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Spring storylines: An excess of starters

Feb 16, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Chien-Ming Wang appears to enter camp with a leg up for the final rotation spot.

With pitchers and catchers due to report Sunday, we've reached the home stretch of the offseason. All week, we'll count down the five biggest storylines facing the Nationals at spring training. Today, it's storyline No. 2: How to turn a seven-man rotation into a five-man rotation…

The Nationals have held spring training battles to determine their No. 5 starter before. It's just that those competitions pitted the likes of Scott Olsen vs. Garrett Mock, or Jerome Williams vs. Jason Simontacchi.

This spring's battle, on the other hand, is unlike anything this franchise has ever seen before.

In one corner stands Chien-Ming Wang, a two-time 19-game winner for the Yankees and the AL Cy Young Award runner-up in 2006. In another corner stands John Lannan, the stalwart of the Nationals' rotation the last four seasons and last year's staff leader in wins, starts and inningsRead more ยป

184 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Sunderland - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    I don't know what will happen, but I do know that I'll be one of many who would be really happy to see Lannan thrive through all this.

  2. NatsBrat - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    To a degree Rizzo has boxed himself in. Mark is correct about Lannan having a better track record than the other 2 guys. So WTF he automatically he becomes a guy eligible to send to 'Cuse.I think that CMW is the least desirable SP candidate of the three–but Rizzo can't do anything with him, except release him, before he has to pay him anything.

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    The mere fact that there is real competition for the 5th spot that includes the former "ace" of the staff speaks volumes about how the pitching has been upgraded.

  4. Constant Reader - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Pitchers making starts in 2007 in order of starts made:Matt ChicoJason BergmannMike BacsikShawn HillTim ReddingJason SimontacchiJoel HanrahanMicah BowieJohn PattersonJohn LannanLavale SpeignerJerome WilliamsBilly TraberI enjoy this piece a lot more in the context of that list.

  5. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    I would like to see Rizzo keep all seven starters as Wang only pitched 67 innings last year and Strasburg is an inning limit due to TJ surgery.RDExposFan

  6. NatsBrat - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    The new captcha format of two words, one plain and simple, and the other totally visually obscure is goofy. This shouldn't have to be a sight exam to see how good one is at discerning the complexities of modern art!

  7. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Some info:NatsInquirer is reporting that Chad Cordero will be throwing out the first ptich on 7/20 and also has a link to the baseball clinic that Chad is participating. Mark has the link on the left hand side.

  8. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Info Part 2:For those of you needing a baseball fix. MLB Network is showing 2 College games this Saturday. It's the College Urban Invitational. First game is at 4pmMLB Network will also be doing the Nats 30 Clubs in 30 days episode on 3/27 at 10pm.

  9. Unkyd - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Agreed, cconcerning the new captcha. Ridiculous. Excessive. Mark, is there any way out of this? I'm highly adaptable, and will acclimate seamlessly, after a few days, but you'll admit, this is annoying….Best 25 go north!!! (gulp…BANG!!!)

  10. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Wow.. can you believe this is our biggest pitching battle this year? As Constant Reader pointed out.. past years we have had guys fighting for all spots in the rotation. This is a good thing!Also agree on the captcha..The modern art one is hard on the eyes…And I would hate to think my eyesight has gotten to the point that I need to listen the audio hints.

  11. sjm308 - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I agree that we keep all three for as long as possible. Its just silly to think that we will only use 5 pitchers. Not sure how to handle LannEn when its time to come North. Most teams don't even use 5 starters in the first few weeks with weather and games off early. Its June/July/August when you need that pitching depth. If LannEn can handle getting sent down, it only helps our chances at that playoff run late in the season. I would not trade him unless its the #1 CF you wanted all along. I also am guessing that Gorzolany will get a few starts this spring or is he starting the year as a relief pitcher? I keep thinking back to that old motto "you can''t have too much pitching" and therefor disagree with NatsBrat about Rizzo boxing himself in. It's surely a better spot then 2007 and Constant Reader provided a bunch of not so pleasant memories with that list(although I did get to meet Tim Redding and he was a really nice guy).

  12. Theophilus - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Forcing Lannan's new wife to move her honeymoon from FL to Syracuse would probably lead her to go on strike, permanently poisoning the relationship w/ the FO, and causing him to demand to be released or traded to San Diego. That would be one way to solve the problem.

  13. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Re: the new-look word verification thing … that's something Google must have just installed on all of its blogs across the world. I certainly didn't do it, and neither did CSN. It's purpose is to severely prevent spam comments from getting published to the site. This may not sound like a huge problem to you all, but if you saw my comments spam folder you'd see just how many attempt to infiltrate the site on a daily basis.That said, I'm attempting to turn off the word verification system altogether to make life easier on all of you. We'll see what happens. But if there's a sudden influx of spam, I'm going to have no choice but to activate the system again.

  14. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Thanks for the info Mark. Totally understand on the spam thing. If I have to use the Audio hints, then I will. Would rather do that than have to put up with Spam!

  15. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Can anyone define for me just what "captcha" is

  16. whatsanattau - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Or we could go the other way…I'm curious if some of the anon's will be smart enough to get by the double captcha. I mean a monkey could do it, but …

  17. Nats1924 - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    JZimmGGonStrasEdwin JacksonWang(Detwiler)…..unfortunately, Lannan is the odd man out. I've always liked Lannan, but these tough decisions have to be made sometimes

  18. Theophilus - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Having reluctantly embraced the idea of an outfield of Werth, Harper and Morse and no true CF for half of the season, management should be able to handle the idea of a bullpen with several recycled starters (Lannan, Detwiler, Gorzelany) for a few months. Some people on this list — not I — think Detwiler should be a reliever anyway.I've said before the odd man out is likely to be Burnett — otherwise the 'pen is overpopulated with LHPs. Until he is needed to start, Detwiler becomes the LOOGY. Imagine trading Burnett and Bernadina for a RH platoon CF. Do-able?

  19. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    The words you have to type to prove you are not a robot= captcha — slang for "capture", I believe.

  20. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Wow – that was my first time without having to do that – pretty sweet.

  21. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Zuck — you make me crazy with your depictions of Rizzo sitting in his office waiting for offers that he cannot refuse to materialize and otherwise feeling content with the status quo. As if his phone does not dial out. Do you think that Mike should always wait, put his ear to the gorund and just listen for offers, be a passive participant in the process? Seems that way. Do you ever consider that he should maybe get ahead of the market, set it himself once in a while?Rizzo should be encouraging clubs like the Pirates, Astros, Royals, Mariners, Red Sox, among others to kick the tires on John Lannan right now. Mike should be not be just hoping one of those clubs does not grab some other option in the market or see this or that guy in camp (thay all cdome in looking good, best shape of their lives, having put on x lbs. of muscle, fixed the hitch in the delivery, etc.) as capable enough for a role and not make a move.Wang's close to untradable due to the injury issues, but either Lannan or Detwiler pretty much has to be traded and soon. Rizzo should be aggressive in getting it done.dfh21

  22. Theophilus - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    W/ all due respect regarding SPAM and the First Amendment, yesterday's Bold Anon pushed me close to the breaking point. I briefly thought the ghost of Ted Bundy had obtained access to an iPad. I'm less concerned about deciphering Cyrillic characters than maintaining a modicum of civility. Maybe some gnome at CSN can be assigned to flipping the trap door on some of the people who are off their lithium.

  23. Tcostant - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    I think their is little chance that Lannan gets sent to the minors. If Wang or the other top 4 starters get out of the Spring healthy; Lannan either goes in the best deal or possible get cut for termination about (about $1.5M) if no team is willing to take his $5M salary.

  24. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Someone will start the season on the DL (either from the bullpen or the starters). That's all I am saying!

  25. Gonat - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    MicheleS said… Some info:NatsInquirer is reporting that Chad Cordero will be throwing out the first ptich on 7/20 and also has a link to the baseball clinic that Chad is participating. Mark has the link on the left hand side. February 16, 2012 7:47 AM _____________________________Thanks for sharing. I will circle that date as a must-have to be there.Can we assume that maybe Nats marketing is getting smarter? Word is they are actually hiring for a Director of Special Events so a Winter FanFest sounds like a possibility.Now if the Nats can find a way to hand out flat brimmed caps, that would be very cool!HAIL TO THE CHIEF!

  26. Gonat - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Nats1924 said… JZimmGGonStrasEdwin JacksonWang(Detwiler)…..unfortunately, Lannan is the odd man out. I've always liked Lannan, but these tough decisions have to be made sometimes February 16, 2012 8:16 AM _________________________________That seems the obvious rotation, but if you are going with your 5 best, then Lannan is #5 in my opinion.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    dfh21….. what's your definition of soon? Because I don't see a need to do anything for at least 5 weeks.

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    and if anyone thinks Rizzo sits on his hands, they don't know Mike Rizzo. He carries at least 3 phones and almost always has one stuck to the side of his head.

  29. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Periculum aka bold anon is the one off his lithium.

  30. Positively Half St. - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Tcostant-I would really be surprised if they cut Lannan, when the likelihood of needing him at some point is so great. Patience is the hard part for us here, but c'mon, now- we've somehow made it through the offseason by finding things to talk about. We can keep Lannan on the team before a trade or demotion for several weeks and not get too frustrated.Mark- Please spare us spam. I am willing to squint at words to avoid it. As for civility, I would also prefer to put up with some incivility to keep our comments posting in real time.+1/2St.

  31. N. Cognito - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    MicheleS said… "NatsInquirer is reporting that Chad Cordero will be throwing out the first ptich on 7/20…"And…it's BEER STEIN NIGHT!!

  32. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    NatsJack — the pressure is on the Nats to move a guy, not on the league to take one from us. I am not saying that it needs to get done now (though now would be perfect as camps are gonna open in a few days), but it pretty much has to happen before the clubs head north. The Nats have a small window — about a month — to make a move and I am just saying that they can't sit on their hands hoping and waiting for some perfect deal to come along. They should make the best deal they can make sooner than later and not worry about the shoulda, woulda, couldas down the road of if they had only waited it out a little longer. Things can go against them over the waiting period, it can't be assumed that waiting is the right play.dfh21

  33. bdrube - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    From Lannan's Baseball reference page, it appears that the Nats would only have to stash him in Syracuse for about a month or so to delay his Free Agency eligibility by one more year (he has almost two full years to go as it stands). If they see him as a possible No. 5 starter in 2013 AND 2014, that might be a consideration.Sucks for Lannan, but those are the rules and if a team is going to truly contend for a championship they have to make the hard decisions sometimes.

  34. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Thanks for the heads up on the 30/30 and other programming, MicheleS. Re. your other update, good for Chief, and I like gonat's flat-brimmed cap idea.Agree with Constant Reader and MicheleS re. the present pitching rotation excess being a sign of progress.Last but not least, if it spares us scads of spam, I don't mind squinting at words (disclaimer: I was offline for the double captcha rollout and didn't see any of them).

  35. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Oh, it's beer stein night? All the better for attendees to salute the Chief. Here's looking at you, kid – or something like that. :-)

  36. Positively Half St. - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    bdrube-Wow, that actually brings up another possibility. The Nats can take advantage of Lannan's last option specifically to delay his free agency. As soon as the need arises, they bring him up to the majors so he can reestablish his trade value, which has just been increased by adding one more year of team control.+1/2St.

  37. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    As GMs go, Mike Rizzo is not an active guy. Compare him to other guys trying to build bad clubs back up. He must be ordering a lot of pizza with those phones or something. He's not making many deals.

  38. Doug - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    MicheleS said…Someone will start the season on the DL (either from the bullpen or the starters). That's all I am saying!February 16, 2012 8:35 AMWait, is that a threat? If you're a Nats pitcher without options, watch out for MicheleS.

  39. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    LOL, I don't think she meant it that way. :-)

  40. Section 215 Row A - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Boy am I confused! NatsBrat made a reference to cutting CMW before Rizzo has to pay him. Tcostant made a reference to terminating Lannan for $1.5M. Aren't these contracts guaranteed? Pitch or not pitch, break a leg, lose an arm in a sawmill accident, go north with the team or not…these guys get paid regardless don't they?

  41. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    test

  42. Bowdenball - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Gotta admit, I really like Rizzo's wait and see attitude here. Multiple MLB SPs will get hurt during Spring Training. If it's one of ours we'll be thankful, and when someone else loses one we'll be the first team they call. Either way, the extra pitchers will be a lot more valuable in a month than they are now.

  43. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    dfh21,My impression (seemingly confirmed by NatsJack) is that all GMs spend much of their days (and nights) on the phone. They may not always be making offers, but they're constantly letting other teams know who's available from their own roster and tracking who's available on other teams. So I wouldn't take the image of Mr. Rizzo waiting by the phone for someone to make an offer too literally.That's said, in negotiating theory there's a whole lot to be said for waiting for the other party to make the first formal offer. Let him/her know that you're interested in doing a deal, sure, but get him/her to put forth the first detailed proposal. It doesn't really matter whether you're buying a carpet in Turkey, negotiating arms reductions with the Russians, or trading baseball players. By getting the other party to state their position first, you can put yourself in a much better position to begin the real bargaining.In this case, every GM out there knows what the Nats need and that the Nats have a surplus of SPs. I anticipate a deal getting done my the middle of March, which strikes me as about right — one or more teams will be looking for a 4th/5th starter and the Nats will have a much better feel for Mr. Harper's situation which will color exactly what the Nats want in exchange.

  44. Drew - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Bobby AbreuSizing up Wells, Hunter, Trout and Bourjos.What the Halo?Maybe DH-ing.Beat out Morales, Phat Albert, Trumbo.Survey says: No.All the old outfielderswhere do they all come from?All the old outfielderswhere do they all belong?

  45. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Doug..I almost spit out my coffee on that one! Considering I am only 5'7", i don't think any of the guys (since most of them are well over 6 feet) have to worry about me doing anything to them! Except Det… unless he has put on weight and doesn't look like he is 165lbs when he is dripping wet, i could probably take him.

  46. Unkyd - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Tcosant: scratching my head, over why you would consider releasing a legitimate 4-5 starter, with an option. Just to save a few million, when the odds are overwhelming that if you keep him, he'll make several starts…perhaps in the heat of a pennant race? Perhaps you can convince me…And dfh22: I've always understood that opening a negotiation (i.e. Making the first call/offer) is the weaker position, as opposed to responding to it. The first guy is basically admitting a need, or a weakness… Every other GM can see we're flush with SP…. Why would you have him broadcast that he's uncomfortable with that, rather than that he considers it a strength?

  47. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    test

  48. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Hmmm..The Anon's are doing a "test". How long before the captcha is turned back on…

  49. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Has anyone had an update on Pudge? I have been watching MLB Trade rumors and haven't seen any signs of him… sigh… Can we make him a coach?

  50. N. Cognito - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    dfh21 said…"the pressure is on the Nats to move a guy, not on the league to take one from us. I am not saying that it needs to get done now (though now would be perfect as camps are gonna open in a few days), but it pretty much has to happen before the clubs head north. The Nats have a small window — about a month — to make a move and I am just saying that they can't sit on their hands hoping and waiting for some perfect deal to come along. They should make the best deal they can make sooner than later and not worry about the shoulda, woulda, couldas down the road of if they had only waited it out a little longer. Things can go against them over the waiting period, it can't be assumed that waiting is the right play."I'm going to stop by the closest church on the way home from work today to go inside and pray; thanking God you are not the GM.

  51. DFL - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Rizzo would really be throwing a curve if he signed Oswalt on top of what the Nats have now. Potential starters- 9. Strasburg. Zimmerman. Gonzalez. Oswalt. Jackson. Wang. Lannan. Detwiler. Gorzelanny. Remember that Strasburg will be shut down before Labor Day. Wang and Zimmerman have had very serious arm issues. Jackson is an innings-eater 4.50 ERA sort of pitcher. Oswalt is 34 and had back problems last year. Detwiler hasn't proved he can pitch consistently at the major league level over the space of a full season. Lannan is an average starter and Gorzelanny is a journeyman. Rizzo should be building a staff ready for October. If some of the above pitch in Syracuse for a while or are traded for a centerfielder, so be it.I wish Rizzo would sign Oswalt but don't expect it.

  52. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    There is no pressure on the Nats to do anything with the pitching staff now or 6 weeks from now as long as anyone has an option (sorry John).

  53. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Haven't seen anything on Pudge, MicheleS, but I think he'd be a great coach.

  54. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Sorry if someone mentioned this before, but I havent heard the Nats talk about a 6 man rotation. How about Strasburg, Gio, Zimmermann, Jackson, Lannan, Wang. We keep Detwiller as long reliever & spot starter. We dont have to trade anyone, include Lannan as a 2nd lefty and also help with the innings restrictions for Strasburg,Zimmer and Wang. My guess might be those people saying that guys will be off their routine, but might be something to consider. No reason to trade Lannan for some scrub. Cant believe Boston wouldnt be interested in Wang, since he has done well in the AL East and the money fits their budget. We should take anyone for him…

  55. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Here is my question. Why are the Pirates so interested in AJ.when Lannan/Detwiler/Wang would all be upgrades for less money. granted the players coming back would be better..which is why I guess the Pirates are interested in AJ..they don;t have to give up anything important to get him. McCutchen is a non-starter..but do the Pirates have anything the Nats would move Lan/Det/Wang for? Luis Heredia, Stetson Allie?

  56. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Guys. These analogies to simple negotiation strategies are accurate, but misplaced. And why did nobody say the old standard — "if you don't ask, you don't get"? Rizzo should be asking for something shiny, not hoping they offer it someday when THE OTHER GUY fails Negotiating 101 and finally makes an offer. There is a clock on the wall in this market, it pretty much closes in a month or so. If you want/need to make a deal in a short time, then you have to try to make a deal. Hoping that the other guy blinks when you have no idea what he would have been willing to do before he finally came to you (you not having made a prior demand) is not necessarily a good play.And this is not Eastern Market. Both parties are buying and both parties are selling and the pieces moved are not interchangable (the actual players are different, they are not identical gold coins, and the clubs invloved have wildly different needs, philosophies and talent evaluations, they are not all looking for some simple notion of the best bargain and it can take years to see who was a supposed winner in a move). So the car buying strategies are not all that on point.I am not suggesting that Rizzo is literally doing nothing but waiting to hear from other clubs (though some people are kind of claiming that should be the tactic he employs). I am calling out Zuck for bolstering a notion that the Nats should be passive, wait for other clubs to come to them with a suggested deal and only grab it if it is some very hard to say no to proposition. (How can the other clubs always be presumed to be nearing desperation? And that sells that Nats scouts short, they may adore some kid that the others guy think is a bust.) As if Rizzo asking for something would be a bad idea in any event. Rizzo is not a desperado and I am not suggesting he act like one, but I am saying that he should try to go get something he wants, not hope that he'll get a nice offer in the mail when it arrives. He may miss the market in the mean time.dfh21

  57. David - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I'm still holding out hope that Corey Brown steals CF. I think his poor health last year kept him from having a breakout season. About the pitchers… I think one of the 6, not including Detwiler, will come down with a mystery injury to cover the first 2 months of the season. Allowing us to start with Detwiler in the pen and the non-inured group of 5. Then come June we trade Lannan and LaRoche after they hit and pitch well. Get the mystery injured pitcher back into the rotation and away we go.

  58. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    N Cog — I expect better than some foggy ad hominem from you.Anon 10:05 — the Bucs don't want to give up talent and can take on some payroll. Hence Aj looking sexier than Lannan, potentially.dfh21

  59. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    DFH21..I think Rizzo is making the calls because over the last week the national BB writers have all reported that Lannan is on the block. (they could have said Det was being shopped, but his name never came up)As for missing the Market. I don't think there is a Market until AJ Burnett is traded and Oswalt signs somewhere. Once those chips are off the table, then you might be able to have a market. Plus some teams are Hoping and Praying some scrub comes into camp and knocks there socks off.

  60. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Yeah, it's tough b/c assuming that you would have gotten a better deal had you not made the first demand for a certain return is not an accurate assumption. Make a deal Mike!

  61. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    As far as Lannen going down to SYR, he may not like it, but he may have to suck it up. I am not saying it's right or what they will do, but he has an option and the team will do what is best for the team. And I would rather have Lannan come up than Maya.

  62. Steve M. - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… There is no pressure on the Nats to do anything with the pitching staff now or 6 weeks from now as long as anyone has an option (sorry John). February 16, 2012 9:52 AM Nicely said NatsJack. The other option is the mysterious arm ailment that lands Wang on the DL.In this best 25 go North mantra, it just isn't realistic. Its usually the best 22 or 23 go North as you can't expose good players like Wang and Detwiler to pass thru waivers.To Anon @9:57, Rizzo said there won't be a 6 man rotation like he had at the end of September.

  63. N. Cognito - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    dfh21I honestly believe if you were the GM, the Nats would be FUBAR. You are too impatient and short-sighted.

  64. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    So, if Lannan blows a gaskget in the spring it's no problem?

  65. Tom in AR - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    I just found out that my mother-in-law makes $250 an hour working from home and you can too! http://www.spamrip-offjob.comWow, this no filter thing is going to make me rich…somehow. How does this work?

  66. greg - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    so, a couple of things. a) a reminder, since people seem to forget. can't trade wang until june (rules for resigning him as a FA after FA opened this year). mark covered this. b) no six man rotation, please. first, we're developing a couple of young pitchers, they need to pitch every five days and learn now to pitch at the major league level. second, you'll throw every pitcher in the rotation off since they've all learned to pitch every five days ever since they became pros. starters are creatures of habit, making a major shift like this will throw them off (whether you think it should or not, it will. they'll all tell you that and i've heard pitchers say this on mlb network.)c) anyone who believe rizzo is "waiting by the phone" and not actively engaging in talks is foolish. i think the concept is more that he's not *pushing* to get a deal done ASAP. he's got time, it's not like opening day is next monday. so he can afford to wait for the right opportunity to develop. i'm pretty sure he's done this dance a few more times than anyone posting on this blog and understands how the trading game is played behind the scenes.

  67. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    N. Cog — Give me a break. A trade is coming or a guy who makes $5M is playing in AAA. I am a realist. Not sure where you stand on anything here as all you've done is plan on heading to chruch to pray that I don't become Nats GM — which is time well spent as I am sooo close but for you imploring God's will to stop me!dfh21

  68. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Rizzo's been doing the get a CF dance for a few years now, he's really starting to pick it up. Only took Mike like 2-3 years to master those tricky steps in the get some SP mombo. Y'all, Mike's not a natural when it comes to making moves. He needs to step it up or it ain't gona happen.

  69. greg - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    remember, the "best 25 go north" mantra has many interpretations. "best 25 for the organization" is one potential interpretation (and likely the accurate one).

  70. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Best 25 go North!!dfh21

  71. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Three. More. Days. (Well, actually, it's more like two, if you think about it. Today hardly counts, because it's already here and all. Yay.)

  72. NatsLady - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Dfh1, etc., you all have the FUNNY today. Keep on!

  73. PAY TO PLAY - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Here's what I like about sending Lannan to Syracuse. He won't pitch as many innings there and can work out pitches he really couldn't do at the MLB level. Lannan may return as a better pitcher with an arm that can go deeper into the season since he hit the wall after Labor Day in 2011 after really having a great season April to August. The Nats will need a replacement at some point for Strasburg. My bigger concern is Wang being effective and going 6+ innings consistently.

  74. Natsack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Hey dfhh21……. There are alot of us that are glad you're not the GM. MicheleS has it right. Until both AJ Burnett and Oswalt are off the board nobody needs to go anywhere and even then, there's no hirry.

  75. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Fat thumbs again. Hurry.

  76. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I agree that Lannan and Detwiler's value will only increase over the next month. If everyone pitches well and stays healthy, other GM's will see a proven 30 start a year, above average lefty with team control likely headed to AAA while their own third or fourth starter are worse or not quite as reliable. In spring training, teams will realize they have a young guy or two who were penciled into their rotation who aren't ready, and they'll need a competent guy to take those innings while their prospects develop, and five million won't seem like that much. The Nats could keep three lefties in the bullpen, since all three prospective guys have the repertoire to face batters from either side. While DJ would rather have righty longman, it's possible to start the year with two lefties who can go three innings, especially when you have guys like Lidge and HRod to matchup against a tough RHB. They're going to be underutilizing their staff, but it's not going to kill the roster, just hurt some feelings. I just wish Rizzo felt this way about hitting depth. If you're setting yourself up to pay 5 million for Lannan to start the year in AAA, why not spend a couple million for a guy who can hit; like Matsui? Do we not think a fourth outfielder is going to get 300-400 at bats, and should we be satisfied with Bernadina AND Ankiel on the roster? What happens if DeRosa is the guy he's been the last two years? He's ok as the righty platoon for LaRoche or to go all-RH in the OF, but we really need a better guy for that Nix role, if nothing else.

  77. Unkyd - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    dfh21: I understand your point, but not your timeline. I can think of two reasons for such a short fuse (neither of which I'll agree with): first, you're deadset against LannEn in 'Cuse. None of us LannEn fans want that, for him, but it's a tool that the team shouldn't be afraid to use… And I don't see John as the type to pout over it. Second, would be it need for CF/LO. But, I'm in no hurry here, either. There are too many what-ifs that could wind up in positive results (LaRoche, Shark, LannEn, Det, Wang…)… Admittedly some of these are low-percentage chances, but IF most of them wind up in a relatively positive manner, then the clock, it seems to me, goes all the way to the deadline, with some fairly valuable chips in play.So, what's the rush, man….?

  78. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    As far as I know, none of us is a GM (except for the armchair variety), and I'm fine with that. :-)

  79. Tom in AR - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    You need to look at the payroll as a whole, not just one guy who is overpaid for pitching in Syracuse. It is a given that we will need pitching depth. It would be great if Gonzalez and Jackson each pitch 200 innings and don't miss a start, but chances are that won't happen, even with their track records. I have less confidence in Zimmermann and Wang pitching every 5 days for the entire season. I have near total certainty that Strasburg will be shut down at some point (and babied along when he is starting). 6 starting pitchers will not get us through the season. We no longer have the luxury of Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock sitting in AAA. If Lannan has some great trade value and we can get a legit CF (I don't think he does), then roll the dice and make do with Gorzellany, Stammen, Maya, whatever, but don't trade him for a ham sandwich because you don't want to pay a guy 5 million to pitch in Syracuse or think he will be unhappy in the minors. This will all be a moot point if someone gets legitimately injured during Spring training, which is always a possibility.

  80. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    And no, it's NOT Teahen.

  81. greg - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    blovy8, matsui can't really play in the field any more. is knees are totally shot. that's the reason the yankees aren't interested in him, they want someone who they can plug into the OF occasionally. so if we signed him, it would be purely as a pinch hitter. ibanez could play some OF (not good OF, but not "worse than bonds in his last season" OF).

  82. sm13 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Only good teams have "too much pitching". I am proud to have us in that company. in Rizz i trust!

  83. Binx Bolling - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Because the Nats had their AAA team at Columbus in 2007, Lannan never did get to visit Syracuse on his way up. I guess he'll get a taste of the Salt City on his way down. Lucky him, Syracuse is home to one of the greatest engineering firms in America, O'Brien and Gere Engineers.

  84. lesatcsc - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Rizzo is laughing his backside off over the quote, "Best 25 go north". All of the Nats MiLB affiliates are north of Viera. He might as well have said, "Pretty much everyone is going north."

  85. John C. - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Just say no to the six man rotation. It's one thing to cut Strasburg's starts; he's innings limited. But a six man rotation cuts the starts for all five guys in the regular rotation. Cutting starts for Zimmermann, Gonzalez and Jackson so you can get more starts from Wang, Lannan and Detwiler is not a recipe for success. A six man rotation makes it much more likely that the games that Strasburg pitches in September won't mean anything.

  86. David - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    I'm telling you guys… one of the non-Detwilers is going to land on the DL for the first month at least. Detwiler is going to the pen. Then either Strasburg, Zmann, Gonzalez or Lannan will open on the DL. It won't be Jackson or Wang because theyre on 1 year deals, and post June theyre both immediately tradeable if healthy. It saves us from trading for the sake of trading, and it saves Lannan from getting the AAA slap in the face. I would not be surprised if this happens….

  87. Steve M. - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    To give Lannan away for next to nothing is ridiculous. Of course Rizzo is fielding calls and Lannan would have been traded if a great deal was proposed.If Lannan didn't have a MiLB option, different story. The Nats have to hope they have enough glue and tape to keep this team in contention and make their move on July 31st to fix the weak spots.If the Rays, Braves and Orioles aren't in contention by the trade deadline, expect that they will all being looking to trade their centerfielders.

  88. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Am I the only guy who thinks Werth would be more valuable in center? The dream lineup is going to have him playing there with Morse and Harper in the corners anyway. Even with his speed and the extra few plays he can make, Bernadina does some awkward stuff out there, and I don't think the strong arm makes Ankiel enough of an upgrade defensively to play him over a reasonable productive righfielder. I feel like Werth could be an Edmonds-type CF for a season without the hotdog dives.

  89. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Off topic post, but was just reading the Shenin piece on Harper. I didnt know he was a "devout Mormon." Did he already complete his 2-year missionary committment? Isnt that a requirement of all devout Mormons?

  90. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    If the … Orioles aren't in contention by the trade deadline, expect that they will be looking to trade their centerfielder. Stop! You're killing me!!!I hear Jones is not too eager to stay, as it is. Hate to do that to LannEn, though; he doesn't deserve being sent there.

  91. WillieHarrisUnderpants - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    For those still wondering:Completely Automated Process (for) Telling Computers (and) Humans Apart

  92. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Anon, no, he didn't, but no, it isn't.

  93. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    In a word, no.

  94. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Thanks, Mr. Underpants. CAPTCHA is a trade name that gets used generically.

  95. Saxman - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    This ranks up there with the hype about not getting a contract extension done with Zim THIS offseason. There is simply no real urgency for the Nats here, only unprecedented security and depth. If nothing happens trade-wise or injury-wise, Wang to rotation, Detwiler to long-relief, and Lannan to Syracuse. It's not rocket science.Therefore I disagree with dfh21*, and I'm glad that Rizzo isn't signaling desperation whatsoever. Why would he even NEED to pick up the phone, when every other GM with seven or more functioning neurons knows that the Nats could part with a surplus starter.*without the ad-hominem

  96. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Kinda like Kleenex.

  97. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    ^ trade name, that would be.

  98. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Matsui played 27 games in left for Oakland last year. You only need the guy to do it once a week really, he's more of a pinch hitter like Stairs was supposed to be, except you may have to pay a couple hundred K more. The first LH bat off the bench right now would project to be Bernadina or Teahen. That doesn't sound all that great. Matsui can still hit lefties too. I would imagine these guys are waiting to see if Seattle, NY, Minnesota, etc. actually want to spend money on a DH.

  99. jcj5y - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    My bet, for what it's worth, is that Lannan starts the season in AAA. It's too bad for him, but the Nats really have to wait until an injury to the rotation of a potential contender makes them desperate enough to give up something significant for Lannan.

  100. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    David, it would be pretty sneaky for the Nats to pull an extended spring training for Strasburg, but that would put the end of his innings limit later in the year too.

  101. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    blovy, I believe they count all the innings, not just MLB ones.And I have to think LannEn would rather be in Syracuse than Baltimore. Just guessing.

  102. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    They don't count the spring training innings.

  103. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    DFH21.. don't take the GM criticizing to heart (which I am sure you don't). There is no way I could be a GM. I would hang onto guys to long (Peacock/Milone – and the jury is still out on that trade), get too sentimental/mushy with Vets like Pudge and Livo. Then again, I would never have had Willy Mo or Elijah on the team and wouldn't have had a love affair with "Toolsy" OF. SO maybe all of us would be better than Bowden.

  104. N. Cognito - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Saxman said… "Therefore I disagree with dfh21**without the ad-hominem"I did find the hyperbole, but I'm still looking for the ad-hominem.

  105. Tcostant - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    My thought process is simply; if a deal isn't there by the end of the spring [again that is the hope]. If Lannan isn't in the rotoation, he losses all (most) trade value once he moves to the pen or the minors. $5M is a lot for a former starter, any team that will do a trade at the point will want the Nats to pick up a bunch of his 2012 salary. You can just cut your losses for less.That is my though process.

  106. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    The idea is to work the starter's arm strength up to doing at least five innings, they could easily fudge that timeline with any of the pitchers, especially if there are a lot of guys in camp and can pretend there's not enough work to go around.

  107. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    NCog, I think it was the general tone of insulting the proponent, in lieu of a counter-argument, DFH was referring to. Pot:kettle, IMO, for him to be touchy like that, but whatever.And "ad hominem" is two words, no hyphen.

  108. N. Cognito - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    My thought process is that none of us know what Rizzo is doing or not doing and to assume he's doing nothing because Mark uses the phrase, "listening to trade offers for Lannan," is pretty panicy.

  109. Joel K - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    David said… I'm still holding out hope that Corey Brown steals CF.It seems like every few days someone makes an optomistic comment about Corey Brown and his chances at playing CF for the Nats, but as nice as it would be to buy in, I just don't see it… He's had 531 ABs in AAA and struck out 170 times and hit .224. Am I missing something here?Don't get me wrong, I'd be thrilled if he surprised everyone and became a player of consequence but those AAA numbers are horrendous.

  110. greg - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    he did play some games out there, but what i've read about him was that he was a statue out there. and i've seen a number of reports that this is exactly why the yankees aren't interested in bringing him back. despite the fact that their stadium is perfect for him (short porch in right).

  111. greg - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    and by "he" above, i mean matsui.

  112. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    I dunno, with regards to Lannan, the Nats are going to pay his salary regardless, may as well use the best pitchers the most and let the status take care of itself. He's still a good fourth starter, and plenty of contending teams overpay for that in July. Keeping him may allow the Nats not to be one of those teams.

  113. Rat Man - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Lannan would be the ace of the Orioles staff. Perhaps a trade of Lannan and Tug Hullet for Adam Jones?

  114. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    My thought process is simply; if a deal isn't there by the end of the spring [again that is the hope]. If Lannan isn't in the rotoation, he losses all (most) trade value once he moves to the pen or the minors. $5M is a lot for a former starter, any team that will do a trade at the point will want the Nats to pick up a bunch of his 2012 salary. You can just cut your losses for less.Well said, TConstant, but I respectfully dissent. Lannan's got enough of a track record, and the Nats' circumstances are obvious enough, that his trade value will be based on the other team's need, not Lannan's uniform. I could be wrong about the salary, but he's still reasonably priced, for a reliable starter, so they might well not need to do that, but even if they do need to eat a few dollars to get a deal, it's no biggie.

  115. N. Cognito - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… "NCog, I think it was the general tone of insulting the proponent, in lieu of a counter-argument, DFH was referring to."Hey, I even toned it down from what I wanted to say, and thought it I'd make it at least a little light-hearted with the praying remark.And yes, it is two words.

  116. natscan reduxit - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    … according to Chase Hughes on CSM (and I realise he is correct), "Many baseball teams have rules against long hair or facial hair, discouraging individuality in the interest of the team."… which only goes to prove that nothing in this world is perfect, not even baseball.Go Bryce! Go Nats!!

  117. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    My thought process is that none of us know what Rizzo is doing or not doing and to assume he's doing nothing because Mark uses the phrase, "listening to trade offers for Lannan," is pretty panicky.As Michele pointed out, technically it's not even panicky, exactly (tho it is that, too), so much as misjudging the optimum window for action, which may be fairly precise–after Oswalt etc, but before the last roster trims require a move.

  118. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I don't think defense would be a big factor because they wouldn't need Matsui in the OF at all with Gardner, Granderson, Swisher, and Jones already. Ibanez may have a slight advantage for roster flexibility, but I'm guessing he may be asking for more money. That's certainly the deal with Damon – well, that and Jones will take enough atbats that he'll have a harder time getting to 3000 hits.

  119. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Hey, I even toned it down from what I wanted to say, and thought it I'd make it at least a little light-hearted with the praying remark.FWIW, I could tell that at the time. I think we've already afforded this more pixels than it was worth, in my thought processes.

  120. sjm308 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    What a nice difference from yesterday Not one bold rant and even though lots of people disagree with dfh21 there are people praying for him instead of calling him names in bold print.I think NatsJack said it best – we have the luxury of stashing LannEn in Syracuse. If we have to do so, then its a win/win for us. Maybe LannEn is not happy but it keeps him under team control, and what a better than average pitcher to use if needed. There are lots of people on this blog that want LannEn gone but you have to admit that as a #6 or #7 pitcher, he is far better than other options. I do wonder why Peric (periculum) signs his name on other blogs but not here? He is actually a lot more civil on Nationals Prospects. Hard to figure.

  121. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Matsui might be asking for more $ from the Yanks, I means. The guy did play there pretty well, which is usually a big factor for them, so it does surprise me that they prefer Ibanez. I really don't think they want that guy in the OF anymore than Matsui.

  122. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    OK, I'm supposed to be working from home. I've only made a few hundred dollars so far today, better get back to it…

  123. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    crap, I really need that edit thing more than worrying about spam!

  124. David - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Joel, Corey Brown struggled through injuries last year. His near full season of AA slashline in 2010 was .320/.415/.502. I mean those are FANTASTIC numbers. He did hit a wall in 2011 in AAA for us, but 2010 wasn't that long ago. There's hardly any pure leadoff hitters anymore. All we need is someone that has decent speed and can get on-base at .330 or higher. I think injuries slowed his progression and adjustment to AAA. Didn't he start to show improvement in the last two months of 2011? I think there's a major league hitter in there somewhere. He's 26. This is probably his last good chance… I'm routing for him.

  125. Mr. Spock - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Most fans tend to be too emotional, too impatient and too short-sighted (don't see beyond the upcoming or present season), thereby hampering their logic. That also makes for bad GM material.I do not have that problem.

  126. greg - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    all i can go on is what i've read (on mlbtr, espn, etc). everywhere i've read about what the yankees are looking for puts matsui 3rd on their list, behind ibanez and damon. and mostly it's because of being able to play in the field. essentially they don't want a full-time DH. they want to rotate arod, tex, and jeter through the DH slot at times to preserve them for the whole season. which means anyone they sign that they want to give more than a couple hundred ABs to will have to be able to play the field some.of course, with the nats in the NL, to get more than 50-75 ABs, you'll have to be able to play the field well enough to get some starts out there.

  127. N. Cognito - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    In other news, Caps season ticket prices to go up by an average of 8% next year. Never underestimate the value of suckitude.

  128. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Jeesh, N Cog essentially said that I am an idiot. He copied and pasted a big piece of my rant and added only that he's thanking God Himself for not letting the fates conspire to have me as the Nats GM. That's personal, no? And this pot never called anyone a kettle, so I did not go looking for a fight, not that I am so offended or anything to be honest. But I'm not so much touchy as N Cog was out of line, especially by following it up with more of the same. If anything it was his approach that was FUBAR not my action or reaction.And it's (mildly) annoying that my sentiment that Rizzo should be agressive in a market where the world knows he has something to move is somehow read as me urging the Nats to give away a player for some shag balls and a Fungo bat. I said, like 7 times and in typical blathering fashion, that Rizzo should be actively shopping for what he wants, trying to make a deal sooner than later, not hoping that the market for his guy(s) will be better when this or that potential thing may or may not happen, because the window is not a big one (and, as an add on, because I think that neither Oswalt nor AJ really affect a Lannan move all that much — Oswalt is not an innings eater, he's a 1 yr guy and the market is not waiting for him, he's waiting it out trying to get on a small set of clubs; and AJ has limited no-trade and is a salary dump with a checkered past, so only a handful of clubs would/could even consider him). I did not say take anything for Lanna. The idea that if Rizzo makes a deal quickly it is likely to be a bad one is just wrong. Waiting is not automatically the best play. Maybe you think that Rizzo should be patient and see what happens in the market — as some have expressed — fine, I get the logic. But I think that they're risking being left either holding guys they do not need or making a deal when there are less buyers in the market, as potential suitors may find other ways to fill their needs. And though one can disagree, as many have, with my opinion, there's no need to go praying to your God that no one listens to me or anything.dfh21

  129. BullpenCatcher - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    This will be something exciting to watch in ST (perhaps the only thing besides people running over themselves to get a Harper BP HR ball or his autograph). I have mentioned before, I think CMW is the guy who gets the nod for the 5th slot; Detweiler is a good bullpen guy to have as a sort of Clip 2.0; and Lannan well he is Lannan, he is sometimes good and sometimes bad. I think there will lots of other Grapefruit league scouts checking in on Lannan to see if he is better than what they have in camp, then they will make an offer. I really do not see Lannan heading north. Perhaps he joins his friend Joel Hanrahan up north in the 'Burg if the AJ Burnett dal never materializes.

  130. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    and there in lies the issue. Why do do think by holding bonafide starting pitchers that they are holding personnel, in your words, "they do not need"?

  131. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Ross Detwiler called to say he only has 2 E's in his name, not 3.Personally I think he spelled it wrong.

  132. Saxman - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    I take the blame for initially inserting the offending hyphen in ad hominem.It is unfortunate too that we are unable to italicize the Latin for greater precision.Three more days!

  133. Dr. Leonard McCoy - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Damn it, Spock, Lannan isn't just a machine pitching a circular white object at some rubberized plate somewhere across the galaxy. He might as well be pitching in somewhere like Orion than a dump like blasted Syracuse. Maybe, Spock, you're afraid to expose your human side when you're dealing with Lannan- a soft pitcher who can't pitch his way out of the sixth inning but gets paid like a smuggler of dilithium crystals.

  134. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Also, he's a doctor, not a pitching coach. But I digress.Saxman, just put an "i" in elbow brackets before the text and a "/i" after it. Voila, italic type.

  135. BullpenCatcher - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    NatsJack – Has anyone reported to camp early in Viera?

  136. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    McCoy, you're a doctor, not a Nats fan!

  137. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Best 24 go north…and a guy with no options left.

  138. Ned Beatty - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Regarding "innings eaters" and Lannan and Oswalt consider this- Lannan has only once averaged over 6 innings per start(2009) while Oswalt has always averaged over 6 innings per start, close to 7 per earlier in his career, and usually close to 6.5 per start.

  139. PAY TO PLAY - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    N. Cognito said… In other news, Caps season ticket prices to go up by an average of 8% next year. Never underestimate the value of suckitude. February 16, 2012 12:04 PM You're joking, right? That is like 3 years of bumping prices up significantly. Leonsis must be on the Angelos theory that you exploit it while you have it. Angelos took over the Orioles and had Ripken and raised prices every year through 2001.Paying for mediocrity or worse only works when you aren't raising prices or raise prices slightly while giving extra perks.I just checked and the NHL has 30 teams, same as the MLB, and the Capitals record is in the bottom 1/2 (18th worse) which also means if the season ended today, they don't make the playoffs.Sure, raise prices! If the Nats marketing department doesn't seize the opportunities to captcha Caps fans money, shame on them.

  140. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Lannan's a soft-balling guy with a vry limited upside making big money on a club with better current and future options. Dump him for that Fungo bat.

  141. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    BullpenCatcher……. I told everone about who was there last Friday and I'm going over in the morning for an update.

  142. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Ned Beatty: It looks good coming out of yer perdy mouth, but Oswalt is a 150 inning guy right now. It's not the innings per start it's the number of starts. He can't be counted for all that many, which is why no one wants to pay him big bucks.

  143. RPrecupjr - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    One thing that seems to be missing from the conversation is that the Nats will NEED all seven starters this season. This is a certainty, not a maybe. Last season exactly one team made it through the season with only six starters – Milwaukee. Every other team used at least seven, most used even more. I would be MUCH more comfortable with Lannan at Syracuse ready to step in at a moment's notice than to have to rely on someone like Maya.And just my two cents, but after yesterday's pi$$ing match, I was hoping the smarter minds would prevail today. It's not too late to make that happen.

  144. joel k - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    David- yes, one thing we can certainly agree on is that at 26 years old, this is certainly the time for Corey Brown to show he can live up to his potential. Another AAA flop would certainly mean the end of the road as far as him being considered a prospect. As much as I enjoy being right, it would be really great to have him prove me wrong… we need all the help we can get in CF.

  145. Ned Beatty - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    What's this all about?

  146. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    The fact that we have a discussion that is over 130 comments long about our number 5 starter makes me smile. The first Nats game I saw had Shaun Hill starting…

  147. Steve M. - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    P2P, When Ovechkin is gone, I think you will hear crickets in Verizon. Under the Angelos rule, from 1995-1998 the Orioles were 1st in attendance. Under Angelos, the Orioles were 1st or 2nd most in attendance every year through 2001 when they dropped to 4th with 3,094,841.In 2006, the Orioles dropped to 2,153,139 in attendance. It just goes to show you that people wise up and will stop paying for garbage especially when they have an alternative. Last season the O's were at 1,755,461.That's with 21 combined home games against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Nationals.

  148. Steve M. - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Anonymous said… The fact that we have a discussion that is over 130 comments long about our number 5 starter makes me smile. The first Nats game I saw had Shaun Hill starting… February 16, 2012 1:04 PM Chad Cordero, John Patterson and Shaun Hill were the future of the Nats. Shoulders and nerve damage has ruined many careers.John Patterson was Ace quality and Shaun Hill looked like a solid #3 or better.

  149. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Aw, I always kinda liked Shawn Hill.On another note, a high comment count is nice and all, but remind me again why we care about Camden Yards attendance?(Confidential to Ned, if you hear banjo music, paddle faster. Oh no, I didn't.)

  150. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Whew, a new post. Just in the nick of time.

  151. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    BTW, and not to change subjects to that sucky team up the road. Its the 20th anniversary of Camden. In 1997 they got attendence of 3,711,132 They dropped almost 2,000,000 in a 12 year time span.The Nats have every team falling down around them & have a great opportunity in front of them just like the Ravens have been doing to the Redskins.

  152. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Screw Baltimore.

  153. ehay2k - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Been traveling and then picked up some sort of bug, so missed a lot of posts but now have caught up, mostly. The more civil posts today are much appreciated.As for the rotation, you definitely don't cut anyone loose if you can stash them in AAA or the 'pen. From a bargaining standpoint, I agree with those who believe that the Nats have, and will continue to have, the leverage in any trade. Either the Nats or some other team will need an SP before ST is over. If you look at http://theseStatsAreAsBogusAsAnyOthers.com, you can see that every single year, a team needs a starting pitcher after ST ends. Low ball offers now can be deflected because Rizzo can point to SS and Wang being limited in appearances. Much better to wait until another team is desperate (finally a state in which the Nats are NOT) and then make a trade that best helps the Nats. Can't happen? Capps for Ramos anyone? No way Ramos is let go except under desperate circumstances. I'd like to think Rizzo learned a lot from that deal.

  154. ehay2k - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    captcha was missing.Seriously, none? Hope we don't get spammed. I would rather enforce some sort of login and only let authenticated users post, than be completely exposed to spam posts.

  155. NATSALLDAY - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    I'm sure someone else has already said what I'm about to say, but I just don't have the time to read 152 comments. But, I hope more people agree with this because it is a potentially troubling revelation for the Nats faithful. Now it is very clear that Lannan is the odd man out. You don't re-sign Wang to put him in the bullpen or the minors (he's out of options anyway) and you don't risk putting a former first round draft pick on waivers to send him to the minors. You keep him in the 'pen and see what he can do. This all makes sense. But heres what does not:Wang hasn't pitched consistently in the majors for several years. His ERA was over 4 and by the looks of it, its likely to stay there this year as well. The Nats brass are hoping for a pitcher to regain his old form when, frankly, its probably not going to happen. Detwiler has not proved himself at the major league level just yet. He needs to be in the 'pen, which he will be. But getting rid of John Lannan is absurd. That man, other than a little bump in the road two years ago that sent him back to AA, has been the poster boy for consistency for the Nats. Sure, his stuff is not overwhelming, at all, but he gets guys out, eats innings, and always gives the boys a good chance to win. He has given this organization everything he's got. And shit the bed, he could be the best no. 5 starter in baseball! Plus, the rotation could use another southpaw to supplement NatGio. In the end, Lannan has been Mr. Nat over the past few years and the way Rizzo and his staff are dragging Lannan along is awful. Is this the way they treat tenured, proven players in this organization? I sure as hell hope not, because whats going to happen when Zimmerman hits the free agent market in 2 year? Who knows, but I hope they don't treat him like they are treating Lannan. And I really hope Zim doesn't hold it against them for doing this to a close friend of his. I'm going to miss you John. You've been my favorite over the years. A real battler. I hope someone else gives you a shot.

  156. Section 222 - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    just testing Wow, cool. Thanks 1a. So last year, the Nats first started a pitcher outside of the rotation they brought north on June 8. IIRC, they were the one of the last teams in MLB to do that. So there will almost certainly be a need for a 6th starter relatively early in the season, even if no one succumbs to an injury, imaginary or otherwise, in ST. While I'm fine with Lannan being shopped now, or as ST comes to a close, I'm also fine with sending him to 'Cuse for the beginning of the season. He's been sent to the minors before, and it didn't kill him. Without Peacock and Milone as starters in waiting, we're left with Maya and Stammen as the first guys available from AAA. They don't inspire alot of confidence. Of course, we also likely have Detwiler and Gorzolanny in the pen, so they can provide a spot start if needed. But if someone is injured, we'll need to bring up another pitcher, and I would think Lannan would get the call, if he's still on the team, before Perry or Matheus. This wealth of starting pitchers is a good situation to be in, as many have commented, and Rizzo can afford to be selective in the deals he considers for any of our lefty starters (other than Gio of course)..

  157. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    ehay2k, it will take them a little while to catch on that the capcha is disabled. Assuming no one rats us out, that is.

  158. Saxman - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    I'm with Ehay2kI checked out what folks were talking about in yesterday's thread, and …wow. Unfortunate.I would rather see greater accountability with true user IDs to comment here. I'm only using my anonymous handle because I can, not as a license to express disagreement rudely or bluntly.Thanks also for the tip on italics.

  159. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    The Nats have NINE guys who can credibly start and all of them are expected to be healthy in camp. They need to make a trade and get the guys into the roles they're likely to play and move on.

  160. Saxman - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    I would also add that restricting to registered posters is in line with what I believe to be significant added value to this blog of well-informed posts (and even some less-informed posts) from regular contributors.The people who are TRULY anonymous (not even a manual signature at the conclusion of their post) do not IMO add nearly as much to substantive discussion.

  161. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Sorry Mark but no matter how hard you try to make the same tire ERA case for Lannan, statistically he was the least effective of ALL starters which is why he is competing with 3 guys for #5? If this wasn't the case doubtless he would be #3 at the very least? He's not andover the last 3 years he lost his job as ace to a guy who is probably 15 years or so older. Lannan isn't worth 5 million. He may be a nice guy but he is a poor major league starter.

  162. Section 222 - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    I think some of the TRULY anonymous add to the discussion, so I wouldn't support a system that makes that impossible. I do appreciate dfh21 and others who sign their "anonymous" posts though. It makes the discussion easier to follow and respond to. As for the captcha, please bring it back, even if it's tough to read. There's nothing like spam comments to ruin a good blog.

  163. JaneB - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    MichelleS and 1a, I, too, keep looking for where Pudge might end up. I'd love him somehow to be backing up Buster Posey in SF. He clearly is meant for coaching, in Phase III of baseball life. It would be heartbreaking ( to ME) if he has no offers at all next week when spring training starts. How many decades would it have been that he was at home while other guys are playing ball?

  164. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Periculum aka bold anon is the one off his lithium.Gee Mr. Wilson can I play in your back yard? Martha said it was okay … old fuddy duddy.

  165. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    No one is going to pay Lannan 5 million unless they are really desperate for starting pitching. That is what Rizzo must wait for otherwise John Lannan is headed north with the 15 … to Syracuse.

  166. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    I wish Rizzo would sign Oswalt but don't expect it. You never know … although with EJax it seems unlikely.

  167. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Lannan is a LH SP who can throw 200 innings at a 4 ERA. A $5M charge for that kind of skill set is not big money for a lot of clubs. Adding Lannan to KC, Boston, Seattle, NYY or Pittsburgh makes a lot of sense for those clubs. He has a year of control left too should he perform very well. He has some decent value. He's not going to command a king's ransom, but the Nats should be able to get something for him.

  168. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    It would be heartbreaking ( to ME) if he has no offers at all next week when spring training starts.Pudge can no longer hit. He had a really horrible winter offensively. He is now purely a defensive catcher with injury issues last year (back). Teams look at that and his age.

  169. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Lannan is a LH SP who can throw 200 innings at a 4 ERA.He has yet to reach 200 inning the past 3 years. While Gio and EJax (both power pitchers) have. That's because he has to be yanked before the sixth far too many times. He doesn't go deep enough into games to be an innings eater. His adjusted ERA – tRA is over 5. (defense and park neutral) overall the worst starter used last year. Over the past 3 years Livo who is as much as 15 years older was more effective. He only made 1 million. And you claim Lannan is worth 5?

  170. Gonat - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Anonymous said… Screw Baltimore. February 16, 2012 1:17 PM _____________________________That's an Anon comment I can definitely embrace!

  171. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Lannan beats his peripherals over 750 innings. His ERA+ is 104, the average starter is 96. It's not a fluke anymore.

  172. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    For my part, I don't miss the capcha. Once the spam starts (and it will, eventually), we will have to deal with it again, I suppose, but that may take weeks (or minutes–you never know) to happen. Enjoy it while it lasts. Everybody here, even the trollanons, ran out of things to talk about weeks ago, and we're still getting 170-something posts. Granted, some of that is bald-onions [cq] poking each other with sticks and then complaining when there's a response, but still.

  173. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    If anything, the unearned/earned runs could drop with better infield defense behind him this year. His ground ball rate has improved, a little better command and he'd be going deeper into games. They took him out of the rotation early last year, or he would certainly have had 200 innings.

  174. Sally Bowles - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Anonymous said…Screw Baltimore. I do.

  175. blovy8 - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Well, more innings anyway.

  176. P. Angelos - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    So do I.

  177. greg - Feb 16, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    lannen *CAN* hit 200 IP, but he's only proven it once and that was 2009. he's a serviceable pitcher. he has value. but debating him as an option for 5th starter–as opposed to pitching opening day–is what makes the conversation interesting here. honestly, the "options" issue essentially means his only chance at the opening day roster is an injury. even if detweiler is traded, wang can't be. and lannen won't be in the bullpen, his stuff just doesn't play there very well. so i can't imagine him as #5 unless wang is injured. at that point, you could put detweiler in the pen and start lannen.

  178. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Lannan threw 206 innings in 2009. 185 innings last year. LH Guys who can throw 30+ starts have real value. How many LH SP threw 185 innings last year? And how many of that set have thrown more than 200 in any prior year? Maybe 6-7 guys is my guess, Gio being one of them. Too lazy to check.

  179. greg - Feb 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    i'm too lazy to believe your point if you're not behind it enough to check. :P

  180. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    What good is sitting alone in your room? Come watch the baseball played. (Eh, write your own danged parody, Sally. I got [stuff] to do. :-))

  181. BullpenCatcher - Feb 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    NatsJackSorry I missed the update I was out of town. I wish there was a search feature here where I could filter on your posts.

  182. Anonymous - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Ross Detwiler called to say he only has 2 E's in his name, not 3.Ross Detwiler needs to change his name to Des Rottweiler. Actually, he needs to change his attitude to that of a Rottweiler. Otherwise, they might as well just cut him now because he'll never amount to anything.

  183. NatsJack on Florida - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Maybe he has since he's been in camp for the past 8 days.

  184. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    BullpenCatcher…..twitter……@NatsJackinFl…..I'll post more pics tomorrow.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 46 --
ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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