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Harper hits D.C.

May 1, 2012, 2:27 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper went 2-for-6 with a walk and a sac fly in Los Angeles.

Bryce Harper didn't think he'd be stepping onto the field at Nationals Park quite this soon. But he knew the day would be coming sometime soon, so he's had plenty of time to contemplate what it will be like.

"I'm really excited," he said. "Very, very excited. It's going to be a fun time."

Break out your fauxhawk wigs, your eye black and your No. 34 jerseys, because the fun starts tonight when Harper makes his D.C. debut as the Nationals open a three-game series against the Diamondbacks.

Harper is expected to again be in manager Davey Johnson's lineup, starting in left field against Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill. And if the first two games of the his career are an indication of things to come,Read more »

  1. Tcostant - May 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Some random thoughts.We could have had both Mike Trout and Harper. Mike Trout was there for the taken when the Nations draft Drew Storen; can you image having Mike Trout and Harper on the same team?Harper is staying longer, if Zimm comes off the DL Sunday (I hope), I think Moore or someone else gets sent down and Harper stays a little longer.I want to see Moore and Harper play every day, until they prove they shouldn't.I hope Harper checks out some of the sights in town and I would recemmend seeing the Pandas!

  2. Tcostant - May 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Oh – one more thing.As many of you know, I grew up a Mets fan. I remember the Mets bring up Jose Reyes real young because of a two week injury and he hit and never went to the minors again. They talked about him going back soon, when he came up, but he never did. That is what this Harper thing reminds me of. Bring up Harper is real smart for a few reason. You see what he can do, have a build in excuss if he needs to go back (youth) and you don't burn a minor league option on someone else (Harper will never use all his options!).

  3. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    This will be a good test for Harper. Cahill has a nasty slider with a ton of movement and a working change but he is weaker against left-handed batters. Here are his splits (from baseballreference.com)vs. RHB BA = .167vs. LHB BA = .260Tconstant, right. As has been remarked, there is really less pressure on Harper in the majors than in 'Cuse. Plus this kid eats up the attention. Wish I could be there tonight, but I'll see him Friday against the Phils, which should be a lot of fun!TyMo probably doesn't start, PH later, IMO.

  4. alexva - May 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    This will be a very interesting few weeks as Harper makes his presence known on the MLB scene. His abilities have been well documented and most were displayed in the two games in LA. What was also displayed was him flipping off his helmet rounding first and wearing the team quota of eye black. He is a 19 year old kid playing against men from 1-20 years older than him. There will be confrontations, victories and defeats. I hope he handles them all in a manner that makes us proud. I think he will but there will be some moments that make us go hmmm.

  5. bowdenball - May 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    I don't get the argument that he might be sent back down soon if Zimmerman returns at all. Zimmerman is a right-handed hitting third basemen. Harper is a left-handed hitting outfielder. What does one have to do with the other?If he upgrades the starting lineup and can play in the bigs without stunting his growth, he stays, regardless of the strength of our lineup elsewhere. If not, he goes back down, regardless of the strength of our lineup elsewhere.I understand the mentality and the sense of desperation of losing Zimmerman from an already depleted lineup. But it shouldn't matter. It's not like Zimmerman's return takes us to some offensive plateau that minimizes Harper's ability to contribute. There's plenty of room for both of them.

  6. Section 222 - May 1, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    If Harper hits over .090, there's no reason to send him down when Zim returns. Unfortunately, he's already shown he's better than any of the alternatives in LF. When Morse comes back, things could get interesting. Is Harper the everyday CF? Sure looks like he can handle the position defensively, but I guess we ought to give it a little more time to be sure. At one time, Bernadina seemed like a great defensive outfielder who makes circus catches too. Imagine if he were 0-8 with an outfield error after two games. We would have been having some heated arguments in here. Ok, you can stop imagining because that's not what happened.

  7. MicheleS - May 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    On the helmit flip.. Dimitri Young used to do that and so did Pete Rose.The kid is a character. We shall see if he ends up with a rep (one that he has started to aquire) either good or bad. As long as he is on my team and he isn't too big of a knuckle head, I will cheer for him.Did see Barry Larkin and Curt Schilling (Yes, I know, Curt's a gas bag). They were both laughing at all of this. They like Harper's talent and hustle. They said if he gets out of line opposing pitchters will take care of it (if his own teammates don't).Got to love that he was playing softball on the mall yesterday!. I am sure the Rizzo will put a stop to that. (Reminds you of when you would see pictures back in the 50's of Mays playing stickball in NY)

  8. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    bowdenball, 100% agree. Harper stays up at least until Morse comes back, if and when Morse comes back at full-strength. There is no reason to cut short Harper's stay before that.My money says that unless he's a complete disaster (bunch of errors, can't hit lefties, can't handle breaking stuff), so that he's actually hurting the team, he'll stay up even with Morse on board. I don't think it's a matter of stunting his growth (despite Rizzo's "plan"), rather, the margin on this team is so small every player has to contribute WAR, even the trainees.Also, as was pointed out, Davey wants to personally oversee the final stages of his development. Harper may be full of himself– he'll make mistakes and rub people the wrong way– but he seems to listen to advice from vets on how to conduct himself as a ML player.When RZ gets off the DL Nady gets DFA'd or Moore goes back.

  9. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - May 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    "I hope Harper checks out some of the sights in town and I would recemmend seeing the Pandas!"If you're talking about the World Wildlife Fund Fighting Pandas, he already did.

  10. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - May 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    "On the helmit flip.. Dimitri Young used to do that and so did Pete Rose."Not to mention Michael Morse. But only on homers, not doubles.

  11. Steady Eddie - May 1, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Bowdenball — I agree but I think it's a combination of a couple of things. One is that it's a holdover from all the buzz when he was first called up. He was then the last added to the 25, which automatically raises the question, "who leaves when RZim returns?" Then when DeRosa went on the DL and Moore came up, that didn't still apply but BHarp's great visibility compared with TMoore's meant that many national pundits didn't really notice that the original premise of "where's room to keep him when Zim comes back?" had changed.More important from a Nationals perspective was what Olberman wrote on his Baseball Nerd blog, with what he called "the opportunistic genius of the Bryce Harper call-up". The point was that accelerating the call up based on Zim's absence gave a ready reason to send him back down if Harp didn't perform without putting it all on Harp. In other words, the spotlight would be on him filling an only-briefly vacant roster spot rather than on "he's ready now for his star turn."At least from what we saw this weekend, I agree with you and NatsLady that he's much likelier to perform at a higher level in the Show, where he's challenged to perform where he's always wanted to be, than in the bush leagues where part of him seems to say "what's the point without the spotlight?". And where the opposing players comport themselves like, well, bush leaguers (mostly out of jealousy), in contrast with the bigs where the bush leaguers are mostly only the opposing fans. I think he'll stay up not only out of performance but because his every move on the field, at least so far, says "I love and respect the game."

  12. JamesFan - May 1, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Harper is doing just fine. He seems to have it under control as seen in his final at bat in LA. They expected him to be over-eager and chase a bad pitch in a critical situation.The Nats are lowering public expectation on Harper as they should be doing at this point. That way, anything he does looks exceptional.DJ-put Harper, Moore and Werth in the outfield and Flores behind the plate and see how they do. Use the other guys as defensive replacements late in the game if necessary. I'll take some chances on defense early to get some pop in the lineup.

  13. Section 222 - May 1, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Not to mention Michael Morse. But only on homers, not doubles.Actually, Morse doesn't flip his helmet, he smacks himself upside the head between 1st and 2nd when he rounds the bases. But I really don't get the criticism of what Harper did. He was thinking triple, going all out, and the helmet was bugging him so he pushed it off. So what? He wasn't showboating (though he'd have every reason to after the way he crushed that ball). As for the eyeblack, maybe he had a bit more than others, but I saw alot of guys with quite a bit of eyeblack on (Ankiel for one). So whatever. It works for him, which is what counts. As long as he's not wearing it for night games, I don't see it as a problem at all.

  14. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Would rather have Harper-Ankiel-Werth. Ankiel is not without "pop" and I don't think you want two newbies in the outfield. Let Moore start against a fastball pitcher or a lefty.

  15. bowdenball - May 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I agree NatsLady. Morse's return, not Zimmerman's, should be the big event in terms of evaluating Harper and figuring out if he needs more AAA time, unless he falls apart before then. The only other reason to send him down is if they feel like he can't play a functional CF or RF in the bigs yet, and they want to send him to Syracuse to start at CF or RF every day so that he has a position once Morse is healthy.

  16. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - May 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    "Not to mention Michael Morse. But only on homers, not doubles.Actually, Morse doesn't flip his helmet, he smacks himself upside the head between 1st and 2nd when he rounds the bases."You're right. And I believe the reason Morse smacks himself is to keep his helmet from flipping of its own volition.

  17. alexva - May 1, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    @222 – “he wasn't showboating though he'd have every reason to after the way he crushed that ball”I doubt that every major league pitcher feels as you do on this, and my point is that Harper will have to deal with their reactions along the way. He has been well groomed for this so I’m not expecting any problems. Then again I also thought my kids were well groomed but sometimes they just acted like kids.

  18. Section 222 - May 1, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    I believe the reason Morse smacks himself is to keep his helmet from flipping of its own volition.I always thought it was one of his superstition things — like that he always tries to hop over the 1B line on his way back to the dugout. But I think he read that he was asked about it, and said it wasn't a conscious thing. Why would his helmet flip of its own volition during a home run trot, but not a double? Maybe his helmet gets excited by the hit.

  19. peric - May 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Rather NOT have Ankiel except as a late inning replacement.He CAN'T HIT he has an arm … He's over 30.Play the kids sit Werth if he doen't perform upto starter level. Sends the right message. Davey isn't sending Harper back he didn't send Strawberry and Gooden back did he Mark?They hired Davey to help develop the kids, let him do it. Remember, the only reason he wanted DeRosawas because Marerro went down. Davey wasplanning on platooning Chris with La Roche.Play the kids NOT Ankiel.

  20. whatsanattau - May 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Knocking off the helmet is significant? I don't think so. What was significant was the full out effort and speed that young man applies to every (and I mean every) opportunity. When the only reason you slide into second base is to slow down, you're doing things right. As for the eye black, get me some stock in that company. If it works for Harper, everybody should be loading up soon. And BTW, Harper is not the only guy hustling on this team. For example, Desmond quietly puts on the burners when he makes contact too and Werth, Espinosa, and Ankiel are among the full effort perfomers on the team … but when you have a guy like Harper on a solid chemistry team like the Nats, it's gotta be a little extra motivation for the rest of the squad. I mean, Ramos and Flores are never going to look fast and LaRoche and Zimmerman have never-ever dogged it, but doesn't watching your teammate go all out make you just a little more aware of your own effort? Someday soon there is going to be a runner on first when Harper hits the ball and if they are not hustling, Harper's going to catch them before they round third.

  21. A DC Wonk - May 1, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    NatsLady — just to clarify, it's a "P" not a "B"It'svs. LHP BA = .167vs. RHB BA = .260

  22. JaneB - May 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Tconstant, I was just saying that about Reyes, right to the Post article where they said he might not stick!I think what happens with the helmet is that it jiggles loose on the run — the faster the run, the looser it gets. So you pound it back on or flip out our of the way. So happy for all of you who get to go tonight! A dear friend of mine is being honored tonight, and I get to speak a few words about him — someone Scooter and I once both worked for. It's a true sign how much I love Jerry because I wouldn't miss the Harper home debut for much else. GYFNG!

  23. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Wonk–huh? Did I not understand something on baseball reference? Or did I have a typo? Here is the full line on Cahill's splits:Cahill:vs. RHB as RHP = .167vs. LHB as RHP = .260Cahill is very good against righties.Cahill splitshttp://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=cahiltr01&year=&t=p

  24. The Great Unwashed - May 1, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Ankiel plays superb centerfield defense so I'd keep him there and play Harper in left for now. Let Harper get his sea legs at this level. There's no need to throw him completely into the fire just yet. Besides, everyone is pointing to the lack of production from the left field position so Harper can work on boosting that. If he performs well, maybe you see him hitting 6th or even 5th and playing center after the ASB. But please, folks — he's only played two games.

  25. JD - May 1, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Peric, I get your position on playing the kids. But if we think we are in a pennant race the kids need to be good. Marrero for example isn't.

  26. The Great Unwashed - May 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    We may think knocking off his helmet and wearing too much eyeblack is insignificant, but it comes across as showing up your opponent. I like Harper's passion for the game, but he has to earn that respect. If he's seen as cocky, the baseball code dictates that Zimmerman and Werth will get beaned at some point. Then he'll be getting "a talking to" from the veterans on the team.

  27. natsfan1a - May 1, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    NatsLady, maybe DC Wonk read your comment quickly and thought that the splits were Harper's vs. left- or right-handed pitchers?Michele, thanks, I was saying the same thing about Meat Hook's helmet flip the other day.

  28. natsfan1a - May 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    (As opposed to being those of a pitcher vs. left- or right-handed batters.)

  29. Theophilus T. S. - May 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    If Moore is going to sit against RHs, I'm not clear why he was brought up. I.e., to play every third or fourth day, plus PH duty once in a while? Ideally, I agree w/ NatsLady that two newbies tonight is not preferred, and two LHs is — but if Zimmerman comes off the DL and Moore has 9-10 ABs to show for his time, what have they accomplished? What have they learned about him? My guess is that the unspoken agenda is, can Moore play for an extended stretch if Morse isn't available until July or later? They don't want to talk about it publicly, in those terms. But that's really what they're thinking about. And, although Moore may not be here for an extended stretch, right now, and may go back down as soon as Zimmerman is available, that's what they really want to find out.On that theory, he starts tonight and against at least one other RHP.

  30. Nats1924 - May 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    attn – Tcostant said…Some random thoughts.We could have had both Mike Trout and Harper. Mike Trout was there for the taken when the Nations draft Drew Storen; can you image having Mike Trout and Harper on the same team?_____________________________________________Good point, but I am still happy how it turned out. If we didn't drat Storen, we probably wouldve not Traded Capps. Hence, Ramos might not be a National right now and these type of catchers are real hard to find.

  31. Brother Juniper - May 1, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Tcostant said… "seeing the pandas"Good one. It will just give Harper more big ideas for his eye black.

  32. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Re: Moore. Joe Saunders (LHP) tomorrow. That would by my choice for starting him. I've noticed that Davey likes to play the matchups, though he's not extreme about it. Maybe you do Moore-Werth-Harper tomorrow, because Harper is fast, Werth can direct traffic and slide to his right if Moore gets a bad read. I think I'd rather have the inexperience when you have Ejax pitching, not so much of a flyball pitcher as JZ (EJax 55% ground ball vs. JZ 49%).

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I used the Anthony Rizzo comparison last year that when you bring up the Tyler Moore's and the Bryce Harper types the short-term gain is to the new player as the other teams advanced scouts will be working on their strategy to shut the rookie down.If Bryce and TyMo can make adjustments, they may get to stay as both have to prove they are better than the weakest link which is probably Xavier Nady.Sounds like TyMo won't get a lot of opportunities and probably the guy with the bus ticket back to AAA.

  34. Section 215 Row A - May 1, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    My wife's dad, who was a high school baseball coach, would tell his players they were off the team he caught them playing softball.http://www.csnwashington.com/baseball-washington-nationals/nationals-talk/Bryce-Harper-plays-softball-at-the-monum?blockID=700118&feedID=10314

  35. Section 222 - May 1, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Tonight's lineup will be an interseting "tell" on Davey's plans. Does Moore start against a tough RHP, or will we see Ankiel? I'm guessing the latter, with Moore starting against lefties and perhaps a less imposing righty. But we're getting Cahill (R), Saunders (L), and Kennedy (R). So if they want to give him one start against a rightie, perhaps tonight is the night.Looks like we'll get Hamels (L), Halladay (R), and Blanton (R) for the Phils series. I bet ESPN is disappointed about that. At least they'll have JZnn starting for us. Strasburg vs. Hamels and Gio vs. Halladay are marquee matchups.

  36. Exposremains - May 1, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    anybody thinks Harper will get bumped up in the lineup tonight? I say yes.

  37. MicheleS - May 1, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    I think we miss Halladay. He is starting tomorrow night against the Braves.

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    JD said… Peric,I get your position on playing the kids. But if we think we are in a pennant race the kids need to be good. Marrero for example isn't. May 01, 2012 12:12 PM This is a playoff race and I would look at the youth only for short-term gain and the ability to make adjustments. While I have said it before about Rick Ankiel being a great late inning defensive replacement, most of us felt once Bryce Harper was inserted into DC, that the outfield was Morse, Harp, Werth. Marerro was good in the short-term although no power and he lacked athleticism. Again, until the scouts get a book on them, it can work and Marerro ended up lackluster although better than what DeRosa and Nady have shown.I would bring up Corey Brown and send Nady packing. Besides Nady's wall scraper HR and a double, he hasn't done a thing.Corey Brown is another playmaker with + tools and have to see if he can contribute more offensively than Ankiel. Corey could be a big upgrade in LF. It still gives Davey 2 righties on the bench of TyMo and the back-up catcher of the day and Chad Tracy as his lefty veteran off of the bench and Ankiel.While writing this as a follow-up to Peric, I don't think Davey will do it as he likes his Veterans.

  39. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Expos. I vote No. If he's bumped it will be against Saunders (LHP) or Kennedy, but I don't think he will get bumped at all. He plays every day through the Phillies series and then assessment starts.

  40. NatsNut - May 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Actually, Morse said on Intententional Talk that teammates hit your helmet as an atta-boy when you get a good hit and he was just giving himself one first.

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    MicheleS, yes, looks like the Nats skip Halladay and possibly even Cliff Lee who is still on the DL.

  42. bowdenball - May 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    I don't think you have the Phillies rotation right, Section 222. Hamels pitches today, with Halladay tomorrow and Blanton on Thursday. So it will probably be Kendrick, Worley and then Hamels on Sunday night, which I don't think ESPN will mind.

  43. Ron In Reston - May 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    NatsLady, I think you misunderstood Expos' comment. He was asking if Harper gets bumped UP in the lineup, e.g. hitting second or third, not being bumped OUT of the lineup.

  44. JamesFan - May 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Ankiel has reverted to form at the plate. High, outside fastballs blow him away. We know exactly what we've got with Rick. Meanwhile, we may have a guy in Moore who is ok in left but who can jack 30 bombs. Let's see. I'm not anti-Ankiel. He's a great utility player, but use him for now as a late defensive replacement and a pinch hitter when required. If Moore fads, we can put Rick back out there.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - May 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    SteveM…….Davey really liked Moores bat in ST. Don't think Davey won't lobby for him if he shows he can handle left field a couple a days a week and say goodbye to Nady.

  46. SonnyG10 - May 1, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    I'm probably just naieve about this, but I fail to see how wearing a lot of eye black shows up the other team. Also, I don't think that flipping your helmet off is showing up the other team. Flipping them the bird, yes, helmet, no.

  47. Steady Eddie - May 1, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Section 222 — Not sure where you're getting your Phils rotation order from. MLB At Bat shows Kendrick starting for the Phils on Friday against Stras, and I read somewhere that it would be Worley on Saturday and Hamels on Sunday. JZimm against Hamels is a nice matchup if that's what it is.

  48. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Thinking more about Moore: The kid played a double-header in 'Cuse and flew roundtrip LA/DC all in two days. Crash. (I'm still recovering from a roundtrip to Fargo and not playing in AAA and ML baseball games.)Has he ever played in Nats Park? Give him a chance to at least shag a few flys and walk around the outfield before you throw him out there. Adrenalin only goes so far.

  49. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Ron, thanks for clarifying. Yes, that makes more sense.

  50. Candide - May 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Maybe Harper can loan MPHRod some of his self-assurance and confidence. Seems he has lots to spare…

  51. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Ghost, the Phillies already announced Lee won't pitch before next week, so that's a definite on missing him for our series.

  52. whatsanattau - May 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    For take back the park days, the team should hand out eye black on day one, have a panda in 34 jersey on day two, and faux hawk hair pieces on day three.

  53. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Sec 215– I'd agree with you except it's 100-1 a PR stunt right down to the shaky video. There is no chance Harper went unaccompanied to the monument and impulsively joined a softball game.

  54. natsfan1a - May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    I was wondering whether that encounter might have been staged. Kinda cute, either way.Section 215 Row A said… My wife's dad, who was a high school baseball coach, would tell his players they were off the team he caught them playing softball.

  55. Candide - May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Just saw the video of Harper playing softball. http://www.nationalreview.com/right-field/297387/bryce-harper-plays-softball-mall-jason-epsteinKid can't hit a big slow curve up around his shoulders. In other words, he can't hit the Eephus pitch. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eephus_pitchGonna have to send him back to Syracuse once the rest of the league figures that out…

  56. natsfan1a - May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Now I owe NatsLady a coke. My next game is on Saturday. :-)

  57. NatsLady - May 1, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Can't collect, 1a, working on Saturday. Sunday???

  58. natsfan1a - May 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I don't have Sunday (will try to stay awake to watch on tv, though). After that, my next is on May 20.

  59. JD - May 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Tyler Moore is 25 years old and he has pretty much mastered every level so I really think it's time to have an extended look at him now. Even if he struggles some you are not missing anything because Nady et al have give you nothing. My gut feeling is that he will give you decent power and that he will maintain that. I think that Nady goes before Moore and the only reason he stays is if they decide to return Harper; in my opinion Nady should go and the Harper/Moore decision is tabled until Morse returns.

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, the Phillies already announced Lee won't pitch before next week, so that's a definite on missing him for our series. May 01, 2012 1:05 PM Thanks for that update. I will take that as good news although the Nats did OK against him last year but this team doesn't have Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman right now.

  61. Diz - May 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Going back to the lineup, I think that the outfield will look like it did in LA on SaturdayAgainst righties this homestand, you'll see Werth, Ank, Harper.Against lefties, you'll see Werth, Harper and Moore.Then you'll see some rotation of Lombo and Tracy at 3rd.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    JD, who goes when Zim comes back and then who goes when Morse comes back?

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… SteveM…….Davey really liked Moores bat in ST. Don't think Davey won't lobby for him if he shows he can handle left field a couple a days a week and say goodbye to Nady. May 01, 2012 1:00 PM I liked Moore's bat. Didn't like his defense and scoops around 1st base. With all the low throws the Nats infielders dish out, he wouldn't save errors (see Adam Dunn). Hope he can play LF.

  64. The Great Unwashed - May 1, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Sonny, what the opponent sees in Harper's behavior is an overly cocky kid who is trying to stand out but hasn't yet earned it. We see it as playing with passion but that's not the way it works. If he stays in the show and produces for a stretch, he can do whatever he wants, but until he does his antics will earn him some chin music. Actually, it'll earn the best hitter on the Nats a beaning too. It's all about sending a message. It's one of those unwritten rules. I'd prefer he just handle his business on the field. God knows we need it.

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Still hoping to see Lombo twice a week at 2nd base against RH pitching. I'm not convinced Lombo is the answer, but right now Espi is the wrong question.

  66. Pilchard - May 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    What do the Nats do when Morse comes back?Previously, the thought was that LaRoche might sit some and Morse could play both LF and 1B, but LaRoche as been the Nats best offensive player. So, when Morse comes back either Harper goes back to AAA or Ankiel becomes a bench player, even against righties. Pilchard

  67. Pilchard - May 1, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    If Espinosa does not turn it around in the next couple of weeks, he may be headed back to AAA when Zimmerman comes back. The fact is that he had been awful since the All Star break last year. Unless he starts producing, he may need to work out his issues in AAA. The Nats can't afford to keep any player in the lineup everyday that can't get above the Mendoza line.

  68. Marty - May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    When Zim comes back, lets hope it's Nady who goes. Although if I were Bernadina I wouldn't be feeling too overly optimistic either. So many sub-.200 hard choices to make…

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 1, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Pilchard said… If Espinosa does not turn it around in the next couple of weeks, he may be headed back to AAA when Zimmerman comes back. The fact is that he had been awful since the All Star break last year. Unless he starts producing, he may need to work out his issues in AAA. The Nats can't afford to keep any player in the lineup everyday that can't get above the Mendoza line. May 01, 2012 1:41 PM I hate to say it, but I think that's what Espi needs to shorten that swing and work through it. If Lombo or Rendon were ready to take over at 2nd base, it wouldn't be such a tough decision.Lombo has tailed off quite a bit with more playing time. Still looking better offensively than Espi.

  70. A DC Wonk - May 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Let me try to clear this up — sorry folks:Natslady wrote:Cahill:vs. RHB as RHP = .167vs. LHB as RHP = .260Natsfana got my confusion correctly — I thought she was talking about Harper. His Minor League splits (small sample size) for this spring are:vs LHP: .190vs RHP: .275

  71. 417b620e-8e2f-11e1-b06f-000bcdca4d7a - May 1, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    "natsfan1a said… Now I owe NatsLady a coke. My next game is on Saturday. :-) May 01, 2012 1:13 PM NatsLady said… Can't collect, 1a, working on Saturday. Sunday??? May 01, 2012 1:14 PM natsfan1a said… I don't have Sunday (will try to stay awake to watch on tv, though). After that, my next is on May 20."Exhibit A of people who post here too much. Twitter, Facebook, email, telephone, hell even smoke signals are more appropriate venues for this type of interpersonal communication than this blog is.Words to live by: Far better to remain silent and be thought an idiot than to post a comment here, removing all doubt.

  72. Richmond Rock Revolt - May 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    I just don't understand why Davey keeps putting Espinosa in the 2 hole. He is terrible at the top of the order but is much more competitent in the 5 – 9 spots. The numbers don't lie…1 and 2 in the order = .183/.260/.305 for a woeful .565 OPS5 – 8 = .276/.363/.504 for a whopping .867 OPS not to mention 19 of his 28 HRs are from these spots. Shockingly he has almost the exact same number of plate appearances when split like that.1 & 2 = 412 PAs5 – 8 = 424 PAsThat is almost a season worth of data at each split so it isn't exactly a small sample size either. Time to move Werth to the 2 hole and put Espi in the 5 or 6 hole. If he tanks there then I believe it is time to send him back to AAA

  73. Positively Half St. - May 1, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Nobody would have expected Erik Komatsu to make it to the bigs before Bryce Harper, but thanks to the Rule 5 Draft, he did. Now, however, the Cardinals have designated him for assignment. I hope he makes it to the big leagues with the Nats someday (if the Nats and Cards don't work out a trade now), but if nothing else, he got his cup of coffee. Nobody can take that away from him.+1/2St.

  74. baseballswami - May 1, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    I believe you when you say that harper at any batting average is better than what we are getting out of left field now. However — platooning and pinch hitting are both batting average killers. Perhaps any one of the people who have played left field could have a decent batting average if he was playing every day. Sometimes I just wish they would stick someone in a job and leave them there for an extended period of time and then see what they do instead of this manic switching around. By the way – when Riggleman did that stuff everyone really went crazy. But since Davey Johnson is a "character" he gets a free pass. If Lombo and Moore are not going to play regularly they need to go back to AAA before their skills erode, too.

  75. Section 222 - May 1, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    My mistake on the Phillies rotation. I calculated the D-backs starters for tonight, tomorrow, and Thurs, and then did the same thing for the Phils. Duh. So Kendrick, Worley, and Hamels it is. Good for the Nats (to miss Halladay) and good for ESPN. Hamels vs. Znn is a nice matchup for the Nats' first Sunday night game since opening night of Nats Park. Let's hope the game ends as well for us as that one did. Harper walkoff anyone?

  76. JD - May 1, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Steve M. When Zim returns this weekend (if not we are sol) we send Nady packing. Then we take an extended look at both rookies and see what happens between now and when Morse returns; heck if every one is performing there's always DeRosa to release.

  77. Section 222 - May 1, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Riggleman's switches and platoons were done without regard to logic or statistics. For example, he had it in his head that Morse should only face lefties when the numbers clearly showed that he could hit righties quite well thank you. And he'd double switch with a pitcher even thought that pitcher was only going to pitch one inning anyway. I'm pretty sure Nady and Tracy would be just as bad as they've been if they played every day. I'm fine with Davey doing whatever he thinks he needs to do to get offensive production out of his outfield.

  78. Steady Eddie - May 1, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Half st. — I see that as good news. What are the formalities of DFA with a Rule 5 draftee? Is DFA the right terminology for Rule 5ers? (I'm not asserting it's not, I'm just asking the question.) Doesn't that have to be the first step to offering him back to the Nats? Certainly no other team could jump the line to grab him.

  79. JD - May 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Steve M. 'I hate to say it, but I think that's what Espi needs to shorten that swing and work through it. If Lombo or Rendon were ready to take over at 2nd base, it wouldn't be such a tough decision.' I have serious reservations about every one of these players; long term we can probablt live with one of Desi or Espi as long as they hit 7th or 8th; so far I am not seeing Lombo as anything more than an occasional gill in here and there. I am really not buying Rendon at 2nd; he already has a history of ankle injuries and you want him to pivot the DP with everyone sliding at these ankles? I don't think so.

  80. The Great Unwashed - May 1, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    I guarantee that if you bat Werth second his batting average will become like Espinosa's. We've seen that movie before and it cost $126 million to make it.

  81. Theophilus T. S. - May 1, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    From KSDK-TV, St. Louis:Komatsu has what is called "Rule 5 status" which means he has to spend the entire season on the 25-man roster. Because the Cardinals have deseginated him for assignement, he will first need to clear waivers. This means any club has until 5 p.m. Thursday to claim and sign him. If he clears waivers the Cardinals than must then offer him back to his original team, the Washington Nationals, who could reclaim him. If they do not, he can then be sent to the minor leagues and remain inside the Cardinals organization.I cringe at the "deseginated" part; sounds painful. If he's still in one piece, the Nats should take him back, out of spite, then send him to 'Cuse to play CF.

  82. SonnyG10 - May 1, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Great Unwashed @ 1:35. That makes sense. Thanks for clueing me in.

  83. sjm308 - May 1, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    I am certainly no expert on rule 5 drafts but I also thought he was ours again. I think the Cards had to pay us $50,000 and now they get $25,000 of that back when they released him. Not sure how another team could step in between us, unless we release him as well. I think we actually have a spot open on the 40 man and could use that for him but I am not sure we have to. Waiting for the experts to clarify this but its nice to have him back. I am guessing the same thing will happen with our pitcher when he comes of the DL but you never know with the Yankees.

  84. sjm308 - May 1, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Thanks Theo: I was totally misunderstanding that rule and not sure its fair that everyone now gets a chance on Komatsu. Hope we get him and he can take Harpers place in Syracuse.

  85. baseballswami - May 1, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Harper – mania on MLB TV. Between Harper and the Phillies/ take back the park plan, I certainly hope the nats can live up to the bravado. I guess we need to get used to the spotlight.

  86. Ann Ominous - May 1, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    "I am certainly no expert on rule 5 drafts but I also thought he was ours again. I think the Cards had to pay us $50,000 and now they get $25,000 of that back when they released him. Not sure how another team could step in between us, unless we release him as well."If another team claims him on waivers then that team has to keep him on its 25 man roster for the whole season, per Rule 5. The only teams that can have him and not do that are Washington (if they take him back) or St. Louis (if they work out a trade with Washington.)

  87. Tcostant - May 1, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Ann is correct. Another team can claim him, but he would need to stay on their 25 man ML roster. By now most rosters are set, and a claim would be highly unlikely.

  88. Theophilus T. S. - May 1, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Ann (really?) — It's also possible Washington could refuse to pay $25,000 to take him back. Unlikely, given the stiffs they've been signing to fill their minor league rosters, but possible. Then St. Louis could send him to one of their minor league teams.

  89. Theophilus T. S. - May 1, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Astros put in a waiver claim on a Rule 5 guy waived by Boston and he spent an afternoon tormenting Jackson and Gorzellany.

  90. Section 222 - May 1, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    I'm pretty sure if the Nats take him back from St. Louis, after he clears waivers, we would not have to put him on the 40 man. (The whole reason that he was able to be drafted under Rule 5 is that he wasn't on the 40 man).

  91. Ann Ominous - May 1, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    "I'm pretty sure if the Nats take him back from St. Louis, after he clears waivers, we would not have to put him on the 40 man."Correct.

  92. Ann Ominous - May 1, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    For those who say this kind of thing only happens with the Nats, you're wrong."Rays All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria could be out 6-8 weeks with a hamstring injury, according to a tweet from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin.Longoria left last night’s game in the third inning after he appeared to get hurt on a slide. His missing 6-8 weeks would be a surprise considering manager Joe Maddon described him as day-to-day Monday night. Maddon labeled the injury as knee soreness at the time."

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (3) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.0
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
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

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