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Re-evaluating the rotation

Dec 6, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Davey Johnson takes questions during yesterday's media session.

DALLAS — If the first 36 hours of this year's Winter Meetings are an indication of things to come, the majority of my time here is going to be spent refuting bad rumors spreading through the lobby at the Anatole Hotel like wildfire.

The latest head-scratcher came last night when former big-league executive and current radio host Jim Duquette posted on his Twitter account that the Nationals had offered C.J. Wilson a six-year deal. This suddenly became the talk of the lobby, with media members and rival executives alike questioning how that could possibly be true.

Well, it wasn't. Club sources shot that rumor down within an hour, insisting no such offer had been made nor would be made at any point. How many times do I need to say this: Mark Buehrle is the Nationals' top pitching target right now. They have no serious interest in C.J. Wilson. Got that? Good.

There is some growing question, though, about the Nationals ability to actually convince Buehrle to choose them over the dozen or so otherRead more »

  1. joemktg - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    "They have no serious interest in C.J. Wilson. Got that?" Got it."Lannan's value has been debated here ad nauseum, so no need to rehash that." OK; will do.Not only are you a Dad, but you're sounding like a Dad.

  2. natscan reduxit - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    … back to Bryce for just a moment. If he does in fact, start the season in DC, and Jayson goes to centre, who leads off?Go Nats!! Bring me home a present from Texas.

  3. MicheleS - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    natscan… Desi would be your leadoff

  4. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Zuck, gotta fix that Duquette to a Bowden (you reported a misprint someone else made). http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/05/c-j-wilson-has-a-six-year-contract-offer-on-the-table/And give Bowden his credit as he was the one who had the conversatio nwith Rizzo in which Rizzo claims no 6 year offer was made.http://twitter.com/#!/JimBowdenESPNxm/status/143886511862054912My guess is that the offer is 5 years. There's pretty much no way that the Nats did not offer Wilson a contract.dfh21

  5. natsfan1a - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    My impression of what Dad, um, Mark, meant was that he wouldn't rehash that debate in his post.

  6. Noirelune - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    I totally agree with Davey. Our staff is very good at it is now.So, let's improve the bench. We need some pop at the plate.

  7. natscan reduxit - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    … thx MicheleS. Makes sense, but I read recently that Des could be considered trade material. I hope not, but if so, you'd have to take that into consideration. … ultimately, I'm still in the camp that looks to trade for a combo guy – lead-off/centrefielder. I hope that happens.Go Nats!!

  8. Unkyd - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    dfhBonehead: your own links show that Mark had it exactly right… There's always plenty of time to be wrong…you don't have to rush. Slow down…think, before you post. (just ticklin' you….)

  9. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:55 PM

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  10. Joe Seamhead - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Oh, yeah, Dad, let's not leave the young, but colorful Peacock out of the rotation. Johnson got quite testy in an interview when asked about his lack of a rotation. He said, "Have you ever heard of Brad Peacock?" He felt like he saw all he needed to see in those few September appearances to know that he's got another pony to ride in the race.

  11. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Unkyd — may bad! Thanks for the correction. And Zuck, sorry for the misguided commentary.dfh21

  12. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    2011 Opening Day rotation was Livan, Marquis, Z'nn, Lannan, and Gorzelanny.Replace Marquis with Strasburg, and Livo with Wang, and probably Detwiler or somebody else for Gorzelanny. That's better, but they won't pitch as many innings. The Nats will certainly have to call up other starters sooner than they did in 2011. It looks like they might have some good candidates, but the opposing hitters will have the final say on whether that's true.

  13. NatStat - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Davey's right–again!Buehrle's over-age, and over-rated. Spend money on the bench that Davey wants.

  14. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    so the 6th year is an option?

  15. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Speaking of bench, and big hairy guys who hit, guess who's back!

  16. Tcostant - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    You know I want t set the record straight. I read here and the Washington Post that Doc Gooden had "never pitched above Class A" when he made the Mets out of Spring Training when DJ was managing. It's just not true. I was a huge Mets fan in high School then, and we followed as he was great in A ball. But after that A ball season was complete, the Mets promoted him to Triple A and he pitched for the Tides in the International League playoffs (Davey might have been managing that AAA team).So stop saying he "never pitched above Class A".

  17. Section 222 - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    I'd like to see Rizzo succeed this year in fulfilling his stated goal — getting a solid No. 3 innings eater for the rotation. I agree with some commenters, and apparently with DJ, that it's not our biggest need, but exchanging Lannan or Detwiler for Buehrle or Oswalt would be a big improvement. There is little doubt, however, that improving our run production with a good bat in CF and a better leadoff hitter is a higher priority.

  18. Nats1924 - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    It looked like Harang wanted to stay on the west coast, but how come Rizzo didn't make an effort to go after him?He mightve been more affordable and reliable than Oswalt or Buerhle

  19. Will - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    I still think the Nationals still need a frontline starter. A Zack Grienke, Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia type.Unfortunately, there are none of these type of pitchers available this offseason. It would be dumb to mistake "the best available" for "the best". Buehrle and Wilson are good pitchers, but nothing more than good #3 starters. We don't need a #3, especially at the price and lengths being bandied around. Thus, I'm perfectly content standing pat.1. Strasburg2. Zimmermann3. Wang4. Lannan5. PeacockAlso in the mix: Detwiler, Milone, Gorzelanny, Stammen, Maya. I think that's a pretty good staff with a lot of potential. Peacock, Detwiler and Milone have a lot of talent, and by June we could see Wang and Lannan relegated to bullpen duty if everything went well. Adding Buehrle or Wilson because they were the best available is the same mistake Rizzo, the Red Sox and White Sox made paying Werth, Crawford and Dunn boatloads of money. They were the best available being paid like they were the best at their positions.They weren't any neither are Buehrle and Wilson.That money saved could be used more wisely on some much-needed offensive assistance.

  20. Harper_ROY_2012 - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    diasgree with Davey on this one, a rotation without Lannan and Detweiler would be a great rotation! Please sign Buehrle Mr. Rizzo! Then trade if need be for another starter. then we will have an actual rotation and can safely trade away some of our minor league pitching prospects for other pieces of the puzzle!

  21. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:39 PM

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  22. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Tcostant: Davey did mention something yesterday about having Gooden pitch three games for him at Class AAA before he debuted with the Mets, but that doesn't show up on Gooden's baseball-reference.com minor-league stats page. Perhaps that doesn't include postseason games?

  23. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Hmm. Let's try that again:Gooden spent time in AAA in 1987 (injury rehab?), but he was first called up to the Mets in 1984, at which point he had not pitched above A ball.Gooden's minor league statsGooden's MLB stats

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Maybe Doc was going by his stage name of Smiley Nunez then?

  25. Wally - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    I love Davey – I mean that, it isn't intended as a back handed compliment – but I wonder if he is putting Rizzo in an awkward spot with his promotion of Harper as a RF candidate in ST. If Rizzo goes out and gets a CF now, what does it signal to Harper, and then the media? Is Harper not getting a shot? Does someone get traded, like LaRoche or Morse? It seems like the better course would have been to say nothing, and if they don't get a CF, then just let him compete in ST. But saying it ahead of time doesn't serve much purpose other than (a) grab some publicity now, or (b) kind of force Rizzo into letting it happen. By the way, my take on Harper's arrival is that, as Mark explained in the last post, there are two magic dates. The first one gets the team an extra year of control (usually this means to wait a few weeks before starting the MLB clock), and then there is a Super Two cutoff date, which isn't about control, but is about money paid to the player while under control. If they call him up before the first date and lose a year of his control, they are crazy. The second one, like someone said earlier: it isn't my money (directly) and if Harper is the best guy right now, I am good with it.But more and more, if they can't get a quality upgrade in CF, I am coming around to the idea of Werth in CF. I think that he will be passable there; probably important to get an Ankiel-type to spell him, but I'll bet that we can get 110-120 games from him in CF. It would probably increase his value in things like WAR etc because it is a weaker hitting position generally.

  26. Tcostant - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Mark Z -Here is details, breaks my heart I remember how good Doc Gooden was, and his demons cost him and baseball fans plenty.I pulled this gem as proof:(http://www2.newsadvance.com/sports/2008/apr/11/simply_amazin_the_rise_of_the_lynchburg_mets-ar-225728/)This in from the bottom of the article link:A fitting finishThe first of September was a bittersweet day. The Mets had a doubleheader with Hagerstown, needing only a single vic-tory to clinch the second-half title and avoid a divisional playoff. Gooden was slated for the start, his last in Lynchburg. Everybody knew it, too.He entered the game with 286 strikeouts with his eye on a nice, round number. Gooden delivered a masterpiece, giving up four hits in a 1-0 win. He entered the seventh (and final) inning needing two strikeouts to reach 300. After the leadoff man grounded out, Gooden notched strikeout No. 13. That’s when the Suns brought in pinch hitter Paul Croft.“It was like, ‘This is over,’” Graves said. “You can’t come off the bench and hit him. You’re coming up cold. And he struck the last guy out.”The Mets front office called immediately after the game. Gooden was headed for Triple-A Tidewater, where he’d eventu-ally pitch the Tides to the International League title and the first-ever Triple-A World Series. Tides manager Davey Johnson, who would manage the Mets’ big league team the next year, was so impressed with the youngster that he lobbied hard for Gooden to be on his staff in ’84. Management reluctantly obliged and Gooden won National League rookie of the year.

  27. Will - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    If the market for Pujols continues to be a two-man competition between the Cardinals and Marlins, the Nats should kick the tires. Pujols has been worth about 8 WAR per season, which equates to an annual salary of about $40mil/season. There's no chance a team coughs up that much, especially because the Yankees and Red Sox can't get involved since they have about $300mil committed to their 1B. Pujols and Fielder could end up being (comparative) bargains. I'd prefer Morse at 1B to LF, but if the alternative is Albert Pujols, then it's not really much of a choice.

  28. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    He doesn't show up on the Tidewater roster for 1983, either.

  29. Will - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Wally, if anything Johnson's support of Harper helps Rizzo. It's painfully obvious that the Nats need a CF. It's all Rizzo says. Naturally, all the other teams know this and are likely to jack up the price well aware of our desperation. Johnson's comments actually make a case for why we don't need a CF; we have some in-house options. Move Werth to CF and Harper in RF, and suddenly we've solved our hole in CF. It's certainly a better solution than anything Rizzo has done over the past 2 seasons.

  30. Theophilus - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Johnson is negotiating, too. This applies to his comments about both pitching and Harper. He's the guy other teams' GMs and agents have to be listening to. When Rizzo says, "I'd like to have your guy, but not nearly at the price you want me to pay," the other GM/agent surmises that Rizzo is just trying to squeeze a little more juice out of the turnip. But then they hear Johnson, in the background but with close to veto power over any addition to his lineup, saying, "I don't NEED your guy." Which is a much more compelling message, solidly backs Rizzo's bargaining position.

  31. Tcostant - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Sec 3, that is strange (good link), it must exclude the playoffs. I remember reading about Gooden ptiching the Tides to that minor league champtionship, I think they won 6-1 and he got the win for Daveys Tides team. Read the link I have above and the footnotes at the bottom of the article.

  32. Theophilus - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    (Feels like Will's echo.)

  33. Section 222 - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Theo and Will — Jinx!That has to be what's going on. Rizzo and DJ are close and are working together. There's no way DJ would be communicating with Rizzo through the media. They must have a play going here, at least I sure hope so.Thanks to Mark for clearing up Harper's status in the last post. Obviously, he shouldn't start the season on the 25 man, because that would give up a full year of team control. How early he joins the squad after that, though, in my opinion, ought to depend on how ready he is, not Super 2 status and how much they might eventually have to pay him.

  34. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Detwiler makes the club for sure—either as a starter or reliever. With Philadelphia being so lefty dominated the Nats will need at least 2 lefties in the bullpen.

  35. NatinBeantown - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    I like the signals being sent from the Front Office at the meetings… it's a much better negotiating posture if you have a fallback (and have said so), versus last year's bold proclamations of a #1 starter or bust. I think it represents a growth process for Rizzo and company.(*sigh* Doc K was my absolute favorite player growing up… posters on my wall, special separate binder of just his baseball cards, news clippings from every start taped to my wall. I still remember when my mom and brother sat me down in the kitchen to tell me about the first drug suspension.)

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Tconstant, thanks for the links. I have been looking for box scores, oddly with no success, for the 1983 International League Championship games.

  37. SCNatsFan - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    I agree NatinBeantown… there is no upside for him to say anything at this point less then I have complete faith in what is here. Does he mean it? Lord knows.

  38. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Section 222, the bigger issue on Harper is getting him here and having him be effective and keeping him here. Trout was brought up by the Angels and sent down. Anthony Rizzo was brought up by the Padres and sent down. Brandon Belt was brought up by the Giants and sent down.MLB is once again a pitcher dominated league. The scouts will find your holes and the pitchers will exploit them. If Bryce has holes, they will find it. His nationally televised games haven't gone well for him. No hits in the 3 games on national TV in a little over a year. My guess is many of you will be turn-coats on Bryce if he starts off 1 for 20 and that would be a shame. This kid will be a side-show attraction especially on the road. The venom spewed on him will be intense. Also be prepared to see him against RH pitchers for a while also. Get ready, Bryce will be here by the end of June. I am predicting the game after the Yankees series which is June 19th vs. the Rays.

  39. NatinBeantown - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Because Sec 3 has forced me to waste my morning looking for old box scores, I did uncover this nugget, which bodes well for Davey's teaching ability (or is a remarkable coincidence). Look at the managers-in-waiting on that 1983 Tidewater team: Clint HurdleRon GardenhireWally BackmanJose Oquendo

  40. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    I don't agree with you Mark on Detwilers future in the rotation or nothing. He may not be the optimal long guy although a OFlaherty or Venters role seems well suited for him. He was not good in AAA as a starter in 2011 and only did well for the Nats on extra rest when he got to start at the end of the season. I take Lannen because at least I know what he can do.

  41. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Man, did I love Wally Backman. That guy was all heart as a player.dfh21

  42. jd - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Marlins offer Pujols 10 years. I think Fielder is a better option for the long haul. Pujols is at least 32 (reported age; questioned by many). Fielder is 27 and despite his size has missed very few games. The Marlins are obviously going all in this off season; they already have $65 mil committed to 6 players; Pujols may make it $90 mil for 7 players. They better hope that they have real fans for their shiny new stadium because judging but the support they had at the old ball park I seriously question how many real fans they really have.

  43. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    jd, I am blown away if the Marlins land Pujols.One of the great things about their new stadium is no more bad weather since they have a roof and that will actually help in their sale of tickets. Add to that their new change in spending philosphy has to help. The luxury box photos look great and they should attract big time corporate interest especially on the news breaking that they are "in" on Pujols. The landscape in the NL East has shifted and if they get Pujols the entire NL will shift. On the other hand, if these moves don't work out, they can be crushed. For the Nats, if Pujols goes to the Marlins it will actually help in attendence. The Marlins have never been a big draw but with Pujols, people will go just to see him.

  44. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    The Marlins have never been a big draw but with Pujols, people will go just to see him.You would. I would. I'm not sure the casual fan in DC will, at this point.

  45. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    If they do get Pujols, the Marlins will be doing what I (and others) argued for the Nats to do in 2008–put the best team they could, more or less regardless of cost and consequences, on the field to open the new place. Of course, had they done that, there's be no Strasburg, and no Harper. Other guys, maybe really good ones, but not those two. So the Marlins will get a competitive bump this year, especially if they sign Pujols, but they will pay for it later.

  46. Feel Wood - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    The Marlins have never been a big draw but with Pujols, people will go just to see him.Why would they go to see him in a Marlins uni when they didn't in a Cards uni? It's true that the Cards drew well in DC, but the extra fans at those games all seemed to be wearing Cards gear. Will those fans go to see Pujols in another uniform? I doubt it.

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    I don't agree with you Mark on Detwilers future in the rotation or nothing. He may not be the optimal long guy although a OFlaherty or Venters role seems well suited for him. Anon @ noon: Maybe apples/oranges–I think Mark is trying to predict what the Nats are likely to do, not opine on what he personally thinks is the best use of Detwiler. That is pretty much what we're here to do, but it's not the same thing. Just sayin.

  48. Golfersal - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    That is the problem with the internet and twitter. Peoples rumors and thoughts become reality and it takes true journalalist to find out the truth and what we should believe.Hopefully true journalism won't go away and replaced by folks that put up stories just to be first to the punchHopefully companies like CSN ill continue guys like Mark Zuckerman who will continue to work their asses off to find out what is true and what is not.

  49. Section 222 - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    The Cards were an OK draw when they came to DC with Pujols, but nothing like the awful Cubs with no stars to speak of. The crowds come out to Nats Park because of allegiance to a hometown team (Phillies, Bosox, Yanks, Cubs, even Dodgers) not to see a star player. So I doubt the Marlins will all of a sudden be a much bigger draw. But would I go to see Strasburg or JZ face Reyes, Hanley and Pujols? Hell yes.I'll be very depressed if the Fish land Pujols. They will have done what I hoped Rizzo would do with the Lerners' billions — go after Reyes and one of the big free agent 1B bats (though I'd prefer Prince you won't be surprised to learn). Heath Bell — whatever. Reyes, Pujols, and Hanley in the same infield. Holy crap!

  50. Wally - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    This Santos for a prospect trade makes me think CHW are open for sale, as Kenny Williams tries to reload the farm. We ought to be talking to him (I hope that the ill will from the failed Dunn trade isn't still lingering).Quentin (with Werth to CF) or Danks or Floyd would be good additions, and we could probably avoid giving up any guys from the 25 man

  51. Wally - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Sec 222 – I know what you are saying about the Fish, but I think that you have to let the whole offseason play out first before drawing conclusions. I think that Rizzo is going to make something happen.What it is and whether it is any good, TBD.

  52. SCNatsFan - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    If you are Pujols and you go to Miami for 20M you are crazy. A trivial amount of money, obviously no, but by all accounts he loves St. L and the community there…. and even with less money he can still buy appetizers at dinner and burn stacks of 100's in his firepalce to stay warm at night. If he wants to go to Miami that's one thing but it's crazy to think this is about the $.

  53. Kenz aFan - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Detwiler has a career 1.06 ERA as a reliever and even though he had a bad year relatively speaking in 2011, when comparing to his career numbers out of the pen, he still had a very impressive 1.80 ERA in relief. Detwiler's career ERA is 4 times better than his career ERA as a starter (4.40). Even if we only look at 2011, his ERA in relief is 1.80 and 3.21 as a starter.Another thing about Detwiler's numbers as a starter that make me think he's better suited for the bullpen is the fact that his ERA when he goes through the batting rotation the first two times is just about 2.00, but once he gets to9 the third time around, it jumps to almost 7.00. That tells me, he would make a perfect middle and long relief specialist, but as a starter he lacks a good finishing kick, so to speak.The best thing that could happen for Detwiler and the Nats, is for Rizzo to sign someone like Buehrle, which would in effect push Ross to the bullpen. The Nats win, Detwiler wins (in the long term) and the team will win more often.As for Davey Johnson and Dwight Gooden, Johnson needs to work on his memory, because while Gooden did indeed pitch in 3 games before coming up from AAA Tidewater, those three games were during a rehab assignment in 1987. In Gooden's FOURTH YEAR as a Met.You can check out Gooden's (very detailed) numbers on the Baseball Cube web site.

  54. Kenz aFan - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    For anyone interested in checking out Dwight Gooden's stats, here's the Baseball Cube link:http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=Dwight-Gooden

  55. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Kenz, as discussed and linked to above, apparently Gooden did get some time in the 1983 International League playoffs with the Tides, which doesn't show up in the regular season stats. See Tconstant's 10:51 post.

  56. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Still haven't found a box score, but I did learn that Michael Bourn was born the day the Tides won that series, Sept. 11, 1983.

  57. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Feelwood, check the stats of visiting clubs and you will see the Cardinals were a better than average draw on the road. Now maybe I am assuming some of that is for Pujols.The Marlins are one of the worst for road draws but assume they were helped by 9 sellouts in Philly as an automatic sellout.

  58. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Wally at 1:24…. that is precisely one of those "didn't see that one coming" ideas that I think Rizzo is working on. I just don't want to "give up the farm" because with the new CBA, the Nats have lost that advantage of paying over slot to stock their system.Carlos Quentin and John Danks would be a haul I'd be pleased with provided the price doesn't clean out the cupboard.

  59. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    I need to correct my 1:57 posting, I was doing overall attendence and not road numbers. I broke out road numbers and the Cardinals were 16th in road attendence and the Marlins were ahead of the Cards on the road by a few hundred. Worst road attendence turns out to be the Angels. Best is the Yankees. Cardinals played 9 games in Houston and 9 in Pittsburgh so possibly not big crowds.

  60. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    AHA!!Little World Series Berth to TidewaterAPPublished: September 12, 1983RICHMOND, Sept. 11— A five-hitter by Dwight Gooden helped Tidewater, the Mets' principal farm club, to a 6-1 victory tonight over the Richmond Braves for their second consecutive International League playoff championship and a berth in the Class AAA Little World Series.The Tides won the three-of-five series, 3-1.Gooden, an 18-year-old right-hander who was promoted from Lynchburg in the Class A Carolina League, walked two and struck out eight.Terry Blocker drove in three runs with a single in Tidewater's four-run second inning and hit home runs, each with the bases empty, leading off the fifth and seventh innings.

  61. Theophilus - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Why would you want Quentin if — post Harper — you don't have a place to play him? Unless you get rid of LaRoche, and (A) I don't see LaRoche being tradeable until mid-year; (B) I'd rather have LaRoche (if healthy) and his defense than Quentin (perpetually injured); (C) LaRoche's left-handed bat is more valuable than Quentin's right.

  62. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Kenz aFan said… Detwiler has a career 1.06 ERA as a reliever and even though he had a bad year relatively speaking in 2011, when comparing to his career numbers out of the pen, he still had a very impressive 1.80 ERA in relief. Detwiler's career ERA is 4 times better than his career ERA as a starter (4.40). Even if we only look at 2011, his ERA in relief is 1.80 and 3.21 as a starter.Good research. I agree w/ Anon above that the extra rest Detwiler was pitching on made the numbers questionable. This is a pitcher with stamina/endurance issues.Detwiler was great in short relief and setup. He is able to ramp his fastball up a few more MPH in relief. If they moved Ross to 1 inning stints he could probably start hitting 95 to 96 on the radar gun instead of 92 to 93. That would really set up his change up.

  63. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Myth: CONFIRMED

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Theophilus, Quentin is an outfielder/DH type–he'd play "hitter" on the bench.

  65. Theophilus - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    $5MM+arb for a bench guy???

  66. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    The Nationals are "fixated" on leaving the Winter Meetings with a new center fielder, a team source told Pete Kerzel of MASNSports.com.Near the trade deadline, Rizzo was said to be desperate for a Centerfielder as another team's exec described the situation. I don't know what is worse "fixated" or "desperate". When you are playing poker at the big boys table, never get labeled as desperate or fixated. I thought progress was made when Davey said Werth could be his CF in 2012.From MLBTRADERUMORS: •The Nationals and Rays discussed center fielder B.J. Upton recently, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Yesterday we heard the Rays would have to be overwhelmed to move Upton. I guess the Rays won't be non-tendering BJ Upton. Lets see, 6 days to the non-tender deadline. Liar's poker is being played now.

  67. Wally - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    If they got Quentin, I assume he goes to RF, Werth to CF and Harper only comes up if Morse or Laroche (or, I guess, Quentin) gets traded. The approach to Harper would be 'go to AAA and force me to make room for you'. Other being a little too right handed, why isn't that a good problem to have?Quentin is also under control for 2012 only, so you are not blocking anyone in 2013. Mid .800 OPS the last two years, with 20+ HRs.

  68. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Theophilus, apparently $5MM doesn't buy what it used to. SteveM, I believe they *say* that about Rizzo, but in fact, he didn't do a desperate deal, so maybe that's at least exaggerated. We can only hope. Desperation is indeed both unnecessary and a lousy hand.

  69. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Sec3, he didn't do it because he stepped back from the edge. It is bad to get described that way. Fixated goes beyond focus to an extreme. Its just not a positive word when described like that. The source should be fired as that was a quoted word.

  70. Mark'd - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    "@kerzelpete: According to team source, #Nationals remain "fixated" on leaving Dallas #wintermeetings with a new CF."SteveM, fixated, desperate, is horrible labeling. Not sure who Pete Kerzel is except to think he didn't have to use that word and if I was Rizzo, I would be pissed. Tats like tabloid type of reporting. Could have said Rizzo was "focused".Price just went up for Rizzo as the other teams SMELL BLOOD IN THE WATER

  71. natsfan1a - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Is it just me or might a state of mind attributed to our team's FO by "another team's exec" involve a tad bit of spin/gamesmanship on that part of that source? ================Near the trade deadline, Rizzo was said to be desperate for a Centerfielder as another team's exec described the situation. I don't know what is worse "fixated" or "desperate".

  72. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    MLB Trade Rumors: The Nats are interested in bringing Willie Harris back. Oh, I hope so. The meltdown that would occur with some folks here would be interesting reading to say the least.

  73. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    There is that old saying “Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures”. I'm not a journalist or an english buff but to me the connotations of the word "fixated" when I look for the definition says "An obsessive preoccupation"Yah, not good. Rizzo, step back from the edge….

  74. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    natsfan1a, I would agree with you if you saw more of that across the rumor mill. I don't see that said about other GMs. This latest quote from Kerzel came from a "team source".You can't give up much of anything for BJ Upton for the 1 year rental. Some don't want him even if he is a freebie. I liked the Cutter Dykstra for BJ Upton idea.

  75. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Steve M. is fixated on thinking he knows everything about everything. Not a good position to be in.

  76. Steve M. - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Anon, real simple, don't bother reading what I write.

  77. Theophilus - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Wally — w/ Quentin being a FA in 2013, as you point out, what is the rationale for giving up ANYTHING of value for a $6MM+ rental who makes your defense worse and screws up your roster???

  78. FS - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    If Marlins do end up with Pujols (I hope not), their pitching is still suspect. But their lineup which already troubles us ten times out of 18, will be very scary. Then again, we will have SS back.Anyways, eager for next season.

  79. Anonymous - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Steve M., NatsJack, and JD, 3 guys who think they know more than Rizzo. NatsJack even has Nats in his name.

  80. Wally - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Theo – he was positive on D last year (although negative before that). He is a good hitter, improving the O for next year, and you buy a year of seasoning for Harper, which I think would benefit him. If you love him, you can always try to resign him when Laroche leaves and Morse moves to first.I think $6+m is a reasonable number for mid .800 OPS corner OF? Are his numbers so different from Willingham? I wouldn't break the prospect bank for him, but I think that he would be an improvement from the current roster. If there is a better trade out there, sign me up, but I see this as better than what we currently have.

  81. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    he didn't do it because he stepped back from the edge. It is bad to get described that way. Fixated goes beyond focus to an extreme. Its just not a positive word when described like that. The source should be fired as that was a quoted word. You may be right, but I can't help thinking that, since careful use of the English language is basically a thing of the past, it's risky to over-analyze how some anonymous somebody describes things. It's a doggy-dog world.

  82. natsfan1a - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Woof.

  83. natsfan1a - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Not to start a brew ha-ha or anything.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 72 76 13.5
NEW YORK 72 78 14.5
PHILADELPHIA 69 80 17.0
Through Monday's early 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

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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