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Series preview: Marlins at Nats

Jul 26, 2011, 2:16 PM EDT

Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-7, 4.08) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (6-8, 3.00)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 189

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Javier Vazquez (6-9, 5.35) vs. RHP Livan Hernandez (5-9, 4.04)
TV: MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 189

Thursday, 12:35 p.m. — LHP Brad Hand (1-3, 2.77) vs. LHP John Lannan (7-6, 3.51)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 189

MARLINS UPDATE
What a strange season it's been in Miami. A club that had high hopes to compete for the NL East title (or at least the wild-card) got off to a strong start, then crashed and burned in June like few teams have ever done. The Marlins' record that month: 5-23. That cost manager Edwin Rodriguez his job and brought 80-year-old Jack McKeon out of the cryogenic freezer and back into the dugout.

So what have the Marlins done since? Well, they're 13-8 in July, attempting to dig themselves out of that seemingly inescapable hole they created last month. Now they enter this series 1/2-game behind the Nationals for fourth place in the division.

Florida's lineup has come alive during this recent surge. After hitting an abysmal .225 with a .624 OPS in June, the group is batting .266 with a .772 OPS in July. Old friend Emilio Bonifacio has been front-Read more »

  1. waddu eye no - Jul 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    "Old friend Emilio Bonifacio"no friend of mine. lets end the streakgyfng

  2. HHover - Jul 26, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Great preview, Mark.One other thing I'd note:It briefly looked like Javier Vazquez had come back from the dead. He pitched to a horrible ERA between 5 and 6 thru June, then had three strong outings to start July. But he collapsed in his last start, giving up 5 runs in 4.1 IP to light-hitting San Diego. Here's hoping that's the Vazquez who shows up on Wednesday.

  3. Unkyd - Jul 26, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Add me to the "pleasepleaseplease lose the new 'you might also like' feature!!!"I already read all of these, more than once, and I keep clicking it by mistake, as the page loads and shifts. HATE it…..

  4. Dawn - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Mark, Was wondering if there has been any update on Pudge reported? Thanks in advance.

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Mr. Hands: Mr. Bill, your best pal's coming to visit right now.Mr. Bill: Oh, who's that, huh?Mr. Hands: It's Mr. Bonifacio! Mr. Bill: Ohhhhh, no! He hurts me all the time, he's gonna hurt me!

  6. natsfan1a - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Oops, meant to change that to Mr. Hand. Oh well. Is it game time yet? Hope to see a shift in Marlins "ownage" of the Nats. A gal can dream, right? Go, NATS!

  7. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Here is to hoping that the Nats can start a new winning streak. I like the matchups for this series.By the way, how come we hear nothing about the Marlins being sellers into the trade deadline? One good reason for the sudden lull is players that have "getting traded" weighing heavilly on their minds. Ian Desmond has a newborn and wife to think of and everyone seems ready to replace Bernadina permanently in CF. For Marquis, Livo, Gorzo, their future also hangs in the balance.Tough times and I agree with a comment yesterday that Rizzo is allowing too many players to have their futures hanging out there publicly and privately. If you have no intention of trading them, make it crystal clear so these guys can concentrate on playing baseball and I say that primarily for Desmond and Bernadina.

  8. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Dawn said… Mark, Was wondering if there has been any update on Pudge reported? Thanks in advance. July 26, 2011 11:05 AM Pudge is definitely in Miami and working with a specialist on his oblique.After seeing Flores, I have to hope Pudge is back quickly.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Wouldn't hurt to make that clear to Clip and Store, also, though they seem to be taking it in stride.

  10. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    NatsLady, they are single guys who know they are at the tops of their game. Take guys like Desmond and Bernadina who don't know where they end up.Same goes for journeymen like Livan and Marquis.

  11. HHover - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Steve MAgreed with your comment on the last thread about Kilgore's piece on Desmond.And I agree somewhat with your comment above about how these rumors can weigh on the players. On the other hand, I think these guys are pros, and that they understand–much better than nervous nelly fans–that many of these rumors are just BS. They don't need a warm bottle of milk and a binky after every ken rosenthal tweet and every posting on mlbtr.

  12. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Mark Z., I was alerted by someone who is telling me that team control of BJ Upton is only one more season. I think it has been widely reported he has 2 more years prior to Free Agency.I went to Cots where it is written he is a Free Agent after 2012. To me, if Cots is accurate, how can you trade much of anything for a 1 year guy who can't even achieve what Laynce Nix has done. Seems the prudent move would be to wait until Free Agency if you want Upton.According to COTS, the same for Michael Bourn as he will be a Free Agent after next year also.Only Denard Span comes with 3 years + a 4th year option.This makes either Bourn and Upton ridiculous for the Nats to be in on unless Rizzo tied in an extension.https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Ah4PW47PiAi-dER2NzdLNV9TTjlObWxRZmp1YmNEVWc&output=html

  13. NatsLady - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Steve M., OK, then let's say us FANS need to be reassured about Clip and Store.

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    HHover… I have to agree with Steve M on this one primarily because both Desmond and Bernadina have only know one organization in their professional careers.If this was somebody like Pudge or Marquis, I would agree with you.

  15. sunderland - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    NatsJack, good point.And I would think if Rizzo has any serious discussions about Upton or Bourn, he also includes their agents and talks extension. Because you are right Steve, dealing prospects for a guy for 1 year (face it, the next 60 days mean nothing really) makes little sense.

  16. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    HHover, thanks and you are correct that the trades are part of the game, the intangibles are that it will affect some players and they may just need that warm bottle of milk and a binky .Rizzo does have to be out there seeing if there are upgrades. I just don't want to see him make a trade for the sake of making a trade. I don't see 2012 as a playoff year as I think 2013 is the year. You can give Desmond 1 more year and go from there. From what I wrote above, Upton and Bourn are both available in Free Agency after next season anyway, why not wait. Upton most likely won't even be a Type A or Type B Free Agent.The other name out there is Peter Bourjous with the Angels. He may be available to throw in and is under team control for 5 more years. He may be expendable with Mike Trout at the MLB level.Here is a Denard Span update:http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110725&content_id=22280614&notebook_id=22280620&vkey=notebook_min&c_id=minYou have to wonder if the Twins will take a bird in the hand and trade him straight up for a Prospect.

  17. HHover - Jul 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Steve Mbaseball-reference is usually pretty reliable. They have both Upton and Bourn as arb-eligible in 2012, and FAs in 2013.They're not pure rentals, but they're not guaranteed to be long-term parts of the picture, either. That's another reason why it's worth taking these rumors with a shaker full of salt–tho I'd understand if you want to consult your cardiologist first.NatsJackFair enough–tho it's also worth remembering that we don't know what's being said in private. I don't include you or Steve M in this, but it always surprises me how many fans treat all rumors as gospel, and think that what's being said publicly is exactly the same as what's being said privately.

  18. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    sunderland said… NatsJack, good point.And I would think if Rizzo has any serious discussions about Upton or Bourn, he also includes their agents and talks extension. Because you are right Steve, dealing prospects for a guy for 1 year (face it, the next 60 days mean nothing really) makes little sense. July 26, 2011 11:56 AM I was approaching this whole Upton/Bourn thinking 2 years and you have a little more continuity and time to see what you have in Bryce Harper, Brian Goodwin, Eury Perez and Destin Hood and in actuality, 2012 is only a season to have a cup of coffee and hello/goodbye as you would do with a bench role player like Laynce Nix.My #1 concern for this team is the health and prospects of Rendon and Purke.From there #1A, is getting Ryan Zimmerman extending and after that Michael Morse.The continuity of the core of this team is vital and everyone listed below is under team control through 2013. Zim, Morse and Lannan are Free Agents after 2013.Right now, here is potentially your 2013 lineup:CF2B Danny Espinosa3B Ryan Zimmmerman1B Michael MorseRF Jayson WerthLF Bryce HarperC Wilson RamosSS Ian DesmondP Stephen StrasburgP Jordan ZimmmermannPP John LannanPThat looks like a Playoff team there with the right long-term additions to that group.

  19. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    HHover said… Steve Mbaseball-reference is usually pretty reliable. They have both Upton and Bourn as arb-eligible in 2012, and FAs in 2013.They're not pure rentals, but they're not guaranteed to be long-term parts of the picture, either. That's another reason why it's worth taking these rumors with a shaker full of salt–tho I'd understand if you want to consult your cardiologist first.NatsJackFair enough–tho it's also worth remembering that we don't know what's being said in private. I don't include you or Steve M in this, but it always surprises me how many fans treat all rumors as gospel, and think that what's being said publicly is exactly the same as what's being said privately. July 26, 2011 11:57 AM I agree, Baseball Reference has it correct. 2012 Arb Eligible and Free Agent 2013 means they are eligible for Free Agency prior to the 2013 season so only 1 more year under team control.If you look at Ryan Zimmerman's it says Free Agent 2014 which means he is eligible for Free Agency prior to the 2014 season.

  20. Wally - Jul 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    I like Steve M's CF thoughts in his post @11:57. Span, then Bourjos. Maybe Bourn, but I would want to be sure that we would be able to extend him. There is no immediacy to doing it now, rather than the offseason, other than if the trade deadline creates some reason to transact on the part of other teams. I like our guys – Clippard, Storen, Desmond. I would keep them if I could, but since I do not see CF being filled internally in the next three years or so, I would consider a trade where we have more depth/options. But I bet it is tough on the players, especially the younger ones. Not sure what the options are, though.I also like the idea of extending some of our core guys, but I would like to see Rizzo be smart about it. Many young players with promise are agreeing to contracts and giving the team options at the tail end. It gives the players some financial security while providing the team some financial flexibility and control. Seems to work for everyone. Morse, JZimm, maybe Espy & Ramos fall into this category for me. I would give Morse and JZ contracts through the end of their arb years right now, with team options for 1 or 2 years of free agency.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 26, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Steve M and HHover…. I don't get caught up in any of the trade rumors. I mean, I didn't see the Capps for Ramos trade last year until it happened. And I was extremely happy about that one.Here's hoping I'm pleasantly suprised again.

  22. A DC Wonk - Jul 26, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Hey all — is anybody here going to the game tonight ($2 Tuesday ticket special)?

  23. NatsLady - Jul 26, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Hey, Wonk, would love to go, but, have to, y'know, work. Won't get to see the game either, will grab a peak at the score when I can…GO NATS!!!!!

  24. m20832 - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Going Thursday. Day game.

  25. Mark'd - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    DC Wonk, I am there tonight and unfortunately not on $2 tix. To all the other revelations on length of contract, I thought Upton was 2 years and to learn it is a 1 year deal isn't worth much as I see it. It really is Lance Nix.NatsJack and Steve on the human element helps for perspective while Jack is right not to get caught up in the rumor mill. I can see why Tampa wants to trade Upton now as they won't resign him as a Free Agent. The Nats control Desmond for 4 more years, huge difference.

  26. Exposremains - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    From J. Stark:"The Nationals continue to hover. But there are indications they've balked at dealing two pitchers the Rays are believed to have asked about — Ross Detwiler and the much-coveted Brad Peacock. So other clubs now say the team to watch is the Giants."I can see why you don't want to deal Peacock but I don't understand the value of Detwiler.

  27. Not Werth It - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Time for Ryan Zimmerman, aka the Marlin killer, to go on a hot streak.On Ian Desmond, I think unless we are blown away we should stand pat and see if he can put it all together. If he doesn't have a Danny Espinosa-esque breakout we can make room for Lombardazi by making Desmond a bench guy. Of course this would go against Rizzo's stupid mantra of only having bench guys who 'accept their roles' or whatever, but he would be a strong bat that can come off the bench and play defense, run, or be a late inning defensive replacement.

  28. A DC Wonk - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Mark'd said… DC Wonk, I am there tonight and unfortunately not on $2 tix. How can we arrange a meet? I'd love to say "hey". I'll be in Sec 406.And, hey, sjm308 — will you be there (in sec 308, naturally) tonight? (I see 308 is not far from 406)

  29. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Mark Z., I was alerted by someone who is telling me that team control of BJ Upton is only one more season. I think it has been widely reported he has 2 more years prior to Free Agency.Rizzo is going to do the Grienke and give Upton a new contract … likely some form of agreement reached before the trade is consummated. He'll strike while the iron is hot in order to ensure the asset is in place over the long haul.

  30. sjm308 - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    DC Wonk – will be there both tonight and tomorrow.Did not realize the Upton & Bourne contracts lasted just one more year but I did not want either one of them. If we have to make a deal & I am not sold that we have to, then its Span first and Bourjous second on my list.Glad they are not giving up the future and I was thinking Peacock is untouchable.Everyone knows I want to keep Desmond and liked what Kilgore says today at NJ. I doubt that anyone is really going to gamble on him at this point in the season and I also will be interested in Sept to see if they move Espinosa to SS during that time.I echo that the number one issue for me as a fan is extending Ryan Z. and number two is signing at least 4 of the 5 draft picks. If they do that and make no trades I will be very happyps: nice to see that NatsJack is back opiningGo Nats

  31. JaneB - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Rizzonwas recently quoted in tbe paper as saying Desi is part of our future, I am hoping that is code for we keep him unless someone blows us away. I don't want to part with Livo or Desi or Clip or Storen, among the guys in the regular trade talk. I'd like to see Hairston stick wth us too, but apart from tbe known untradeables (Zimmerman and Zimmermann, Espi and Ramos and Morse), those four are on my you gotta keep 'em list. I love knowing Upton is a rental; tha makes it even less likely that we could end up with him.I didn't see Capps going for Ramos, though I was instantly happy when it happened, like NatsJack. I'm rooting for something like that again.

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    Todays was Kilgores best piece in quite a while. And he's absolutely correct that the deadline is NOT the time to be dealing Desmond, however the off season is a different story.I don't know if they will be able to make any significant additions at this dead line but I would like to see them clean up the 40 man roster a bit. (Most notably Garrett Mock)

  33. HHover - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    ExposremainI suspect it may just be a matter of Stark's ambiguous grammar – i.e., they're not averse to trading just Detwiler (or Detwiler and someone else) but not Detwiler and Peacock.If Detwiler doesn't get dealt–and maybe he's just on the big league roster because they want to show him off–I don't see how they can afford to keep him in his current role. Someone who can only pitch 2 innings every 4-5 days is really not worth a spot in the BP. If Marquis is dealt, he could take over in the rotation; otherwise, use Detwiler more often out of the BP.

  34. WillieHarrisUnderpants - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Speaking of trades and our old friend Emilio, how do we feel about that trade in retrospect?Bonifacio -> Willingham -> H. RodriguezAt this point who would swap H.Rod and our collective memories of the Hammer to have Emilio back at leadoff?

  35. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    My apologies for a big error I made: Joel Sherman's "asking for a ton" quote this morning referred to Cards/Rasmus, not Rays/Upton.

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    WHU, finish the thought:John Rausch –> Bonifacio …so Rausch –> Rodriguez.That could still work out.

  37. A DC Wonk - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    OK, so I'll stop by sec 308 for a visit, at, say, between the 2d and 3rd inning. How will I find you? And, Mark'd, what about you?

  38. Exposremains - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    HHoverThanks I thought that maybe its what he meant both of them.

  39. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    so, assuming there will be any left, where are the $2 ticket seats, assuming one sits in them after buying that ticket?

  40. Wally - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    @WillieHarrisUnderpants – not me. I like HRod.Been thinking about this Upton possibility, and had two unrelated thoughts. First, Rizzo's MO on trades is usually to fly below the radar until they are done. Werth signing, Ramos trade, all just seemed to happen rather than linger for a few days in the news. I remember the Dunn rumors that lingered ad nauseum last year and never went anywhere. So hoping that form follows here, since i am not a big fan of Upton.Second, if the above is wrong and we do get him, maybe he'll produce but I doubt that he will ever be a fan favorite. He just has never been the type that fans are drawn to, the all-out hustler, like a Willie Harris. His style is more like Milledge, who I think was a good kid but just looked lazy and inattentive out there. Upton appears to have much more talent, but stylistically similar. Those things often get described as attitude issues when in reality I think that they are just style issues. We fans like the players who show their emotions outwardly and visibly demonstrate effort, instead of the more seemingly-effortless players. It is like we don't think the second group is trying, but in reality I just think it is style.

  41. Glomp - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    I'm just upset Wang doesn't get to face Hand.

  42. dabassguy1 - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Although I hear they are well aquainted.

  43. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Todays was Kilgores best piece in quite a while. And he's absolutely correct that the deadline is NOT the time to be dealing Desmond, however the off season is a different story.I don't know if they will be able to make any significant additions at this dead line but I would like to see them clean up the 40 man roster a bit. (Most notably Garrett Mock) July 26, 2011 1:52 PM I have been supportive of Desmond's development to the point that you don't trade him yet (sell low) and maybe not even next season as it is a wait and see as I think you have to see Lombardozzi at 2nd in September and pair him some with Espinosa at Shortstop to see what you have.After you see what Lombo can do, go from there.I also like the idea of Desmond becoming a super utility guy -if- Davey and the braintrust feel Espi can thrive at Shortstop. Desi is affordable and under team control so Rizzo is in the driver's seat here.Other choice is to shop in the off-season for a new shortstop and leave Espi at 2nd.See, the Rays have to sell low on Upton because they lose him after next season any way. They are playing their best Scott Boras to fan the flames here and create a lot of interested parties. For a playoff bound team, they get 1 year 2 months of Upton.For the Nats, they aren't going to the playoffs this year.Here's what I am hearing, Denard Span is at the top of Rizzo's list. It will take a top reliever and a position player. Do you take a chance on a guy who could turn out to be Ryan Church and never be the same after a concussion or will it be more like Morneau or nothing at all. Span is rehabbing and not doing well so far in his Minor League rehab. I am concerned but intrigued as his career numbers are what the Nats need.

  44. JaneB - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    I'm also concerned about a Ryan Church result in Span (or anyone with a serious brain injury) and think anyone who trades for him absent seeing him play for real, is nuts.

  45. Scooter - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Not sure about nvts, Jane, but certainly risky. Risky like signing a draft choice or trading for a kid in A ball. i.e., I can see why one would do it, but there's a very real possibility it comes to naught.Two years ago, that was exactly the type of move this team could make. Now, I can see a strong argument against it.

  46. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    JaneB, you can be my psychiatrist any day of the week. Let's stay away from the brain-injured and brain-dead. We've already had Ryan Church and Nook Logan, respectfully.I'm going out tonight. I'll be the one in Sec. 314 booing Bonifacio. This chump couldn't hit .200 when he was here. Creepy.GYFNG!

  47. Unkyd - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Wally, your post reminded me of Dad talking about DiMaggio- No outward emotion, and seemed to know, at the crack of the bat, how fast he had to run, to get there just in time. Never seemed to sprint- made it look eeeeasy…Like Millage =^p

  48. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Oh finally! The only guy I think the Nats should consider over Upton for the CF spot:Bill Ladson: The Nats continue to look for for a center fielder. They have expressed interest in Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos. Now, that would be a true coup!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 56 --
ATLANTA 68 64 7.5
MIAMI 65 66 10.0
NEW YORK 62 70 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 60 72 15.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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