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Nats extend agreements with 4 affiliates

Mar 16, 2012, 8:15 PM EST

Photo courtesy Harrisburg Senators
Harrisburg's Metro Bank Park will continue to house the Nats' Class AA affiliate.

The Nationals have extended their minor-league affiliations with four clubs, ensuring they'll remain partners with Class AAA Syracuse, Class AA Harrisburg, high-Class A Potomac and short-season Class A Auburn.

The two-year extensions run through 2014.

"We could not be more pleased to make this commitment," general manager Mike Rizzo said in announcing the agreements. "To make this announcement so early in the season speaks to how much we value our relationships and the environments cultivated by the good people in Syracuse, Harrisburg, Potomac and Auburn. We take our affiliate relations very seriously in Washington. They are a vital part of our family and we know that with time, these bonds will only strengthen."

After a period of steady changes among their Class AAA affiliates (from New Orleans to Columbus to Syracuse), the Nationals now have established some stability with their top minor-league outlet. The organization signed on with the Chiefs in 2009, and this represents theRead more »

  1. BethesdaFan - Mar 16, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Help — What Iphone Apps do you recommend? Any thoughts?

  2. Dave - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    For MLB games, there's only one: MLB At Bat. The app is free; a subscription to unlimited radio broadcasts from around both leagues costs $15 a year. If you already subscribe to, you get the radio and TV stuff on the app for free. (Local games are blacked out from the TV part, however.)

  3. John C. - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Ah, well. In my dream world, the Nationals move their AA team to Richmond and swap AAA locations with the Mets. The Mets get a AAA team in their home state, and the Nationals solidify their hold through VA and eastern and central NC.It's nice in my dream world :)

  4. Dave - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Hi, old imaginary friends. I've been radio-silent on Nats Insider recently, because it's just so hard for me to post comments. I do read the comment threads every day, but the networked computers in my school district run such an old version of IE that commenting on Blogger is essentially impossible. (It's not filtered, it just doesn't work on the software.)I also read the threads from my iPhone 4S, running iOS 5.1, but I find I can't really comment from there, either. In the mobilized version of the site, I am unable whatsoever to edit any text in the composition box. The backspace key doesn't even work.I can comment from the non-mobile site on my iPhone, but I find the blog harder to read in that format.Is anybody else having similar issues?Incidentally, I heard the CMW news with a bit of horror and read y'all's thoughts with fascination. I think I tend to agree the LannEn is probably the logical choice for 5th starter, because he's more of a known quantity. But I'm no GM, nor do I play one on TV, so there you are…

  5. Dave - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Well, dang, I thought I posted another comment, but it seems to have gone away.In case it mysteriously comes back, I'll try to re-state briefly.Sorry I have been absent from the comment threads. The version of Internet Explorer on my school's networked computers is so old it doesn't let you comment on Blogger blogs. (It's not filtered, just old.)I sometimes read NI from my iPhone 4S running iOS 5.1, where I default to the mobilized site, since it's easier to read. But I can't comment from the iPhone on the mobile version, either. In the composition box I am unable to edit whatsoever. Not even the backspace button works.I can comment from the iPhone on the full version of the site, but I find that format harder to read, so I tend to avoid it.Does anybody else have these or similar problems? (I mean from the iPhone, not from the antiquated school computers I live with every day.)

  6. Anonymous - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    I heard that last evening the Winchester city council shot down the proposal to build a new stadium to house the Suns in that city. It looks like the franchise will stay in Hagerstown, although the stadium there is badly in need of upgrades.

  7. Positively Half St. - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    I am glad that they stayed with Syracuse, where my sister and her family live. They will get to see Bryce Harper, presumably, and I can catch a game with them when I visit.+1/2St.

  8. Dave - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    John C., it would be nice if the Nats were in SE Virginia, with the Norfolk Tides as the AAA affiliate. Alas, they haven't been the Mets' team for awhile now. They're with the Orioles. Angelos jealously guards that part of the world as "Birdland" (however misguided that might be). The Mets have the Buffalo Bisons. (In other words, the Mets already have a AAA team in their home state.)As a native of NC, I would love to see the Nats adopted as the MLB team of the Old North State.A bit off topic, and pardon me if I missed it, but is there any new information about the Nats' spring training camp moving to Ft. Myers year after next?

  9. Anonymous - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    The Winchester move for the Suns looks dead after last night. The stadium in Hagerstown is 80 years old and the city has no money to do the necessary upgrades. Beyond that, attendance has not been good. Look for the Nats to find a new Sally League home after 2012. I am also surprised that Potomac was extended in view of the lousy condition of that stadium. Syracuse is not good either because summer doesn't come there until July and attendance has not been impressive.

  10. phil dunn in vero beach - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    On Ft. Myers, last I heard the Nats gave their wish list of improvements to Lee County and if Lee Country agrees to upgrade the former Red Sox facility to the Nationals specifications, they will probably sign on. However, there is some doubt Lee County will agree because the Twins have already requested Lee County upgrade their facility and it is doubtful that Lee County has the funds to do both facilities. I wish the Nats would stay in Space Coast Stadium. It's a great place to watch a game and very easy to get to. Ft. Myers is gridlock city and much further away from DC.

  11. ehay2k - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Space Coast stadium is a gem for ST games. As for the location, it keeps our young guys out of trouble. More temptation near Ft. Meyers than in Viera. After all, you can only get so wild at a Cracker Barrel.

  12. Unkyd - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Dave, FWIW, I HATE the mobile version! It's always changing pages on me, if my fat thumb even comes close to brushing the Siri's screen… I've been doing all my NI business on the regular web version, since I started. Just hold the phone sideways, for the landscape screen… Also, of course, you don't get all the links to other sites, with the mobile version… Work with it, for a few days…

  13. ehay2k - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    It's Friday, and St. Patrick's day is tomorrow, the weekend will be a marathon, not a sprint. Add to that, I just bought 1 case (6 four packs) of Guinness plus one can at a store just south of me, meaning I just brought the best 25 north.Happy Friday all!

  14. natsfan1a - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Back at you, ehay2k. Here's hoping that you're feeling in the best shape of your life on Monday!

  15. Anonymous - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Unless we're talking about which of these minor league spots will house Ian Desmond's tired game this summer, who cares.I have my rant on in a big way. But no matter how you slice it — Desmond's the problem, losing him is the solution. Go Nats!!

  16. Anonymous - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    The solution to the Desmond problem is to give Lombardozzi a shot. By the way, this utility infielder Blanco can't hit a lick and he is a butcher in the field.

  17. Cwj - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Have fun Ehay2k! As for me, I'm already in "mid-season form" ;)Though I may be listed as "day to day" on Sunday.

  18. Dave - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    You know what, Unkyd? You're right. That mobile version of the blog does that popping-over-to-the-next-post thing on me too.I'm changing my iPhone bookmark so I always go to the regular page, now that you mention it. It worked okay for me before the new thing came online.

  19. Anonymous - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Mark Zuckerman- PLEASE HELP! I have been trying , without any luck, to get info on the AAA. AA, and A spring training GAME schedules. I have asked at Space Coast as well as searching the best that I can to find info. I know that the games are at 1 and usually only in Viera, Kissimmee, Lakeland and Disney. Are you able to help us out. We are here until the end of ST and are avid NATS fans. Thanks.

  20. Dave - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Hey, 7:55, try this:Nationals Spring Training Schedule Site

  21. Dave - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Oh, sorry, 7:55. You're asking about the minor league schedules. Sorry, didn't mean to insult your intelligence.Back to my corner now.

  22. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    This is off topic as I just don't have any minor league teams nearby. Frederick is an hour away, and I may go to a game there one day.Anyway, I've revised my projections for the Nats. Take with a lot of salt, though I did in fact seriously research and contemplate :-)Record: 87-75Starters:1. Gonzalez GS: 33 IP: 210 ERA: 3.20 K/BB: 210/802. Zimmermann GS: 31 IP: 190 ERA: 2.95 K/BB: 150/403. JacksonGS: 33 IP: 200 ERA: 3.75 K/BB: 160/654. StrasburgGS: 26 IP: 160 ERA: 2.70 K/BB: 180/355. LannanGS: 20 IP: 120 ERA: 4.15 K/BB: 65/50Next up will be the Lineup and Bullpen.

  23. Anonymous - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    WANG will be your fifth starter, CWJ. That sinker was up to 93mph in that last start which is what it was when he was in the Cy Young balloting. He didn't injure that part. That's best on the staff sinker-wise. After him its Detwiler with his 96 mph heater. Lannan can't even come close which is why he is still veteran depth either in AAA or the majors. Lannan is closer to Stammen in the way he pitches than he is to Wang … and I must admit I never expected it … its completely amazing and mind boggling. Still not sure he can last a whole season but if he could last 160-170 like Stras? That would be enough for this team.

  24. Anonymous - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Blanco has gloved well over the years, he'll be fine. With the glove — Desmond has never been solid, Lombo always has and Espi is very likely an above average defensive SS himself right noe if he stepped over to that side of 2B. Rendon is coming so the club has to move on from Desmond at some point anyway — let's make the time for that split before the Nats start losing games because Desmond makes a bnunch of errors or hits .200 for weeks at a time.

  25. Anonymous - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    For MLB games, there's only one: MLB At Bat. The app is free; a subscription to unlimited radio broadcasts from around both leagues costs $15 a year.You can also subscribe to MiLB At Bat which gives you minor league games. Amazingly enough all the way to A level ball. the broadcasts are sporadic in their quality however. I really hate the Hagerstown broadcasts … like the Harrisburg and Syracuse broadcasts pretty professionally done.

  26. HALjr - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    @cwj, Frederick is a great experience and you won't be the only one in Nats gear. You will have to listen to the "O" in the anthem, tho!

  27. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Haljr- That's good to know. I'd love to attend a minor league game up there. I can deal with the "O" :-)Anon 8:34- Thanks for the input. I only gave Lannen 20 starts, but if Wang is healthy I would switch him for Lannan in the 5th spot. Maybe 25 starts for Wang? I'll work on projections for that.Detwiler as well, though I think he'll start in the bullpen.

  28. Anonymous - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    I'll work on projections for that.Detwiler as well, though I think he'll start in the bullpen.CWJ, according to the guy who makes that call Detwiler has again had one of the best springs of all the pitchers? He hasn't said that about your boy Lannan. And Detwiler can uncork a 96 mph heater, and is left-handed. But you may be right at least to start the year. My guess is Gorzelanny works in short relief and may be called BEFORE Burnett given Burnett's performances last year and this spring. Gorzo prefers short relief or starting just doesn't want to be the mop up guy. That honor I'm afraid will likely fall to Lannan if he is still with the team. Davey's playing his games with the FO, well because he's Davey and he can. Playing Bryce Harper in CF with Harper loving the heck out of it may just put a monkey wrench into any thought of acquiring that CF. Lombardozzi's switch-hitting bat (as expected) may have put off the need for a classic lead-off since that is what this guy does and has been groomed to do. The odd men out on this look to be Desmond perhaps? If LaRoche doesn't hit it doesn't look like Davey will move Morse to first … noting that Tyler Moore didn't join good friend Corey Brown in minor league camp. Many questions arise …

  29. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Anon 9:06- Not sure I'd call Lannan "my boy", as I was ready for Wang to be the fifth starter before his injury.Personally I'd prefer Detwiler, who is vastly underrated, over Wang and Lannan. But we just don't know how this is going to work out.

  30. mstomper - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    It looks like LaRoche may be getting his power stroke back, but if not I don't know that Morse will move to first. Maybe we should give Derek Lee a call if LaRoche can't go. Lombardozzi needs to prove he can get it done during the regular season, but I wouldn't be that surprised if he pushed Desi to a utility role. If DeRosa and LaRoche are actually healthy, and either Desi hits like he did the end of last season or Lombardozzi can hit .280/.350, watch out.

  31. Anonymous - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Maybe we should give Derek Lee a call if LaRoche can't go.If they do as well expected this year they might just give Lance Berkman a call … much better choice than Derek Lee. And he'll be a free agent. Votto will be 1 year away as well … But a lot depends on Marerro, Moore and Matt Skole and what they look like in the minors. Skole has to be considered in that mix just because he raked in short season and has a potential left-handed impact bat. The others two are right handed.

  32. DHamm - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    I would love to see the Nats move thier Low A team to Loudoun County where a stadium is being built for the Loudoun Hounds. It's a year late, which could be perfect timing? Who wants an Independent League team anyway?

  33. mstomper - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    When I say "maybe we should give Derek Lee a call if LaRoche can't go" I mean this year. Next year Harper should be ready, we will hopefully have a CF, and Morse can move to first.

  34. Anonymous - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Next year Harper should be ready, we will hopefully have a CF, and Morse can move to first.I don't think Johnson will do that … he has stated that Morse won't get any work at first base this year. That speaks volumes. Next year first base is going to be filled by an impact hitter. Best possible would be switch hitter Lance Berkman if he doesn't decline during this season.

  35. Anonymous - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    And if Harper moves to CF that shouldn't be a problem for the next 2-3 years …

  36. mstomper - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    I'm not sure we should assume that because Morse isn't playing first this spring that he won't be there next season. Of course if LaRoche miraculously has a career year he may be back next year. I don't see Berkman here next year regardless; if I'm wrong I'll keep you in beer for a game in 2013 (hopefully a World Series game).

  37. D'Gourds - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    The problem with Space Coast Stadium is how far it is from other spring training camps–other team never send their top players.

  38. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    For yet more fun (hopefully) I'll project how Lannan, Wang and Detwiler would stack up over 25 starts. Again just using stats (quite a bit) and watching them pitch on t.v. for these "projections". But I truly believe they are realistic expectations. Pick one for the 5th starter :-) GS IP ERA K/BB Wang: 25 155 3.95 85/45Lannan: 25 145 4.15 75/60Detwiler: 25 140 3.85 100/45

  39. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    My chart alignment doesn't really look like I expected, but hopefully it makes sense :-)

  40. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    I would have given Wang an ERA of 4.00, but then I noticed in yesterday's game that he added a very nice breaking ball. Some type of knuckle-curve. Cliff Lee used the same pitch in a game against the Nats last year. I remember FP and Ray knight calling it a "spike-curve ball". The grip is unique.Anyway, Wang had a nice curve yesterday :-) In fact he looked quite good and I was impressed!

  41. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    I often wonder what baseball would be like if trick pitches were never outlawed.The spitball, shiner, scuff-ball, etc.I was reading about "deadball era" players and pitchers (pre-1920) recently. For those who think Harper is a character, you should read the bios of some of these guys :-)

  42. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    A great site with bios and tons of other info.

  43. realdealnats - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Cwj–you're talking back in Cease's time when hitters could steal 1B or 3B right out of the batter's box? Sunderland was talking about all this yesterday too. I'll have to read up on all this stuff.

  44. Scooter - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Cwj, I was just reading a bio on that site a week or so ago. Those guys are the awesome.

  45. Cwj - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    Realdeal and Scooter- Oh it's great stuff.It is also kind of sad. Salaries were paltry back then. The "Deadball Era" is usually considered to be from 1900-1920.Back then pitchers ruled MLB. Ballparks often had huge outfields, so home runs were either pulled near the foul lines, or driven into the deep gaps resulting in an inside the park HR.What's amazing to me is that there were some legendary hitters when the League batting average might be .248. Ty Cobb comes to mind.

  46. MicheleS - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    CMJ.. thanks for all that research (and salty projections!). Regardless of who the 5th starter is, will your 87 wins get us in the playoffs?

  47. NatsLady - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Re: Clip and Store workload.Clip looked a little rusty/shaky on some of his outings–hence, more work. Also Clip a former starter, may need longer to get into gear.Storen solid and Davey doesn't want him to tinker too much–hence, less work.

  48. gonatsgo - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Saw Clip on the Mid-Atlantic snooze -fest ( ok, so I was off work and desperate for game highlights) pretty good interview with Phil Wood ( famous brother of NI poster). He said he doesn't feel ready yet, is still rusty and working on things. He was downright chatty – Drew is rubbing off on him! And then we have the gregarious Gio, Jackson is articulate, even Strassie isn't avoiding the media anymore. Then there is Jordan– who parcels out every word carefully. Not that I care as long as he speaks with his pitches!!

  49. fast eddie - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    To ehay2K:I agree re: Viera–not many places to get in trouble. In addition to the Cracker Barrel you mention, we discovered a Longhorn Steak House close to the stadium. There were 3 Nats in the bar area–drinking iced tea!

  50. natsfan1a - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    I believe that they're all volunteers, too.In other news, I'm getting into the swing of things with the wearing of the green today (RZ camo t-shirt). Won't be around to comment during the game today but do try to pace yourselves – after all, it's a marathon, not a sprint. :-)Scooter said… Cwj, I was just reading a bio on that site a week or so ago. Those guys are the awesome. March 16, 2012 11:27 PM

  51. CBinDC - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    The Nats are progressing but some functional areas remain. The media packages are still minor league both flagships treat the team as if it was a mold in the corner of the room. The ST city leaves much to desired and the FO relationship to the fan base is still on probation from past disaster seasons. But the team is looking up LOL So we got that going for us.

  52. Joe BFD Biden - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Jackson is articulateAnd clean.

  53. The Retired Journalist - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Spring Training Visitors: I live down here now so take my word for it that if you want someplace for lively post-game revelry you need to leave Viera. Try Melbourne or Cocoa Beach. To quote a local bumper sticker; "Cocoa Beach: It's like Mayberry — on Acid."

  54. Gonat - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    MASN reporting that Michael Morse did have a MRI and nothing new was revealed, just a lat strain. I think that is good news.

  55. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Word in the blogosphere says that Morse has a seriously injury similar to Laroche's last year. Surgery is possible and end of season and probably will not play for Nats ever again.Good Bye, Mr.morse.





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