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September rotation battle looms

Aug 23, 2011, 2:27 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Ross Detwiler allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings in last night's win.

It's been a while since there was any reason to pay more than scant attention to September baseball in the District. Over the last five seasons, the Nationals have entered the final month of play with virtually nothing at stake, aside from a bit of pride and the occasional late-season debut of a prospect (Ian Desmond in 2009, Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos in 2010).

Make no mistake, though: This September will be worth watching, for any number of reasons.

There is, of course, the pursuit of a winning record for the first time since the franchise arrived in town. With last night's 4-1 victory over the Diamondbacks, the Nats now sit at 62-64. Which means they'll need to go 20-16 down the stretch to surpass the .500 mark. This could very well come down to the season's final series in Florida.

The other compelling storyline that is beginning to emerge, though, is the battle for spots in the Nationals' 2012 rotation. There is plenty left to decide, and there is plenty of reason to believe September performances are going to matter in this race.

At this point, three starters are assured of jobs next year: Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan. Strasburg (assuming all goes well over his next two rehab starts) will be backRead more »

139 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    All I can say, two seasons ago this would have been unthinkable to have this problem, too many starting pitchers.

  2. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    This is gonna be big time FUN! And so many home games, every weekend in September is at home. Mark, when you have a chance, any news on Pudge? I heard that the Giant's backup catcher is on the DL.

  3. P. Cole - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    ¡Viva Livo!

  4. jd - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    NatsLady, You heard right. Whiteside did get hurt so if the Giants want to get someone who will also be eligible for the playoffs they have to make a move before Sept. 1st.

  5. jd - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    So if Wang, Detwiler, Strasburg and Lannan are a given there is only room for one of Peacock or Milone (unless you go 6 man rotation or sit Lannan).

  6. kcdubvdc - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    I really hope we hold onto to Livo after all he has done for this organization…But if they decide letting him go is in the best interest of the team, I guess I'll just have to trust the big guys are making the right move…At this point, I would still take Livo next year over Wang and Detwiler, but this will be a very telling next 5 weeks…

  7. Harper_ROY_2012 - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Interesting debate to be having, although I would argue one of little signficance beyond who gets a leg up going into Spring Training in 2012. Far too often have we seen performances in August and September that have not translated to the next season (Detweiler fitting this description on several occasions).I am interested to see which pitchers the Nats bring up on when rosters expand, but I have to think going into 2012 the following guys are in the mix, besides the three locks you mention above(in no particular order):MayaStammenMillonePeacockMyersWangMartisLivoDetweilerGorzelannySeptember could be a good way to showcase some of these guys too. Spring Training 2012 will be interesting for pitchers!

  8. Nats Outsider - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    When Strasburg gets back here, will he be allowed to pitch a full game (6-7 innings) this September, or will he have some sort of shortened limit? I could imagine a situation where the Nats plan for two pitchers per game. Strasburg might be started with a 60-pitch/4-inning limit, and another "starter" would come in as the reliever after that. That could allow the team to give better evaluations to all this potential talent.

  9. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    NatsLady: Pudge has begun taking some light swings, but he's still got a ways to go before he's ready to play again. May not make it back this year at all.If a team like the Giants was interested, they'd have to see him healthy and playing again before Aug. 31, because players acquired after that date aren't eligible for the postseason.

  10. NatStat - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    The Saint would have been overcome with such pitching riches—and pleasantly surprised at his project pitcher, Detweiler.

  11. HHover - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Great stuff, Mark.Beefing up the BP would certainly be a smart move – with Wang, Strasburg, and Detwiler in the starting rotation, they're likely to have a need for more long relievers than usual. That might be a way to get Peacock and Milone some big league innings too, even if not every 5th start.As for Detwiler – I think he's earned a longer look, but I'm still in the skeptical camp. His FIP this season is 4.53, vs an ERA of 2.61; he's been very lucky in his LOB percentage (nearly 90%, vs his career average and the MLB norm of 71-72%).

  12. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    I <3 Livo.

  13. Scott from Burke - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Lannan is a 'lock' for next year? I don't think so…the last three weeks he has probably been the teams' least dependable starter. The rest of the season is important for him..if he continues to get lit up I could nee him in the 'pen..and before you disagree ask yourself this: "What would the Nats get in return for Lannan if they chose to trade him today?" Answer: About nothing, less than any other starter on the team. Livo would bring more. The other starters, even Wang, potentially could be better next year, with Lannan he's as good as he's ever gonna be.

  14. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Nats Outsider said… Strasburg might be started with a 60-pitch/4-inning limit, and another "starter" would come in as the reliever after that.Good points. Pitch Strasburg for tops five innings. Let Milone and Peacock pitch the back four.

  15. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Yeah, that's supposed to be a heart. I mean, yeah, my head knows that it's about the future and all, and that we need to see what the kids can do. But I guess when Livo gave this team his heart and soul, he got a little piece (okay, a pretty dang big piece) of mine back.Speaking of the Giants, thanks to JaneB and others for the heads up on The Franchise. Watched my first episode the other day and it happened to feature footage from the one game that I caught on tv during my recent California trip. That was the one where catcher Chris Stewart hit his first MLB home run. Sweet clubhouse scene where he was giving the ball to his little son, who also sported a Stewart jersey and let loose with a "Go Giants" after being prompted. Awwww…

  16. N. Cognito - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    kcdubvdc said… "I really hope we hold onto to Livo after all he has done for this organization…But if they decide letting him go is in the best interest of the team, I guess I'll just have to trust the big guys are making the right move…At this point, I would still take Livo next year over Wang and Detwiler, but this will be a very telling next 5 weeks…"If you want to continue to have a good team year after year, instead of a run of 5 or 6 years then a minor or major rebuild, you have to have fairly routine turnover of your average and older players (i.e. Livo).I do not expect to see Livo here next year.

  17. HHover - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    ScottReally–the "least dependable starter" over the last three years? Less dependable than Maya, Stammen, JD Martin, and the parade of AAAA starters we've seen? Get a grip.Lannan is a bottom of the rotation starter on a good staff, but yes, he's been really dependable in that role. His demotion last year notwithstanding, he'll still average ~30 starts a season for the last 4 years and a respectable ERA of ~4.

  18. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Thanks, Mark. That's too bad for Pudge. I was kind of hoping he'd get a chance as a "rental" with the Giants (or another contending team) because I think we need to stick with Flores. Flores clearly came back too soon and had a bumpy start, but seems to be progressing nicely, and for his sake should not be interrupted at this point. With Pudge having "seniority"–and probably better at showing off the baby pitchers (and I include Stras in their number right now)–if he were healthy that would be a tough decision.

  19. Scott from Burke - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Seriousl "HHover" Years? Try to read carefully..I said three WEEKS.

  20. HHover - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    ScottMy apologies – you've got a grip, and I'm a lousy reader–you said over the last three weeks, not three seasons.But the rest of my comment holds–his long-term dependability makes him a lock for next season.

  21. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Disagree. Lannan will improve. One point: he will learn how to beat the Fillies. (And the Nats will learn how to beat the Marlins, please, please!)Lannan showed this year that he is a tough customer, and not afraid to make adjustments. He put on weight, altered his mix of "stuff", got more strikeouts instead of focusing so much on ground ball outs. I have a lot of respect for him.My question for the field is, are we giving up on Maya? He was hopeless early in the year, but he made that one excellent spot start.

  22. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Analytical Nat, seriously? Problem? You never have too many and this is a fight for the 4th and 5th starter not a #1, 2 or 3. I still think Rizzo will pick up a #3 or #4 from Free Agency which he can do if he is early on while the big boys are pre-occupied with Sabathia and CJ Wilson, the Nats can work on Buehrle.Worse case is the Nats are picking from their own Free Agents of Livo and Wang or going with Ross Detwiler and rookies Milone and Peacock.I agree with Mark Z. with regards to Livo "But the time has probably come for the Nationals to slide him out of the way, perhaps sticking him in the bullpen for the season's final month, in order to get a look at Milone and Peacock."To me, the jury is still out on all 5 of the maybes. I am starting to think Detwiler could be the guy. I agree with comments yesterday on Detwiler as he approached the 5th inning. Super sharp for 4 innings. Arm strength definitely better than the past starts which was important. Rizzo has to decide if 2012 is the year for a post-season push or another year of 10% improvement over the previous year because historically 92 1/2 wins almost guarantees you a Wild Card spot.

  23. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Well – this is quite an interesting situation , isn't it? I think one of the reasons you think very seriously about both Lannan and Detweiler is that they are lefties – a valuable commodity. In September we will definitely need a pitcher to back up SS. Is Gorzelanny under contract or a free agent? Do we actually use one of our up and coming pitchers as trade bait for a center fielder/leadoff? ( horrors!) Who do we see back in the pen next year – Coffey? Burnett? Balester? What I want to see is a good look at September call-ups, but also a good strong run to the end of the season. And , I just have to add once again – How good are Ryan Zimmerman and Drew Storen? There are others, too! And – Jayson, keep it up!!! GYFNG!!! natsfan1a — I LOVE "The Franchise"!!! I can't believe how up to date each new episode is – it's crazy that they are using stuff from only a week before its aired.

  24. N. Cognito - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    The Phillies, and other patient teams, are the types of teams Lannan will do poorest against. Even though he can occasionally bring it in the low 90's, he relies on location rather than overpowering hitters. When he's off to an impatient team, the hitters will get themselves out. When he's off to a patient team, he'll get pounded.Lannan is a lock for 2012, but might not be for 2013.

  25. Scott from Burke - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    "Learn" how to beat the Phillies? "Respect for him" Aww, how sweet…but he seems to be wearing down..he may be in the starting rotation next year, bo doubt, but that would be BAD NEWS for the Nats. They need to upgrade their rotation, perhaps by free agents as well as the young kids. I can't say I know who the free agent pitchers are next year, except for on..Jason Marquis.

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    And Detwiler needs to go to LannEns physical trainer and bulk up alot. He could stand to put 30 lbs on that frame of his spread evenly from hips to shoulders.It has sure made a difference in LannEns game. And NatsLady re:Maya…. yes.

  27. N. Cognito - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    "And , I just have to add once again – How good are Ryan Zimmerman and Drew Storen?"I don't think Ryan has a shot at the rotation.

  28. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Although RZ *is* reportedly working on his throwing motion. hmmm…

  29. SCNatsFan - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    How good could Livo be as out long reliever who could go on short notice and recover quicker then most lng men? If he takes the role then I'd be all for having him back next season as our long man instead of one of our younger arms that is being groomed as a starter just sitting around up here instead of taking the ball every 5th day in the minors.

  30. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    from CBS Sports –"Gorzelanny is arbitration-eligible when the [2011] season comes to an end, but he could be non-tendered, making him a free agent." If I recall, he cleared waivers, so the Nats have choices.

  31. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Scott, I was a Lannan hater last year and this year he is like a new player. He has performed overall like a 2+ and certainly a 3 and the stats back it up. His velo is up and his battling lefties is back. The last few weeks though he seems to be getting back into head games when something gets inside his head which is bungling plays and the Phillies. Every time there is an error, he seems to lose focus and that has hurt him his last few outings with a lot of un-earned runs.Bottom line, Lannan is a lock for next year.You can pencil in:1) JZim2) Strasburg3) Free Agent or Lannan4) Lannan or Free Agent5) Pick 'em or Free AgentFree Agent could be a player from another team or Wang or Livo. Pick 'em from Detwiler, Milone and Peacock.Also, wild card is Martis and Maya. Martis has looked really good in AA lately.

  32. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    NatsLady, I think Gorzo never cleared waivers and the choice for the Nats is the same with Morse, arbitration or sign him to a deal or like they did with Willingham, trade him.Glad you mentioned Gorzo as he is a potential 5th starter as well as a trade chip.

  33. jd - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    And there's this: A.J Cole and Alex Meyer are potential top of the rotation guys and may be ready for 2013. There's nothing like excess talent. The Expos traded for Pedro Martinez because they were not afraid to swap Delino Deshields knowing they had excellent young players to fill his shoes.

  34. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    SCNatsFan — Livo is the kind of guy you need in the bullpen when there is a rain delay or injury or something like that. Ideally, he would be a Miss Iowa type that you could throw into almost any situation, but I would have reservations about him in short relief. Fortunately, we are not lacking in short relievers.Also probably good at helping the young pitchers, and he certainly roots for the team. You look at a kid like Starlin Castro, and you see where the "veteran presence" has to be there.One doubt I have about Livo is he is amost TOO emotional. He got mad at the ump the other day and started pitching batting practice. Seems to me he's at his best in his wily, slow, "casual" mode.

  35. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Steve M. said… Analytical Nat, seriously? Problem? You never have too many Problem in that it's a nice problem to have, as in a riches of pitchers. Problem as in, I want this problem, seriously.

  36. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    According to MLB trade rumors, Gorzy cleared waivers on August 15.http://www.kffl.com/player/13069/MLB/Tom-Gorzelanny

  37. jd - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I agree with N.Cognito that Lannan is a lock for 2012 but when the young guns start graduating from the minors it's hard to see where he fits in especially when he becomes expensive. I really feel that Wang is a good option if he will sign for a 1 year deal for about $5 mil with a mutual option for a 2nd year. I would not commit to Buhrle for more than 3 years.

  38. HHover - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Gorzy is under team control for 2 more years, and relatively cheap–$2M this year, and tho he's arb-eligible, his 2011 #s don't look to earn him a big raise in 2012. I would be surprised if they just let him walk–better I'd think to resign him and use him as trade bait.

  39. Grandstander - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Gorzelanny cleared waivers.

  40. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And Detwiler needs to go to LannEns physical trainer and bulk up alot. He could stand to put 30 lbs on that frame of his spread evenly from hips to shoulders.It has sure made a difference in LannEns game. And NatsLady re:Maya…. yes. August 23, 2011 11:20 AMYep, I think Detwiler weighs the same as the day he arrived. He needs to build up those legs of his as being a starter for the season requires a body to sustain it with endurance. I know there have been comparisons to Lincecum in body size but Lincecum has proved against the odds he can do it. Ross hasn't proven more than a few starts of 5 to 6 2/3 innings. That is what has me nervous that he won't sustain it and look like some of the fringe starters of years past.If this team is trying to be post-season competitive, you need 4 proven starters. We already know that Strasburg won't be around past 160 innings in 2012.

  41. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Even though we are, in fact, talking about pitching, Ryan Zimmerman just creeps into my mind in any baseball situation with his utter fantastic-ness. And I have no doubt that if he decided to learn how to pitch he could probably do it. By the way, the Marlins have a pitcher – Chris Hatcher who made it to the bigs last year for a cup of coffee as a catcher and in the off season converted to a pitcher and is up in the majors.Of course, it is the Marlins and who ever posted above about them – yes, we really do have to start beating them up. Zim can just keep doing his thing with the bat and the glove. Now – sorry about the add moments – back to pitching, the actual topic of the thread.

  42. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Livo is the affable baseball player. He's like an old slipper or old dog that you know you one day have to put down. We love him to death, but you have to let go. There are several puppies who are growing up fast and need somewhere to play with the big doggies, and a brand new pair of slippers waiting to be broken in.

  43. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Mark,With the signing of Rendon and Purke to MLB contracts, is the Nats roster at 40 (excluding 60 day DLers)? If so, who is getting waived or traded to make room for Peacock and Milone? Also, looks to me like the Nats are going to leave some decent prospects off the 40 man roster and expose them in the Rule V draft as the organization has never been so deep. Pilchard

  44. SCNatsFan - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    NatsLady, I agree; Livo is not a short reliever, not in the sense you bring him in to shut down a rally; he's the plowhorse who you could bring in the 6th inning and rely on him to pitch even if the game goes 15 innings. He's the guy who you can bring in the 3rd inning to keep the game close. I think he'd be a great long guy and love the miss Iowa analogy.

  45. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Analytical Nat said… Steve M. said…Analytical Nat, seriously? Problem? You never have too many Problem in that it's a nice problem to have, as in a riches of pitchers. Problem as in, I want this problem, seriously. August 23, 2011 11:31 AM Yes, I wish it was a very good problem as we are still talking about unproven talent and questions on Wang and Detwiler. This is why the Phillies were able to trade JA Happ in the Oswalt trade and Kyle Drabek in the Halladay trade because they have established a pipeline of talent.Also keep in mind that not everyone wants to play for the Yankees but all good starters want to win. Cliff Lee chose to go to Philadelphia over NYY and Boston.This is what the Nats need to establish in the Minors to either do it like Tampa Bay where you are growing your own talent or a hybrid like Philly where Hamels was their own and all the other pieces came from trade and Free Agency. Now they have this Vance Worley kid who was a 3rd round pickup in 2008 who has put up excellent numbers.

  46. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Anonymous said… Mark,With the signing of Rendon and Purke to MLB contracts, is the Nats roster at 40 (excluding 60 day DLers)? If so, who is getting waived or traded to make room for Peacock and Milone? Also, looks to me like the Nats are going to leave some decent prospects off the 40 man roster and expose them in the Rule V draft as the organization has never been so deep. Pilchard August 23, 2011 11:46 AM The Nats have 2 more to move to 60 Day I believe and need room for Strasburg. They need to create 1 spot I believe for 3 players in Peacock, Milone and Lombardozzi as Marrero is already on the 40 man.

  47. JamesFan - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    This is not hard. I would give up third place and a .500 season to test our best prospects, especially pitchers in September. Lannan, Gorzy and Det are interchangable at this point. One can be traded, one stays in the pen; start one. Rizzo can decide. Shut down Znn, put Livo in the pen for now. Bring up Peacock and Milone (not Stammen and Maya please. We know them too well.) Let Marrero and Lombardozzi get in several games as starters. I would also give Brown or someone some reps in centerfield. We have to look long-term. Livo understands that.

  48. Little Joe - Aug 23, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    36 games left and who starts? Jordan Zimmerman will get two and then be shut down. Strasburg might have five. Detwiler 6. Hernandez 7. Lannan 7. Wang 6. Gorzelanny 3.

  49. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    With the Yankess starting rotation in a bit of a mess (really, the only dependable arm there is Sabathia) I wonder how much we can squeeze out of them for Livan or Gorzo? If they are willing to overpay and trade us a decent prospect, I say do it. We restock the farm even more and clear up a roster spot for a Milone or Peacock.

  50. Dale - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Given that Livo takes about a hundred pitches to warm up before a start I think it rules him out for the bullpen. Livo has tendencies to be very good in the cold months of April and May, while slacking off terribly after that. We can live without Livo next year, although I will miss him.I am very excited about seeing Peacock and Strassburg in September. If Wang continues to improve (and resigns) there may be no need for a major free agent pitcher to be brought in. Strassburg, Zimmermann, Lannen, Wang and Detwiler would be an improvement over 2011's staff. If there is a true competition next year for the last position then so much the better. I see the bullpen needing a lockdown 7th inning pitcher as being a priority. Then we can start talking about 6 inning games.

  51. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    jd said… I agree with N.Cognito that Lannan is a lock for 2012 but when the young guns start graduating from the minors it's hard to see where he fits in especially when he becomes expensive.I really feel that Wang is a good option if he will sign for a 1 year deal for about $5 mil with a mutual option for a 2nd year. I would not commit to Buhrle for more than 3 years. August 23, 2011 11:35 AM Agree. I think the 6th day after the World Series is over you are calling Buehrle and offering to pay him $60 million for 3 years. Over pay him for 3 years and take him quick before the big market teams have a chance to react. Instead of throwing away money in the 4th and 5th years, pay him more years 1-3. Give him a team 4th and 5th year options if you have to. He is the lefty you need for next year and he slides into the #3 spot and Lannen goes to the #4. Then you can take a chance on Wang and move Detwiler to the bullpen and it gives you another year in the Minors to evaluate Peacock and Milone while seeing which one is the guy, as you will need someone in mid-August 2012 for Strasburg.

  52. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Martis has looked really good in AA latelyCareer AA players often do.

  53. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    I say offer Livo a job as player/assistant pitching coach, is that possible? (if there can be a player-manager, can there be a player-coach). I don't think that would be a waste of a roster spot at all. Also, Livo doesn't need to pitch every five days to keep himself "sharp". Little Joe: It's clear from your post. Livo will have to give up some of his starts to other guys (Peacock/Milone?) and so will Gorzy.

  54. gonatsgo - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    JamesFan – I hear you about giving up third place and a .500 season to see what we have got. Fortunately for us, it appears that the fish have gotten to that point a long time before us. They demoted LOMO to teach him a lesson, which is probably hurting them, too. I hope they love their principles. The Mets are not contending and have had lots of injury problems. So – they will probably also be bringing up people from the minors. Our three way Mets/Fish/Nats competitions may look somewhat like AAA match- ups at times. The Phils can coast, the Braves HAVE to win as much as possible. I often wonder how fair it is in September if were , for example, to pitch a call-up against the Braves and give them perhaps an easier win and then use a front line starter against someone they are competing against. I just don't think what we do should affect the post-season outcome.

  55. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    I understand Livo takes a hundred pitches to warm up. But in case of injury/rain delay, he will have that amount of time. The rest of the time he is coaching.

  56. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Mark, can you confirm Livo's contract status? If I remember right, he did the "slip of paper" negotiation with Rizzo for $1 million for 2011. If the Nats sit him down for September as you suggest, and he's not under contract after the end of this year, then how about trading him now? Get what you can for him, give him a chance at the playoffs, and then if he's still in the plans sign him as a free agent in the off-season. What do you think he would bring from a contender looking for help in a trade at the September 1st deadline?

  57. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    One thing about Livo — not only is he an innings eater, but he hasn't missed a single start in like, what, five years or so? On top of that, he's only $1m per year. I think that's pretty cheap for a guy who could can fill in for a spot start or (hopefully) long reliever at any time.NatsOutsider — I like your idea. How above Stras and Livo tandem up every five days? Imagine those players after facing 99 mph fast balls and slow 83 mph curves having to suddenly face 63 mph curves.

  58. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    JamesFan, you never give up on winning. You still pitch those young guys but not to a point where they are hurting themselves and the team. If one of them fell apart in the 1st inning, that's why you have Balester and Gorzo and possibly Livo in the 'pen. I think they will be fine.You can also put Peacock and Milone together in a tandem start like Spring Training.You don't give up wins. This isn't Spring Training. From Mark Z. "There is, of course, the pursuit of a winning record for the first time since the franchise arrived in town. With last night's 4-1 victory over the Diamondbacks, the Nats now sit at 62-64. Which means they'll need to go 20-16 down the stretch to surpass the .500 mark."That seems attainable even with playing your AAA prospects and maybe we will be pleasantly surprised and one of them will help win a game for the Nats.

  59. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    @gonatsgo: in regard to whether it is "fair" to bring in a call-up to pitch to a contending team–1) We have plenty of games against the Mets and Marlins in September.2) Remember what Stras said about pitching against better hitters, that you have to set them up vs. minor-league guys who are swinging from the ankles at every pitch? That's got to apply even more when you get higher. Now, of course they get SOME major league hitters in Syracuse when guys are rehabbing (and probably not at full strength, and certainly not going full out). The more chances the young guys get to pitch against good hitters in real game situations, the better off they are. You are not setting them up for failure, I'm sure they are chomping at the bit.

  60. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    gonatsgo said……I just don't think what we do should affect the post-season outcome.FWIW, I agree — however, the Nats have to do what's best for the Nats. In other words, effecting other teams' outsomes should be a consideration, but it should not be determinative. If the Nats feel they need to see Peacock or Milone, then so be it, as far as I am concerned.

  61. Drew8 - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Lannan has shined at times this year and I know he's a popular clubhouse guy — first with the towel of shaving cream for rooks etc. — but he's going to have to be wily and successful to hold his spot for the long term.There are bright lights beyond Peacock and Milone, Cole and Meyer. There's another parade of promising lefties: Robbie Ray, Sammy Solis and Danny Rosenbaum, not to mention Kylin Turnbull.All Rosenbaum does is get guys out. In 332 minor league innings he has a career ERA of 2.30 and a career WHIP of 1.15.

  62. Feel Wood - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    I think Detwiler weighs the same as the day he arrived. He needs to build up those legs of his as being a starter for the season requires a body to sustain it with endurance. I know there have been comparisons to Lincecum in body size but Lincecum has proved against the odds he can do it.You look at Lincecum and you see someone with the grace of a ballet dancer and the flexibility and suppleness of a coiled rubber band. You look at Detwiler and you see a twig that looks like it would break in two if bent the wrong way.Perhaps Detwiler should start sparking up. Side effect, it might help him put on some weight.

  63. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Feel Wood — really? Didn't put any weight on Lincecum.

  64. NeedANatsFix - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Anyone know where we can find a list of all minor league players who will be Rule V eligible this year?

  65. Drew8 - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Speaking of promising lefties, there's Matt Purke, of course, with his big-time talent and major league deal.

  66. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Here is the rule. Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft who are not on their major league organization's 40-man roster and:– were signed at age 19 or older and have been in the organization for four years; or– were signed at age 18 or younger and have been in the organization for five years.

  67. sunderland - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    There's a little roster juggling that would need to happen to bring up both Peacock and Milone.We have 40 guys on the 40 man roster today. Strasburg is still on 60 day DL, so we create a spot for him by shifting LaRoche to 60 day DL, and we're still at 40.We could move Cole Kimball to 60 day DL to create a spot for one other player. And then it's decision time for Mr. Rizzo.So Peacock OR Milone, easy.Both of them, not so much.

  68. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Fun defensive stats of the day:There are nine players who (using baseball-reference scale) on the Nats who have a dWAR (defensive WAR) at 0.3 or higher. They are:Ankiel 1.1LaRoche 0.8Werth 0.6Bixler 0.5Espi 0.4Ramos 0.4Ian D 0.3Pudge 0.3Cora 0.3A lot of that surprises me. LaRoche being so high despite so few games. I'd have thought Espi higher because of so many games. What's Cora doing on the list?!And the bottom three are:Ryan Z -0.2Flores -0.2Morse -0.7Again, I'm surprised that RZ is there. Perhaps his URZ is high (not listed at b-r), but the 9 errors cost him too much? I dunno . . .

  69. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Lincecum is 5'11" 165Detwiler is 6'4" 174Wow.(FWIW, I vaguely recall that in his playing days, John McEnroe was also 5'11" 165 — I think I remember that because during his heyday, I had the same height/weight. Nowadays, I still have the same height, but . . . ;-) ) Pedro Martinez was 5'11" 170.

  70. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    RZ didn't have a lot of range when he first came back. Charlie and Dave were remarking that he made several plays he would not have even tried a month ago. That also cost him.LaRoche is amazing. Cora plays extremely well in the field, he made some excellent plays at SS that I recall.

  71. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    JamesFan said… This is not hard. I would give up third place and a .500 season to test our best prospects, especially pitchers in September. Understand where you commin' from, but respectfully disagree. Without knowing what the outcome of the season will be, hypothetically, if the Nats could finish 82 – 80, psychologically for the organization and fans this would be a significant success story going forward into 2012 and I think significantly more important than about finding out about would-be pitchers and prospects in September. If I had to chose one or the other, having that winning season beside your organization matters more for marketing and for attracting FA, and it just feels good.

  72. John R. - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    I wish this were not true, but Livan Hernandez still might be the best starting pitcher on this staff. Hernandez, Lannan, Wang, Detwiler, Zimmermann and even Strasburg have all turned in both really good and really bad performances this year. At least with Livo, you have a lengthy track record of his previous success.I'd let the battle for starting pitching jobs be fought at Spring Training 2011.

  73. Drew8 - Aug 23, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Speaking of September:In his chat yesterday, Boz said it's unlikely that Lombo will get a call-up because of the roster ramifications. He alluded to a FO type who said Davey spoke out of turn.

  74. jd - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Anon at 12:01, The Yankees starting pitching is not messy to the point where Livo and Gorzo are an improvement. They have gotten good performances from Nova (excellent actually), Garcia and Colon. Yes they are concerned about the playoffs but they don't shop at Target or Kmart. When they look for pitchers to go for the best with loaded wallets. The Yankees also have 2 stud pitchers on the verge of being ready (Banuelos and Betances) so I don't think you can tempt them with Livo and Gorzo.

  75. Mick - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    I thought in 2005 the Nats were above 500 going into Sept? However, they were fading and finished 81-81. Frankly, we should expect better than a 20-16 finish. I feel if Nats are above 500 going into 9/1, anything can happen. Regardless, you still shut down Jordan Z period! March 2012 will be exciting in watching who will be the 5 in the rotation

  76. Mick - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Next season an 85 plus win season should be a realistic goal, anything less would be a let down

  77. Court - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    I'm in the Lannan-IS-NOT-a-lock camp. Frankly, he's just not that good.His FIP is mid-4's, which is what he is. He can't strike anyone out and he's not that great of a ground ball pitcher as evidenced by only a 55% rate. He just doesn't have good stuff. I also disagree with the notion that he'll "continue to improve" or "learn to beat the Phillies". The Phils hammer him because they have great LH hitters. He's no better than a #5 starter – always has been and always will be.Detwiler and Gorzelany both have better stuff and both have value as bullpen arms if they don't fit in the rotation – Lannan does not. Fortunately it seems the organization is finally moving past the point where simply being an innings-eater gets you a rotation spot. Detwiler's got the stuff and now seems to be putting the rest of the package together and if he can continue to build on his last two starts, should definitely be above Lannan in the pecking order next spring. I would rather have Wang than Lannan moving forward… 95 mph sinkers don't grow on trees.

  78. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Michael Morse and RossD are the same height. MM has to be 240, mostly muscle.That's got to be at least a 60 pound difference if not more. I think MM could pick up RossD and swing him like a bat! I also think Ross needs a new workout partner – Michael Morse.

  79. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Drew8 – Davey spoke out of turn? No? Shocking.

  80. HHover - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    To the extent there's speculation about the Yankees trading for Gorzy–and I don't think there's really that much–it's for their bullpen, not their starting rotation.

  81. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    On a scale of 1 to 10, the promise, excitement, and anticipation of 2012 is a 10+

  82. N. Cognito - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Yankees just added Laffey (L), picked up on waivers from Seattle. He was assigned to their AAA team but is expected to join the team on September 1st.

  83. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Since we're talking about the relative worth of pitchers — here's baseball-references WARS for the Nats staff (remember: it's cumulative)(FWIW, I'm not convinced of WAR for pitchers — mostly because I only know how it works for hitters — but, still, it's another metric that might be useful).Tyler Clippard 3Jordan Zimmermann 2.7Drew Storen 1.4John Lannan* 1Ross Detwiler* 0.9Jason Marquis 0.7Ryan Mattheus 0.5Cole Kimball 0.4Tom Gorzelanny* 0.3Doug Slaten* 0.3Todd Coffey 0.1Livan Hernandez 0.1Craig Stammen 0Collin Balester -0.1Sean Burnett* -0.1Henry Rodriguez -0.1Brian Broderick -0.2Yuniesky Maya -0.2Chien-Ming Wang -0.3Chad Gaudin -0.6Arguments about Lannan? Here, he is forth (!).As for Livo, being close to zero means he's just about equivalent to a replacement player. But I can't help but wonder if WAR does not take into account his reliability, and that simply throwing so many innings without injury takes a major load off of the rest of the staff — and so I would argue that his reliability/durabiltiy combined with low cost ($1m) makes him worthwhile to have.I don't understand how Detwiler can be fifth after so few outings. Same with Kimball who only pitched 14 innings.Still — here are the stats. YMMV.

  84. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Analytical Nat said… If I had to chose one or the other, having that winning season beside your organization matters more for marketing and for attracting FA, and it just feels good. August 23, 2011 12:41 PM You forgot one biggie. Attracting Ryan Zimmerman to sign an extension. A winning season would be very big for him plus the Brinks truck and a key to it.The winning record has been the unachievable and 2006-2010 out of the realm of reality.You still have to continue with bringing up prospects but again, you don't ever sacrifice wins.Here's the breakdown of the remaining 36 games to go 20-16:Arizona 3 (1st place)Reds 3 (3rd place)Braves 6 (1st place Wild Card)Mets 7 (4th place)Dodgers 4 (Last place)Astros 3 (Last place)Marlins 6 (Last place)Phillie 4 (1st place)

  85. David - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Lannan absolutely should be a lock for next year. With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if he comes down with a fluke injury shelving him for the next 2 weeks or even till the end of the season to get Peacock a few spot starts. I think Milone will be a September callup, pushing Livo to the bullpen. With two young guns and Strasburg replacing Zmann in the lineup, we'll need Livo and Gorzo for long relief. If I was the GM… I want to see Strasburg, Wang, Detwiler, Peacock (for 2 weeks replacing Lannan) and Milone for the rest of the year as the rotation.

  86. sunderland - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    DC Wonk, there's only one obvious thing about the dWAR and WAR stuff you've posted today, and that is that it is not a reliable indicator of anything.Stammen has been more valuable this year than CMW? 2 innings with 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Is it because he has 2K's?Why do people even give stats like this any credence?

  87. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Steve M. said… Analytical Nat said… If I had to chose one or the other, having that winning season beside your organization matters more for marketing and for attracting FA, and it just feels good. You forgot one biggie. Attracting Ryan Zimmerman to sign an extension. A winning season would be very big for him plus the Brinks truck and a key to it.Guys — I see this all the time around here, and I just don't buy it. RZimm (nor other free agents) are not so shallow as to measure a team by simply it's W-L record. Much more important is: which direction is the team moving? (As well as: how is the front office and manager, etc.)Everybody knows the Nats are in an upward direction. Everybody knows about Stras and Harper and the incredible 2011 draft. That (and money) is way way more important than whether we hit the mythical .500 mark or not.(I distinctly remember Keith Hernandez leaving the Card to sign for a Mets team that had just finished 65-97. The FO convinced Keith that they were committed to winning, and had a ton of talent in the minors — including then minor-leaguers Strawberry and Gooden.)RZ knows what direction we're going. And if he sees that we didn't finish .500 because we played guys like Peacock and Milone — or, heck — what if even Strasburg loses most of his games this Sept?! — RZ is smart enough to know how good the team is and our direction for next year without whether we actually got those few extra victories at the end of the year.

  88. rogieshan - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Wouldn't be least surprised if Rizzo decides to package a few of his high-end prospects in the minors to acquire a veteran, front-line starter to go with Strasburg & Zimmermann. If Wang continues to show flashes of his old form over the final month and is retained, Lannan could be one of those sent packing. I then anticipate Detwiler and Peacock to fight it out for the 5th spot.

  89. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Court – I disagree with you on Lannan's strikeouts. He has his highest K9 rate in 3 years at 5.2 and has been great at inducing ground ball double plays when he has needed them. John's WHIP isn't great but he has a top 50 ERA which says #3 starter because he has been adept at controlling his baserunners.John gets himself into jams and gets himself out of jams. His issue is his frustration and losing focus when things don't go his way.One of there reasons for John's transformation this year was his work in the off-season with Ron Vilone.My thoughts are John Lannan will be the 3rd or 4th starter in next years rotation.

  90. Feel Wood - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    I'd let the battle for starting pitching jobs be fought at Spring Training 2011.The problem with that is pitchers in spring training only gradually work their way up to pitching more than a few innings at a time. They'll only get at most one start during ST where they are expected to go five or six innings. This would allow someone who looks real good the first two times through the lineup but can't make it through the third time to sneak his way into the rotation. Letting the rotation candidates pitch in September when they're fully stretched out avoids that problem.

  91. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Man… people just do not understand the importance of left handed starters in the NL East. That's the best way to get past both Atlanta and Philly.Why are people so bent on dumping LannEn now that he's learned how to pitch?

  92. Section 222 - Aug 23, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Lots of food for thought in this post and the comments, that's for sure. One thing that jumps out initially — I question whether it really makes sense to keep LannEN in the rotation for the next month with all of the other guys we'd like to at least get some experience against MLB hitters. As for next year, I totally understand the view that Livo might be close to the end of his time with the Nats, but his reliability and durability make it far from certain that he won't be the No. 5 starter next year, especially if Nats decide to part with someone (LannEn, Det, Gorzo?) to get a CF. I expect that Purke will spend all of next year in the minors, and Peacock and Millone may not be quite ready either. September will tell us something, but remember that the teams we're playing will also be giving playing time to their expanded rosters. Also, if DJ stays, he has said he's going to want a very different, and smaller, bullpen next year. We can expect to have two long men in the pen — which puts Maya back in the mix in my view. I doubt if Livo would want that role. He might very well decide to sign on with a team that needs him every fifth day, as much as he likes DC and this team, if he can't compete for a rotation spot. Finally, I think the Nats would be well advised to use Strasburg differently than they did JZnn this year. If we are going to make a serious run at the post season, and I think that should be our mindset at least initially, we don't want to have to shut down Strasburg in September. Pitch him for 5 innings per start instead of 6 and that amounts to 7 more starts a year. That could be crucial as we had down the stretch next September, and is another good reason to have two long men in the bullpen.The RZimm question is very important. I think next year's performance is much more significant than how we finish this year. Either way, that needs to be a priority for the front office and ought to be in the mix as they figure out next year's rotation. Great "problems" to have eh?

  93. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Granted. John LannEn has had difficulties with Philly but he's done pretty good against Atlanta. And I expect him to be better against Philly.Garrett Mock just can't be on the 40 man much longer, can he?

  94. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Given the amount of young arms and prospects the Nats now boast, they would do well to explore trading some of them for a veteran, innings-eating, top of the rotation type. There aren't enough spots in the rotation for all these guys, and even if they all pan out, you don't want to have a rotation of 5 first or second year starters when you are looking to compete for the postseason.What could you get if you offered a package like Lannan, Detweiler and Peacock?

  95. LoveDaNats - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Earthquake anyone? I know the Nats are doing well but this is ridiculous!

  96. Scott from Burke - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Off topic but..I just felt an earthquake…CRAAAAZY

  97. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    @DC Wonk, I normally don't agree with Boswell and even he has been talking about the positives of the winning record. I think you can try to tell a player where you are heading and they can believe it or not. You show them a trendline from 2009 to 2010 to 2011 and most will buy off on that. Some will be impressed by the .506 winning percentage. Ryan Zimmerman has been through the worst of times. Not sure what will motivate Ryan right now.

  98. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    5.8 earthquake anyone in Virginia?Felt it here in Bethesda.

  99. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Go Nats rock the Diamondbacks!

  100. Section 222 - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Hey, let's not let a little earthquake stop this important conversation!

  101. Section 222 - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    From CNN's quick story about the earthquake:"Twitter traffic suggests the quake was felt all over the east coast.In Philadelphia, HunterPence3 tweeted, "Wow Earthquake just shook the entire locker room!"In Cleveland, "tribeinsider" wrote "I'm no expert but i think we just had an earthquake here.Post by: CNN's Ashley Fantz, The CNN Wire"So Ashley Fantz is a baseball fan I guess.

  102. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Wow. Did Dmitri Young just decide to start a jogging program?Seriously, hope everyone is OK and just had a busted plate or two.

  103. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Listening to Indians game while driving to work. They felt it there and initially thought it was centered in Canada. I didn't feel it–guess my car has pretty good shocks.

  104. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    PAY TO PLAY said… @DC Wonk, I normally don't agree with Boswell and even he has been talking about the positives of the winning record.Sorry, but I think he's nuts on this.Look — suppose starting Strasburg ended up costing us a few games, and we finished a few games below .500 because of it. That's going to _hurt_ our changes of landing free agents? Poppycock, he says!! ;-)If we go 17-19 the rest of the year, using lots of minor leaguers (which would give us 79-83, two consecutive 10 game improvements in a row — that's going to convince free agents to look elsewhere — but if we used major leaguers and closed 20-16 to finish 81-81, then those same free agents will look more favorably on the Nats? If guys like Milone and Peacock look great, but blow up in the 6th or 7th innings a few times, that's going to hurt us?Poppycock! he says againThat's just really crazy. That's totally shallow, and the agents of multi-millionaires are smarter than that.

  105. MicheleS - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    @Sunshine – LOL.. Felt it hour here in Ashburn. Have been through a few in California, but that was the worst one I have felt!

  106. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    had to say, just met danny espinosa who gave me 2 tickets for the game tonight. Could not have been a nicer guy. Really down to earth! By the way, anyone know where the will call is to pick them up? Im just used to coming through left field entrance with my tix. Thanks!

  107. David - Aug 23, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    I work in Crystal City at 2600 crystal drive. We evacuated our high rise for about 30 mins. It was strong as heck here… the building was shaking and swayed a lil bit. I didn't know what it was at first…. being on the 2nd floor of a 19 story building, I ran to the balcony. I almost jumped the 15 feet down to get the heck away from the building. Never been in an earthquake before. But soemthing did happen around 25th st. and Crystal Drive. The road was block off, with a bunch of ambulance and firetrucks. Maybe someone just got in a crash cuz they were scared as it happened.

  108. Natty Bo - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Speaking of the value of left-handers in the NL East, rumors that Nats claimed Wandy Rodriguez off of waivers.

  109. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Man… people just do not understand the importance of left handed starters in the NL East. That's the best way to get past both Atlanta and Philly.Why are people so bent on dumping LannEn now that he's learned how to pitch? August 23, 2011 1:55 PM Many don't get it which is why I think Milone gets a higher rating than Peacock and why the Nats need 2 (good) lefties in the bullpen and why Detwiler is so important to the team and why Buehrle is a coveted target more so because he is a lefty.Lannan is under team control for 2 more years.

  110. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Anonymous said… had to say, just met danny espinosa who gave me 2 tickets for the game tonight. Could not have been a nicer guy. Really down to earth! By the way, anyone know where the will call is to pick them up? Im just used to coming through left field entrance with my tix. Thanks! August 23, 2011 2:52 PM Players Will Call is to the right of the Suites/Media entrance by home plate entrance.

  111. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Huh? Wandy Rodriguez? Good points: he's a lefty starter. ERA 3.31, WHIP 1.265 (doesn't strike me as compelling)So, what's the status? Do we have to play him? Make room for him on the 40-man? We didn't have enough starters for Sept?What's the inside scoop, all?

  112. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Well forget Mark Buehrle, the Nats just got Wandy Rodgriguez as a waiver claim and he's not cheap. $10 mill next year and $13 mill in 2013 plus a team option. Not a young guy as he will be 33 years old next year. Having a good year on a lousy team and a solid #3 ahead of Lannan.I wonder who they gave up. My guess is bye bye to someone on the 40 man.

  113. Grandstander - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    RE: Wandy Rodriguez claimMaybe Rizzo figures that Ed Wade has been fleeced so bad by the Phillies over the years maybe we should take a shot?Maybe he figures he overpaid big time for a mediocre player in Werth, why not overpay big time for a mediocre pitcher like Wandy?

  114. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    OK, I got it. The 'Stros are probably just checking interest from around the league. From another source:The Astros would have the option of trying to work out a trade with the claiming team, letting Rodriguez go without any compensation, or pulling him back from waivers.One person familiar with the Astros’ thinking said, “I doubt anything will come of it, unless it’s something really attractive.

  115. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Teddy tried to make a break for it from my office shelf, but he only made it about a half an inch.Loser. :)

  116. Steve M. - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Forget it. Not the Nats on Wandy confirms a Nats official.

  117. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Analytical NatI'd say a 5.9.

  118. Grandstander - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    In other news, Arizona just traded Kelly Johnson to the Blue Jays for Aaron Hill and John McDonald.

  119. PAY TO PLAY - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Still could be they are working out a deal.

  120. Tcostant - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    I think it is fiction, but worth nothing…http://twitter.com/#!/Buster_ESPN/status/106073048108630016Why would they risk they contract being put to them?

  121. Natty Bo - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Personally I would take Wandy over Buehrle. Will be curious to see if they can work out a trade.

  122. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Nobody is talking about the Possibility of getting Yu Darvish. If the Nationals want him, they have to be one of the frontrunners to land him especially with the Wang connection factor.

  123. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    So do we know if the Nats are still playing tonight?

  124. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Anonymous said… So do we know if the Nats are still playing tonight?Yes, they're playing.

  125. Analytical Nat - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    Anonymous said… Analytical Nat I'd say a 5.9. August 23, 2011 3:23 PM Good. :-)

  126. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Thanks.

  127. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Hope that everybody is safe and sound in NatsTown. Was driving in west Fairfax County and felt nothing in my car. Wondered why there was a huge crowd standing outside Borders. I guess they must have run out. Got home and everything seems to be in order – a few pictures off kilter on the walls was about it. Hubby and I had experienced lots of quakes in California. He did feel this one at work and was duly impressed.So I not only missed the quake but also missed the Wandy rumors. Oh well.

  128. Mark'd - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Rockies got Wandy

  129. Jeeves - Aug 23, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    It drives me crazy–some of the comments about Detwiler. Roy Harper says Detwiler doesn't come through in September. I've written about this before, with nary a comment from one other blogger. In 2009, after a poor debut at the major league level, Detwiler returned to triple A and did very well. He returned to the big leagues in September and had an excellent month. Then the injury. Now it appears he might be getting it back. I'm am sick of the negativity about certain Nat's players such as Detwiler and Desmond. But I'm especially sick of the ignorance that often accompanies these comments.

  130. David - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Well Desmond has been pretty atrocious at the plate this year. .277 obp? Second lowest among qualifying batters in all the majors. That is pretty bad. I don't dislike him personally, but I wonder if he's smart enough to put together a quality at-bat. He's seemed lost all year.

  131. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Pretty scary today with the earthquake — some mess but no breakage. Just stuff fell off walls and shelves. Is everything ok at the stadium? Looks like it won't be easy to get there -snowpocalypse-type traffic and reduced metro.I hope they are at least checking the stadium as there is damage to some buildings.

  132. JamesFan - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    If they don't bring Lombardozzi up in Sept it means that the front office continues to be obsessively committed to Desmond at short. I hoped that attitude was gone after Riggs quit. I just don't see the potential they do. He make key errors at critical times and he doesn't hit (yes, I was at the game Sunday but look at the season). He makes big mistakes on the bases and I just don't think he is the long-term answer at short. I'm just a fan but I think the Nats are seriously over rating Desmond's potential.

  133. sjm308 - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Hope the Wandy thing is just a rumour. I have my heart set on Steve M. joining Rizzo as assist. GM, not because we have same first name and last initial but because I would love to have Buehrle next year. 33 years old – he has TEN straight seasons winning 10+ games and has pitched 200+ innings in those 10 years as well. Coming into this year he has over 1200 Ks/500 walks. Just a solid pitcher who would help our young guys a bunch.I loved watching Detwiler last night and also loved having a crowd around me that was cheering for the home team. The Drrrew thing was spontaneous but picked up speed and I will use it again tomorrow.Has there ever been a playoff team with 3 lefthanded starters? J Zimmnn, SS, LannEn, Detwiler & Buehrle. Trouble here is I really like what Wang has done as well. What a delightful problem to have. Also think Peacock and Milone can start at AAA next year and still see time with the big boys if they have a good Sept this year.

  134. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    From Mark's twitter feed at right, looks like the Nats plan to have a game as scheduled and are checking out the park for damages. Also sounds like traffic is a bear.

  135. Grandstander - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    sjm, it's been confirmed the Rockies are the team with the claim.I can tell you anyone coming in on 395 North to add like 30 minutes to your trip. It seems kinda like it's moving but not really.I can only imagine what a mess the metro is right now.

  136. Tcostant - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Anonymous said… Nobody is talking about the Possibility of getting Yu Darvish. If the Nationals want him, they have to be one of the frontrunners to land him especially with the Wang connection factor. Me – I love Yu Darvish, saw him pitch in person at the World Baseball Classic in San Deigo. He was the best pitcher there, by far. He is a #2 starter or better, the day he plays in the bigs. When it looked like he could be had last offseason, I was pounded these boards to get him/

  137. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    new post

  138. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    JamesFan said… If they don't bring Lombardozzi up in Sept it means that the front office continues to be obsessively committed to Desmond at short.Two responses:1. As for Lombardozzi — it might be a matter of numbers — meaning: how many guys can be excised from the 40-man roster?2. As for Ian — I read an interesting analysis somewhere (perhaps it was Bos? Not sure). Someone said that Ian's problem last year is that he was too agressive in the field, and this year, he's too aggressive at the plate, and suspects that by next year, he'll either get it together. I would add: that makes sense to me — give him another 1/2 year, or else clear him out for Lombo or Rendon.

  139. A DC Wonk - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Sorry — I meant to add: I think that's why Davey possible misspoke earlier. A week or two back he said something like of course we'll take a look at Lombo; but the front office had to walk it back a bit.The impression I got is that it's not that they weren't on the same page — it's that Davey was unaware of how many slots were left on the 40-man.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 64 -- 0
ATLANTA 76 76 11.5
MIAMI 74 77 13.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.0
Through Wednesday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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