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Questions, questions and more questions

Jan 31, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Danny Espinosa has to prove he can overcome his second-half tailspin.

Nobody reports to spring training without some question, no matter how minor, hanging over his head. Even the sport's best players have some facet of their game that needs to be tweaked, or some off-the-field issue that needs to be resolved.

And that certainly applies to the Nationals, who less than three weeks from the start of camp are beginning to figure out how they're going to address their biggest question marks.

With that in mind, let's run through every player on the Nats' current 40-man roster (minus injured first baseman Chris Marrero and reliever Cole Kimball) and look at the primary question associated with each of them entering spring training…

PITCHERS

SEAN BURNETT: Which version will show up this year: The guy who was awful during the first half of 2011 (5.67 ERA, seven blown saves, five losses) or the guy who bounced back to post a 1.16 ERA and zeroRead more »

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    I think the big question for Espinosa is can he ever be as consistant in the left side batters box as he is on the right.

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Of course I'm looking at him from the mound.

  3. joemktg - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    With regards to the questions re: roles, e.g., Lannan, Gorz, etc.: get out there and perform. Period. You don't like it? BFD. Go run to your agents and advisers and cry on their shoulders: nobody cares. This spring is a ____-or-get-off-the-pot moment for Desmond and Bernadina. And they should know it. For Bernadina: 20" guns ain't gonna cut it.With the revised playoff format, this is a potential playoff team. Act like it.

  4. Doc - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Thanks for the overview MarkMeister. Always lots of concerns for a team as it heads in the direction of a new season.I think that Wang will be the first SP to bite the DL. As good a VWL as JFlo had, our guy Ramo had a bad one. Almost the direct opposite of last year's VWL. In regular VWL play he hit close to Mendoza levels. But hey, he's alive, and that's the important thing.

  5. MurrayTheRed - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    I think the player that will have the hardest time will be Lannan. Going from "ace" a couple of years ago, to maybe not making the rotation. How is he going to handle that?

  6. N. Cognito - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    joemktg said… "With regards to the questions re: roles, e.g., Lannan, Gorz, etc.: get out there and perform. Period. You don't like it? BFD. Go run to your agents and advisers and cry on their shoulders: nobody cares."Somebody sure woke up grumpy.

  7. fibi - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    I am hoping that you don't have the question right for Bernadina. Instead, a question for Davey, "While he was out of the game, platooning went out of fashion; is he old school enough to eke decent production from Bernadina / DeRosa / Cameron through aggressive platooning?"

  8. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    IAN DESMOND: Can he make the necessary adjustments to his offensive game the way he did to his defense game one year ago?Zuck, framing Desmond as having gotten his defensive game under control is oddly generous. Advanced metrics (and I know you love them) called Ian out as one of the worst with the glove in 2011, as they did in 2010. He did manage to cut the errors way back from 2010's league worst number, but still had a ton (only 2 other SS's made more errors). His range facor is not so shiny, his fielding percentage is lousy, UZR150 among the worst, etc. So, I do find it odd that you consider him to have righted the ship with his glove. Desmond's defensive game needs as much improvement as his offensive game, maybe more as SS is such an important postion on the field.dfh21

  9. Gonat - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Murray, there is very little risk that Lannan loses his starter's spot unless he is traded. If Lannan comes into camp in as good as shape as he was last year, he should have a better season. On Sept 5th, Lannan dropped his ERA to 3.48 which is fringe #2 type of numbers which compare better than most of the FA agents still available. After that Sept 5th game John finished the season with some rough outings and finished with a 3.70 ERAThose are still solid numbers with 184.2 innings completed. Keep in mind Roy Oswalt was a 3.69 ERA last year and Edwin Jackson was 3.58Now is the time the haters will tell us once again about Lannan's BABIP, FIP, xFIP, BB/9. John's whole career has been that way. You give Lannan a little bit of run support and his stats will look even better. If you remove 2010 you see a nice curve where year over year John's ERA improved. Lannan has the ability to be that 3.50 ERA type of pitcher which is a Top 40 pitcher in the Majors.

  10. Positively Half St. - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I have just one suggested change for a question:Carlos Rivero: Who the heck is this guy?+1/2St.

  11. joemktg - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    N. Cognito: just re-read my comment, and you're right. I think someone did #1 in my Wheaties.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    All I ask from Lannen is to get through 5 innings consistently at about 70 pitches instead of the 90 he's usually at.

  13. Gonat - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    STEVE LOMBARDOZZI: Is his future as an everyday second baseman in the big leagues, or is he at best a utility infielder?_________________________________I don't see Mark writing "Is he the everyday leadoff hitter"We don't know what he is at the MLB level. The Prospect rating systems are lukewarm on the guy.I see a potential Jamey Carroll guy who has to keep getting better and wait for his chance. I don't see him as the future Craig Biggio like some do. Maybe he can become that type of player.Lombo's 1st challenge in 2011 is making the team and staying on the roster by making an impact when he gets his opportunities!

  14. NatStat - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Anon @ 8:04You are correct about Desi's defensive stats. However, many sabernuts, including Brian Kenny at Baseball Confidential, question the validity of the advanced defensive metrics like UZRs.The makings of a good discussion of what makes Desmond a good SS, inspite of the stats. Similar issues for Reyes, who the Florida Marlins seem to value.

  15. Gonat - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… All I ask from Lannen is to get through 5 innings consistently at about 70 pitches instead of the 90 he's usually at. January 31, 2012 8:25 AM ______________________________His style is to pitch around some hitters with 1 or 2 outs adding to his pitch count. Gio and Lannan both will test our patience at times and just hope both improve from last year. If they do that, they both will have done their job and it is up to our offense to get them 4.0 runs per game.

  16. 320R2S15 - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I'm thinking that there is a good chance that JFlo beats out Wilson in ST. It will come down to the arm. Wilson should have the advantage there, but JFlo could edge him out with the bat. It's kind of a nice problem to have, but Davy just might have a decision to make. Everyone seems to think that Wilson is locked in, but I'm not so sure.

  17. Gonat - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    NatStat said… Anon @ 8:04You are correct about Desi's defensive stats. However, many sabernuts, including Brian Kenny at Baseball Confidential, question the validity of the advanced defensive metrics like UZRs.The makings of a good discussion of what makes Desmond a good SS, inspite of the stats. Similar issues for Reyes, who the Florida Marlins seem to value. January 31, 2012 8:27 AM __________________________________Brian and others say it right, let your eyes also tell the story. We wouldn't need scouts if the stat books and Hit Track were the whole story.

  18. Gonat - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    320R2S15 said… I'm thinking that there is a good chance that JFlo beats out Wilson in ST. It will come down to the arm. Wilson should have the advantage there, but JFlo could edge him out with the bat. It's kind of a nice problem to have, but Davy just might have a decision to make. Everyone seems to think that Wilson is locked in, but I'm not so sure. January 31, 2012 8:33 AM _______________________________You are obviously looking at Winter League stats. If that was the whole story, Eury Perez was Ty Cobb in the Winter League last year.I expect improvement with Flores and that would be a great problem to have with 2 top catchers.

  19. NationalsProspects.com - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    @Positively 1/2 St. – Rivero is a 6-yr FA that's getting the Billy "But He's Still Young" Rowell treatment (link in the name for more details) but has serious questions about whether he can make AAA, much less MLB.@Gonats – In general, the Prospect Gurus are in agreement that he can hit for average and play good defense at 2B; whether he can do that at SS and 3B, compensating for his weak arm with his quickness, is the real question. Unlike Riggleman, Johnson is more likely to campaign for Lombardozzi to be on the MLB bench. I'm not so sure Rizzo wouldn't rather have him playing everyday for Syracuse.

  20. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    NatStat — A while back when Desmond was making the errors like mad in 2010, Zuck pointed to Desmond's advanced metric stats that showed he gets to a lot of balls and Zuck made the argument that errors and fielding percentage are not great indicators of defensive ability, ok, fair enough. But, even the advanced stats don't like Ian very much. No matter what standard anyone uses, Desmond is just not good with the glove. It's not reasonable to call Desmond a quality SS, or to make the claim, as Zuck sort of did today, that Desmond's golve is solid, when the evidence from pretty much all sources says otherwsie. Ian just does not make the plays that he should make.Maybe Jose Reyes can get away with being a less than stellar fielder when winning a batting title, bringing that kind of offesnive game? Who knows.Anyway, Zuck does not seem to look at Ian Desmond's game objectively; he is always digging hard for a silver lining in the big, ominous, black cloud that follows Ian around on the diamond a la Schleprock.dfh21

  21. Doc - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    @ 320R2S15I'm with you on that one. JFlo might just have a better ST than Ramo. Flores' arm is doing well–the BRs in the VWL seemed to have respected it.Remember Davey scouted JFlo for the Nats, on Gary Carter's recs.when he was hitting 21 dingers in seaosn short A ball.When players compete, Nats win!!!!

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    That's because Zuck gets to talk to people much more knowlegeable that the posters on this site.

  23. Mark'd - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Hopefully not another day of Lombardozzi at leadoff. Read the comments above. Nats Prospects isn't even sure where Rizzo will play him. I agree.

  24. NatsNut - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    I dream of the day that Flores gets his hitting groove back. When he was on, it was doubles all over the place, and in key situations too. Love that guy and hope he can still thrive in backup.BTW, glad to see the readable spacing and fonts again.

  25. Theophilus - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Notion that Lannan "pitches around some batters" thus his pitch count goes up is cosmic fairy dust. That would require some command of the strike zone, which is his real problem. Before his arm trouble, Mark Fidrych had Lannan-esque underpowering stuff (91-92 mph fastball) but could paint the corners with a Sharpie. Pitchers like that can choose who they want to pitch to. Lannan puts two runners on base, has no choice but to throw it somewhere in the vicinity of the middle of the plate and cover his eyes and assume a self-defensive position.

  26. psdfx - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Perhaps the stats on Desi are right — and Mark's comment is, too. My (admittedly faulty at times) memory seems to recall Desmond really struggling during the first month of the season, with a TON of errors, but then actually "righting the ship" for rest of the late spring and summer. Does anyone else remember it this way?Re: Lannan, I do not trust him. He doesn't go deep into games, he doesn't fight through tough spots in games, and (in general) I have serious questions about his ability to respond to pressure. I seriously hope Wang and Detwiler have great springs.

  27. psdfx - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Oh, and re: coming up big under pressure, I don't see it referred to often here, but I can't bear the thought of RZ ever leaving (even if Rendon is better than advertised). It has always seemed to me that RZ *embraces* big moments and thrives (walk-off HRs, etc). I'd love to see what he would do in the postseason with his mindset.

  28. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    At this point, I have 1 more question: Does Rizzo have any more wheeling and dealing to pull out of that magic bag of tricks?

  29. Section 215 Row A - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Noticed that several posters yesterday were hopeful that Corey Brown might be able to break into the centerfield balsa log jam. But I also notice that Mr. Brown isn't even on the 40-man roster. Doesn't that speak volumes as to just how unlikely it is that Mr. Brown will be going north with the team?Oh! And joemtkg…I appreciate your revisiting your earlier post and am sorry about your Wheaties!

  30. Theophilus - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Seconds psdfx comments re Desmond's defense last year. I think 12 of his errors (plus or minus) came in April and May.

  31. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    NatsJack — Zuck gets to talk to the guys in Nats management who are vested in the bet that Ian Desmond turns into Derek Jeter some magic day. Two full years under Ian's belt, those "much more knowledgable" people are not looking so smart quite yet on this one at least, no? Any observer, no matter the knwoledge level, can see that the evidence that Ian Desmond is not the answer at SS is mounting high, and that the hope that he'll get it all together is dwindling. Maybe it happens, maybe Desmond starts making the plays consistently and maybe he adjusts his approach at the plate and has good success, and I hope that it does, I really do. Desmond has athleticism and a good attitude and he's got great size and speed. The tools are there. But, the club needs to be realistic, some prospects just do not turn out. If Desmond does not play well to start the season, they need to get him out of the lineup and move on to someone else. Nats management needs to put the success of the club over their seeming desire to turn Desmond into a star. dfh21

  32. HHover - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Re: DesmondSorry, I don't think it's that interesting a conversation about Desmond vs. Reyes. Neither is great in the field but one is great at the plate–and it ain't Desmond. (Even after his improvement last year, Desmond still ranks in the bottom quarter of starting SS defensively). Re: LannanIt's time to give up the idea that he's particularly inefficient in terms of # of pitches. Last year he averaged 15.9 pitches/inn; MLB average for all SP was 16.1.

  33. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    @Anon re Desmonds defensive numbers: Desi had a lot of errors compressed into a very few games shortly before his child was born. I know that could be construed as an excuse, but pull those couple weeks out of the equation and what do your advanced sabermetrics tell you?

  34. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    When to comes to Desmond, it is always pull out these bad numbers here, and those bad numbers over there, and abracadabra!, look, he's not sooo bad.

  35. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Yeah same with Desmond's hitting: Bad first half, good second half. I prefer to focus on the good second half. I think both his second half hitting and the 90% of the season that doesn't include a big pile of errors is a better indication of what he can do.

  36. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Funny when the internet trolls (trolls = bored, loathesome people) respond to their own posts.

  37. 320R2S15 - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Gonat, I do not really do the stat thing, so you are wrong in your assumtion. I understand that they are a valuable tool in talent evaluation, but I'm sort of a total package evaluator and I believe that there is more to it that stats. When JFlo was not injured he seemed to be really consistant in pressure situations. Wilson seems prone to cold spells that seem to plague lots of highly touted players. I could be wrong, but I bet there are some kind of stastics that can prove my point, I'm just not smart enough to dig them up…

  38. Unkyd - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    "Anyway, Zuck does not seem to look at Ian Desmond's game objectively; he is always digging hard for a silver lining in the big, ominous, black cloud that follows Ian around on the diamond a la Schleprock.."———————And now, the Pebbles and BammBamm reference?! Can Tennessee Tuxedo be far behind? :-)Agreeing with dfh21, re: Desi, in that the window is likely to close pretty fast, after ASB, if the BA isn't up, and the errors down. My Stein 'O Desi, however, is still 3/4 full! If he plays up to his ability, this will be a MUCH better baseball team…

  39. N. Cognito - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    If the Nats make it to the World Series in the next three seasons, and face the Texas Rangers, the Nats should come out on top.http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/7520749/texas-rangers-give-two-year-extension-manager-ron-washington-2014

  40. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Section 215 Row A said… Noticed that several posters yesterday were hopeful that Corey Brown might be able to break into the centerfield balsa log jam. But I also notice that Mr. Brown isn't even on the 40-man roster. Doesn't that speak volumes as to just how unlikely it is that Mr. Brown will be going north with the team?January 31, 2012 9:28 AM You are correct about Corey is not on the 40 man making him an extreme long shot. Corey got an invite to Spring Training so unless he lights it up he will head North with the Syracuse Chiefs.

  41. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    BammBamm, now there's a kid who can hit!dfh21

  42. lefty1950 - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Anticipation of a new season, it’s great!I believe that this is Desmond’s make it or break it season. If he does not improve both in fielding (range and throwing) and hitting, I think he will be gone after the season. I know Mark went over the 40 man roster, but the one area that the team has to improve is the offense. The Nats have got to consistently score more than 3 runs a game, to give the pitchers a change. Last year the pitchers had to be near perfect every time they took the mound just to have a chance at a win.

  43. MicheleS - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Thankfully, in 19 days we can start getting some answers….I am so ready for Spring!

  44. MicheleS - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    dfh21… BammBamm = Adam Dunn.

  45. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    MicheleS . . . Right on with the pwoer, but unlike Dunn, I dare you to try: Give me one example, just one, of when BammBamm swung and missed?? The kid bats a 1,000!! :-)Davey Johnson is not giving Desmond a full season, Davey wants to win ball games. And the ones in April and May matter the same as the ones in August. Desmond had better come out of the gates looking at least slick in the field or he's going to be optioned to Cuse where he can figure out his game without killing the big club.dfh21

  46. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Like I said yesterday, I am still cautiously optimistic about 2012 for the Nationals.We all know how a Major League season goes, there will be ups and downs and this team should get better just from the maturation of its young players.Personally, I am more concerned about Danny Espinosa and his LH hitting than Ian Desmond. I am more concerned about Wang's shoulder than I am about John Lannan's WHIP.The team chemistry looks also improved on this team from last opening day.I do believe the Prince Fielder negotiations and waiting for that to play out tied Rizzo's hands for several weeks from making moves. I am hoping that Mike Rizzo adds a power bat to the bench. In hindsight I hated losing Laynce Nix as Davey Johnson needs that type of player on his bench.Here may be a bench answer within the system for some time later this year: TYLER MOORE: After terrorizing pitchers at Class A and Class AA the last two seasons, can the slugging first baseman keep it up against higher-level competition?

  47. Feel Wood - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Noticed that several posters yesterday were hopeful that Corey Brown might be able to break into the centerfield balsa log jam. But I also notice that Mr. Brown isn't even on the 40-man roster. Doesn't that speak volumes as to just how unlikely it is that Mr. Brown will be going north with the team?There are only 37 guys on the 40-man roster right now. Two of them (Marrero and Kimball) could concievably go on the 60-day DL once it opens up, which would drop the 40-man to 35. Thus there is lots of room for a guy currently not on the 40-man to have a good spring and make the team. Also, there is room for more guys to be signed as FA or acquired by trade before the season starts.

  48. waddu eye no - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    can tyler moore turn the world on with a smile? is he gonna make it after all?(or have those been used already?)

  49. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    waddu, that is hilarious for those of us that remember that theme song and I think you are the 1st on here. That can be Tyler's warm up swings song.

  50. BinM - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    In my eyes, Desmond's performance (both offensively & defensively) will be the key to the starting eight. He's 26, so should be entering his prime years as a player. The other soft point is still the bench. The Nationals have a couple of 40-man slots unfilled, so Rizzo & Johnson may be taking a hard look at some of the NRI's or a trade to fill those slots before coming north.

  51. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Feel Wood is correct that there are 37 men on the 40 man roster currently. Mike Cameron is not on the 40 man and expect 1 or possibly 2 of the Rule 5 players the Nats lost (Komatsu & Brad Meyers) to be returned by the end of Spring Training and could go back on the Nats 40 man as well as possibly one more bench signing to a Major League contract.

  52. jcj5y - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Why would you put Komatsu and Meyers on the 40-man? Wasn't the decision not to put them on the roster the whole reason they were eligible to be picked in the Rule 5 Draft? If they get returned, the decision not to add them is validated and won't come up again for another year.

  53. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    fibi said… I am hoping that you don't have the question right for Bernadina. Instead, a question for Davey, "While he was out of the game, platooning went out of fashion; is he old school enough to eke decent production from Bernadina / DeRosa / Cameron through aggressive platooning?" January 31, 2012 8:04 AMIf Davey isn't into platooning, Brewers GM Doug Melvin reminded us that it is alive and well. He took Nyjer Morgan and paired him up with Carlos Gomez to create 5/7 + 2/7 is greater than 1 statistically using weighted average and it worked brilliantly for the Brewers in CF.Bernadina can't hit LH pitching (well) and not sure if Cameron can hit any pitching. That has me nervous. The better solution is Werth moves to CF against LH pitching and DeRosa plays RF against LH pitching. Problem solved.When Bryce Harper comes up, I hear he will sit against LH pitching also. Against RH pitching Opening Day:Outfield is Morse, Bernie, WerthAgainst LH pitching Opening Day:Outfield is Morse, Werth, DeRosaAgainst RH pitching on July 1st:Outfield is Morse, Werth, Harper and Bernadina will give Werth/Morse some days off as the 4th OFAgainst LH pitching on July 1st:Outfield is Morse, Werth, DeRosa

  54. fibi - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Corey Brown is only 21. While Feel Wood is right that we have room on the 40 man roster, I would highly doubt he gets added to it. There is no reason to put him on the 40 man unless you are putting him on the 25. The other reasons you put people on the 40 (avoid Rule V draft, player had leverage while negotiating a contract) do not apply.So, if he makes the team and heads north he goes on both the 25 and the 40. Once he's on the 40, you can't take him off without putting him through waivers. Which brings up the next point: options. Players get three options, or if certain criteria are met, four. An option is used any time a player spends 20 days in the minors over the course of a season in which they are on the 40 man roster.So, taking Brown North means that we could have a put-up or shut-up decision by the time he is 24 or 25.Detwiler's one inning a few years ago started his option clock and is the reason that he can't go to Syracuse and pitch every five days, waiting for a rotation spot to open up. He was born in 1986. So he is 25. Brown is very likely to profile similarly to Detwiler at 25. Decent player, can't clear waivers, don't want to cut him b/c he may be truly valuable one day, don't want to carry him all year b/c he doesn't quite fit on the team until there are injuries.Unless he is going to play a *big* role we shouldn't box ourselves in like that to carry a pinch runner / defensive replacement.

  55. fibi - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Steve, your idea of a shifting platoon where Werth plays center against LHP and right field against LHP is exactly what I'm hoping will transpire if there aren't any roster moves.But, as I mentioned on the last thread, I don't know that Davey, Rizzo, or Werth have been asked if they are contemplating moving Werth around the outfield like that. A lot of baseball traditionalists would be reluctant to do so. But, then again, it was a young Davey Johnson who would move Howard Johnson from third to short and back again. The man likes offense.

  56. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    jcj5y said… Why would you put Komatsu and Meyers on the 40-man? Wasn't the decision not to put them on the roster the whole reason they were eligible to be picked in the Rule 5 Draft? If they get returned, the decision not to add them is validated and won't come up again for another year. January 31, 2012 11:13 AM You are correct. Neither were on the 40 man roster previously.

  57. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Carlos Rivero: still very young International signing last with the Phillies and before that Cleveland I believe. Advanced metrics showed quite a bit of improvement offensively compared to past years in the minors. A possible sign that, has he matures, he gets better at learning and understanding the offensive side of the game. In other words 1/2 Street: a sleeper.

  58. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I remember Davey using Dykstra and Wilson in CF, and Backam and Teufel at 2B back in 86. Heep and Kevin Mitchell played a lot of LF too. Man, that was a monster team. Davey platooned the 1 and 2 holes like mad. We may see something like that this year in the 2 hole at least.dfh21

  59. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    There are only 37 guys on the 40-man roster right now. Two of them (Marrero and Kimball) could concievably go on the 60-day DL once it opens up, which would drop the 40-man to 35.And that's exactly the point. Rizzo's strategy this year is to have as much open competition as possible for the bench and possible starters. In the past those slots got sucked up quickly by Riggleman's favored veterans. Guys like Ankiel, Cora and their ilk. Now, Johnson likes a veteran bench and likes a pretty fixed 25 man and starting lineup but he also believes in seeing what the advanced prospects have, what the guys in the system have to offer before going outside. Thus all of those openings. So, yes it is conceivable that Corey Brown could return to the 40-man and perhaps even the 25-man. It all depends on what he shows Davey Johnson in Spring Training.

  60. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    fibi, I think Rizzo knows that he has to go with that platoon formula of 5/7 + 2/7 is greater than 1 unless he trades for his CF for 2011 and he may be thinking he needs a spot for Bryce Harper anyway so Bernadina's platoon may be a 90 day experiment.Spring Training should decide if he gives a spot to a veteran like Cameron or saves it for another player like Chad Tracy or Xavier Paul. Still time to pick up another bench player also.I also hope that Davey & Rizzo get Morse and Werth a day off or 2 early in the season to keep them fresh. Both guys played banged up a good part of the season.

  61. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I could be wrong, but I bet there are some kind of stastics that can prove my point, I'm just not smart enough to dig them up…Actually the complete opposite. Ramos was the best hitter of all the promoted prospects and relative newcomers. He finished third behind Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman. The park and defense neutral stats do a pretty good job of highlighting these things. At this point Ramos is the better hitter until proven otherwise.

  62. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Still time to pick up another bench player also.You know they'll be closely monitoring the waiver wire … there's a lot of flexibility this year … and it sets them for trades as well.

  63. alexva - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Corey Brown is 26, not 21.

  64. natsfan1a - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Not used here but a recent Tracee Hamilton column had a MTM allusion (something to do with having spunk, if memory serves).waddu eye no said… can tyler moore turn the world on with a smile? is he gonna make it after all? (or have those been used already?) January 31, 2012 10:45 AM

  65. NatsLady - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Another sign of spring: there is a Fantasy Focus (ESPN) podcast up. The usual amount of nonsense (TOO MUCH!), but they did display great optimism that Adam Dunn will be back to "normal" this season. :)

  66. Exposremains - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Since Rizzo failed to get a CF and most likely won't get one until next year, I'm on board to get Fukudome as a place holder. If you gonna put Werth in center Fukodome is a better option than Bernadina, Cameron. His OBP could be good enough for batting 2nd. I know he's not great. I think others mentioned Fukodome, just wanted to give my approval.

  67. David - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Here's another question. Is someone from the minors going to step up and show that they're ready for the outfield this year? Tyler Moore or Corey Brown? I'm pretty sure Moore doesn't have a lot of OF experience though…

  68. Theophilus - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Corey Brown was sold as a four- or five-tool player, which makes him perpetually intriguing. His injury history explains his slow development, at least in part, and made waiving him off the 40-man roster an acceptable risk. He probably is what we think he is. But Rizzo said he thought the CF issue could be solved internally and, after allowing B'dina to be anonymously trashed for the last couple years (and observing the performance on the field), he could have been thinking wistfully but couldn't have been thinking solely of Cameron. It's not out of the question that Brown could blossom at 26. Think Raul Ibanez. Think of those 4 or 5 tools.It would be very nice if Brown surprised us.

  69. Theophilus - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Fukodome wants $5MM a year and (like Ankiel) assurance of steady employment in the OF. He can get both in Japan, easily. (Willy Mo Pena is getting $5MM?) Can't see the Nats making those sort of commitments.

  70. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    End of January is when players are in full swing with workouts. A lot of Nats like Zim and Storen are at the Athletes Compound in Tampa and some like Strasburg and Bryce Harper are in Southern Cal at the BSTI.I talked a lot last year about core training and I know BSTI is very core driven and utilizes full body conditioning. Pudge Rodriguez lengthened his career under the BSTI conditioning principles and is probably the best of its kind of the off-season regimens.This years potential roster of 25 could possibly be the best 25 combined athletes of any team in the framework of what Mike Rizzo said last year of team athleticism.I mention this in the grading of the system that this shouldn't be overlooked and should pay dividends for the Nats in 2012 in things we shouldn't take for granted like players who can go from 1st to 3rd and be counted on to steal a base.

  71. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Theophilus, I still think Corey Brown has potential and last year was his year to shine and in an agressive collison at the plate had that severe ankle sprain that set his progress back a good part of last year then the knee staph infection hit him and finished his season abruptly.Now Corey Brown is at 90% in his recovery and he has been working out independently at the Athletes Compound in Tampa and says he is doing well. With a month to go for position players I hope he is back to 100% so we can see the "real" Corey Brown and his 4 1/2 tool potential.

  72. Ray - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    I think Lannan is the most interesting of all stories this spring. Any word on whether they are working to avoid arb with him? I think the Nats have 'outgrown' him much in the same way they 'outgrew' Livo, and I could easily see him getting traded a la Nyjer Morgan at the end of ST, particularly if Detwiler and Wang pitch well. Lannan looked a lot better when he was in a rotation with Tim Redding and Jason Simontacchi than he does in a rotation with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez.

  73. Exposremains - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Quotes on that 5M figure? It doesn't mean he would get that. I think he could get plenty of playing time and is a better option than ankiel. He starts the year in RF and maybe later in the year Laroche is traded, harper is up and Morse is at 1st creating another spot in OF. No more Bernadina or should be retired players like Cameron.

  74. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Ray, while I agree Lannan stood above the Redding's and Simontacchi, he is still a pitcher who takes the ball every 5 days and gives the team a chance to win. He would be a solid #3 on 23 other teams in the MLB. On the Nats he is pushed back to #4 in this rotation. His 3.70 ERA should improve this year.I don't know why people don't take Lannan for what he is which is a mid to back of the rotation dependable starter and a lefty which makes him valuable to the Nats.

  75. Ray - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Steve — I agree with your assessment of Lannan, but in my opinion Lannan sees himself as something more, which is why he's the only Nat going to arb.

  76. N. Cognito - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    From BiL at WNFFApril 3 Schedule MagnetApril 12 Opening Day CapApril 13 T-ShirtApril 14 Strasburg BobbleheadApril 22 Kids JerseyMay 3 Drawstring BackpackMay 19 Nationals Script CapMay 20 Kids T-ShirtJune 2 Post-Game ConcertJuly 5 Replica TruckJuly 6 Luggage TagJuly 20 SteinJuly 21 Post-Game ConcertJuly 22 Kids T-ShirtAug 4 T-ShirtAug 5 Morse BobbleheadAug 17 Retro CapAug 18 Post-Game ConcertSept 8 Zimmerman BobbleheadSept 22 Team Poster

  77. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Steve M. Going from first to third has not been a problem so much as going from home to first has been. The Nats need hitters to step up in a big way to have a chance in 2012. They need to be able to score a lot more runs than they did last year. A Werth rebound, a full season of Zim, we hope, and a healthy LaRoche should help al ot, but that is not enough. Top of the order needs to produce.

  78. Chief of the Boat - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Cue the submarine klaxon. Batten down the hatches. Rig for rough weather. Rig for depth charges. Prepare for the NegAnon who just loves to bash Lannan (loudly, repeatedly, and with bold typeface) by citing his xFIP. He'll be ranting soon. Batten down the hatches.

  79. jcj5y - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I think the biggest question for Werth, and the biggest question really for the team, is whether he can be effective as a regular centerfielder in 2012.If Werth can play solid defense in center–and I think he did that in limited action last season–he becomes much more valuable, and frees the team to call up Harper as soon as he's ready.If Werth can't handle center, that position will remain a link weak all year, and the team will either have to sit Morse, LaRoche or Harper. (I have zero faith in Bernadina, Cameron, Corey Brown or anyone else currently on the roster as even a platoon centerfielder.)

  80. Mick - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Even without getting a player of Fielder's caliber or a certain lead off guy, we are looking at 85-90 wins. It is next season that 1 maybe 2 final pieces will be filled and that could mean the next decade of some really good baseball in D.C.

  81. waddu eye no - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    natsfan1a – i hate spunk

  82. Mark'd - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Ray, that's a good point on Lannan ego but not sure if it hurts his performance on the field.

  83. Mick - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    waddu eye no said…natsfan1a – i hate spunkhee hee, I could add my two sense to the above comment, ah, miss the days at the old DC playhouse, lol

  84. Mick - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    I meant cents

  85. HHover - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Lannan's valuable at the back of rotation, but let's not kid ourselves–his 3.70 ERA last season was the best of his career (career ERA = 4.00), and it's more likely to go up than down this season.

  86. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Anonymous said… Steve M. Going from first to third has not been a problem so much as going from home to first has been. The Nats need hitters to step up in a big way to have a chance in 2012. They need to be able to score a lot more runs than they did last year. A Werth rebound, a full season of Zim, we hope, and a healthy LaRoche should help al ot, but that is not enough. Top of the order needs to produce. January 31, 2012 12:40 PM You make a good point. Getting from home to 1st, then 1st to 3rd and ultimately scoring at home is a much needed change.Brian Kenney on Clubhouse Confidential said last night that 10 extra runs scored or not allowed = 1 extra win. I always thought it was 8.5 runs but I will go with Brian's much more conservative approach.The Nats scored 3.876 runs per game last year. If they can touch home safely 10% more times this year and improve by .39 runs per game that should equate to 6 to 7 additional wins.Now the Nats were 2 wins above pythagorean last year so that puts the team at probably 84 to 87 wins this year just by scoring those extra runs.If the Nats can lower their collective ERAs by .20 that saves 32 runs per season and that is what can get the Nats to the playoffs.

  87. HHover - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    As for Lannan's ego–please. Whatever his shortcomings as a pitcher, I just don't see the reason to invent flaws in his personality. He seems like a perfectly down to earth guy.He and the Nats are only $700K apart on the team's offer of $5M. That's not a huge spread compared to what's out there, and it's not massive over- or under-valuation either way. If they do go to arb, it's because both sides feel they have a chance to win, and neither will feel that bad if they lose.

  88. Mark'd - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Mick at 12:45 says 85-90 wins and doesn't say where those wins will come from. Of course it seems doable based on potential.

  89. Feel Wood - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Steve — I agree with your assessment of Lannan, but in my opinion Lannan sees himself as something more, which is why he's the only Nat going to arb.Not sure where people are getting this Lannan inflated ego thing. He and the team are not really that far apart in their arbitration figures, and $5.7M is not a ridiculously high amount for a LHP with four years as a viable MLB starter behind him already. He's coming off a good season, so if there is ever a time for him to "go for it" in arbitration, this is it. If his case goes to arbitration, he may well win. Also, keep in mind that it is the agent not the player who drives the arbitration request. Lannan changed agents a year or two ago and he's now represented by the same agent as Ryan Zimmerman. I predict that the two sides will reach a deal before this goes to a hearing – although it could go right up to the last minute like Zimmerman's last arbitration case did.

  90. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Taking a statistical correlation like 10 runs eqals a win and adding it on to the stats for a prior Nats team playing against other prior versions of the other teams under a prior schedule has about as much to do with the predicted performance of the 2012 Nats as it does the predicted performance of Lady Gaga at Verizon Center.But, it is hard to argue that they should not score more and give up less.

  91. jd - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Lannan should get a boost from not having to face other team's aces on a regular basis. I know that pitching orders change but he should line up against 4th or 5th starters for a good portion of the 1st half anyway. As others have said here Lannan is very solid for a bottom of the rotation pitcher and he is still relatively cheap for that role. The question will be what if he still performs as a 4th or 5th starter but his salary level is $10 mil a year? I think the ideal pitcher to slot in Lannan's place would have been Solis who seems to have a relatively similar skill set. If he is healthy we will see what he can bring.

  92. Mark'd - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    I just saw that at 1:10 SteveM gave his analysis to get those extra wins Mick alluded to.Easier said than done.

  93. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    jd, Lannan will be $8 to $9 million next year if he performs admirably. If he really does well, he could see $10 million and Rizzo will have no problem stroking off that check.Mark'd, yes, easier said than done. I expect the pitching to pick up some more wins on improved ERA and do expect better offensive output. We will see early on how good this Nats team will be and I expect the performance of Adam LaRoche to be the real difference maker +/-

  94. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Feel Wood said… Not sure where people are getting this Lannan inflated ego thing. He and the team are not really that far apart in their arbitration figures, and $5.7M is not a ridiculously high amount for a LHP with four years as a viable MLB starter behind him already. He's coming off a good season, so if there is ever a time for him to "go for it" in arbitration, this is it. If his case goes to arbitration, he may well win. Also, keep in mind that it is the agent not the player who drives the arbitration request. Lannan changed agents a year or two ago and he's now represented by the same agent as Ryan Zimmerman. I predict that the two sides will reach a deal before this goes to a hearing – although it could go right up to the last minute like Zimmerman's last arbitration case did. January 31, 2012 1:14 PM The collective time and effort to arbitrate a 14% difference equating to $700,000 is ridiculous in the business of baseball. If they don't split the difference and get this off the books it would be surprising but the bigger issue behind the scenes could be a 2 year buyout for this year and next year.

  95. natsfan1a - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    And we have a winner. :-)In other news, thanks to the promotions informant. Will double-check the schedule before calling about the flex plans.waddu eye no said… natsfan1a – i hate spunk January 31, 2012 12:46 PM

  96. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    The Nats never negotiate with the arb player if the official numbers are exchanged. A few clubs operate that way.dfh21

  97. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Anonymous said… The Nats never negotiate with the arb player if the official numbers are exchanged. A few clubs operate that way.dfh21 January 31, 2012 1:52 PM The Nats have negotiated with players before arb hearings and the change seems to be Rizzo's policy. "Never" is different to me than a policy which can change when circumstances dictate. I guess we will see. No sweat off my back either way as it isn't my cash.

  98. Feel Wood - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    The Nats never negotiate with the arb player if the official numbers are exchanged. A few clubs operate that way.dfh21I don't ever recall seeing the Nats announce such a policy. Even in the years that they took several players to arbitration hearings, I don't recall them saying they were doing it based on policy. It just happened to work out that way – sometimes for good reason, like when they took Felipe Lopez to arbitration over a difference of 300K, and ended up winning the case, mainly to send him a message.Indeed, I think the first time I ever heard mention that the Nats have this policy was when Kilgore wrote it a few weeks ago. And how would he know, anyway? He was still up in Boston making googly eyes at Heidi Watney the last time the Nats had an arb hearing.

  99. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Feel Wood, I just fell off of my chair laughing. That Heidi Watney video is as funny as anything I have seen.I always love a good arbitration hearing and this year there are a bunch headed that way. I still think Lannan and Rizzo get it done beforehand.

  100. Theophilus - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Steve M –Am happy to hear from someone w/ knowledge how Brown is progressing. Disagree re: Lannan, however. It is not a case of not "see[ing] him for what he is." What he is is a excruciatingly mediocre pitcher who gets himself into trouble because he can't throw strikes in the right places and doesn't have enough oomph on his FB or bite on his slider to get out of it. Before the Gonzalez trade — not complaining, mind you — the Nats had better options. Now, because of lack of depth, they don't. We're stuck w/ him for at least this year. When I complain about him, it's the frustration of knowing no other team would offer anything of significant short-term value in exchange.

  101. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Adam Kilgore has a better chance of scoring with Heidi Watney than John Lannan has of not being in the rotation on Opening Day. Might as well get used to it.

  102. natsfan1a - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    I kinda felt sorry for Kilgore when I saw that. Not the first guy to whom it's happened and no doubt won't be the last. :-)Follow up re. my flex plan intentions: I just ordered up some tixs for this year. Had hardly any wait on the phone and the young lady with whom I dealt was very helpful and friendly.

  103. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Theophilus, I have no skin in the game with Lannan. Sentimentily its a nice story. An original Nat made something of himself when given the opportunity. By definition mediocre isn't necessarily a bad thing either because unless you are a top 60 starting pitcher you are either mediocre or just plain bad. I agree Lannan is mediocre but I also think he can improve and become slightly better than mediocre. That's me trying to stay positive.

  104. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    On the Nats plicy of not negotiating after the arb goes formal, of course they can and may change that approach, but to date they have not waivered as far as I know. They have not reached a settlement after a hearing was announced; they've taken the arb ruling. The Rays among other clubs take a similar approach, I believe.dfh21

  105. sjm308 - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Great information today people!I was one of the C. Brown backers and my main reason had nothing to do with his talents but just the hope that Bernadina/Cameron would not be the answer this season. I realize he has not performed at AAA but did have two great years in AA ball. He has to be a decent defender and I just don't see how a 38 year old can match his skills but of course I am usually wrong.Lots of Desmond bashing and I was in his camp last year with Unkd. This is truly his make or break year and it will be interesting to see how long a leash Davy gives him.On Lannan, I do have one more point to add. He recently got married and that could be another big plus for him. I have never seen the ego thing either and thought of him as a guy who would take the ball and do the best he could. I remember when he was sent down and he didn't pout but went about working hard to fix what was broken. He won't win 20 but he will pitch close to 200 innings and at the end of the rotation he is a plus for this team.

  106. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    What I look for in a starting pitcher is consistency in they keep the team in the game with a chance to win consistently. Lannan's ERA was 3.70 and the team's starters ERA was 3.80 so Lannan was better than the team average starter. The overall team ERA was 3.58 due to the bullpen.Since ERA is figured on 9 innings, Lannan wasn't actually giving up 3.70 runs when he left the game in the 6th inning so it was more like 2.5 runs on average.Given those numbers, on average if the Nats scored over 3.70 runs in each of Lannan's starts, conceivably he could have won every start. Well we all know that those are averages and some games he got 1 run of support and some games 2 runs and some games 5 runs.Pitchers with low run support are sometimes unfairly judged even if they are mediocre!

  107. natsfan1a - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Well, we wives like to do what we can to alleviate any ego issues. Just kidding. :-DOn Lannan, I do have one more point to add. He recently got married and that could be another big plus for him. I have never seen the ego thing either and thought of him as a guy who would take the ball and do the best he could.

  108. natsfan1a - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Seriously, he never struck me as egotistical either.

  109. Feel Wood - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    On the Nats plicy of not negotiating after the arb goes formal, of course they can and may change that approach, but to date they have not waivered as far as I know.Ryan Zimmerman 2009. Both sides flew from Florida to Arizona for the hearing, reached agreement the night before the hearing was scheduled, and flew back to Florida to resume spring training. Coincidentally, Zimmerman's agent during that exercise is Lannan's agent now.

  110. fibi - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Alexva, Corey Brown may be 26 years old, but he wears uniform number 21. So, I'm vindicated!Seriously, that was an embarassing misread of his stats page on my part…

  111. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Lannan's ego better not get any bigger after getting married. He married a midget!

  112. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    The caption to that Kilgore-Watney video really ought to be "Keep it in your pants, kid. And while you're at it, get some better pants. You're dressed like a homeless person."

  113. Anonymous - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Feel Wood — thanks. I did not realize that the club and Zim cut a deal so close to the hearing, maybe the extension drove the deal. I don;t think anyoen is looking to extend Lannan, well not from the ownership side, at least. :-)dfh21

  114. sjm308 - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    By the way – big thanks to N.Cog for the list of goodies. My 20 game package scores pretty well and while I will probably be ready for bed, its nice to see some concerts being added. Can't wait for April 3rd and then the 12th!!

  115. Section 222 - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Re: the Nats' arb policy. If the Nats "never negotiate with the arb players once numbers are exchanged," how did they sign Morse to a two year deal? I recall reading that a few teams follow such a "file and trial" policy, but it's pretty clear the Nats don't have a hard and fast rule on that. Maybe the passage of time means that the Nats and Lannan won't reach a deal, even though their numbers are awfully close (just a little larger than the difference in positions with Aaron Crow, right?), but it won't be because of "file and trial."

  116. Feel Wood - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Re: the Nats' arb policy. If the Nats "never negotiate with the arb players once numbers are exchanged," how did they sign Morse to a two year deal?I believe it was reported that they actually had the two year deal done before the arb exchange deadline, but it was pending physical. So they still had to go through the exercise of exchanging arb numbers, even though in reality it was moot at that point.

  117. Kenz aFan - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    From reading the article, with a lot of great questions by the way, I take it there are no questions surrounding Cole Kimball or Chris Marrero, seeing as they weren't mentioned at all.I know that both players may not even be around to take part in spring training, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be included.

  118. Kenz aFan - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    BTW, yes, I know Mark said that both Kimball and Marrero wouldn't be included on the list, but that still doesn't make them question free. There as many questions regarding them as any other player who'll be taking part in camp.Besides, to some degree for both players, even if a small one, spring training could give the Nats and fans an glimpse as to how long they will be out.

  119. Steve M. - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Feel Wood said… Re: the Nats' arb policy. If the Nats "never negotiate with the arb players once numbers are exchanged," how did they sign Morse to a two year deal?I believe it was reported that they actually had the two year deal done before the arb exchange deadline, but it was pending physical. So they still had to go through the exercise of exchanging arb numbers, even though in reality it was moot at that point. January 31, 2012 3:53 PM Feel Wood scored again! That is exactly right as you explained it!

  120. Section 222 - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    @FeelWood — that doesn't explain the Zimmerman deal, which as you yourself pointed out, was on the eve of the hearing itself. The point is that the Nats don't follow the "file and trial" rule.

  121. Feel Wood - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    @FeelWood — that doesn't explain the Zimmerman deal, which as you yourself pointed out, was on the eve of the hearing itself. The point is that the Nats don't follow the "file and trial" rule. I never said they did. Indeed, if you read back I have been saying all along that they don't. Re the Morse thing, I was merely answering your question.

  122. Section 222 - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    In case you're still reading this thread, my question was rhetorical. Hard as it is to believe, you and I agree on this one — they don't follow that rule.

  123. Anonymous - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    he might be one of the worst baseball author ever.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 64 -- 0
ATLANTA 76 76 11.5
MIAMI 74 77 13.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.0
Through Wednesday's early games
x-Clinched division title

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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
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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