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Sunday morning injury updates

Mar 25, 2012, 2:15 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Rick Ankiel, who had a quad strain earlier this spring, was scratched from today's lineup.

VIERA, Fla. — It's a lazy Sunday here at Space Coast Stadium, where it's been raining on and off this morning. Doesn't appear there's enough precipitation to threaten this afternoon's game against the Mets, which is a good thing because the Nationals need to ratchet things up a bit and put forth a solid effort after failing to win any of their last 11 Grapefruit League games.

Manager Davey Johnson has been pointing for a while to today's game as the unofficial start of the home stretch of the spring. He's been planning to play most of his regulars, giving them plenty of at-bats in preparation for the season opener.

Unfortunately, it's tough for Johnson to put together a full lineup when several of his regulars are still dealing with injuries. Michael Morse (lat strain) is still waiting for the green light to resume baseball activities. Adam LaRoche (bone bruise in foot) did get a bunch of at-bats again yesterday in a minor-league game but has yet to be cleared to run the bases. And now Rick Ankiel has been scratched from today's lineup (heRead more »

  1. Hmmm... - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    I dont feel up to starting today. But im gonna be ready for opening day

  2. sully - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    I really like Lombardozzi, but it's pretty sad that we have to start trying to use him in the outfield – to generate obp and offense. I guess I'm heading into Jay B territory, but I just can't believe that our offseason acquistion program seems to have been so out of balance. We cleary needed more hitting, yet when we were already in a strong position with respect to pitching, we committed $11 million to get another one. That's a lot to acquire a marginal gain in an area of established strength. It indicates to me that the organization believed that this was the move that would put them "over the top" in terms of playoff position, and that it was somewhat deluding itself regarding offensive improvement coming solely from within.

  3. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    JayB said…yea….I'm the hater….as long timers with perspective nowI'm a long timer, and the only perspective I've ever seen from JayB is hate. He should be held accountable for that.

  4. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. sully - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Let me add that I hope Rizzo doesn't panic and make a bad trade that only marginally improves the offense. I'm ok with trying to find solutions from within, like Lombo in the outfield, I just think it would have really helped our playoff prospects to have added some real production from outside, as well.

  6. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    You mischaracterize JayB's dead-horse-beating. He is often boringly redundant and negative, and he can't spell, but he is no hater. And we know which posts are at least putatively his, which means he is making himself accountable. Ahem.

  7. Sunderland - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Right on. Certainly not a hater in any way."You mischaracterize JayB's one-note criticisms. He's boring, redundant, and can't spell, but he is no hater. And we can tell which posts are his."

  8. Sunderland - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Do I have to now remove and re-post my comment?

  9. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Technical difficulties resolved, we now resume your regularly scheduled baseball panic, already in progress.

  10. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Let them live in doubt and confusion, Sunderland. : )Speaking of hating, I think Blogger s/w is hating on me this morning. That's 2 posts it's eaten.———-

  11. DL in VA - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Cafardo says that the Angels want Zimmermann. I think we'd accept a trade straight up. Zimmermann for Pujols.

  12. Joe S. - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Sully,I don't think that Rizzo is making a mistake in sticking with the pitching markets. I think he's playing for 2013. There are plenty of good outfielders in that free agent class. This make sense. There was no way he could create a championship team this year on any realistic budget. Next year is another matter, with Harper presumably up and ready, the IF prospects better sorted out, and Morse at 1B.Of course, the half-finished Nats are good enough to stand a chance at the playoff, even now. It's frustrating. But I remember the 1984 Mets. They clearly weren't a championship team, but clearly would become so. They were a tremendous amount of fun to follow.

  13. NatsLady - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Which outfielder/leadoff high OPB was available on a 1-year deal for $11 million at the time we got Ejax?

  14. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    So, as I was saying…If it weren't Davey, whose track record should buy some respect, I'd be thinking 75-77 wins right about now. I don't mind the Jackson signing–it's not like that's the last $11MM they have, and TNSTATMP–and I think they can survive Desmond at short, and didn't expect anything out of Harper this year anyway. But they need a top-notch bench, and I don't see that.That said, none of that matters. The games that count don't start for two weeks, and they are the only thing that counts. They don't award world series berths based on who wins the blogs. But mainly, this is an entertainment industry. Feel free to wring your hands if it makes you feel better, but if you don't enjoy them playing the games–"the human drama of athletic competition"–then what's the point?

  15. Blogger s/w - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Sec 3:Yummy comments as always

  16. Kirbs - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    I will hold out panic until we see a line up with Morse and dare I say ALR. We havnt had our 4 and 5 yet, so deep breath. If we can get them in, Zim will have the protection he needs. (Is it to much to hope Werth(less) hits .250?)Now, if beast is out, and no ALR its stage 1 freak out time. The line up simply can't hit otherwise. I am a big Derosa fan tho.

  17. Steady Eddie - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I agree that JayB is not a hater — he's much more chronically grumpy, rarely if ever nasty (except to everyone associated with Nats' management but that's another story). Personally I've always thought of him as Eeyore which makes his posts a lot easier to take.Sully, I disagree with your post only in that the $11 m for EJax was not an either/or choice between that and getting more hitting, but agree with the rest. While maybe the limit on getting many potential OF hitters is that they would be clubhouse poison if they weren't starters, it's hard to believe that the best and only decent backup we could get was DeRosa (who's OK at first and in the OF but we needed a couple more like him, not Tracy or Carroll, who strike me as more like the "I hope against all the evidence that this guy will reach more of his potential than he's shown in the past five years" style of pre-2011 Springs). For that matter, what was wrong with keeping Nix around? The 2 year deal he wanted was trivial $, he's OK with coming off the bench and even saved a game (that great June 1 win vs the Phillies) with his glove and bat. I like Rizzo a lot but sometimes he thinks himself into a corner on things like this.

  18. Kirbs - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Couldn't agree more about Nix….he will pay us back as a Philly.

  19. bdrube - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I'm not one to blame Rizzo. The fact is that our upper minor league cupboard was still pretty bare as far as position players go. Maybe if MLB hadn't destroyed the system in 2002-2004 and Jimbo hadn't so completely botched the 2006 draft, we might have the additional big bopper type we need in the middle of the order or even a decent centerfielder/leadoff hitter. The only two real impact offensive free agents this past offseason were Puljous and Fielder, who were insanely overpriced.All I ask is that they stop doing the, "who you gonna believe about how great things are, me, or your lying eyes," schtick.

  20. Steady Eddie - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Thank you Sec. 3! A beautiful perspective to offer.

  21. Centreville62 - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    The NATS are killing fan interest with their ST performance.

  22. LoveDaNats - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    All of the media love for the new play-off bound Nats has quieted substantially. They look good on paper. Gotta see how it plays out. I'm not sayin' I'm done drinking the kool-aid. Trying not to panic. What I think we will see is similar to what we saw last year……a gradual increase in competence that will eventually result in the double-digit winning streaks we saw last year. I believe it will happen, just not as fast as we all would like.

  23. sjm308 - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    As I am rereading Winnie the Pooh now to my grand baby Eeyore is a perfect choice & I second Sec. 3 about having a "name" silly or otherwise to relate to.That being said, most of us on here are fans and do want to see progress and success, including jayB.I had not thought about Nix and hate to do the hindsight thing but he would be helpful, right about now.

  24. SayNoToClint - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    If they're basing their interest on ST results, I wouldn't call them fans.Centreville62 said… The NATS are killing fan interest with their ST performance.

  25. natsfan1a - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Just for the record, I don't think JayB is a hater, and I think he's entitled to his opinion, as we all are.

  26. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. howl31 - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    All those Laynce Nix lovers out there… I loved the way the guy played, too… always full out, never took a half swing, etc etc… this guy was never going to look at Strike 3, that's for sure… But, the reality is, he had a blazing hot start… and then after Memorial Day, he his .219 with a .280 OBP and a .379 slugging percentage…A 31 year old journey man putting up those kinds of numbers is not worth making a 2-year committment to… just my opinion!

  28. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    OK, that wasn't the s/w, that was me, editing.I think Centreville62 is talking about killing the buzz that attracts potential fans, not current ones. And given the perennially piss-poor marketing, fielding a winning team is about all they have, to draw fans. It's sort of like the marketing equivalent of how Earl Weaver described his style of management–sit back and wait for three-run home runs–except that's not really all Earl did. And he had pitching. Lots of it.

  29. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    howl31 said ….Fair point, but keep in mind this was mostly off the bench, and you seldom get guys hitting .300 off the bench. They don't usually stay bench guys if they're hitting that well. Just sayin.

  30. Deeply Concerned - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    We can forget about Storen. Elbow injuries and spring training do not mix well. Lots and lots of history on this point over the last 50 years in baseball. Forget him and move on.I reacted with relief when I saw the Nats were not on MASN today. I'm sick of recording their games and then immediately deleteting them.The Nats will learn a hard lesson about running their mouths the whole off-season. Playoffs, winning season, DJ saying we could beat his World Series winning-Mets. Pride goeth before a fall, and our blabbermouths are falling like flies.I bet if you spent a day with most of us on NI, you'd find we were the person neighbors and co-workers ask about the Nats. These people, casual fans, are the ones Centreville 62 was talking about (I think) when he said the team's ST performance is killing fan interest. And what do a million Washingtonians see on the FRONT PAGE, above the fold, of the Washington Post today? –"Nats losing spring in their steps. High hopes stumble on injuries, struggles in Fla."I studied organizational performance for Rand for 25 years. This team has the classic over-promise and under-deliver syndrome characteristic of losing organizations.

  31. howl31 - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Right, I think Laynce Nix would be a good bench player on the 2012 version of the Nats, also…My point was, he wasn't worth making a 2-year committment to. Nix did the right thing by grabbing the financial security of a 2-year deal… and the Nats did the right thing by not making a 2-year committment to a journey man role player that had a .659 OPS after Memorial Day… I very much believe the organization wanted Nix to return… on a 1-year deal… it just didn't work out like that…On a 1-year deal, if you look up in June and your bench player is hitting .220 with no pop, you just release the guy and bring up Bryce Harper (or whatever, just being optimistic on that point)… On a 2-year deal, if you look up in June and your bench player is hitting .220 with no pop, your stuck with that guy on your 25-man roster until probably June 2013…

  32. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Deeply, I saw that, too, in the Post this morning. There *is* such a thing as bad publicity, and that's an example. DJ saying we could beat his World Series winning-Mets.To be fair to DJ, he didn't say this team could beat his Mets. He said this team was more talented.

  33. sully - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    It wouldn't upset me if this is just another year of taking an incremental step forward, and waiting for 2013. That's fine. What I can't really understand is $11 million for a pitcher who only added marginal strength, on a one year deal, in such a year. Either management believed this would somehow put the team over the top, or they did it to allow them to make a trade for a position player, to bolster an area of weakness, that clearly they have not been able to pull off.

  34. Unkyd - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I think if Stras were looking at a full year, the EJax signing may not have happened. God forbid we should lose Gio or JZim, late, but we'd be perilously thin, without EJax, at that point. Worth $11,000,000, just in case there are meaningful games in Sept, MIT have been the thinking, and to me, that's sound…

  35. NatsLady - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Nix was not worth a two-year deal. Don't forget he wasn't a great fielder (despite "The Catch") and he had the achilles problem for a lot of the season, so when he got on base we needed a pinch runner.

  36. Sunderland - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    sully, or they did it to keep him from going to the Marlins or the Braves. Any way you look at the EJax signing, it ain't a bad move. He plays a position where we need 7 guys, it cost only cash, and the commitment is only one year. No downside, only upside, plus cash that ain't ours to spend.

  37. Positively Half St. - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I saw the Nix catch live, and was so excited at the time. They had just brought Slaten in, and I walked past an usher to get a beer, saying that many runs were about to score. I got back for the lousy pitch and game-saving catch.I wonder if Slaten would have been gone earlier if Nix had missed that one. I doubt it- Rizzo's store of patience for him was mind-boggling last year.+1/2St.

  38. Steady Eddie - Mar 25, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Nats Lady–Nix's Achilles problem was a major part of the reason he didn't hit well the latter half of the season. NOT saying he was starter quality, but would you really rather have Tracy (can he play any other position than a really mediocre first), or Carroll than Nux coming off the bench? Besides, if Nix is consistently decent as a bench player, you'd either want to keep him around for the second year, or you can get some value in a trade. If he's marginal and/or hurt and you can't get anything for him even as a throw-in to another deal, how is eating his salary for the second year anywhere near as bad as the terrible value the Nats have gotten out of Marquis and LaRoche?The point is that the amount of the gamble on a second year for Nix would have been fairly small versus the upside of having him for this year on an offense-impaired team. That's the one weird thing about Rizzo — his seeming risk aversion over relatively small amounts of money in building the bench. And there's no sign the Letners would be restricting him on such small potatoes in baseball terms — that's Angelos territory.

  39. Steady Eddie - Mar 25, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    1/2 St. — I was there with my daughter, and when I saw Riggles bringing Slaten in, after my "no, no, NO!", I just kept repeating "we've just lost this game," and kept believing that right up to the moment Nix showed the ball in his glove.The point is that he's capable of that even if you shouldn't expect it much. And that kind of solidity (he also won the game with a solo HR) has a real value on the bench, especially for the younger players to feel and learn from.

  40. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Tim Raines was a secondbaseman who was relegated to leftfield because he had a tough time turning the double play. Steve Lombardozzi can play second but might have pretty good career if he can fill in in left, second or short. On base percentage might give him the playing time he needs. I say play, Esponsia at first for now, DeRosa in left and Lombardozzi at second till Morse returns.

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