Skip to content

Series preview: Marlins at Nats

Sep 16, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Javier Vazquez (10-11, 4.13) vs. LHP John Lannan (9-12, 3.65)
TV: MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 186

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. — RHP Chris Volstad (5-12, 5.31) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (0-0, 1.13)
TV: MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1580 AM, XM 186

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — LHP Brad Hand (1-7, 4.02) vs. RHP Chien-Ming Wang (2-3, 4.35)
TV: MASN2, Ch 50 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 186

MARLINS UPDATE
It's been a frustrating and at times bizarre season in South Florida, and it's only gotten more frustrating and more bizarre as it winds down. Mired in last place in the NL East, the Marlins come to D.C. having lost four straight, including both ends of yesterday's doubleheader in Philadelphia.

They've now officially lost Hanley Ramirez for the rest of the season after the star shortstop underwent "open" surgery to repair his left shoulder yesterday. Ramirez hurt himself diving for a ball in early August, then re-injured it while on a minor-league rehab assignment. He had arthroscopic surgery on the same shoulder in 2007, but this time orthopedist James Andrews felt it necessary to perform the more invasive surgery. Recovery time is typically four-to-eight months, which could put Opening Day 2012 in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, the strange and sad saga of Logan Morrison continues with a new twist. Morrison was stunningly optioned to Class AAA last month after reportedly failing to appear at a meet-and-greet function with fans. The Marlins claimed the talented outfielder was sent downRead more »

150 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsRFun2Watch - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Morse cold since being sent to the outfield. Coincidence? If we want his bat he may need to be our first baseman. Can we trade one of our other ones for a lead off hitting center fielder?

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    I understand the Brewers have one who is available. May have to throw in Cutter Dykstra or somebody.(ducking)

  3. Gonat - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    NatsRFun2Watch, during the rain delay yesterday someone called into Charlie Slowes and asked Charlie about Morse "cooling" off. Charlie thought it was a coincidence saying his hot streak started as he was playing LF.My theory is that Morse has to do a lot more running as an OF and maybe is fatigued. As I write that, it seems like a lame excuse. Morse has been asked about the move back to the OF and says no difference to him.I think Michael needs a day off.

  4. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Apparently the Brewers also have a reliever crybaby who is also available. No thanks.

  5. CapPeterson - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Let's see…Hanley out for the year…LoMo feuding with management…Stanton nursing a hamstring…team exhausted and relievers burned out after doubleheaders…sounds like the Fish have us just where they want us!

  6. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    heehee, sec3. I see what you did there.Perhaps even sweeter than sweeping the Mets in a four-game road series would be taking this one from the Fish.Speaking of winning, was telling my hubby about yesterday's exchange between Dave and FP regarding the Phillies repeatedly clinching at the expense of the Nats. Dave thought he'd seen enough of it but FP thought it was a good way for the young uns to learn how to celebrate. I'm with Dave. At any rate, our breakfast table exchange went something like this.Me: One would think that after seeing it once, they'd get the hang of it. Kinda like a game win celebration, but bigger. My husband: They need to be taught how to celebrate? You pour champagne and jump around. How hard is that?So then I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing). Maybe some of the past winners could put together a little instructional film. (video clip showing dogpile) You should definitely jump up and down and pile on your buddies at the plate. But be careful not to get hurt.(video clip showing champagne dowsing) If you've ever taken a shaving cream pie to the face, you know that celebrations can sting your eyes. Some guys like to take precautionary measures, like wearing goggles. (short video clip here) Others prefer to go all-out with scuba masks. (another short video clip)So what do y'all think? Do I have a future as a filmmaker or should I keep my day job??

  7. A DC Wonk - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Unfortunately, the only thing the Fish have going for them lately is that two of their starters have been pitching well lately. And guess who the Nats face in the first two games?OTOH, we have the Stras-meister starting game 2.OTOTOH, Fish used nine pitchers yesterday.Interesting from yesterday: how often does a guy get one base his first two times up — and gets picked off first the first time, and caught stealing the second time!

  8. Big Cat - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Hmmmmm….just read Wash Post article on game and Davey again says he has been working with Desi. Says he has gotten him away from that "punch to right field" mentality. Where has Eck been all year? This is what I have said all year, that these young guys have loads of talent but they need a good hitting coach…..and it ain't Eck. I know I know….Eck is workin hard, he's got his clipboard…blah blah blah

  9. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    On Monday morning the Nats were 3 games behind the Mets in the standings for 3rd place. This morning the Nats are 1 game ahead of the Mets and sole possession of 3rd place. The Nats shut down the Mets offense and the Nats DEFENSE returned in a HUGE way with Ankiel, Zim, Espi, Desi and Ramos all making big plays. Starting pitching for the Nats were shutdown for the 1st 4 innings of each game. Each starter was just good enough to keep each game under control with Peacock & Milone both earning W's.This time Davey didn't let his starters hang losses and had a quicker hook then he had a few weeks earlier. Tyler Clippard was nothing short of unbelieavable. Coffey showed again his true werth where he is a fireman/stopper not a setup man. Burnett, Stammen were good as well and lets just say that Storen got 3 saves in KardiaK Kids style.By the end of the 4 game series, the Nats held the mighty Mets offense to just 1.25 runs per game, and turned their Manager Terry Collins in his post-game news conference on Thursday into a very angry man. SEE VIDEO http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/16/terry-collins-rant-mets-nationals_n_965506.htmlThat's my story and I'm sticking to it!

  10. Big Cat - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Also…..Marrero hit it on the button 4 out of 5 times yesterday. The kid is only 22. His power will improve as he matures and lifts in the off season. This guy is a major league hitter. Don't know if it will be here however. I also liked how he took charge on that pop up around home plate the other day. Bailed out Ramos on a tough play

  11. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Interesting from yesterday: how often does a guy get one base his first two times up –and gets picked off first the first time, and caught stealing the second time!Iunderstand the Brewers have a guy…Oooh, captcha is "demon"

  12. A DC Wonk - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… Interesting from yesterday: how often does a guy get one base his first two times up –and gets picked off first the first time, and caught stealing the second time! Iunderstand the Brewers have a guy…Ahh. Brilliant. That explains a lot. Pagan must have known that the Nats are one of the best teams at stopping steals — and so Pagan must have been asking around for some ideas on how to deal with that, looking for potential weaknesses and what not. So, Pagan was asking around the league, and Nyjer must have offered some advice that Pagan took to heart! (The Mets were playing the Brew Crew just four weeks ago — that's proof!)That's your story and I'm sticking with it! ;-)

  13. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    You can also go to the horse's (as it were) mouth for the Collins presser

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Big Cat…. Eck is Davey's personal choice for the hitting coach job. He's the one that got the Nats to hire him in the first place.

  15. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    What the heck? Let's try that again. Video is titled "Collins on Mets' lack of effort after loss."

  16. NatinBeantown - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    CapPeterson – I thought the exact same thing, that the Marlins apparent collapse means they'll kill us again this weekend. It would be emotionally gratifying to skewer the Fish while they are down, but it would be against the tide of Nats history. I'm preconditioned to expect bad things this weekend (and I usually possess some of the rosiest-tinted lenses in this place).

  17. Big Cat - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Im sorry NatsJack, I just don't see it. Except for Morse, every hitter on this team has regressed this year. If Davey picked him, he should be the one to give him the pink slip once the season ends

  18. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Big Cat…. I'm not endorsing Eck…. just telling you the facts… the only way Eck's leaving the organization is when Davey leaves.On another note… I agree totally on Marrero…. that kid is the first professional bat I've seen come through the organization.I just hope he can mature into a decent 1st baseman.

  19. JaneB - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Big Cat, I don't think NatsJack meant that he personally supports Eck….just that, as Davey's chosen guy, he ain't going anywhere unless Davey leaves. At least that's how I read it.Got lots of laughs from you all today, already. I wonder if part of the reason I like the Nats so much is due, in part, to how much I like my imaginary friends, and my own personal sportswriter.We had sold our seats for tonight, but just bought others because I realize we are running out of town. What's pathetic is that I don't even feel bad about it. So we will be there tonight and Sunday (out of town Saturday) and will get to see two of the three wins this weekend. We may be conditioned to expect bad things from the fish, but I see a nice streak growing bigger this weekend. All Mark Z has to do is time his visits downstairs accordingly.GYFNG!

  20. JaneB - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    And the capcha for THAT, which I had to fill out, was: noupton.

  21. JamesFan - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    If Davey picked Eck and wants him to stay, what's Davey doing constantly bragging about the this he does to help hitters while Eck walks around with his clipboard.

  22. Big Cat - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Well….maybe he can be moved to a different level. Make him Hagerstown's hitting coach or something

  23. NatStat - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    This is the Fishes' weakend to be fileted and fried for Nats' dinner!

  24. Big Cat - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    I would say put him with the rookies in extended spring, but you definitely don't want him tampering with the bonus babies.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    JamesFan…. I'll be sure to ask him when I see him in a couple of weeks.

  26. Scott from Burke - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Lannan has lost 5 of his last 6 starts. In that stretch he has pitched 28.2 innings, averaging out to less than 5 innings a start. His era during this time isn’t bad, but he has given up 24 runs, nearly a run an inning. Ouch.

  27. SCNatsFan - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    With regards to Eck, I've been 100% behind his going because of the lack of progress that we've seen with our hitters, but to be fair Rizzo, Johnson et al see him every day and there must be something they see to keep him and continue to support him; I'm sure they aren't keeping him for a couple of measly bucks. Marrero, he's a tough one because it seems like he's been in our system forever but you look how young he is and realize maybe he just needed to fill out a little, mature a little. From what I've seen in him in his short stay I'd hate to give up on him; at the least he's improved his value as a trade chip, not just a throw in guy to a deal. That's never a bad thing.

  28. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    @Scott–was wondering why Lannan didn't fit into the "Who's Cold" section.

  29. A DC Wonk - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Scott from Burke said… Lannan has lost 5 of his last 6 starts. In that stretch he has pitched 28.2 innings, averaging out to less than 5 innings a start. His era during this time isn’t bad, but he has given up 24 runs, nearly a run an inning. Ouch.Yeah, but that's colored a lot by his last start (2 innings, 6 runs).If, on the other hand, you exclude that miserable start, the three games preceding that he pitched 18.1 innings, 6 runs, 5 earned, for an ERA of under 2.50.

  30. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Hope that LannEn can get his mojo back tonight.(repost alert)Speaking of captchas, thought that this was kinda funny.

  31. Mark'd - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    FWIW, the Mets play the Braves this weekend and the Braves must win.

  32. Jeeves - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Alright, I'm going to say it first. And I'm likely the only one in Nat's land that would consider such blasphemy. Assuming they could get a good pitcher or center fielder, the Nats should trade Morse. He would be (I think) coveted after the good year he's had. Roche is dependable and Marrero looks very promising. Aside from excellent numbers this year, I find Morse a tad streaky.He might just be our best bargaining chip for improving the team in some more significant area.Don't be too hard on me. I'm very sensitive.

  33. Scott from Burke - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    with 19 hits and 5 walks..i predict he gets blasted tonight..3 innings, 5 er..L

  34. BinM - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Jeeves, there is logic in your comments regarding Morse. Morse has been 'found money'for the Nationals, but I think it would have to be one heck of a tempting offer to pry him away at this point.

  35. A DC Wonk - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Scott from Burke said… with 19 hits and 5 walks..i predict he gets blasted tonight..3 innings, 5 er..LThat gives him a WHIP of 1.436 over those three starts — which is sub-par, but his career WHIP is 1.421. But his ERA is good because he leads the team in ground ball/fly ball ratio, and leads the team (by far) in ground ball DP's.My prediction: because he pitched for such a short time last time out, he'll pitch pretty well.

  36. A DC Wonk - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    BinM said… Jeeves, there is logic in your comments regarding Morse. Morse has been 'found money'I wonder, though, if he's underrated, however. There are still who think that this is a fluke year of his (I'm not one of those who thinks that, fwiw). I think he'd get a huckuva lot more value if MM could repeat this year.

  37. Water23 - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    I find myself in a little bit of a pickle. It finally looks like the Nats are turning the corner and would love them to end up third(NL East)and/or as close to .500 as possible but would it be better for them to preserve bottom 15 status? The Nats still need some pieces and one of those may come as a Type A FA signing. If so, bieng in the bottom 15 protects the 1st round pick next year and the non-signing of Gomes (Type B FA)makes the loss of 2nd round pick palatable. Then again, it may be time to stop worrying about such things and focus on winning.

  38. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    After that series, the Mets play the Cardinals for three. After leaving DC, the Marlins will also play the Braves. Go Braves and Cards!! (disclaimer: for those series only; this offer void where prohibited; consult your physician if this rooting is prolonged for more than one week)Mark'd said… FWIW, the Mets play the Braves this weekend and the Braves must win. September 16, 2011 11:15 AM

  39. Feel Wood - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    A coach is really nothing but a teacher. Every student will not respond in the same way to any particular teacher or coach. Likewise, at the highest levels of a particular skill set, it's often a subtle insight that will flip the switch on a pupil's performance – and many times it takes a second set of eyes to uncover the particular subtle insight that will work for the pupil.Which is to say that it's a good thing that the Nats have Davey Johnson's insights to augment what Eckstein and McCatty are telling the hitters and pitchers. That's one big way that Davey is better than Riggleman, who was famous for saying "I don't know anything about hitting, or pitching, or anything else, really." It got you to wondering what Riggleman DID know about. I'm reminded of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine said of Newman "Maybe there's more to him than meets the eye" and Jerry immediately replied "No. There's less." Same could be said of Riggleman IMHO.So quit complaining about Eckstein whenever the Nats hitters run into a rough spot. Be glad that they now have a second set of eyes to help them solve their problems.

  40. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Dude was an enigma, a mystery wrapped in a riddle. (ducking and running)

  41. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Jeeves=== sorry, I said it earlier, and got blasted. Check back to, I think. Tuesday. And I think there was someone before me who briefly suggested it might happen.

  42. Feel Wood - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    On another note… I agree totally on Marrero…. that kid is the first professional bat I've seen come through the organization.You didn't see Zimmerman?

  43. jd - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Water23, Very weak draft class next year. Time to start winning and not worry about our draft position.

  44. SCNatsFan - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    I agree about the finishing in top 15 thought… does it make a difference in the fan base at 15 or 16th pick but sure could make a difference with FAs. Not suggestion we tank (like the Pens did to get Lemieux, bitter Devil fan here) but it is an interestng situation.As far as Morse goes, he is found money but unless someone blows us away with an offer he stays, just too cheap to deal. And while I am 100% on board with the sign Zim to a extension train, just imagine the prospects we get next year of he decides he isn't resigning and we deal him at the deadline – real prospects, not the Dykstras and Mocks we are used to pinning our hopes on.

  45. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    "If Davey picked Eck and wants him to stay, what's Davey doing constantly bragging about the [things] he does to help hitters while Eck walks around with his clipboard."Wouldn't be the first time a boss has kept somebody around who let's him take the credit, but can be fired if things don't work.Not that DJ is; I'm just sayin.

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    lets*

  47. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    The thing about Morse is, there's no place for him on this team if Marrero stays and keeps up his average–and shows some power. I'm not fond of Riggs, but I don't think Riggs was "not giving Morse a chance" out of malice or even stupidity. Before LaRoche got injured, what position was Morse going to play on a daily basis?Now even if LaRoche can't come back you have Marrero. You package Lombo, Morse, and maybe a spare pitcher get BJ Upton from the Rays (an AL team). RZimm wants Upton and thinks he will play better here. You pay RZ and get him his playmate.

  48. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Oh, and you only do the Upton deal if he is willing to sign an extension so it's not a one-year rental. Tell RZ to tell BJ that's the deal.

  49. Mark'd - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    NatsLady said…You package Lombo, Morse, and maybe a spare pitcher get BJ Upton from the Rays (an AL team).———-Is this a joke? Have you lost your mind? This is BJ Upton, not Justin Upton.

  50. jd - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Have I missed something? Marrero has 3 extra base hits in 71 at bats and we think he's the next Albert Pujols? really?

  51. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Mark'd: I don't think Morse on his own will get you BJ Upton. We don't have players that we would trade that would get Justin Upton.

  52. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Trade a .300 power hitter and Espinosa's replacement plus someone else for low average CF who can't lead off? Bad trade. Why not trade a bunch of our low average hitters for someone's high average one? We have enough power on the roster and on the way. We need people to get on base and Upton is not that guy. People are so hot on slow starting Laroche. I don't get it. Especially as you don't know what he'll be offensively next year a year older and off Major surgery. Nobody but us would even sign this guy last year and you want to trade Morse to make room for him? Crazy that you people want to trade Morse. Managers just need to learn to manage players slump tendencies better. Morse has vey long slumps and very long hot streaks. (About a month or more each). By comparison, Zimms's hot streaks and slumps last 2 weeks or so I'd guess. Manage it! Rest them some when they're cold and play them when they're hot. The players might get mad at sitting but they'll understand at end of year when they're stats are better sitting out some of their horrible slumps.

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Who said anything about Pujols??

  54. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    I"m not saying trade Morse because he's slumping now or because he's a streaky hitter. I'm saying trade Morse because this is a National League team and he is a very subpar fielder.

  55. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    jd said…Have I missed something? Marrero has 3 extra base hits in 71 at bats and we think he's the next Albert Pujols? really?———-Really! He actually has professional looking AB's, puts the ball in play, and doesn't strike out like every young player you guys continue to make excuses for.

  56. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    You have young pitchers (except Wang if he makes it). You cannot have the left-fielder dropping or missing balls.

  57. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Feel Wood re: Zimmerman…. I don't think 6 weeks in Harrisburg qualifies as "coming through the system".

  58. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    BJ Upton has been above average defensively every year except 2011–and we know what happened this year.Even this year his WAR is 3.0 and his value $13.5 million (fangraphs).Of course I would love have his brother, who wouldn't? And I always worry about a guy with an "attitude" problem. But if RZ says he can fix BJ, why wouldn't you give it a shot? Put it on a club option, let 2012 be they year he shows what he can do.

  59. jd - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Marrero a .300 power hitter? really? NatsLady, I hear what your saying but I think we are too thin offensively to discard Morse's bat. Taking everything into consideration including Morse's defense Upton and Morse have roughly the same WAR for 2011 and Morse is a lot cheaper. I am buying the fact that Upton will do better than he did this year but I also feel that Morse's offensive numbers are not fluky and we can probably absorb some sub par defense in left field (ALA Greg Luzinsky). In my opinion we need a player of Upton's caliber to add to the team; without removing necessary parts.

  60. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    jd– if Rizzo can make it work to have both Morse and Upton, great. Maybe they are tired enough of him in Florida to send him up here cheap.I'm not sure Morse's offensive numbers are totally "fluky" but I suspect he needs to play every day to get his stroke, and that coming off the bench is not a good situation for him. He strikes me as DH material if he can keep up the power, and I hope not Adam Dunn.

  61. JaneB - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    From where I sit, Morse on his own is worth MORE than BJ Upton. He's hitting better, he is a grown up and always positive. To trade him AND Lombo and even Cutter Dykstra is way, way too much for way, way too little.I'm thinking back to spring training, when that scout said our problem was no offense. And it makes me wonder whether our hitting would be way WORSE without Eck. Given how much he is respected (except by some of us), he has to be contributing more than we see. Just because he can't turn them all around, beyond their abilities, doesn't mean he is doing lousy job.

  62. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    When did Zimmerman say he could fix Upton? I missed that.

  63. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    JD… which brings us back to CoCo Crisp for a stop gap…

  64. jd - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    JaneB, Morse's defensive numbers are off the charts poor (-13.2 on Fangraphs). Nats Lady makes some good points and all in all B J Upton is a much better player than Morse.

  65. The Great Unwashed - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Marrero's having a cup of coffee right now. It's too early to annoint him as the next hitting savior of the team. Having said that, his debut has been much more impressive than Espy's last year.If we're talking about players to possibly trade, I'd actually try to trade Espinosa. Players go into slumps, but Espinosa's been in a nosedive since the ASB and overall his average is sub-par. Morse hasn't slumped that long and has been a real asset to the team. Many times no one was hitting except Morse and that value can't be overlooked.I wonder if the organization has put any thought into putting Morse at 1st and moving Marerro to LF. Teams have players switch positions all the time (see Espy, Harper, and even Morse) so that's not a radical idea. If Morse falters at 1st, you can switch them back, but you have both of their bats in the line up and Morse seemed to play better when he was the 1B anyway. This would be after more evaluation of Marerro during ST, of course.As for LaRoche, Anon 12:27 is right. Why is everyone so high on a guy who is a notorious slow starter with the bat, and is coming off major shoulder surgery? Plus, he's not part of the future. If Rizzo could package Espy, LaRoche, and maybe (gasp) Lannan, that might be worth looking into.I like Lannan; we've all watched him grow with the team… into a #4 starter. Definitely expendable in my opinion.

  66. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    OK, RZ didn't exactly say he could "fix" Upton, but close enough.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/nationals-trade-deadline-ryan-zimmerman-on-bj-upton-updates-on-ian-desmond-jason-marquis-livan-hernandez/2011/07/23/gIQAsSvrVI_blog.htmlAlso BJ Upton, recently said (with being as stupid as Francisco Rodriguez) that he would like to come here.

  67. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Sorry, that is WITHOUT being as stupid as…

  68. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Don't think Espy should be in a trade package and I don't think he will be. Rizzo is going to stick with Desi and Espy for another year at least. Lannan, I could see him in a package since we have other lefties–speaking of "streaky"–can you use that word for a pitcher?

  69. Feel Wood - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…Feel Wood re: Zimmerman…. I don't think 6 weeks in Harrisburg qualifies as "coming through the system".Fair point. But by the same token does Marrero having a couple of good weeks at the plate qualify him as a "professional bat"? As I recall, both Desmond and Espinosa looked pretty good for the first part of their September callups, but it didn't last.

  70. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    NatsJack, Coco Crisp would be fine with me. Free Agent, so only costs $$. Not a great fielder but seems adequate and by the stats OK average and OPS. I've watched him in games and he seems fine.Would be a stopgap until Oppo Boppo arrives. I would keep Ankiel in that case.

  71. NatStat - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Eckstein can only present the metrics of holding a bat and stepping into the box–the player has to execute. In past years, with more vets in the lineup, none of the fans questioned Eck's value.Davey thinks that he's one of the best, if not the best hitting coach in MLB—that's good enough for me!

  72. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    JaneB, thanks for being a voice of reason. I leave for a few hours and come back to NatsLady wanting to trade the team's most productive hitter this season (Morse) and package him with Steve Lombardozzi (top 10 prospect) and a spare pitcher for BJ Upton.BJ Upton may turn out to be a very good player or he could continue to be an inconsistent player like he has been for the last 2 seasons that is not going to live up to his potential.Upton is scheduled to be a Free Agent after the 2012 season which is the same time as Michael Bourn. I take Bourn over Upton because Bourn fills the need which is a leadoff CF. Coco Crisp is the perfect stop gap. This team would be foolish to trade Lombardozzi straight up for Upton let alone throw in Beast Mode into the deal and a pitcher TBNL.Rizzo needs a 1 to 2 year stop gap (Coco Crisp) to let Bryce Harper progress. I still believe the June 15th 2013 lineup will be:LF Rendon CF Werth RF Harper3B Zim SS Desmond 2B Espinosa 1B MorseC RamosBench – Marrero, Lombardozzi, Bernadina, and possibly Jesus FLores/Derek Norris(P) Strasburg, JZim, Purke, Lannan, Peacock

  73. Feel Wood - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    I wonder if the organization has put any thought into putting Morse at 1st and moving Marerro to LF.As I recall, Marrero was drafted as a third baseman and tried at various other positions including left field before ending up at first base as a position of last resort. His only other possible position would appear to be DH.

  74. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Feel Wood…. fair point on Marrero… I should have said "appears to be" the first professional bat….

  75. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  76. Bowdenball - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    I'm curious- is there a reason for the fixation on Upton over Matt Kemp or Michael Bourn? Kemp in particular seems like a very good option. The Dodgers obviously won't be paying him when his current deal runs out after next season. After the 2012 season the Nats will have plenty of cash to get him even if they extend Zimmerman, and they won't have the same image problem they had in the races for Teixiera and Grienke and other high-priced guys. What 28 year old wouldn't take $20 million to play with Strasburg and Harper and the rest of our young talent?

  77. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    You have three outfield positions and long-term, Werth fills one of them and Harper another. Do you see an outfielder coming up through the system, or do you trade for Upton for 2012, with a club option to extend him for longer if he produces?The Nats could use both Coco Crisp (short term), Ankiel (short term) and Bernadina and Upton (longer term if they work out).I simply can't see Morse here long term, just don't see it, sorry. Love to watch the guy blast home runs, like his attitude, but he's Adam Dunn/Josh Willingham to me–fun to watch but not in the future of this team.Rizzo has said there is an CF/Leadoff guy coming–who is this mystery man, and how far away?

  78. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    NatsLady said… NatsJack, Coco Crisp would be fine with me. Free Agent, so only costs $$. Not a great fielder but seems adequate and by the stats OK average and OPS. I've watched him in games and he seems fine.Would be a stopgap until Oppo Boppo arrives. I would keep Ankiel in that case. September 16, 2011 1:10 PM Thank you for stepping off of the ledge. That's it. Stop gaps for Oppo Boppo and Rendon. Crisp is a 130-140 game a year guy and can be moved back to the bench. Crisp also found the fountain of youth with his speed. He is so far below the radar that I think the Nats can snag him.I expect to hear from NatsJack that Rendon will be the RH Rod Carew when he sees him in Florida. If all goes well, Rendon will be here sooner than later and before Bryce Harper.I don't think the Nats need to make any trades in the off-season. See what shakes out in Free Agency. I am blown away at how poorly Mark Buehrle is playing lately—I am removing him from my Santa wish-list. With Strasburg on an innings limit, I am concerned that the Nats will need another arm that can go late in games. Someone said it yesterday, maybe you do sign Marquis to a 1 year deal as another stop gap w/ a 1 year option. I think it is a Pick 'em "1" from Wang, Detwiler, Peacock and Milone. If you go with Wang then Peacock and Milone get more time in AAA and Detwiler goes to the bullpen where he belongs for now. Peacock and Milone are your insurance policies and Strasburg hits his innings limit in August 2012.Rizzo has to continue to stockpile talent in the Minors. There will be a time soon where the Nats will make a trade like Milwaukee made for CC Sabathia or what the Rangers did for Cliff Lee. That is when you make your trade when it is for the post-season.

  79. Sam - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Morse had a 28-game stretch (picked completely arbitrarily) that ended July 30 during which is OPS was a mere .866 ("mere" because it was lower than his season OPS of .902 at the time). What was his excuse then? Too tired from stretching for wide throws at first base?He's had, what, 5 bad games in a row, and we're ready to write him off and say that he can't hit if he plays left field?

  80. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    @Bowdenball,(1) Matt Kemp (arbitration eligible in 2012, FA for 2013)). Yes, I could see the Dodgers doing a salary dump and off-loading Matt Kemp. The problem is he would probably want (and command) an extension for at least 5 years and we already have one of those in the outfield. (2) Bourn– I'm still not sure why a deal for him didn't fly at the July trade deadline. I was only analyzing Upton because of recent discussions. Certainly would be a good addition. He's a Boras guy, so that could happen.

  81. baseballswami - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    I think it's kind of funny that everyone thinks Johnson had a tiny chat with Desi and then magically he got 5 hits. Don't you know by now that when things go wrong, he blames the players and when things go right he takes absolute and total credit for it? Desi has been leading up to this for a while and I think he was really insulted that the reporters ( miss silly goose for one), suggested that the rain delay chat was what made him hit so well. I am so sure that his hard work and a full season of dedication and grinding it out had absolutely nothing to do with it. And Johnny, Ray and miss silly goose are always asking leading questions like " don't you just love playing for him?" " what did DJ say to you that made you get all those hit?" Like- what are they supposed to say – "NO"? If Johnson is that magical, then he can be the new hitting coach.

  82. The Great Unwashed - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    NatsLady,I still don't understand your reasoning for wanting BJ Upton. The Nats already have plenty of .235 hitters. Have you watched the team this year? They need more hitting, not less. Just because he's Zim's buddy doesn't mean he'll produce for the team. And maybe Zim decides to test free agency and leaves after 2013. Sorry, I don't see your logic.

  83. Wally - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    I am not sold on Crisp. This is the first year that he played more than 100 games since 2007.I still wish that they would look for a more permanent answer at CF, like Bourjos, but I recognize that will cost a lot in terms of trade value. Another guy to think about if they go stopgap is Marlon Byrd. Similar kind of player, better defender and shouldn't cost too much in terms of prospects

  84. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Steve M., didn't mean to appear "on the ledge" ready to make the deal. Just speculating. Still don't think Morse alone would be enough to get BJ Upton if that is the trade.Also not sure why Lombo is not playing, except that Espy in an unguarded moment said he didn't want to give up his playing time. And he hasn't. So what does that say about who's staying and who might be either on the bench or going?

  85. The Great Unwashed - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    NatsLady,BJ Upton is a Boras guy? I didn't know that. To me that's another red flag. Boras hasn't made this team a winner, he's just gotten them to up their payroll. And even though Rizzo supposedly gets along well with Boras, he still has go through all of his trade and signing shenanigans. Some friend. Double no thanks.

  86. Sam - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    You know why those number of games were picked for the hold and cold streaks? Because if you add one (or two or a few) on to the beginning, they don't look so bad.In his last 6 games, Mike Stanton is batting .333/.600/.333, not too different from the numbers that landed Jonny Gomes on the cold list.In his last 10 games, Mike Stanton is batting .211/.385/.368…hmm…

  87. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    baseballswami….. gnash your teeth and growl about Davey all you want but the players DO love playing for him…. and management loves having him…. so get used to it for the forseeable future.

  88. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Yep… all them Boras guys… they're all losers….sure.

  89. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/2011-first-base-rankings-september/Fangraphs had just bumped up Morse into Top 11 of all 1st baseman. The list is basically all All Stars and MVP candidates. Morse is a -5.1 at 1st base on UZR with only 723 innings logged. He is in LF temporarily until LaRoche's tenure is played out.I believe Morse will improve at 1st base where his zone rating faults him on balls to his backhand side which are singles. He is generally in the same range as Howard, Fielder, and Cabrera. Where Morse is good is soft hands on receiving throws from other infielders. By the way, Adam Dunn is a -6.6 this season.http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=250&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

  90. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Natslady you haven't been watching? The 2012 CF's name is Jayson Werth. NOT BJ Upton or any of the other names that keep cropping up.Why? Because unlike Riggleman Johnson prefers bats in the corner outfield spots. Will that include Marerro? He is playing a premium corner spot without hitting for power. These Nats can't afford that unless they put power guys in the corner spots. Its likely Morse will be one of those on Johnson's team. As will Bryce Harper sooner or later. Harper does not have the requisite skill to play CF and perhaps not even RF. Albeit it would be nice to see him make the leap necessary to play there. You're not going to see BJ Upton at this point. Instead it seems highly likely you will see a higher OBP hitter in the #1/#2 spot in Anthony Rendon. That all depends on how he and Harper play in the AFL this fall. And then how things go in the minors. The possibility that Espinosa becomes exclusively a right handed hitter in 2012 has to be considered. As a right handed batter he is hitting .274/.358/.837 with 5 homers in 117 at bats. Desmond's hitting has improved but is he seriously a better fielder than Espinosa? I don't see it. Johnson likes both players. But he (unlike Riggleman) seems like the type to be inclined to find room for Rendon and Harper (they are the future). Lombardozzi looks like a utility guy at this point. So, the Nats best scenario appears to be Jayson Werth in CF with bats in the corner infield and outfield spots. The better fielders are either bench and late inning replacements or they are named Espinosa, Rendon, Zimmerman, Werth, and perhaps Desmond. I see Desmond on the trade block for something they desperately in '12. A veteran top of the rotation ace to stabilize add to a rotation that includes Stras, Zimmermann. To make the leap further into respectability and perhaps a playoff run they need that starter more than they need either Upton. Bats they have in abundance now. Its CC Sabathia, Jimmy Shields, Anibel Sanchez … someone of that ilk is what they almost desperately need and perhaps might finally obtain.

  91. Sam - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    @The Great Unwashed: The appeal of Upton is that he is an average to above average hitter (109 wRC+, .324/.417 OBP/SLG), batting average is pretty much useless, and he has generally played good defense in center field.

  92. Sam - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    @Anonymous 1:59 PM: It was 117 at-bats. That is all.

  93. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Sorry, I can only bounce so many balls at a time! Bourjos came up in 2010 and only 24–doubt he's on the market. My feeling is that Ryan Zimmerman is a unique player who has other things on his mind besides just money (of which he already has plenty). This is the guy who has it in his contract that he gets the use of Nationals Park one night per season for his MS foundation.Yes, he could test free agency in 2013. And if you don't want him to–and we don't, right?– you have to look at the intangibles, in addition to the big $$$. There is only one player in all of baseball about whom Ryan Zimmerman has broken his customary reticence, and more than once. I'm not saying you have to trade for BJ Upton in order to retain RZimm, I'm saying you have to give Zimm's judgement some consideration. He's played on the Nationals a long time, and if anyone has an idea what the team needs(outside of the FO) it's gotta be RZimm. If it was between Bourn and BJ Upton, and RZimm said, go with BJ — which one would you go for?Sorry, I can only bounce so many balls at a time! Bourjos came up in 2010 and only 24–doubt he's on the market.

  94. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    No, BJ Upton is not represented by Boras. Michael Bourn is represented by Boras.

  95. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    he's just gotten them to up their payroll. And even though Rizzo supposedly gets along well with Boras, Great Unwashed how do you figure? The payroll actually LOWER than last year's payroll AND the performance has markedly and impressively improved over last year? Instead they've been bankrolling top prospects like Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Matt Purke, Alex Meyer, and Brian Goodwin. That actually makes an abundant amount of sense given the number of years they will be under team control? Many (and so is Espinosa) are clients of Scott Boras. Unless Rizzo/Johnson et al sign off on a dramatic shakeup (bringing in Prince Fielder for example) you aren't going to see it change except to pay a top veteran starter or starter[s].

  96. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    @Anonymous 1:59 PM: It was 117 at-bats. That is all.Sure, and he is leading all rookies in home runs with most coming from his weak (or left side) platoon batting? He's got 19 right? Sheesh.From that one can hopefully infer that he might be vastly improved if gave up the platoon bat.

  97. Mark'd - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Freddie Freeman last in UZR, I'm sure Braves fans are throwing their stud under the bus because he is a 9.9 UZR.WAR and UZR ratings are still very subjective. Wally, Marlon Byrd is another good CF, just not a leadoff. Coco Crisp is a leadoff or #2 type of hitter.

  98. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Wally, Marlon Byrd is another good CF, just not a leadoff. Coco Crisp is a leadoff or #2 type of hitter.And Anthony Rendon led all college players in OBP. He has what many consider to be gold-glove potential at third or second base. He may hit for power and hopefully high average. Who you gonna call if you are Davey? My money is on Rendon.

  99. Sam - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    @Anonymous 2:10 PM: One can infer whatever one wants to infer about any situation. One might be drastically wrong about the situation. I'm not saying you will be. I'm saying that 117 at-bats is in no way enough evidence to consider changing a player's entire game. It's like you're going to the casino, playing Roulette, and betting on green. Playing any game in a casino is a bad decision (not taking utility into account). Playing Roulette definitely isn't smart. Betting on the green? That's insanity. You could still win, of course, but the odds are highly stacked against you.

  100. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Didn't RZ also speak up for retaining Dunn? I'm just saying…

  101. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    No worries, Sam, as it's an imaginary casino, anyway. We can speculate all we want, but we are not the ones who will be making the trades or signing the FAs.

  102. A DC Wonk - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    jd said… Have I missed something? Marrero has 3 extra base hits in 71 at bats and we think he's the next Albert Pujols? really?No. The idea is that he's got a fundamentally sound swing and will bulk up some. He's only 22.I don't know how dependable that idea is — but, as someone pointed out to me a few days back, Ryan Z also had zero HR's his first year with the Nats.

  103. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Or advising players as to how to change their game ('cause I'm pretty sure that they don't scan these comments for playing tips.)

  104. A DC Wonk - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    natsfan1a said… Didn't RZ also speak up for retaining Dunn? I'm just saying…Yep — good call — I was going to mention that, too!

  105. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Mark'd: Agree on subjectivity of UZR and WAR. I use it to get an idea of the merit of players, and then I like to actually watch them in games. Love MLB.tv because I can do that. Bourjos dropped a ball that could cost the Angels the playoffs–poor kid. I don't think they are going to get rid of him because of it. Same for Morse– I was at the game and sitting where I could see him flounder on the ball in the LF corner (the camera couldn't catch it). It was pretty bad, but it wasn't the only one. He is just NOT suited to the outfield, though I certainly expect he could improve. But if Harper can't handle RF then you have to put him in LF, and that absolutely cuts Morse from the outfield longterm.Then you have to consider whether he is suited to first base where there is a bit of a (temporary) logjam. He likes the infield, he works really hard at it, and the point was made that with coaching he could learn the position better (which is what Marrero had to do, after all). But you have to ask, is Morse at first base the solution for 2013? And if not, why not trade him when he's got top numbers?

  106. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Yes, it makes you wonder why Davey didn't just say that Eck had changed some things in Desmonds approach and let it go at that. Instead he jumped right in the spotlight. Kind of threw Eck under the bus

  108. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    NatsLady, Zim lobbied for Adam Dunn and didn't get him to stay. In an interview Zim was asked about the BJ Upton rumors. It wasn't an endorsement or "have to" have him. He was being rather cordial.Zim has stated one goal "WINNING". I don't know what your fascination is with BJ Upton, but there are 112 players (batters/pitchers) ahead of BJ Upton who have higher WAR values and 110 of them are with other teams. If accumulating better WAR players is your goal, then there is a large group to choose from.If you think WAR is the best way to judge players, Espinosa is the Nats team leader in WAR followed by Jordan Zimmermann then Ramos, Werth, Morse and Ryan Zimmerman.

  109. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Yes, RZimm did speak up about retaining Dunn and the Nats offered to retain him but he wanted too many years. No one could have predicted what happened to Dunn, so I'm not sure why RZimm giving that advise or the Nats FO following it was a bad thing.

  110. Wally - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Bourjos may not be on the market, but with Trout coming up, Wells and Hunter getting big bucks, he may be had for the right price, which will be high.I don't see Harper or Werth as a long term answer in CF, and think Goodwin is an unknown and wouldn't build a plan around him like I would Harper or even Rendon. So I would at least try for a permanent solution. It doesn't mean Bourjos necessarily, he was just an example. He fits for me in terms of defensive skill, age and years of control, even hitting this year. So I would at least find out what it would take.If we go stopgap, on Crisp v. Byrd, I have never been hung up on traditional leadoff types, just guys who get on base, and I think Byrd's OBP is at or better than Crisp.

  111. Mick - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    This has been fun beating NY 4 in a row. So, if we can go 9-5 the last 14 we have 80 wins. 77 wins would be fine because it ensures we are not going to go more than 8 under 500. This should be the final season for a long time that we as fans have to view things in those matters. Having stated this, if we now lose the home stand to the Marlins then we just plain suck. Finishing third would be an excellent building block for a run of 85 wins or more in 2012. I am still not sure about Davey and perhaps if the Nats can close out with a winning streak that puts them over 500, that would be a good swan song for Davey to retire to the front office. I just think Davey will lose more games managing in a close game than win them. Also, historically I remember the 69 Nats 86-76 and the expectation in 1970 was sky high. Sport Ill had the Nats in preseason as a 2nd or 3rd place team in the East and winning 90 games. A a little lad, I was excited and why not, the team had some young talent such as Del Unser, Dave Nelson, Jeff Burroughs (league MVP in 74), Tom Grieve, Len Randle, John Lowenstein, Don Stanhouse, Toby Harrah. Best SS in baseball Eddie Brinkmen, all star 3rd baseman Ken McMullen, a young Mike Epstein and of course Hondo who was a monster. They had one of the best pitchers in Dick Bosman and all star reliever Darrel Knowles, future 20 game winner Joe Coleman and Pete Broberg. The future looked bright with manager of the year Ted Williams. So what happen? they go 72-90. There were no key injuries that season. they actually made their last good trade ever by getting Aeurrilo Rodriguez for Ken McMullen. In 71, the ass hole owner Bob Short (when I get to heaven I will stand in the long line of Nats fan waiting to kick him in his ass, lol) decides to trade many of these future stars for Denny McClain and the franchise falls apart and moves to Texas. That team became quite good in 1974. My point is 2012 is huge and it cannot be 1970 for these Nats as it was for my childhood Nats.

  112. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    REALLY: I wish people would stop saying I am "fascinated" with BJ Upton or I "adore" CMW when I discuss them. I'm trying to be as objective as I can, and to be open to trading just about anyone that it is within reason to trade–and also to consider both statistical and "intangible" factors.And are the Nats of 2011 a better team without Dunn and Willingham than the Nats of 2010 were with them? The Nationals 3-4-5 combo was way up there in the NL last year for a while. And what good did it do with out defense and pitching? Fortunately, it's time for me to go to work. Have fun, people.

  113. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Something has to change to keep this team from it's tendency to go what often seems like 6 straight innings without a baserunner. Keeping all the same players in their spots isn't going to fix it. At least one of the high K guys like Espi or Desmond has to go for a high OBP guy. We have 2 outfield spots and 2 infield spots available to improve this horrid offense. The other spots are locked up. Zimm, Werth, Morse, Ramos.I'm hoping Rendon and Harper are there by the middle or end of next season. What is the answer until then?

  114. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Wally, Byrd doesn't have that speed you want at leadoff. Coco Crisp does and if Crisp can play in 2012 as good as 2011, he will drive the NL East nuts. He's a switch hitter with smart speed and can bunt. He is a potential to be in scoring position every time he gets on base due to his stolen bases.If you are a WAR person since that has been discussed so much today, Crisp is at 2.5 vs. Byrd at 2.1By the way, I love Bourjos and Gardner if either of those 2 could be pried away. They can, but it would be too costly.

  115. kevinx - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    So how is this for a line-up in late 2012:Rendon, 2bEspinosa, ssZimmerman, 3bMorse, lfWerth, cfLa Roche/Marrero, 1bHarper, rfRamos, cStrasburg, pWith Pudge as the back-up catcher (player/coach) and young catchers on their way, that makes Flores available for trade.With Bixler and Lombardozzi as infield/utilty bench players, that makes Desmond available for trade.With Bernadina and Gomes (?) as outfield bench players.Imagine if we package up Flores, Desmond and a young starter not named Strasburg or Zimmermann what we could get in return as far as a veteran, top-of-the-rotation starter.

  116. kevinx - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Actually, I would love to see what we could get in trade for Harper, but I realize that is not a particularly likely scenario.

  117. Sam - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    @Steve M.: 110 divided by 30 teams is between 3 and 4 per team. So, Upton is the 4th best player on his team (on average)? What's wrong with that?If your point about WAR is that Zimmerman isn't first, it's not well-taken. Of course he isn't leading the team. He missed 1/3 of the year. Playing time is taken into account in WAR. If it wasn't, the idea of how much you produce over a "replacement" wouldn't make much sense.

  118. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    If I had to guess I would say Morse is the medium-term solution at first base. Meaning 1-3 years. They aren't going to get good value if they trade him. The only way trading Morse happens is if they decided to go for Prince Fielder. At this point they have FOUR possibilities at first base: Morse, Marerro, Tyler Moore and LaRoche. They are covered and then some. I don't see a Fielder signing albeit you never know?Its the outfield that's interesting as Davey likes strong corner bats its why he is playing Morse there to get a good gauge on his play for the purposes of 2012 planning. Harper looks like he is going to be a strong corner bat. Werth did not hit well enough to constitute a strong corner bat thus his likely permanent move to CF for now. If Morse and Harper are at the corners maybe you give Davey what he is looking for?The infield is more interesting because here again there are so many possibilities. Jeff Kobernus has just made the BA All Star roster. At age 23 in Potomac he stole 53 bases while hitting .282 but his OBP was only .313. And now we have Mr. OBP and perhaps the best college hitter in over a decade in Anthony Rendon. He may be very close to major league ready. Throw in Zim, Espinosa, Desmond and Lombardozzi into the mix. And the speedy Brian Bixler? Its going to be an interesting off season as the Nats appear on the cusp of fielding a competitive yet still pretty young TB like team. The goal is to be able to compete with the Phillies and Braves. Can Rizzo. Clark, Minniti, Johnson, Harris et al put together a 2012 roster than can make strides in that direction? It apparently starts this Fall with the evaluation of the Nat's top minor league prospects both in the majors and in the AFL.

  119. John C. - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Imagine if we package up Flores, Desmond and a young starter not named Strasburg or Zimmermann what we could get in return as far as a veteran, top-of-the-rotation starter.Not that much, I'd guess. A middle of the rotation, solid #3 starter? Maybe. A veteran, top-of-the-rotation guy? I just can't see another team pulling the trigger on that deal. Flores hasn't yet re-established himself (although he's looking better); Desmond couldn't field last year, couldn't hit for half of this year (like Flores, he's looked better lateley). Why would another team want to make that trade?

  120. jeffwx - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Don't settle for second best….Get Michael BourneKeep Lombardozzi…way too early to trade him and will be a useful utility/platoon player that the Nats need. Agree that Morse is expendable but will need more than him to get quality leadoff outfielder. Therefore, Morse, Nix & H. Rod for MB.Again…keep, Lombo, Desmond, Espinosa, Sign Zimmerman as he is one the greatest clutch hitters I've ever seen.BJ Uptom is too much of a Gamble (not Oscar, BTW)

  121. A DC Wonk - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    If you think WAR is the best way to judge players, Espinosa is the Nats team leader in WAR followed by Jordan Zimmermann then Ramos, Werth, Morse and Ryan Zimmerman. As Sam noted — if a guy misses 1/3 of a season, you have to adjust for that. Also, compare both baseball-reference to fangraphs, who use different algorithms.Mick noted:Having stated this, if we now lose the home stand to the Marlins then we just plain suck. I don't think that our entire season depends on this three-game series, or that the season of progress will be negated by what happens this weekend.I am still not sure about Davey That's much more charitable than I recall you talking about him before! Progress! ;-)and perhaps if the Nats can close out with a winning streak that puts them over 500, that would be a good swan song for Davey to retire to the front office.He's not looking for a swan song this year — he's looking for playoffs in 2012 or 13.I just think Davey will lose more games managing in a close game than win them.And that's based on, what, exactly?

  122. Bowdenball - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    NatsLady-I'm not sure I follow your logic on Kemp. How is it a problem to lock him up for 5+ years just because Werth is also locked up for 5+ years? Value is value, regardless of what you've already spent at what position. And outfield along with 1B is where I'd most like to see the organization use its tremendous financial flexibility in the upcoming years- yes, even with the Werth contract and a new Zimmerman deal. We probably don't need help in the infield, the bullpen or the top of the order for the foreseeable future. The Nats have got the money, and a young foundation and a fan base that are both virtually demanding a competitive team in the 2013-15 time frame. Why settle for BJ Upton when an extra $10 million a year buys you a Matt Kemp?

  123. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    There's NO ROOM for Michael Bourne in Davey Johnson's lineup. Not with Werth already signed for a zillion years and able to play a better than decent CF. Desmond is showing that he can be a decent lead-off hitter. Perhaps all that is now needed is a #2 guy in Rendon who will likely hit better, have a higher OBP AND COST a lot less and be under team control longer than Bourne. Bourne is a stop-gap solution and would not be the long-term solution they would like. It sure looks to me as if we might see Desmond roaming the outfield if he continues to progress or possibly Anthony Rendon? Neither Espinosa or Desmond have hit the 1000 at bats threshold necessary for final judgement. They need outside help only at starting pitcher as this point. I don't see them blocking the prospects they have without wholesale trades of some of their younger players/prospects. This would likely not include Morse as he isn't as young and wouldn't have enough value to achieve the goal: a young, veteran top-of-the rotation starting pitcher.

  124. Scooter - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    We seem to be doing a fair amount of talking past each other. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it just feels a bit manic in here today.Could be that's just how our collective ichthyophobia manifests itself. (And of course, I could be as off-base as Nook Logan.)

  125. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    If the Nats achieve .500 it will be with prospect players and arms in the starting lineup. That will send a message. If the arms continue to progress as they have it likely spells the end of Livo's tenure. As well as Pudge perhaps … albeit the notion of trading Flores is intriguing … they almost have to as he won't accept another minor league demotion … so its either Pudge or Flores or perhaps a choice between Pudge, Flores, and Solano. I think Solano is the better choice a backup catcher given Pudge's penchant for wanting to play far too often. And the fact that Flores may still project as a starter? And then there's Derrick Norris who may yet prove himself.

  126. John C. - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Another person to put on the radar for the middle infield utility role: Matt Antonelli. I first noticed him when everyone was buzzing about Lombardozzi – I went over to look at the Syracuse team stats and couldn't help but notice that he's the team leader in OPS. yes, ahead of both Marrero and Lombardozzi. I wondered: who IS this guy? So I did some digging. He is a former 1st round pick (17th overall, 2006) of the Padres. He was drafted out of Wake Forest, signed quickly and progressed rapidly through their system in 2006 and 2007. His progress up through AA ball at that point had minorleaguebaseball.com rating him as a B+ prospect and the #2 guy in the Padres system with a good glove, solid bat and good strike zone judgment but questionable power (I'm guessing the latter is why the Padres moved he from 3b to 2b). But Antonelli fell off the table in 2008 (although he did get a cup of coffee with the Padres that year), going from a .294/.395/.476 in AA in 2007 to .215/.334/.322 in AAA in 2008. His numbers didn't improve in 2009 (.196/.300/.339) and after 54 games he was shut down with wrist pain that could not be diagnosed and didn't respond to cortisone shots. Antonelli was finally diagnosed with a broken hamate bone and underwent surgery in April of 2010. According to his web site, he had been experiencing severe wrist pain for two years. If true, it's no wonder that his batting and power numbers vanished (his batting eye remained solid even when he couldn't hit). The Padres cut him last December, and the Nationals picked him up for a song. And, with the surgery (and the wrist pain) behind him, his bat is back. Over 90 games and 374 PA – all but 4 and 15 at AAA Syracuse – he has slashed .298/.390/.457 in 2011, leading Syracuse in OPS. He looks a lot like the highly touted prospect that had Baseball America rating him as the #50 prospect in baseball entering 2008. His strike zone judgment is still good (59K, 47BB in 359 AAA PA), but with marginal power (20 2b, 3 3b, 8 HR). That's OK for a middle infielder, not a corner infielder or outfielder.It's clear to me that Antonelli has turned a corner, but even though he's done very well at AAA it's not at all clear where the turn leads. He's four years older than Marrero and Lombardozzi, but he's lost three years to injury (two years of crippled performance and one to rehab). Although primarily a 2b, he's played 2b, SS, 3b and LF in Syracuse. Don't be surprised if he beats out Lombardozzi for the Alex Cora role next year while Lombardozzi gets regular playing time in Syracuse. At any rate I'm happy for him that he persevered to work himself back to this point. And he could well be an excellent find by Rizzo.

  127. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Bowdenball– what you say on Kemp makes sense. The only question would be do you have guys coming up in your own organization within six years (not Harper) who can be that kind of productive?I'm not so much worried about the money as locking up the outfield for so long. You don't have a lot of flexibility if you have two guys in long term deals plus Harper.Agree on several of your points, the infield, the bullpen and the top of the order, AND catcher should be this organization's strengths. It will be interesting, that's for sure.

  128. baseballswami - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Nats Jack in Fla- and you know that the team loves playing for Johnson how? You can read their minds? Because with the exception of this past week they have played so well for him? (And let's just keep in mind that we played well but the Mets certainly helped things along.)Because a reporter forced them to say so? Just wondering how you think you know this.They haven't looked all that happy to me. I do know that he is going to be the manager next year. I would prefer to have a new manager that can stay with the team for a while and no, I don't think he still has the chops. Even if you like him a lot – you know he would take credit for inventing the internet if that credit wasn't already taken by someone else. Self- promotion is something he is not short of.

  129. jeffwx - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Bourne – CF .300Desmond – SS .270/15/60Zimmerman – 3b .300/30/110Laroche – 1b .260/25/90Werth – RF .270/25/90Espi – 2b .270/25/70Ramos- C .260/20/70Ankiel/Bernadina-LF .260/15/60as we wait patiently for Bryce/RendonRendon will NOT be ready for 2012Bench: Lombo, Bixler, Marrero,Ankiel, FloresP: Stras 15-5 Znn 16-8Lannon 13-10Peacock 14-7,Milone/Detwiller/Wang 13-15BP: Clippard, Storen, Gorzo, Stammen, Burnett, Balaster/Coffee

  130. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    jeffwx– (sigh) do we have to keep Balester?

  131. JamesFan - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    I just read the latest posts and think that four wins has caused some kind of serious mental breakdown in Nats Nation.BJ Upton? Has anybody looked at his numbers? Do we really want another low batting average, srikeout king on this team. Are you nuts? Sure Zmn likes him. He liked Dunn too. The GM is not running a social club here.Trade Morse? Are you really willing to give up a veteran guy who hits .300 and 30 homers and can play multiple positions? Do you think this team would be over 70 wins this year without Morse or Clip? This is insanity.

  132. Bowdenball - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Natslady-My take on the outfield is that there's three lineup spots there, and I want them filled by the best players possible for as many games as possible. I assume you wouldn't be opposed to having, say, 2B, SS and 3B locked up long term, just because they all happen to be in the infield. Why should the logic be any different in the outfield? Just because they're considered the same position for the All-Star game voting doesn't mean that they're the same position. If it helps, just think of them as "outside 3B," "outside MI" and "outside 1B."In addition, if you really really want to have flexibility to move them around so guys can get off days and we can make room for spot starts and defensive replacement, Werth, Kemp and Harper do offer a good deal of flexibility. They're all four or five tool type guys- varying levels of quality of those tools, to be sure, but each could probably play each of the OF spots in a pinch. There's no Ryan Braun type who needs to be hidden in LF or Michael Bourjos type who needs to play CF or his talent is mostly wasted. You've still got flexibility to do some things out there.

  133. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    NatsLady said… REALLY: I wish people would stop saying I am "fascinated" with BJ Upton or I "adore" CMW when I discuss them. I'm trying to be as objective as I can, and to be open to trading just about anyone that it is within reason to trade–and also to consider both statistical and "intangible" factors.And are the Nats of 2011 a better team without Dunn and Willingham than the Nats of 2010 were with them? The Nationals 3-4-5 combo was way up there in the NL last year for a while. And what good did it do with out defense and pitching? Fortunately, it's time for me to go to work. Have fun, people. September 16, 2011 2:37 PM You lobby passionately for certain players which is fine so long as you are able to see other points of view. You did bring up a good point, which is balance.The Giants aren't going to the playoffs this year even with their great pitching because of balance – no offense.Here's how I see it, the 2011 Nats team has improved in starting pitching, team defense, team speed, team chemistry and the ability to win in extra innings. I believe they got worse in the bullpen and slightly worse team offense (runs scored) and OBP (.311 vs .318) and BA (.244 vs .250).The difference by the end of the season is that approximately 43 less runners got on base from the 2010 team to the 2011 team. The Nats currently rank 12th of the 16 NL teams in OBP. For perspective, the Atlanta Braves who will probably be a playoff team are almost identical to the Nats in BA/OBP. They have more clutch hits and the best bullpen in the majors. The Braves have scored 33 more runs than the Nats which by pythagorean is good for a +5 in wins and pitching has allowed 58 fewer runs for a +9.That's the difference in a playoff team. It isn't neccessarily how often you get on base but what you do when you have runners on base, and then of course holding the opposition to fewer runs.

  134. jeffwx - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Nats lady: Agree we will have better choices than Balaster in the BP….Severino, Mr. Coffee ?I agree our strengths are/will be infield/Starting Pitching/CatchingStill would like a fast high OBP guy in the outfield who can produce runs by getting on base and using his speed. I think the nats are really not that far away from the top tier.

  135. jeffwx - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    And yes, we lose a great hitter like Michael Morse in the lineup but we get a great fast run producing outfielder in Bourne (very much needed in the top of the lineup) and LaRoche is a great clutch hitter and an amazing defensive first baseman. Overall then you subtract Morse, but get better defense and better OBP in the lineup.

  136. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Sam said… @Steve M.: 110 divided by 30 teams is between 3 and 4 per team. So, Upton is the 4th best player on his team (on average)? What's wrong with that?If your point about WAR is that Zimmerman isn't first, it's not well-taken. Of course he isn't leading the team. He missed 1/3 of the year. Playing time is taken into account in WAR. If it wasn't, the idea of how much you produce over a "replacement" wouldn't make much sense. September 16, 2011 2:45 PM I guess you missed where I was going with WAR, I was showing how the stats rank them not what I personally think. I was simply listing the players in order. WAR is cumulative so with Zim missing so much of the season his WAR is lower this season. That's another reason not to get crazy with WAR comparisons.How can one think BJ Upton is better than Ryan Zimmerman or even Danny Espinosa is better than Ryan Zimmerman. Well, if you go strictly by WAR, the cumulative numbers give a different conclusion to some.

  137. jeffwx - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Is there a stat that shows hitting/run produced when there is a two run or less difference in score.That's where Zimm shines, when the game is close. I think the record for walk off homers is 12 and at age 26 Zimm already has 8, correct ?Man, the music on wwoz.org is real good today.

  138. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    JamesFan said… I just read the latest posts and think that four wins has caused some kind of serious mental breakdown in Nats Nation.BJ Upton? Has anybody looked at his numbers? Do we really want another low batting average, srikeout king on this team. Are you nuts? Sure Zmn likes him. He liked Dunn too. Trade Morse? Are you really willing to give up a The GM is not running a social club here.veteran guy who hits .300 and 30 homers and can play multiple positions? Do you think this team would be over 70 wins this year without Morse or Clip? This is insanity. September 16, 2011 3:21 PM Not everyone has lost their minds. I am with you. NatsLady -was- willing to trading Morse + Lombo and a pitcher TBNL for BJ Upton who is a Free Agent after next season.Luckily, I think she stepped back from the ledge. Also to those who name Michael Bourn, he is property of the Atlanta Braves and fairly certain they are keeping him for 2012.BTW, love this line you wrote "The GM is not running a social club here."

  139. jd - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Steve M, I have to admit; I believe in OBP and I think the WAR is the best objective tool to look at players otherwise you pick and choose what metrics interest you and you don't represent the whole picture. For example looking at Michael Morse smash home runs and doubles regularly may lead you to conclude that he's more valuable than he really is; NatsLady correctly points out his defensive shortcomings whic by the way are not minor. additionally looking at batting averages alone may lead you to conclude that B J Upton is having a terrible year but guess what? overall he's having a better year than Michael Morse. I am also not a great believer in the clutch theories. If you don't get on base there is no one to be driven in and if you are a high OBP player you will statistically drive in your fair share of runs.

  140. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    For players you want to judge for offensive contributions, I think the RC27 sabre stat for runs created per game is a great one. Michael Morse in the entire MLB is ranked #20.That's why you need Michael Morse. Ryan Zimmerman #77, Jayson Werth #128, Coco Crisp #131, Danny Espinosa #133, BJ Upton #145http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/sort/runsCreatedPer27Outs/qualified/false/type/sabermetric/minpa/300

  141. jeffwx - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Steve M., You may be right about the Braves and Bourne. Just looking for a Bourne type player (Good glove, good speed, good OBP). Braves could use some more power in the outfield and bench depth (eg: Morse, Nix..). They do have great young pitchers in the majors and minor leaques up the yingyang.

  142. jd - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Steve M.'How can one think BJ Upton is better than Ryan Zimmerman or even Danny Espinosa is better than Ryan Zimmerman. Well, if you go strictly by WAR, the cumulative numbers give a different conclusion to some.' Of course you have to adjust based on games played. I think that was pretty much Sam's point.

  143. jd - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Steve M. said 'For players you want to judge for offensive contributions, I think the RC27 sabre stat for runs created per game is a great one. Michael Morse in the entire MLB is ranked #20.That's why you need Michael Morse. Ryan Zimmerman #77, Jayson Werth #128, Coco Crisp #131, Danny Espinosa #133, BJ Upton #145' Yeah but unfortunately in the NL you also have to play defense. And I am by no means advocating trading Morse I'm just saying that we need to look at him objectively.

  144. jeffwx - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Thanks Steve M.,Morse is great, don't get me wrong, but he's having a magical year and is injury prone, so you want to sell high to get a piece of the puzzle that is missing (better outfield defense, better leadoff hitting) I'd also like to see hitting & runs produced when the game is close (+- 2 runs difference). Somehow remove hitting when the game is not close. i'll look at RC27 in the mean time.

  145. natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Scooter, I ain't afraid of no fish. Well, okay, maybe a little.Mick, thanks for sharing about the Nats of your childhood. Didn't live here in that era but enjoy reading the reminiscences of others.

  146. Steve M. - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    JD, if you believe in OBP, Morse is tops on the team and higher than Upton. Upton is getting higher WAR based on his above average defense and Morse's below average defense. – Offensive players – Take wRAA and UZR (which express offensive and defensive value in runs above average) and add them together. Add in a positional adjustment, since some positions are tougher to play than others, and then convert the numbers so that they’re not based on league average, but on replacement level (which is the value a team would lose if they had to replace that player with a “replacement” player – a minor leaguer or someone from the waiver wire). Convert the run value to wins (10 runs = 1 win)

  147. NatsLady - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    I want to make clear I was not advocating trading Morse either. I was considering trading Morse. Nor was I advocating that we obtain BJ Upton.You have to look objectively at what Morse brings to the table and if there are better overall choices available, and what those choices would cost in terms of both dollars and players. After that, you have to see if the player realistically is available. I don't think any of us has the type of influence with Rizzo that makes our speculations or our advocacy worth beans. Now, someone asked me about predictions. If you asked me to predict, then I predict that we will not see Michael Morse next spring and we will see BJ Upton. When I saw that, then I thought, well, what about a trade of those two players, but there could be other variations. I think odds on both predicitons are a little over 50%. That's just me.Back to work.

  148. jd - Sep 16, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    'Upton is getting higher WAR based on his above average defense and Morse's below average defense.' Bingo !!

  149. Anonymous - Sep 17, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    I can't believe no one has mentioned the obvious…WANG VS. HAND

  150. natsfan1a - Sep 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Thanks for raising the level of discourse, Anon.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 46 --
ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles 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.

Follow us on Twitter