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Beltway Baseball Live – 4/10/12

Apr 10, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

The season’s only four games old, but already there are no shortage of compelling storylines for the Nationals. There’s the resurgence of Adam LaRoche. There’s the continued struggles of Jayson Werth. And, of course, there’s now the lingering question of Drew Storen’s elbow.

Chase Hughes of CSNwashington.com and Amanda Comak of the Washington Times joined me this afternoon to try to make sense of it all during our latest edition of Beltway Baseball Live.

We also took several of your questions on the Nationals. If you missed the show live, never fear. Here’s the entire episode for your viewing pleasure.

  1. The Fox - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    When is Wang scheduled to return and who in the line up will be bumped to the pen.

  2. WillieHarrisUnderpants - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    What roster moves are on the table for when Morse and Ankiel return? Do Carroll and Nady both get cut? Or do they keep one of them and option Mattheus and go with 11 pitchers for a while as Davey recently suggested?

  3. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Who will leave when Morse returns? Then, who will leave when Ankiel returns?

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Nady and Carroll are the most likely to go although the Braves are ready to claim Nady.

  5. FS - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    1. I will probably be pelted with virtual stones, but I need to ask this. After this season, two-fifth of our rotation is leaving. RD could possibly take over one spot if he continues to develop as a starter. Lannan could be #5. However, what are the chances HRod (exceptional speed, wicked slider, serviceable changeup) is converted into a starter? Control is a big issue for him, but is it possible to see him start?2. Do you expect Nationals offense to improve as season goes on?

  6. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Wow! Guillen suspended 5 games for saying nice things about Castro, kind of. What, is THIS Cuba?!?

  7. NatsLady - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    FS, Henry to a starter was proposed last year, and in theory I don't see why not. But practically how it could be done, since he has no option, well, it would have to be in winter ball and over spring training. I think the role as a reliever is set–unless he gets injured and it could be done while coming back on the DL.

  8. Luqman Sh-Hersi - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    How soon will the Nats find a quality center-fielder, and if Bryce Harper comes back will he become the primary center-fielder?

  9. FS - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Natslady, I thought I had heard that before. You are right about transition. Can't really experiment at the big stage. I am not sure winter ball and spring training is enough. But Rangers have been doing the same thing, nonstop converting relievers into starters. let's kidnap Maddux and Ryan for few months, that's gotta help HRod. Because if he can restrict his BB/9, he can be a really good starter for us.

  10. Ray Knight (the announcer formerly known as Nancy Lopez's Caddie) - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Anybody have an insight as to the opening day festivities (first pitch, anthem, big flag, etc)?

  11. David - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. David - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    corey brown is raking and walking at AAA. .478 OBP after only 5 games. (i know, small sample) but there is our solution at CF…

  13. Richard - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Question: What do you think Rizzo has to do to get fired? He's paying Werth-less $126M. He traded way Tom Milone, who pitched a shutout yesterday for the A's, and Norris, who's doing well in Sacramento, and Brad Peacock, and A.J. Cole — for Gonzalez and Gilliam. He's paying I-go-from-team-to-team-to-pitch-5-innings-and-give-up-3-runs-on-a-good-day Jackson $11M. He's following Wang around like a puppy, a guy who can't run to first base without tripping over himself. I could go on. When is enough enough?

  14. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Anybody have an insight as to the opening day festivities (first pitch, anthem, big flag, etc)?Yes, they will have all those things. Also long lines, not enough food to go around, and Clint.

  15. natsfan1a - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    As was posed by previous commenters, would be interested in the opinions of Mark and Amanda on who goes when Morse and Ankiel return.Also, what do you think will happen with LannEn? Doesn't sound like the trade market was promising and I don't suppose his first start at Syracuse will help that. How about his relations with the team? Any long term damage there or do they all make nice and move on?

  16. greg - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    more importantly, what time will the gates open on thursday? we'll be bringing food to mitigate lines/food issues. :)

  17. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I don't think it is Nady and Carroll to go when Morse and Ank return. I am thinking Nady and Lombo. Lombo has an option and it gives Rizzo time to decide.Unless Davey pushes Werth to CF against LH pitching, Carroll is the only other RH CF I believe.

  18. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Sooner or later, Harper will be ready for the bigs. Looks like Corey Brown already is. ALR is ripping at 1b. Werth is now in his 2nd campaign as a Nat, and, so far, it looks as if we are in for a repeat of last year's disappointing results. If ALR keeps delivering (yeah, I know, a big if), and Werth keeps under-performing (perhaps not such a big if), then how will things play out if the Nats pick up ALR's option next year?Could we see Brown in CF and Harper in RF, with Morse still in left and Werth on the bench, with ALR still at 1b? Would they keep Werth in the lineup just because of his salary, even if he continues to be a non-factor on offense?Also, any updates on injuries to Rendon and Goodwin? Any info on Solis' rehab schedule? Thx for any info you can provide.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  19. Dave - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    It is only 4 games in but the Nationals trend of K's seems to be continuing from last year. I personally was on the bandwagon for an above .500 season but after the second game realized that the teams inability to get productive outs will keep them from the playoffs. Adding Laroche back in the line up is great but also realize he has been a big strikeout guy in the past as well (142 / 162games).Pelfrey tied a career high with 8 K's last night.Obviously there are a lot of variables but how do you feel about this deficiency and its effect on their playoff chances?

  20. MicheleS - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Greg.. Full details of opening day here

  21. greg - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    thanks, MicheleS. sadly, i looked at that page before and completely missed the gate opening time. :/

  22. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Anonymous said… Laroche sucks. He is awful. I called this earlier on here and was criticized. Now what do you think. As soon as Morse is healthy we should platoon Laroche and DeRosa. April 05, 2012 3:09 PM ————4 games into the season and wonder where this Anon is lurking.Yah, he called it!

  23. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Mark, could you please comment on the umpiring in last night's game. It was a as bad as I can remember.The big culprit was the LaRoche call at 2nd, which was so clearly wrong, I don't know how it could have not been seen but the indignities behind the plate were far more numerous and probably had just as big an impact on the game. Mets pitches consistently out of the strike zone were being called strikes and Nats pitches completely within the strike zone were being called balls.And the mistakes weren't going both ways. They were consistently favoring the Mets.

  24. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    The ball beat LaRoche to 2nd but the tag was not made, that call gets made a lot. Not really such a big deal.

  25. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    It was a very big deal last night and shouldn't have been difficult for the 2nd base umpire to see from his vantage point because he was so clearly safe. It wasn't even close.

  26. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Just some early observations, the outfield offense has been nearly non-existent (so far). DeRosa hasn't touched base yet with no hits and no walks. Nady was 0-4 when he started for DeRosa. Werth is 1 for 14 with 3 walks. Bernadina is 2 for 15 with no walks. Nats outfield starters are 3 for 44 with 3 walks. That's a .068 BA and a .127 OBP.This team needs Morse back and hope Bernadina and Werth get on track offensively.The infielders/catchers have carried the team so far.Gio/EJax didn't look like anything more than back of the rotation starters so far and for most of Spring Training in my eyes.JZim and Stras suffer again with no offense. JZim unfortunately got a "L" while Stras escaped with a "ND".

  27. jcj5y - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Espinosa has already had in some excellent at-bats this year. He's always going to strike out a lot, but it seems like his approach at the plate has improved significantly. Do you agree? If so, do you see him taking a step forward offensively this season?

  28. Binx Bolling - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    HOW IS THE $ 11 MILLION DOLLAR MAN A BETTER PITCHER THAN JOHN LANNAN?

  29. UnkyD - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    @Richard: I bet your toast always lands jelly-side down, right?

  30. Mark'd - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Bind Bolling, he's not. He just throws harder. I never had a problem with Chad Cordero and his 91 mph. I will take "stuff" and guile and a plan over a hard thrower.Throwing 95 doesn't make you a pitcher, just someone who throws 95.Great comment last night how EJax in the 4th had 2 outs and 1 on with the pitcher on deck and left one over the plate for a 2 run HR. Can't let that happen.

  31. upperdeck4 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Don't you think that is was poor management to use Storen 73 times last year. Given that, isn't this type of injury expected.

  32. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Mark'd. I didn't know what guile meant. Good one! I agree. Too early on EJax. Just worried that I have seen this MPHrod before.Guile[ gīl ] noun insidious cunning in attaining a goal ; crafty or artful deception; duplicity

  33. UNTERP - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Mark, what is a good Bourbon for purchase I don't have to take out a loan to buy?

  34. Anoymouse - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    P2P, thanks for that ugly stat. I knew it was bad. That is real bad. DeRosa isn't the same guy we saw in Spring Training. Wonder if Eckstein got into his head.

  35. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Can Amanda get a better cellphone?

  36. Cwj - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    (I posted this earlier in response to an anon.)Well, lets see here. Gio outdid Milone's performance 3 times last year. And by quite a bit:5/17- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO6/28- 8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO9/28- 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 SOSo yeah, I think he'll do it again this year.I'm all for rooting for former prospects, but as a Nats fan I want nothing but success for the current team.Anonymous said…"Four games into the season, and it is (possible? likely? extremely likely?) that Milone has won the contest for best pitched ML game of the season between Milone, Peacock, and Gonzalez. Anyone else here foresee Gio going 8 IP, 0R, with only 6 baserunners?"

  37. Cwj - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    (Sorry, another re-post :-)As I said earlier, I like Milone and hope he has a successful career.But Milone has a very long way to go before he reaches Gio's accomplishments the past couple of years.Gio pitched 7+ innings 13 times last season. He gave up 1 or 0 runs in 15 of his 33 starts.I could go on… :-)

  38. FS - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Regarding Lannan, I hope he gets to pitch for us late into the season and start first playoff game and win it. :D

  39. Cwj - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    FS- More likely it would be Zimmermann.But I don't have much doubt Lannan will contribute sometime this year. We may never see Wang again. He has this annoying habit of getting injured.

  40. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    David said… corey brown is raking and walking at AAA. .478 OBP after only 5 games. (i know, small sample) but there is our solution at CF… April 10, 2012 11:20 AM Depending on what Ankiel does, you could be right. I like what I saw of Corey Brown when I have seen him play. One question has been, can he stay healthy. If he can, I like his potential. His glove in the field was the best I saw and he has a "+" arm and good power. While he is killing the ball all Spring and now in AAA, will scouts find his weakness if he comes up to the Majors.

  41. Tcostant - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    What really happen to Debbie Taylor?

  42. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    She got the axe.

  43. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    corey brown is raking and walking at AAA. .478 OBP after only 5 games. (i know, small sample) but there is our solution at CF…YUP! Competition is a great thing when you've got it … ~laughing~ the cagey old fox Davey Johnson and his maniacal plans … he did this intentionally putting Brown and Harper head-to-head along with Tyler Moore plus there's Jason Michaels and Teahan … and I wouldn't be surprised to see Xavier Nady returned to Syracuse. A lot of eye opening competition for young Bryce Harper … so far he isn't hitting or fielding like Ted Williams did at his age. Tweeter Swag needs to step it up or lose his shot at the major league roster until September … This is how you build a perennial winner!

  44. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    So yeah, I think he'll do it again this year.I'm all for rooting for former prospects, but as a Nats fan I want nothing but success for the current team.Milone and Gio are different pitchers. Milone is more a Buehrle type pitcher and I think better. While Gio is a true power pitcher. Gio is a guy who you can slide into #1, #2 or #3 and he'll hold his own. Milone is a guy who could win 20 for you in the #4, #5 spots. The Nats tried to keep Milone out of the deal but Billy Beane wouldn't accept any alternatives (Lannan). I really wish they could have found a way to keep that kid … fortunately they have someone almost like him in Danny Rosenbaum who is almost ready …

  45. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Regarding Lannan, I hope he gets to pitch for us late into the season and start first playoff game and win it. :DLooks to me like Lannan is trying to convince the Nats to non-tender him next year. He has to know they will keep just as they've kept Maya (who is suddenly pitching well …) I think the best thing that can happen is for Lannan to finish the year in Syracuse, get non-tendered and then let him see what the market for his services is like … doubtless he will get a minor league contract.

  46. UnkyD - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    UNTERP said…Mark, what is a good Bourbon for purchase I don't have to take out a loan to buy?April 10, 2012 12:54 PM—————Evan Williams Single Barrell. Haven't bought it in awhile, but easily as good/better than Makers Mark, and a number of other high$$ premium. Aged 10 years… My fave….

  47. UnkyD - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Smooth, but not weak. Like 15 year old Scotch…

  48. UnkyD - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Not sure, though, how it mixes with the Maalox…

  49. UnkyD - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Anon said:Looks to me like Lannan is trying to convince the Nats to non-tender him next year. He has to know they will keep just as they've kept Maya (who is suddenly pitching well …) ——————How nuts would it be if we got some quality wins outta Maya, late in the year?!

  50. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    The orioles have hired rick peterson to do biomechanical evaluations of their pitchers with the help of A.S.M.I sports medicine institute.As a staff we have had lots of injuries.Many pitchers who have tommy john also get shoulder problems and become ineffectiveHave the nats thought about having their pitchers biomechanics evaluated by orthopedic surgeans and or medical experts like the O's are doing?

  51. UNTERP - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    UnkyD said… thanks, I will get it on my way home…

  52. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    When was beltway baseball live and when will it be posted here? Anyone know?

  53. SFNats - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    I love Tommy Milone, but not even his mother thinks he's a better pitcher than Gio.

  54. UnkyD - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Anon said:"…..Have the nats thought about having their pitchers biomechanics evaluated by orthopedic surgeans and or medical experts like the O's are doing?"April 10, 2012 2:12 PM——————-I give up. Have they?

  55. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    …..Have the nats thought about having their pitchers biomechanics evaluated by orthopedic surgeans and or medical experts like the O's are doing?Kind of like Dan Duquette did with Wada? Signing him to a guaranteed contract, one that stated Wada had to give his consent before being sent to the minors? Then he shows up and has to have his elbow drained? I think he's still on the DL. Duquette loves those cheap Asian ballplayers. Ran the Bosox into the ground signng those guys and watching most of them fail.Its pretty lame brained to copy anything the O's are doing … apparently.

  56. FS - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Anon 2:02, do you honestly believe that Lannan could not be part of any of 30 rotations?

  57. Feel Wood - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Milone and Gio are different pitchers. Milone is more a Buehrle type pitcher and I think better.Milone is a charter member of the Future Lannans of America.

  58. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    I'm more or less a "lurker" here, but you guys are so funny, I'll be coming back to read your "laugh lines!!!" Great senses of humor on this blog, or whatever the geeks call it! Thanks!

  59. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Anon 2:02, do you honestly believe that Lannan could not be part of any of 30 rotations?Livo was and ***IS*** better? As are pitchers like Buehrle? As is Tommy Milone? Lannan's stats (the one's the use to calculate the WAR) show him less effective than JD Martin, Atilano, and I couldn't believe this? Garret Mock? He might get a try out … maybe even make an opening day roster but Lannan would quickly end up on the waiver wire once they found out he really couldn't produce. AL teams don't want him because they think he'd have no chance in the DL laden lineups. Lannan needs the minor leagues right now to learn how to change his approach to pitching because what he is doing isn't working. The horrendous rosters and records the Nats featured hid that fact as he persevered … but that ended when Livo came, JZimm, and now Detwiler and Wang. Lannan should have been better than Marquis but wasn't. Think Mock, Atilano, Chico, Martis, Olsen, JD Martin all of whom were more effectively statistically. Where are they today? Lannan's stats fall within the same "equivalence class" as the above starters mathematically.

  60. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Milone is a charter member of the Future Lannans of America.Milone will make you "Eat Wood" instead of feel it. You can bet your bottom dollar on that. Milone knows how to pitch.

  61. Cwj - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Anon 4:11- That's a bit drastic isn't it?Lannan would be a solid #5 on many teams.

  62. Erik - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Feel Wood-Why can't he be a charter member of the Tom Glavine or Greg Maddux club??? And if he is John Lannan with 1 walk per 9 innings (avg. in minors) rather than 4, he will be an all-star!!!

  63. Theophilus - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Knowing how to pitch and being able to pitch aren't necessarily co-incident. Milone may know how to pitch but 0 Ks in 8 innings aren't a harbinger of future success. The next time around, they'll light him up like a Christmas tree. Lannan probably can pitch — 91-92 mph and a decent slider — but can't find the plate with both hands and a flashlight. Hence ends up throwing 2-0 gimmees that end up rattling around the fences.Glad we don't have to depend on either of them.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 59 -- 18
ATLANTA 72 67 7.0
MIAMI 67 70 11.0
NEW YORK 65 74 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 64 74 14.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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