Skip to content

Rizzo on Harper, Moore and Brown

Apr 19, 2012, 9:46 PM EST

Though Bryce Harper's first two weeks at Class AAA have left plenty to be desired, the Nationals aren't concerned in the least about their top prospect's development.

Harper ended play today with a .232 average and only one RBI in 14 games for Syracuse, but slow starts are nothing new for the 19-year-old outfielder, who has struggled early at every stop he's made in the Nationals' farm system the last two seasons.

General manager Mike Rizzo said he's not surprised Harper has needed some time to get used to Class AAA pitching.

"I think it's an adjustment period for him," Rizzo said before tonight's game against the Astros. "It's a different kind of pitching than he's ever had in the minor leagues. You've got some hard-throwing prospects, and you also have some veteran, AAA/AAAA type of pitchers that can really pitch and command their stuff. They're not the blazing fastballs, but they try to get you outRead more »

  1. Gonat - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Corey Brown in CF or LF and Tyler Moore in LF and 1st could come in as platoon players. Now then, I don't see Rizzo ditching DeRosa or Nady or Tracy at this point which makes a call-up a long shot.Nady does have that wall scraper HR and DeRosa is competing for the Stairs trophy right now.Winning teams have to make tough decisions but in the end, Rizzo and Davey like veterans on the bench mixed with their youth.

  2. Joe Seamhead - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    It's all good. One note from 'Ol Joe though. Actually it's a question to all of the NI experts. Why do so many of you think, "Oh, just move Lombo, or Tyler Moore, to the OF "is the answer to getting there bats into a MLB lineup? Do you honestly think that anyone that has played first base,or shortstop, can just go out there and not embarrass themselves,or hurt the team? If you really believe that then I doubt you ever played the outfield,or coached someone, on a competitive level.It's not as easy as you might think, and you can seriously damage yourself out there.Bryce Harper may be one of the more talented baseball prospects in at least a generation and he's having a tough time. I believe Moore has played first his whole pro career. Do you really think his bat makes him ready to play LF for the Nats?

  3. NatsJack in section 235 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Gonat…..injuries man, it's all about having replacement parts, even for the short term.

  4. Joe Seamhead - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Gonat - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    NatsJack, I didn't want to say it…..

  6. NatsJack in section 235 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    The other guy setting himself up for a rapid rise is Josh Johnson who CAN play short and third.

  7. Gonat - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Joe Seamhead, putting Tyler Moore in LF reminds me of Michael Morse, Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn.Putting Lombo in LF reminds me of 3 other 2nd baseman, Pete Rose, Knoblach, and Alfonso Soriano. Knoblach and Soriano weren't great but they weren't great at 2nd either. Lombo can definitely do it. Personally, I'd rather see Lombo only at 2nd and LF.

  8. Oldguy - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Another prospect who has been looking real good is Danny Rosenbaum at Harrisburg. In 21+ innings, 16 K's, 0 walks, 3 ER, .125 era. Big, strong lefty, 24 years old. Saw him in Florida. He should be at SYR soon.

  9. Joe Seamhead - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Did you folks ever see Willy Mo Pena out there? The guy all but ducks from line drives coming at him. Or Adam Dunn? Good grief, at bad as he was at first he was even worse in LF.

  10. Joe Seamhead - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Rose was a very good OF'er, as he was anywhere else you put him. He was a freak, and freaks like him only come along once in a while. Soriano had some "learning experiences." I've only seen Lombo for a couple of innings in the spring. It wasn't pretty.Don't get me going on Willingham,though he is a good example of "if he can hit we'll find a spot for him." Chuck Knoblach suffered from a mental thing of not being able to make the throw from 2nd to first. He stunk as as outfielder. My only point is that it's not as simple of a transition as many posters seem to think.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Oh, yeah, and GYFNG!

  12. Steady Eddie - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Uh, Joe, notice anything that Dunn and Pena had in common? They're both classic and not especially athletic BIG GALOOTS. Lombo is anything but, and his speed at least makes him a plausible candidate to give it a try. TMoore I don't know but he's also at least not a big galoot.There's an honorable history of conversions with caring success, as Gonat noted. My favorite was Elstin Howard who played a strong LF while backing up Yogi at his real position, C. Not so successful — but the early 60s Yanks still did it — was putting Johnny Blanchard in LF, where he was, hmmm, most notable for his bat.There's no absolute rule about it, except looking for speed and athleticism and staying away from the Big Galoots.

  13. NatsJack in section 235 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Joe……exactly why we won't see Lombo in left. Not only was he bad, he was uncomfortable. Davey won't do that to him.

  14. Steady Eddie - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    NatsJack, I agree that Lombo was not good in the, what, 3-4 games they put him in LF. Also agree that you don't mess around with regular season games with that kind of experiment. But Lombo is a reasonable candidate for a longer tryout in left in, say, the Winter Leagues.

  15. Joe Seamhead - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    No argument on the winter leagues, ST, or even a game that has become a laugher, Steady Eddie. To bring a Tyler Moore up to play LF isn't a move that I see the 2012 NL Manager of the Year to make!

  16. NatsJack in 235 watching EJ throw bp - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Both you guys have it right with both players.

  17. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Just got a chance to look in on the game. Wha' happened? Can we just start over with the second inning?

  18. NatsJack section 235 - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    NO. You have to play the hand you're dealt.

  19. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    NJ, OK. Seem to be playing it OK, picked up 4 of the 5 runs.

  20. NatsJack in section 235 - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    And still have 15 outs to play.

  21. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Unfortunately, so do the Astros.

  22. Joe Seamhead - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Tcostant - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Hey Joe -One thing I will tell you as an old Mets fan, in Davey's hayday; he will always trade defense for offence. I watched DJ play Kevin Michell at SS and Howard Johnson in CF.I think the bigger question is if Tyler Moore is ready for big league pitching. But rest assured that DJ will play guys who can hit anywhere…

  24. Laddie_Blah_Blah - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Those three (Harper, Brown and Moore) are the guys to watch. They are going to give Harper all the time he needs to adjust to lefties and learn to hit slow breaking balls. I think either of the other 2 could come up before Bryce. Moore offers a chance to have a power righty to platoon at first with LaRoche, or come off the bench as a RH power PH. I would much rather see Moore as ALR's backup than Marrero, as well as the RH power hitter off the bench, rather than Nady (Marrero is not a power hitter), and as the RH LF off the bench. No one else in the entire organization is putting up his power numbers, right now.Brown is there just in case Bernie fails, again, in LF, or Ankiel gets hurt, again, in CF. Odds are either one, or the other, or both, will happen, again, this year. Meanwhile, Corey is getting his ABs at Syracuse, and looking good in the leadoff role. He will end up the year with a better OBP than Desi. We will see both of them, in the fall, at the latest, and in the Arizona Fall League, later on. Both of those guys are on the brink. Of course, they have to continue to produce, and it would be helpful for Moore to cut down on the Ks.Rosenbaum has been looking really, really good. Makes the loss of Milone a lot easier to take. They have so many quality young middle infielders, I wouldn't be surprised to see Rizzo deal one of them, for the right price. No way Johnson, Kobernus, Martinson, Walters, Rendon, et. al. all make the ML roster with Desi, Spinner and Lombo already blocking the way. Of all those guys, only Rendon is a lock, if he can stay healthy.

  25. Anonymous - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Tyler Moore won't be on this team unless he plays 5 times a week.

  26. Anonymous - Apr 20, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    The other guy setting himself up for a rapid rise is Josh Johnson who CAN play short and third.And I'd say Jeff Kobernus with a .375 average, .403 OBP, and 11 stolen bases. Now if he can just do what Corey Brown has done (13 walks to 9 strike outs) he'll be ready.

  27. Anonymous - Apr 20, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    And again Harper and Brown have an advantage the others don't: left-handed power bats.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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 Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter