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How close is Harper?

Nov 4, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Bryce Harper is tearing up the Arizona Fall League.

This just in: Bryce Harper is really good.

OK, so that's not exactly breaking news, but what the 19-year-old phenom has been doing for the last week in Arizona is bordering on the ludicrous.

After going 3-for-3 with a homer and two walks yesterday, Harper has posted the following stat line over his last six games: .522 average (12-for-23), five homers, 17 RBI and a 1.794 OPS that is too gargantuan to believe.

Remember that sluggish start he got off to in the Arizona Fall League? Yeah, that's kind of a thing of the past now. In 17 overall games with the Scottsdale Scorpions, Harper is now batting .323 with six homers, 23 RBI, a .400 on-base percentage and a .677 slugging percentage that ranks second in the AFL behind only Padres third baseman Jedd Gyorko (.702).

Now, the competition level in the AFL ain't exactly chump change. If anything, this is as impressive a collection of talent as you'll see inRead more »

  1. Funkyalligator - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Mark…..does the Nats ability to trade Laroche have any bearing on when harper joins the club next year? Unless Harper absolutely kills the ball(and shows he is more mature and plays the OF real well)in the spring I don't see him coming north. I believe the nats will look to trade Laroche to free up first for Morse and left for harper….this of course rests on the idea that the Nats get a CF.

  2. Funkyalligator - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. joemktg - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    You could stick him up in the Red Loft and he's still going to track everything down.I suppose that will be Rizzo's out: that BH needs to master the LF spot (which doesn't bode well for LaRoche). And if I recall correctly, there were some baserunning gaffes last year that need improvement. But those are 13U/14U stats against qualify minor league opponents. Do that during ST, and this Comments section and others will explode.And as a born 'n bred New Yorker, I've got one foot in each camp, so I win either way after he hits FA.

  4. Will - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    The Super Two status problem is actually a blessing in disguise. It allows Harper to get 2 full months of AAA ball under his belt, before arriving in Washington in June just in time to trade (or release) LaRoche, move Morse back to 1B, and then all sides (Harper, Nats mgmt and the fans) come away happy.Also, to those who talk about a small sample size for Harper's AFL stats, it is. But if you combine them with his equally impressive numbers from last year, you're looking at 114 plate appearances, and a .333/.404/.660/1.064 slash. That's absolutely incredible- not to mention his .330 ISO, 11.4% BB rate and 4 SB.The dude is really good. 'Nuff said.

  5. Matt - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Mark said: "He does look more comfortable in right field, but there's a reason he might not play that corner position when he arrives in D.C.: Jayson Werth, who merely has six years and $102 million remaining on his contract."Here's a question: If Rizzo thinks Werth is good enough to play CF, then why couldn't he play LF to allow Harper to play RF where he is more comfortable. Obviously this is contingent on the Nats moving LaRoche somehow, allowing Morse to move back to 1B, and acquiring a legitimate CF through free agency or trade.It just seems to me that the "Werth will play RF because he has the $100+ million contract" excuse is a little weak, when Rizzo has said time and again that he can play CF. If Werth can play CF, it stands to reason that he can play LF as well.

  6. Will - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Also, while Harper's AA numbers are less than impressive, they were still pretty typical. His injury simply prevented him from inevitably boosting the pedestrian stats.For example, in July he batted .238/.307/.325 but in August he batted .286/.375/.510 before getting injured. I don't think Harper has anything left to prove in AA, and hope he starts the season in AAA, after an extended look during Spring Training.

  7. MFG - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    I agree with Will. Harper's AA stats plus the domination of the Arizona Fall League prove that he is at least ready for AAA. If you combine Harper's AA stats with his AFL stats he has hit .278 with 9 HRs, 35 RBIs, and a .901 OPS in 194 ABs. Send him to Syracuse for a couple months. Trade LaRoche for a couple of low-level, high-ceiling pitching prospects, and let the kid start mashing in DC.

  8. Savior_34 - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Will you be there to WITNESS!? Whether it is April, June or September BHarp will smoote all of the haters (opponents on the field, opponents in the local press and opponents on these message boards) STAND UP and RECOGNIZE! CHANGE is coming and his messenger is BHarp, fear his bat and his cannon of an arm! Whatcha going to do when HARPERMANIA runs wild on YOU, brother!!!

  9. baseballswami - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Here is what I see — Harper starts in AA ball – just as soon as he starts tearing it up he moves to AAA — majors either after the all star break or September. Lots of pressure on LaRoche at this point to show he can still play because we really need to move Morse to first base. Outfield? Werth, Harper and ??? will have to work it out and do whatever is best for the team no matter how much money they make. If we sign another outfielder ( cf, or other) then this could be one of the richest outfields in baseball. I feel the same way about this situation that I feel about the WaPo article today about Wang, who was reported to be at the ballpark from 9 am to 2:30 every day while rehabbing and is now getting 4 million dollars. I will definitely take those kind of hours for that kind of money anyday of the week. I can guarantee you that I work twice that much and won't make four million in my lifetime. For what they are getting paid they can suck it up and play anywhere they are asked.Back to Bryce – I truly hope that he develops his game on the basepaths and outfield and does not just rely on being a good hitter. He is young enough to make that happen.

  10. Positively Half St. - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Folks shouldn't be too quick to banish LaRoche. If he comes back this year and plays like he normally does, then we might not be so quick to send him away. The best possible scenario has LaRoche and Morse both hitting so well that it makes sense to give Harper more time in the minors. If LaRoche doesn't do well, the team gets nothing in return, and who would want that? Many wanted to simply cut Marquis, but he won a bunch of games for the Nats early in the year, and gave us Zach Walters, who perhaps could be useful to the team as a player or trade piece some day.

  11. sjm308 - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    It just amazes me how LaRoche is the complete afterthought in everyone's comments. I realize that last year was a complete disaster but look at what he has averaged for the 8 previous years. Do we really want to trade a gold glove type first baseman that could hit 20-25 home runs and drive in 85 runs? We have $8 million invested in him for this year and I believe an option on next year as well. What if we are in contention right off the bat? Do we want to change things around at first base in July if we are in the wild card lead or close to it? Morse is a great story but he can't play first base the way LaRoche did and LaRoche was playing hurt!! I say keep LaRoche if he is on track to get his usual stats, play an outfield of Morse/Werth/Harper and just crush the ball each game. One other point, I wonder what this board will look like if Morse gets off to another slow start? I like Mike but I still am not 100% convinced what he is doing will be there for years to come. I guess my big point though is how everyone just assumes we will be trading LaRoche and I disagree with that.

  12. sjm308 - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    1/2 street:we were both posting pretty much the same thoughts at the exact same time – scary

  13. Mark'd - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    I want to see how Harper does in Innings 1-3 in mid-March against MLB starters. That's when the starters are in game shape.Still, BHARPER won't be in Washington before mid- June even if he hits .500 in Spring Training

  14. natsfan1a - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Oh, please, not again. The hype machine was bad enough with Strasburg. Can we not just let the kids play? Geez.Savior_34 said… Will you be there to WITNESS!? Whether it is April, June or September BHarp will smoote all of the haters (opponents on the field, opponents in the local press and opponents on these message boards) STAND UP and RECOGNIZE! CHANGE is coming and his messenger is BHarp, fear his bat and his cannon of an arm! Whatcha going to do when HARPERMANIA runs wild on YOU, brother!!! November 4, 2011 8:27 AM

  15. MFG - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    This is a good problem to have. The Nats have too many good players for not enough positions. The reason I think LaRoche is the one to go is because he is older (31) than Morse (29) and more expensive, since Morse is only in his second year of arbitration. Even if LaRoche is having an All-Star caliber season, it is unlikely the Nats will keep him beyond his current contract (mutual option for 2013), simply because of his age and rising minor league players (Marrero, Moore, Rendon). It makes sense to trade LaRoche if there is a viable replacement, instead of just letting him walk in free agency. I want LaRoche to succeed as much as any fan, but only so that the Nats can maximize their return when it comes time to trade him.

  16. JamesFan - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Harper is probably ML ready with the bat. He is probably not in other aspects of the game. Frankly, he should start 2012 in AAA to preserve the Super 2 situation. Anything else would be foolish for the Nats. Bring him up in June–if he performs well at AAA.Depending what the Nats do about centerfield, play him in right (move Werth to center) or left (move Morse to 1st). He should start 2012 in Syracuse playing the position they expect him to play in Washington–left or right.

  17. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    smj and half street are right. LaRoche is not dead weight. He can add some great value. They need a LHB with pop and he is one and he's slick in the field too. Trading the guy, should they chase Fielder for example, would be very difficult. They owe him $9M. They'd likely have to take a bad contract in retun for him or eat a lot of his salary. Chone Figgins? Carlos Zambrano? Not sure one of those kinds of deals is worth it. Hopefully, LaRoche comes back healthy and puts up career line numbers — 25 Hr and 90 RBI would be great stuff for this club.dfh21

  18. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    LaRoche is absolutely not dead weight. He is what he is, and that is an excellent defensive 1B that will hit .270-.280 with 20-25 homers and 80-90 RBI. He is the left-handed power bat that the Nats need. However, Morse proved last year that he can hit .300 with 30-35 homers and 90-100 RBI. Harper can be the left-handed power bat to replace LaRoche in June or July.Opening Day Lineup:CFDesmondZimmermanMorse (LF)LaRoche (1B)WerthEspinosaRamosPitcherPost Trading Deadline Lineup:CFDesmondZimmermanMorse (1B)Harper (LF)WerthEspinosaRamosPitcher

  19. Will - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Player A2009: .277/.355/.488 wOBA: .3572010: .261/.320/.468 wOBA: .339Player B2009: .271/.356/.469 wOBA: .3552010: .261/.345/.443 wOBA: .343Pretty much identical players, right? Player A might have slightly more power, but sacrifices on base percentage for extra pop. However, it doesn't get much more similar than that.Player A is Adam LaRoche. But who is Player B? Well that's every 1B in baseball. Player B is the average of all 1B over those two seasons. Adam LaRoche is the epitome of a league average firstbaseman.The fact that no one except the Orioles and Nationals wanted him last year is a pretty good example of his value- which is basically minimal. He does not factor into the Nats future plans.LaRoche better not prevent Michael Morse (2010-2011: .298/.357/.539 woBA: .383) or Bryce Harper from getting playing time. Likely, that will leave LaRoche with the short end of the stick, and hopefully traded to another team for whatever Rizzo can get for a league average 1B.

  20. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Harper needs to start in AA hit .300 there and then move on to AAA and hit well there. He needs to become a better outfielder; he only switched from catcher to outfield when he became a pro last year. He also needs to work on his maturity; he needs to grow up and learn there are things he has done in high school, college, and his first year as a pro that will not be tolerated at the major league level, if he doesn’t want a baseballs bouncing off his body. Major league pitchers will all be hyped to get out the “phenom.” He only 19 and I want to see what he can do at the ML level, but the Nats are handling the situation the correct way; we will see him when the Nats brain trust things he is ready to succeed. June or September is okay with me.GO NATS!

  21. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    LaRoche is a useful major league 2.0 WAR player who is an interim solution until we graduate someone better or sign someone better (Fielder). He won't block anyone from anything.

  22. Farid - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Were Bryce Harper to begin the season in left for the Nationals, he would struggle for the first month or so (as he seems to do everywhere he plays), then play well enough, then have one really hot streak that pads the stats, then he comes back to reality. Last season's time in Hagerstown mirrors this exactly.If he trots out there every day, and doesn't get benched early because of his slow start, I think he could finish the year somewhere around .270-15-70 with 20 steals. That would certainly prime his pump for a breakout 2013 season. But if 2011 is a contending season, if the Nationals indeed stay around the periphery of the NL Wildcard, then the team would be far better with LaRoche at first and Morse in left with Harper learning in the minors.I mean, I don't want a 19-year-old kid up with a runner on third down a run with two out late in August. Even Bryce Harper.LaRoche's career numbers over 162 games: .267-26-92, and my guess is a year off will only make him healthier and stronger. Add to that the fact he has the best first baseman's glove never to win a Gold Glove and it becomes obvious he needs to stay.And don't forget that he is a notoriously slow starter. He didn't go over .200 in 2010 until late May and in 2008, a year in which he batted .270, he was hitting under .230 as late as June 28th. So it makes no sense to keep him while he produces nothing offensively and then trade him right at the time his bat comes alive. No, I think he's going to survive most of the year at first, unless Harper is putting up video-game numbers so ridiculous in the minors that the team just has to promote him to the big club.

  23. Les in NC - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Actually, Harper played almost 50% of his college games in the OF [http://forum.sportsmogul.com/showthread.php?201092-Tracking-Bryce-Harper.&highlight=Tracking+Bryce+Harper]. (It's a link to a thread in which I was following his College career)I also want to see him in the majors, but I will be ok with watching him at AAA too, for a while that is. He does need to increase his skill at playing his position and running the bases, but if his bat is hot I don't think I will be able to wait too long.

  24. Jeeves - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    I agree with sjm. An outfield of Harper, Werth, and Morse could be one of the best in the majors–offensively. Defensively, the collective arms are terrific, the rest, well, not so terrific. However, from what little I've seen and read, Werth is a respectable center fielder–takes good paths to the ball, etc. Morse is–well, back to the respectable arm and leave it at that. Harper's best outfield position is right and I believe he's a quick study. Overall, I think the outfield would be adequate (barely) with those three. That being said, the infield and catching could be among the best in the majors.

  25. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Jeeves — with the monster offensive upside with those 3, a catchable ball can drop once in a while and the pitchers will not bitch much about it. dfh21

  26. Steve M. - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    I read Michael Morse hit a HR this morning in Taiwan in Game #3.

  27. Doc - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Some really good posts guys, thanks.@ Will, 10:14Particularly appreciated your stats on LaRoche. Prince Oppo Boppo is going to hit in whatever league that he is in. Some scouts were saying that he was ready to hit in the Bigs last year.A few more months of learning 'the game' in AA-AAA isn't going to hurt Oppo. Adam Dunn played the OF for 6-8 years, and even from his own reports, didn't extend his learning curve beyond that which Harper probably currently possesses. If LaRoche is going to be traded, he's going to have to establish some value, post injury. So no real need to have Harper up until at least the early part of the summer.

  28. natsfan1a - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Spoiler alert (for those like me who are watching the replays): gamer here, plus some videos of Taiwan meet-and-greets.

  29. David - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    I think the best case scenario is LaRoche bounces back from the injuries, has a good start to the season, and we trade him by June/ July, allowing us to put Morse at first, and bring up Harper, and put Werth in LF. Of course we need that CFer we've all been talking about. I'm on the record for supporting taking a chance with Sizemore.

  30. David - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Or put Sizemore in left, and Werth in CF.

  31. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    I am reading reports where the Nats are in on Reyes,Buehrle,Sizemore and Fielder. I hope they don't over pay Reyes in years (he is looking for 6), I hope they don't give Buehrle more than 2 years (someone will), I hope they pass on Sizemore. Fielder is very intriguing to me; that's a very productive bat in the middle of the order to go with Zim and Harper not to mention Espinosa, Morse, Ramos etc.

  32. NatsLady - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    1A, thanks for the story. Great that they are putting the last two Taiwan games on MLB.tv because I don't have MLB network (cable). When is our guy pitching?

  33. MFG - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    If the Nats were to sign Fielder, then they would HAVE to get rid of LaRoche. No way they keep a $8 million defensive replacement guy on the bench. So now Rizzo has to trade LaRoche in the offseason when his value is the lowest. It just doesn't make sense to go after Fielder now.Pundits keep mentioning the Nats as a possible landing spot for all the major free agents because the Nats spent big on Werth last year. But how many $100+ million players can they realistically afford?Zimmerman is going to get a $100+ million extension. They already have Werth. We all hope that they try to keep Strasburg, Zimmermann and Harper for as long as possible. Obviously Fielder would be a great addition to the team, I just don't see it happening.

  34. David - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Fielder makes no sense! Trade LaRoche and put Morse back at first midway through the season.

  35. blovy8 - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Probably the pundits are thinking the Nats paid at least 9 million too much in that Werth contract, why would they balk at eating LaRoche's 2012 so they can add a huge LH bat?

  36. Steve M. - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    jd said… I am reading reports where the Nats are in on Reyes,Buehrle,Sizemore and Fielder. I hope they don't over pay Reyes in years (he is looking for 6), I hope they don't give Buehrle more than 2 years (someone will), I hope they pass on Sizemore.Fielder is very intriguing to me; that's a very productive bat in the middle of the order to go with Zim and Harper not to mention Espinosa, Morse, Ramos etc. November 4, 2011 12:31 PM I am hoping for Buehrle. He would fit in well. I don't see the Nats getting Fielder or Reyes but would expect them to throw a bid in there.The outfield in the not too distant future will include Harper and Werth and a CF. I see Morse as the 1st baseman of the future although like RZim is only under team control for 2 more years.The hole is in CF although they could move Werth there as a stop-gap and get a corner outfielder like DeJesus. I still think Crisp makes a lot of sense as he is a proven player. He isn't a superstar except in stolen bases, but he is a steady .320 to .330 type of OBP guy that steals a lot of bases and would cause havoc at lead-off.

  37. JD - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    LaRoche is in his walk year and he is a middle of the road kind of player so he will never have great trade value. If it makes baseball sense to move him you just need to find a team that will eat part of his salary because you are not getting A or B type prospects for him now or July 31st. I understand that Fielder does not fit the current roster as its constituted but he is a major offensive force for whom you alter your roster. IMO.

  38. MFG - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Nats writers (Zuckerman, Kilgore, Goessling) tweeting from Rizzo presser on Wang's new contract.Rizzo on another free agent starting pitcher: "Not about having the best stuff. It's about being able to pitch 200 innings many, many times"Rizzo: "The type of pitcher we're looking for is a good leader, throws a lot of innings, has shown he can win in big leagues"Rizzo: "Good leader type… throws lot of innings … Not best stuff… showing how to be winner"Sounds a lot like Buerhle. Buerhle is coming off a 4-year, $56 million deal. What would it take to sign him? 3-years, $60 million?

  39. natsfan1a - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    You're welcome, NatsLady. Can't recall where I read or heard it, but someone said that Wang was slated for Sunday.

  40. markfd - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    Wow, interesting that a conversation on Harper became a discussion on LaRoche. Harpermania, funny, someone is trapped in the 1980s!?Who know what will happen with Harper in 2012, if he makes the team let's deal with it then, not now, but as far as addressing a possible lineup for 2011. Laroche is the lynchpin for the lineup because he is a LH bat (Harper would also be an asset in this respect). Likely Opening Day 2012 batting order (absent any trades/inuries etc.)Desmond SSWerth RFZimmerman 3BLaroche 1BMorse LFEspinosa SSBernadina CFRamos CIf we get a legit leadoff man or CF or Harper makes the team obviously it changes things.

  41. gonatsgo - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Here is the problem with the discussions about LaRoche — I am reading that LaRoche is a great defender, a great hitter, a lefty with some pop, etc. The problem is , those are things that LaRoche WAS in the past – it remains to be seen whether or not he can be again.He had a rough surgery and tons of time away from the game. Does anybody here think that he is going to just show up in Viera and be the player he used to be? Even if he regains his form it will probably take the entire season. I am predicting major rust and he may not have the stamina to play a 162 game season ( PLUS the post-season, of course!)

  42. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    MFG, Buehrle is not a $20 mil a year pitcher. Not by a long shot. 2 years a $10 mil per is as high as I would go.

  43. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    gonatsgo, LaRoche is not now and never has been a great anything. He is an above average veteran 1st baseman even when healthy. He won't be in the Nats lineup when they are serious contenders.

  44. Steve M. - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    From MLB: Nationals slugger Michael Morse had a monstrous solo home run to center field and an RBI double

  45. MFG - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    JD,Buehrle is coming off a contract that payed him $14 million per year. He has been very successful and is only 32 years old. Do you really think he is going to take a pay cut like that? Is Jason Werth a $126 million type player? I don't think so. But Rizzo has shown that he is willing to pay more, sometimes way more, than market value to get a player that he wants. And from his comments, it seems like Buehrle is the guy he wants.

  46. Steve M. - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    MFG, thanks for printing that. If it is an acquisition through Free Agency, that is Buerhrle he seems to be describing. Rizzo could have a player in mind in a trade like Wandy although I don't know if he is a "leader".I think Rizzo will have to overpay to maybe $12 to $15 million a year for a 2 to 3 year deal to get Buehrle and I'm not saying he is worth it.The market is so thin that the only way you get him is to be the top bidder. JD may be right that his value is $10 million a year but supply & demand will run it up to 20% to 50% higher. Its the cost of doing business.

  47. NatsLady - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    LaRoche is a pro player from a baseball family. He will get in shape, that is not an issue for me. If his injuries are healed, he will be an asset to this team. We can worry about rearranging the pieces of the infield in July.

  48. NatsLady - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    On what you pay for players:The marginal value for the Nats is very high because we are on the cusp of being a playoff team. If a player adds 5 wins for us (e.g., a pitcher), we are going to pay more for him than a team that projects to win 75 or 95 games would pay for that same pitcher.The marginal value of 5 wins for those teams is not high (80 games will not make the playoffs, and 95 games already will make the playoffs).If we project to win 85 games, and we acquire a player who projects to get us to 90, we are GOING TO OVERPAY for that player. And, it will be the correct decision.

  49. baseballswami - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    I have been hearing that the jump from 80 to 90 wins is the hardest. The thing is – does anybody else here feel like we had a really good year? I think we had stretches that were good, but, generally, our offense was really stinko and we had some major players miss time due to injuries. I don't think we were embarrassingly terrible or anything.If we even play somewhat more consistently we could grab up another win per month, which is 6 more. Add in JZIM with a full year and STrassie with 160 innings and that should be good for a few, too. Don't get me wrong , I am not counting my proverbial chickens before they are hatched, but I do think there is cause for optimism. Maybe a few less one-run games?

  50. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    baseballswami, Your points are well taken but you also must consider the possibility that players who had carreer best years may regress somewhat: 1)Michael Morse – he could have a very good year but not as good as 2011. 2) Tyler Clippard – quite likely to take one step back. 3) Drew Storen – ditto. 4) Espinosa's 1st half. 5) Laynce Nix 1st half. It could be that none of these guys decline but you can't assume that everyone will be better and you can't assume that there won't be any serious injuries.

  51. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    NatsLady, These points are correct if you buy in to the position that we were really an 80 win team last year. I don't think we sweep the Phills and the Mets on the road in 4 game series unless it's September and your opponents have either packed it in or are in playoff mode. To me we were a 75 win team and Strasburg and healthy Zim and LaRoche as well as a full year of Zimm makes us an 80 win team. I think Buehrle makes us an 83 win team and a decent every day center fielder makes us an 86 win team which is fine because an 86 win team can easily win 90 games if things break your way but it's still no sure thing. When you add Harper, Rendon ans some of our young arms to the mix; now you are looking at a solid 90 – 95 win team for several years.

  52. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Steve M, I guess what I,m saying is that Buehrle and Crisp don't necessarily put us over the top. I think that more impactful players could do that.

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    You are what your record says you are.A player is worth what 2 teams are willing to pay him.

  54. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Maybe if they could get POTUS to make a call, Buerhle would consider DC. Just a thought. But he'd probably tell him to stay with the Sox. So nevermind.

  55. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    JD, I think the impact will come from the bench. Specifically, Davey. The guy brings 5-10 with him everywhere he goes, just in case.

  56. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    So, when do we have the pool on when Harper gets called up?

  57. Anonymous - Nov 5, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Where does Rendon play into all this. I seem to remember people saying he was the best bat in the draft last year and that he could be ready very soon. Are people projecting a 2013 debut for him?

  58. Dawn - Nov 5, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    Fu Lin Kuo pitches like a Taiwanese Clippard, can we add him to the list?

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

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

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

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