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Assembling a postseason roster

Oct 5, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Rookie Christian Garcia could squeeze his way onto the postseason pitching staff.

The Nationals, officially, have known they'll be competing in the postseason for two full weeks now, so they've had plenty of time to consider their 25-man October roster.

Major League Baseball, however, doesn't require teams to actually submit their roster until the morning of Game 1 of a particular series, so Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson don't need to finalize anything until Sunday morning.

Which gives those two men ample opportunity to run through every possible scenario while also waiting to find out the identity of their opponent for the National League Division Series.

The answer to that question — Braves or Cardinals? — could play a big role in deciding the last couple of spots on the Nationals' roster. Johnson isn't hiding his desire to have more left-handed pitchers for a series against Atlanta than St. Louis, given the composition of each club'sRead more »

114 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsFanGino - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    I don't see them leaving DeRosa off the roster, so I think Garcia is left off.

  2. NatsFanGino - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

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  3. Marty - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I think that the roster probably goes in like you said. Perez or Brown only make it in if Davey really wants a pinch baserunner and if he decides he wants that then I can see Moore being the one that would lose out in that scenario over Garcia.On the other (obviously crazy) hand, has Jackson ever come out of the pen? Clippard and Mattheus have had some pretty rough outings in the past couple weeks. And while I do not think that Davey is going to do anything to upset the bullpen harmony, I could certainly understand if he wanted to slide Stammen into the Clippard/Mattheus 7/8 role a bit more if he knew he could use Jackson like he uses Stammen now.

  4. JaneB - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I also thought De Rosa was here to teach post-season baseball to our guys, so I was thinking we would see him in this first series, and not get the 8th pen guy till the next series. But I don't see him contributing on the field as much as other guys. If Stras can be in the dugout, but not on the roster, can't they do the same with DeRosa?I can't wait to see who we play. I don't know who to root against.

  5. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    I keep thinking I am going to wake up from a dream and it's going to be 2009. I am still stunned that we are talking about Playoffs.

  6. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    I think Tyler Moore makes the roster, as Davey really likes his HR power. Garcia seems like he would be a lock, what with how he has looked since coming up. So many pitchers, so few slots. Who would've guessed?

  7. Cwj - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    I like your educated guess Mark Z.I was also very impressed with Garcia. He has some electric stuff.Michele- Me too!

  8. MicheleS - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Mick, you might like to read this from the post.Povich

  9. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    has anyone bought e-book on Harper from WaPo? If so, how is it?Postseason roster? Lannen has to be a part of it if we are facing Braves I think. Beside that I got no clue.

  10. Cwj - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I'm glad the Nats don't play until Sunday. Gives us all more time to soak it all in :-)Man I'm going to be very nervous this Sunday. I'm not used to playoff games where I care who the victor is!Looking forward to the WC game this afternoon.I guess I'm pulling for the Cardinals, yet the Nats actually played better against Atlanta.Either way, Go Nats!

  11. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:02 PM

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  12. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    I thought DeRosa might be on the roster, too, but I'll be fine with whoever Davey picks. (Hi, Davey!) I'm pretty sure I'll be rooting against the team that wins the NL WC game. :-)Carrying forward on a general postseason rooting note:natsfan1a said…On a postseason note, I was thinking the other day how cool it is that I don't have to look at the teams who are in it and decide which one(s) to root for this year. That's because my boys are in the mix, of course.If they weren't in it, as someone who grew up in the SFO Bay Area, I'd be going with my brother's Giants and the A's. Geography aside, the latter meets my out-of-it-fan rooting criteria: they have some former Nats/P-Nats, and they're a low payroll team that surprised this season. I tend to like the underdogs. (Don't worry, Nats, I still love you, even if you aren't one any more, and I'm rooting for you all the way. :-))And carrying forward on a sad note:natsfan1a said…In re. my post about teams I'd be inclined to root for, my husband just asked me about if I'd heard about the A's pitcher whose newborn son just died. I was saddened to learn that it's Pat Neshek, a sidearmer I "discovered" some years ago when SI had an item about his website, which at the time was chronicling his first call-up to the bigs. He's an avid autograph and memorabilia collector who trades his own game-used items in exchange for memorabilia. He's evidently on the Tweeter now, too. Anyhow, just very sad news.

  13. Donald - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    With only 25 guys, there are probably only 2 spots to play with and at most 4. The pen is set except for Garcia. I agree he's the most likely, though there's a chance they take Duke if we play Atlanta. If we take Duke, Garcia has to be the one to drop. The other slot is Moore. I agree that he's the most likely but I wouldn't be shocked if they gave that slot to DeRosa for his veteran presence. I don't think they use Perez because they have Bernadina to run. Corey Brown just hasn't been used enough that it's clear he's low down on their depth chart. Other than those 2 slots, it's hard to see many changes. If Lannan gets a slot, he probably replaces Michael Gonzalez rather than Jackson. And there's an outside shot that they'd take DeRosa over Lombardozzi, but I would be really surprised about that.

  14. sjm308 - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Mark: I agree with your picks. I think DeRosa can still provide his role without ever hitting the field. He will be in the dugout, sitting next to whoever he feels needs a little chat.I talked a few days ago about how hard it would be to leave someone like Jackson off after giving us 162 days of hard work. There is something to be said for chemistry, commradere(totally mispelled), and it didn't hurt that he was dealing his last start.The Post is just slamming on Nationals articles. Mark is still the man but they are bringing Boswell in to write a daily column now and the stuff from George Solomon & Boz on Povich got a tingle from this old man. I would read Shirley every morning. Newspapers were different way back when and he had a daily column, I think it was either on the top left or top right of the sports page each morning and it was called "This Morning". Anyway, just so much fun right now!!Not sure who I want to play next. I will just sit back and see what happens. I have read all the hate for Angelos and I realize what he did to block our team from getting here, but I did enjoy watching the Orioles hang in basically all season and between us, the O's and the A's there are some great stories ahead.Go Nats!!

  15. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I have said before and I will repeat it now — the Nats organization needs to hire DeRosa as soon as the season ends for a minor league coaching job. I don't see his value on the play off roster, although he looked good in that throw away game this week. His value is in the dugout and that's a coaching position. Can't believe we are talking about this!!!!! My hope for tonight is that, whoever wins or loses, Medlin gets taken down a peg. I find him to be very, shall we say, ahem – overconfident.He needs a lesson — not the Cole Hamels kind, the " I am mortal after all" kind. My biggest hope for tonight is extra innings – lots and lots of them. I think this game will be a typical National league game – a pitcher's duel. With it being a one – game, winner takes all, you can expect to see a quick hook on the pitchers and lots of relievers matched up. The AL play in game will probably be a typical AL game – a slugfest. Again – I don't really care who wins or loses, just exciting games and lots and lots and lots of extra innings. I hope all four teams have to leave everything out there on the field in order to advance.

  16. sm13 - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    While Garcia seems rthe frontrunner, they could pick Duke over him if we are playing Atlanta. Rizzo and Davey might want another situational lefty in the pen. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they go with DeRosa over Tyler Moore. I agree with Gino that his ecperience is highly valued.

  17. natscan reduxit - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    … I read this morning that Jonny Gomes wants to hang Kurt Suzuki's Oakland jersey in the "A's" club house during the playoffs. Does that mean he thinks his old "Nats" uni should hang in Washington's dressing room as well?Go Nats!!

  18. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Davey on 106.7, yeah I play golf, I can beat your ass! He says he was a scratch, and now due to health problems is a 5 handicap. He sounds so happy!!! Preaching math right now!

  19. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Marty, the problem with EJax coming out of the pen is his bad first innings (Wednesday excepted). Out of the pen you can't have one bad inning and then get your rhythm.

  20. alexva - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    I think you nailed it Mark, Garcia for Strasburg is a good upgrade to the bullpen. I will say that if games 3 and 4 were going to be on the road in Atlanta, you might see Lannan in for Detwiler. Ross has not need the same pitcher on the road.

  21. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Davey just said none of the pitchers are going on 3 days' rest. Said they are all "young studs" with a big future ahead of them.

  22. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Eight o'clock tonight you will see the playoff roster. AL MVP – Cabrera. NL – Adam LaRoche. LOL. Stras could be on it as a pinch hitter (I don't believe that for 1 second).

  23. NatsJim - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    I think MLB should tweak the postseason roster rules to say that the wildcard teams have to use the same roster for both the wildcard game and the division series – that would eliminate any shenanigans with drastically altering the wc game roster and also give a slight advantage to the division winner, as the wildcard teams would have to decide whether to set the roster for the opponent of the one game, winner take all wc game or for the potential match-up against the division winner should they make it through.

  24. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    alexva, but games 3 and 4 against Atlanta will be here (due to crazy Bud schedule). Davey has announced it will be Gio and JZ for the first two games, which are on the road (ATL or STL). The only question would be the 3rd game here on Tuesday. We'll know soon enough–is Lannan on the roster? That would mean Lannan would start and Det would come in from the BP at the first sign of trouble.

  25. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Mick and sjm308 — Boz really hit it out of the park this morning for us old fart fans of the former Nats and lovers of the new Nats:Washington was going to be blamed for losing a franchise due to non-support when the real driving reasons — not 100 percent, but much more than half — had nothing to do with Washington at all.The Senators left after the 1960 season because owner Calvin Griffith saw a chance to make a lot of money in Minneapolis after his family had merely made enough money in Washington for two generations. Also, Griffith was a racist and wanted to get away from “them.” At least that’s the reason he gave me on a bus ride to the World Series years later when he didn’t know I was a baseball reporter. By then he was just a shrunken, evil old coot. All I had to do was say “Washington,” and he let the racial hostility gush out.The expansion Senators left after ’71 because owner Bob Short was an adventurer and financial fool. A Povich scoop revealed that Short had acquired the team for only a few thousand dollars of his own money…..A contributing factor, of course, was that poor to awful teams from 1934 to ’71, with the occasional glimpse of .500., will neuter any fan base. However, the truth — and nobody will ever move me off it because I lived it — is that Washington gave the nickel-and-dime Senators product more attendance and enthusiasm than it deserved.

  26. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    NL — 3rd game of the NLDS will be here on Wednesday not Tuesday. So we could see Medlen (if it's the Barves) in that 3d game (4 days rest) though what I've read says he'd go in the 4th game.Reassuring factor for Nats: though I don't have the numbers (saw them yesterday, either here or in WaPo), both Det and EJax have pitched far better at home than on the road. At least that's hopeful for the DS.

  27. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    SOrry right, Wednesday. Already have put my students on alert. Please no rain, and I'm at the Park. If by some miracle, Atlanta is down 2-0, you can put money that Medlen would pitch on Wednesday, with four days' rest. Why wouldn't he? Maybe in other scenarios Fredi would hold him for an extra day.

  28. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Garcia is on the roster. Johnson is using him as one-third-of-an inning guy, which is a luxury in the regular season but with pitchers being yanked after every hiccup, as managers would like to be able to do in the playoffs, he would be very valuable.Jackson, I think, makes the roster. The Braves may start 5 LH hitters, including Chipper, but Jones becomes a RH against a LH, and McCann is having a crummy year. Their LH bench is Hinske (.197) and Overbay, who shouldn't scare anyone.Having said that, I don't expect Jackson to win a game in the playoffs, or start more than one game in any series, no matter how long they go.I was really impressed w/ Moore in the last week, raking after sitting mostly idle for the last month. All summer I've been convinced he was "too good to be real," but now think he's the real deal who could turn a game around w/ a pinch AB in the sixth of seventh inning (saving Tracy for prime time). So he's on the roster, at least in the first round.If they play SF, then I see DeRosa playing, because he's played in SF before and that acreage in LF and CF negates much of Moore's power — he's still pretty much a dead pull hitter. And I like the idea of a second back-up middle IF. Tracy looked good at both 3B and 1B and I would be comfortable with him at either in an emergency. That means no role for Perez or Brown. Agree with those who think Perez still looks over-awed and Brown is just Bernadina without experience. In other words, I agree with Mark's predictions exactly.

  29. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:15 PM

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  30. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Eddie — I can't see Braves waiting to start Medlen in Game 4. In Game 3 he could (A) clinch the series; (B) stave off elimination; (C) put them in a position where they need to win only one of two. You could say he could stave off elimination or clinch the series in Game 4, also, but in that case they would have (1) already faced the firing wall in Game 3 or (2) passed up the opportunity to clinch in Game 3. I don't see any way they decide to give a guy who has been so dominant (including of the Nats) an extra day of rest.

  31. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Haha..trying to predict what Freddi does is impossible..He's starting Ross over McCann today…Keep working it Freddi..Braves have a great roster, and a pinhead running the show

  32. The Fox - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    NatsJim said… I think MLB should tweak the postseason roster rules to say that the wildcard teams have to use the same roster for both the wildcard game and the division series – that would eliminate any shenanigans with drastically altering the wc game roster__________________________________________NatsJim I agree with you completely. I would guess that the WC teams put 8 pitchers on their roster at most. Having at least 16 position players alters the game even more. I think we might see some interesting WC games with multiple switches unless the starter is lights out. The whole extra WC team is a half-baked idea if you ask me. As for the Nats I think Mark has it right, maybe an extra lefty is added the pen if we face the Braves but I don't think an extra pinch runner is. Bernadina may have a very important roll to play in the division series.

  33. Feel Wood - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… has anyone bought e-book on Harper from WaPo? If so, how is it?What e-book?

  34. alm - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I think that DeRosa makes the roster and so does Garcia – Gorzalanny is the odd man out in my game of musical chairs. He has been little used recently – only 7 appearances since Aug 27. If its the Cardinal there is no reason we would need a 3rd lefty in the pen. he has only appeared in one of our games against the Cards – the recent 12-2 blow-out loss. Against the Braves this year he has appeared 6 times for 8 innings giving up 6 runs but only 1 earned run. We are 2-4 in the Braves games he has appeared in. Do I want to see him coming ut of the pen in a series against the Braves? No way because it would likley mean that we are losing. I don't see Davey giving him the ball in a close game.

  35. fast eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Here's a scouting report from USA Today that's guaranteed to stir some controversy:"A good pitching staff can bust the Nats inside and they won't hit at all–not enough quick bats. Gio is an exctiable guy and needs to be under control in Game 1 or this could unravel in a hurry."

  36. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    fast eddie, don't agree on the first point. The second point is totally true, and you can bet that Desi, McCatty, ALR and Suzuki will be "Gio-whispering" as much as they need to. However, once Gio gets under control, watch out.

  37. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    The reason I don't agree on the first point is, quick bats aren't everything. Give me the smarts of Werth and LaRoche, and the power of Morse, Desi, RZ, and even Danny. And, of course, the Kid's bat is PLENTY QUICK. I think RZ is the hidden weapon here. Totally professional, has waited a long, long time for this. He is going to show the world who he is!

  38. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Remember Mr. Walkoff. We are going to see Mr. Walkoff in the postseason. I'm taking bets right now.

  39. blovy8 - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Yeah, excited himself all the way to 21 wins. It better be a fastball over 95 on the black, these aren't geezers swinging. I bet Harper would LOVE to see one of those inside fastballs, for instance.

  40. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    If memory serves, it's by Dave Sheinin. I saw an ad/blurb touting it on the WaPo site the other day.What e-book?

  41. Taino in DC - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Edwin Jackson 2-2 with a 4.91 record in the post season must be the most overated stats ever.

  42. jeffwx - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Lombo, Lombo man, I want to be a lombo manGoing to the playoffs baby

  43. jeffwx - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Lombo, Lombo man, I want to be a lombo manGoing to the playoffs baby

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Mark writes…BENCH (5)1. C Jesus Flores2. IF Steve Lombardozzi3. IF Chad Tracy4. OF Roger Bernadina5. OF Tyler Moore Hard to believe that Mark DeRosa is finished as a Nats player. Hoping he will get an opportunity to coach for this team in the future.That .188 BA really wasn't a true reflection of how well he did the last month. His "near" HR power may convince him to retire. It has to be humbling to hit a ball as hard as you can and it gets caught at the wall.

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Nats get the 1st pitch on Sunday at 3:07PM.

  46. Feel Wood - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… http://www.amazon.com/The-Bryce-Harper-Story-ebook/dp/B009HJC8XC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349445302&sr=8-1&keywords=bryce+harper+washington+postNot by Sheinin. According to the blurb on the Amazon site, this is nothing but a compilation of WaPo articles about Harper. Which means that if you read the Post, you've already read this book. Looking at the preview on the Amazon site, I see mainly articles by Kilgore. Hopefully they edited them and cleaned up his typically ragged copy. But I wouldn't count on it.Sheinin was stalking Strasburg through the minors in 2010, and Harper as well through much of 2011, supposedly to write a book or books. Whatever became of that? Does Sheinin even work at the Post or write about baseball any more?

  47. Feel Wood - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Nats get the 1st pitch on Sunday at 3:07PM.Cue the "which will you be watching, Nats or Redskins?" discussion on the Lavar and Dukes show today. They will count that as time spent talking Nats whenever someone says they don't, even though it will be all about the Redskins.

  48. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Ah, then my memory did not serve, which is often the case these days.Not by Sheinin.

  49. JD - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I agree with Mark's projected roster. There is no way Lannan takes Jackson's start or that Det gets bumped. I am predicting that the Cards beat Atlanta today.I think if the game is close Fredi gets out managed by Matheny.

  50. NatsFanGino - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I really can't see how DeRosa is not on the roster. If you have a runner on 3rd with 1 out in the 8th inning. Or a runner you need to advance in the late innings.With a RHP on the mound it is easily: Tracy. With a LHP on the mound, who do you want to have up? DeRosa, Moore, or Lombo? Easy decision is DeRosa and I think this is how Davey will think about it. JMHO

  51. mick - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Lombo's dad is new varsity baseball coach at Good Counsel HS, now the GC will have both a football and baseball factory

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    JD said… I agree with Mark's projected roster. There is no way Lannan takes Jackson's start or that Det gets bumped.I am predicting that the Cards beat Atlanta today.I think if the game is close Fredi gets out managed by Matheny. October 05, 2012 10:32 AM I said the same a few days ago. I think the Cards will keep the game close and the game will be won in the 7th and 8th innings.Flashback to Game #5 last year as Halladay and Carpenter faced each other. Cardinals scrapped out 1 run in the 1st and the game ended 1-0.

  53. Section 3, My Playoffs Sofa - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    It has to be humbling to hit a ball as hard as you can and it gets caught at the wall. Matt Stairs called. He said "Tell me about it!"

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    mick said… Lombo's dad is new varsity baseball coach at Good Counsel HS, now the GC will have both a football and baseball factory October 05, 2012 10:33 AM GC will now pull from St. Johns as the private school powerhouse in the DC area.

  55. Laddie Blah Blah - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I cannot see Davey going into the post-season without a RH power bat off the bench. TyMo is the logical guy for that role, especially since Davey prefers his bench guys to have some power. And he is not going to burn Flores as a RH pinch hitter. Bernie can certainly handle pinch running duties. TyMo is the logical guy. I think that is why Davey played him against the Phillies – to get him ready for the post-season.And they pulled Garcia off the AFL roster and replaced him with Cole Kimball. I do not understand why they would do that unless Garcia was penciled in for the Nats' post-season. Davey has said he will carry an extra reliever. Who better than Garcia?Lannan vs. EJax? Let's see who wins the WC play-in game.

  56. JD - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    NatsFanGino, I don't agree. DeRosa hasn't been a factor all year and Moore gives you the 'quick strike' potential which Davie loves; like the home run against Dickey which turned the game around in a heart beat. I think you have to go with the people who have done this all year and not over think it too much. The only exception IMO is Garcia and you can see that the staff trusts him implicitly because they used him in game situations down the stretch.

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    NatsFanGino said… I really can't see how DeRosa is not on the roster. If you have a runner on 3rd with 1 out in the 8th inning. Or a runner you need to advance in the late innings.With a RHP on the mound it is easily: Tracy. With a LHP on the mound, who do you want to have up? DeRosa, Moore, or Lombo? Easy decision is DeRosa and I think this is how Davey will think about it. JMHO October 05, 2012 10:32 AM It is either Moore or DeRosa and Moore has HR power and DeRosa just doesn't as we saw. Its Davey's call and he may change his strategy to go with veteran over rookie and sacrifice the power.

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    JD, I owe you a drink!

  59. NatsFanGino - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I'm curious how long Davey sticks with Espinosa if he struggles early. I love the guy, but he is 3 for his last 29. Worried he is pressing and that might only get worse in the playoffs. Hope he can loosen up.

  60. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Plus Mark had trouble turning on 95+ Wednesday. I would much rather see Tyler in a Kimbrell situation if it gets to that.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I think Davey goes with the team that took him here with the exception is Christian Garcia so Davey has a deeper bullpen.I'm wondering if Gorzo is a lock where Davey sticks with EJax but has Lannan as a long-man.Hopefully Nats take the 1st round in a 3 game sweep and we don't have to even worry about the 4th starter!

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    NatsFanGino said… I'm curious how long Davey sticks with Espinosa if he struggles early. I love the guy, but he is 3 for his last 29. Worried he is pressing and that might only get worse in the playoffs. Hope he can loosen up. October 05, 2012 10:52 AM I'm hoping that Espi has the time off to watch tape and figure out that he has to shorten that swing.Davey may have to move him to the 8th hole. Suzuki is getting the job done.

  63. NatsFanGino - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Yeah, I didn't mean they would put DeRosa on the roster and leave Moore off. I think if they went with DeRosa they leave Garcia off. At least for the NLDS. In the next round I think they would have that extra bullpen arm. I just think Davey will see certain situations where he wants a veteran at bat, and will want to have Tracy and DeRosa there on the bench. If they do have Derosa, think there is any chance they bring Garcia and leave Gorzelanny? Gorzelanny was so rarely used out of the bullpen in a meaningful way this year. Just a thought

  64. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Davey is sticking with Danny. He can strike out 5 times every game but if he grabs a ball in short RF and turns a great doubleplay it is worth it. There are plenty of other hitters to cover the offense but Danny is a GREAT 2B and Davey knows that.

  65. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Next spring Davey and Eck will fix Danny's offense (he will still be a switch hitter, mark my words). They are not going to worry about it this year.

  66. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Plus Danny will hit a couple of HRs in the postseason. Y'know, just because he can. Big Danny supporter here.

  67. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I'm with the Schwam and MicheleS: I still cannot believe we're compiling a postseason roster. It's so great. All the also-rans are firing their coaches, video instructors, announcers (The Astros sacked their radio guys last night; Oh, THAT was their problem!) and we are discussing the finer points of Christian Garcia vs. Mark DeRosa. It's a dream, right? Well, don't pinch me.I vote for Garcia. But if DeRosa is not on the 25 man, I don't think he'll be allowed to suit up and sit in the dugout. Nor would Stras. I could be wrong on this. Anybody know: are non-active players allowed to sit on the bench during the playoffs?DeRosa is a pure class act. He's either got coach, manager or broadcaster written all over him. If I were F.P., I'd be worried!

  68. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Lannan vs. EJax? Let's see who wins the WC play-in game. Given Atlanta's poor records against lefties, Lannan is worth a serious look.Davey is sticking with Danny. He can strike out 5 times every game but if he grabs a ball in short RF and turns a great doubleplay it is worth it. There are plenty of other hitters to cover the offense but Danny is a GREAT 2B and Davey knows that. Agreed. That's the benefit of having a very balanced offense. Next spring Davey and Eck will fix Danny's offense (he will still be a switch hitter, mark my words). They are not going to worry about it this year. Agreed on that, too. Here's hoping that Danny (who's one year younger than Desi) follows in Desi's footsteps, and gets his offense going next year like Danny did this year!

  69. sjm308 - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Brian Kenny from MLB network just picked the Nats to win the World Series. Says they are the most complete team in the majors.I think I read early in the comments about LannEn taking Det's place and that is just silly. Detwiller has a 6-2 record at home and would pitch the 3rd or 4th game which will be at home. Again, I love what LannEn did for us this year but its not even close folks.Good point about DeRosa moving up runners and I watched with frustration on our last game Wed. as twice we had a runner on 2nd with no outs and neither time did we get that guy to 3rd. I still think Davey will go with the bigger power bats over DeRosa, but again, he WILL be there in the dugout.Go Nats!!

  70. sjm308 - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Sunshine: great question about whether they can actually suit up in the dugout. I don't know the rules but I don't see why not. The umpires will have the 25 man rosters. Its not like Davey would try and sneak someone in who is not on it (that would be great though!!). I do realize in football that if you are not on the actual roster for that game, you are not in uniform but are allowed on the sidelines. In basketball they sit in their pretty suits & ties. How funny would it be to see DeRosa in a suit & tie in the dugout giving advice to Harper. Shades of Connie Mack and no I was not around to see him manage!Go Nats!

  71. SteveRep44 - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Umpire assignments for Nats series:Joe West (crew chief)Paul EmmelEd HickoxMarvin HudsonJim JoyceAlfonso MarquezYes … that says Marvin Hudson.

  72. SonnyG10 - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I'd like to see a close tight game between the Braves and the Cards, with both starting pitchers going deep into the game. Don't want whomever we face to have a well rested #1.

  73. mick - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Ghost… you are right about that although St John's is planning some major upgrades

  74. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Here's a scouting report from USA Today that's guaranteed to stir some controversy:"A good pitching staff can bust the Nats inside and they won't hit at all–not enough quick bats…" My rebuttal is this: don't you (not you, but the guy who wrote it) think that the opposition would have figured that out by now? And yet the Nats were close to the best hitting team in the NL after the All Star Break.Further, quick backs are usually associated with age. The Nats are among the youngest team. RZ, Harp, Desi, Espi — they have darn quick bats, no? And Werth has been around way too long for such a simple strategy to work.

  75. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    SonnyG10 said… I'd like to see a close tight game between the Braves and the Cards, with both starting pitchers going deep into the game. Don't want whomever we face to have a well rested #1.Hey — let's go all the way and root for a 16-inning game, to burn as many pitchers as possible! ;-)

  76. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    sjm308 said… Brian Kenny from MLB network just picked the Nats to win the World Series. Says they are the most complete team in the majors.That actually makes sense.First: the playoffs are a crapshoot anyway. A random pitch here and there, a random batter or pitcher getting hot or going cold can change the whole thing. Playoffs scream "small sample size."Secondly: given the crapshoot nature, you have to go with the teams who are the most complete.Now, I haven't looked at the stats, but I'd bet there is _no_ team that is in the top five in: (a) runs; (b) ERA; (c) fewest errors.Except the Nats.

  77. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Now, I haven't looked at the stats, but I'd bet there is _no_ team that is in the top five in: (a) runs; (b) ERA; (c) fewest errors.Meaning, of course, no team who is in the top five in all three categories except the Nats.But, again, I haven't looked.

  78. sjm308 - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Wonk – exactly! He talked defense, best hitting team since the all-star break, balanced pitching staff etc etc. He also did not stress SS at all which was refreshing.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I went back to some of my off-season scribbles last year and was hoping the Nats could get to 680 runs scored and if they got above 700 would be playoff worthy given the value of each run scored towards W/L records as I predicted the pitching would improve over 2011.The Nats scored 731 vs 624 last year. Truly amazing. That's an average of 4.51 runs per game vs. 3.88 runs scored last year.The Nats pitchers/defense gave up only 594 runs vs 643 last year.The Nats scored 5 runs or more 72 games this year. 17-4 in games where Nats score 5 runs. 9-2 in games where Nats score 6 runs. 12-1 in games where the Nats score 7 runs. 6-0 where scoring 8 runs. 7-1 when scoring 9 runs. 9-2 when scoring 10 or more runs. 62-10 when scoring 5 or more runs. 36-54 when scoring 4 runs or less.The key is going to be the Nats getting to 5+ runs scored in every game. That's the magic number for this team

  80. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    I think that's true about being the most complete team, and I think that's what the Nats are going to show the world.(a) ALR better than Fielder because offense ISN'T everything. And ALR pretty good on offense, too.(b) Fundamentals and D COUNT. Don't make mistakes, don't whiff on easy fly balls, etc.(c)Bryce Harper (in case anyone forgot)(d)Ryan Zimmerman (for the people who don't know)(e)Jayson Werth – I never saw a guy who wants to win more than Werth. It's not a "game" to him.(f)Starting pitchers, whisper to Gio and don't whisper to JZ–we got this.(g)bullpen, you got your Garcia, Gonzalez, Mattheus, Burnett, Stammen, and Clip&Store–where's the weakness? If Gorzo makes his case to say, he is going to have to make it!(h) Desi — best in the business since he had his babies.(i) They don't call him the Shark for nothing.(j)Tracy — rolls out of bed hitting.(k) Tyler Moore or DeRosa – how you like THAT being a choice????

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    mick said… Ghost… you are right about that although St John's is planning some major upgrades October 05, 2012 11:23 AM They need it but I think Lombo Sr. has the Nats success to help him as it comes down to recruiting. He will get some of the Georgetown Prep kids also.

  82. JamesFan - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Not sold on Espinoza for next year. His range does not offset his weaknesses at the plate, and they are huge. He's a rally killer. I think Lombo would give us 5-6 more wins a year and very good D.

  83. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Hopefully Nats take the 1st round in a 3 game sweepHear, hear! I, and my newly minted completely Nats fanatic 17-year-old-daughter are going to game three. I'm hoping that it will create a lifetime memory for her.And, hoping that magical history will repeat itself. Hear me out:In 1969 the playoff series was like this (two away and three home, best of five). The Mets were playing Atlanta and won the first two in Atlanta.My mom and I — I was 12 — went to game three in Shea, where we saw the Mets complete the three game sweep of the Braves. (We also saw Hank Aaron hit a HR).How sweet it would be if I and my daughter saw the Nats complete the three game sweep of the Braves 43 years later! (And I'll even permit a Chipper Jones HR — provided the Nats win ;-) )

  84. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    (l) Lombo– get up there and show 'em what "bench" player means for the NATS. A regular on the other 29 teams. Danny, oh, and by the way, SS, no problem, I'll just slide over ther.(m) Manager, yeah, MOY (and, yes, HOF), Mr. Davey Johnson.

  85. Doc - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Correctomundo DC Wonk!Those sports opinion pieces, such as in USA To-Day, are most notable for the real stats that they leave out. Best scoring team, best hitting team in NL since the ASG. Just edged out by the small ballpark BrewCrew for most HR's in NL since ASG.I'm in favor of a 20 inning playoff between the Birdies and Braveless!

  86. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Also, it isn't going to be Atlanta. It will be the Cards. Personally, I wish it would be Atlanta, they would be easier for us (September notwithstanding). But it will be the Cards and EJax will step up!!!

  87. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    JamesFan said… Not sold on Espinoza for next year. His range does not offset his weaknesses at the plate,FWIW, Fangraphs puts Espi's WAR as fourth highest on the team, due primarily to his ridiculously high fielding value.http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=&ind=0&team=24&players=0

  88. NatsLady - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    JamesFan, you get runs and you prevents runs. Danny and the pitchers prevent runs. I'm totally OK with that.

  89. Unknown - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    2012 was Desmond's year and 2013 will be Espinosa's year to make or break and I don't think Lombo is the answer but Rendon sure could be if he progresses and stays healthy.Espi's .317 OBP was last for the Nats full-time starters and his 189 K's were 51 K's more than the next closest by LaRoche. While you can put up with 189 K's by a pure power hitter, Danny just isn't a power hitter and has to get that out of his mind.Espi is a slick fielder and deserves another year to progress. When Espi is "HOT" he is red hot and when he's not he's hard to watch with a bat in his hand. Hoping for a HOT Danny in the post-season!

  91. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Just got back on …Theo @ 9:17 — I didn't say I thought Medlen should or would go on Thursday rather than Wednesday, I explicitly said that that's what I read.Now that I'm thinking about it, it doesn't make much sense. The only reason to hold back your best when they're already rested is to not get your starters out of rotation order. But there's every other reason to have your best pitch as early in the series as possible — either to stave off a sweep, or to get one so you can maximize their availability for the next round. The latter applies even if it's split after two.

  92. Feel Wood - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    I vote for Garcia. But if DeRosa is not on the 25 man, I don't think he'll be allowed to suit up and sit in the dugout. Nor would Stras. I could be wrong on this. Anybody know: are non-active players allowed to sit on the bench during the playoffs?During the regular season, players who are non-active because they are on the DL are allowed to sit on the bench. Since there is no DL in the postseason, logic would say that non-active players would still be able to be on the bench. I don't think there are rules about which players are allowed there, just rules that say you have to be a player, coach or trainer to be on the bench. IOW, Mark Lerner can suit up but he can't sit there.

  93. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Let's not be so anxious to retire DeRosa. I'd invite him to ST next year; if they don't, some other team will. This year he's been either (A) hurt or (B) recovering — he flat out never got a chance to carry on w/ what he was doing in ST.If you want to retire him, make him manager at Harrisburg, where I think Matt LeCroy is losing it, or at Potomac and move Rupp up to Harrisburg. The point being, when Johnson retires (after 2013), make DeRosa Knorr's bench coach. DeRosa has the ideal make-up to follow the Robin Ventura path to a major league dugout.

  94. alexva - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Lombo is good enough to start for some teams, just not ours.Danny's record is what it is, .250 hitter w/power and problems making consistent contact. He has been that at every level. His defense is GG caliber and taking all that into account he has been a valuable contributor.

  95. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    "I don't think there are rules about which players are allowed there, just rules that say you have to be a player, coach or trainer to be on the bench."Thank God for rules that kept Charley Finlay, Marge Schott, Peter Angelos and Jeffrey Loria out of the dugout, and Jerry Jones from buying a baseball team.

  96. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    I also did a little research this morning in response to those (like Todd Boss on Nationals Arm Race) who would pick either the Cards or the Braves over the Nats because of their most recent series against us. And others have said that the Braves and Cards were playing better than we were in the last month, that we were stumbling into the playoffs.First, as Boz has written recently, there's a big difference in motivation when a must-win team is facing a nice-to-win team. When you get to the playoffs, everyone's motivation is the same, win or go home.Beyond that, as Harry Truman said, let's look at the record. In the past month, starting with the first series that extended into September, the Braves were:14-5 against non-contenders6-7 vs. contenders (Phi 2x, Mil, Nats)6 of final 18 games played against contendersCards were:9-6 vs. non-contenders8-9 vs. contenders (Nats 2x, Mil, LAD, Cin)10 of final 19 games played against contendersNats were:8-2 vs. non-contenders12-11 vs contenders (Cards 2x, Atl, LAD, Mil, Phi 2x)All final 19 games played against contendersWho's the only team of those three with a winning record against playoff-caliber (and playoff-motivated) teams?Your NL East Champion Washington Nationals!

  97. Unknown - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    What a season: 98 wins. But though 2012 seems like a foundation for even better seasons, I wouldn't count on it.Here are some of the best teams in baseball with the number of seasons with more than 98 wins since 1969, the year the Expos/Nats came into existence:Yankees: 8Orioles: 5Reds: 4Phillies: 3Mets: 3Giants: 2Dodgers: 1Red Sox: 1In other words, 98-win-seasons are hard to come by. Just because the Red Sox have only one season of more than 98 wins since '69 doesn't make them bad. They made it to the playoffs 13 times in that span. The Dodgers made it 13 times as well.Going forward, the Nationals need to make it into the post season, which takes about 90 wins. 98-win seasons, while fun, aren't essential.2012 was special, but it was also unique. It quenched both our egos and our desire to support a winner. But I'm not counting on it happening again anytime soon. Farid @ Idaho.

  98. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    If anyone wants to argue that the Phillies were neither a playoff contender nor playoff motivated the last three games, fair enough (except they certainly had motivation to deny us the title on Monday). Except you can say the Braves and Cards had no motivation to win for their last two games either.One of those things that's a wash, and doesn't change the picture that they were no better than we were against contenders in the last month of the season — and they played a lot fewer of those games.

  99. JD - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    I agree with the people who think Espinosa will follow the Desi path. There is nothing wrong with Espi's skill set bot at the plate and in the field; it's about the approach. Espi has a very aggressive nature and instinctively he wants to club everything and has the confidence to believe that he can. Once he begins to force the pitchers to throw him better pitches he will be an all star caliber player; just like Desi. Also; keep in mind that he was still productive this year despite all the strike outs. Lombo is a nice player but is not close to Espi in talent.

  100. JD - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Nats Lady, The main reason I fear the Braves is Kimbrel. I don't think Motte brings that kind of domination to the table. I don't fear Hudson, Maholm or Minor although they are all capable of throwing good games and the Braves lineup is tough but manageable especially with left handed pitchers.

  101. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Danny is a far superior player to Lombo…Lombo's numbers look good b/c Davey has used him exactly the right way, as a utility guy…I don;t think Danny needs to change his approach at all…I think he will just get better as Desmond has…He will always strike out a lot, and probably never hit better than .260, but he may end up being a 30 HR guy at 2B…which means 180 K's is just fine

  102. JD - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Swift Eagle, I think he needs to recognize the sliders way out of the zone better. Pitchers know that once you get Espi to 2 strikes you can strike him out with pitches way out of the strike zone. It wouldn't be the end of the world if he took a few 3rd strike calls but didn't flail at so many bad pitches. I think his upside is better than .260 without sacrificing power at all.

  103. Section 3, My Playoffs Sofa - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    2012 was special, but it was also unique. It quenched both our egos and our desire to support a winner.I think you mean something more like "satisfied" there?

  104. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Farid — a few thoughts on your 12:05 post.First, it's contextless, because it doesn't consider how those teams were built. Very few dynasties or perpetual powerhouses in recent years because of free agency, most teams win when they cobble together a bunch of players who have career years (oversimplification, sure, but that's the topline message). The Yanks win by buying a bunch of longterm contracts of great FAs. The "Orioles way" until Angelos was more like what the Nats are doing now — homegrown with a few trades and FAs to fill gaps. Just look at all those graphics about how many Nats are under team control for another 4+ years (and figure ones like JZimm and Desi will be extended when the time comes). These guys have grown up together and want to stay here together.Most of these Nats have not even come close to reaching their ceilings. So this 98 win year isn't a matter of career years, it's an amazing group doing what you could reasonably expect they will do for years.The other point is that you don't have to win 98 games to be good enough to win WSs. Since the current playoff arrangement in 1995, only 3 teams with the best regular season record in MLB have won the WS. So even if we have a few injuries in the next few years, we may win fewer games but hopefully have the horses to contend for going all the way.

  105. Steady Eddie - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    JD @ 12:21 — agree. Desi's progress is because he's continued to learn. Danny would benefit by taking some lessons in plate discipline from Harp over the past 6 weeks.

  106. A DC Wonk - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. Joe Seamhead - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Danny will not be benched in this series come hell or high water. Davey has made it clear that he is his second baseman. I would have agreed on sitting him down once a week early in the season. He was pressing, and Lombo needed AB's. Now, he plays. Period. Has anybody heard anything regarding Morse pulling his hammy on that last homer?Also Mick,on the highschool thing, Lombo,SR may help Good Council for a while, but St. John's has really built great facilities, and Mark Gibbs inherited, and is continuing a great program from his dad.

  108. mick - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Ghost… unfortunately you are right about Prep. Prep Coach Rodriquez is a terrific coach and a great guy and they won the IAC last season. However, the new head master is their to save money due to the 20 million spent on the Hanley Center, and they will not be giving aid at Prep for next few years as they have in the past. Prep will be back in a few years

  109. mick - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Joe…. agreed on St Johns

  110. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Oh, that reminds me. Ken Rosenthal called. He wants his bow-tie back. :-)Section 3, My Playoffs Sofa said… It has to be humbling to hit a ball as hard as you can and it gets caught at the wall. Matt Stairs called. He said "Tell me about it!" October 05, 2012 10:44 AM

  111. Swift Eagle - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Great point at 12;21 by JD…I think Danny will improve in that area…I just don't want him to over adjust and become the typical punch and Judy middle infielder…A 2B with a gold glove who can hit 25 Bombs? Every MLB team would take that, no matter the batting avg or K's…

  112. NCNatsie - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Swift Eagle said: "A 2B with a gold glove who can hit 25 Bombs? Every MLB team would take that, no matter the batting avg or K's…"Agreed. And Danny is already good enough to pla 2b for my team for a career. But the comparison with Desi — that I'm not sure about. Remember, Desi "got it" in about July or August last year, had a great finish of the season and picked up where he left off. Danny's last two months this year have been more of the same he's always given us. Streaky. Sensational in spurts, a rally-killer the rest of the time. Strikeout-prone. I haven't noticed any improvement over the course of the year.It was Desi's late season success that caused me to say he was going to do really well this year back in ST, when he was getting pounded by his critics. I believe a strong finish in any given year is a predictor of the next season. Can't prove it, but over the years it seems to happen a lot. (See Morse, M., 2010-11.) I'm not saying Davey and Eck can't work with him over the off-season and coach him up. But I don't see the indicators that were there for Desi last year. Maybe he needs to have a kid.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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