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Versatile Nix proving invaluable

Jul 5, 2011, 2:20 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Laynce Nix has played admirably through nagging injuries and position changes.

Before the top of the seventh inning yesterday afternoon, Davey Johnson approached Laynce Nix with a simple question: "When's the last time you played first base?"

Nix told his manager he didn't think he'd done it since high school.

To which Johnson replied: "Well, you've got a good memory, don't you?"

So it was that Nix — veteran of 1,093 professional games in the major and minor leagues, all of them spent in the outfield — found himself standing at first base in the top of the seventh of a tight ballgame.

And found himself tracking down a pop-foul off the bat of the very first batter that came to the plate. And then found himself scooping a low throw out of the dirt from third baseman Alex Cora.

"Of course the game is going to find you when you move to a new spot," he said later with a laugh. "It's always kind of funny how thatRead more »

  1. masnstinks - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    We have several players that can play multiple spots – a great asset on this team, and for any team at this point of the season when nagging injuries are a factor. I'm sorry – no matter how hard they try, though, Stairs is not going to be one of those people, imho, he is done. Cora, Hairston, Nix and Bixler have been aces. Our regular players seem to be able to switch around at will – look at what Morse has done! Having a versatile team give you tons of options – including pitchers that can hit. Marquis, Zimmermann and Livo have all been called on to pinch hit. There was a game where Znn had a similar perfect bunt off the bench. Maybe next season the team will be beefed up offensively, but for now, the guys who will do anything to play and win are the ones who are manufacturing wins. By the way, Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn both went yard yesterday. I think I heard the city of Chicago sighing a collective sigh of relief.

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    masnstinks…. and Willy Mo Pena went yard as well, his 4th since being called up. The roof was open in Milwaukee and he darned near left the building with his blast.

  3. Doc - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Even when Dunn was with Pena on the Reds a few years back, it was Willy Mo who hit the moon shots. The whole bench used to stand up when he hit one.

  4. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    What on earth are they waiting for? call some guys up from AAA! Davey says he doesn't like playing short, but he's playing with a 22-man team right now.

  5. Steve M. - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    masnstinks said… We have several players that can play multiple spots – a great asset on this team, and for any team at this point of the season when nagging injuries are a factor. I'm sorry – no matter how hard they try, though, Stairs is not going to be one of those people, imho, he is done. Cora, Hairston, Nix and Bixler have been aces. Our regular players seem to be able to switch around at will – look at what Morse has done! Having a versatile team give you tons of options – including pitchers that can hit. Marquis, Zimmermann and Livo have all been called on to pinch hit. There was a game where Znn had a similar perfect bunt off the bench. Maybe next season the team will be beefed up offensively, but for now, the guys who will do anything to play and win are the ones who are manufacturing wins.I agree with you and happy to say it as I was a skeptic of the "aces" you named when Rizzo assembled the bench for Opening Day. Now to the tough part. When you win, everything seems right. In a few weeks, Hairston will be ready to come off the DL and the tough decision goes back to Bixler or Stairs. Look, Stairs finally hit a ball over an outfielder's head in that walk-off single. He still stinks and his WAR proves it. Bixler is very multi-dimensional and if he could hit for average he would be cemented better in that Jamey Carroll mold I have discussed before.Nix on the other hand is so much better than what Rizzo bought that he has been an impact player on this team. The Nats have a long All Star break starting Sunday afternoon and it comes at a great time to get all the walking wounded rested.If this team can start to score consistently at an average of 4.5 runs per game, there will be a lot more wins in the 2nd half of the season.

  6. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Silly me to start a comment and then not check to see if a new post has come up in the meantime. So please excuse this duplicate comment:Wally/Grandstander/Drew8 — I went to the game in Harrisburg last night (my reward for being in PA all weekend instead of at Nats Park). Great night there. Norris and Rhinehart both hit two bombs (and they were not cheap homeruns either), and Harper's two hits were both sharply hit liners. The Harper highlight was when he went 1st to third on a *groundout* to the shortstop. Truly amazing, though he will never get away with that in MLB. He just never broke stride coming around second and beat the throw to third easily with a hard slide.Peacock was impressive. Consistently hit 93 mph on his fastball, according to the stadium radar gun (who knows how accurate it was?) He also and has a wicked breaking ball at around 74 or 75 mph. Even though he walked two batters, which apparently is alot for him, it's clear he has great command. I hope we see him in September in Nats Park.On Werth, I seem to remember an early season game against the Brewers where he did basically the same thing — stealing third, and then beating a throw home from Prince Fielder to win the game. It's very exciting when a guy takes over the game like that and essentially wins it single handed. Let's hope he starts hitting soon. The late game heroics wouldn't have been necessary if he had just singled in the 7th.As for booing, I don't do alot of it personally, but I strongly believe if you pay to go to a baseball game that's one of the things you have a right to do. (Unlike standing up in front of other paying customers, which should be a capital offense.) Who knows, maybe the booing inspired Jason to do his thing in the 10th.

  7. Stranded_in_Philly - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    "Boo me, cheer me, hate me, love me. I'm still going to go out there and try to slay the dragon." — Jayson WerthIs there anyway this ISN'T in the running for quote of the year thus far?

  8. erocks33 - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Anyone want to lay some odds on the chances the following Nats players get traded before the end of the month? And what could the Nats receive in return (including the PTBNL)?MarquisLannanLivoNixHairstonDesmondCoraPudgeCoffeyClippardAny one else

  9. Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    If Morse might miss a couple of more games wouldn't it make sense to bring Chris Marerro up for a spell?

  10. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    I'm with you, Seamhead. I understand the "don't mess with his development" idea, but a 2-week cup of coffee usually is a good thing, right? Besides, the team needs warm, healthy bodies in a big way.

  11. Sunderland - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Rizzo needs to decide what to do with Nix. If he keeps him till the year end, then he's a free agent. And with LaRoche coming back, Morse moving back to left field, Harper a possibility for mid-2012, Nix might decide he has a better shot at playing time elsewhere. And playing time is what semi-regulars like him crave the most.Rizzo needs to re-sign Nix this month, or trade Nix this month. Keeping him till year end, unsigned, makes no sense. Many playoff contenders would love another left handed power bat. Nix is one of the better trading chips we have. I'm betting Nix is traded in late July.

  12. PAY TO PLAY - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Doc said… Even when Dunn was with Pena on the Reds a few years back, it was Willy Mo who hit the moon shots. The whole bench used to stand up when he hit one. July 5, 2011 10:45 AM Did you all see who Dunn hit the HR off of? None other than that Aaron Crow guy. Sure, he is the Royals All Star, but he got the blown save and the loss giving up 3 runs.

  13. N. Cognito - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Bixler (28) .277 OBP, no powerCora (35) .290 OBP, no powerAnkiel (31) .292 OBP, no powerRodriguez (39) .278 OBP, no powerHairston (35) .335 OBP, no powerNix (30) .319 OBP, with powerStairs no explanation neededIf La Roche was healthy and Morse was in left, putting Nix on the bench, except for Nix, who's having a CAREER YEAR; Hairston, who's decent; and perhaps Pudge (backup role), what's to like?I can't figure out why so many people seem so enamored with our bench. I think it pretty much sucks.

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    PAY TO PLAY…. And Crow BALKED(!) in the winning run.

  15. Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Marrero is hitting pretty good, leading Syracuse in several stats, but almost as important is the fact that he has dramatically reduced his errors.

  16. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Seamhead/KevinR — I'm sure Rizzo would love to bring up some healthy bodies for DJ's bench, but that would mean putting the injured guys on the DL and they would be out for a minimum of 15 days from when they last played. Sometimes a DL stint is a good thing when you kind of want to give a guy a rest anyway (see Kimbell, C. and Slaten, D), but if you want him back as soon as he's healthy enough to play (see Morse, M. and Nix, L.) you don't want to do that. Personally, I'd love to see them DL Stairs now that they have a legitimate reason for it. Bring up Marrero or Tyler Moore and give them a shot at the bigs for a few weeks. Can't be any worse than Stairs, especially an injured Stairs.I'll bet that Rizzo would be happy to trade Marquis, Nix, Hairston, or Cora if he could get some kind of value for them. Marquis seems the most likely to go. The others, doubtful.

  17. Doc - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Thanks for the update on Crow, PAY TO PLAY. I like to keep up with the comparisons between Stor and Crow, since the Nats sorta interchanged their draft choices with these guys. I guess The Donkey helped us 'get even'! See who has the longer career–I'm betting on Stor!

  18. Steve M. - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    N. Cognito, it is a decent bench as you compare to some teams the Nats have faced. It isn't a great bench by no means. The nice thing is you can bring in any one of them except Stairs and get a decent defensive upgrade.Compared to last year's bench, this is an upgrade. I didn't think it would be but it has been and next season will be turned over as most of the names mentioned are on 1 year deals.Still to be seen if the Nats will be sellers or buyers or neutral at the trade deadline. Unless Rizzo can find a deal like Ramos where he finds a building block for the future like a stud CF lead-off guy, be on a wait and see. You can also move guys on the waiver-wire after July 31st.Pudge's greatest value in a trade was a month ago and nobody was offereing so why bother.

  19. Steve M. - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    To make trades and call it a trade for a guy who will never be a Major Leaguer like Cutter Dykstra who came courtesy of the Brewers in the Nyjer Morgan exile is almost like a politician's maneuver to give an illusion to constituents, in this case the fanbase, that you got something of value. The Nats would have been better off getting a few cases of baseballs and sunflower seeds.Rizzo boxed himself in on Nyjer by waiting too long to make a move. It was a bad strategy. The guys you move are the ones you have on 1 year contracts and Nix, Livo and Marquis appear to be the only ones who will be Free Agents next year to get some good return if the right deal is there.You only trade them if you get an overwhelming deal or I think you have to look at the cost of extending their contracts but obviously not in a Bowden'esque way.

  20. pos anon - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    If the Nats decide to give Lombardozzi a try at the end of the month, he has to play. He can't come up and sit. Neither can Desmond. If and when Lombardozzi comes up the likelihood of Desmond being traded increases, I think. But apparently he is well liked by the FO and the field staff. I hope they keep Nix, but I think Sunderland has correctly read the future on that one. Nix might bring some good value in a trade. The wildcard in all this is Wang. If he can duplicate Marquis' typical second half performance, I think Marquis goes. What Wang does in the next few rehab starts might clarify the trade picture.

  21. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Nix is having a really nice year and we should enjoy it. His career numbers (.290 OBP) indicate that it's probably not sustainable.If you can get him for $1mil or less for next year it wouldn't be a bad move; you are not getting any decent prospects for him. You are also not getting any decent prospects for Marquis because other GM's aren't idiots. They understand his upside and limitations and they know that he likely won't bring you to the promised land. Boston may be desperate for some arms but their GM won't give up anything substantial.

  22. Drew8 - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Update on Harper in Richmond:If you want to see the Kid this weekend, you'll have to go Friday night. I forgot that Harper and Peacock are heading out to the Futures Game, which is Sunday in Phoenix.My bad.

  23. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Seamhead, To me you can't bring up Marrero and/or Lombardozzi unless they are going to play every day; these guys are still good prospects and should not be used a bench fillers. If you want to bring up extras you may want to consider Antonelli, Aubrey etc. I see where the Nats moved Solis up to Potomac although I would have thought that he would be further along if he was a good prospect; good college pitching prospects should be able to compete at AA pretty much from the get go.

  24. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Peacock needs to be moved up to AAA soon. no?

  25. sjm308 - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    I had not thought about Nix as a trade chip but Sutherland hit it right. We have just a couple weeks to figure out what to do with Wang. I am guessing minor league play continues during the All-Star break so I guess we will see at least 3 more starts. I have no problem with trading Marquis as long as like Steve M. mentions, we just don't get someone who has no chance to make our club. I guess if they don't trade Marquis and Wang does impress they bring him up and put him in the bullpen until they shut down JZimm.As for our bench, NCog's numbers don't lie but these guys can all play various positions and they all seem to be better defensively than the guys we trotted out last year. The only guy on the bench right now who puzzles all of us is Stairs. I realize someone has to move when Hairston returns and can't imagine them keeping Stairs and moving Bixler back down but you never know what is really going on in the clubhouse and front office. Last point, Peacock is really starting to get me excited. You just can't have enough pitching and I am wondering what the big change is for this guy? Did he always throw 93 and why was he such a low round choice? Thanks in advance.Go Nats

  26. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    They could both re-sign Nix and trade him, if the terms are reasonable.

  27. LoveDaNats - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    First time I saw Nix smile was while playing first base yesterday.

  28. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Steve M, re trading Nyjjjjer, I don't disagree, necessarily, but when would have been the right time? When he was good, they needed to keep him; by the time it was clear he wasn' all that, everybody else knew it, too. The only time he had value, it was to the Nats.

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    And I'm all for improvement, but this bench would be a lot better if Werth and Zimm were hitting .300.

  30. DFL - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Desmond's trade value isn't very high right now. What sort of talent could we get for a 25 year old shortstop who has terribly regressed at the plate? Not much. Better to keep Desmond. But if Desmond stays in a funk for July and the Nats are in a Pennant race in mid-August, Lombardozzi should get the call up and not to sit.

  31. Sunderland - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    This bench seems like it is good because we are in so many 1 and 2 run games, that they get a lot of chances to come through. We win *when* someone on the bench eventually delivers, but we win *because* our pitching has kept the game close.

  32. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Wow, gotta love that picture of Laynce!

  33. Sam - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    I agree with trading Nix, Marquis, et al. The rest of the year will be mediocre, but I think it would be even with these guys around. I have said all along that Marquis and Nix are playing over their heads (and it is starting to show). Trade them, get some warm bodies. Let Marrero, Lombardozzi, etc. play. Even if you keep these guys around and finish the year .500, is that really acceptable? I mean, players like Nix are a dime a dozen. A corner outfielder with power? Stunning…The point is, keeping these guys around isn't showing any commitment to winning. It's showing a commitment to mediocrity by appeasing the fans with an 80-win team. Nix is exactly the type of player that should be sitting on the bench, filling in everyone third or fourth game. Heck, did anyone else notice that Reed Johnson has a .402 wOBA and his batting .330? These guys can be signed easily for cheap.

  34. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    I believe the quote as reported by beat writers was "Cheer me, boo me, whatever. I’m still going to go out there and play my game." But, yeah, I loved it, Stranded.I'm no armchair GM, but I've been pleased with the way the bench guys have stepped up overall. I'm also learning not to get too attached to such players, as that way it's easier when they get traded or otherwise go elsewhere. (I'll never forget you, Jamey. ;-))And, yeah, Laynce looks like Spuds Mackenzie shaking off after a bath (and I mean that in a good way).

  35. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    On another note, vote early and often:http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2011/fv/ballot.jsp?tcid=hpMW-asgballot-FV-2011

  36. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Hey, I'd be thrilled with an 80 win season this year. Next year, not so much. I actually think that the middle infield is one of the really tricky problems for Rizzo. Does he stick with Desmond, who has shown signs of becoming a run of the mill ok field, no hit SS. Or does he move Espinosa to short and make room for Lombardozzi at 2B if he continues to develop as a hitter. Desmond could be the next Jerry Hairston, Jur. utility guy, or at least a decent utility infielder. I hate to give up on him as an everyday player, but his deterioration at the plate is striking.Then again, I'll be perfectly happy with Espi at 2B if the Lerners can shell out enough money to get Jose Reyes to play here next year.

  37. Cwj - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Anyone else think that trading Clippard would be an absolute no-no?I really think the Nats will need him as they start competing over the next couple of years.I really doubt the Nats will trade Clipp, but if they do…I for one will not be happy camper.In fact I'll be furious at Rizzo.

  38. Cwj - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Oh yeah and I also hope Livo retires as a Nat.He loves it here and should be rewarded for his loyalty and performance.In my opinion Marquis will be the one traded.Hopefully before his ERA climbs too high and he loses value.

  39. baseballswami - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    The thing you have to realize about bench players is that , for one reason or another, they are not good enough to be starters anywhere. So — their value for us comes if they can play a lot of positions, take a walk, run for someone, or pinch hit and actually make contact sometimes, or bunt. If they were great players they wouldn't be on the bench in the first place. So — I think our bench players are good —- for bench players, not comparing them with starters and all-stars. I think Nix is going to be traded. I think we need to keep Bixler in the mix – versatile, smart, fast -I agree that he is of the Jamie Carroll mold. Of the rest, I really admire Cora a lot. Trade Gorzo or Marquis, but not Lannan, please. Don't know how I feel about the move back to playing Pudge more – great buy, but Ramos is the future.

  40. MicheleS - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    CWJ.. I agree, bad move trading Clipp. But I don't think they will. He's cheap and under team control for a coupld of years (I think). Coffey would be the more likely candidate from the Pen to be going

  41. SCNatsFan - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    CWJ, it isn't about who we trade, its about who we get back. Get us a reliable CF who can hit and lead off for Clip and it makes the loss easier to take. After all, bullpen arms on guys who pitch lots of games (ie Ayala, Majewski and the like) go south mighty quick but someone to roam CF for years would look awful nice right now.

  42. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Not disagreeing with the point generally re. relievers, but curiously Ayala's southward trend seemed to reverse after he left NatsTown. hmmm… He's certainly been around a bit since then. I was recently watching part of a game on MLB Network and saw him pitching out of the 'pen for the Yankees @ the Cubs (haha, the Cubs won :-)).

  43. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Trading Clip? All depends for what.I like him a lot but he's by no means untouchable; same for Storen. Also; I agree with Sam 100%. playing .500 is nice but not at the cost of developing for the future where we hope to compete for championships. CWJ, Do you think other GM's are fooled by stats like ERA? don't you think every GM knows exactly what they are getting with Marquis? the reason to trade him is to make room for someone like Peacock or Milone or Detwiler and for some salary relief; you ain't getting A grade prospects for him.

  44. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    SCNatsFAN,Exactly right.BTW,All the posters who screamed 'SIGN DUNN' last year. Have you seen how good Daniel Hudson is? I know we got Meyer with the draft choice and he might work out but Daniel Hudson is already there.In case you are wondering; Hudson is currently tied with Tim Lincecum for 11th best pitcher with a 3.2 WAR. As a frame of reference; Jordan Zimmermann is 14th with a 3.0 WAR.

  45. greg - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    if we get the right players in return, pretty much nobody is untouchable. problem is the farther we go down our roster, the return will generally be nothing of value. GMs don't usually (especially the last couple of years) overpay for the last 2-3 guys on your roster. to get value, you have to give value. so i'm all for trading pretty much anyone if they get a piece that actually means something to the future. and i don't mind the idea of trading a spare part to make way for a young guy who's ready to make the jump.but as (i think) stevem said earlier, it's foolish to trade people just to trade them. and it takes two to tango. so we actually need someone to offer something worthwhile to make a deal, too.

  46. MicheleS - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    1A – Love the Spuds comment.. My coworkers were curious why I busted up laughing! :-)

  47. erocks33 - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Marquis has to be traded before the end of the month. Don't care what they get in return. more than likely, they'll put Wang or maybe someone from Syracuse (Detwiler? Milone?) to replace his spot in the rotation.Because if you don't trade him now, we're left with him for the remainder of the season. He won't garner any draft pick compensations (not a Type A or B free agent), so if he walks after the season, we get nothing in return.If the Nats really want to re-sign him after the season, they would have to sign him to a 3+ year deal, as there is no way Marquis would want to re-sign for less than that. I like having Marquis on the team, but not for the next 3+ years.

  48. MicheleS - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    In case anyone is going to the game tonight. Kilgore just posted that Mrs Obama is there for pregame activities honoring are service men/women and that you should get their early.

  49. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    masnstinks…. and Willy Mo Pena went yard as well, his 4th since being called up. The roof was open in Milwaukee and he darned near left the building with his blastAnd before that as a 29 year old Pena demolished the AAA PCL with 21 home runs, a .363 BA .439 OBP and 1.165 OPS. 25 walks against 48 K's. AZ had to bring him up he was too much for AAA. Something changed with that guy, he finally "got it" proving JimBo right for once. It seems like those stints in the Independent Leagues did him some good?It just too a long time for Pena's maturation process. But, now how many years into his 30's will this last? Have to question that.

  50. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    And I'm all for improvement, but this bench would be a lot better if Werth and Zimm were hitting .300.Precisely. You can't hang everything on Espinosa, Harper, and probably Rendon. Too young just getting started. Its why they wanted a larger veteran presence and foot print.Have to believe Stairs will soon be gone. He couldn't even mange to provide a decent backup to Morse at first base. I think this happens well in advance of any Marquis trade. And yes I agree, they won't get much for him … but might if they do the cable TV thang and "bundle him". If you bundled him with Clippard to give an AL team a nice boost (say Tampa Bay) its very possible that they might get decent value back.

  51. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    If Morse might miss a couple of more games wouldn't it make sense to bring Chris Marerro up for a spell?No, if Johnson continues using Nix at first base you have your left-handed bat and starter. Marerro would not be likely to be in the starting lineup and his defense is such that he needs to play every single day at first base. His offense needs to be top notch (go check Willy Mo Pena's minor league stats for the first half and compare to Marerro) to start at that corner in the big leagues. He might make it as a backup/DH in the AL now.

  52. HHover - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Good for Wily Mo that he made it back, but I do wonder how long he'll stay. His power can be phenomenal–5 of his 8 hits with the Dbacks have been HRs–but he's a K machine. No BBs, so his .205 BA is also his OBP, and he has a 44% K rate–higher even than Adam Dunn this season.

  53. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    erocks3, Nobody is giving Marquis 3+ years; no way. The Nats can have him for 1 year if they want at the same price they are paying him ($7.5 mil) the problem is; he ain't worth it. If the goal is to play .500 at any cost then you keep him for the rest of the year but if he is blocking us from having an extended look at Milone or Peacock or even Detwiler then happy trails. Teams will give you: Corry Brown, Ryan Tatusko, Tanner Roark etc. but its very unlikely that you can get an every day young player for your spare parts (that's why the Ramos trade was such a steal).

  54. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Looks like the NationalsProspects.com web site is broken … getting an interesting error:Fatal error: Call to undefined method Arras_Widget_Tag_Cloud::WP_Widget_Tag_Cloud() in /home/content/89/6345989/html/wp-content/themes/arras-theme/library/widgets.php on line 328

  55. carolync - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    LOL, 1a. Thought I might be the only one who thinks Laynce Nix looks like Spuds MacKenzie. And Adam LaRoche looks like Bert on Sesame Street. Not derogatory. I love both players! This all-too-serious post needed some levity.Also, thanks for reminding me that I should be spending this time on ASG voting. The Nats and Orioles have formed the Beltway Ballot so that each team is asking fans of the other to vote for both Michael Morse and Adam Jones. Kinda nice.Fans are encouraged to arrive an hour early for tonights game because of tightened security. Mrs Obama is involved in pre-game activities.

  56. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Anon @ 2:49, I think you are selling Marrero a bit short. He is only 23 and has climbed the ladder nicely. He has not stalled at any level and in fact his numbers are better at AAA than at lower levels. I think that his power will improve as he gets stronger and that he will be an above average major league hitter; he's no Harper but he's still a decent prospect.

  57. erocks33 - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    JD,I agree. He ain't worth it. But I think Marquis just won't want to sign anywhere for less than 3 years. He's too old to start signing one year deals. He would want some security.Will some team offer him a 3 year deal at what he's making now ($7.5M per year)? NO WAY! Would some team offer him a 2 year deal with an option for a third at less than what he's making now (say $5M per year)? I would bet someone would. And I pray that that team is *NOT* the Nationals. If he wants to stay for one more season at a discount, fine, keep him. But I just don't see him willing to do that (length and discount). He's looking for a multi-year deal and the Nats have too much potential talent coming up (Strasburg, Milone, Peacock, top FA) that he would be easily replaceable next season.

  58. Steve J, Alexandria - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Nix has definitely been an outstanding asset for the Nats this season. Only one problem. Nix isn't a championship calibre player — he can't hit lefties to save his life. Unless we get a nice right handed hitter who will platoon with Nix, he will remain a good player on a mediocre team. Unfortunately, for the Nats to move forward in a serious way, Nix will have to say bye bye sooner or later.

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    carolync said… "LOL, 1a. Thought I might be the only one who thinks Laynce Nix looks like Spuds MacKenzie."For the record, I called "Spuds" on Nix first.

  60. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    I think you are selling Marrero a bit short. He is only 23 and has climbed the ladder nicely. He has not stalled at any level and in fact his numbers are better at AAA than at lower levels.Not really. The real point is he just turned 23 on July 2nd. He still has plenty of time to mature both as a hitter and more importantly as a fielder. He probably needs to continue winter ball to accelerate that process. He does need to play every day and that is not guaranteed at the major league level given his current progress. Next year if he starts killing AAA pitching, gets a bit of his power stroke back and continues to get better fielding his position then he won't be held back. Yes, he is a nice prospect but there is a reason Rizzo did not give him a September call up last year and instead went with Espinosa. The rationale will likely be the same this year if they decide to hold on calling him up. He's a far more valuable prospect playing everyday and learning then sitting on the bench as a right handed PH.

  61. Steve J, Alexandria - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    I'm surprised by all the talk about getting rid of Marquis or questioning his worth to the org. Are you Marquis detractors telling me Marquis is lower on the depth chart than Lanan, and Gorz? Nah. I don't think so. Resign Marquis a pitcher who with more run support could easily have 10 wins by now and be playing on the all star team. I believe the only two starters we have that are worthy of a rotation spot in a playoff team are Marquis and Zimmerman. The rest are enjoying the bennies of playing on a barely .500 team.

  62. gonatsgo - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Nice to see some intelligent conversations about baseball and trades – as opposed to a certain other site that has people trashing the first lady and her efforts to help military families. Really low class – now I know why I rarely go there anymore. Now — let's talk some more trades and prospects! A few more games, the all star break and then things will heat up!

  63. Drew8 - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Regarding having Livo finish his career here:Recall that the Nats dealt him away once before. That deal brought back Chico and the Mock.Chico's highlight was a yeomanlike 7-9 back in 2007. These are the kinds of guys you're going to get back for Livo.

  64. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Steve J, Don't focus on wins and loses because the starting pitchers only controls a piece of that puzzle; things like run support and bullpen help can add/take away wins from a starter. The reason Marquis is in play is that he is a FA at the end of the year and his salary is higher than his potential worth. For what it's worth Lannan and Gorzelany should also be moved when they get to a point where arbitration and FA makes their salary higher than their value.

  65. JD - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Drew8, You won't even get that at this stage of his career and given his age.

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Steve, if you're going with that argument ("a pitcher who with more run support could easily have 10 wins by now and be playing on the all star team"), you have to include Livan.

  67. greg - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    but JD, that's probably the best you would hope to get for someone like marquis right now. since they traded livo a few years ago, GMs have become much more stingy with their prospects.

  68. greg - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    and lannan, gorz, and zimmermanN. they all have better ERAs and WHIPs than marquis.

  69. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Yabbut I said he looked like Patton's dog Willie before you posted that, and they're the same breed, so there. :-P Of course, only my husband and tv set were witnesses to that comment. Actually, I just think it's funny that we all thought the same thing. :-)Sec 3, My Sofa said… carolync said… "LOL, 1a. Thought I might be the only one who thinks Laynce Nix looks like Spuds MacKenzie." For the record, I called "Spuds" on Nix first. July 5, 2011 3:04 PM

  70. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Yahokey, I'll take your word for it (I think you did post something to that effect).

  71. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Good call on LaRoche, Carolyn, and I like him, too.Re. keeping Livo, I'm all for it. I'm also biased as heck, because I just love the dude. :-)

  72. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Thanks, sec3. :-)

  73. MicheleS - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    I would love to have Livo stay the rest of his career and retire a Nat. He loves it here, always has expressed his desire to be here (Remember he wanted to come back in 08 to open the new stadium). Just hope that Fed investigation is nothing.Does anyone know who made those Red Livan Shirts, the ones that refer to the Elton John song? Those are classics!

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