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Beltway Baseball Live – 9/28/11

Sep 28, 2011, 10:30 PM EDT

The Nationals just wrapped up their 2011 season in style, with Stephen Strasburg striking out 10 over six brilliant innings and Drew Storen shutting the door on a 3-1 victory over the Marlins. Just like that, they reached the 80-win mark for the first time since 2005, a significant accomplishment for this franchise.

If you're still aglow from the late-season surge and aren't ready to say goodbye to baseball for the winter, you're in luck. Chase Hughes and I had a live episode of Beltway Baseball at 7 p.m., discussing what happened this year and what to expect next year. We also answered your questions from earlier, and there were some interesting subjects raised.

If you missed the show live, no worries. Here's the entire episode, broken into two parts. Click on the jump below for Part 2…Read more »

  1. rwagner23 - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Will Chris Marrero actually have a chance to compete for the starting 1B job?

  2. Todd Boss - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Has Chien-Ming Wang shown us enough to pursue a FA deal with him for 2012 (and therefore blocking a prospect?)

  3. Todd Boss - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Do you tender Tom Gorzelanny a contract offer in the off season?

  4. Todd Boss - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Who is your 2012 long man/spot starter? Stammen? Balester? Gorzelanny? Livan Hernandez?

  5. Todd Boss - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Ross Detwiler is out of options; does he make the 2012 25-man roster out of Spring or do we DFA/trade him?

  6. Todd Boss - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Do you use Lombardozzi as a utility infielder at the MLB level in 2012, or do you start him in AAA so he gets full-time playing time?

  7. Todd Boss - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Predict Bryce Harper's MLB debut: a) the day he avoids super-2 status in 2012b) Sept 1 2012c) sometime in 2013 or later.

  8. Mark'd - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Mark, I have seen some good guesses for the 2012 roster. It looks like Gomes, Livo, Pudge are Free Agents that won't be returning and Slaten sealed his fate long ago. I think we have 21 to 22 of next years Opening Day team in the locker room right now + LaRoche.Who do you see as "in" and on the "bubble" for Opening Day?

  9. Scooter - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Not sure whether your focus for this episode will be the season just ended or what is to come. If you're looking forward, I'm curious about what ballplayers do in the offseason.Specifically, I'm curious about who plays winter ball, and who decides who plays winter ball, and where. (And are some guys discouraged from playing, because the team thinks they need to rest?) Also workout regimens: do the kids get guidance on how to keep/get in shape for 2012?I asked a similar question for the last Beltway Thing, and I think it might be more appropriate here.

  10. Anonymous - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Give us your 25 man roster predictions for next year.Here's mine:RamosFloresLaRocheEspinosaDesmondZimmermanBixlerTBD (could be Lombardozzi or Cora or maybe Hairston again?)MorseWerthAnkielBernadinaGomes (or a free agent right handed outfielder)StrasburgZimmermannWangDetwilerLannanStorenClippardBurnettRodriguezCoffeyStammenGorzelanny (although he could be trade bait)I hope that Slaten is released. I fear that Livan doesn't fit. I'll be sorry to see Balester go, but like Livo, there just isn't a spot for him. I see Mattheus, Maya, and Severino (along with MIlone and Peacock) back in the minors (assuming they all have options left).

  11. Water23 - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    With the development of young pitchers and needs other places, what is the likelihood that John Lannan (proven starter) is moved as part of a deal to acquire a player?

  12. Uncle Atom - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Rizzo built this year emphasizing defense, then Davey came along, and he likes 3-run homers. How do the Nats reconcile the philosophies of the GM and Manager?

  13. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Who is the 2012 manager? Who are the bench/utility players?

  14. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Your "off-season" plans (besides being a dad, not that that isn't worthy)? Will you be blog-covering the playoffs this year? Going to the AFL?I understand Pudge keeps an in-home nutritionist. Does Jayson Werth have a live-in barber?

  15. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Or looking backward, who is this year's MVP for the Nats?

  16. Who does he look like, Madame Clio? - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    What will the weather be like for opening day?What do you think tonight's powerball numbers will be?Should I buy silver now, or wait for the price to go down?

  17. Finrockets - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Would the Nationals seriously consider trading a young pitcher, like Milone or Peacock, for a starting centerfielder?

  18. Constant Reader - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    To take the next step (being in playoff contention September of next year), the Nats clearly need a table setting bat and a third starter. The Nats finally have tradeable pieces to construct a deal to get a key player. If you could fill one need and rely on what you have on your team for the other, which do you go for?

  19. Grandstander - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    What's Bernadina's role next season? He's out of options, but he also doesn't really carry enough value to trade him.Also, why hasn't my nickname for him stuck? The Flying Dutchman. Please use it while referring to him.Can't wait to read your season recap!

  20. Gonat - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Mark'd, can I try?1) Desmond SS or New Acquisition CF 2) Werth CF or RF3) Zim 3B 4) Morse LF, RF, or 1B 5) LaRoche 1B or New Acquisition RF or LF 6) Espinosa 2B 7) New Acquisition RF or LF or Desmond SS 8) Ramos C 1) JZim 2) Stras 3) New Acquisition or Lannan 4) Lannan or Wang 5) Wang or Peacock or Milone or Detwiler 1) Storen CL 2) Clippard SU 8th 3) HenRod SU 7th or Burnett or Detwiler 4) Burnett or HenRod 5) Gorzo or Detwiler 6) Coffey or New Acquisition 7) Stammen or Detwiler Long Relief 1) Flores or Pudge 2) Lombo or New Acquisition 3) Marrero or New Acquisition 4) Ankiel or New Acquisition 5) Bernadina or New Acquisition

  21. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    "Also, why hasn't my nickname for him stuck? The Flying Dutchman. Please use it while referring to him."Too late, GS. Sharkadina's already got a name. That, and "Flying Dutchman" refers to someone who's been damned and forever lost, so the metaphor really isn't too appealing.

  22. Wikipedia "Designated For Assignment" - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Designated for assignment is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball. When a player is designated for assignment, he is immediately removed from the club's 40-man roster. This gives the club 10 days to decide what to do with the player while freeing up a roster spot for another transaction, if needed. After designating a player for assignment, the club must either:[1](a) return the player to the 40-man roster within 10 days from the date of designation, or (b) make one of the following contractual moves: Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period) Trade the player Release the player

  23. DFL - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    What are the chances of a Strasburg-Zimmerman-Lannan-Peacock-Milone rotation next season?

  24. ehay2k - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    I want to know if there is any pitcher in MLB that fields their position better than Livan Hernandez. And if not, what can we do to get him in serious consideration for a Gold Glove? We (Nats Nation) owe him that.

  25. Natslifer - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Who is available to be "Speedy McLeadoff"? Do we stand pat for a year until the FA crop there is better?(captcha just said "gotorehe" – is that a club or a farm team somewhere??)

  26. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    natslifer, I think that's one of those imported knock-off nutrition drinks.

  27. secondwind1 - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    I concur with what "Constant Reader said" but I believe a more pressing need is for an IMPACT bat…..someone who can not only protect Morse but also be a more consistent threat to drive in runners in scoring position. Werth has proven he's not the answer and unfortunately I don't believe LaRoche will be either….tooooo many strikeouts. Do you foresee such a player being available next year that can fill that need, perhaps someone like Michael Cuddyer?

  28. waddu eye no - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    question about mark z – how'd we get so lucky?thanks for another great year

  29. Chevy Chase Bob - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    How about Werth getting laser treatment…takes so many called strikes.

  30. David - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    If a top of the line starter like Zack Greinke or someone similar becomes available in a trade do you think Rizzo will trade key pieces to obtain them maybe Storen, Desmond, Morse or Espinosa as he tried to do this last off season or is he satisfied with Strasburg and Zimmermann as his two aces?I'm not advocating this I just think Rizzo's quest for a rotation similar to the Giants or the Phillies is what he truly desires.

  31. JaneB - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    LOVE ehay2k's question! I want an answer to that, on or off the show.Is there ANY WAY we get to keep Livan next year, in any sort of role? Do you think Morse is better suited to outfield or 1B?

  32. Scooter - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    I thought Grandstander's bonus question was excellent — personally, I'm all over The Flying Dutchman. But then, I'm a traditionalist. When you find a good nickname, run it into the ground.My question is, how come nobody else ever calls our middle infield Despinosa? All I ever read is Desi and Espi; it's like we're all 16-year-old girls or something.captcha is "horses" — what, OMGPOnies!! wasn't available?

  33. Anonymous - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    What do you see at the biggest surprise trade of the off-season?

  34. Scooter - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    And Sec3, Wagner may not have been the nicest fella, but "damned and forever lost"? Taking things perhaps a bit too far, aren't we, old boy?PS Yes. I know. :-)

  35. Scooter - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Somebody said…What do you see at the biggest surprise trade of the off-season?Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.(I promise, I'll go find something else to do for a while.)

  36. Mark'd - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Greinke is a Free Agent after next season

  37. P. Cole - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    The Nats are 79-81 with 1 game left? What happened to game #162?

  38. Slidell - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    P Cole: That Awful Week a little bit ago when it rained every day- A Dodgers game that could not be played and will not be made up because neither team is in playoff contention.

  39. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    P. Cole, a game against the Dodgers was rained out. The teams were not slated to face each other again, and neither was in the hunt, so it won't be made up.(And what's your point, Scootie? ;-))Scooter said,My question is, how come nobody else ever calls our middle infield Despinosa? All I ever read is Desi and Espi; it's like we're all 16-year-old girls or something.

  40. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Dang, now I owe Slidell a coke.

  41. P. Cole - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Thanks Slidell. Too bad we get short-changed as we could have reached .500.

  42. Constant Reader - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    I see your point secondwind1. My thought was that since our leadoff hitter finish dead last in MLB in avg, obp, slg, and ops, improving that will give the bats down in the lineup more opportunities. Frankly, it's remarkable we've produced the runs we have with ZERO production at the top (our #2 hole hitter was also deadlast in MLB in avg).

  43. JaneB - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Personally, I like Despinosa for the MI. ANd I like it better than Espi and Desi.–a former 16 year old girl

  44. DCJohn - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    If the Nats can win improve their record by another 11 or12 games, very possible with Strasburg, Zimmermann, and possibly another front line starter. I would like Mark and Chase to discuss how this team can get to 90 wins. How did the Diamondbacks do it. Can we?

  45. Anonymous8 or 8 for short - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Mark, besides the Free Agents that Nats have, and the obvious big name Free Agents of CC Sabathia and CJ Wilson, Pujols and Fielder, who do you see as the most likely target of Rizzo in Free Agency?I have seen Coco Crisp thrown around and in the past few days Josh Willingham. Really? Josh Willingham? I thought that ship had sailed.

  46. Gonat - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    DCJohn, the Diamondbacks found balance and there XFactor in Paul Goldschmidt.Justin Upton had a career year and the pitching combo of Ian Kennedy, Hudson, Saunder and Collmenter all had 10 wins or more and JJ Putz was big in the bullpen.Collmenter was a rookie and actually had the 2nd lowest ERA of their starters.Add to it that they play in an offense challenged NL West. They have good balance, 6th in offense and 8th in pitching. I don't expect them to go far in the Playoffs. Still, a good story in the MLB this year.

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Scooter, you leave me no choice. I'm sorry.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_DutchmanThe legend of the Flying Dutchman concerns a ghost ship that can never make port, doomed to sail the oceans forever. It probably originates from 17th-century nautical folklore. The oldest extant version dates to the late 18th century.Sightings in the 19th and 20th centuries report the ship to be glowing with ghostly light. If hailed by another ship the crew of the Flying Dutchman will try to send messages to land, or to people long dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is a portent of doom.

  48. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    "Somebody said…What do you see at the biggest surprise trade of the off-season?"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.Cosign.

  49. Gonat - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    “It was a joke on some levels, but on some levels not,” Werth told Kilgore regarding his assistance in the President's Race. “There’s an expectancy of losing there. It goes back to the first month of the season when we won two games in a row and [a reporter] asked me about the two-game winning streak. It’s like, ‘No.’ That whole thing had to stop. That had to stop in a big way. When an organization or a team is really young and is coming from many losing seasons, it starts to get ingrained. I’m not saying that I’m the one who changed it. It’s got to be a conscious effort on everybody’s part. But I definitely wasn’t complacent when I saw that happening.”,Listen to Jayson Werth's words. When someone said these games were meaningless and other said they have meaning, I have felt what Jayson has said to be a mindset or Jayson says is "ingrained" with some and accepting losing is OK.Look, we all know every team will lose their 50 games and win their 50 games and it is the rest of those 62 that determines the playoff teams and the cellar dwellers. Given that, we still shouldn't say, ok, we lost that game and it is ok we lost because we learned something. You should learn from every game just like last night's game.The culture has to change where we expect winning last night. I felt that change recently and last night stung. It felt like same ole same ole. Lack of offense, member of the bullpen blows it, we say how great the opposing pitcher was. I can think of 49 other games like that.

  50. Gonat - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    From Boswell's chat at 11AM yesterday, very important to read his comments on Wang for anyone who thinks he is any better than a #4:…Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann are far ahead of the rest of the Nats starting pitchers in talent and neither of them has ever won 10 games. The rest have the potential to be pretty good.As amazing as his comeback story is, Wang isn't close to his NY stuff. Looks like a Jason Marquis type at this point in his career. Lannan, an average MLB starter, never pitches well against the Phils. He won last week. But they still looked like they were constantly about to clobber him. Detwiler still needs to prove he's toughened up enough to get the most out of his stuff. His 3.00 ERA is part good luck this year. FIP __Fielder Independent Pitching__ is a could counterbalance to ERA so you don't get too excited (or depressed) about various pitchers. Here are the Nats FIPs.Strasburg…1.47. Zimmermann…3.16. Milone…3.30….Marquis 3.78…Peacock 3.86…Livan H 3.95…Detwiler 4.20…Lannan 4.30…Wang 4.56.If forced, I'd take the FIPs of this group as more indicative than the ERAs. (Excluding Stras' number.)

  51. Anonymous - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Is the front office optimistic enough about 2012 that they would start Strasburg's season in June to keep him pitching through a potential playoff run?

  52. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    (non-Nats – this year – but baseball related)Will you be setting up game discussion threads for the division and championship games and the World Series as you did last fall?

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Boswell's comments on Wang: "As amazing as his comeback story is, Wang isn't close to his NY stuff. Looks like a Jason Marquis type at this point in his career."OK, but to be fair, that's after two years of rehab, and about two months of starts. He's not all the way back yet, and this was an unusual injury for a pitcher, so it's not out of the question he can still improve. I don't think I fold that hand without seeing what else is on the table.

  54. N. Cognito - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Gonat said… "Listen to Jayson Werth's words. When someone said these games were meaningless and other said they have meaning, I have felt what Jayson has said to be a mindset or Jayson says is "ingrained" with some and accepting losing is OK."You are taking the use of "meaningless" on this board, way, way too literally.

  55. Anonymous8 - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    You know what is amazing to me about the Arizona Diamondbacks is they get rid of their 3rd baseman Mark Reynolds who was a HR hitting strikeout king and scored 20 more runs this season however the big difference has been in the pitching. They allowed their young pitchers like Kennedy to mature and Kennedy knocked off 1 earned run per start off of his record and Collmenter was a 1/2 run better than their 2nd best pitcher last year. Overall, pitching got better by over 170 runs vs. last year which of course is over 1 run per game and that's how they did it.Now, the question can be, besides a maturing pitching staff, what did Kirk Gibson and coaches do to get any change. It is one of the most dramatic changes in baseball history.

  56. Anonymous - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Werth should try to get a key hit to help us win instead of just talking about winning. His season has been a disaster. I can't even believe he's talking. Worst clutch player on the team. 90% of the few hits he did get were in low stress situations. With him locked into the top half of lineup because of his salary, he needs to be surrounded with a couple new guys that put the ball in play. We can excuse Zimm and Morse's K's because they generally produce.

  57. Scooter - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_DutchmanYes. I know. :-)(Also, I assume you knew to whom I referred as "Wagner." After posting, I realized that it could refer to Richard as well. Essentially, my entire comment was one great big Nickname Fail.)

  58. Gonat - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    N. Cognito, there are just too many excuses given for losing. Many times it is the personnel just aren't doing the job. Doug Slaten is one of them.I wasn't on the Henry Rodriguez love train as I didn't see him as MLB ready when the Nats brought him up. He cost the team in many games that counted and he has certainly progressed, and as the say "at what price comes progress"?There were others who didn't get the job done like Stairs, Broderick, Burnett (for most of the season), and of course there were those big injuries and long offensive slumps. Then there was the debacle prior to Opening Day with Nyjer Morgan which left the team with no lead-off until Davey fixed Ian Desmond.Some of it is hindsight. Much of it was foresight. How many losses could have been wins? The Nats only missed the playoffs by 11 to 12 wins. Yesterday was just 1 of those 11 to 12 losses that you wonder what could have been done differently.

  59. Anonymous8 - Sep 28, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… Boswell's comments on Wang: "As amazing as his comeback story is, Wang isn't close to his NY stuff. Looks like a Jason Marquis type at this point in his career."OK, but to be fair, that's after two years of rehab, and about two months of starts. He's not all the way back yet, and this was an unusual injury for a pitcher, so it's not out of the question he can still improve. I don't think I fold that hand without seeing what else is on the table. September 28, 2011 2:17 PM Interesting comment from Boz. "At this point in his career" is the key phrase. Can Wang get better or is he going to be a 6 inning max with 3.80 ERA guy like we saw the past few weeks and at times, inconsistent?Based on what we saw, I don't see Wang as a 19 win guy. Will he improve next year? Hope so if he is playing on the Nats.

  60. Anonymous8 - Sep 28, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Boz on Harper:Another note, Harper's progress got slowed by AA pitching. He's going to be a factor, but I'd say more like '14-'15 than '12-'13. Remember, he won't be 21 until after the '14 seasaon. With hindsight, the Braves probably pushed Jayson Hayward too fast. Now he's batting No. 8. There's a lesson in that.

  61. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Yes. I know. :-)(Also, I assume you knew to whom I referred as "Wagner." After posting, I realized that it could refer to Richard as well. Essentially, my entire comment was one great big Nickname Fail.) OK, in context, my first thought was of Der Fliegende Holländer–and not Xaviera, the other one. But then I realized you might have meant Wagner, not Wagner. But Great Big Nickname Fail would be a good name for a garage band.captcha: "poxina" — which might be a nickname for Poison Ivy.

  62. Scooter - Sep 28, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    I totally meant Wagner, and you totally knew it. You're just totally pretending you thought I meant Wagner instead, trying to wind me up.A poxina upon all y'all's houses.

  63. Nats Outsider - Sep 28, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year's day, starts tonight. To Mark, Mrs. Z, Brian, and all Insiders who celebrate the day, I want to give the traditional greeting, Shanah Tovah ("a good new year" to you). And to the Nats also, a good new year!

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Shana tovah, as of 6:56

  65. Anonymous - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    & Shana tovah to all.Now. Come. Eat. Dinner's ready.

  66. Starbud - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Go Indians! For the Love of God….Go Indians!

  67. Anonymous - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    Selected item currently not available.And the question you should have asked or commanded, Todd Boss, was when he thought Rendon would be in the majors because he is likely going to be a lot better than Harper.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 17.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
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

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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.

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