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Encouraging power from Werth, DeRosa

Mar 7, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Jayson Werth is congratulated following his solo homer yesterday.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Two unusual things happened at the plate yesterday during the Nationals' 5-2 win over the Braves: Mark DeRosa homered for the first time in a long time. And Jayson Werth not only homered, he did it on a first-pitch fastball.

Which development was rarer? Tough to say, because neither happened with any regularity last year.

Actually, DeRosa didn't homer once during his abbreviated regular season with the Giants, his surgically repaired wrist still hindering his swing enough to prevent him from hitting for any power. The veteran utilityman's last home run actually came on Feb. 28 in a Cactus League game. His last regular-season homer? Not since April 4, 2010.

So when DeRosa clobbered a fourth-inning pitch from Atlanta lefty Jonny Venters yesterday, the significance of the moment wasn't lost on the 37-year-old. As he was congratulated in the Nationals' dugout, theRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Pass the koolaid please!Also Mark, since I am sure you are home by now, did you every hear anything about JFlo's hand after he got hit?

  2. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I could tell on Werth's first at bat this spring, actually after the first pitch that he was back. He swung at the first pitch and made solid contact. Great news…

  3. MicheleS - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Holy Beejeezus that thing is UGLY!

  4. Theophilus - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    MicheleS — Would you be shocked if batters complained about that until it comes down?

  5. Steady Eddie - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Theo– except isn't it supposed to rise up out of the ground only after Miami dingers? Still looks like a cartoon on acid.Until I looked at the link Michele, I thought you were talking about Wirth's beard. If he returns to pre-2011 form he can look like whatever he wants

  6. The Great Unwashed - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Swinging at a first pitch fastball when you know it's coming is the first step. Now Jayson's got to work on tweaking his swing so that he doesn't corkscrew himself down on one knee. When you have that swing and you're successful with it (like Adrian Beltre) that's one thing. But when you hit .232, your swing shouldn't be ignored by the coaching staff.

  7. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Eddie, no, it's there for the duration. scnatsfan posted this link the other day regarding possible concerns for left-handed batters. As I posted then regarding the quote below, taken from the piece, my vote would be have a fan lottery. The winner gets to push the button that will cause the sculpture to implode. Maybe let the left-handed hitters take a few hacks at it first, as with the fax machine in Office Space. :-) If the home run celebration sculpture does pose an issue, it will be very interesting to see what the Marlins choose to do with it. At that size, it can't be easy to move, and it reportedly cost over $2 million to construct.

  8. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    There's more on the potential issue for hitters here, plus you can vote in a poll on the (cough…ugly) sculpture.

  9. The Great Unwashed - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Swinging at a first pitch fastball when you know it's coming is a good first step. Now Eckstein needs to work with Jayson on tweaking his swing so that he doesn't corkscrew himself down on one knee. When you have success with that swing (like Adrian Beltre) that's one thing, but when you hit .232 with it, that's another.

  10. Steady Eddie - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    fan1a– Thanks for the link. That's absurd putting something so distracting out there permanently. I'd hope that MLB supposedly saying it's OK was just passing the buck to the players and the other teams, that MLB wouldn't volunteer to be the heavy against one of it's owners. I'd also hope it would just take a couple of hitting stars and a veteran manager from an early visiting team to make it gone. At least some of the other owners can't have a lot of love for Loria.

  11. sjm308 - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Whoa, that really does say Miami doesn't it. And you guys are sure its staying up during the games?I really want to learn how 1a and Michele are putting those links in under just one word. I asked earlier but its like reading hieroglyphics when you guys answered. Lets see, we have jettisoned LannEn and Desmond.Werth is teetering but may make a comeback and DeRosa is now going to start 162 games!We have played 4 games people. I do like what I see. Except for Desmond, I think we have just one other error. Seems like even though Davey likes the big offensive type bench guy we really have some people in camp who can pick it. Blanco is real impressive and the kid from Philly (I think its Rivera) also looks sharp as did the young guy we got for Marquis (Walters?).My predicted home run totals for the seasonMorse 25 to 30Zimm 25 to 30Werth 25 to 30LaRoche 20 to 25 (I just can't put down the koolaid)Espinosa 15 to 20Desmond 12 to 15 (even though he will be playing for the pro team in anonville)Ramos 15 to 20That leaves 75 for the platoon of DeRosa/Harper/Ankiel (can that qualify to break Bonds record?)And of course LannEn goes deep in Miami, shatters the Fish Monument, and stops all worries about it.Go Nats!

  12. Feel Wood - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I really want to learn how 1a and Michele are putting those links in under just one word.It's just a simple HTML link. Link text can be as little as one word or even one letter.

  13. NatsLady - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    It's almost impossible to describe how to post a link because the software attempts to post a link when you do the description.Best to visit this website which will explain it:http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_links.aspThis is a link to how to do an HTML link.

  14. MicheleS - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    SJM.. the link thing.. it takes time.. 1A coached me for almost 2 years and finally the light bulb went off.

  15. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    sjm308 said… As long as my koolaid isn't alcohol free I'm cool with it…

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Here's an angle bracket: <

  17. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Here's another, facing the other way: >

  18. NatsNut - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Wanted to try a Link too. =)

  19. MGG - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    I think this quote from Right handed reliever Steve Cishek is very telling in some of the motivation in such a gaudy structure: "He said he welcomes any advantage he can get. If his pitches look to left-handed hitters like they’re eggs popping out of one of the pink flamingos painted on the sculpture, he’s not going to protest.“Fine with me,’’ Cishek said, “as long as the catcher can see it.”"Winning by distraction maybe?

  20. NatsLady - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    I listened to Klaw and Karabell trash the concept of a "Face of the Franchise" player in reference to RZimm, and I've concluded that those guys are not fans in real life in a real city. Maybe too much fantasy baseball? Yes, winning is important, but the players are NOT chess pieces. You get attached to them, you learn their quirks and personalities, you root for THEM, not just "the Nats." I'm not saying I would stop being a Nats fan if they traded Clipp, but it would be a great disappointment to me, and would lessen my enjoyment. That's my rant for today. (CMW will be great, Desi will be fine.)

  21. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Ian Desmond 0 for 9 no walks and 3 errors. He's playing himself into the starting SS job in Cuse.

  22. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Davey needs to throw Espi at SS and Lombo at 2B in some of these Spring games. Desmond is not looking like he's turned the corner, either with the glove or with the stick (glove being the more important part of his game as a SS). The club needs to have a legitimate Plan B ready if Ian continues to falter.dfh21

  23. Section 222 - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Link mania!Here's what you type, except enclose the whole thing between a "<" and a ">" (without quotes). Whatever you put in place of TEXT will show up as the link. a href="http://URL">TEXT</a

  24. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    'Ian Desmond, you just lost the 2012 World Series, what are you goin' to do now?'"I gonna drink some Scotch Whiskey, dive behind the wheel, and call myself, Deacon Blues."

  25. Doc - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Thanks for the quote MGG!Speaking of quotes, I love the frequent offering of quotes from Davey. He has a way of imparting baseball wisdom and a little history, everytime he gives us a nugget. His portrayal of Maz at second I found neat. I've always thought that Davey was a better man than the owners and GMs that he had the misfortune to work for.

  26. HHover - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I'm not a Desmond hater, and for that reason I was struck by what fangraphs had to say in its power rankings of SS. Their writer placed DC 29th of 30 clubs, and had this to say: "I think I would be mildly shocked if Espinosa isn’t playing shortstop by the season’s end, which should improve the stock here considerably."http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/positional-power-rankings-shortstop/For the short term, tho, I still think Desmond is the starting SS unless his whole ST is like the first 4 games.

  27. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I liked the idea of packaging Lannan and Desi in a trade. The problem? What could we get for them at this point?Reminds me of a quote that Calvin Griffith supposedly made to a reporter, when asked about a trade of second-line players: "It was an even trade–both teams were hurt!"Fast Eddie

  28. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Anonymous said… I liked the idea of packaging Lannan and Desi in a trade. The problem? What could we get for them at this point?A bottle of Scotch Whiskey…

  29. waddu eye no - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    that marlins sculpture – – didn't charo used to wear one of those on her head? – on the sand there – how about adding the two whiny chicks from last year's airline commercial? or maybe esther williams?yeah i know; i'm dating myself with some of those.

  30. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Hey, "Cease":Make it single-malt and you've got a deal!Fast Eddie

  31. Sunderland - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Cease the Opportunity has made 3 alcohol references this morning and thus has become one of my favorite posters.I love this quote from Davey:"When they throw you a ball that has a lot of the plate, I like to see that lumber coming through there."Re: Desmond and Plan B, I just guess the way DaveyJ thinks, he leaves ID at SS to show confidence and hopefully build confidence. He will not want to make ID press even more by having him feel as though he might lose his role. ID's a big boy, he already knows that losing his role is a possibility. He does not need reminding. Lomardozzi is the obvious Plan B.Re: NatsLady rant about FoF – I'm 100% with you.Wow, NatGio looked good yesterday, and sounded good too. He's gonna grow on a lot of people real quickly.

  32. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    One thing to note: A Nationals pitcher will NEVER get close to throwing a perfect game so long as Desmond is the SS.

  33. David - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    My koolaid is spiked with something! Despite one sub-par Gorzelany outing, our pitching has been superb so far…

  34. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Scotch Whisky, not Whiskey (I will learn to spale), but the Scotch has gotten the better of me…

  35. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Looks like an album cover from the '60s. I like it, though. Kinda psychedelic. It will become a Marlins icon, like the San Diego Chicken has become for them. Sometimes a thing can be so ugly and so bad, you can't help but like it. You cannot go anywhere else to see something like that, except, maybe, in your worst nightmare. Crack heads will come to the new stadium in droves, just to trip on it, and you half expect Sonny Crocket to cruise up in his Corvette, at any moment. It says Miami Vice all over, and you can take it or leave it. "Well, I remember, don't worry, how could I ever forgetIt's the first time, the last time, we ever met."Hmmm. We may finally have discovered what Collins was thinking.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  36. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Sunderland — I think that maybe the problem is that Ian does not feel the pressure of potentially losing his job. All the club ever seems to do is voice full support for Ian, hoping he'll relax and make the plays, as he continues to clank it up. It might get the guy to focus if they started talking straight — Ian needs to make the plays at SS or he won't be the SS. Who knows. They've been almost unconditionally propping his confidence for 2 years now — not sure that approach is working. I am guessing that the Plan B is Espi at SS and Lombo/DeRosa at 2B, no? If that is the case, then Espi needs to start getting some game action at SS now.dfh21

  37. Section 222 - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Public sale of single game tickets starts tomorrow, the the home opener is almost sold out. Just talked to our STH rep, and he said only scattered single tickets on both the upper and lower levels are available (I didn't ask about the Prez Club…). Even if you want to purchase a full season, you'd get 80 games, and then have to get your Opening Day seats based on availability. Nice!

  38. SCNatsFan - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    dfh21, I don't think you bench Desi then trade him; like Lannan, that makes his value next to nothing. If you give up on him you deal him then make the move. Playing Espi at SS does nothing but screw with both their heads at this point. Now if you think a benching will motivate him then why not send him back to AAA ala Lannan.

  39. Feel Wood - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    I am guessing that the Plan B is Espi at SS and Lombo/DeRosa at 2B, no? If that is the case, then Espi needs to start getting some game action at SS now.Why? It's not like he needs to learn the position. He's played it his whole minor league career. If – and it's a very big if – he needs to move over there, he should be able to slide over with no problem.All of you Desmond haters need to face facts. He has a very long leash this year. They're not going to replace him on a whim based on a couple of bad games. Maybe in September, should his season-long record be truly disastrous, you might see some moves made in that direction. But not before.Just look at how long they stuck with Guzman in 2005, even though they were still in contention until September. This year with Desmond will be the same deal.

  40. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Anonymous said… One thing to note: A Nationals pitcher will NEVER get close to throwing a perfect game so long as Desmond is the SS. March 07, 2012 10:33 AM ***********This is mornic on a few levels.Desmond somtimes makes spectaular plays, saving base hits. He does that at least a dozen times a year. And that has to counter a dozen errors in terms of impact on a potential perfect game. And if he made 10 fewer errors, he'd have one of the highest fielding % of any regular MLB shortstop.And errors by other Nats players are more likely to doom a potential perfect game than an error by Desmond (or any one player).Not suggesting Desmond should get any gold glove votes. But this comment is dumb.

  41. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Actually, I think the single game tix are available, if only locally, via TravelZoo, one of those coupon outlets.$10 & up – 24 Hours: Washington Nationals Ticket Presale

  42. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    If you all believe everything you see in Spring Training stats than you obviously believe Atlanta is going to be horrible and Houston is going to be great and Bryce Harper will be the 1st .400BA guy since Ted Williams.Its tiresome reading all the bashing here of Lannan and Desmond. There has to be another site one of you can start like the old FireJimbo site and just post there. Maybe you can get Mike Rizzo as an Admin on it.

  43. Section 222 - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I agree that Desmond has a long leash, unfortunately. I also agree there's no need to give Espi time at SS just in case. I disagree that they let him go until September if he's playing poorly in the field and not producing at the plate, if there's a good alternative. (Guzman's track record pre-2005 makes that comparison inapt.) I would caution my fellow Desmond "skeptics" (not haters), however, to not put too many eggs in the Lombo basket as the alternative. I sure haven't seen anything from him to suggest he'd be any better at the plate than Desi.

  44. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Mark has new posted. Lets turn the page on this mindless negativity and ridiculous notions of trading Lannan + Desi for a bottle of Scotch. Most of us come here for intelligent conversation. You can troll at the Nats Fan Forum page and start your own post on it.

  45. Sunderland - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    P2P, but Livo will win 20 and be in the top 5 of Cy Young voting, right?

  46. jd - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    If Desmond hadn't finished last year strong both at the plate and in the field some of the negativity might have some merit but drawing ANY conclusions based on 4 spring training games (positive or negative) is asinine.

  47. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    jd said… If Desmond hadn't finished last year strong both at the plate and in the field some of the negativity might have some merit but drawing ANY conclusions based on 4 spring training games (positive or negative) is asinine.Normally I would agree with you and I do about Desmond. But Werth swinging at the first pitch thrown to him is significant. And I'm not talking about yesterday. I mean the first game. He didn't get a hit but he made contact. Did Werth have an epiphany…

  48. Feel Wood - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    I would caution my fellow Desmond "skeptics" (not haters), however, to not put too many eggs in the Lombo basket as the alternative.They could suit up a scarecrow in a uniform with NOTDESMOND on the back, and the haters here would be clamoring for him to play SS and bat leadoff. As I said before, Desmond would have to be truly disastrous for them to consider replacing him. A big part of that is that there's no proven alternative to step in, either at short or at second if they move Espinosa over. Better get used to it.

  49. PAY TO PLAY - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Sunderland said… P2P, but Livo will win 20 and be in the top 5 of Cy Young voting, right? March 07, 2012 11:10 AM Yes, I think if Livo plays 5 more years he can win 20 games.

  50. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    It's 2 plus years of bad Ian Demsond not 4 games. They guy is just not good. He's not going to play for Davey Johnson, a guy saying fire me if we miss the playoffs, if he's not showing the world that he deserves the job. Right now, he obviously does not deserve the job. It's not hate, it's objectivity.

  51. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Sadly, yes.sjm308 said… Whoa, that really does say Miami doesn't it. And you guys are sure its staying up during the games?

  52. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    That's not quite what I heard it saying. And it was saying it pretty loudly, too.******************natsfan1a said… Sadly, yes. sjm308 said… Whoa, that really does say Miami doesn't it.

  53. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    @FeelWood… I too agree that Desi will have a long leash- to the disappointment of many Desi bashers. I just hope its not too long!I am NOT a Desi fan myself. I believe he has talent, yes… but I am disappointed that at age 26 and over 1300 MLB PA's he has not progressed to league average in EITHER defense or offense.Personally, I would be perfectly content with Desi if he was one or the other… meaning great D with NO BAT. Or poor D and GREAT BAT. But he is below average/poor in both.I personally am a fan of giving Lombo a shot if Desi falters in the first couple months… I expect Lombo's bat to be poor just like Desi… But Lombo has proven already that he is a solid defensive player- and that makes him a better alternative for our team if Desi continues to struggle into the season.Slide Espi to SS, and put Lombo at 2B. The hitting will be nearly a wash, but the defense is improved.ejs1111

  54. Anonymous - Mar 7, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    and I don't mean to sound like I am bashing Desi… I think he is a very talented kid.I am just a believer that 'up the middle' D is the most important aspect of a team… and I feel we have neglected that position by hoping Desi improves to a league average level for 3 years now.catcher, SS, 2B, CF. Those 4 positions need to be solid defensively, period. Ramos is solid, Espi is above average, Ankiel is actually solid defensively, but unfortunately SS is near the bottom.SS and CF are the two most important! Those two positions typically have the highest percentage of balls put in play to them.That said… I am HOPING that the light comes on for Desi and his errors have another 9-10 error drop like last year. But he is not off to a good start!Go NATS!!!ejs1111

  55. realdealnats - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Can Rendon play short? Not now but in the future?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
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