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Beltway Baseball Live – 9/22/11

Sep 22, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

They've won four in a row, nine of 11 and tonight have a chance to pull off a stunning, four-game road sweep of the Phillies. Oh, and somehow they still have a mathematical chance to finish the season with a winning record (they need to go 6-1 the rest of the way to go 81-80).

Seems like a good time to talk about the suddenly resurgent Nationals, who appear determined to push hard to the finish line and not let up until there no outs left to record.

Earlier today, Chase Hughes and I talked about this winning streak in Philadelphia, the performances of young pitchers Tommy Milone, Ross Detwiler and Brad Peacock and the impressive first season as closer for Drew Storen. I also got a bit animated when shooting down (yet again) the Prince Fielder-to-D.C. rumor.

If you missed the show live, no worries. Here's the full episode, broken into two parts. Check out Part 2 below the jump…Read more »

108 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Dawn - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Good Morning Mr. Z (6:00 AM feeding I suppose :-) , What is your gut feeling in regards to Bernadina's chances of making the big league club next year? Could you address the Prince Fielder to Washington rumors?

  2. MicheleS - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Hi Mark!Rumors are that we are scouting CJ Wilson… Odds of getting him as the FA Pitcher? And what would it take to sign him?Who else are potential targets? Will CMW be in the mix (sounds like it) and with the Kiddie Krew, we seem to be stock piling pitchers.

  3. Nats Outsider - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Charlie Manuel has been insisting that the Phillies series with the Mets will be their post-season tuneup, and until then the Phils are taking it easy. But the Philadelphia papers are showing some restlessness with their current skid.Do you think that the Phils are likely to bear down extra hard today in order to avoid a sweep by the Nationals?

  4. Nats Outsider - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Speaking of CJ Wilson, he has a reputation of being a bit of a flake, not to mention a willingness to publicly criticize fans, management and even other players. If he did come here, what effect would he have on the locker room chemistry?

  5. Analytical Nat - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Nats Outsider said… Taking it easy, huh? Better be careful. The spicket sometimes gets frozon shut and you can't get it turn on when you need to. Mark, to get a good lead-off guy for 2012 what do you think the Nats have to give up in a trade to get one?

  6. Gonat - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    It is becoming difficult to really evaluate the young pitchers. Milone faced a AAA lineup with Pence. Detwiler pitched on a weeks rest which cant answer his endurance issues and Wang is pitching on extra rest also.Are you concerned that the Nats could make a serious mistake going with one of these pitchers based on September evaluations?

  7. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    What Prince Fielder to Washington rumors?

  8. Water23 - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Mr Z,There has been talk of the team competing starting in 2012. So, how do we get from around .500 team to closing the 10-20+ game difference needed to compete for the division/wildcard. Granted a second wildcard team might help. But is the team/Rizzo relying on internal solutions only?

  9. baseballswami - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Considering Drew's high number of appearances and his reaching 40 saves – -is there any chance he will be shut down?

  10. natsfan1a - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    What's a spicket?

  11. natsfan1a - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    N. Cog, someone posted this in last night's game thread:Just posted on MLBTradeRumors.com… said… "[ESPN's Jason] Stark heard from rival executives who expect Albert Pujols to stay in St. Louis, Prince Fielder to join the Nationals and Jose Reyes to sign in San Francisco." September 21, 2011 5:50 PM

  12. FS - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Questions of the day: How is baby Z's contract negotiations with Nationals going? How is his swing coming along? Has he decided on a pitching motion yet?

  13. Analytical Nat - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    natsfan1a said… What's a spicket?Oh gosh, my spelling has left me. Spigot!

  14. natsfan1a - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Thanks, that makes more sense. :-)

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    1a… I think he meant "spiggot".And people… when it comes to ESPN and baseball, the only guy to listen to is Tim Kurkjian. The rest of them make up stuff unless it's about the Yankees or Red Sox.

  16. Dale - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    What are the odds that Jason Werth is our 2012 center fielder?

  17. Nats Outsider - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    FS–Baby Z has to be considered a long-term prospect. However, if he plays his cards right, he might get an invitation to spring training. It will depend on what his, umm, advisors decide.But I suspect he has already developed a winning smile. :-)

  18. Mr Donkey - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Why can't / don't the Nationals play all teams like they play the phillies?

  19. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    What is the contingency plan: If the Strasburg game Friday night gets rained out (chance of rain 70-80%), do you think they will play a double-header or wait until the season is over to see if the game "means" anything? If they play a double-header, would it be Saturday or Sunday?

  20. natsfan1a - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Speaking of young pitchers coming on, 36-year-old (cough) veteran Livan Hernandez has indicated that he'd be willing to pitch out of the bullpen next year if the Nationals re-signed him. He also indicated that he'd not be willing to do so for other teams. In your opinion, what are the odds of his being a National next year? What are his odds of being with another team (perhaps the Marlins, where he began his career)? Bonus question: What are his odds of appearing in a game at Nats Park this weekend (a bunting opportunity, perhaps)?Oh, and interesting hypothesis re. the winning smile, Outsider. Of course, we'd need to see pics to verify that. hmmmm, I wonder who might be able to post some? :-)

  21. JaneB - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I have the same questions as 1a. Also, will Baby Z be making an appearance at the park this weekend, or is he still wanting to stay away from the press and eager fans?

  22. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    "What is the contingency plan: If the Strasburg game Friday night gets rained out (chance of rain 70-80%), do you think they will play a double-header or wait until the season is over to see if the game "means" anything?"It would probably be scheduled for Saturday night with a separate admission from the afternoon game. There's no telling which of the games Strasburg would pitch.

  23. Mark'd - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    I don't get the delay in extending Ryan Zimmerman. Represented by CAA like Ryan Braun and Braun was extended early in the season below market. What's the delay on extending Zimmerman?

  24. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    "natsfan1a said… N. Cog, someone posted this in last night's game thread:Just posted on MLBTradeRumors.com… said…"[ESPN's Jason] Stark heard from rival executives who expect Albert Pujols to stay in St. Louis, Prince Fielder to join the Nationals and Jose Reyes to sign in San Francisco."September 21, 2011 5:50 PM "Thanks. Since it's not generated from a source that would be involved in any Fielder, Pujols or Reyes signing, it would better be termed as speculation rather than rumor. Still, a good question to pose.

  25. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    "What's the delay on extending Zimmerman?"Zimmerman is asking for $24 million a year for 10 years.

  26. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    "Why can't / don't the Nationals play all teams like they play the phillies?"Why can't/don't the Phillies play the Nats like they play the other teams?

  27. Anonymous - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Ncog..Where did you get the $24M per year figure?

  28. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    "Ncog..Where did you get the $24M per year figure?"Just having some snarkish fun.It's a preemptive strike targeting the posters who will be posting on the board over the off-season, complaining that the Nats are screwing up by not re-signing Zimmerman, even though they have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what's going on in negotiations. My post is just as illegitimate as theirs will be. Plus, I'm hoping Jason Stark picks up on it.

  29. natsfan1a - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Stark could credit the "tip" to rival fans, kinda like he did rival executives with the Fielder rumor. Not clear whether that would be rivals of the Cards, Brewers, Nats, Mets, or Giants. Kinda leaves it wide open, doesn't he? :-)

  30. Steve M. - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Mark, with Werth's tryout in CF and Desmond at leadoff, it appears to open the door to 2 options for Rizzo, a leadoff CF or a high OBP Rightfielder that can play defense like Hunter Pence.Who are 2 or 3 names you see out there as a possiblity? thanks.

  31. Scooter - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    I'm very curious about the offseason. Really, anything about what goes on, but here are a few specific questions: Who decides whether and where a player plays winter ball? What goes into such decisions? I'm sure some players are strongly encouraged to play, but are some strongly discouraged? (Can the team forbid a guy to play?) Do you have any thoughts on what various Nats might do?Also, does the team help design workouts? I think vets are expected to have their own routines, but what about kids?I also think some of our commenters may be able to answer some of this. I'm happy to hear y'all's input too.

  32. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    If the Nats finish in the top 15, they lose their first round draft pick protection (that means if they sign a Type A Free Agent who was offered arbitration they lose their first round draft pick).The Nats are currently ahead of twelve teams (how on earth did THAT happen??)How does the draft class look for next year? Would we rather sign a top FA or have the draft pick? Question not necessarily for Mark Z, but has anyone been following the draft?

  33. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    What has been the big change for Wilson Ramos in the last 45 days at the plate? Was it is mother coming to see him from Venezuela for the 1st time, or moving closer to the plate?Ramos has quietly moved his OBP into the mid-.330's and his BA to almost .270. He has also flourished in the 8 hole which is dead space on many NL teams. He will maybe play 4 more games this season based on the Pudge and JayFlo schedule so this will be close to his final slash line. Absolutely one of the bright spots over the season including his great defense.

  34. Mick - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    The Braves are playing for their post season lives. The series with them will be a good test verse a team who has to play playoff baseball, unlike the Phillies who could relax. If Nats win 2 of 3 verse Braves, we are on to something

  35. Big Cat - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    I think Davey has had a calming influence on Ramos, Espi and Desi. It is a work in progress, but there is improvement. Makes you think back on how we stole Ramos from the Twins. Ramos could very well be our starting catcher for 10 years. We gave up a journeyman reliever in Matt Capps. Capps has 15 saves in 23 tries and a 4.20 era. Good job Rizzo

  36. Steve M. - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    NatsLady, its a good point on the Type A Free Agents. I know they are looking at some Type A players, but the strategy should probably be getting 2 solid Type B's then 1 Type A. May be better to stay away from the big names this year and concentrate on striking early on others. The team has 2 Aces now in Strasburg and JZim. Add a solid #3 pitcher preferably a lefty in that 3.50 ERA range. Much easier looking for a #3 than jumping into the fray for a CJ Wilson.If the Nats go into Free Agency for a CF or RF, here are 4 intriguing names: Coco Crisp, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Carlos Beltran. Kubel is a -.1 in LF UZR and -2.4 in RF and 1.1 WAR w/ a .330+ OBP. Kubel would have a higher WAR if he didn't miss 60 games this season. Cuddyer comes from Zim's hometown, is a converted OF and is a -1.1 UZR in RF and a 2.9 WAR and a .350 OBP.Beltran is a -7.7 UZR and a 4.5 WAR. He has also been injury prone but carries that amazing .389 OBP. His pricetag as a Free Agent probably won't be worth the production.Crisp is a -4.6 UZR and a 2.5 WAR and a .322 OBP. Crisp probably has the most intangible value for being a potential leadoff and his baserunning ability to drive the opposing pitchers and defense crazy.

  37. Anonymous - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Just for your edification, it's "versus." "Verse" only pertains to written language, such as a line of poetry or other metric writing.

  38. Steve M. - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Big Cat said… I think Davey has had a calming influence on Ramos, Espi and Desi. It is a work in progress, but there is improvement. Makes you think back on how we stole Ramos from the Twins. Ramos could very well be our starting catcher for 10 years. We gave up a journeyman reliever in Matt Capps. Capps has 15 saves in 23 tries and a 4.20 era. Good job Rizzo September 22, 2011 11:06 AMDavey has served the youngsters you named well. Big difference with all 3 in the past 3 to 6 weeks. On the Ramos trade, StanK like previous years with the big Free Agents was in a 'hold firm' stance for what you have and it worked. I think Rizzo brought that same philosophy into the trade deadline this year and didn't get what he wanted for Storen and luckily walked away. StanK did the same with Alfonso Soriano and Adam Dunn.BTW, Span came back from his latest concussion medical leave last night and went 0-3 and was replaced.

  39. Dawn - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Hence the reason I used the word "rumors" in my post, only "fact" was that Stark tweeted it. Or maybe it is a big conspiracy by (gasp) the Prince himself. Oops, another rumor started…..

  40. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    NatsLady, Next year's draft in stark contrast to this year's is considered historically weak.I don't think this will deter Rizzo from pursuing a free agent but as Steve M. points out they all have their plusses and minuses and will almost certainly cost more than they are worth to us. With Morse likely playing left field next year I really don't want to see Werth in center; would like someone with more speed and coverage ability. and finally I wouldn't be surprised at all of the B J Upton option is revisited. If Rizzo seriously believes we can contend next year (I don't) then he may go after someone more dramatic like Matt Kemp (dream on JD).

  41. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    My personal feeling (based on nothing) is that Fielder ends up with the Yankees as their DH.

  42. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Mr Z. With all the excitement over the on field success during the past few weeks and with the mathematical possibility to reach and surpass .500 are we fooling ourselves that this represents more than a September spike against un representative competition?

  43. Feel Wood - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Rizzo basically debunked any notion of the Nats going after Fielder or even Pujols when he was interviewed on WJFK the other day. He didn't say "no f***ing way" because no prudent GM would ever totally rule anything like that out, but he did point out that (a) the Nats are very deep at the first base position and are happy with the options they have now (i.e. LaRoche, Morse and Marrero) and (b) they have other more pressing needs to address, like center field, leadoff and starting pitching. Apparently MLB Trade Rumors doesn't listen to WJFK. Which does make me wonder how they keep up with the Redskins.

  44. Water23 - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    As to signings vs draft, even if we lose our 1st round pick, we will likely pickup a compensatory pick for letting Gomes sign somewhere else. Granted, he fits well but I sense Rizzo made the Gomes deal to get the pick.

  45. John C. - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    My wild trade rumor du jour: Nats to sign Fielder and then trade Morse, Desmond, A.J. Cole and David Freitas to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp, contingent on Kemp signing a contract extension (he's a free agent after 2012). The Dodgers get salary relief, a bat to offset Kemp's offense, a SS to move Jamey Carroll to 2b, and pick up a possible impact arm in Cole (who's still 2-3 years off) and a decent catching prospect.Nats move Espinosa to SS, re-sign Matt Antonelli and let him and Lombardozzi fight over the second base job. It does mean using Bernadina and/or Ankiel as a placeholder for Harper in LF; I also assume that whoever wins the 2b job is a placeholder for Rendon, with the others moving into the utility role.C: Ramos1b: Fielder2b: Lombardozzi/Antonelli, with the other being at AAA playing every day.SS: Espinosa3b: Zim!LF: BernadinaCF: KempRF: WerthAnkiel, Marrero, Flores and two utility guys to be named later on the bench. Next week: I fix the pitching staff! ;)

  46. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    I wouldn't go for Beltran, period (pricey and we have Morse for less $$ if we want a slugger who can't field). Would need more info on Kubel (what was his injury?). Cuddyer is interesting, didn't realize he was a free agent–would you put him back in the OF?I think of those four, the best for our situation would be Coco Crisp, since we only need a year to get to Harper. You would probably have to offer Cuddyer multi-year wouldn't you?Agree with jd, we are not finished on BJ, that will be re-visited. Would like to see the Rays in the playoffs, but time is short for them. BJ looked OK against the Yanks (5 for 13), other guys, not so much.

  47. David - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Will the Nats resign Wang and rely on him to be the veteran to mentor, and lead by example for the rest of the young rotation?

  48. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    John C. I love Kemp but I don't like that trade mainly because you have A.J. Cole in it and you are giving up a ton of offense in Morse. I would offer Lombardozzi, Ray and a player to be named later ( Rendon).

  49. The Great Unwashed - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    JD,My sentiments exactly with the September spike against un-representative competition, especially with regard to the Phillies. If Manuel puts Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence in the line-up for all three games so far, the Nats probably don't win more than one of the three games. Having said that, I'll take it.It will be interesting to see what happens in the series with the Braves, as Atlanta is desperate to keep the Cardinals from stealing the wild card. If the Nats take two out of three, then this win streak isn't a fluke.And then they HAVE to take two of three from the Marlins. No excuses. Then they go out on a high note and the winning streak looks more legit.Mark, what are your feeling on this?

  50. David - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Does Jordan Zimmermann deserve to be the opening day starter?

  51. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    David, Yes IMHO.

  52. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    David, Again yes IMHO.

  53. Mick - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    John Cit is insane to trade Morse period. pitching is fine for next year, maybe one free agent.

  54. David - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    The Wang decision has a lot of pros and cons to discuss. Its hard to be a vocal leader when you barely speak any English! But I know the young pitchers look up to his success with the Yankees, and the fact he's worked so hard to recover from a devastating injury. Hence, I was going with the lead by example, side of things.

  55. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    David, yes, JZ should start, especially since we are in Chicago (brrrrrrrr….). Stras should be the starter for our opening here, if that can be finagled. However, "Davey says"–and you know how much "Davey says" is worth at the bank– he wants Stras to start on opening day.Re: the current streak. It's fun, like the lotto sign in the bullpen, but it isn't worth beans for predicting next year. It's September, people, and the only team playing hard against us is the Braves. The other teams are either (a) trying out their callups or (b) trying not to get injured.

  56. Unkyd - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Apparently, I can be counted upon to post late enough in any given thread to avoid notice… This was late in yesterday's early thread (gosh, I hope it isn't SO ignorant as to warrant willful disregard!): Unkyd said…Hi, to all my imaginary friends!!! First, my 2 cents, then a legitimate candidate for "Most ignorant question of the year":Re: FA SPs…. I recall hearing, a couple of months ago, that compared to the paucity of FAs this winter, next year promises many more options. Wouldn't it make sense to go with the Homegrown (cue Neil Young "Homegrown, is a good thing…"), and have a real good handle on who's who, and who fits where by this time next year, and then go shopping, if in fact it's really nessecary?And now, the promised ignorance: if Livo were to toss gently a couple of times in the bullpen. early on (say…15-20 tosses, in the 2nd and again in the 4th… just having a catch…), would he be able to shorten his warm-up?September 21, 2011 3:39 PM

  57. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I don't think Livo can or should shorten his warmup. That leaves him out of a short relief role. If you can justify his roster spot you use him for(a) rain delay or platoon long relief where you know in advance he will probably be needed;(b) spot starter (injury or whatever);(c) bunter/pinch hitter (better than Matt Stairs);(d) coach.

  58. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    I'd (still) have Zimmermann for the Home Opener and Strasburg for the second home game. That would guarantee 2 sellouts to start the season. Work the rotation backwards from there to figure out who starts the season opener in Chicago.

  59. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    N. Cognito said…"blah, blah, blah…"However, as someone pointed out in another thread, if Strasburg starts the Home Opener, he'll pitch 3 times during the opening homestand.

  60. Mark'd - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    John C. must be a Dodgers fan. Kemp is a 1 year rental. Why trade the future for a player that gives you 1 year and won't result in a World Series run.I like people that throw out ideas but John's makes no sense. The Nats had 1 year left on Willingham and got in return a reliever with no options and an injury ridden outfielder. MLB Network listed Willingham as the #3 outfielder available in Free Agency behind Beltran and Kubel.Best to get your Outfielder in Free Agency from the list SteveM put together above. Nats need a stopgap until Prince Oppo Boppo arrives and don't forget they have to find a position for Rendon.Trading for a young established pitcher makes sense. Just glad John C. isn't the Nats GM. I will throw out a name if you trade for a CF, Adam Jones who has 2 years left before Free Agency and a better stopgap.

  61. Oldguy - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    I'm with Mick. I wouldn't mind if Rizzo just sat back and enjoyed what we have. Take a year off. Go fishing (for fish.) But GM's have to make noise–I just hope he doesn't do anything stupid–which, based on past record, he is not likely to do. I don't think we have any critical needs.I have watched my former favorite team wreck itself with some questionable acquisitions. They built a powerhouse with in-house talent, then went out and traded and spent for a bunch of big names, most of whom have flopped. Let's not do that.

  62. Anonymous - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    BleacherReport.com has the Top 25 Free Agents ranked. Obviously they read NI. #25 is Coco Crisp. He is definitely getting coverage on his Free Agency. They say 2 years at $5 to $5.5 million per year.Makes a lot of sense to get him over the other corner outfielders.

  63. John C. - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    John C.I love Kemp but I don't like that trade mainly because you have A.J. Cole in it and you are giving up a ton of offense in Morse. I would offer Lombardozzi, Ray and a player to be named later ( Rendon).I hear you, but I think it's fair to both teams. If the Nats sign Fielder, Morse becomes a man without a position long term (Harper). By packaging him for Kemp the Nats are selling high and either Kemp (OPS+ 167) or Fielder's (OPS+ 158) offense easily offsets Morse (OPS+ 144) – getting both is a tremendous boost. And Kemp actually has a decent glove.A.J. Cole is a good prospect, but not a great one. He's got stuff and upside but he's only pitched in Low A ball and didn't exactly set the Sally League on fire. This is a "give value to get value" issue for me. I don't have a problem with seeing if they'll take Robbie Ray and Lombardozzi instead, but I wouldn't if I were the Dodgers.Where we also part is by making Rendon the PTBNL (assuming that's possible, given that as a 2011 draftee he can't be moved until next year). If the Nationals didn't believe in Rendon's shoulder they wouldn't have drafted him #6, and if the shoulder is healthy he's #1A to Harper's #1 as the best prospect in the system.

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    john c did say the deal was contingent on signing Kemp long-term. IMO, the Willingham deal was a good one, for reasons we have already beaten to death. They need hitting most. But my question is, Mark, what plans for NI in 2012?

  65. Mark'd - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    OldGuy, from your mouth to Rizzo's ear. Small moves. Nothing splashy.

  66. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    This is off-topic, but I just glanced at the standings. What is with the Twins? Have they just given up or are they aiming for draft pick #2? I know we robbed them, and I know they've had injuries, but that is a sad way to end a season.

  67. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Oldguy– Thanks! That is a fun article. Love this lineSo who do you pitch in a game you absolutely must lose? [Burnett or Lackey}

  68. John C. - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Mark'd said… John C. must be a Dodgers fan. Kemp is a 1 year rental. Why trade the future for a player that gives you 1 year and won't result in a World Series run.I like people that throw out ideas but John's makes no sense. The Nats had 1 year left on Willingham and got in return a reliever with no options and an injury ridden outfielder. MLB Network listed Willingham as the #3 outfielder available in Free Agency behind Beltran and Kubel.Please go back and re-read my post. If I were proposing that trade for a one year rental, you'd be right – it would make no sense. That's why I said "contingent on Kemp signing a contract extension." Mick said… John Cit is insane to trade Morse period. pitching is fine for next year, maybe one free agent.Insane to trade period, under any circumstances? I love Beast Mode, but if a trade makes the team better then you make the trade. Kemp is a better hitter, better fielder and is younger than Morse – and Kemp plays a position the Nats need to fill.And comparing Willingham to Kemp to detrmine value is also just silly. Willingham is a good bat, lousy glove, oft-injured (misses 40-60 games per year) player who turns 33 in February. He's at the age where players start to decline. Kemp turns 27 tomorrow, he's about to enter his prime years. Oakland offered Willingham around the league at the deadline and got no takers at all, for those very reasons. That wouldn't happen with Kemp. Normally Kemp is the type of player a team never moves; it's only because of the Dodgers uncertain finances that I think they even consider moving him for a good offer.

  69. Scooter - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    UnkyD: liked your post yesterday, but I didn't respond, because I just don't know. Your surmise about Livo makes perfect sense to me, that a longer warmup could shorten his … erm, warmup. I do know this: the man seems to know himself and his craft, so I would trust him to work it out.As to free agents, I wonder whether next year's class always looks better than this year's. Many of the big stars who will be free agents after next year will sign their extensions this winter — making next year's crop look less tasty, by the time it actually rolls around. I suspect that's how some of it works.

  70. Scooter - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    And where are you?

  71. jeffwx - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Personally would pass on Fielder and take my chances with LaRoche/Marerro. I like the Coco Crisp numbers that someone put up earlier and would sign him or trade for a similar type outfielder.The Nats have most of what they need to be contenders…just a little more offense…They'll get that with LaRoche/Marerro at 1B and a high OBP outfielder. Probably have the best defensive infield in some time. Espi, Desi, Ramos and Werth should be more consistent throughout the year. Your bench gets stronger by adding Marerro, Lombordozzi, Ankiel… and you add Strasburg to the mix…wow. 90 win team esp if Harper is brought up in Sept.Stras, JZ, Lannon, Detwiller/Wang, Milone/Peacock…Best pitching in the NL east

  72. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    jeffwx, I think the Nats need a lot more offense not a little. Mark'd, Keep in mind that when discussing Matt Kemp you are talking about an MVP type player; any mention of Kemp and Willingham in the same area code is foolish.

  73. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    jeffwx, best pitching in the NL east? c'mon; philly has 4 potential cy young winners and Atlanta has Hanson,Hudson,Tehran,Jurgens,Beechy,Minor. Let's be real.

  74. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    John C. The reason I am including Rendon is because you have to give up a lot to get an MVP type player and I think that Rendon ultimately ends up at 3rd base and I think we already have one of those. This is just my way of accelerating the future.

  75. Big Cat - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Well Mr Peacock, welcome to hell. Philadelphia in September….40,000 screaming drunken fans. You are a long way from Potomac now baby! Good luck kid.Actually, I think the kid will do very well. I look for Manuel to bring out his A lineup tonight.

  76. Mark'd - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Kemp won't sign away his first chance at Free Agency IMHO.

  77. Dawn - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Thanks for addressing one of my questions, could never understand how Fielder (no fielder) would fit the Nats.

  78. natsfan1a - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    and the Phillies Killer of the Year award goes to (drumroll) Danny Espinosa (who else?). Atta boy!

  79. Mark'd - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    JD, just checking, are you proposing a 1 year rental of Kemp?

  80. Bozo - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    I like John Lannan and his ERA. But he has become a bullpen abuser with his five and out starts. Should he be traded?

  81. Feel Wood - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    I like John Lannan and his ERA. But he has become a bullpen abuser with his five and out starts.The only reason Lannan was five and out last night was that Davey pinch hit for him in the top of the sixth with the Nats ahead. Judging from the look on his face after he was pulled, Lannan clearly was not happy about that.

  82. Scooter - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Just the title on this post is enough for me: http://www.thegoodphight.com/2011/9/21/2441507/danny-espinosa-eats-babies-nationals-7-phillies-5(I read their entire game thread from last night. Good reading. I actually like those folks. Also, they live in mortal terror of John Lannon [sic], the vicious HBP machine. Good stuff.)

  83. N. Cognito - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    I don't believe the hooks on Nats pitchers would come so quickly if the Nats weren't akways in need of runs.

  84. Bowdenball - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Scooter-Great link.I've always found that the Phillies fans online are much more interesting, knowledgeable, reasonable and pleasant than the Phillies fans who invade Nats Park nine times a year. Those people give the rest of their fan base a bad name. Of course it's a lot easier to extend kind words their way when we've just beaten them three straight times and are assured of no worse than a tie in the season series. Ask me again a month from now and I might have a different opinion.

  85. Anonymous - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Heard on the radio that the Philly fans booed Big Cup Coffey as he ran in from the pen.

  86. MicheleS - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Scooter/1A.. excellent links…Love seeing the PhilPhans sulk!

  87. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Mark'd, No. I would never trade away Rendon unless I could sign Kemp for 3 – 5 years. You say that he won't give up his shot at free agency and you may be right but he's coming off an MVP type year and he can convert that to big bucks. What if he doesn't do quite as well next year or get hurt? he can be a free agent and still lose a lot of money.

  88. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Re: MPH Rod as starter. The problem is, Henry is out of options (and he wouldn't clear waivers) so you would have to "stretch him out" in winter ball or spring training. Also you'd have to teach him one more pitch. I think he's got a fastball, curve and change right now.Rizzo's going in a different direction, namely, manage his control and showcase him as a closer where even if he walked a guy or threw a wild pitch, if he starts with clean bases he's ok. Then you trade him, since we already (baseball gods willing) have Storen. He's not tradeable right now, because of the WP/walk record, that shows up terrible in the stats for another team looking at him.

  89. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Didn't they just draft A.J. Cole and Rendon this past summer? Can't trade draft picks. Can't trade draftees for a year.

  90. Feel Wood - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Heard on the radio that the Philly fans booed Big Cup Coffey as he ran in from the pen.Perhaps they thought it was Santa in mufti trying to remain inconspicuous.

  91. Joe Seamhead - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    I think that H Rod would fetch a lot more then you think. The kid has "Potential" written all over him, and he's a kid that hasn't even had one complete spring training with a ML club. I also think that he is thought highly of by this FO. Just my opinion.

  92. Scooter - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Fortunately, Sec3, we labor under no such constraints.I mean, you're talking like these things might actually happen. That's cute.

  93. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Whoever had the Dodgers tickets, IF the Nats rainout tomorrow night (chance of rain now near 100%) and if they schedule a Saturday night game, keep me in mind. That's a lot of IF's, I know.

  94. NatsLady - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Joe, I agree on potential of Henry. That's why I think he would be good trade material since we already have a closer. If we didn't, then he could conceivably be it, if not next year, then in 2013. Also remember we still have Mattheus who is also good late innings, and a couple of others. Nice problem to have.

  95. John C. - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    FWIW, Cole was drafted last year out of high school, so he could be traded. He fell to the fourth round due to signability concerns (he's from FL and had committed to the U. of Miami), and the Nationals ante'd up $2 million to convince him to go pro. Rendon was drafted this year, which is why jd included him as a "PTBNL" (presumably "later" meaning "once the rules permit me to trade him"). @jd: I don't disagree with the paying value to get value, I think we just value Cole and Rendon differently. Nothing wrong with that. Besides, Scooter is right that it's not likely. The Nationals aren't likely to sign Fielder, which would give the Nats a place to play Morse and an need to keep his bat and hope he keeps hitting.

  96. David - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    cant we keep morse around for another year. because then either we trade Laroche midseason or let him walk at the end of the year. at that point we NEED a first basemen. and Morse is more productive than Marrero. we need a first baseman for 2013, 2014, 2015 before Zimm slides over in 2016. I think Morse would be perfect for that.

  97. David - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    or we just trade LaRoche and his 160k's for a bag of balls and give Morse first base right away for 2012. i just dont see Marrero ever being more productive than Morse's 2011 season.

  98. baseballswami - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    There are huge problems with trading for someone who is all about the offense, especially in the National League. Even the WhiteSox in the AL – look what happened with Dunn – got him for offense, then had nothing. We signed Jayson and even when his offense was really bad, we still had good defense and baserunning. Kemp is a good all around player and so it would be awesome to have him – I think we're dreaming, though. I just don't think we should go after any one-dimensional players.

  99. Mark'd - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Look at the tradeline deals like Fister, Beltran, Pence and Bourn. Some of those are 1 season + 2 months deals (not Beltran) and see what they gave up. Nothing close to what you proposed for Kemp.Crazy talk.

  100. jd - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Mark'd, None of the guys you mentioned are in Kemp's stratosphere either age wise or talent wise.

  101. Scooter - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Just so we're clear, John C., I found your speculation to be great fun.

  102. baseballswami - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Scooter at 1:44 ( thanks) and the rest of you that are reading — this link is one of the most hilarious things I have ever read. I hope the Foolies Fans continue to despise Danny for years to come, with good reason. I also think he is the kind of player who will welcome it. There is a pretty funny graph of the game titled "oy". I have not been able to tell – I know Jayson didn't play last night, but have they been booing him as much this time? Usually it is so obnoxious you can hear it through the tv and radio – anybody notice?

  103. UNTERP.NAT - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    About HROD. If he ever got his control together, he would never see relief again as far as I'm concerned. He'd be a starter. You don't waste talent like his in the bullpen…

  104. baseballswami - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    ok – follow up post to the Philly blog – in the comments, someone wrote lyrics to " oh Danny Boy" — and definitely dropped a less than socially acceptable word that is usually described as a bomb. Actually, I have seen some really nasty stuff in other blogs and am grateful that doesn't happen here.

  105. Scooter - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    I agree, swami, I'm glad not to have the coarse language over here. And there's a phair amount, including PH-bombs, over there on the Good Phight. I do suspect that most of those commenters could get along just fine, and still be entertaining, without it — they seem a rather clever bunch.Of course, sometimes the language sure is phun to read.

  106. hondo69 - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    CURRENT MAGIC NUMBERS:3 — To secure finishing ahead of Marlins (every Nats win + every Marlins loss knocks 1 off the number until ZERO is reached)6 — To secure finishing in 3rd place and ahead of the Mets (same as above)——————These numbers as of 4:15pm Thursday. The Mets-Cardinals game this afternoon is in a rain delay at the start.

  107. natsfan1a - Sep 23, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    Scooter, I enjoyed that headline as well. Also the graph caption from a previous thread. Something about hating Danny Espinosa and his stupid stupid face. It's so awesome to have a player that opposing fans hate. :-)

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