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Arizona Fall League update

Oct 25, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

While the Fall Classic got off to a rousing (and unexpected) start last night, the Fall League is kicking into high gear out in Arizona.

A "finishing school" of sorts, the AFL features upper-level prospects from every organization in baseball, dispersed among six teams for a six-week season. Stephen Strasburg participated in 2009. Bryce Harper was there in both 2010 and 2011.

The Nationals don't boast anyone quite as prominent as those two this fall, but there are several notable names currently playing for the Salt River Rafters. Let's run through everyone on the roster to date…

3B ANTHONY RENDON
The Nationals' first-round pick in 2011 (sixth overall), Rendon is off to a bit of a sluggish start. In nine games, he's hitting .212 (7-for-33) with two doubles, three RBI (all of them coming on Oct. 17), six walks and eight strikeouts. He has only one hit over his last 14 at-bats, but the Nationals are less concerned with the 22-year-old's numbers and more concerned that he get significant playing time after missing most of the regular season with a fractured ankle.

OF BRIAN GOODWIN
Another 2011 draft pick (compensation for losing Adam Dunn to the White Sox), Goodwin has hit well so far in his AFL debut. In nine games, he's batting .286 (10-for-35) with three homers, twoRead more ยป

131 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Constant Reader - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    If you are ever out in the Valley of the Sun in October, go see an AFL game. I'll admit it has been awhile since I went, but on a midweek game in the middle of the afternoon, you have this utterly fascinating mix of random fans, scouts with radar guns, women dressed to kill, professional autograph seekers, and near-big league players in about equal numbers. I recommend it VERY highly.

  2. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    For off-season news, its been crickets so far on Davey's new contract and progress with ALR.On the AFL in-season, I'm hoping for domination by Rendon and Goodwin who have both been clearly linked with the future of this team and as we know if you dominate in the AFL your beeline to the Majors can be very quick (see Harper, Bryce).

  3. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Thanks for the info, Constant. We'd been thinking about making a trip this year, but then the postseason starting getting, um, very interesting, and after that work got in the way. Maybe next year, unless it gets, you know, interesting here again…On another front, don't know whether this was already posted, but Comak had a nice piece on Purke.

  4. DaveB - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Should have probably at least noted that while Perry's initial games were VERY shaky, his last one looked sharp with a 4 inning no-hit, no-walk outing.

  5. sjm308 - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Love the updates!Mark, could you add anything about how the position players look in the field. I know that Skole was shaky at best over at 3rd but I believe that Rendon is the total package with excellent fielding ability. How has he looked, coming off the injury? How is Skole doing adjusting to 1st? Does Goodwin look like a major league CFer? Thanks!Go Nats!!

  6. sjm308 - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I am almost positive that if Perry does not make the 25 man roster coming out of spring training we will lose him. Lots of pressure there. Does Kimball still have options? Would hate to see us lose them both or be forced to pick even one over the other. I am guessing the same can be said for HRod and I am sure that will be a major topic here next Feb/March (if not sooner).

  7. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    sjm, you are correct on Perry. Its certainly one of the big stories going into Spring Training but he could end up as the long man in the bullpen or the 7th man.

  8. NatsNut - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    OuchMark Zuckerman said……but that pitch by Lincecum keeps the lead at 6-1 when it could've easily been trimmed to 6-2 or 6-3.

  9. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Seeing as how I was asleep by then: atta way, Timmy! :-)

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    If Giants are serious about winning this, they better not start Timmy and keep him in the bullpen.

  11. pdowdy83 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    JayB in the prior thread is still second guessing not trading for Scutaro or Infante to replace Danny in the lineup. JayB your memory must have left off the fact that in August, Danny was helping keep the team afloat with a fantastic month. His defense is better than both Infante and Scutaro as well.At the time of the trade Scutaro wasn't hitting any better than Danny. NOBODY would have predicted that he would go to the Giants and be one of the hottest hitters in the game. Benching Danny for him would have been a decrease in defense, power and speed for an upgrade in the contact department. Scutaro had a .684 OPS before the trade. Danny prior to the trade deadline had raked at a .300/.330/.490 clip for the month of July. Infante was not good at all for the Tigers after the trade. While he is a better defender than Scutaro he still isn't as athletic as Danny. Again Danny also has the edge in power and on the bases. With the wonders of hindsight analysis I don't even see how you can bring Infante up. He posted a pretty awful slash line of .257/.283/.385 as a tiger. Danny's WORST month in the 2nd half was September and he still put up a .243/.310/.408 line which eclipses Infante's second half numbers. Yes Danny strikes out too much but his defense is a major asset and his pop and speed make him almost a 4 WAR player. Even with Scutaro's amazing second half at the plate fangraphs as Danny listed as more than half a run more valuable this season.

  12. sm13 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Glad thay Kimball appears healthy. If his shoulder holds up, he'll be a great addition to the bullpen. If Goodwin looks like he could be the cf of the future, does that mean we stand pat in the outfield this off-season and wait for his arrival in 14 when Morse's contract expires?

  13. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Gregor Blanco in LF may not have Melky's offense, but boy, he can sure field.

  14. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Whatever Rendon does in the AFL is only gravy. In late June, or maybe early July, he was hopping around on one leg and telling people he wasn't going to play this season. Instead he got a shot at AA plus this opportunity for extended rehab against quality — mostly — pitching.Rendon in ST will be even more interesting. Assuming Zimmerman is post-surgery, Rendon could get most of the early-inning ABs (i.e., the ABs against major league pitchers) during the first couple of weeks of the season. That will be the time to measure whether he is fully recovered, has short-term major league potential.

  15. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    What Goodwin does on the field may be less important that what he does with his head. There have been hints, notwithstanding his performance in Hagerstown, that he has — ahem! — "maturity" issues, not surprising in light of his nomadic college "career." He needs to have a solid performance, and be a solid citizen, for at least a year at Harrisburg and/or Syracuse before they will openly anoint him for a major league job. I still think he'll be trade bait, with Harper in CF for a longer term than most people think. Goodwin is another whose future is tied to how the Nats move LaRoche, Morse and Moore around on the chess board. That is, until there is a need for a left fielder, Werth stays in RF.

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    NatsLady, Gregor Blanco has no offense. I saw one of his hits in the NLCS and he fought off a pitch that found grass but its a different game if he doesn't make that 1st catch.

  17. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Take 2.Just speculating here, on the ALR/Davey front. NORMALLY teams are on lock down mode as far as announcements during the World Series. Most teams oblidge the commish because they want the WS to be the story not anything else (Ahem-Boston, Miami – although they did their announcements before the games started).We can start beating up our Owners/FO's the second the WS is over

  19. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Another take 2:Yeah, there'll be plenty of time for bashing after next week. :-)In other news, this is kinda cool and all but why not show baseball movies (been there, seen it, didn't get a t-shirt)? ================================================ nationals.com October 25, 2012 ================================================Groupon Presents St. Elmo's Fire at Nationals ParkA night of '80s-themed fun & film on the field at Nationals Park.Thursday, November 8th5:30 PM – 9:30 PMBuy Tickets

  21. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Agree MicheleS, usually you don't want to upstage the World Series unless you're A-Rod.Rendon needs the defensive reps more than the atbats I would think.Good call on Goodwin as trade bait, he's still striking out too much to think he's for real. I could see him involved in an OF deal for someone like Span if we can't re-sign ALR.

  22. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    I wonder how representative of skills is the AFL? You are on a team with not your regular mates or coaches and, as noted above, with every scout in creation monitoring every move. Is there a tendency to press?

  23. JamesFan - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Trading away young players with potential for guys who have been passed around baseball (Scutaro) doesn't make any sense to me. Scutaro is an interesting story for the WS. This is his 15 minutes of baseball fame right now. He will revert to the norm and be out of baseball in due course. The solution for 2d base is in house. The Tigers traded away someone for a young player named Cabrerra. I wonder what they gave up for him?

  24. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    So–No World Series for us…noticed (finally) that it's election year…started preparations for possible horrific weather Sunday night…made an extra car payment…

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… What Goodwin does on the field may be less important that what he does with his head. There have been hints, notwithstanding his performance in Hagerstown, that he has — ahem! — "maturity" issues, not surprising in light of his nomadic college "career." He needs to have a solid performance, and be a solid citizen, for at least a year at Harrisburg and/or Syracuse before they will openly anoint him for a major league job. I still think he'll be trade bait, with Harper in CF for a longer term than most people think. Goodwin is another whose future is tied to how the Nats move LaRoche, Morse and Moore around on the chess board. That is, until there is a need for a left fielder, Werth stays in RFLadson predicted that we will see Goodwin mid-season in a Nats uniform but I am thinking September callup is a better possibility.I don't see it as a rush for Goodwin as he should get to the Majors when Rizzo thinks he is ready and the reason I don't see it as a rush now is Bryce has done a very good job in CF and Werth himself improved on his glove work going back on balls and has shown he can handle RF for the near-term.The Nats now have the flexibility of finding a corner outfielder or a centerfielder.We will have to endure the strong rumor mill that Michael Bourn is coming to Washington. It is inevitable that those rumors will happen.

  26. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    1a, thanks for the link to Amanda's piece on Purke. Also of interest is her piece on all ten arbitration eligible Nats, including, for the first time, Bernadina, Desi, Det, Stammen, and also Storen, who snuck in under the new CBA's Super 2 deadline. NN, like you I read that line about Lincecum's successful relief pitching with a wince. I wonder how long it will be before I stop reading every baseball story through the prism of Game 5.

  27. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Miguel Cabrera:December 4, 2007: Traded by the Florida Marlins with Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for Dallas Trahern (minors), Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelo.

  28. nats-prospects - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    A clarification on Skole "playing first base with the Rafters (in part to keep the hot corner open for Rendon)." Ever since he was drafted, the knock on him — aside from being a level behind his age — has been his horrific glove at 3B, which I can tell you, having seen him play at every level thus far, is well deserved. This is not a move of convenience, it is LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG overdue.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    MicheleS said… Take 2.Just speculating here, on the ALR/Davey front. NORMALLY teams are on lock down mode as far as announcements during the World Series. Most teams oblidge the commish because they want the WS to be the story not anything else (Ahem-Boston, Miami – although they did their announcements before the games started).We can start beating up our Owners/FO's the second the WS is over October 25, 2012 10:13 AM Some people say you wait for monumental announcements until after the WS and Davey re-signing isn't monumental. Firing Ozzie was close to monumental. I checked with my source who told me that Davey has not signed a new deal.With Dusty Baker's new deal with the Reds, the framework is in place for structuring a deal for Davey similar. $4 mill per year.Just get it done. ALR is a different situation. I can't get any info as my sources have no info. No news is good news?

  30. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    If Dusty Baker gets $4MM, Johnson should get $8MM.Read that Knorr might be interviewed for Toronto job. That would shake up the Nats' line of succession.

  31. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    off-topic: I don't think Nationals have ever been active in Asian market for players, have they?

  32. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Rizzo waited until after the deadline to get what was most needed, Kurt Suzuki. I have very little fault to find with a GM who built a team that won TWENTY more games than they did in 2011 and FORTY-ONE more games than they did in 2009.It's got to be a tough call for LaRoche from his perspective. Basically, at what age does he want to retire? Does he want to hang on until his body gives out (eventually becoming a DH), or hang it up at age 35-36 and be a full-time father? My brother-in-law basically commuted to Japan and now has a very comfortable retirement. However, he missed his children growing up, and didn't reconnect with my niece until she had a near-fatal accident at age 18. Yes, he likes the Nats, and yes, the Nats have a good shot for postseason–but NO team has more than a 20-1 chance for a WS ring at the time you have to sign a contract. Is a 20-1 chance enough to leave an extra year (and $12MM) on the table? I like the suggestion of overpaying/frontloading ALR's contract, so he gets two guaranteed years and a "mutual" option for a third year.

  33. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I must be recovering as that totally went over my head. :-)NN, like you I read that line about Lincecum's successful relief pitching with a wince. I wonder how long it will be before I stop reading every baseball story through the prism of Game 5.

  34. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Nah, it's ok to hire and fire managers after you take a couple of weeks to check everything over, you just don't interview anyone still involved.

  35. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    A couple of observations: 1) There is very little evidence to suggest that Goodwin is a sure fire major leaguer, he has yet to dominate at 'AA' so speculating on his arrival is more than a little pre mature. 2) Rendon definitely has the pedigree to project at the highest levels but he needs a year to prove he can hit at 'AA' and stay healthy. 3) Skole looks like the 2nd coming of Tyler Moore; a late bloomer, big bat with no real defensive position. Everyone can't end up at 1st base so will see where that takes us.

  36. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    I am not worried about Davie. That will get done and probably right after the world series. I think that if the Nats want Knorr as the next manager they will have to commit to a succession time table and I don't think Davie is ready to commit to relinquishing his job just yet so we will just have to worry about the successor when the time comes.

  37. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Ghost, Ladson also predicted 40 HR's each for Milledge and Dukes so his 'expertise' is suspect at best.

  38. JamesFan - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Think Marlins might like to have that trade back (Miggie for a bunch of no names)?

  39. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Very sensible observations JD. I particularly think that "everyone can't end up at 1B" ought to be an easily accessed macro for all commenters on this site. Let's see, so far we have: ALR, Morse, Moore, Marrero, Skole, Zimmerman, and maybe even Rendon. Am I missing anyone? Pretty soon we'll be able to populate the whole National League with all the guys in our system who play or seem destined to play 1B. .

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    For pure work ethic and "Bryce like" hustle I going to keep my eye on Tony Renda next season.Somebody to watch.

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    No worries on Davey. Remember, at worst, he's under contract for 2 more years as "consultant".

  42. Kevin FSU - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    SJM 308 said "I am almost positive that if Perry does not make the 25 man roster coming out of spring training we will lose him."Perry has not impressed me and I would not be crushed if we lost him in the spring. I would be a bit more upset if HRod does not pan out, I like him a lot, even if he's forced me to spend extra funding on Jameson and Tums.

  43. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Cardinals GM John Mozeliak confirmed Thursday morning that Kyle Lohse is "unlikely" to be re-signed.The Redbirds are stocked with young, cost-controlled starting pitchers and have no desire to go long term with the 34-year-old Lohse. He should do quite well in free agency after finishing the regular season with a sparkling 2.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 33 starts (211 innings).Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  44. DaveB - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    That Miggy trade by the Marlins is the perfect counter-argument to all the home fans (of any team) that think we should be able to trade a bunch our spare parts for an impact player. Any real FO (which obviously excludes the Marlins) realizes that quality beats quantity every time.

  45. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    NatsLady re: Lohse. Hopefully you aren't suggesting the Nats should sign him. After his performance in the NLCS I don't want him any more than the Cardinals do.

  46. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Theo, I think Lohse would be solid to fill out our rotation but I certainly wouldn't give him big bucks or many years.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    One observation on the coaching of the AFL team is Rendon, Stole and Goodwin play on the same days and don't seem to be playing 2 days in a row. It's a little odd to me but I guess it is about playing time. Goodwin has received some pinch hitter ops also.JD's comments are good and spot on with Ladson. Skole's defense might be his biggest issue. Scouting on him is he knows what to do with a fastball and mistake pitches. Needs work staying back on soft stuff.Rendon needs reps and to stay healthy. He could be the big surprise in Spring Training that has everyone talking but it won't matter as he needs a MLB position.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Theo, would you take Verlander? Look at his career postseason record taking out what he did last week. He sucked last night and is the best pitcher in baseball.Lohse was good up until Game 7. I had a feeling the workload would catch up to him.

  49. A Fly Moses - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    @DaveB: those weren't exactly spare parts. Maybin was a top-10 prospect league wide, and Miller had been considered the best pitcher in his draft class the year before. They certainly didn't pan out to that, but I think "spare" kinda undersells them. Basically, that was a better haul at the time than Rendon and Goodwin, or Rendon and Meyer would be.

  50. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Lohse might be the only pitcher in baseball — ever, looking back and going forward — to make $12MM in one season with a career ERA of four-and-a half. After two really lucky seasons in his mid-30s he's gonna roll craps sooner rather than later.

  51. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Trouble with Lohse is the finesse angle, so he's not really Rizzo's type of guy. Plus, he's on the other side of 34 now, so he's not really a building block. It's the same assessment the Cardinals are making. He's a control/pitch-to-contact guy who doesn't get a lot of groundballs. He's been successful the last couple of years, but he's hard to project as being worth the years/money teams will give him as a FA.

  52. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Theo, The BABIP against Lohse was .262 and .269 respectively in the past 2 years compared to .297 throughout his career so your point re lucky seasons does have some merit. I think it's a moot point anyway because someone will overpay him in years and dollars which will make signing him impractical for the Nats for the 5th starter slot. It may very well be that John Lannan is the best option for the 5th slot and then you just have to sign several Zack Duke like pitchers to stock the AAA roster and to serve as emergency call ups.

  53. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    No, I wasn't suggesting Lohse, I think we can and should do better (unless Jackson unexpectedly accepts the qualifying offer–which would be fine with me). I put up the comment because of discussions on here previously.

  54. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    BTW, If he fits within the budget framework I like Anibal Sanchez very much; gives up too many home runs but he also has put away pitches.

  55. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    I was looking at 2012 salaries, and a qualifying offer for an exiting free agent figures to be around 12.5 million. Is it risky to offer that to EJax, thinking he will still want more than a one-year deal? It would also cut down on his likely options since he would cost a pick to the top 20 teams.

  56. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    JD, I agree with you about Sanchez. He's a younger guy who may fall below pitchers like Greinke, Peavy, and Lohse in the pecking order this offseason.

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Gonat, I like Lohse but still not sure what he is. His 2011 & 2012 were the best of his career and I would want to know what he changed in his approach to improve so much.On paper with Lohse, this rotation would be a murderers row rotation. Again, on paper and in theory.I would only go after Lohse if Rizzo is convinced that his 2012 and 2011 are sustainable. How did he pitch against the NL East?October 24, 2012 3:11 PM I posted the above yesterday. Also, Lohse's agent is Scott Boras. The Cardinals already knew they weren't bringing him back as I am sure Boras already told them what it would cost.

  58. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    What do you think trading for Scherzer will cost us?

  59. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    The only argument in favor of offering Jackson $12 or $13MM is that he has only five days to accept or reject. Any rational person w/ his abysmal record (vs his alleged "potential") and his limitations (I'm trying to reconcile "rational" with "limitations," which in his case are mostly mental) would wake up at 6:00 a.m. on Day Five and ask for a pen.

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    As been brought up, Anibal Sanchez is the youngest of the Free Agent pitchers. Won't be 29 until next year. He may have the most upside without the worry of his age.

  61. Pilchard - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Would not be surprised if Rizzo thought more highly of Edwin Jackson than Lohse. From a scout's perspective, Jackson has better stuff and is younger. Agree with others that said that Lohse's finesse profile does not fit the Rizzo mold of the type of pitcher that he prefers. Lohse had a career year in 2012. I would be very wary of the expectation that he has the ability to perform as well over the next couple of years.

  62. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I don't think Scherzer would be available, the Tigers can afford arbitration with him, and they'd probably much rather jettison Porcello.

  63. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    So some bonuses/buyouts must have kicked in NatsLady.

  64. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Pilchard–agree. I also think more highly of Jackson than Lohse. The qualifying offer is for one year. You are not going to get a better FA for cheaper or for only one year in this market, plus you have to give up the draft pick. P.S., that is why Jackson might not accept the offer, though he is a puzzlement on many levels.

  65. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Straight up salaries read as apx 1.555.5 billion for the top 125. Quite a bit looked at in that way.

  66. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Ilitch has millions of pizza dollars to spend to keep fielding (no pun intended) a winner. He is the Lerner of pepperoni.

  67. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    tigers have 3 pitchers hitting arbitration this off-season; Max, Fister, and Porcello. I would think Fister and Max are about to get huge raises. Then again Detroit owner does not care about money (as we heard recently).Anyways, Scherzer just seems like someone Rizzo would like. And I was only interested in knowing what we will have to trade for him.

  68. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Jackson can go to a team like the Cubs which would not lost their first-round pick (they would lose their second-round pick). The teams with the first 10 picks can sign a free agent AND keep their pick.

  69. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Man, I just think 13.3 is too much for that guy, that's a 20 percent raise for a kind of averagey season overall. But naturally, I'm biased by recent results.

  70. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    blovy8–yes, because it goes by AAV (average annual value) and not simply salary.

  71. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    blovy8, yes, but unfortunately, that $13.3MM is not up to the Nats. It is inflated by the shortage of quality SP, which has caused teams to "overpay" — another reason to keep our guys healthy and another reason JZ might not be so quick to sign an extension.

  72. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Blovy — Jackson had a below average, not "averagey" season. The team only won 12 of the 30 games he started (roughly). You can get pitchers that good in the Clearance aisle at K-Mart.

  73. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    I don't think anyone losses first round pick or any round pick for Ejax. I thought Edwin will be only tied to compensation pick.

  74. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Pilchard said… Jackson has better stuff and is younger. October 25, 2012 1:14 PM Jackson has stuff, but his inconsistencies has overshadowed his skillset. You just never know which EJax you will get but 2 big issues with EJax is that McCatty couldn't fix his issues and that ERA of almost 7.00 in the 1st inning of games this season is unacceptable. You can't put your team consistently in a hole in the 1st inning.Also of concern was his September falloff and his poor performance in Game 3. I think its time to turn the page.

  75. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    If a player rejects a qualifying offer and signs a major league contract with another club before the June amateur draft, his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round. The club signing that player loses its first-round pick in the following amateur draft, unless that pick is among the top 10, in which case the club signing that player loses its next-highest pick.

  76. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    I guess the Tigers would like Storen, plus two of our top 10 prospects. Maybe Goodwin and Ray. The only thing cutting down his price a bit would be his salary, which we know is totally managable to them. I could see them trying to unload V-Mart's contract to save money before a move like that. Scherzer will still be underpaid.

  77. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Actually, probably a guy better than Ray, maybe Espinosa.

  78. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    NL, thanks for info.That's kinda lame to think signing EJax will cost someone a draft pick. Hopefully that does not decrease his suitors.

  79. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Jackson's September fall off and postseason performance weren't any worse than Zimmermann's, and Detwiler's September was pretty uneven also. This rotation was simply not ready for the grind of "meaningful" September and October baseball–whether that was physical or mental is hard to say as an observer.

  80. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Victor Martinez is definitely on the move this winter. With him, Cabrera and Fielder in the lineup they'd need an extra base so their runners could catch a break.

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Blovy — Jackson had a below average, not "averagey" season. The team only won 12 of the 30 games he started (roughly). You can get pitchers that good in the Clearance aisle at K-Mart. October 25, 2012 1:27 PM I put up that stat a few weeks ago myself and its actually a little worse 12 of 31. He was by far the worst of the starters and his 4.03 ERA backs that up. Not sure why people don't see it for what it is but the stat of what the team did after he left the game is the same as why the team was so good after Marquis left the game.The fact is EJax was 10-11 while he was more in control but even that is not always in the pitcher's control. His 4.03 ERA just was not good given his hype.I wasn't a fan when they signed him as I thought there were better options and other than his early season dominance of the Reds, his starts were generally a lot of frustration. I will say he has the best slider I have seen when EJax was at his best. Other times it was just a hanger waiting to be deposited 400 feet.

  82. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I would only go after Lohse if Rizzo is convinced that his 2012 and 2011 are sustainable.Rizzo isn't going to sign him if he doesn't think 2011 and 2012 are sustainable. So in other words, if Rizzo signs him, you're ok with it? Well ok then.NL, isn't the draft pick a sandwich pick rather than given up by the signing team? I'm on board with Lohse, Peavy, Greinke, or, especially, Sanchez, and even E-Jax, over giving Lannan the 5th starter job back, notwithstanding Lannan's good performance in a tough spot this year, not to mention his stellar career numbers against the Cardinals. I think a one year rental rather than a long term deal is the way to go given what's in the pipeline, which means Greinke and maybe Sanchez aren't feasible.It's heartening that it's starting to look like the Nats are going to play with the big boys as far as payroll goes. Some of those arb eligible guys are going to end up with multi-year deals, particularly Desi and JZnn, and maybe Det and Storen. The nucleus of this team is setting in for a historic run.

  83. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    When you say, "given what's in the pipeline," I'd like to know exactly what is in the (starting) pitching pipeline, including injuries and projected arrival at Syracuse. Mark?

  84. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    NatsLady said… Jackson's September fall off and postseason performance weren't any worse than Zimmermann's, and Detwiler's September was pretty uneven also. This rotation was simply not ready for the grind of "meaningful" September and October baseball–whether that was physical or mental is hard to say as an observer. October 25, 2012 1:35 PM JZim threw the most innings of his career so fatigue could have been a factor. He also changed his approach with Suzuki and it never worked.EJax was advertised as a workhorse. He and JZim both threw 6+ innings per start.

  85. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    NL, I don't think Jackson will get any better, there's upside galore for the rest of the staff. He hasn't lived up to his peripherals, some day he may, and he's a decent pitcher and a good guy, but I don't think 13.3 for your fifth starter is a good allocation of funds. It's not my money, I mean, they'll be paying 6.75 million for Suzuki as the backup catcher if Ramos wins back his job, too. It may be worth the gamble to stablize those innings again, but hell, Lannan is half the price and his results are similar.

  86. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    The team losing the free agent gets a "compensation" (or sandwich) pick. The team that signs the free agent loses its first-round pick (not a "sandwich pick). They are separate transactions, in other words, the lost pick isn't given to another team, the other picks just bump up (or down).So, if the Brewers (hypothetically) had the 12th pick in the first round and they signed Jackson, they would lose that pick, and whoever picks 13th would now pick 12th, 14 would go to 13, etc. In other words, there would be one less team with a first-round pick.The exception is the bottom ten teams (top 10 picks). Those teams are not penalized for signing a free agent by losing a first round pick, instead they lose a second-round pick.

  87. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Lohse is a Boras client and like Bourn, Madson and Rafael Soriano, the Nats will be tied to all of them.I agree with Section 222, that if Rizzo get Lohse, he is convinced that 2012 wasn't a fluke but Lohse's 2011 was also a good year and a 1/2 run improvement over EJax.That is what is important when looking at new pitchers is improving over what EJax gave up. On EJax's watch in 31 games he gave up 85 runs over 189 innings. In contrast Lohse pitched 211 innings plus over 20 in the post-season. Lohse gave up only 67 runs in over 22 more innings. Projecting Lohse for 2013 and beyond is more difficult. Probably won't be able to pitch in 2013 like he did in 2012 but I still think you can imagine what Lohse can do to improve over EJax's team record of 12-19.Lohse could easily be a +6 in wins over EJax.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    The Cardinals were 21-12 in games Lohse started and as the pitcher of record he was 16-3 which was best Win % in the Majors.

  89. John C. - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    One note on offering EJax a $13.3 million tender. Yes, of course it's an overpay for the one year for Jackson. But the overpay really is for obtaining a good #5 starter without making any burdensome long term commitments. Signing a big money free agent will require a $$ and years commitment that will have ripple effects through the next several seasons as some of the younger players move through their arbitration years towards free agency. It's the same with LaRoche; at his age and production I'd be surprised if he got a 3+ year deal worth $14 million/year. But tendering the offer ensures that the Nationals will at least get a supplemental draft pick (hopefully more of a Jordan Zimmerman, Alex Meyer or Brian Goodwin than a Josh Smoker) if either ultimately walks. And if they accept, it's a cash hit in a year that the team can afford it rather than a cash hit in future years when the payroll will be much higher already.That's also the problem with signing (for example) Bourne and/or Greinke. In addition to losing the team's first round pick, adding such contracts to Werth, Zimmerman and Gio really starts to put the Nationals in a bind when it comes to locking up Zimmermann, Desmond, Strasburg and Harper down the road. It also blocks your prospects, forcing the team to deal them at a loss or simply lose them to the Rule 5 draft or lack of minor league options.

  90. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Pipeline = Purke, Meyer, Solis, Giolito, Rosenbaum, Ray. Nobody's a guarantee, obviously. And definitely not ready for 2013. But if you sign a long term deal with someone like Greinke, the whole rotation is locked up and someone who breaks out of the pack in 2014 or 2015 (Giolito?) is blocked. Hence my preference for a one year rental if it can be had.

  91. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    John C., that's exactly my point of view. Yes, it's an overpay for Jackson if he doesn't perform better than he did this year. But to get a better FA pitcher you will have to offer at least that salary AND more years. It's a win-win to make Jackson the offer. He is highly unlikely to be WORSE than he was in 2012 (y'know, the year the Nats won 98 games) and he could be better.

  92. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Sec 222, You are exactly right. You can't pay everyone $15 – $20 mil a year; some of your team needs to be up and coming young talent which is relatively cheap; this is why I am not so excited to pay the 5th starter $12 – $15 mil for 3 years. The upside over John Lannan is marginal.

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    For anyone who keeps mentioning Greinke, like I said 2 years ago and its more evident today with the last 2 years of data, Greinke is a fringe #2 and probably a #3 pitcher. He is a 3.50 ERA guy. He had one exceptional season in 2009 and that's it and his W/L has been exceptional but he has received almost the tops in run support the last 3 seasons.Why would you pay #1 money for a guy who gives up on average 3 1/2 runs per 9 innings unless you believe he can get back to being an Ace.I just don't see it.

  94. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    NL, Jackson is what he is. He has enough of a track record to where you should know what to expect and I don't think it's worth $13.3 mil; you can have Lannan for half that at most and the overall results will be quite similar.

  95. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    222, I don't worry about blocking pitchers in 2014 or 2015–seriously, I don't. Pitchers get injured too easily, and if you have an "excess" of young, talented pitchers, that's what trades are for. I do worry about salaries in those years.

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    JD said… Sec 222,You are exactly right. You can't pay everyone $15 – $20 mil a year; some of your team needs to be up and coming young talent which is relatively cheap; this is why I am not so excited to pay the 5th starter $12 – $15 mil for 3 years. The upside over John Lannan is marginal. October 25, 2012 2:00 PM I totally agree and if you are thinking post-season, you only need 4 starters and any upgrade would have to be better than your current #4 which is Detwiler since you will have Stras, JZim, Gio and Detwiler as your projected 1-4 for 2013.

  97. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    JD, here's where we don't agree–that Lannan will be the equivalent of Jackson for half the price. I don't see it, despite his rising to the occasion a couple of times this year.

  98. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    I agree with NL that we need to sign one more guy, even if we have to overpay someone to come here for 2-3 years (actually we should not need to overpay since we are one of the clubs that will be looked at as contenders). Some other posters have mentioned this before that having mainly five starters all season is pretty good but should not be expected every season. You will need some back up options. That's why it is necessary to stack our rotation as much as we can at big league level and AAA.I don't know about Jackson. I feel like he should have performed better last season and sometimes he did like a #1 but mostly not. I am sure Rizzo will figure out what to do.

  99. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Jackson > Lannan by about 1.5 games a year. Is that worth $6 – $7 mil a year difference for a 5th starter? I dunno !

  100. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    sec 222, by the way, you are a contending team now. You can't be worried about blocking prospects 2-3 years from now.

  101. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Regarding Lannen, he just does not seem Rizzo type of pitcher. That's why I think he will be traded this off-season and thus, us needing a fifth pitcher. I like Lannen and would love to see him pitch for Nats again but I think we have seen the last of it.

  102. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    JD said… NL,Jackson is what he is. He has enough of a track record to where you should know what to expect and I don't think it's worth $13.3 mil; you can have Lannan for half that at most and the overall results will be quite similar.October 25, 2012 2:02 PM You are much too kind. Lannan blew EJax away in production. Lannan was 4-1 and in a small sample size that one blowup that Lannan had against the Dodgers where he gave up 6 runs over 3+ innings skewed his stats.Without that one bad start, Lannan had a 2.79 ERA last year. In fairness, if I take out EJax's worst 3 starts where he gave up 8 runs in 2 of those starts, his ERA would have been 3.24EJax start against the Cardinals with 8 runs in 1.1 innings is what probably defined his season in my eyes.

  103. BigCat - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    The thing I like about Renda is that he signed right away and got his butt to A ball, much like Storen. As you said NatsJack, he could be a sleeper. Probably start in Potomac next year. Looking at him on you tube, he looks like a scrappy linedrive hitter who will do anything to win. Think he was Pac 10 player of year

  104. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… Regarding Lannen, he just does not seem Rizzo type of pitcher. That's why I think he will be traded this off-season and thus, us needing a fifth pitcher. I like Lannen and would love to see him pitch for Nats again but I think we have seen the last of it. October 25, 2012 2:11 PM Lannan was one of the great divides between Davey and Rizzo. They won't say it publicly, Davey wanted Lannan and Rizzo didn't and the boss got his way.

  105. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    JD, it depends on who you ask (and where you are in the standings). Several studies have been done ranging from $6-9 MM per win. It's when a team is in the 88-90 win range that player wins have their highest marginal value. In other words, does that extra win or two translate into postseason play–and revenue. If your team projects at 95+ wins (or 80- wins) then you don't want to overpay for that marginal 1 or 2 wins.So, in evaluating Lannan vs. Jackson, you have to ask, will you expect the 5th starter to get the team from 95 wins to 97 wins–then don't overpay. If you expect the 5th starter to get you from 93 wins to 95 wins, then DO overpay, especially because the value of the Division is so much higher than the wildcard.

  106. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Ghost, I don't go by W-L records; way too many things outside a pitcher's control effecting these. ERA is also a marginal meassure of a pitcher. I am interested in BB and K's per 9 innings, hits per 9 innings and HR allowed. On this basis Jackson is consistently better than Lannan. I just don't think it's worth the dollar difference; I'd spend the money elsewhere.

  108. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Where, JD?

  109. JD - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Ghost, I don't like to speculate on alleged GM/manager divides because I don't know anything about them and I don't like innuendo. It could be that you know something I don't and you could be bang on but I have nothing to confirm or deny such observations.

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  111. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    JD, no no no, ERA on the same team is the best comparison between the starting pitchers over a full season. How many runs do you give up?I don't like to compare ERAs on face value between other starters from other teams without diving into defense and stadium factors and opponents faced.

  112. Feel Wood - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Lohse could easily be a +6 in wins over EJax.So could Lannan. You don't think Lannan would have have put up better than the 12 team wins out of 30+ starts (on a 98-64 team!) than Jackson did? Lannan put up a team W-L of 17-16 in 2011 on an 80-81 team, a team W-L of 14-11 in 2010 on a 69-93 team, and a team W-L of 13-20 on the 2009 team that only won 59 games. You can poo-poo the pitcher win stat all you want, but Lannan has consistently put his team in a position to win a higher percentage of the time than the rest of the staff does. And he will cost only $6-7M at most in 2013, compared with $13M+ for Jackson. Don't count Lannan out for next year.

  113. Feel Wood - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Lannan was one of the great divides between Davey and Rizzo. They won't say it publicly, Davey wanted Lannan and Rizzo didn't and the boss got his way.You're manufacturing a divide that wasn't there. Davey wanted Lannan and he wanted Detwiler and he wanted Wang too. He was like a kid who wanted ALL the candy, and Rizzo was the parent who had to tell him he couldn't have it all. Rizzo finagled a way to keep all three of those guys around for the entire season. If he didn't want Lannan, he would have traded him for whatever bag of balls he could get rather than stash him in AAA for the whole season.

  114. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    The thing Lannan has going in his favor is how he's improved at getting ground balls. He still walks too many to be good, but if that holds up he can be decent and it'll look less flukey. But I don't think Rizzo will offer arbitration. That would be an ugly hearing. I think Lannan actually is worth 5 million, but I can't see him getting it now.

  115. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    "Pipeline = Purke, Meyer, Solis, Giolito, Rosenbaum, Ray"The "pipeline" reasonably includes Perry (until traded) and Garcia, but not Rosenbaum or Ray. Rosenbaum regressed badly second half of last season. Ray notwithstanding promotion to Potomac didn't progress.If you compiled a database of all baseball stories written since 1869, the largest single category would be the "gritty" or "crafty" left-handed pitcher. Not because any of them, other than Whitey Ford or Glavine, were really good but because baseball teams desperately need LHers to get other LHs out.

  116. sm13 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Ghost — I agree on staying away from Grienke, he's going to be way overpaid and, as you say, he is not a number one. Not only that, but we don't need a number 1, we need a number 4/5. I have no problems bringing back EJax in that role. He shows those flashes that make you think he's unhittable and then, there are the hiccup games — that is really what a 4/5 stater is. In addition, we need to save our long term cash for Jordan, Ian, Ross (presuming he shows more progress this year), and Wilson (presuming he comes back to full strength).

  117. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    "EJax . . . shows those flashes . . . and then, there are the hiccup games . . .."Did you mean "hiccup" or "reflux?"

  118. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Except that Jackson would be a #3 for most and get paid like a #2.

  119. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Ghost, you may have the image of the game in St. Louis as your lasting impression of Jackson, but I have the game where Clippard blew the save after Ejax pitched brilliantly and Jackson was the first one out there with a "man hug" for Clipp as my lasting impression. I think Jackson is a late bloomer–and a good teammate.

  120. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    bloy8, that is exactly why Jackson may not take the offer. But, he didn't get that type of deal last year, so why would he get it this year?

  121. sm13 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    hiccup, reflux, heartbearn, whatever….NatsLady, I remember the early April 92 pitch complete game — one of the best-pitched games I've ever witnessed. I also seem to remember a game he gave up 5 runs in the first and threw 5 or 6 shutour innings afterwards. And, I agree, he seems like a fine teamate and part of the clubhouse chemistry.

  122. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    NatsLady, no doubt on EJax being a great guy but I know why he is a journeyman. It's because he is very inconsistent and that can frustrate a team. This team paid for a #3 and got a #5.Also, I reviewed JZims September starts and he was actually quite good the month of September except the Sept 1st start. In fact on his last start in September he had shut out the Cardinals over 7 innings then Davey brought him out with a high pitch count and Burnett allowed 2 inherited runners to score.

  123. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  124. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    NL, he could have taken the Pirates deal last year, and they did compete for quite a while. There's a chance the market for a multi-year deal will be a bit better for him without Boras involved. The Blue Jays and Brewers have rumored interest in him already and it wouldn't cost them a 1st rounder.

  125. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    blovy8, Brewers were 7th best team in NL. In light of NL's post, they will give up their first round pick.

  126. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Further, and generally speaking (i.e., not as regards any specific commenter), we don't have any way of knowing whether any party who posts here regarding inside info might also have a conflict of interest or bias due to an undisclosed relationship with the FO, players, media outlet, or whatever. JD said… Ghost, I don't like to speculate on alleged GM/manager divides because I don't know anything about them and I don't like innuendo. It could be that you know something I don't and you could be bang on but I have nothing to confirm or deny such observations. October 25, 2012 2:30 PM October 25, 2012 3:30 PM

  127. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I thought it was the entire league, not just NL, Faraz.

  128. blovy8 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I think the Brewers are 15th.

  129. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Hey everyone, if you haven't seen it yet, I've got a new article posted: Ryan Zimmerman had shoulder surgery today. Check the homepage.

  130. JayB - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Marco S and Omar I clearly would have been better choices IF Rizzo wanted to win this year. Danny D was clearly an easy out for teams that scouted ahead….huge hole in his swing…In the playoffs Rizzo had to have known it was going to get carved up worse than a mid season game with a non play off team…..he still had 190 K's…..just shows me Rizzo did not do what he could to win this year…..was it smart…we shall see.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 6.5 --
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

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