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Harper optioned to Syracuse

Mar 18, 2012, 9:18 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper went 8-for-28 with two doubles and zero RBI this spring.

Mike Rizzo said all along he would keep an open mind watching Bryce Harper compete this spring for a spot on the Opening Day roster, but the Nationals general manager knew the 19-year-old was going to have to do something extraordinary to come north with the big-league club.

Though he impressed and occasionally dazzled with his athletic ability, hustle and mature attitude over the last month, in the end Harper wasn't deemed ready for prime time, so the Nationals today optioned their top prospect to Class AAA Syracuse.

Harper was one of four players cut from big-league camp following today's game. First baseman Tyler Moore and catcher Jhonatan Solano also were optioned to Syracuse, with infielder Mark Teahen re-assigned to minor-league camp.

Harper, who has only one season of professional experience and spent only 37 games at Class AA Harrisburg last summer, figured all along to need some more time in the minors. But his demotion today perhapsRead more »

135 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Not surprised.. Hope to see the kid sometime this summer though!

  2. Joe Seamhead - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    As it should be…

  3. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    You just know he will see this as a challenge.

  4. HHover - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I'm fine with this. We all knew it was going to happen–the only question was when. Harper stayed in major league camp longer this ST than last; he might have gone down even sooner this year if not for the injury, but perhaps they wanted to let him get some more ABs in the big league camp. The Ks do confirm what we already knew–that he's not really ready to handle quality pitching yet.A minor correction, Mark: Including all his ABs for today, I think Harper was 8 of 28 (mlb.com is wonky in updating the player pages with same day stats–Harper was 7 for 23 before today, and 1-5 today).

  5. Sunderland - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Most interesting thing to me is that Davey apparently saw enough from Harper to push for him to play CF. That's got to be a positive for Bryce to feel pretty good about. He had to know this day was coming anyway.

  6. Gonat - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    HHover, we all knew it was going to happen? I thought it was going to happen because he looked like a Minor Leaguer to me but I DIDNT KNOW IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN and especially on March 18th.I love all the 20/20 hindsight people stepping up now. Laughable.I was only a handful that had questioned a few seeing eye hits and nothing on line drives and then his hustle Ichiro'd hit. His hustle impressed me but he didn't dominate the AAA pitchers he got to face and really couldn't hit LH pitching other than that infield hit.

  7. Cwj - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Good decision by the Nats. And he actually hit and hustled very well this spring. No doubt we'll see him join the Nats in June.

  8. sjb - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    This may also show that there is no real worry about LaRoche or Morae being able to answer the bell Opening Day; I thought maybe Harper might stick around for that reason.As for the other moves, Solano and Moore showed enough to demonstrate they may have a future here; I doubt we'll see Teahen again.

  9. HHover - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    GonatCongrats on your own observations, but I'm not sure what you mean by calling my comments "hindsight"–I never thought he was going to make the OD roster, on the financials alone. Harper's own moxie and Davey's public statements gave hope to some dreamers, but I wasn't one of them.As for his problems with higher quality pitching–that was something plenty of people talked about last year when he made the jump to AA, so that's not exactly news either.

  10. Mark'd - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Gonat, made it easy on Davey. He was able to cut him based on performance and didn't end up being a Super 2 consideration.Young Bryce has to get on the breaking balls and changeups. We all know he can smash fastballs and hanging sliders.All in all, I loved his hustle but just didn't impress me with the bat.I'm thinking a June callup. Don't think we will see him end of April.

  11. Gonat - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    HHover, not making it because of the Super 2 as Mark'd just pointed out is where most thought it would end up. Few saw the implications of being overmatched.

  12. NatsLady - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    I was one who thought maybe they would "damn the torpedoes" and keep Harper up. But it became clear pretty early on (before the calf strain) that he could not bring a power stroke to ML pitching. Yes, he showed hustle and smarts, but he was baffled by lefties and breaking balls, while much lesser talents were smacking the ball around easily.Also glad the Werth in CF experiment is over. I know the Shark has fans but Ankiel is clearly superior in CF, and I will post a link when I get home to an article about runs saved and Ankiel. I'm not worried about LaRoche, but I am a little worried about Morse. I know they are saying a strain and not a "tear" — I hope that proves to be the case. At any rate, I definitely agree with the cautious approach.

  13. oldguyjim in cocoa beach - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Watching Bryce today up close, it was clear he needs work against quality pitching. We and he should be patient give him a chance to get ready to become the outstanding player that he certainly will. Of much more concern is the week hitting at the top of the order and the injuries to Morse and LaRoche. Unless they recover immediately neither will be ready for opening day. Mark DeRosa will fill along with The Shark. But this lineup will not scare anyone! Our pitching will need to be perfect to win.

  14. Mark'd - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Eury Perez, Tyler Moore, Lombo and Harper have all impressed plus Purke.Rendon will be a great one also. Nats have done a great job in amateur talent. Need to improve on getting better pro talent in FA.If SteveM and NatsJack are around would like to know their thoughts.

  15. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Forget not winning a game since last Monday but the way this team can forget finishing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the NL East. No Chance although I would love to be wrong

  16. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Why did they not just option Ian Desmond right along with Harper. Let's evaluate all of the players objectively not just the 19-yr old guys.

  17. NatsNuts - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Hater at 6:16!

  18. NatsNuts - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    I have been impresed with Bryce Harper since I saw him last year. Like I have said, you don't rush him. You let his talent dictate when he is ready. Hopefully he will hit a red hot streak at the time the Nats will want to bring him up.

  19. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Agree NatsNuts

  20. DCJohn - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    There is a reason that the Nats Xavier Nady, and that is teach Harper how to be a big leaguer. Nagey is a wonderful ball player.Now the betting is who will stick in the big leagues first: Rendon or Harper. I just hope that gas prices drop so I can see both play.

  21. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Desi is hitting .200 with ZERO walks and 10 K's in 35 AB's and he's made 3 errors in 36 chances — all before today. His MLB roster spot has to be in question.

  22. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Who can love a guy who hits .200 and does nothing else well enough to make up for that? Why should I love Ian Desmond?DeRosa and Lombo both look very good at the plate. Lombo is likely ready to play 2B in the bigs right now and Espi can play SS better than Desmond by most accounts. Anthony Rendon is coming to play 2B and push Espi to SS soon in any event. Why shuld I even want to love Ian Desmond?

  23. gonatsgo - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    The kid is hungry and will do everything they ask of him. Also – it's not like he is the only one with hitting struggles. He is probably much better off figuring it out away from the limelight a little more. Does he really need to absolutely dominate major league pitching to come up? I don't think so. No matter when he comes up, he will be a rookie and will need to take his lumps just like everyone else. Expectations are way too high for this kid. Why can't we just let him become a great player over time instead of expecting it to happen overnight?

  24. sjm308 - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    I thought they should be using Harper in CF from the beginning. Glad to see him getting that experience in AAA.

  25. MicheleS - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    SJM308. I am actually pleasantly suprised that they are putting him in CF in AAA, and actually glad, the kid seems to have the range/hustle/smarts for it. His quotes from Amanda/Kilgore sound like he is hanlding this like a pro.

  26. Jeff L. in Va - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    The Nats want Bryce to get experience against Major League type pitching and gain the confidence needed to stay up in the ML once promoted. The fact he is in AAA is positive as it will give him ability to see very close to ML curve balls & sliders. Once he proves he can hit everything thrown at him, he will be called up.Remember, Bryce said himself that he has always started out slow and then catches up. He is almost always the youngest kid on the team & in the league… He had this in college, Ariz League and AA last year. So his slow start in ST and a probable slow start in AAA is not anything to fret about. If he is hitting .350 by the end of April with power then the Nats will have a decision to make. They can bring him up then and be able to just keep him from being a Free Agent for another year or the let him stay down there until July and be able to keep him an extra year w/o the huge arbitration salaries. I look forward to watching him and seeing him continue to grow as an outfielder (CF or RF) and show his drive and skills by adapting to AAA pitching. He will (recover from his minor injury) and hopefully make Rizzo have a tough decision sometime after late April of when to call him up…Nats will be in the playoffs this year nomatter what timetable Bryce comes to the ML!!

  27. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    The hater guy's got a point. Desmond's not getting it done (his 1 for 3 today brings him up to .200, I think) and the Nats have to go with the guys that give them the best chance to win. All things considered, it is hard to argue that Ian Desmond should be in the lineup on Opening Day. We'll see. Maybe Ian gets hot and starts turning some heads, but right now he looks about as much like a leadoff man as I do.dfh21

  28. MicheleS - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Also would like to comment on Lombo. Like what I am seeing, and if he pushes someone out of there spot because he performs better, so much the better, not down on either of our 2 middle infielders (I love ESPI). I just think is is GREAT that we actually have position battles with good players (an not a cattle call from the minor leagues).Davey is no idiot, if someone is playing better he will find a way to use them. (It's not like he is going to bench a better player).

  29. natsfan1a - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    We're each free to love whichever player we wish to love (so to speak), or not.Never expected that Harper would start the season in the bigs, whatever the FO/skipper might have said about keeping an open mind. I don't do the armchair GM/manager thing so no opinion here re. at which level or position he should be. Does sound like he's handling it well. Will his Tweeter be fired up again, or not? :-)

  30. Gonat - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Bryce Harper after being told he would be going to AAA: "I want to go down there and get on my groove, get on a streak and get called up and hopefully be a game changer for the Nationals.”

  31. Positively Half St. - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    I imagine that Desmond is no lock to stay at SS long term, but I believe that the truism that Spring Training stats are meaningless is being applied to him. Rizzo is a scout, and Davey manages by gut at the same time he runs the stats. Ian doesn't have an endless leash, but it certainly extends into the regular season.Harper is certainly being sent down in the best possible way, on his merits. The hype gets to die down now, and he puts chips on his shoulder. The International League should be afraid. Very, very afraid.I am going to try to figure whether radio or TV though MiLB.com will connect me to Chiefs games.+1/2St.

  32. Gonat - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    MicheleS, I can agree with what you said. Desi and Espi start the season as Middle Infielders but there is no guarantee with Lombo there that they end up keeping their jobs if they don't perform well.Still hoping for Desi and Espi to have great seasons.

  33. JamesFan - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Desmond is going to start the season at short. Period. However, this is his third season as a starter, and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Hopefully, the Nats will not wait forever if he flops again. If we get into June and he's a strikeout machine, kicking the ball around the infield and making bonehead mistakes on the bases, they've go to do something different and they have lots of options.

  34. MicheleS - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Gonat.Totally agree, Desi is one of our first Nats (from minor leagues to Majors). Would like to see him make it, and well, Espi is my favorite (always loved 2B). I think the competition is going to be fun to watch this summer. And Lombo is a local kid.So really, I want all the kids to succeed. It can only mean great things for the Nats

  35. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    If the Spring Trainging stas were good for Ian right now, Nats fans in here would be saying "Look, he really HAS turned the corner!" Rizzo the scout loves Desmond — ok great, Ian can have a special place in Mike's heart. But Rizzo the GM has to start opening his eyes so that he can free up his heart from its unconditional love for his below the curve on all fronts SS if we want to win. Desmond's just not the talent they think he is. The Nats brass who have lust for Ian are wrong, the offensive and defensive stats are right. Desmond can't play very well and they have guys who can play better.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Thoughts on the past five weeks…..Bryce is clearly not ready for a steady diet of ML pitching. It was great to see him finally barrel up a ball in the 9th today but has been woefully over matched in most of his at bats.He will be fine as a center fielder as he has shown a natural ability to read balls off the bat and the ability to track them. And his arm is terrific.Rendon will advance quickly through the system and should be in Syracuse well before most people expect. His arm is not a problem and he could even spend time at shortstop.My favorite is Tyler Moore. He just might be that big gorilla Davey wants coming off the bench. Jis swing plane is short, powerful and quick to the ball. And he actually handles himself well around firstbase.And for any yeahoo who thinks scores of ST games mean anything, I just shake my head in shear disbelief.More on Matt Purke later.

  37. CN - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    IIRC, the team started Harper @ RF instead of CF b/c they did not want to place add'l pressure on him, despite his athleticism. I agree that it would've made sense to try him out @ CF full-time from the start, but I respect the organization for taking the path they did.I hope the time at Syracuse will allow him to get all his bumps out of the way defensively so that it'll be a seamless transition when he's finally in the bigs. He'll definitley have a lot of guys showing him the ropes & giving him a crash course, so I'm confident in the organization that this is the right move since they made it the current move.

  38. Anonymous - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    I want to see Demsond make it too. The guy's a calss act. BUT, I want the club to take the Best 25 north (gulp! — and I am kind of glad tha Harper will start in Cuse — he was not one of the ebst 25) and for Davey to play the guys who have the best chancee to help the club win. Ian Desmond is just not showing himself to be the guy at SS who can best get it done. I don't see how Davey can pencil him in if he continues to play the way he has this Spring. No walks to 10 K's? He needs to get it in gear.dfh21dfh21

  39. MicheleS - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Anon 7:07.. I don't think Rizzo the Scout is different than Rizzo the GM. He pretty much knew he had 3B locked up for a long time, yet he Drafted Rendon. I think he got Rendon as insurance in the middle infield, plus we have Lombo or "Dozer" (shout out to 1A!)Good to here from NatsJack. Will be very curious about Purke.

  40. CN - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    I'm not riding the wave of emotion and/or recent performance at the plate right now by saying it makes sense to bring him up no earlier than mid-June. I'm basing this on the news that the team's going to make him the everyday centerfielder once he's in the bigs. The team prob wants him to get a lot of seasoning & instruction in 'Cuse before he gets his one-way ticket to DCA.

  41. MicheleS - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    DFH21.. BEST 25 GO NORTH!This will all sort itself out in the next few weeks.Also, very curious about Tyler Moore. He has looked good against the ML Pitchers. I wonder what his defense looks like. Anyone that has seen him, please chime in. (understand the bat looks good, but we can't carry a young kid as a bench player, so wonder if he is capable at 1B – you know just in case LaRoche ends up on the DL)

  42. Mark'd - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    NatsJack, thanks so much. That's how I saw it too. Agree with Gonat on middle infield.

  43. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    And for JayB….. The signing of Xavier Nady was strictly an organizational move to assist in mentoring Bryce Harpet in Syracuse.Please learn something about how a professional organization is run

  44. Mark'd - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    NatsJack, SteveM gave some good insight on Purke. Sounds like a stud and has to fix a few mechanical things and just get more reps.

  45. MicheleS - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    NatsJack. What do you think of Solano? Would he be a good back up catcher? Seems to have a good arm, not sure about the rest. Seems like AAA is a spot to groom him.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    I see Wil Nieves whenever I see SolanoAnd he tends to not ne able to get "on top" of his throws consistently when throwing to bases.Maldonaldo has consistently looked better than Solano.

  47. sm13 - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    The big new is the commitment to Bryce in CF. That will make the lineup strong for years to come. Speedy, power-hitting centerfielders are rare commodities. We're all going have to be patient with Bryce as he learns the position. As we've seen with Roger and Lastings, it is not as easy as it looks. I hope Ankiel gets to mentor him at the major league level sometime this May or June.Also worth noting that Bryce's quotes on MLB show remarkable growth in maturity. He should get credit for taking the advice of Davey and his teammates.

  48. MicheleS - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    NatsJack.. Solano.. Enough Said.

  49. JayB - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    NJack….would a professional organization put stake their season on Ian D leading off?How about Adam L being health….recall Rizzo said months ago he was 100%….he can not throw or run…depending on Adam L is like thinking Nick Johnson is going to play more than 75 games a year.How about saying Werth is the CF this year….ops…forgot to check with Manager who does not like that idea one bit and for VERY good reasons.How about Maya and Martin as major international signings……only ones in 5 years.Year after year of Bench players that can not hit and are after thoughts not key components of winning rosters…..Njack the List is long….I am a fan and have been since 2005….season tickets and all but this team just can not grow out of it's small minded hope for everything to go perfect mind set.

  50. natsfan1a - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Agreed re. Harper's quotes on the move. Maybe one of the vets has been schooling him on the cliches. 'Course it's boring; that's the point. Write it down. :-)

  51. Gonat - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    JayB, no team has perfect depth because true starters don't like riding the pine. Some teams have gone to 4 outfielders sharing time and that was the thought about getting Coco Crisp in just in case you needed Morse to play 1st.That sure looks like it would have been smart to pursue him. Not saying he would have played here, but Rizzo didn't seem to talk to him.

  52. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Just curious…. What does Adam L, Jason Werth, Yunesky Maya and an American named Raphael Martin have to do with Xavier Nady besides your general angst?

  53. The Anti JayB - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    JayB, ignore all the positive stuff and just keep on harping about the same old same old. No team is in perfect shape. None. Three years ago there likely was not a team in baseball that would swap MLB or MiLB rosters with us.Now more than half would gladly do it.Huge progress.So just chill and accept that it will never be perfect.

  54. Drew - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Nats Jack said: "And for any yeahoo who thinks scores of ST games mean anything, I just shake my head in shear disbelief."I think Spring Training games matter a great deal to Chad Tracy, Brett Carroll and Jason Michaels.P.S. When I get a bad haircut my wife shakes her head in shear disbelief.

  55. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Drew……the guys you name care about their personal performance in ST games. They care not one iota about the scores.

  56. sm13 - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Natsfan1a: Bull Durham quotes are always appropriate!

  57. Joe S. - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Drew,Box scores of ST games can mean a lot to the 21-25 candidates. Scores? Not. JayB,You forgot to mention: Steven Strasberg probably will not be nearly the pitcher that Walter Johnson was. And Zimmerman is not at the level of Mike Schmidt. More signs of a poorly-constructed team with no future.

  58. SBrent - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Question for the group: What's the practical/operational difference between optioning a player to a specific minor league team (as Harper to Syracuse) versus reassigning him to minor league camp (as Mark Teahen)? Does the latter choice just mean that they haven't yet decided WHICH minor league team to send him to yet? Does it mean that they haven't committed to keeping the player at all, and he might end up released? Does it keep open the possibility of bringing the player back to the major league team for opening day without burning an option? Some other difference?

  59. Suicide Squeeze - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Wow. Serious stuff on the ramifications for the Nats'2012 season from moving Harper to AAA….http://bit.ly/xnvstN

  60. JayB - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Not saying they have no future….saying they are not as good as they could or should be.Nady signing is back up plan that should never have been needed. Adam L and OF depth have been issues for two years…..just like all the other examples I give….they can do better but Rizzo insists on believing his guys are better than they are and that guys line Wang and Adam L will be able to brake the pattern of injury…..Really have not clue what Rizzo is thinking with Ian D and lead off…..but it clearly was not going to work and it clearly is not working.

  61. gonatsgo - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    So many good points being made tonight. Harper – I agree that the biggest news is not that he is going to AAA, but that he appears to be our long-searched-for savior at centerfield. It doesn't solve lead-off, but a decision appears to have been made and announced in a kind of back-handed way. I like Desi a lot but I do feel that this season is where he has to be consistent. Lombo is breathing down his neck. One thing that amazes me in 2012 – everywhere I look, I see depth, even with the big Gio trade. There are guys in minor league camp just watching and waiting and drooling over those spots on the 25 man. Everybody better stay on their toes and healthy. And — Bull Durham quotes are most definitely always welcome!

  62. JayB - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Njack,Now is Ian D. looking to you……No walks……OPS under .200….if this how you build a winner….spend big money on pitching but refuse to face facts with your SS/Lead Off spot?

  63. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Suicide Squeeze – very funny stuff — everyone else – please read for a good laugh.

  64. Unkyd - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    "Adam L and OF depth have been issues for two years"…………….AL only been here for one year… See why they make fun of you?

  65. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Most interesting thing to me is that Davey apparently saw enough from Harper to push for him to play CF. That's got to be a positive for Bryce to feel pretty good about. He had to know this day was coming anyway.Agree wholeheartedly with you there @Sunderland. That was the most interesting thing perhaps of the entire ST soap opera. Davey manipulating the FO. Sending Corey Brown down early to Syracuse and declaring him a CF candidate. The Harper. And then there's Brian Goodwin. Right now, unless Davey retires, I would say those three have the best shot at outfield positions if performance warrants because of the left-handed bats. Harper and Brown perhaps more so because both are five-tool with the potential to drive in runs along with fielding. Add to that the fact that Lombardozzi and his switch-hitting bat is still in the mix while Perez is not after having a good enough spring says a lot.Davey wants those left-handed bats. But, now Harper must compete with Xavier Nady, Corey Brown, Tyler Moore, and perhaps Lombardozzi for a future spot on the 25-man. And Jesus Valdez is no slouch at the plate either. He'll have plenty of competition and then some. Hope he's up to the challenge again.Plus have to figure Rendon, Kobernus, Perez, and Hood may not be far behind. And of those could conceivably hit there way onto the Syracuse roster … plus Hague is an outside possibility still TBD. And it looks like there is a wave that's going to come after that … Davey has placed the Nats in a great position by forcing the FO's hand into consider inside possibilities instead of looking outside. Riggleman would have done exactly the opposite. I think I like it.

  66. JayB - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    obs under .200 but his ops may be as well…..Do professional organizations let key players abandon their professionals coaching and go off and rework completely their hitting using a High school coach….really that is how professional organization operate?

  67. HHover - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    JayB This line certainly rings true:"Really have not clue what Rizzo is thinking with Ian D and lead off."The Nats leadership can see the problems with Desmond as easily as us internet commenters. What they're thinking of as plan B if Desmond doesn't improve, and when they'll implement it, none of us knows. The one thing I'm pretty sure of, tho, is that trashing a player in public isn't Davey's style, or Rizzo's. We internet commenters can afford that luxury, but they can't.

  68. JayB - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    last year and this year….two years to me

  69. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Now is Ian D. looking to you……No walks……OPS under .200….if this how you build a winner….spend big money on pitching but refuse to face facts with your SS/Lead Off spot?Last year with Riggleman you might be right JayB. This year instead of sending Stephen Lombardozzi to minor league camp early? He's still on the ST roster, and he's still hitting and making things happen. Again, this guy has been trained to lead-off and get on base. How's he doing JayB?

  70. Section 222 - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    What's the practical/operational difference between optioning a player to a specific minor league team (as Harper to Syracuse) versus reassigning him to minor league camp (as Mark Teahen)I asked this question when Rendon and Purke were optioned and Corey Brown was reassigned to minor league camp and never got much of an answer from the gallery. Best I can tell, the guys who have been optioned are on the 40 man roster so they have to be optioned in order to be sent to the minor league camp since everyone on the 40 man starts in the major league camp. (Purke, Rendon, and Harper signed major league contracts, so they're all on the 40 man roster even when they are playing in the minors.) The other guys have signed minor league contracts (or, like Brown, went through waivers) so are not on the 40 man. They can be sent to minor league camp and the team will decide later where they'll play. Any of them can be released if that's what the Nats want to do. (Not going to happen with Harper, obviously.)Happy to be educated if that's not right.

  71. Feel Wood - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Ian Desmond is just not showing himself to be the guy at SS who can best get it done. I don't see how Davey can pencil him in if he continues to play the way he has this Spring. No walks to 10 K's? He needs to get it in gear.Two words.(1) Small sample size.(b) Spring training stats mean absolutely nothing.If Desmond is hitting .200 with a zero walk-to-strikeout ratio 150 or 200 PAs into the regular season, then your comments might have some validity. Now they don't.

  72. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    How about Maya and Martin as major international signings……only ones in 5 years.And what about Eury Perez? And wait until you see Wirkin Estevez … oh forgot you don't follow the minors?JayB, Davey Johnson's goal was to prove to the FO that they have most everything they need relative to CF and lead off already in house.Again, Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, and Brian Goodwin look like the leading candidates at this point because they bat left. AND Davey's machinations do something everyone here seems to be missing: It keep the beast in left-field where Davey wants him. He is the Nats only impact bat, other than Zimmerman perhaps, that Nationals currently have while the baby Nats keep developing both in the majors and down in the minors.As far as lead-off, Lombardozzi, Kobernus, and Perez seem like pretty decent replacements for Desmond … and he still does have options JayB. Why not let the drama unfold before criticizing? Let's see what the kids can do first.

  73. JayB - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Great….Danny E should be the SS…..last year and now…..2nd is easy to fill from within the roster is the only goal is to be better than they are with Ian D on the roster…..If the goal is to win more than you lose and make the playoffs this season…..well that means you need to be proactive in the Winter….Rizzo sat on his hands like he always does….over valuing his roster and expecting every player will reach what he sees as their potential……Baseball is not like that…..very very few players ever reach full potential…IAN D is not one of them.

  74. gonatsgo - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Anyone have any idea how many guys are still in big-league camp? Just trying to get a handle on how many will still be re-assigned or released. I have to admit I find myself pulling for Lombardozzi a lot. He just could be a good lead off guy and he can steal and switch hit. A little over two weeks left – I would imagine that some of these guys are getting a bit anxious. Mark – would love to see a comprehensive story on what issues will soon need to be resolved with the personnel. Outfield for sure, bench, utility. Who looks to be in, who looks out?

  75. NatsFanJim - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    The boy just wasnt major league ready – period. I didnt think he looked very good at the plate — sometimes, he looked like sh$%. When Teheren blew him away last week on three pitches, I knew. HIs outfield play was also suspect. He is going to be a great great player, but he seems to need a couple hundred AB's at AAA

  76. Wally - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    I haven't been able to post much, and i am sure that you guys covered this in earlier posts, but I think there a few things I see a little differently than some of these posts:It is interesting that Harper will play CF in SYR, but I think it is a long way from clear that he can actually handle it up here. From what I could tell, he didn't get many game chances there. And I can't point to anything concrete, but I have a hunch Harper won't be up until late summer. I think he may struggle a little more in AAA than we expect.The starting pitching doesn't look as sharp as the stat lines would suggest. I am not too worried though, and Gio seems better than I expected. He could have a big season.I get the feeling that Davey and Rizzo are looking for anything remotely palatable to get rid of Lannan. I don't understand it, candidly, since I think he offers the best probability-weighted results of the trio, even before Wang's injury. But I would not be surprised to see him traded for something we deem insubstantial. Not sold on our MI situation either, including Lombo. It is great that he is doing well, but I am not a believer based on these few ST ABs.Tyler Moore could be something. Reminds me a little of Trumbo.Derosa squaring up a few balls earlier was encouraging. Not sold on Caroll or Michaels.

  77. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Great….Danny E should be the SS…..last year and now…..2nd is easy to fill from within the roster is the only goal is to be better than they are with Ian D on the roster…Desmond still might get optioned to work on his new hitting technique he and his High School baseball coach cooked up that Davey absolutely hates.Looks to me like that would add another left-handed bat to the lineup since Lombardozzi is a switch-hitter. AND we know Johnson has to love that idea.They can't go outside to fill the need JayB, they have Werth (yes you can blame the Lerner's and Rizzo for that) and his 8 year contract. Now you're down to two outfield positions right? Morse is at one and Davey wants to ensure he doesn't have to MOVE HIM as the only true potential impact bat that they currently have.At the same time they have Harper, Brown, Hood, Perez, Moore, Marerro just on the cusp of the majors? Infielders Lombardozzi, Rendon and Kobernus right there as well. Right behind could be Hague and Goodwin. Hood is now a B, close to B+ Sickel's grade prospect. Hopefully, Brown goes to Syracuse and proves even better than that. Johnson wants to use the prospects. Riggelman had his chance with his veterans … how'd that work out?

  78. MicheleS - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    gonatsgo. By my count, we have 37 left in ML camp.

  79. NatsFanJim - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Lots of negatives here about Ian Desmond. but it does seem as if management has given him more of a chance than they would most other players, considering his amateur fielding, poor hitting — worse: he seems to have real approach to any at bat. His errors are still there as are errors that dont get in the book. I am not a hater of Desi –which many here seem to accuse people of who criticize Desmond. But people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. And the FACT remains: Desmond is not getting it done will hurt this team is allowed to play.

  80. Feel Wood - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Do professional organizations let key players abandon their professionals coaching and go off and rework completely their hitting using a High school coach….really that is how professional organization operate?Yes. Yes it is. That's why MLB teams bring in retired players to work with hitters in spring training. That's why they let Ichiro be his own hitting coach. That's why they let Cal Ripken change his stance practically every other AB. That's why they let Bryce Harper's father work with him on his hitting. Because professional organizations know that it's not the coach that matters, it's not the method that matters, it's the results that matter. If a player like Ian Desmond thinks he needs to improve (which no one disputes) and he wants to try something that might help him improve, then the offseason is the time to do that. If whatever he tries, or whoever he worked with, doesn't result in the desired improvement, then spring training is the perfect time to correct that and try something else.Really, JayB, if you have been an STH since 2005 and been playing/following baseball as long as you claim you have, you have no excuse for your level of ignorance. It never ceases to amaze me.

  81. NatsNuts - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    MicheleS, there may be 2 or 3 injured players in your count.How come Blanco wasn't cut?

  82. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    I get the feeling that Davey and Rizzo are looking for anything remotely palatable to get rid of Lannan. I don't understand it, candidly, since I think he offers the best probability-weighted results of the trio, even before Wang's injury.The stats I use paint an entirely different story … the story of a still young pitcher with enough of a sample size compare to the population who could not compete with a guy 10-15 years older. Livo would have pitched well over 200 and won more games if they had not decided to shut him down so that Davey could evaluate the youth. Lannan is not a good pitcher and most GM's view him as too expensive at 5 million. That should tell you something if anything should. He is on his last big pay day this year. After this he will be lucky to make a million a year pitching in the majors if he doesn't end up laboring in the minors.

  83. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    How come Blanco wasn't cut?That's easy NatsNut. Its because the FO now sees Lombardozzi as a starter not a UTL. They want to ensure he gets enough at bats whether in the majors or the minors. He really hasn't had that much time in AAA and it wouldn't hurt him to start out there while Blanco serves as backup.But Lombardozzi has something Blanco doesn't; A seemingly effective switch-hitting bat. A very attractive talent if you are Davey Johnson.

  84. Unkyd - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    gonatsgo: here's Mark's best guesses, as is last Monday (along with the rest of our mewlings…)http://www.natsinsider.com/2012/03/projecting-roster-march-madness-style.html?m=0

  85. NatsFanJim - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    They better be careful about getting rid of Lannan. His stats and Jackson's are similar — with the tie breaker going to the Lefty.After Lannan is gone, Rizzo will be forced to live with jackson's maddening sudden loss of control and amazing ability to lose a game. Why do you think he hasnt stuck with any team yet? Be carefule what you wish for, Lannamn haters, you may really, really regret it.

  86. Knoxville Nat - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Can we trade JayB to an Orioles site for a bag of used balls?

  87. Unkyd - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Phil's brother@8:46: sometimes I wish we had a "like" button, here…

  88. Wally - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Anon @ 8:47 – even accepting your comment that he isn't a good pitcher, it is still odd though. The Nats did not have to tender him arbitration, but they did and they certainly had a ballpark idea of what it would cost. So i assume they felt he was worth it, this year at least. But they just don't appear to want him in the rotation. So i think the combination of those two things is odd. I guess they could have bet on the ability to trade him, or conversely i could just be wrong.Whether he is a good SP, i think he is fairly valued right now. A lefty who can throw 50% GBs will get a lot of chances to pitch in someone's rotation, and he'll be a SP somewhere for another 5 years. But my comment on him being the best probability-weighted option is as much to do with whether Wang can hold up over 180 innings, or whether Det can put it together for that long. 180 innings around 4.20 FIP for Lannan isn't unreasonable, and better than I would guess for the other two.

  89. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Do professional organizations let key players abandon their professionals coaching and go off and rework completely their hitting using a High school coach….really that is how professional organization operate?Actually yes. Most major league players have trainers or coaches outside of the team to work with them. There is a MLB pitcher who has had a bit of success from my area. He continues to work with his high school coach during the off season and even during the season. They talk after each start he has. Now should Ian have made those changes without having the Nationals in on it. That can be debated.

  90. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    They better be careful about getting rid of Lannan. His stats and Jackson's are similar — with the tie breaker going to the Lefty.I don't know what stats you are looking at but somehow Jackson managed to pitch over 200 innings 3 years in a row? Lannan has not managed that over the past three years … the one year he did his advanced stats where the absolute worse on the team.When using old-school stats one must remember that the idea behind using stats is to attempt to take a sample that can be compared to the population at large. When that is done with Lannan he ends up as one of the worst starters in the major league baseball bar none. The reason why Clippard threw too many innings was because he had to rescue Lannan as well as some other pitcher who are now since gone. Lannan is the last of those underachievers. The bullpen was particularly good at saving Lannan's hash … that's it in a nutshell.

  91. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    The Nats did not have to tender him arbitration, but they did and they certainly had a ballpark idea of what it would cost.And he was the only player they took to arbitration Wally? And notice that the Nats won. The Nats want to get something in return for Lannan more than a bag of balls. The owners appear to be real sticklers about that … its something Rizzo and the FO have to deal with. Whether Rizzo can accomplish that miracle remains to be seen.

  92. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    But my comment on him being the best probability-weighted option is as much to do with whether Wang can hold up over 180 innings, or whether Det can put it together for that long. 180 innings around 4.20 FIP for Lannan isn't unreasonable, and better than I would guess for the other two.And the FO and Davey agree with your assessment of Wang. But the Nats already have two backup left-handed starters in Detwiler and Gorzelanny. Plus Matt Purke will likely be major league ready pretty quickly. So, you have to find out about Detwiler now … plus Danny Rosenbaum is just about ready and he is a left-handed pitcher with similar attributes to Lannan but with better control? I could produce stats that are defense and park neutral (read excludes the efforts Lannan's team make to save him) that show him with an over 5 ERA after adjustment over the last 3 years. His stats were the worst of any pitcher they had in the majors after that adjustment is made and compared to the adjusted stats for the others? Why is that? How is it that LIvo, given his style, could become ace of this staff over Lannan that had been the ace the previous three years? How did that happen? How could Jason Marquis move ahead of him? Lannan has actually had more experience than Gio Gonzalez yet Gonzalez even with his walks managed to pitch over 200 innings and become an All Star?The stats I refer to which I posted clearly indicate why. And why Lannan is barely holding on to the #5 spot and why Rizzo signed Edwin Jackson rather than using Lannan in the #4 spot which technically, should give a team an advantage in the NL East against left-handed hitting? There is a reason why Lannan gets killed by the Phillies, and its not bad luck!

  93. gonatsgo - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    So – since I find myself doing a lot of just wondering about the nats (lame as it is) I have also been wondering if Bernadina has a future with the nats at all. He shows occasional outfield brilliance, has never hit all that well, but he is fast –I don't know, he just doesn't seem to be "the guy". What say ye, the court of nats opinions?

  94. Gonat - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    I think a trade is coming because Ladson says the CF candidate is in-house.

  95. sm13 - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Roger is likely on his last leg. If he doesn't prove can hit major league pitching, I would guess the he'll be released. He's had his fair share of chances.

  96. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Lombo has been the best overall middle infielder in camp. If Desi starts, it's because Rizzo is looking to trade him, probably for prospects. The Nats now have their CFer in waiting, assuming Bryce cuts it in AAA, and they already have a .360 OBP guy in Lombo, with a guy who had a .540 OBP at Rice in the pipeline (Rendon). If Bryce doesn't work out in center, they still have Brown.Lombo and Rendon at 1 & 2 would be the place setters the club now lacks. Bernie, Desi, Spinner, Ankiel, et. al., just haven't cut it. Desi will have to go. Spinner is the guy who can be the all-around utility guy, able to play short and second, and maybe 3rd.Lombo and Rendon are the guys who can get on, move up, and get in.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  97. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    I think a trade is coming because Ladson says the CF candidate is in-house.I find it interesting that Maldonado is still on the roster and Solano now optioned to Syracuse. Is Flores on the trade block to be packaged, say with Lannan? KC has lots of interesting prospects … and unlike Pudge Maldonado apparently can still hit.

  98. Gonat - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    My friend Steve just called me about Lannan. Is he packing bags?

  99. Gonat - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    I just looked at MLBTR and nothing is on there but Steve is saying a trade was made.

  100. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    just looked at MLBTR and nothing is on there but Steve is saying a trade was made.Check twitter … I'm checking now …

  101. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Really excellent to see Bryce Harper's sister and brother standing behind him!bharpsis4534: Words to live by!! RT @BHarp45: Keep positive. Keep fighting. Never quit. Let's roll!

  102. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Given Ian's last 2 years, how he's played this Spring, Lombo's last two years and how he's played this Spring, Rendon's presence, Espi's ablity to play SS (his youth, his power his switch hitting ability), DeRosa's ability to play 2B, Blanco's supposedly solid glove and good speed. Desmond's not a lock to even make the club out of ST – he's not a plus guy at anything other than his speed. They could easily option him to Cuse to play every day and figure it out. Desmond really needs to start playing like the guy they think he's going to be NOW, or he's done as a Nat. It's up to him. I hope he rises to the occasion, but the odds get longer with every multiple K day.dfh21

  103. Wally - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    I don't see anything on Twitter about Lannan.Gonatsgo- I think they don't see Bernie as anything more than a 5th OF

  104. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Nothing on "tweeter" Gonat?

  105. Anonymous8 - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    With Wang's leg injury you would think no way they trade Lannan. On the other hand, if Rizzo gets his OF, I don't put anything past him.

  106. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Lannan to the Angels for Pujols.

  107. Gonat - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Anonymous said… Nothing on "tweeter" Gonat? March 18, 2012 9:44 PM _________________________I know nothing. Just listening to an Insider.

  108. HHover - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    If you're suggesting Lannan is a worse pitcher than Gorzo, you really are unhinged, peric.

  109. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Steve must be watching the Redskins! Maybe Rizzo wants to 1 up that RG3 deal!If Steve calls it, I am expecting a blockbuster sized trade.

  110. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    If you're suggesting Lannan is a worse pitcher than Gorzo, you really are unhinged, peril.Remember everyone's favorite saying? Sample size? According to my stats he was the best reliever on the left-side last year and the most effective left-handed starter.HHover let's look at the previous year 2010? While Lannan was pitching far worst even than gascanrahan at his absolute worst … Gorzo was saving the Cubs as Zambrano went down with one injury after another AND pitching out of the pen? Over the last 3 years? Sure Gorzo has been way better than Lannan by far? And the stats I look at show that? If I'm unhinged then you're a silly biased town idiot who has conveniently forgotten all the times Lannan got shelled by the Phillies at home in front of their fans.

  111. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    I know nothing. Just listening to an Insider.I just asked Amanda … no response.

  112. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Thanks, all – you expect that I will be able to just go to sleep now?

  113. HHover - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Please don't try to lecture me about small sample sizes and then try to cherry pick examples of individual games from 2 seasons ago.You want a big sample? FIP and xFIP aren't metrics that love Lannan's style of pitching, but over the past 4 years, his xFIP is 4.38, and Gorzo's is 4.62.

  114. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Makes no sense they would trade Lannan at this point in time.Sure, trade rumors have been swirling, just find it hard to believe that they do it now that Wang went down.I'm going to sleep. Doubt we hear anything until mid-day tomorrow anyway.

  115. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    You want a big sample? FIP and xFIP aren't metrics that love Lannan's style of pitching, but over the past 4 years, his xFIP is 4.38, and Gorzo's is 4.62.And Gorzo was recovering from a legitimate arm injury he incurred? How about John Lannan? That's why I picked the last three years dolt.

  116. Joe S. - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    I'm neither a Lannan defender nor a hater.But misuse of stats is misuse of stats.It is true that Lannan stinks, by any advanced stat you care to mention. It is also true that Lannan's ERA is pretty good, and has been for a fairly long time now. People prefer the advanced stats to ERA because it has better predictive value, not because it better describes a pitcher's effectiveness at any point in time. But Lannan is the exception to this rule. His ERA predicts his next year's ERA better than the advanced stats, and has been doing so for some time.So can we forget Lannan's advanced stats?

  117. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    If Lannan is traded, Peric will be blown away that another team wants him.

  118. Gonat - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Trade partners Orioles, Yankees, Royals, Houston, Arizona is who I am watching.

  119. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    John Lannan 2011: 182.3 xIP 5.04 tRA -15.1 pRAA worst on staff.Tom Gorzelanny 2011 85.3 xIP 4.39 tRA, -0.9 pRAASean Burnett 2011 55.8 xIP, 4.70 tRA, -4.8 pRAATom Gorzelanny 2011 21.7 xIP, 3.05 tRA, 2.1 pRAAJohn Lannan 2010: 142.6 xIP, 5.74 tRA, -19.3 pRAA [worst on staff]Tom Gorzelanny 2010: 132.6 xIP, 4.32 tRA, 3.0 pRAATom Gorzelanny 2010: 6.4 xIP. 4.90 tRA, -0.5 pRAA [relief]John Lannan 2009: 196.8 xIP, 5.52 tRA, -20.0 pRAA [worst on staff]Tom Gorzelanny 2009: 33.0 xIP, 4.85 tRA, -0.9 pRAATom Gorzelanny 2009: 5.4 xIP, 7.78 tRA, -2.0 pRAA [relief Cubs]Tom Gorzelanny 2009: 8.5 xIP, 3.29 tRA, 1.0 pRAA [relief Pirates]

  120. Gonat - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Hey Peric, your cut & paste skills are legendary. Give it a rest.We have told you so many times that Lannan's WHIP and FIP and tRA and pRAA don't matter if you can protect your runs.

  121. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    If Lannan is traded, Peric will be blown away that another team wants him.Yeah, he won't go alone … that's how valuable he is. Can't wait to see your post when he ends up laboring in the minors somewhere …

  122. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    then try to cherry pick examples of individual games from 2 seasons ago.And just for the record MAKE THIS STAT [Lannan against the Phillies] FIVE YEARS .. what's his record HHover? eh? Look that up and stuff in your pipe and smoke it because that is a large enough sample size to measure against the population that is the NL East.

  123. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    Speaking of negative stats err posts?here's a HUGE surprise to me? KLaw says something positive about a Nats prospect? Wonder of wonders?keithlaw I think he's capable of handling it. "@AdamBowen13: @keithlaw Sold on Bryce Harper as a CF?"

  124. Clip&Store - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    It must have been a different Keith Law. Or somebody hacked his account.

  125. Anonymous - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Lannan for Dunn!!! Lannan for Dunn!!! Just do it!!!

  126. HHover - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Joe SI agree that the advanced metrics do a poor job of capturing Lannan's performance–my point was that even using the more common advanced metrics, Lannan outperformed Gorzo. As for Peric – what major injury to Gorzelanny do you have in mind that would justify eliminating his 2008 season? He had a horrible year, yes, but neither that year or in 2007 did he have surgeries or trips to the DL–tho he did get sent down to the minors in mid-2008 when he lost his control (as Lannan did in 2010).

  127. A DC Wonk - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    Here's the way I see Lannan — in 2010 he had problems. If we look at the other three of the past four years: he averaged over 190 innings, and had a combined ERA of 3.85. His ERA was better than the league average all three years. His combine WAR (baseball reference) was 4.0. That's clearly far from the worst on the Nats.

  128. SBrent - Mar 19, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Thanks Section 222!

  129. Sunderland - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Ladson says – CF candidate in house – because that is what Ladson is told. In print Ladson would write just that – Rizzo or the Nationals say their CF candidate is in house. On the twitter, it's gets shorter.Ladson says the CF is in house because that's what Rizzo wants other teams to hear. We're not anxious to find a CF. We're not desperate to find a CF. We're good with what we have. It makes for a better negotiating platform. That's why Ladson says our CF is in house.

  130. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Sunderland…… couple that with "Bryce is going to play CF in Syracuse" and you have the "candidate is in the house" statement.No desperation for a trade, inspite of JayB's rants.

  131. NatsLady - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Here is an article on Lannan and WARP.Lannan and the Trouble with WARPHere is why Ankiel will patrol CF until Harper gets here (sorry, Shark):"The Fielding Bible" lists Nats' Ankiel as best outfield armMy opinion–since last year–is that Lannan should go to a league or division that does not include the Philadelphia Phillies. They tendered him because they had not at the time made the Gio trade or gotten Edwin Jackson. Now those two things have happened, and it looks like Wang will be available (and GREAT) for at leat part of the season. Rizzo, like me, is simply tired of watching Lannan pitch. And, as noted above, Davey isn't going to ruin Clip's arm to rescue him.Rick will learn to hit better. That's my prediction.

  132. NatsLady - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    …Wang will be available (and GREAT) for at least part of the season…

  133. gonatsgo - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    You're up and posting like crazy pretty early today NL! Ankiel's hitting is behind his throwing because he was a pitcher for so long. Hopefully he is still learning, even at his age and can post some halfway decent numbers. We are one day closer to knowing who is going to be part of the 25 man and who is not. You think Wang will be available? I see him ( and possibly AL, now) as being the new Nick Johnson. Keeping the trainers busy.

  134. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Everyone….down here in Viera, we have been assured that both Beast Mode and LaRoche are fine and due to their veteran status, are being held out till the final 10 days. The club wants to overly rest thier nagging lat and ankle issue. Both are getting ab's in minor league camp

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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