Skip to content

Werth happy to be back with winning Nats

Aug 3, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jayson Werth went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in his return from the DL.

Jayson Werth returned to the Nationals lineup on Thursday night 88 days after he broke his left wrist sliding to catch a line drive in right field at Nationals Park. The day was May 6th and the Nats were playing the Phillies and pitcher Cole Hamels. On the day of his return, Aug. 2, the Phillies were the opponent once again and Hamels was on the mound.

Asked whether the significance of the game had anything to do with the timing of his return, Werth instead spoke of an almost impatience to get back in the lineup of a team that has maintained first place ever since he went out.

"It was just a coincidence," he said. "I felt like I was ready, I didn't really see what the point was to continue to play games in the minor leagues. I wasn't getting a whole lot out of it. …

"Like I never missed a step, it was good."

Werth said he felt nothing special in his major-league return, but didRead more ยป

  1. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    When Werth walked in the 9th inning last night my 1st thought was: Espinosa strikes out on that pitch 10 times out of 10. I would still like to see Werth lead off; a much better chance to get a man on base to start the game. Espinosa like Desmond is miscast in the leadoff role.

  2. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I like Lombo at lead off – just my personal opinion.I was excited to see Jayson back – I like his presence out there. If anyone was at the game last night — sounded like Werth got a big ovation, any booing? Couldn't hear any on tv. Is that era over? And — the tv guys from Phil and mlb seemed to expect ( want?) some reaction from the fans to the Hamels/Harper matchup – expected Cole to get booed, etc. I don't think they realize that this is DC not Philly. I have been over it for a long time, no grudge and Philly is irrelevant now anyway. Anything notable from the park last night? Things have changed so much in such a short period of time with the dynamics in the division. I agree with you jd – espi is back to his k-habits.

  3. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Looks like CMW put up a "quality" start for Harrisburg, 3ER in 6.2 innings, but it wasn't easy. Got out of jams in the 1st and 2nd, gave up a HR in the 3rd and got into trouble in the 7th. (Also got a hit). Gave up a bunch of singles, but hard to tell without watching whether they were major-league singles. Had 1-2-3 innings in the 5th and 6th.Zach Walters at SS made a fielding error, and at that point CMW was removed and the reliever got a strikeout to end the inning. (H'burg lost in extras).

  4. hiramhover - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Whatever else Davey decides about #1-2–and I'd imagine he will keep Werth lower down for a while, as he eases him back in–Espinosa shld not be at the top of the order.

  5. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    I don't NL; CMW's days as an effective major leaguer may be behind him. I am against signing EJax to a long term contract. I think Meyer is 2 years away and Giolito 3. I would gladly bring EJax back for 1 year at the same salary but I wouldn't block our prospects paths.

  6. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Lombo is ok but he's not a proto typical leadoff hitter either. I like someone who gets on base a lot, takes a lot of walks, works the count etc.

  7. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Lombo and Bryce both made the top ten list for D.Daily Dashhttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=23572915

  8. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    JD, sorry, is there a word missing in your post? I think I got the gist of it… :)

  9. SCNatsFan - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    hiramhover – couldn't agree more. Danny misses way to many pitches to hit #2.

  10. #4 - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    JD -I like Lombo and all, but… you can't argue that batting a guy lead-off with a .300 OBA (Lombo) is better than a guy with a .360 OBA (Werth).

  11. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Man, so many great points to think about in that last post.Jackson – I am for signing him but I am betting he will want more than 3 years. I don't think it will be the money but the years that make it difficult for us. I am not worried about blocking our young guys, the more pitching you have the better. Can you imagine going into next year with the same 5 starters we end with this year. I would think that is a luxury most teams don't have.Catcher – I like what Leon has done since coming back and last nights tag showed me he has learned something. I think he calls a good game and with what we have coming back from injury I would not be looking at making any kind of moves at this position.CF – still think that between Harper and Werth we have that covered.LaRoche – I defended him all last spring and love that he has proved to be so valuable. Even if he was not hitting like he usually did his defense has been just a pleasure to watchThird Base – I just got through praising LaRoche and I know we have him under control for next year (at least I think we do), but after that I am actually thinking that Zimm just might work well there. He has great hands and instincts. For those that played much more baseball than I, how tough would that transition be?Excited to see two games for the price of one. Will be making major decisions on those playoff strips with my partners in 308. I have no idea where I will sit for that first game since my ticket is for the 7:05 game. I will cross that bridge when I get to it.Go Nats and will be looking forward to polite bashing of my thoughts.

  12. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    I got over any grudge against Colbert when he said he voted for Harper for the All-Star team. That more than anything else showed that he realized he got the worst of the HBP/Stealing Home encounter. He also re-upped with his original team instead of making them go into a bidding war in the off season. Have to give him credit for that.Zim's throwing issues were mentioned in the last thread. As I remember, his throwing has pretty much always been an issue. Prior to his abdominal tear injury last year, he almost always threw sidearm, even when he fielded the ball at eye level. It was very awkward looking, but it seemed to give him the best shot at making an accurate throw. During the rehab after the surgery, he supposedly re-learned to throw, using the current motion which supposedly puts less strain on his abdomen and other muscles. After a few weeks of throwing adventures, he had supposedly mastered the technique and claimed to be comfortable with it. It looked odd, and didn't have much zip, especially compared to the cannons that Desi and Espi have, but many commentators proclaimed that his throwing problems were solved.This year he uses the sidearm throw whenever it makes sense (like when he charges a slow roller or is throwing to second for a force or DP) and is generally accurate with it. But on other grounders, he uses the new motion, and one commenter put it well when he said it looks like Zim's launching the ball in the general direction of 1B and hoping for the best. He's often saved from throwing errors only by that magician, ALR. I long for the day when Zim can gun the ball across the diamond like Chipper, or Longoria, or A-Rod, or even Tracy the other night. But at this point, it really doesn't look like that will ever happen. While I don't expect the move to be made this year or next, as soon as there's a worthy bat out there to replace him at 3rd (Rendon?), it wouldn't suprise me to see him move across the diamond.

  13. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    #4, I am arguing the opposite. Werth should lead off.

  14. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    When Desmond comes back my leadoff choice is Werth and I think he actually volunteered for that.Natslady mentioned Wang but the best start of the night besides Detwiler was our old friend Maya up in AAA. He pitched a gem and you can bet he will also be up on Sept 1st. I am betting Wang will not.Go Nats!

  15. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Espinosa has cooled off on both sides of the plate. For the time being, Lombardozzi is a better lead-off option than Werth, at least from the left side, and he's playing every day. All the time we hear from former players how important it is to keep guys in the same spot in the batting order so that everyone understands and gets comfortable in their roles. So my inclination would be to leave Lombardozzi at the top unless Espinosa starts running into pitches again. And leave Werth in the six-hole so that he can get in a groove. Like #4 on the previous thread, I think the Nats may be stuck w/ Lannan as Jackson's replacement next season. Strasburg might improve next year, and Detwiler might give you 30 starts, but that filling that No. 5 spot with the typical 4-5 starter available by trade or free agency is going to leave a huge whole in the rotation every five games. And it is correct that there is no young stud ready to come up from the minors. (Don't tell me Rosenbaum; he hasn't had a good start in over a month.) If the Lerners can afford $5MM so that Lannan can spend a year on the beach at Syracuse they can afford $4MM for him to start every five or so days. So they should tender him and see what happens in arbitration. Unless he goes 5-0 in September (and I don't think he'll get that many starts) there's no way an arbitrator is going to give him a raise for spending the remainder of the year at AAA. (Like everyone else, I assume the Nats won't give Jackson multiple years, espec. w/ Z'mann soon becoming a $10-12MM/year player.)

  17. #4 - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Sorry, JD. I misread your post.

  18. #4 - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    My original comment about lead-off was directed to Swami. Sorry about that.

  19. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Drat. Fixed only one of three typos. (Fuggedaboutit.)

  20. A DC Wonk - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I didn't see the game (had to follow it on various electronic devices). And so I didn't realize until I saw the video clip online how Werth got the grounder to second for the RBI. It wasn't a mis-hit, it was clearly good bat control (that a number of the other baby-Nats need to learn). Great play!

  21. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    JD – first of all – how many teams have a prototypical lead off hitter? Second – lombo sees the most pitches per at bat after ALR. He makes contact over 80% of the time,too. He is a rookie and so has had to adjust to the league, they have adjusted to him.But I think he has the makings of just what you were talking about. Switch hitter, fast, sees lots of pitches, great eye,fouls off, and when he is on his offensive game he walks. Recently I watched him take a pitch that was clearly a ball that was called a strike and resulted in a K but should have been a walk – simple swing, too. At that point he had only 29 K's in almost 300 at bats. I think he has the potential to be a fine lead off hitter – I think that's what he has done for most of his minor league career. Is he finished? No – he is a rookie – I am talking potential and would love to see that training continue.

  22. A DC Wonk - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    One other thing after watching clips: the difference in defense between the two teams was quite apparent last night. If Harper doesn't make that throw, and Phillie infielders make those plays, it's a 1-1 game instead of 3-0

  23. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Theo, They are not gonna bring Lannan back. If they thought he was good enough this year they would not have signed EJax. I think Rizzo looks for the next EJax during the off season via FA or trade (Garza?).

  24. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Sjm — your ticket for the "second game" is your ticket for the DH. They did not sell separate tickets for the first game. So head to that shady section 308 and enjoy!What row are you in? I may come looking for you when I arrive midway in the first game. :-)

  25. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Swami, Fair points but: 1)Lombo goes to the bench when Desmond returns. 2)Werth stays in the lineup.

  26. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Apologies if someone else mentioned this first, but Davey said last night that he asked Werth if he felt good enough to play the first game today. He wants him to play against the Marlin's LH starter. And he said he'd have two big lumberers out there with him in the outfield (or something like that.) I think that means we'll see Morse in RF, Werth in CF and Moore in LF for game 1, and then Harper in RF, Bernadina in CF, and Morse in LF againts a RH pitcher in game 2. What a luxury to have that kind of flexibility and power on our bench.

  27. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I also would rather see Werth as an rbi guy, lower in the order. He is a great base runner, though, not totalling against it. Desi has a while to go before he is back. Speaking of defense — our infield defense is sparkly right now. I think it gave Det a confidence boost. ALR makes everyone else look better – if they get it close, he will field it. That is what Lannan needs to be successful. I also think it is part of the reason our power pitchers have been evolving in to ground ball pitchers.

  28. NCNatsie - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Re Jackson, remember he wanted a long-term contract last year buet no one would give it to him, so he signed with us for 1 year. I can't think of any reason his stock would have gone up (he was a post-season hero then).So he might be available again on a 1-year.Re leadoff, what we don't have is a true base-stealer in the Reyes/Bourne mold. We have several good base stealers but no one whose every single is a potential double after the first pitch to the next batter. Given that, we back-and-fill a bit. I think Werth is worth (ha ha) a try, once he satisfies Davey that he's adjusted to being back, but if we have to go with Lombo, I'm okay with that. Once Desi comes back, it seems to me it has to be Werth.

  29. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Anyone else see a new intensity in Jayson? He just seemed to be kind of seething. I like it. Look out.

  30. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    JD, I think you are right, they will non-tender Lannan. If I recall, he went to arbitration (and lost) before the Jackson signing. Wasn't that after Rizzo got Gio–which I think in Rizzo's mind turned the Nats from an 83+ team to an 87+ team and so decided him that Lannan was expendable in favor of EJax.The Nats are in a much better situation without Lannan in looking for an FA pitcher (say Greinke, if he doesn't extend). Even if he shines, Lannan isn't worth much in a trade so what would you keep him for?

  31. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    JD — Garza is not in the cards because (A) not only will he cost $10-11MM next year (after arbitration), he will also cost prospects — or prospects plus someone off the ML roster; (B) 2013 is his FA year (see above concerning the cost of a one-year rental); (C) they won't sign him to a multiple year extension/contract with the costs of Zimmermann and Strasburg accelerating, not to mention that in 2014 and beyond they may not need him, or at least at the price he will demand.

  32. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Much more attractive to become a Nat than it used to be. Everyone wants to join the party!

  33. MicheleS - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Dennis Eckersly is bashing the nats right now on espn radio because of the Stras Shut down. Outside the lines is going to talk about it today as well.

  34. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    I can't wait until it actually happens so they all shut the heck up about it. There are so many things about the Nats that they could be talking about – even other pitchers.

  35. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Natsie — Jackson was not a post-season hero last year. His post-season ERA was well north of five; he walked, I think, six in Game 3 of the WS; LaRussa made it clear if not explicit that he'd rather die than than pitch Jackson in Game 7 on normal rest than the geriatric Carpenter on three days rest. Hence Jackson didn't get the contract he thought he deserved. The Nats bailed Boras out.

  36. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    MicheleS, that just speaks to the fact that there is nothing else "controversial" about the Nats. No scandals, everyone shows up to play. No glamour in debating if the Rizzo should pull a backup catcher or a utility infielder off the waiver wire–where's the fun in that? Yawn.

  37. derwink - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I wasn't trying to provoke anyone in the last post. My apologies if it came out that way.I'm a basketball coach and I love knowing the finer details of athletics. Footwork on perimeter defence, how to front the post. I love those finer details.I always read that Zimmerman was great defensively. But I find it interesting and valuable when those more knowledgeable and able to see him regularly play say that he has great hands but only launches it towards first. That provides a reasonable argument for moving him to first. It's much better than saying move him to first because X is in the minor leagues.

  38. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    This team is squeaky clean – even last night the tv guys were trying to make something of the cole/bryce thing – no dice. Rizzo is a good judge of talent and character. I a proud of these guys on and off the field.

  39. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Theo, I was thinking Garza specifically because he would be a one year solution allowing our prospects to get closer to the majors but you are right about the prospect cost. I don't know that you want to go down the Greinke route (many years at big dollars) because you already have 3 – 4 top of the rotation guys who will ultimately be very expensive; I think you mix and match until Meyer and or Giolito graduate to the team ALA one year contracts such as EJax.

  40. MicheleS - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    JD.. the cubs made it pretty obvious that if someone wants Garza, it will cost +++ prospects.

  41. TheManBearPig - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Three. That's the number of starters in the Nats rotation that have been better than Stephen Strasburg since Detwiler returned to the rotation in late June (7 starts).

  42. Coach Steve Roggie - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    MLBTR reported last week that EJax fired Boras. I forget who he went to for representation going forward.

  43. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    TheManBearPig, Zero. Number of pitchers with a brighter future than Stephen Strasburg in all of baseball.

  44. A DC Wonk - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    ManBearPig and JD: I think you're both right! Stras is going through typical post TJ stuff. But we expect him to rebound next year just as JZ has this year.

  45. TheManBearPig - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Agree entirely JD. He's got nastier stuff than, well, anyone, and he's probably pitching as well as anyone would expect him to pitch at this point, being 23 and in his first year back from TJ. We've seen this before (with Zimmnn) and we should expect him to be dominant in 2013. But the shutdown in 2012 isn't going to hurt the Nats as much as Eckersley or some others think, imo.

  46. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Dempster was pounded in his Texas Rangers debut last night. Something like 8 runs in 4 innings.

  47. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    derwink, I didn't view your comment as provoking or confrontational in any way. If the tenor of discussion here made you feel you were being put down, we owe you an apology. We should make a list of all the "knowledgable" baseball people who have bashed the Nats over the possible shutdown of Stras. I'll add John Smoltz and Ron Darling on the weekend's TBS telecast. It's just remarkable how many ex-players and experts fail to see the clear merit in Rizzo's plan. At the same time, Rizzo has virtually unanimous support here, even among commenters who are sharply critical of him on other topics. You would think it would be the opposite – the fans who want a winner would be calling for Stras to keep pitching, while players who know first hand what wear and tear on a young arm can do to his career prospects would be urging caution.

  48. TheManBearPig - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Yeah, what Wonk said (more concisely than I did).

  49. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    I think ManBearPig's original comment was intended as a concise response to the "experts" who want to talk about the Stras Shutown and how it will doom the Nats this year, instead of our other pitchers who deserve more attention and set us up well to compete in October without Stras. And he's absolutely right.

  50. Section 3, My Sofa - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Roggie, Jax went to Legacy; it's closer to two weeks, actually.222, it's not so surprising if you think of players as motivated by winning, not income. Sure they like the money, but these are guys who would literally give their right arm (or left, in some cases) to win the World Series, and they assume, probably rightly, that Strasburg would, too.

  51. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    I don't really give a c**p about what the experts are saying about SS shutdown. Rizzo is firm and Davie supports him and that's why we are in such good hands. BTW, How many of you expect Davie to return as manager next year? Do you agree that Randy Knorr is the heir apparent? I think Bo Porter will get a job somewhere else (I am saying this because if he was the heir apparent they would have made him the bench coach this year).

  52. hiramhover - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    So he might be available again on a 1-year.Seriously doubt it. He did the 1-year this year because he didn't get the multi-year offer that he–and Boras–thought he deserved, and he saw this as a way to boost his stock. That was probably a fail, tho it could still work out–so far, many of his stats aren't so different from last year, but he's got 10+ starts left. This off-season, he'll take the best multi-year deal he can get, whatever that is–and it's unlikely to come from the Nats.

  53. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Davey is having too much fun to leave. If we don't win it all, he'll want to be here for that. If we do, he'll want to do it again!

  54. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Section 222….what blows my mind about the "expert" commentators lambasting the Nats on the Stras shutdown is that I have not heard one of them explain that Stras is already in no mans land in his developement.He's already pitched the most proffessional innings for one season in his short career. At 23 year years old, even without the TJ, he would have been limited last season to 145-160 and probably 185 or so this season. Why no one expresses this is beyond me. The Nats are doing the responsible thing for his overall developement.

  55. Section 3, My Sofa - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Davey seems to be enjoying the [heck] out of this season. Why not come back for a full season of Strasburg and Harper? I would.

  56. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Bo Porter will definitely get a manager job (probably somewhere else). That was clear from the fangraphs interview. He expects it–and, I would say, deserves it, even if we criticize him as 3B coach. (ALR gave him a look yesterday, too.) Bo is taking orders from Davey. I think Davey is having a blast, but he might feel that, just as veterans give way to younger guys, he owes it to the younger coaches and to his legacy to let the next guy have a chance with really good talent to manage. (Manny Acta, who I like a lot, never had a chance with the teams he had, but with a good team he can fulfill his potential. I doubt the Indians are that team–yet.)

  57. Section 3, My Sofa - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Edwin Jackson and the Multi-Year Contract It's not just what he's done, but who the competition is, and how badly some GM thinks they need him.

  58. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    JD – agreed on Stras. Isn't it funny that with so much back and forth on this blog about so many different issues, I can't remember anyone on here supporting extending Stras. It seems the fans here are pretty much in agreement with what is being done and I just don't get the turmoil by the "experts". I guess its what they have to do to sell ads.I think Davey will be back but the caveat to that might be if we win the World Series (man does that scare me to type that). If he does that I am not sure what else there would be to prove. I agree that Randy Knorr just seems to have the inside shot on manager and he has managed just about every one of our young guys which to me is a huge plus.222 – Row E seats 1-5 but I am not sure how much of that first game I will see. Wondering if we could do a duet in the 7th inning!!Go Nats!!

  59. Section 3, My Sofa - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Bo Porter will definitely get a manager job (probably somewhere else). That was clear from the fangraphs interview. He expects it–and, I would say, deserves it, even if we criticize him as 3B coach. (ALR gave him a look yesterday, too.) Bo is taking orders from Davey.And a good manager doesn't second-guess his own mistakes. Learns from them where there's a lesson, and there isn't always a lesson, and moves on. Bo patted LaRoche on the butt on the way off the field, as if to say "Sorry, bud." and no drama.

  60. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    HH, I tend to agree on E-Jax and it's a shame because I think he's very valuable as an innings eater for this team. Plus he's a great athlete as demonstrated, once again, by the infield hit he beat out the other night. I will hold out hope that after bouncing around so much in his career so far, he will want to stay with the Nats and will take a reasonable two year deal. As sofa points out, money isn't everything.

  61. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Off to the gym – I have voiced this before but I am all in on offering EJax a 3 year deal. He might look for more but with the success we have had and the fact that he really is not in a pressure situation with this staff it might get done. On other teams he might be asked to be a #2 or 3 where here he can just sort of settle in at #4 or 5 depending on Detwilers success. If he can get the money we gave him last year for 3 years I can't imagine him turning that down. Win win for both him and the Nationals. Again, this faux GM stuff is easy.Go Nats!!

  62. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Sec 3, I enjoyed the heck out of my last season in the opera, too. But there came a moment when the hours spent dressing up as a geisha wore on me and I thought, this is a game for younger ladies… Then I was happy with my jazz group for a long time until the hassle of recruiting and keeping drummers outweighed the joy. (Drummers are like catchers, they will make you a start, but they sure are hard to keep around.) Then I was happy with weddings and funerals, and various church and synagogue jobs until the weekly grind (and getting up at 5:30 on Sunday morning) got tiring. Last week at the students' recital, they asked me to sing a number, and I enjoyed showing off my stuff. But, in the end, I got more pleasure from my students showing off their stuff, even if it didn't thrill the audience like mine. My conclusion is–we don't know. If it's still fun for Davey and his health holds up, he might stay. But if the hassle outweighs the fun, it's time to turn it over and "consult" again.

  63. A DC Wonk - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    JD said… I don't really give a c**p about what the experts are saying about SS shutdown. Rizzo is firm and Davie supports him and that's why we are in such good hands.Rizzo is going to shut down (with Davey's support) for the same reason Rizzo didn't make any rash trades this week: because his job is (and he has the guts to stick to it despite any pressure) to build the team into a lasting dynasty, not a 2012-flash in the pan. He's not going to sacrifice the future for 2012.As for Davey: I expect he will retire after a WS ring (unless that happens this year ;-) )

  64. A DC Wonk - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    (that is: "shut down Stras")

  65. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Sorry, drummers will make you a star. One of the best lessons I learned as a singer was, listen to the drummer. He (or she) will help you more than any other member of the band.

  66. A DC Wonk - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Sec 3, I enjoyed the heck out of my last season in the opera, too. But there came a moment when the hours spent dressing up as a geisha wore on me and I thought, this is a game for younger ladies…I hear ya'. But, as someone else noted above: who could pass up an opportunity to manage this bunch next year? A full year of a healthy Stras, Harper with his important sophomore season, and, possibly, a year of much much less DL-trips by starters. . . . This bunch will give Davey more energy (just as, if I could be permitted to mention, RGIII is giving Shanahan new energy).

  67. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    RGIII? Shanahan? Who are they? :-)

  68. pRAA - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Bo Porter will definitely get a manager job (probably somewhere else).The word you left out is eventually. Given his hue, he will probably get interviewed for every open manager job to comply with Bud's requirement for a sham minority interview. He was interviewed for the Miami job last year, as well as for the Nats job before it was officially given to Davey. But an interview doesn't equal a hire. There are only 30 of these jobs out there, and aside from Riggleman the incumbents know that and don't give them up easily. How many jobs may open up this year due to firings? Hard to tell. And we saw the last few years when there were a good number of jobs opened due to high profile retirements (LaRussa, Cox) and firings (Francona, Ozzie) that there are also a lot of guys circling around out there who are good candidates. It's not just the Bobby Valentines of the world. So Bo, even though he's good, will have a lot of competition for the jobs he gets interviewed for. He very well may still be the Nats 3B coach whenever Davey decides to retire.

  69. Brother Juniper - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Section222 wrote:"while players who know first hand what wear and tear on a young arm can do to his career prospects would be urging caution."Just think of all the great players who never made it to the World Series or someone like Cal Ripken who made it his rookie year and then never again. Maybe this is what the players are thinking about – if you miss out on an opportunity, who knows when the next one will come. Us fans however can afford to be more patient since we have a longer shelf life; we'll still be rooting for the Nats at age 99.

  70. MicheleS - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Sofa.. totally agree. With Colbert off the market, and Grienke being wooed by the Angels, there won't be to many good (or even great) pitchers. That will help drive EJax's market value (that and his performance the rest of the season with us)

  71. peric - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Zach Walters at SS made a fielding error, and at that point CMW was removed and the reliever got a strikeout to end the inning. Walters is now headed for Syracuse and a depth position behind Espinosa and Lombardozzi. And that's the rap on him, the fielding, he's getting close to the 30 error mark on the season.

  72. peric - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Edwin Jackson and the Multi-Year Contract Can't disagree but Zimmermann especially and then Stras? Big disparity in salaries between EJax and the rest as it is. Have to wonder how that affects players.

  73. MicheleS - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    pRAA, rumors are the Mills in Houston is on his way out. Bo would be a good fit for that team. Young, developing, not so good for a couple of years. Bo has seen that with the Nats, so the Stros could be a possibility.

  74. peric - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Davey seems to be enjoying the [heck] out of this season. Why not come back for a full season of Strasburg and Harper? I would.Some days he seems awfully tired … worn out from the game … maybe another year but beyond that seems highly unlikely.

  75. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    MichelleS'Sofa.. totally agree. With Colbert off the market, and Grienke being wooed by the Angels, there won't be to many good (or even great) pitchers. That will help drive EJax's market value (that and his performance the rest of the season with us)' The following pitchers will also be Free agents after the season:1)James Shields2)Kyle Lohse3)Sean Marcum4)Gavin Floyd5)Brandon McCarthy6)Jake Peavy7)Anibal Sanchez8)Ryan Dempster9)Joe Blanton10)Joe Saunders

  76. TheManBearPig - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    "RGIII? Shanahan? Who are they? :-)"Opportunities for local sports radio personalities to give us yet another reason to ignore them? Something to watch after baseball season is over?

  77. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Hmm, let's play rank the contracts for the 11 pitchers (including E-Jax) that JD mentions by size of per year payout. No guesses on amounts necessary. Bonus points for correctly predicting the number of multi-year contracts, as opposed to one year contracts. I'll collect and save the entries and announce the winners next spring! One entry per customer, deadline is August 31. Winner gets a beer. Second place gets a coke.

  78. pRAA - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    peric's act seems very tired, day after day after day. But that doesn't seem to stop him, alas. So why should being tired now and then stop Davey?

  79. TheManBearPig - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  80. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Like most of us, I haven't seen Walters tplay. (I think he might have been in the EL All-Star game but if that was on TV I didn't bother looking for it.) What we were told when they traded for him (and, more accurately, to get rid of Marquis) was that he projected as a utility player not more. That's fine; everybody needs utility players and the Nats don't have anyone in the pipeline at SS. (OK — Peric's going to tell me Rendon will make the HOF as a 6.) So I'm encouraged that he's made enough progress to be considered a "break glass in case of emergency" backup shortstop, stored at AAA. Against him, his performance at Potomac for a year-and-a half was pedestrian; in his favor, they have bounced him around between a couple of positions so they can't reasonably expect him to have improved much at either one. Desmond was a 30-error guy, too.

  81. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    There are a lot of inequities in salaries. I have to think most players give instructions if there is something specific they want (besides money and years) and let their reps worry about it. Colbert got upset by the wheeling and dealing (he said so) and has lost the next two games since signing the extension.

  82. TheManBearPig - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Sofa, MichelleS, JD (and others), do you think the Angels are going to get Grienke to sign a long-term deal? I read a comment somewhere (it was probably here, my apologies to the commenter who mentioned it, for not recalling the source) to the effect that Greinke blocked the deal that would have sent him to the Nats because he thought that the Nats were giving up so much that it would hurt their chances to contend. I wouldn't think that the Angels would have that much of an edge over a team like the Nats, who have most of the pieces assembled and play in the NL.

  83. MicheleS - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    JD.. not exactly a murder's row of pitching. Some are good, some okay, some getting old.ManBearPig. The GM of the Angels made a comment that they wouldn't have made the trade unless they were going to make a big push to sign Grienke. Plus they have Trout/Trombo/Weaver/Wilson – not to mention some old guy named Pujols ;-)

  84. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Does anyone else have problems with Red Carpet Rewards? Mine seem to be endless. Really stupidly designed (years ago I did Web design before it was called "Web design" so I know stupidity when I see it.) The latest is when I redeemed for a ticket for August 3 (TODAY!!) the email came back with a ticket for October 3. Am trying to untangle it in the next hour because I got a good seat under the overhang in case it's hot or it rains. Otherwise I will have to buy a ticket…

  85. hiramhover - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    I don't think it's my any means a sure thing that Greinke signs with Anaheim–iirc, the Angels and Greinke have said they haven't begun any long-term negotiations. On the other hand, they certainly meet Greinke's criteria–they're competitive in a tough division and I think today would get the 2d WC slot. They also have many pieces assembled–Weaver, CJ Wilson, Pujols, Trout, Trumbo, etc–for a long term winning team.

  86. hiramhover - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    MicheleSOops – I owe you at least half a coke.

  87. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    TMBPig –The Angels have the wherewithal to put three or four dollars on the table for Greinke for every two dollars the Nats would be willing to put up. The Lerners might — just maybe — have deeper pockets than Artie Moreno but the Angels have the revenue stream to pretty much write a check for whomsoever they want to sign — subject to the luxury tax. The Nats aren't going to get the windfall from MASN people have been anticipating and their expenditures will continue to be governed by prudence — and payroll that will grow organically as their young players mature. If Angels don't get Greinke, the Dodgers will.Apart from that, in a couple years, the Nats won't need him.

  88. peric - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I don't think Rendon will make the HOF as a 6 Theo. I wonder if he can stay healthy enough not to end up as an AL DH. But, the plan looks like it will be to move Zim to first and spot Rendon at third base replacing a gold glover with a potential gold glover … if he can stay healthy. And at this point that's kind of a large question mark.

  89. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    I don't know Zach Walters from Barbara Walters (ok, I could probably figure it out) but I'm reluctant to judge an error rate in the minors. It could be coaching, focus, or–as we see with ALR–to whom he is throwing the ball.

  90. peric - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Apart from that, in a couple years, the Nats won't need him.That may or may not be true … albeit Nate Karns might be ready next year at some point. Everyone projected him as a reliever and he has been outstanding as a starter up to Potomac. But like all the others the proof will likely be in AA against much better hitting. And now Meyer has caught up and is in Potomac. So, next year both players should theoretically have some appearances in AA to prove their mettle.Both may end up in the Arizona Fall League although in order to accomplish that Karns would have had to have been promoted to AA like Goodwin. So, given his recent should surgery perhaps Karns gets shutdown? Meyer could be an exception they could ask for … we'll see I guess.But, they do have some possibilities to fill in at #5 next season given Detwiler's success. But they also need depth in case of injury. Solis will be back but still recovering from TJ. No one knows about Purke. Mandel is having a break out season but is rather old at 27. I would exclude the other starters in Syracuse, they may all be gone, except possibly for Tanner Roark. But test I think you are right Theo they probably won't go for Grienke if the years are too many given what they have. IF he signs for fewer years even at the price the Nats may match the Angels. That's going to be the trick for the Nats. Big money but fewer years because prospects should be ready. That will likely be the case with LaRoche … he likely won't get more than 2 years with a third option year.They seem to be running low on top prospects after the gravy years when they finished in last place. As JayB and many others say they need to get on the stick and replenish with International signings as soon as possible.

  91. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Interesting speculation on what Rizzo will do about a 5th starter, next year. One thing we know he won't do is mortgage the future of the team for a top of the rotation guy. He already has 3 of those, Stras, Gio and the Avatar, with Detwiler not far behind those three. He wouldn't even talk to CJ Wilson last year, and refused to go to 4 years with Buehrle.EJax was perfect for his needs – a back of the rotation innings eater who would settle for a 1-year deal. EJax dumped Boras for the Legacy group. Boras did not get him the long-term deal he wanted last year. I'm no mind-reader, but EJax seems very happy here in DC. If Legacy and Rizzo can work out a reasonable deal for 3-4 years, he stays. EJax wants to stay, IMO, and Rizzo will not overpay for anyone, as we have seen. If EJax only wants the money, he won't get it from Rizzo.If they can't sign EJax, Rizzo has Lannan to fall back on (I think CMW is gone), or he can open it up to competition from within the organization. There is Karns, and there is also Ryan Perry, who has been quietly putting together a quality resume in AA – a better one, really, than anyone else down there. And Perry has ML experience.Rizzo has hedged his bets. He does not need to throw a ton of money at Greinke or anyone else on the FA market, and he won't. That is his history and that is who he is. Smart dude. He has stocked the MiL with better, more cost-effective options than, say, Hamels for $144 mn and 7 years. He also has better pitchers already on the staff that he wants to extend, e.g. Jordan, where the money will be better used.He will be torn to shreds on this blog for not wasting the Lerner's money, but in 2 years he could have Solis, Meyer, Giolito, Mooneyham (pitching great for Auburn), or Purke ready to come up. Why should he block their advance by locking in someone else, who is much more expensive?The guy is a long-term planner, who understands cost vs. benefits and how to get the maximum benefit from the least cost, and that's how he will approach this problem, just as he has every other one.Come to think of it, he may be the only guy in DC who thinks that way.

  92. Timothy Folk - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Made sure I stood the whole at bat.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 54 43 --
ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
MIAMI 46 52 8.5
NEW YORK 46 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 56 12.0
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 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.

Follow us on Twitter