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The depth chart … for now

Jan 23, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Associated Press file photo
At least 49 players will take the field in Viera in three weeks.

We are now a mere three weeks from Nationals pitchers and catchers officially reporting for spring training, and if that doesn't warm your heart on this frigid Wednesday morning in D.C., I don't know what will.

As has been pointed out, the Nats appear to be done with their offseason shopping, with perhaps a sliver of a chance Mike Rizzo makes one or two final tweaks before everyone arrives in Viera, Fla. So it's probably safe to start taking a look at the organization depth chart.

Obviously, this is subject to change. But for now, here's how things appear to stack up at each position, with 49 players currently slated to be in big-league camp: 39 off the 40-man roster, plus 10 more players on minor-league contracts who received invitations to camp (listed in italics)…

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137 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jay - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    The siren song of Viera… Is the Panera still a happening place?

  2. NatsNut - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    AMEN!!!"We are now a mere three weeks from Nationals pitchers and catchers officially reporting for spring training, and if that doesn't warm your heart on this frigid Wednesday morning in D.C., I don't know what will."

  3. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    FIRST BASEAdam LaRoche!!!—————— Mark, is that your doings in listing Anthony Rendon at second base,[in addition to third], or is that the team's announced intention?———————————-7 degrees on my porch this morning, but it is only three weeks until the first day of spring.I booked a one way ticket on the Autotrain last night and will spend a week down in ST starting on the 12th.I'll drive back and pay a visit, or two to friends in GA, and maybe NC on the way back.NatsJack, how important is it to buy tickets to the games ahead of time?

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Has anyone seen this Abad guy pitch? What's the chance of him making 25 man roster over Bray?

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Joe….are you on Twitter? There are usually walk ups available for all games except the Cardinals on a week end game. But let me know the dates you are looking at and maybe I can assist.

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    As for Rendon, Rizzo said on MLB Radio last week that Davey would be playing Rendon at ALL infield positions but that he was earmarked for third at Harrisburg.He also said that Skole would get time at both third and first in Viera and at Harrisburg.

  7. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Very excited to just scan this list.Probably means very little but all 5 catchers played in the majors last year.10 starting pitchers listed and 10 relief pitchers have thrown pitches in the major leagues.All 4 firstbasemen have major league experience.Every single outfielder listed has major league experience.The only place I see little or no depth is 3rd base and guess who are next great prospect is??(come on Anthony, stay healthy and rake!)I guess the only thing I can conclude from this is that we have little chance at winning rookie of the year two years in a row like our Senators did back in the 1958 & 59. By the way, Oakland has done that twice with the most famous being Canseco & McGwire. Oh, the two Senators were Albie Pearson and Bob Allison.I am getting more and more jealous as we get closer to spring training, but I am tempering that with the thoughts of our planned trip to San Francisco to see our lads play the Champions in May.Go Nats!! World Series or Bust!!

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    sjm308…. so I can be jealous of your trip to San Francisco then? My traveling companions and I have made a pact to attend a Nats series in The City by the Bay the very next time the games are scheduled on a week end. It's the first thing we look for when the schedule comes out.The one guy that can only travel on weekends is making me think I need new travel partners. But I'm not sure I could take a full weekend with the two ladies and myself, baseball or no baseball.

  9. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    sjm308, this will be the first time for me to go to ST. I'm loooking forward to it. I used to go down to FL a lot, but it was always to go bass fishing. BTW, we renewed our seats in 311 this year. Hope to see you at Nats Stadium. Last year, I think our partial plan was the same as yours.Jack,thanks for your offer. We'll be there for the Mets game on the 13th, the two Astos games on the 14th & 16th, and the Tigers on the 18th. When I look on the Nats site and apply to buy a 3 game flex plan, they would give us box seats in sec. 103 for 2 games and 118 for the other. What do you think?

  10. Gonat - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Anthony Rendon at depth at 2nd. Christian Garcia listed #6 on rotation depth.

  11. sm13 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Gone are the dark days when ST was a massive tryout camp for pitchers no one ever heard of. This Spring will be free of roster drama and all about focus and team chemistry. Sounds good to me.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Joe… If all you need is two, I can fix you up for the first two games but you can probably get better seats at the same price off stub hub than the ones the ticket office is offering.I'm in section 111 just to the left of home plate, 3rd row.

  13. Positively Half St. - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    1. The starting pitching depth is the biggest concern, a tower of strength with a steep cliff.2. I am not convinced that Chris Marrero should be on the 40-man roster anymore.3. I guess it is time to start compiling the list of who does and does not have an option left. It would be better to trade those without before they are waived and claimed.+1/2St.

  14. Tcostant - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    You know Mike Wallace who's is on Nats Talk on MASN with Phil Wood was really talking up Will Rhymes last week. He thinks he is a good hitter who can play anywhere on the IF/ I don't know much about him, but I respect Mike's option.

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Half…. I could easily see 4 spots on the 40 man changing by the end of Spring Training.

  16. Tcostant - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    MASN TV Spring schedule:The complete MASN HD spring training schedule for the Nationals is as follows:* Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m., New York Mets vs. Nationals* Friday, March 8 at 1 p.m., St. Louis Cardinals vs. Nationals (replay at 7 p.m.)* Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m., Houston Astros vs. Nationals* Friday, March 22 at 1 p.m., Detroit Tigers vs. Nationals (replay at 7 p.m.)* Sunday, March 24 at 1 p.m., Atlanta Braves vs. Nationals (replay at 7 p.m.)* Friday, March 29 at 2 p.m., New York Yankees vs. Nationals at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. (replay at 7 p.m.)http://www.masnsports.com/masn_news_information/2013/01/masn-announces-six-game-spring-training-tv-schedule-for-washington-nationals.html

  17. The Retired Journalist - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Jay, the Panera is still a happening place, but you can take your sandwich to the World of Beer nearby if you find it too quiet there.

  18. sm13 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    That seems like a pretty paltry schedule of ST telecasts. More disrespect from the MASN brass.

  19. Rabbit34 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Here's my prediction….World Series or BUST???? Get ready for a Bust. There is too much overconfidence for this team. The odds are way not in the Nationals favor for winning the Series, let alone get in the playoffs. I'm a big fan of the Nationals, but you guys are too much over-the-top in confidence. Don't expect too much…then you may get it all!

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    When does the "Need More Bats" mantra start up. Wasn't that the lament all last season on the way to a 98 win campaign?Just what is "too much over the top" anyway. One comment of "World Series or Bust"?

  21. Brian - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    H-Rod is about 15 places too high in RP depth chart

  22. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Rabbit, we do not fear disappointment or defeat, if they happen. We have nothing to lose, and I prefer bitter or sweet over bland chicken.

  23. SCNatsFan - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Rabbit34, after the best season the Nats have had you still won't drink the Kool Aid. Hate it for you.

  24. SCNatsFan - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    NatsJack, that starts after the first consecutive games we lose by scoring 1 or less runs… and this team will have those episodes

  25. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Mark — Does anyone seriously think the Nats would run through Lombardozzi, Tracy, Rivero, Rhymes and Skole before calling up Rendon in the event of an injury @ 3B? Even if the guy was hitting .167 at Harrisburg? Guys like Ohlendorf, Mann and Abad will never see the inside of a major league park again without buying a ticket. I suspect guys like Perez, Rhymes, Maya, Roark, Kimball and McCoy will never show up at Nats Park w/out a ticket, although it's possible they might get a cup of coffee w/ San Diego, Minnesota, Houston or Miami or some similar place, particularly in the event of some Chernobyl-type incident. I recognize they need a minimum no. of pitchers available in ST to keep the catchers busy, and guys to retrieve the balls during pitchers' BP. But I'd much rather they'd give some exposure/attention to some of the minor leaguers with real (imagined?) potential, such as Wort, Renda and that undrafted FA 2B whose name escapes me for the moment.

  26. Stew Magnuson - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    I can't believe Henry Rodriquez is still a member of this organization. If you want to instantly improve the team, get rid of him. Let him learn to pitch in another organization.

  27. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Well, if I can go a little fanboy-geeky (and I can):"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires, both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."

  28. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    It goes w/out saying that H. Rodriguez is an utter waste of meal money and needs to be optioned to the empanada cart outside Space Coast Stadium.

  29. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    "As for Rendon, Rizzo said on MLB Radio last week that Davey would be playing Rendon at ALL infield positions but that he was earmarked for third at Harrisburg."He also said that Rendon would get time at 2nd base at Harrisburg, too. The stated reason was to give Skole some reps at 3rd base.

  30. waddu eye no - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    tconstant – thankssetting my alarm for 6 on 2-28gyfng

  31. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Add Marrero to my list of "never to darken the clubhouse door again" probables.

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    You are correct Laddie. He did say that in context to the Skole remark.

  33. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    While the haterade is beiing distributed, and I'm procrastinating going outside into this sunny cold, now might be a good time to mention I was in Ft. Myers this weekend, checking out the City of Palms park, even though it looks more and more unlikely the Nats will wind up there, for local political reasons if nothing else. The fields are very nice, but the facilities do need massice upgrades. Shirley Povich field in Cabin John has nicer seats, and the clubhouse for the players would be OK for AAA maybe, but not a 2013 MLB team. Plus, the stadium is about 2.5 miles from the rest of the facilities and practice fields, which are in a pretty depressed residential area, from what I could see. Good staff and crew, but it's just old.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… It goes w/out saying that H. Rodriguez is an utter waste of meal money and needs to be optioned to the empanada cart outside Space Coast Stadium. January 23, 2013 9:27 AM Are you telling me there's an empanada cart in Viera! Filed under things I didn't know.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Hey Theo… put me in that Wort, Renda camp as well. Would love to see them on the ST big stage for an inning or two.

  36. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    *massive

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… You are correct Laddie. He did say that in context to the Skole remark. January 23, 2013 9:34 AM I have that bet going that Rendon will see 10+ games at 2nd base in 2013!Its my Placido Polanco clone.

  38. David Meredith - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    For 5 years now, I've been telling those less into baseball than I that if the Nats were a stock priced based upon wins in the previous season, we all should be buying. While it is tempting to cash some or all the stock now, I think it's rational to think that the 2013 Nats will exceed their 2012 total of 100 wins (regular + post season). As a fan, I'm irrationally exuberant about my team; and, as an investor, I think I'm rationally exuberant about the Nats stock! Let's all buy at least a little more stock, and then enjoy the action all season long!

  39. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I'm in for 103 shares, Dave.GYFNG.

  40. SonnyG10 - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    David Meredith said… Let's all buy at least a little more stock, and then enjoy the action all season long!I've already put in my prediction of 106 regular season wins back last November.

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Stew Magnuson said… I can't believe Henry Rodriquez is still a member of this organization. If you want to instantly improve the team, get rid of him. Let him learn to pitch in another organization. January 23, 2013 9:26 AM I have been accused in previous seasons of being a HenRod Hater. I'm not a hater of anyone but some of the sentiment to dump him is ridiculous at this point. You don't dump him for nothing unless you had to clear a 40 man spot.Trading Henry is a different story as Rizzo would want him on a AL team. If he isn't traded which I have said Rizzo is trying to do, Henry will compete for the final spot in the bullpen. I think its a long-shot he would be traded unless Rizzo concedes and would take a Cutter Dykstra type. There just aren't too many teams clamoring for a guy who can't find the strike zone.Like I have said, Henry has used up 7 of his 9 lives here and some think he has used up his full 9.

  42. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    It's still early on the west coast and I haven't finished my first cup of coffee yet, so forgive me if this is too obvious, but who is the player on the 40-man roster who won't be at Spring Training (or at least at the big league camp)?

  43. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Speaking of Henry:This got newposted, and I thought it deserved wider distribution.NCNatsie said…" Candide wrote (well, he didn't actually 'write it,' but you know…): "It yearns me not if men my garments wear…" Is this something about how many of your sherseys they sell?""

  44. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Mr. in Oregon, I think there are only 39 guys currently on the "40-man" roster.

  45. MicheleS - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Rabbit already starting on the reverse lock this year. Thanks!

  46. Tony - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Jerry Seinfeld said it better. "Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify, because the players are always changing; the team could move to another city. You're actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it."

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Section 3, my sofa said… Mr. in Oregon, I think there are only 39 guys currently on the "40-man" roster. January 23, 2013 9:59 AM They freed up 1 spot when Morse got traded. I guess they will need a spot for Javier Vázquez.

  48. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    "Let's all buy at least a little more stock, and then enjoy the action all season long!"Amen. If you can't work up some enthusiasm about this bunch then it's time to check your pulse for signs of life.

  49. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Rabbit: I just got back from the gym and would have responded sooner but I love reading all the comments.As a coach who reached the highest level of my sport (Division 1 NCAA) I want to assure you that I would never have reached that goal if I had your philosophy. My swimmers would have never been able to swim at that level if they had your philosophy. If you competed at any level in any sport, and did not set your sights for glorious achievement then you really missed out. I love that Davey has proclaimed his goal of "World Series or Bust". Too many people toil at mediocrity and never experience the highs of success or the lows of failure. If our team fails, we will still be there for them and you will be able to crow "I told you so". But I am not so sure that is a good thing. OK, I am putting the old retired coaching soap box back in the closet but believe me, I will continue to quote Davey at least once each day.The 98 wins took me totally by surprise but I am not going to let that happen again. Go Nats!! World Series or Bust!!Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm!(taken from Oliver Wendell HolmesI have a million of them!!)

  50. Mark Zuckerman - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said…It's still early on the west coast and I haven't finished my first cup of coffee yet, so forgive me if this is too obvious, but who is the player on the 40-man roster who won't be at Spring Training (or at least at the big league camp)?Sorry, I didn't word that very well. There are only 39 players on the 40-man roster at the moment. All 39 of those players will be in big-league camp.

  51. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    "I have been accused in previous seasons of being a HenRod Hater. I'm not a hater of anyone but some of the sentiment to dump him is ridiculous at this point. You don't dump him for nothing unless you had to clear a 40 man spot."Yeah. He has the tools to be a RH Aroldis Chapman. The Nats really do not need him. They've got Garcia, Eric Davis, Bray, et. al. ready to step in if he falters. See what he does in ST. Rizzo will wait and see, and then make up his mind. No reason to rush.

  52. Tony - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    I bet there was no enthusiasm involved with achieving the Great Depression.

  53. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    NatsJack – when you retire you will be amazed at all the great things that take place during the week. We never go to movies on the week-end. The few day games during the week at Nationals Park are must see games. The bars are much less crowded early in the day. Its just the best. My big decision is to figure out which Nats/Giants game to hit and which days to spend in Napa. I am still dropping huge hints to the spousal equivalent about Florida in March next year.

  54. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Tony: probably so, which is why it happened. Actually, what Holmes was alluding to was dealing more with battles in history. I just turned it into something my athletes could relate to.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Laddie, I have to agree. Its this infatuation with Velo for some fans which has boggled my mind. I would love it too if Henry knew where the ball is going.That had been the rub on Alex Meyer. Throws 95 to 97 but doesn't know where the ball is going. Some have said the bone chips in his elbow has been the problem, I always thought it was the bone chips in his head. I'm as curious as anyone to see what HenRod does in ST. I think he will do fine because its all low stress.Also, I am going out on a limb here and will predict that Danny Espinosa will strikeout at least 5 times less this ST than last year. I'm talking strictly Nats Spring Training games 2012 vs 2013.

  56. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Tony: probably so, which is why it happened.Irrational investor exuberance + climate change + a crushed economy in Europe, at least as I was given to understand; a perfect storm, as we would now say.

  57. Tcostant - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    With someone posting here about Davey's WS or Bust comment; I'm an old Mets fan and prior to 1986 Davey said "We're not going to win, we're going to dominate." The '86 Mets won 108 games in the regular season on their way to a World Series.I remember this and did some searches and found a great account of it here –>http://www.federalbaseball.com/2012/8/17/3249963/washington-nationals-davey-johnson-has-been-here-before-a-brief-history-of-bold-pronouncements

  58. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Ghost – I am one who is guilty of being captivated by HRod and not just his velocity but the ability, when on, to throw that 82mph splitter/cutter. I, like you think he has used up much of his security here and I don't think there is anyway Rizzo will bring him north if he is shaky in FLA. I think you mentioned a few weeks ago that Davey can't afford to keep a relieve pitcher for non-stress situations only, so he will have to either perform of be traded. Not sure Rizzo will get much but it might be one of the few positions that is up for grabs this spring. If HRod proves to be the real deal its just another huge piece in our march to the WS.On Espinosa, I am guessing he will have fewer at bats with us this spring since he will be playing for Mexico for at least a week and maybe more.

  59. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Sec 3 – I have never let fact get in the way of my good quotes

  60. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    I endorse your philosophy there, sjm!

  61. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Section 3 – is the Gorse Hackage "retired" or simply in storage?

  62. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Mark, et al.,Thank you; I was racking my brain, but didn't think of that explanation.On a different note, I vaguely recall a dream from last night in which Anthony Rendon was leading off for the Nats in his first big league game; he lined out to the left fielder. Not sure you should read too much into that, however, considering that one of my students was also on the team. Interestingly, he was using a corked bat, which may reflect a conversation I was having yesterday about plagiarism and U.Va.'s honor system. The subconscious mind is a complicated critter.

  63. NatsNut - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Tconstant, Dominate. I love it. Thanks for sharing. Go for the jugular boys. I've had just as many H-Rod heart attacks as the next guy, but part of me wants to see how he does now that he has those bone chips out of his elbow before advocating throwing him to the wolves.

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    sjm308 said… Ghost – On Espinosa, I am guessing he will have fewer at bats with us this spring since he will be playing for Mexico for at least a week and maybe more. January 23, 2013 10:47 AM Darn, it didn't take you long to figure out my logic!

  65. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Now, what would be interesting is to see % of strikeouts this spring compared to last. Ghost, was he already showing the propensity to strike out as much as he did during the season in March? Just wondering?

  66. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Put me in for 103 shares.I'm one of the few here not quite ready to throw Henry under the bus, but I do think that he really has to shine this spring or Rizzo will be the one doing the throwing. Like, sjm308, I was blown away with HRod's off speed stuff that he exhibited during the first couple of weeks last year. It just didn't seem fair. Then the bone in his head, then in his elbow.All last spring Danny Esppinosa blamed the batter's eye at Space Coast stadium for his inability to see/hit the ball. He then went on to lead the NL in K's. I really believe that Espy is a talented guy with a big ego. He knows how he ranked in strikeouts, doesn't like it, and will make every effort to reduce them. I wish him luck.More than a couple of posters have said that they can't see ALR repeating the year that he had last year. I wonder how many of them were the ones that thought that he would stink at the beginning of last year? The comments posted after the season opener were nothing short of vicious.Many of the predictions of his decline are predicted because of past first basemen's declines at his age. I think that is somewhat flawed thinking because many of those declines were by players that "weren't athletes, they were ballplayer" type guys that had weight issues.I see in LaRoche a guy that is still pretty fit, and he might just not fit the mold of ghosts of first basemen past.

  67. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    sjm, yes. A few days before Mark wrote about Espi's issue with the batting eye last year, I had already written about the alarming rate of his K's in Spring Training.You also have to keep in mind how many at-bats you get in Spring Training against scrubs.

  68. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    In fairness to Espy on the batter's eye, Mark posted this last spring:http://www.natsinsider.com/2012/03/espinosa-on-slump-its-batters-eye.html#more

  69. JR - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    This seems like a good thread to ask a ST question. I'm looking to take my daughter to the game on March24th. They will have been at the Mets the day before. What are the chances of talking to the players/getting an autograph type of thing on a day like that, when they've been away the day before? If it helps she's a stinkin' cute 9 year old. Do they hang out before or after the games at all?

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… In fairness to Espy on the batter's eye, Mark posted this last spring:http://www.natsinsider.com/2012/03/espinosa-on-slump-its-batters-eye.html#more January 23, 2013 11:19 AM As I said last year, I think it was just an excuse. The numbers didn't support that it was the batter's eye although the irony is its Espi's own eye.

  71. UnkyD - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    sjm308 said…Section 3 – is the Gorse Hackage "retired" or simply in storage?————Since the initial typo leading to "Hacking through the Gorse" concerned whether to bat Laynce Nix or Rick Ankiel, against lefties, I hope Gorse Hacking can remain in out lexicon…

  72. Tcostant - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    JR get to the park when the gates open. Go down and watch BP near the Nationals dugout. You should be able to get plenty of autographs that first hour in the park.

  73. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    20 days to the start of Spring Training and Michael Bourn still doesn't have a team. It would be hard to believe they will let this go on too much longer.The Rangers and Yankees have been real quiet this off-season.Of course the Orioles are looking at Jason Kubel and Rick Porcello. They are good at "looking".

  74. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Ghost, I agree with you, and as the season moved north his ratio didn't improve, however Mark's picture on the page from last year did show how the batter's eye could be tough on LH batters.I am just pulling for Espy's sake, and the team's, that he has a different approach this year. He's got a lot of upside potential, IMHO.

  75. Steamer - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I'm going to miss all you Nats faithful

  76. Steamer - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    I enjoy reading all your comments but I have to root for the angels now

  77. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    sjm308 said… Section 3 – is the Gorse Hackage "retired" or simply in storage?Obsolete. The full meme was "A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage"; mission accomplished.

  78. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    "Hacking the Gorse" will of course live forever.

  79. Rabbit34 - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    A nice wink for MicheleS!!

  80. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Thanks for clarity on that Rabbit! Love it and I have actually used that as well.How great is MicheleS!!

  81. Section 222 - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Interesting piece on the managerial situation in L.A. Mattingly is in the third and final year of his contract and asked the Dodgers to exercise the option they have for 2014. They declined. He says it's no big deal but lots of folks apparently think they are setting him up to take the blame if that All Star team Stan and Magic bought doesn't live up to expectations. Riggleman revisited?

  82. JamesFan - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Joe Seam…, I'm with you on Henry.Danny is taking big risk in playing for Mexico. If he hits well and doesn't strike out a ton, he's ok. But he is giving up a lot of ST at bats and visibility to Lombo and others in Nats camp, and if he whiffs a ton in the international games, he's in some serious trouble early on.

  83. Tony - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    If Mattingly can't get it done in LA, there's absolutely no way Riggleman would be able to.

  84. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    "You don't dump him [Rodriguez] for nothing unless you had to clear a 40 man spot."Rodriguez is excess baggage whether it's a 25, 40 or 60-man roster. Assume, hypothetically, he were to pitch like Chapman in ST (much as last year). Sooner or later, you're gonna put him in a for-real game they have a chance to win and he's gonna walk three and put two to the backstop. What team has a "twelve runs behind in the eighth inning" specialist? The most serious problem — and it has been a serious problem the past two years — will come when it's time to fix the 25-man roster and some useful candidate (or another optionless player) has to be waived/sent down while management waits for Rodriguez to become suitable for family viewing. How willing would you be to send someone like Vazquez down to Syracuse, knowing he might bolt to Baltimore, just so you could wait to find out whether Rodriguez has straightened out the bowlful of spaghetti in his head?Even if someone thinks there's the possibility of salvaging something, the roster crunch that's coming if they try to make something out him, and belief that disaster is the only possible outcome, leads me to this position: I won't be happy until Rizzo says, "Henry Rodriguez won't leave training camp with this team even if I have to trade him for someone else's Smiley Gonzalez."

  85. Tony - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Espinosa's biggest risk in playing for Mexico is that he ain't really a Mexican. He could find himself spending a lot of time on the bench – the one with a round hole in it.

  86. peric - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Uhmmm I think Garcia is now a starter. That's been made pretty clear by both Rizzo and Johnson. Love it when bloggers and pundits (especially Ladson) like to think for the GM and manager …

  87. peric - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Hmmm, I think Nationals Prospects does a better job … even if they like putting Karns in the bullpen … its not a very good attempt IMHO.

  88. peric - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    They freed up 1 spot when Morse got traded. I guess they will need a spot for Javier Vázquez.And then Stammen gets stretched out to go to Syracuse or do they keep him as a reliever there?

  89. pdowdy83 - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Peric, I'm not sure Stammen would be the one to go if they signed Vazquez. No reason to sign a guy to a 2 year deal if you plan on sending him to AAA. I would lean more towards Mattheus, HRod or the lefty spot. Mattheus could be optioned to AAA or easily traded because of his decent year and controlability. To me that spot is the weakest link in the pen.Vazquez, Duke, Stammen, Bray/Mattheus/HRod, Storen, Clippard, Soriano

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Peric, I think Stammen is safe and heading North even if the Nats get Vázquez.We will see.

  91. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    I agree w/ Peric that Garcia is a starter, and I'm happy to send him to Syracuse to learn to start, even I think — on some teams — he might end up as the closer. For better or worse, that's not what the Nats need right now.

  92. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    "even though I think . . .."

  93. slidell2 - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Just DFA Henry to 'Cuse or H'burg at the end of ST; if someone claims him, then he becomes their problem. If not claimed, he could very well do wonderfully down there and acquire some trade value.

  94. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    "I bet there was no enthusiasm involved with achieving the Great Depression."Of course there was. It was dubbed "The Roaring 20s." You can look it up. Or read a fictitious account in "The Great Gatsby."

  95. UnkyD - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    "I bet there was no enthusiasm involved with achieving the Great Depression."Of course there was. It was dubbed "The Roaring 20s." You can look it up. Or read a fictitious account in "The Great Gatsby."————-Exactly. A great deal of enthusiasm.

  96. MicheleS - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Rabbit.. sad, I am the only one that gets it.

  97. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    "I would love it too if Henry knew where the ball is going."LOL. Part of Henry's problem appears to be caused by his landing foot slipping on the mound. He loses his balance and gawd knows where the ball is going to end up. He either solves that problem or he will never last in the MLs.Of course, as soon as the Nats let him go, he will. But with the Nats looking to win the WS, they don't have the time to waste on waiting for Henry to figure it out. As has become his M.O., Rizzo has managed to amass a number of options, including several possible replacements for HROD. Henry either cuts it with the Nats in ST, or he will have to try elsewhere. Rizzo is past his "Garret Mock" phase of waiting and hoping.

  98. Doc - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Just published the MLB farm ratings. Be interested in knowing what Nats FO thinks about such ratings.Personally, without knowing what real metrics that they use, it's difficult to appreciate the overall validity.My subjective view is that the Nats got short-changed!

  99. Sam - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    I am hoping that Werth will be moved to LF and Harper to RF because that would be, you know, the intelligent thing to do (since, obviously, LF is the best place to hide a defensive player and RF is somewhat challenging defensively). Also because Werth is getting older and slower everyday and because Harper was great in the outfield last year.Alas, I am neither a coach nor the GM. Maybe they know something I don't, but this seems like an obvious decision from the outside.

  100. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    ""As I said last year, I think it was just an excuse. The numbers didn't support that it was the batter's eye although the irony is its Espi's own eye."Really, I think Danny's main problem is that he can't see the ball. A number of great hitters had swings even more vicious than Danny's – Willie Mays and Mantle, for example. Mantle led the AL in walks 5 times, and in Ks five times, and had more walks than Ks over his career. One year he took 146 bases on balls. He would not swing at a bad pitch, unless he was fooled.Danny looks to me like he is just guessing on virtually every pitch. He cannot seem to identify a breaking ball. He has no selectivity, no consistent plate discipline from the left side. Harper had LASIK surgery a couple of years ago. Maybe Danny could try that. It's tough to hit what you can't see. I think that is his most fundamental problem, and the Nats have not been able to fix it.

  101. NCNatsie - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    It's often been said in these annals that Rizzo's dilemma re Henry is that he doesn't want to trade him, or expose him to waivers, for fear some other team will acquire him and solve his problem, whereupon he could come back to seriously haunt the Nats.Or maybe its this: for fear some other team will acquire him and fail to solve his problem and he could come back and seriously wound a Nat.

  102. SCNatsFan - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Laddie I agree 100%; he either has no hand eye coordination (which seems unlikely), poor eyesight (which you would think has been checked) or simply can't identify pitches.

  103. Section 222 - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    I thought Harper got contacts when he was in Hagerstown, not Lasik surgery.I'm fine with Werth staying in right at least for now. Harper has a better arm, sure. But playing RF effectively is more than having a cannon to throw guys out at third. Alot is knowing the ballparks and playing the angles to hold potential triples hit into the RC gap or the RF corner to doubles. Until Werth really looks to have lost a step, there's little reason to move him. In another few years, they can make the switch if necessary.

  104. SCNatsFan - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    In 22 yrs Stan Musial struck out 696 times. In just over 2 Danny has struck out 385. I know it is really unfair to compare him to one of the greatest hitters ever, I show that to say how amazing Stan was.

  105. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    I am in agreement, Sec.222, in that Bryce got new contacts, not Lasik. He probably had 20/20 vision, but the contacts took him to 20/15. I'm also in agreement that RF is a much tough position to master then LF, though eventually I believe Werth's next stop will be LF.

  106. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    much tougher position

  107. Scooter - Jan 23, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Hey Sec3, thanks very much for that scouting report on the potential spring-training site.

  108. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    I think the problem is deeper with Danny is a concentration issue. It's see ball hit ball and Danny just swings and misses too often.When Danny was called up in 2010 he was seeing the ball well because they didn't have a scouting report on him.Now that they know he swings at junk, pitchers can get him to chase. Besides all his mechanical issues he has poor plate discipline.Rick Eckstein gets paid for his job so I wish him much luck because Danny's problems start with the mental side of the game and are only worsened by his mechanics.

  109. Tony - Jan 23, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Get ready for this at Nationals Park this season. Preview of how it will all work at NatsFest this Saturday.

  110. NatsLady - Jan 23, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Well, nice to know we will still get Nats tickets, even if they are now called 'seat locaters.'

  111. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    What's that, NL?

  112. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 23, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    im shocked no one is writing about Justin Upton and his potential move to the braves

  113. NatsLady - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Joe, in the article Tony posted, it describes how the season-ticket 'credit cards' will work–at least, I assume they will work the same as for Caps/Wiz.

  114. NatsLady - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    So, apparently if you are a group, you either print the 'seat locators' out at home or you get a 'seat locator' slip printed at the Park and you hand it to your buddy.

  115. NatsLady - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Eric Fisher ‏@EricFisherSBJ@nationals sat they are making a 'Presidential' announcement at their FanFest this weekend. Change coming to famed mascot race

  116. Section 222 - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    As I read the article, you either print PDFs of "tickets" with barcodes at home, or, if you use the card, they print a seat locator when you scan the card at the park. That answers the question of how an usher is supposed to know whether you're in the correct seat — you either show a ticket or a seat locator slip. Sounds like lots of room for delays with faulty equipment at the park. Can't wait to try it for the first time on Opening Day with a crowd of 40,000 including lots and lots of STHs using their cards.

  117. Tony - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    They'd better ship the cards in a fancy box with a STH pin or there will be hell to pay.

  118. EmDash - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Off-topic for the Nats, but this bit of LOLPhillies is not to be missed: the value of Delmon Young's contract incentives isn't based mostly on his playing time, but how many times he makes the stipulated weight. Which…wow, can't say I've ever heard of that before. Especially since that nearly doubles the value of his contract.

  119. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    Ouch – can't imagine this going well with the large numbers at Nationals Park. Thanks for the heads up Tony, just another reason not to go to natsfest now.SCNatsfan – I have marveled at so many of Stan Musials numbers but the strikeouts really do jump out. His WORST season was 50 strikeouts and he played 22 seasons!! Did you realize his last game was against the Reds and the 2nd baseman for Cincinnati was a rookie named Rose. Musial singled past the diving 2nd baseman and when the ball came back in Rose took it over to Musial and shook his hand as he gave him the ball. The video is on youtube and its a great watch.I would love to see Bryce in right sooner than later but do understand that Werth has given us no reason to look for that switch. He will probably be solid again next year so I am guessing that before Bryce is done, he will have learned all 3 positions.

  120. Section 222 - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Actually Tony, I think you probably already have your card if you were a STH in the past — It's that red card with the big Curly W and your name and account number on the front that says "Washington Nationals Red Carpet Rewards Program" on the back. No colorful season tickets in the fancy box this time around. Progress, I guess.

  121. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    222 – my agent tells me we are all getting new cards with not only our name but our section and seat number(s) on them. my son had lost his and when I called he told me they were still working out all the kinks. Not very reassuring.

  122. NatsLady - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    My rep said you can request a commemorative opening day ticket.

  123. The Retired Journalist - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    "they are making a 'Presidential' announcement at their FanFest this weekend. Change coming to famed mascot race"———————I saw what I believe was a couple of team handlers with a JFK Racing President outside Nats Park during the postseason series with the Cardinals. If there was a way to post photos I could show you the picture I took.

  124. Joe Seamhead - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Thanks, NL. Hate to be a pessimist, but this might have a rough start.

  125. sjm308 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Great news NL – I will ask for that

  126. NatsLady - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    I saw the JFK also. Journalist, you know that you can set up a blog on this site and post pictures and then post a link, right. or post them on Twitter and link here.

  127. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    Lots of chatter in the Twitter-sphere to the effect that Braves are working toward a Justin Upton deal.

  128. Tony - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    Can we buy a printer and ink cartridges with Red Carpet Rewards?

  129. JaneB - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    We need Mattheus against lefties, there being not much LHP in the bull pen this season…so far.On HRod, I say we see how he's doing before we shoo him away. Remember go truly awesome he was for about a month last year? Just shockingly good. He has it in him. And if it turns our he doesn't any more, I don't want him to rediscover his mojo while in the 'pen of some NLEast team.Three more weeks! Closer by the minute!

  130. baseballswami - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Maybe HRod spent the winter with a sports shrink and will come into camp locked and loaded, over- achieve, and blow us all away. Can you even imagine? Sigh…….

  131. NatsLady - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    here is a picture of the JFK racing president, who did race in April, 2011http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/nats-introduce-jfk-racing-president/2011/04/14/AFsMJ0bD_blog.html

  132. SCNatsFan - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    The worry, for me, about Henry is he has a good spring and fools us into thinking he is worthy of a roster spot unless you are OK with sending Bray down and having no LOOGY and watching to see if Henry implodes.

  133. NatsLady - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Looks like Nyjer Morgan signed to play in Japan.Kazuto Yamazaki ‏@LaBlynneNikkan reports Nyjer Morgan (and his alter ego) agreed to sign with Yokahama DeNA Baystars

  134. baseballswami - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Can't even picture how his act will play there.

  135. SCNatsFan - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    Nyjer signing there will spark an international incident or inspire a lifetime movie

  136. David - Jan 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    but what about Corey Brown? :-)

  137. d0e81e8c-9f37-11e1-a165-000bcdcb471e - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    It would be nice to see what Corey Brown could do if he played everyday considering he has nothing to proove in AAA, and has solid defense, and speed. I hate it when good players get locked in AAA because of logjams.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 56 --
ATLANTA 68 64 7.5
MIAMI 65 66 10.0
NEW YORK 62 70 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 60 72 15.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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