  39. natsfan1a - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Conflicting edits? AFLAC?Another vote for Clippard here.

  40. sjm308 - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Never thought about it but Wally is right, this might be the last year that we get that "token" pick. Can you imagine if Werth turns it around next year, Zimm plays to his normal numbers, SS has the same kind of success before his injury and Jordan Zimmnn keeps improving as well. They will have a hard time figuring out who to chose. The only negative will be that fan voting will kill us if our guys are playing well because we honestly don't get the support that teams like St. Louis, Philly and Cincinnati do. Still, one can dream.

  41. Bowdenball - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said:"Is Espinosa (as much as I like him and his potential) one of the top two or three 2B in the NL? Not yet."At the moment he's second in the NL in Wins Above Replacement. His defensive rating is first in the NL by a good amount, which sounds right to me. He's one of the best defensive middle infielders in baseball.

  42. Nattydread - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    Clippard. Our only devastating and consistent player.

  43. Steve M. - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Nattydread, consistency? Hate to tell you while that is great for Nats fans, the ASG is about how you finish and not always how you started which is great for Morse. Morse's versatility to play OF and 1B helps the manager too.If they need another pitcher, JZim is the man and for all the reasons I mentioned yesterday is why he won't be chosen as he has a losing record. What manager wants to explain why he chose a pitcher as an All Star with a losing record.Clippard is a top set-up man and they usually lose out to the guys with all the saves so while we all appreciate Clippard, that is still a tough call.Storen has the saves and while he lost a lot on ERA, still is making a name for himself and I think has a better chance then Clippard.Marquis has solid stats and what everyone likes which is the good looking W/L record. If Rizzo is to trade him, being a 2011 All Star for the Nats will help in trade value, not sure how much but it will help.Then you have the 2 rookies in Espinosa and Ramos. Espinosa is an All Star if you take his RH batting stats because his LH batting stats are Mendoza-like which makes that all important BA not great, and then you have Gold Glove defense to go with his total package making him a ROY candidate. Ramos is already showing that he is a good game caller with a rifle arm and a good bat. Both are a long shots to make the All Star team.While I would pick JZim, I think right now it is between Marquis, Storen and Morse. Morse is a former All Star with a nice W/L record and while hs isn't my choice is a safe choice for Bochy.

  44. ronk - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    At last year's March season ticket holder pre-game event there was a photo opportunity with the players. Clippard and Lannan were together. I went up for my picture and making conversation I asked Lannan if he had circled the date and location of the 2010 All Star game. Without hesitation, he named the date and location. Clippard expressed amazement at Lannan's knowledge of a game that neither would likely play. Lannan said that he was aiming to be on the team. Clippard said someday he hoped that he would be able to play at the All Star game and have enough confidence to circle the date on the calendar. Of course, Lannan came nowhere close to the All Star game last year, but it would be very cool if Clippard made it this year.

  45. Steve M. - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… both T-Clip and Hanrahan are the two most deserving reps from their respective teams.June 13, 2011 4:20 PM Really, glad you have decided who is the "most deserving". It is called opinions and not NatsJack's list of "most deserving". I know plenty of people who would disagree with you and Andrew McCutchen's family is wondering if you haven't heard of him. .289 BA and a .385 OBP with 37 RBIs.While Joel Hanrahan is having an All Star season, he certainly isn't a lock either.

  46. Anonymous - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    2 who might get well deserved consideration: Laynce Nix and Jason Marquis.

  47. Steve M. - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    JayB said… only because the rules say each team must send one….In reality no Nats are all stars. June 13, 2011 3:56 PM JayB, that is as ignorant a statement as you have made in a long time.All Star selections bring out a lot of favortism for guys that get in on reputation and don't deserve it. This Nats team is the best since they have been in Washington and while the record doesn't show it, this team has plenty of All Star calibre players.

  48. Steve M. - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said… This is not about who is the "best National's player" but about who is an all-star in the league at a given position, with all-star defined as being one of the top two or three players at that position. Thus, I'd look at it this way:Is Morse one of the two or three top 1B in the NL? No.Is Espinosa (as much as I like him and his potential) one of the top two or three 2B in the NL? Not yet.Is Storen one of the top three closers in the NL? Close, but probably not.Is JZimm one of the top four or five starting pitchers in the NL? No.Is Clippard one of the top two or three set-up guys? Yes.And while I know 'set-up guy' isn't exactly a recognized position, if I'm the NL manager I'm picking Clippard. June 13, 2011 4:10 PM Interesting observations. I like underdogs and Clippard is an underdog type of guy which is probably why I like Morse, JZim, Espi, and Ramos too.Storen and Marquis based on oveall stats will get the most recognition for those looking at Saves and W/L records. Dig into it and Clippard has been the ultimate stopper and top setup guy.

  49. The Kitch Family - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    Just think, it wasn't so long ago that Storen was drafted and now he is being talked about as an All-Star. Great pick.I also hope that everyone who got picked this year is taking notice and will sign quickly and get into the minors despite who their agent is.That would be a great question for Boras – isn't it in your client's best interest to sign early rather than later.

  50. dryw - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    I just love them all! I couldn't even bring myself to vote in the poll. But maybe I'm just a little giddy because of Zim coming back.

  51. FS - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    I agree with Kitch. Especially the top picks should be excited to get to majors as soon as they can. They have a lot to prove, even that Rendon guy. Get in the minors, skip levels quickly, and end up in the bigs next season if possible. Boras is your agent so you should know that you will not be robbed or anything. He will get you more than you are worth. Why not just hurry up the process?

  52. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Kitch/FS – no doubt that you are right about most above average major leaguers (better to sign early, get to the majors more quickly), but in general I think that I come out the other way. Even just looking at 1st round picks, most don't become well paid major leaguers. A lot of them get a cup of coffee, some play for a few years at minimum, only a comparative few are in consideration for all star games.For the vast majority of kids, if they can get another $750k+ by waiting until the last possible minute, it is the right thing for them to do. Maybe not to us fans, but for the kids involved, this signing bonus may be their biggest payday by far.

  53. Mutch - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    1. Stairs2. AnkielSeriously though, Marquis and Clippard

  54. Gonat - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Well golllly, I thought I was opinionated then I read people's picks like they are the only one who is right. I don't have the right answer because there isn't a right answer but so many good names mentioned and liked from the top the first 3 commentors threw out the name JZ and threw out Ramos. JZ is my pick. Dominant starter we haven't seen in Washington in a long time over this long of a period since, since, Stephen Strasburg!!!There are All Star snubs every season and there will be this year.I think Madison Bumgartner and Jordan ZImmermann can talk about great ERAs, WHIP, K/9 and BB/9 and HR/9 and have losing records.Let's see what happens in a few weeks.

  55. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    The ASG us as much about the second half of last year, as I think SteveM was saying. A rookie hitting .212 might get ROY votes for defense and power, but he ain't going to Phoenix. Other teams, like the Mets, will have obvious picks, but Boche will need to round out a roster, and that may be a factor, too.Do not overlook the fact that Riggleman was already picked to coach, presumably for his input on this point also.Marquis, if he keeps it up.

  56. Gonat - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    The Kitch Family said… I also hope that everyone who got picked this year is taking notice and will sign quickly and get into the minors despite who their agent is.That would be a great question for Boras – isn't it in your client's best interest to sign early rather than later. June 13, 2011 5:48 PM _________________________________Then Boras wouldn't be the most talked about agent if he did the right thing by his clients and didn't wait for the last minute DRAMA. The dollars may not change if they sign early but Ryan Zimmerman and Drew Storen may be great examples of 2 that signed early and got to the Majors quicker which maybe lengthened their MLB careers and that money is worth a ton too!

  57. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    *is as much

  58. FS - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Wally I do no understand your logic. You will go as far as your talent and work takes you. I do not think signing at the last minute means something will last longer.

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    FS, I think Wally was saying that, for the kids who do have substantial MLB careers, then yes, signing right away makes sense, but the majority do not make it. I don't know whether they actually come out ahead by holding out, but that is the logic.Wally, apologies if I misrepresented your point.

  60. JayB - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Steve,Lost of All Star caliber guys?…..Zimm is hurt…..Danny if flawed from the left side….Who did you have in mind as a true ALL STAR…best in the league at their job? Clip? and who else?

  61. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    If anyone cares (I do), UVa just made it to the College World Series. Down 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, UVa's first two batters got outs. The Wahoos then proceeded to get a single, an infield single, and a walk, loading the bases. Next came a walk-off, two-run single. Gritty comeback for the 'Hoos.

  62. Wally - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    Sec 3 – you conveyed my point well. Thx

  63. Andrew - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/adam-laroche-could-decide-on-shoulder-surgery-tomorrow/2011/06/13/AGxAIZTH_blog.html?wprss=nationals-journalKilgore writes it may be D-Day (decision day) for LaRoche tomorrow.I wish LaRoche all good thoughts and hope he comes back with miraculous news that the labrum is healed.

  64. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Steve M…. I said it "could be" because they were the most deserving. Not that they were. It was my counter to JayB's comment.

  65. NatsJak in Florida - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Actually, I said "could happen". But I meant the same thing.

  66. Drew8 - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    You can't take Jason Marquis over Jordan Zimmermann.Zimmerman has a 3.10 ERA and a 1.082 whip (hits plus walks/innings pitched.)Marquis has a 3.67 ERA and a 1.33 whip.The difference, of course, is run support. According to the pitching stats at MLB.com, Marquis has the highest run support average in the National league, at 9.67. Zimmermann ranks 55th in the National League with a run support average of 4.43.Marquis has been quite good. Zimmerman has been much, much better. The difference is run support, which is beyond their control.In the words of that magical scout, Doug Henning: "It's an illusion."If you take a starter, it's gotta be Zimm.

  67. Nero (the fiddler) - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Arguing about who represents the team in a game that means little to us…while no one mentions the detailed Washington Times piece on Livo's involvement with the Puerto Rican drug lord? And people think I was oblivious to what was happening around me?

  68. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    Livo… Puerto Rican drug lord… old news.

  69. Anonymous8 - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    Agreed. Old news on Livo. New news is who will be removed tomorrow when Ryan Zimmerman is activated!

  70. JaneB - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Clip. Though…for his hitting as well as pitching, Marquis. Except, out of the bullpen when you need him, Clip is better for the NL team as a whole, so he still gets my vote.Now I will confess to using all my votes in the real fan voting to vote for Wilson, back in April. He will get there. Just not this year.One more day till Zimm! I was supposed to seeing LIVE BASEBALL all week, but a family emergency took me out of town today. So I am doubly glad we get the OTHER ZMan back,tomorrow, so we can read his taken things.Oh Brian, I hope we see you again soon.

  71. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    I can't really say he deserves it over Clippard and Zimmermann, but the player I'm hoping gets chosen is Marquis. Why? Because it would increase his trade value. The Nationals should be looking to trade him for young talent, and they might be able to get an especially good prospect for an all star pitcher. Just like they did last year, when they traded Capps for Ramos. That worked out well. Let's do it again.

  72. HHover - Jun 14, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    My vote is Danny. In response to Eugene above, Danny actually *is* one of the top 2 2d basemen in the NL. Weeks is better with the bat, but Danny is close to as good as anyone else. And his defense is tops.An unrelated question: if Danny can't pick up his LHB numbers by the end of the season, do the tell him to only bat righty next yr?

  73. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Drew8, I agree Znn has pitched better, overall; but that is not necessarily the only criterion.

  74. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    @HHover, an unrelated reply: no, you get him a better coach. If that doesn't work, they platoon him, or live with it.He most likely couldn't hit lefties as well as he does now, nevermind better than he does now, from the other side. How long has he been switch-hitting?

  75. Gonat - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    HHover said… An unrelated question: if Danny can't pick up his LHB numbers by the end of the season, do the tell him to only bat righty next yr? June 13, 2011 9:56 PM ——————————–That was brought up a few weeks ago. You have to think if he can't bring up those LH numbers, it has to happen IMO. He can concentrate on just the right side in Winter Ball and see how it goes. You have to think with his nice RH swing that he will be better off just as a RH batter against RH pitchers and LH pitchers.

  76. SonnyG10 - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Eugene in Oregon said… If anyone cares (I do), UVa just made it to the College World Series. Down 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, UVa's first two batters got outs. The Wahoos then proceeded to get a single, an infield single, and a walk, loading the bases. Next came a walk-off, two-run single. Gritty comeback for the 'Hoos. June 13, 2011 7:17 PM Thanks for that update. After the Hoos lost the second game, I knew I would be too nervous to watch the tie breaker. I would have been greatly depressed if they had not made it to Omaha. I used to play for the Virginia Cavaliers back in 1965-1966 for coach Jim West.

  77. sjm308 - Jun 14, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Sec. 3 – with his defensive range I don't think platooning is an option so I am guessing they will just live with it. Sonny G – so you went up against Coach JJJJack JJJJackson and the terps (those of you who know and love coach Jackson will understand). I roomed with one of the Terps top pitchers in the wonderful confines of Ritchie Coliseum in 64 & 65(hey, free room and board, don't knock it). And he would have us rolling with stories. Our swimming coach was a character but Sully Krause, Jim Kehoe and Jack Jackson were just as crazy. It was a great time for Terp Athletics if you didn't count football and basketball.When I came back to coach, Tom Bradley who played for both the Terps and the Chicago White Sox was the Head Coach.

  78. HHover - Jun 14, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    sec3 and sjm – Yeah, maybe they just live with it. I'd think that platooning him you'd lose on defense whatever you gain on offense–and it's not clear now whom they'd platoon him with (not Alex Cora, for sure). On another unrelated note – Gorzelanny took the loss in Syracuse tonight–4 ER in 4 IP, on 4 hits, including 1 HR. Not that encouraging about his prospects for returning strong and quickly.

  79. Scooter - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    I would counsel patience on Espinosa for now. (On just about everything, for that matter.)One thing to remember is Espinosa's history of doing just fine against right-handers. I just reviewed his numbers: looks like the poor hitting as a lefty showed up only in AAA and the majors. Bright side: that's less than 500 plate appearances. Less bright: every time he moved up a level, he had more trouble with righties.So yeah, at some point you have to believe in the recent performance (or lack thereof). But for now, we can a) trust his history and b) remember that rookies get better.Just a quick thought.

  80. Scooter - Jun 14, 2011 at 5:06 AM

    Here: this Fangraphs article is a bit overly technical, even for my taste, and it largely ignores switch hitters. But this is useful, I think:* Switch-hitters display the most platoon skill variation as a population, but that is a can of worms for another day. The Book says that after 600 career PA against LHP, one has a pretty good idea of a switch-hitter’s platoon skill.Danny Espinosa has 101 plate appearances against left-handers.

  81. Anonymous8 - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Scooter – Espinosa's strength is against LHP. His weakness is against RHP batting as a lefty.

  82. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Wow…. just finished catching up on my WaPo check and read Boz's Q & A. Talk about somebody who finally can differentiate between the Lerner/Bowden FO and the Lerner/Rizzo FO.No fodder for the Lerner/Rizzo/Riggleman bashers in that session.

  83. Gonat - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    I think Danny's 163 at-bats vs. Right-handed pitching this year and coming up with a .178 batting average isn't giving him much benefit as a batter overall as it is dragging down his batting average overall considerably to .212 while he is batting .302 as a Right-handed batter. His left-handed OBP would be even worse if he wasn't HBP so many times (12 overall).Take the guy we just saw in San Diego, Alberto Gonzalez who has a career RH/RH batting average of .227 in 506 career at-bats. You don't think Danny Espinosa could bat higher than Alberto Gonzalez as a Right-handed batter vs. Right-handed pitching?

  84. Tim - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    I thought the same thing, Gonat. Stop being a switch hitter and just bat from the right side. But that's something you try in Spring Training, not in the middle of a season.

  85. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    sjm308……grew up in Falls Church with Tom Bradley. We've been friends since we were 9 years old. He and I were co-captains of the '65 Falls Church baseball team.

  86. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    And on Espinosa from the left side. He tends to drop his hands when he starts his forward motion. His swing gets way too long. As you progress levels, the pitching command gets better each time. The book is DO NOT GIVE ANYTHING STRAIGHT LOW AND INSIDE. That's his wheel house.Pitchers work him up in the zone and only throw him hard breaking stuff low and inside. His approach from the right side is quieter with the hands in a slightly higher position through the swing.Bottom line is he's more consistent through the hitting zone from the right side while he is very inconsistent from the left side.

  87. Gonat - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    All this Tyler Clippard love reminds me how the Nats got him after the 2007 season traded by the New York Yankees to the Nats for Jonathan Albaladejo. You know how much the Yankees would want Clip back.For anyone that remembers, Clippard was a top prospect starter in the Yankees system and someone(s) had the forethought to make him into a reliever which leads me to the thought, who is finally going to come to that conclusion on Ross Detwiler before he gets much older? Clippard is only 1 year older than Ross.Written this morning by Adam Kilgore Tyler Clippard stands out for both his dominance and his workload. He has thrown 38 2/3 innings, more than any reliever except the Braves’ amazing Jonny Venters. He’s got a 1.86 ERA, and he has inherited 30 base runners, more than reliever, while allowing just six to score.How many times have we talked about Jonny Venters and putting Clippard in that same discussion is impressive.

  88. Gonat - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And on Espinosa from the left side. He tends to drop his hands when he starts his forward motion. His swing gets way too long. As you progress levels, the pitching command gets better each time. The book is DO NOT GIVE ANYTHING STRAIGHT LOW AND INSIDE. That's his wheel house.Pitchers work him up in the zone and only throw him hard breaking stuff low and inside. His approach from the right side is quieter with the hands in a slightly higher position through the swing.Bottom line is he's more consistent through the hitting zone from the right side while he is very inconsistent from the left side. June 14, 2011 8:00 AM ——————————You nailed it. He is a sucker for high heat with 2 strikes and can't let himself get to 2 strikes.His hits come on mistake pitches and jumping on balls early in the count.I don't have the answer but the idea above of getting only RH work in for Winter Ball is a good idea.The only thing I disagree with is that Danny shortened his 'long swing' some and has regressed back again so we will see where he goes with it. When he hit that HR in the Milwaukee series it was a more compact swing.

  89. Wally - Jun 14, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    I agree that a long swing appears to be Espy's problem from the left side. The good news is that is a more fixable problem than something like slow bat speed or pitch recognition, and Danny seems like a guy who will work on that until he improves. I say leave him as a switch hitter. Its possible he hasn't faced RH v. RH in forever, and that could really set him back.On Clip, I also think that he has been tremendous for a few years now, but there is no more overvalued position than a shutdown reliever to a contending team in a pennant race. If someone offered up a position piece that was controllable for the next few years, say a CF, 1B or SS, we need to consider that.

  90. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Wally… I don't know about your take on Clip…it would almost have to be a "too good to pass up" thing for me. Clippard has so much deception in his delivery and two killer pitches that make him the nastiest 2 inning reliever in baseball.

  91. FS - Jun 14, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    NatsJack, can you please provide a link of Boz's Q&A. I could not find it at WaPo's site.And I am totally against trading Clippard. Prospect or no prospect, we should not create more holes in our bullpen than there already are. Who can possibly replace him if he is gone? I would not make him available.

  92. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    FS…. just go to the Wapo website – sports and theres a "Boswell Q @ A" just below the "Zimmerman Returns" articlcle.

  93. FS - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Thanks NatsJack. I was looking under Nationals WaPo homepage, but it was under WaPo Sports homepage.

  94. K.D. - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Okay I am weighing in, Tyler Clippard is my choice. With Riggs there, the perfect choice. Espinosa isn't there yet(still time for ROY though). Love to see Nix in the Home Run Derby, no way his swing would be effected.

  95. Wally - Jun 14, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    NatsJack – we aren't that far off, I would have to be knocked over too. I am just saying that Clip is the kind of guy that may bring that kind of offer. Where I may differ from you is that I probably place less value on relievers, all other things being equal, because they are only in there for a limited # of innings. Not zero value, just less. And I wouldn't want a crappy position player over a great reliever.In my view, only very few guys can actually be untouchable. Meaning that you wouldn't trade them under any circumstances. RZim is probably the only guy that currently fits that for me. Everyone else, you need to be coldly rational about whether you are getting more back than you are giving up. Sounds harsh, but I think Rizzo has to think that way.

  96. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 14, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    I voted for Clip. The teams generally pick one reliever who is not a closer in case they need someone to come in during a crucial part of the game with runners in scoring position. Closers occasionally come in those situations, but a person like Clippard or Venters would do it more. Venters has better numbers, but has other Braves (like McCann Jurjens etc ) who will be on the team.

  97. Scooter - Jun 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    I think I used too many words about Espinosa, and my point became unclear. Here it is again:He's a rookie. Wait.(The captcha is "forhapp." No, I don't think I'd trade him for Happ, but thanks for asking.)

  98. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Hmmm, NatsJack is on top of the Boz Q&A. Me thinks he learned about that from me … ~smiles~ old dogs learning new tricks and all of that …

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