Skip to content

"No roadblocks" for Haren to cross

Jan 28, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Dan Haren signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Nationals last month.

Had there been no concerns about his health, Dan Haren might well have commanded the kind of long-term contract several of his fellow free-agent pitchers signed this winter.

A midseason bout of back spasms and a lingering hip issue, though, scared off plenty of teams and left Haren to settle for a one-year, $13 million contract with the Nationals. Which could prove to be a steal if the right-hander pitches as well as he insists he can, his confidence bolstered by positive bullpen sessions over the last few weeks.

"I feel great," he said Saturday at NatsFest. "I threw a bullpen yesterday, actually, before I flew out. I felt really good. I feel strong. … I don't want to go crazy. But I'm going to be 100 percent ready to go from the get-go this spring. Physically I feel really good."

Despite skepticism from some other clubs originally interested in his services, Haren has never worried about his ability to bounce back from his worst season in the big leagues (12-13, 4.33 ERA).Read more »

152 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Gonat - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    "I think Strasburg might have [soiled] himself a little bit because he's going to have some competition for the batting title," Detwiler joked._____________________________Soiled? Come on Mark, what did Detwiler really say!I didn't realize Haren was that good with the bat. Bonus!

  2. LoveDaNats - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    We may all be surprised when "National Det" pitches better than the number 4 pitcher this year.

  3. MicheleS - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Glad Haren is feeling good. Can't wait to see him have a bounce back year. Our starting 5 is going to make other teams {Soil} themselves!

  4. Gonat - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Werth's wrist still not at full strengthWASHINGTON — Outfielder Jayson Werth did a great job hitting at the leadoff spot for the Nationals last year, going 46-for-149 [.309] with two home runs, 12 RBIs and a .388 on-base percentage at the top of the order. But with the addition of Denard Span, Werth will move down to the middle of the order – most likely sixth – and that's fine with him. "I didn't mind leading off last year with the personnel we had. It was best for our team. I was happy to do it," Werth said. "We get a guy like Denard at the top of your lineup that is a prototypical leadoff guy. It's going to be awesome to have him up there." Werth hopes to completely have his power back by the time the season starts. Last season, Werth broke his left wrist on May 6 against the Phillies, an injury that kept him out of action until early August. On Saturday, Werth said the wrist is not as strong as he would like it to be. When he returned, he hit just two home runs. For the season, he hit a total of five, not including the game-winning home run against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. "At the end of the season, I was dealing with strength. I didn't have the strength. I was told it will come back. It takes time," Werth said. "The power numbers weren't there. Hopefully, it will be there this year. They [the doctors] say 18 months which would put us past the season. So we'll see. I feel confident that I could play at a high level [without the wrist being 100 percent]."_______________________________________Interesting from Ladson on Werth's wrist. Also interesting that Ladson doesn't see him batting 2nd as he says 6th.Span 1, Harp 2, Zim 3, LaRoche 4, Desi 5, Werth 6, Espi 7, Ramozuki 8That batting order sets up the lefty specialist to come in vs. Span and probably stay in for 4 batters. I guess that's good for RZim.

  5. baseballswami - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Werth's comments make sense- Danny's came out if the blue. Also- it will be very interesting to see the order in which our five hurlers start. Numbers ONE—a,b,c,d and e. I think the left and right switching might have more to do with it than ability. This could be fun to watch!

  6. Steady Eddie - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Fun to speculate on who will be number two in the batting order a lot still suggests Werth, given his capacity to take a lot of pictures, and his decent speed on the basis. The same calculus might point to Desmond, perhaps even more so, except that he didn't do very well at leadoff. However, given the reasonable and widely held view that Harper is a 30 homer hitter, that's kind of wasted at the number two spot. Also, neither Harper nor Desmond see a lot of pictures, although Harper did improved in that respect towards the end of the season. Something interesting to look at during spring training.

  7. alexva - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    given his place in the rotation he doesn't have to have #1 starter stats. eating innings is important but anything over .500 is a bonus.

  8. Steady Eddie - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    LOL basis/bases and pictures/pitches. Funny that Dragon Dictation got Werth but not those two…

  9. Gonat - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    For Werth's part, he's fine with ceding the spot to Span and returning to the place he hit for the majority of his career. As for what place that is exactly, Werth said he plans to toss around a few ideas with manager Davey Johnson. "I didn’t mind leading off last year," Werth said Saturday, a sentiment he stated often during the 2012 season. "I thought with the personnel we had it was the best for our team. Obviously if it was up to me I’d want to hit in the middle of the order. It’s the best place for me. But with the guys we had I think just for our team that is what was best for us. That was fine. I was happy to do it. I thought I did a good job. "But we get a guy like Denard at the top of your lineup, I mean that’s a prototypical leadoff guy. That’s going to be awesome. Where I hit after that, I don’t know. I think I got like five or six different lineups that we can roll out there. We’ll see what Davey wants to do. I feel confident in every one." Speaking of that confidence, like almost all of the Nationals' players at NatsFest on Saturday, Werth had plenty in the team the Nationals assembled for the 2013 season. Asked about the recent moves of the Atlanta Braves, who added BJ Upton and Justin Upton this offseason to their outfield, Werth was blunt. "I think we got the best team in baseball," he said. "If that’s your mindset going in, no one else matters, you just have to take care of yourself. "I thought we were good enough to be world champs last year and our team is better this year. Obviously we dealt with a lot of injuries last year and our bench guys came through and got us to where were going to be. With that said, I think our team is better this year and our bench is still just as good. I like our chances. Obviously anything can happen when you get to the postseason, but you have to get in. And I feel good about us getting in."__________________________________________Interesting to read Amanda's take on Werth. She has more quotes from Werth and doesn't speculate on where Werth actually bats.

  10. Positively Half St. - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    DC is used to having a team win the offseason- the Redskins seemed to do it annually for a while. The difference, of course, was that the enthusiasm wasn't building on a solid previous season, and the regular season popped their bubbles.I don't write this as a dire warning to beware, because we all know the games need to be played. However, I must say that I have loved every minute of Nationals love thrown our way over the winter. The latest I saw had Rosenthal dismissing the Mets' chances of competing against the "Mike Rizzo Machine." After so many years of hearing nothing about the Nats, we get to enjoy the whole country anticipating watching our guys play.Let's just soak it in until March is over, and hope that next year we are reliving a championship season in our minds as the snow falls.+1/2St.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Two interesting stats of Haren's : he has struck BJ Upton out 35% of the times he's faced him, (11 out of 31), but he has also given up 5 home runs to BJ in those 31 at bats.

  12. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    If you have a lineup of 4 righties, 3 lefties and a switch hitter, it makes no sense at all to have 3 of the 4 batters at the top of the order be lefties.

  13. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Det could be 4 or 5, it makes no difference at all. R-L-R-L-R provides no advantage over R-L-R-R-L. Either way, there's a stretch of 2 righties in a row at some point as the rotation rolls around.

  14. baseballswami - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I guess as ST progresses, they will all be closely watched. Again, I don't think it will be strictly ability- maybe just a different look, different pitches thrown , different arm slot on back to back days to keep the hitters off balance.

  15. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    off-topic: saw To be or not to be last night. Recommended to all who haven't done so.on-topic: Would love to see Haren perform like an ace the way he is capable.

  16. fast eddie - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Tony:So, if you don't like 3 of 4 first hitters to be lefties, who do you drop down in the order?Span needs to lead off, ALR hits clean-up–does this mean you'd move Harper to 6th???I don't think so.

  17. Gonat - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    "Anthony's going to come to spring training and play several different positions for Davey [Johnson] in spring training," Rizzo said, "But when we send him down to the minor leagues, he'll concentrate primarily at third base and we may shift him around a little bit, because we want [Matt] Skole to play a little bit [of] third base also in Double-A. But we think [Rendon's] primary position is at third base, but he's athletic enough to play shortstop and second base, and I think you'll get a look at him in those positions in spring training for sure." In an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier this weekend, Rendon told the hosts that his success in the AFL was a confidence boost after he'd struggled upon returning to the minors this July following the ankle injury. "I was really just trying to find out where I was at," Rendon said, "And just trying to learn how to hit again and when I got to Arizona it just started clicking and I started trying to feel normal again and I just started going back to the basics, trying to square up the baseball, put the barrel on it and just let the ball work for [itself]." Asked about potentially switching positions to get up to the majors as soon as possible, Rendon said he thought the organization and Nats' GM Mike Rizzo knew he'd do anything he was asked. "I think he knows this is everybody's dream to come up and play at the highest level," Rendon said, "And I'm just trying… any way I can, I just want to play the game and if he feels I can play this position or that position and if it's my time, then it's my time." As for what he's been told to work on, the young infielder said he's just been told to do what he does and get used to the routine nature of the professional game. "They just told me to try to get into a routine," Rendon said, "That's what you're going to do every day if you eventually make it. You've got to get used to the routine, you know, it's a daily grind every day." "So that's what I've been trying to do this whole offseason," Rendon continued, "Trying to get used to the routine so when I go into spring training I'm already used to it." Staying healthy for a whole season has to be the main goal for the Nationals' top prospect, however, who needs to show that he can stay on the field and produce, but starting the season at Double-A sets him up for a similar jump to the one the Nationals' current major league infielders have made in recent years._______________________________________Good write-up from Federal Baseball on Rendon discussing a position change.

  18. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I've been a little busy, am just reading some old threads. I see JayB got really upset about Danny Espinosa. I'm not angry about last October. DIsappointed, yes, but I keep remembering (1) the Nats did WAY better than expecting in 2012 and (2) many, many times the "best" team in the 162- or 154-game season hasn't won the World Series.However, JayB raises a legitimate point–when do we, as fans, start to question whether the right medical staff and procedures are in place.At what point do you question whether your team has the right medical staff? Like Davey (who, famously, "doesn't audition players"), I don’t audition medical staffs. Even if the medical staff makes a mistake on one player, if the overall record is good and the procedures in place are good, OK. But if there is a record of poor performance, then even a person who is not a doctor starts to ask, “What is going on here?”OTOH, we don't hear about the–I am sure many–guys who play injured and DON'T hurt the team. In the NFL, countless guys are in hospital the day after the season ends. So I am not judging, I am just asking, in his "spare time," maybe Mike Rizzo needs to check around and see if we have a medical staff that is the best in MLB. I understand Mike Rizzo is not a doctor or a medical expert but he can evaluate the performance of doctors.

  19. Section 222 - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    fast eddie, a lineup that many have predicted and that I think would be the best is Span, Werth, Harper, Zim, ALR, Desi, Espi, Zamos, P. That's LRLRLRLR against RH pitchers. As Tony says, RLRRL or RLRLR for the starting pitching rotation are pretty much the same thing. I think Haren (finesse) is enough of different pitcher from JZnn (bulldog) to make the RLRRL a good choice. One advantage of either rotation order is that the long relievers Duke for righties, Stammen for the lefties, are lined up with an assured day off between outings, if needed.

  20. fast eddie - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    222:I like your L/R balance, but I'm not sure Davey would move Zim out of #3. Isn't that the spot for your best hitter? I'm not sure Harper's ready just yet to inherit that role.I like Span, Harper, Zim, ALR, Werth, Desi, Suzuki, Espi.

  21. MicheleS - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Before we start blaming the medical staff, let's remember it's a two way street. The player may not disclose the extent of the injury for various reasons.

  22. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    MicheleS, absolutely. Sean Burnett and HRod come to mind.

  23. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I have never understood reasons player wants to act tough and play through an injury he should get treated asap.

  24. Scooter - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Faraz, I suspect they're afraid of a) losing their job and b) being seen as a [wuss].

  25. Scooter - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    To the pro athlete, I'm not sure which of those is worse.

  26. sjm308 - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I think its almost the culture/nature of the game for these guys to play hurt. Remember JZ talking about tightness in his shoulder and getting and missing a turn? It has to be really difficult to manage a team knowing they aren't going to be open with you on the pain they are experiencing. Remember how long LaRoche went before finally giving it up in 2011? Look how many bad throws and how low Zimms batting ave. fell before he finally tried the cortisone? These guys just don't want to come out of the lineup. Now, my lineup originally was Span-Werth-Harper-Zimm-LaRoche-Desmond-Suzuki-Espnosa. But if Werth asks to be put back at #5 or 6 and is more comfortable with that I am good with that as well. I just thought that Harper benefited a bunch from following Werth. I also thought that having Span and Werth in the first two spots might actually wear a pitcher out by the 2nd time around.

  27. Gonat - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… I have never understood reasons player wants to act tough and play through an injury he should get treated asap._________________________________Many times players on the bubble don't want to lose their spot so they conceal injuries. For a player like Ryan Zimmerman, my guess is he doesn't want that constant stigma of an oft-injured player so he will try to play through it.Also as Ryan says, nobody at the end of the season is 100% healthy.

  28. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Span makes sense at leadoff, but there's no reason LaRoche needs to bat 4th. He could bat 5th, just like he did sometimes last year when Morse batted cleanup. They only call it cleanup because there are supposed to be men on base when the guy hits. If LaRoche bats after Span, Harper, Werth and Zim, there will be plenty for him to clean up.

  29. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Also, players think they are better than the guy who would replace them if they go out with an injury. And they probably are–if healthy.

  30. Scooter - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    As I think about it, traitor might be a better descriptor than [wuss]. What they really seem to be afraid of is "letting the team down."

  31. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    The reason players want to play even though they might be hurt is simple. It's the same reason a kid wants to stay home sick from school but still go outside and play.

  32. Exposremains - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Faraz,In the case of Espinosa and most young players I think they don't want to disclose their injuries because it means they will not be playing and someone else will. IN Espinosa's case, you have Lombo. Let's say Lombo performs really well, then it can be difficult for Espinosa to get back in the lineup. That's why he didn't get surgery, he doesn't want to come back in May and possibly lose his spot. Its a gamble, if he's really hurt by May because he didn't get surgery then he'll miss the whole season. When you're an established player like Zim or Werth you make a lot of money, you're not about to become a free agent so you get the surgery.

  33. MicheleS - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Well at NatsFest when Werth was asked about the lineup, he said that he has 4 or 5 different lineups he plans to give to davey (I am sure this is a nod to Davey's cracks at him about playing Left/Right among other things)

  34. MicheleS - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Faraz.. see Wally Pipp.

  35. JD - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    fast eddie,'but I'm not sure Davey would move Zim out of #3. Isn't that the spot for your best hitter? I'm not sure Harper's ready just yet to inherit that role.' No. Countless studies have shown that the order of importance of the batting order is pretty unimportant but the most important position is leadoff followed by the second place hitter followed by the cleanup hitter. The idea that the 3rd position is reserved for the best hitter is really an old theory which is based on nothing. I like Werth batting 2nd for his OBP and high pitch counts but it's also nice to have a left handed hitter hitting behind Span to take advantage of the hole between 1st and 2nd when Span is on base.

  36. Gonat - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    MicheleS, touche' on the Wally Pipp!

  37. Gonat - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Michele, also see the quotes I posted above from Amanda from Werth re: batting orders

  38. Gonat - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    On his Japanese team, Nyjer Morgan is slated to be the #3 hitter!!!

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    JD… What hole? When a left handed hitter is up, the shortstop most always covers second on a base staeler.

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    stealer

  41. SCNatsFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    About the medical staff… well, we all have opinions on all things Nats and can gather info to make these decisions based on what we see on the field. Questioning the medical staff on a blog is useless as we don't have the information to make informed decisions about their competency; you figure these guys got their jobs because they were tops in their fields, not because they were the low bidder, so in my mind they get the benefit of the doubt. As fans all we see are the failures or disappointing outcomes; the staff might be more guilty of being conservative and letting players heal their own injuries with time and rehab instead of surgery, but a good doctor gives you the options and lets you decide; you can't blame players for trying to avoid surgery.Not saying the staff is good, not saying it is bad, just saying we are in no position to evaluate them.

  42. JD - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    NJ, With a runner on 1st base the 1st baseman must hold him on creating a larger than normal hole between 1st and 2nd base.

  43. Steamer - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Hello friends if anyone has Facebook please go to Altoona Curve.com and vote for former Nat Sean Burnett please and that too all that voted

  44. Steamer - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I ment thanks to all who voted when on web site just hit the voting and scroll down to the players again thanks

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    OK.. I'll buy that as a slight advantage, JD.

  46. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    What do you call the guy who finishes last in his class at medical school? Doctor. But those are not the doctors you see working on professional athletes or even "weekend warriors" who make big bucks during the week and blow out their knees playing softball on Saturday. No, those are the doctors you see working at the neighborhood free clinic. When you see Nats medical care being outsourced to the free clinic, then you can start to worry.

  47. JD - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    NJ, Having said that I think you may want Harper to hit a bit lower on the lineup with the potential of driving in more than one run at a time. I don't think Werth will be a big run producer and I think he profiles well for the 2nd spot.

  48. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    I think the LRLRLRSR combination is going to be too much for Johnson to resist. That puts Harper/Zimmerman at 3 and 4. It's not like Johnson's going to PH for any of his starters, except maybe Suzuki/Ramos, but he loves making the other manager match up and maybe burn as many as three pitchers in an inning — maybe even the fifth or sixth inning given the depth of the Nats' bullpen.The other manager's option, in a close game, is to give Johnson a favorable match-up for two out of every three hitters.I disagree that who hits 3rd is not important. This starts from the role of the #4 guy, which is to hit The Big Fly. Even w/ very high BA #1 and #2 hitters, the chance the #3 sees bases empty and two out are more than 50%. So #3 has to be good enough to roll down the lineup and give #4 a chance to do what he's supposed to. (Before anyone tells me this scenario will play out in the opening inning, I will remind them that these guys will bat in the same order all day long, and the imperative is for the #4 guy to come to the plate w/ runners on base.)I think Harper will hit for a high enough average to hit third, and between Zimmerman and LaRoche the power potential is about equal. So I'd be comfortable with Werth (with, for the time being, less power potential), Harper, Zimmerman and LaRoche in that order.

  49. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    If the right handed #2 batter behind Span can hit behind the runner he's every bit as good as a left hander. If he can't hit behind the runner, he shouldn't be batting second. And if the best a left hander batting second can do is pull a ground ball through the hole, he probably shouldn't even be in the majors.

  50. sjm308 - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Tony: I like your idea of LaRoche hitting 5th. I like making all these different lineups since there is no pressure on us. A little different for Davey don't you think?On the original post, I am really hoping this deal comes through for Rizzo and of course for Haren. I went back and looked at various baseball cards of his and he mentions his two young kids as a key turning point for him in his maturity as a pitcher. If he come anywhere near what he was two years ago this deal will be a slam dunk. I will continue to stay excited about this move rather than worry about his velocity or things like that. What is also amazing to me is that Haren is the age of my oldest and is considered a veteran on the staff. Hard for me to think of Kevin as a veteran, he is still my baby.

  51. Section 222 - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    My problem has nothing to do with players hiding injuries. It has to do with using the best available tests and technologies to diagnose injuries when a player admits to being hurt. Note the following from Mark's yesterday: "Espinosa, who played through pain in his non-throwing shoulder during September and during the playoffs in October, didn't learn of the tear until two weeks after season's end, after an enhanced MRI performed by Southern California orthopedist Lewis Yocum revealed it……Espinosa first started experiencing pain in the shoulder Sept. 7, after he dove for a ball in the field. He went into a tailspin at the plate almost immediately, at one point going 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts during a key series in Atlanta in the middle of a pennant race.But an MRI performed at the time by team orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih diagnosed only a bone bruise. Douoguih gave Espinosa a cortisone shot to relieve the pain, and he played through the rest of the season, though the pain did eventually return. He ended the season hitting .157 (14-for-89) with 34 strikeouts after the dive on Sept. 7."So who made the decision not to do an enhanced MRI in September? And why? Those are the questions I hope the beat writers will ask. You don't have to go to Dr. Locum/Andrews, or even at a hospital, to get an MRI. You can get one right here in DC in an orthopedic clinic. An enhanced MRI finally revealed the extent of Flores' injury, after they brought him back at the end of the season for a few PH appearances. It's what Andrews uses to confirm the need for TJ surgery. Why didn't they do that test in September before deciding to treat Espi with a cortisone shot and send him out there not only to play terribly for the rest of the season but to delay the necessary surgery so he wouldn't be ready for this season?

  52. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Lacking confidence that any of the "prospects" will be ready to join the rotation in 2014, I'd be happy to have Haren show that he's physically back together and for the team to sign him for two more years. When his cut fastball is doing what it's supposed to he doesn't have to be a power pitcher and could be very (Glavine-like) effective for several more seasons.

  53. 3on2out - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Nats Jack:The hole is the one caused by the 1st baseman holding the runner on…

  54. Section 222 - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Great analysis of the lineup by Laddie and Theo. What they said…

  55. natsfan1a - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Well said.SCNatsFan said… About the medical staff… well, we all have opinions on all things Nats and can gather info to make these decisions based on what we see on the field. Questioning the medical staff on a blog is useless as we don't have the information to make informed decisions about their competency; you figure these guys got their jobs because they were tops in their fields, not because they were the low bidder, so in my mind they get the benefit of the doubt. As fans all we see are the failures or disappointing outcomes; the staff might be more guilty of being conservative and letting players heal their own injuries with time and rehab instead of surgery, but a good doctor gives you the options and lets you decide; you can't blame players for trying to avoid surgery. Not saying the staff is good, not saying it is bad, just saying we are in no position to evaluate them. January 28, 2013 10:06 AM

  56. Joe Seamhead - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah, I often don't agree with everything that you post, [then again I don't agree with everything that anybody posts], but I agree with your entire post at 10:26 a.m. Werth batting second makes the most sense in so many ways, but Davey will probably fool some of the people all of the time.

  57. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    I think most of the projected batting orders posted by the various beat reporters **had LaRoche** batting fifth? Because it makes sense in an alternating left-right arrangement with Span leading off. The only spots for Werth and his wrist would be 2nd (seemingly preferred) or 7th where Espinosa will likely sit. Given Espinosa's rotator cuff that seems like the right spot for him. I don't think Werth is going to bat fifth on a regular basis, nor anywhere in the middle of the lineup ever again.

  58. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Harper bats third behind Werth. Why? Because it worked extremely well last season for starters. Its going to be a much weaker power hitting lineup it seems so it doesn't really matter where Zim bats in the middle or LaRoche for that matter.

  59. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    3on2out…. Yes, I got that earlier and conceded to JD that it does allow for an advantage.

  60. natsfan1a - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    I'm always interested to read the takes of Amanda and other writers, but imo it would be preferable to post a link to the article in question rather than cutting and pasting the whole thing here (for one thing, Mark gives us a link to the Times blog at left; for another thing, um, copyright). Just a thought. :-)Gonat said… Michele, also see the quotes I posted above from Amanda from Werth re: batting orders January 28, 2013 10:00 AM

  61. sjm308 - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Theo: If we win the World Series, and Haren plays a big role in that, its a no-brainer to give him two more years.Two weeks till "pitchers & catchers" Natsjack, rest up and get ready because we will be waiting to hear who is there early and what things look like.Go Nats!! World Series or Bust!!

  62. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    No, those are the doctors you see working at the neighborhood free clinic. That is an uncalled-for and ignorant slur on good doctors. You don't have the first idea what you're on about.

  63. MicheleS - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Oh and i know i am repeating this. but in case you all didn't see this yesterday:Kid's view of NatsFest.Matt's BatsMatt is on twitter too: @MattsBats

  64. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    sjm308 … making my first trip over this Friday. Can't wait.

  65. MicheleS - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Det said he was leaving for Viera either today or tomorrow.

  66. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    We've beaten this dead horse before, but by the end of the season, or even the ASB, pretty much all the players are in pain somewhere or other. You get used to it, playing in pain becomes normal. You don't make pro ball, nevermind the Show, any other way. Denial and rationalization can get you through, actually, lots of times. You get used to it. Confidence in yourself is crucial. So sometimes you are going to over-reach, and sometimes even healthy guys have slumps. Which makes a good diagnosis really important. That doctor who graduated last in their class in med school–graduated med school.

  67. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Just because a doctor finishes last in his class at medical school doesn't mean he's not a good doctor, just as the last guy or gal in a law school class isn't a good lawyer. It ain't PE or basketweaving where you can get a degree just by showing up. But with a few altruistic exceptions, the overachievers at the top of the class generally go to the top-dollar jobs. So if a team is looking for the best doctor money can buy, there is someone out there who charges that kind of money and that's where they go.

  68. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Lacking confidence that any of the "prospects" will be ready to join the rotation in 2014, I'd be happy to have Haren Jury is still out we'll have to see if Rizzo is right and the improved hip flexibility means the velocity goes up a notch or two. Garcia, Perry, Karns for starters. In 2 years Cole, Purke, and Solis. Followed at some point but Giolito. That's at least six dude.

  69. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    The Washington Post should fire its beat writers and hire that kid. He writes better than any of them. Boswell's job is safe because by the time the kid gets old enough to have acquired the necessary insight to columnize he'll be retired.

  70. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    "Laddie Blah Blah, I often don't agree with everything that you post."A shocking revelation, but I forgive you. You can always change your errant ways.

  71. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Ok, I am trying to be open-minded, I am trying to believe Tony isn't FeelWood. But I can't follow his posts. What is your position on the Nats medical staff?(1) Competent(2) Incompetent(3) We fans don't possess enough information to evaluate.I

  72. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    oh, and Dan Haren–about that "beard" …

  73. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    I don't think Tony is FeelWood, he doesn't seem to show the signature sarcasm or prickliness, nevermind FW's insight. IMO. FWIW.

  74. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Absent any covered-up malpractice suits, the Nats doctors are by definition competent. They don't look like a duck, they don't walk like a duck, and they ain't quacks.

  75. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    I think "Haren's Beard!" should be an exclamation of disbelief, like "Great Caeser's Ghost!" "Danny's Beard!" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

  76. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I like the Span, Werth, Harper, Zim, ALR, Desi, Danny, Zuki lineup.You have 3 of your best base runners at the top of the order. The first 2 are going to work the pitcher, and both of those guys get on base, and can run and steal. the hit-and-run with Span at 1b and Werth at bat is just about ideal. The Nats will score more runs with those 2 at the top of the order, and Harp will see better pitches with men on base and Ryan on deck. And unlike Zim, Harp is likely to beat out the relay to foil a double-play, inning killing grounder, giving Zim the chance to pick up the guy still in scoring position.Zimmerman could come to the plate with a broomstick hitting behind those guys and still drive in 100+ runs. ALR and Desi can pick up the leavings.After that, it's hard to say. Rizzo is planning on what to do if Danny goes down, or is hobbled, which seems likely. Hard to see him getting through the season with a damaged shoulder. Lombo would fit in there very well, if needed, with Rendon as a fall back, should he continue to stroke the way he did in the AFL. I like the idea of platooning those two.I really like Suzuki in the 8-hole. Rick and Davey changed his stroke and he had his most productive ABs toward the end of the season. He's very athletic for a catcher, with surprising speed in that position, and has gap power that can give you the occasional long ball.With either Strasburg, Haren or JZ hitting 9th, and Lombo or Rendon in olace of Espinoza, the Nats would not have an easy out anywhere in their entire lineup, pitchers included. And except for ALR, they have plenty of speed from 1 through 8.Werth is right, only I hope Davey puts him in the 2-hole. If his wrist is still depriving him of power, then that's where a situational doubles hitter belongs.

  77. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    "Espinosa, who played through pain in his non-throwing shoulder during September and during the playoffs in October, didn't learn of the tear until two weeks after season's end, after an enhanced MRI performed by Southern California orthopedist Lewis Yocum revealed it."And how much extra damage resulted from his playing through and after the original injury? That certainly did not do him any good, and may well have done him some additional harm. He said that if he had known it was torn, he would have taken himself out of the lineup. Well, it is still torn, and he has still not taken himself out of the lineup.I'm certainly no doctor, but we have all seen this dynamic play out before, most recently with RGIII, who thought he could play without a functioning ACL and with a torn LCL, to boot. Remember when Srasburg first complained about elbow pain? Management did not hesitate to take him out of that game, immediately, in spite of his own insistence that he could still pitch. He got the full testing and diagnostic treatment. That was the right thing to do, and it prevented SS from doing any further damage to that elbow.Danny and every other position player deserves the same consideration from management, IMO. That has nothing to do with being a doctor, and everything to do with sound management practice.

  78. SCNatsFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I think having two names on a blog is a precursor to ending up as a photo on the top right corner of the Nancy Grace show

  79. Ebby Calvin - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Resources for Exploring the Grapefruit LeagueViera and the Nats do not have a monopoly on spring training fun. My wife and I have enjoyed games in every park in the Grapefruit League. Each has something to recommend it. Alan Byrd's book Florida Spring Training (2007) is a few years old, but it remains the best book we've found, even if it does rank Space Coast Stadium last (Nats subsequently upgraded):http://www.amazon.com/Florida-Spring-Training-Touring-Grapefruit/dp/1887140476We didn't find the 2004 version of Josh Pahigan's Spring Training Handbook as useful, but it was good enough to convince me to get the 2013 version when it is available, despite the $40 price:http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Training-Handbook-Comprehensive-Grapefruit/dp/0786471956/The annual Baseball America Prospect Handbook will help you keep the young players straight during the season as well as spring training:http://www.amazon.com/Baseball-America-2013-Prospect-Handbook/dp/1932391444/

  80. JD - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I don't understand that now knowing Espinosa has a torn rotator cuff that he's still avoiding surgery. In my fandom experience this never ends well. I can just see it now; it's May 15th and Espinosa is hitting .190 with no power and they then decide to go for the surgery ALA LaRoche of 2011.

  81. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    FeelWood?

  82. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Chad Durbin back with the Phillies … staying in the NL East.

  83. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Someone should tell Haren that C. Everett Koop called and he wants his chinstrap back.

  84. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    I don't understand that now knowing Espinosa has a torn rotator cuff that he's still avoiding surgery. As Natslady wisely observed he is playing in the WBC. If he can't hit there what do you think they will tell him?

  85. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Ok, I am trying to be open-minded, I am trying to believe Tony isn't FeelWood. But I can't follow his posts. And he is moving to your section … :)

  86. natsfan1a - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Well, yes, but, er, what if someone thinks it's in reference to his date? Not that there's anything wrong with that. :-)Section 3, my sofa said… I think "Haren's Beard!" should be an exclamation of disbelief, like "Great Caeser's Ghost!" "Danny's Beard!" just doesn't have the same ring to it. January 28, 2013 11:26 AM

  87. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    peric, nope, I changed my section. For Tony–Feelwood is/was a poster on this blog. Haven't "seen" him since you appeared. May be coincidence. I allow for that.

  88. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  89. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Tony==> What is WRONG with you. OK, that is the END of me trying to be polite. Get lost.

  90. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    peric, nope, I changed my section. For Tony–Feelwood is/was a poster on this blog. Haven't "seen" him since you appeared. May be coincidence. I allow for that.He's not me. I was just finishing watching Hilary and Obama on 60 minutes now I have to get ready for my 14.2 mile bike ride. I don't think Tony/Feel Wood are doing that.

  91. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Natslady,In any case I suspect "Feel Wood" grew tired of getting hammered constantly on this blog. Either he changed his name or he stopped posting. He has nothing to do with me. I have a particularly style that I believe isn't easy to duplicate.

  92. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    peric, never thought he was you. Yes, sometimes you get frustrated and make childish, even insulting posts. But I have NEVER seen racism from you. Period. Big difference.

  93. sjm308 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    On Haren's beard – he started with the goatee in his first baseball cards I have (2005 A's) I don't have the earlier cards from 03 & 04 with St. Louis. His beard got full blown with the Angels so he has had facial "stuff" for quite some time. Espinosa, not so much.NatsLady, still nice people over in 308 and 314 so please come say hi.

  94. sjm308 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Peric: I am actually jealous. Where are you able to ride in this weather. I went 12 miles yesterday on a virtual bike at the gym and was still bored out of my mind.

  95. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Also, sexism. Never saw sexist post from peric, have seen really, really derogatory posts from "Feelwood" or whatever the name is. Snark and edgy humor is one thing, trash is another.

  96. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Natslady,Uh thanks for the vote of confidence … I think ~laughing~Perhaps Tony was going back to the Chocolate City discussion. And I do think Mr. Span may need some remedial sensitivity training … not that I think he is a bad person … but it does seem like he may be one of those public figures who tend to put their foot in their mouths one time too often. Hate to see that end up affecting his game.

  97. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    sjm308, glad to say "hi." Wish it was baseball season so I could. So ready, so eager–LET'S PLAY.

  98. NatsNut - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    On the competence of the medical staff – we have no idea how many nicks and bruises and strains and sprains they DO take care of or prevent. And sure, the med staff could very well suck, but the fans have absolutely NO IDEA what is going on medically in that clubhouse. Ever.

  99. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Peric: I am actually jealous. Where are you able to ride in this weather. I went 12 miles yesterday on a virtual bike at the gym and was still bored out of my mind.Its sunny here sjm308, not like Natsjack weather … and we get some pretty decent winds but its about 60-ish I'd say on the central coast. Be doing some night riding 7 miles or so later … not my favorite thing with traffic but .. .I guess I'm a bit of a snow bird … albeit that could be ending soon unfortunately. Maybe I'll try Florida … ~laughing~

  100. sjm308 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    NatsNut – totally correct!!

  101. sjm308 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Peric: realizing I am old and need my naps I am guessing when you say Central Coast you mean California. Best bike trip I ever took was up at Big Bear Lake, amazing views and the mountains are real mountains, not like here in the DC area. Whatever, have fun.

  102. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Of course you realize Natslady that Natsjack has been known to appear and disappear in conjunction with my appearances and disappearances?Does that mean I am also Natsjack? ~laughing really hard now~

  103. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I am guessing when you say Central Coast you mean CaliforniaYup. Can't be that old if you are still cycling the kind of hills you would find near Big Bear! Most I go up is a grade about 1200 feet gives a pretty decent view of the whole area near the ocean from the 46. Amazing and easy ride down a five mile grade with a steep incline. (lazy).

  104. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Is NatsLady a long-lost relative of Dr. C. Everett Koop, or does she think the Mexican team wanted Espinosa for his glove? Or maybe both?

  105. NatsLady - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    peric, I appear and disappear based on my work schedule (yeah, I work for a living). But==> whatever. See y'all later.

  106. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Been traveling and on here late. A lot of great posts already and many of you hit points I was going to make.Davey will experiment with the lineup quite a bit I would think and love that Jayson is proposing lineups. The problem as I see it is stacking lefties even if a RH pitcher starts the game.Going Denard to Jayson will get some pitchers throwing a lot of pitches to start the 1st inning which is a good thing.Again, these are good problems to have with this lineup.

  107. Section 222 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    This is not the first time that a torn rotator cuff has been missed for lack of adequate medical testing. Cole Kimball was on the DL for nearly a month before they finally did an enhanced MRI. I'm not claiming to be a doctor, play one on TV, or have any idea what goes on medically in the clubhouse. But I certainly don't trust all doctors all the time, even if they went to fancy med schools and got high paying, prestigious jobs. They make mistakes, often tragic ones. And after the experience with Flores, Kimball, and now Espi, there's a disturbing pattern of waiting too long to do the right test. All I want is an answer to the question why was Espi not given the enhanced MRI in September instead of the regular MRI.

  108. peric - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    I'm out of here too Natslady … work and school … never ending …

  109. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Section 222, how's about Chad Cordero's shoulder/arm injury. Sometimes you can never make it back.

  110. sjm308 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Peric: We crested at over 7100 ft on that ride. I am OLD but ornery. Can't wait to get back to California. Next trip is to San Francisco/Nappa in May and hopefully a Nats game as well.Off to the gym!!

  111. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I'm all in on Tony being the surly Mr. Feel Wood.

  112. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    The Monday Morning Medical Practicioner's "lack of adequate medical testing" is the Real Doctor's "extremely hard injury to diagnose." Every athlete's injury is not as patently obvious as Joe Theismann's was.When Espi first got hurt, the doctor did an MRI and found a bone bruise, which was consistent with the symptoms he was reporting. He then prescribed appropriate treatment, and when the symptoms persisted after a period of time despite the treatment the doctor conducted additional tests to find out why. I'm no doctor, but that's how doctors operate. They don't run through the full bank of lung cancer screenings the very first day a patient shows up with a hacking cough.

  113. Steady Eddie - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    222 — I'm with NatsNut, 1a and SCNats on the medical staff thing. We just can have no idea what the dynamic in the clubhouse is as to what kinds of medical procedures are proposed by the med staff and how they are received, required or rejected by the interaction of the GM/managerial team on one side and the players on the other. There are a lot of what are almost certainly very individualized steps between a player experiencing pain/injury, what gets said to and responded to by management, what then goes to the med staff, etc. ad nauseum. There are so many ways for a process to go off on a dead end or tangent because these are all human beings here.

  114. Muddy - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Mark, in view of today's news re the Dodgers new network and all the cash it'll generate for the Dodgers, how about an article re the Nats and MASN, e.g., status of talks, why the Nats can't resolve it via legal process, alternatives to MASN, likely outcome?

  115. Section 222 - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Steady, fair enough. But do you think it's inappropriate to ask the question I've posed after Flores, Kimball, and Espi have all been misdiagnosed? Ghost, Cordero may very well have been another instance. I just don't remember hearing that he didn't get an enhanced MRI at first and that when he did the injury was diagnosed.Tony/Feel/pRAA, the fact that you think that giving an enhanced MRI instead of a regular MRI is akin to giving a lung cancer screening to someone who has a hacking cough indicates that you too are practicing medicine without a license and establishes your true identity. Welcome back.

  116. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    If this Feel guy left, I can't understand why. Everyone here seems surly, you think he'd be right at home.

  117. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Talking about injuries, Ian Desmond until the All Star break had worked through his issues with the oblique and the past 2 seasons he had dealt with pulled muscles in his legs.Kind of on point discussing injuries, here's Ian Desmond on what he's doing different this off-season:“Everything’s good. My body feels great. I basically stuck to the same workout program I did last year, but I’ve added some things and try to eliminate the leg injuries and things like that. Just really see if I can put one solid year, 162 games, and just go out there and play everyday and see what kind of production we can come up with”.I'd like to know what he added to his routine. Maybe yoga?

  118. JD - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Sec222, I generally don't like to comment on injuries and medical treatments because I am not qualified but you do bring a pretty disturbing pattern and you may want to add RZim to your list. It does seem that true extents of injuries aren't always diagnosed early on. I'm not sure if this is symptomatic and similar to other teams but it might be worth studying.

  119. ehay2k - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    During a Q&A at Natsfest, there was talk about players now being encouraged to do yoga, including hot yoga. I had never head that before. I know Storen and Stras do yoga, I can't remember if it is hot yoga (or perhaps Hot Stuff yoga?) Anyhow, perhaps that was a nod to the need to address soft-tissue injuries they have had over the last couple of years?

  120. ehay2k - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    *heard that before

  121. SCNatsFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    You just don't go injecting you into a joint without suspicion of a tear; you do a MRI and correlate the results with a patients symptoms as well as the examination. Injecting the dye is a more invasive procedure and, although rare, can cause problems from the injection. The analogy of giving everyone with a cough a CT for lung cancer is appropriate; you start with the least invasive test and get additional tests as needed. I don't think you can blame a Doctor is a patient gives false or misleading information about the symptoms. In addition, if this was the 'real world' it wouldn't be a problem with the slow progression; its just that everyone wants athletes to have a diagnosis and treatment now (or yesterday) when in fact time heals alot of these problems.

  122. SCNatsFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    oops, I mean injecting dye

  123. waddu eye no - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    i played a doctor in barber of seville! and in marriage of figaro, too!

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    ehay2k, I think all players should take on some form of yoga where it would benefit their particular sport. Ian didn't say what he has added to his routine. I think someone with a Twitter should ask him what new routine he is doing.

  125. natsfan1a - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    I'm not Mark, but given that Comcast reportedly had preliminary talks about acquiring MASN rights, I would think he might not be inclined to weigh in on the matter here.

  126. natsfan1a - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    (That was in re. Muddy's comment at 1:09, which I forgot to copy in my comment.)

  127. natsfan1a - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  128. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Well, yes, but, er, what if someone thinks it's in reference to his date?Dan, like my whoman fwiend Bigus, has a wife.

  129. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Mikey Morse tweeted a few days ago about doing hot yoga. Maybe the Nats only recommend it for players on the trading block. Come to think of it, LaRoche is about the last guy I'd ever expect to hear of doing hot yoga.

  130. Steady Eddie - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    waddu eye @ 2:17 wins the thread!222 – You raise a good point. All I was commenting on is what we non-sports doctors/non-clubhouse insiders can see from our keyboards and NatsPark seats. Based on the problems you named and others, I would hope that the Nats management team would be doing some pretty intense lessons learned reviews from these past problems (though the current team wasn't all in place in 2009 IIRC, let alone the days of the Chief), and taking from that some more systematic way of working through how they identify and manage treatment of these problems.From our bloggers/cheap (or even not-so-cheap) seats, we just can't see enough to learn much in the way of lessons on those situations.

  131. NCNatsie - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Waddu, and if they had had bloggers in those days, they would have been calling for you doctors to go straight to the leeches, instead of trying the incantations and eye of newt first.

  132. NCNatsie - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    From Mark's post re Haren:"The back spasms that briefly landed him on the disabled list in July never came back. And the ongoing hip issue has never forced him to miss a start in a 10-year career."What, rssults this good without an enhanced MRI?

  133. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    No doctor has a success rate of 100%. Why, they even have patients die on them all the time yet they manage to keep their jobs. Given that, the success rate of the Nats doctors looks pretty good. Zimmermann, Strasburg, Zimmerman, LaRoche and many more came back better than ever. Okay, so they had a couple of fails, like Flores, Shawn Hill, Patterson, etc. That's life.

  134. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    This is actually on topic,sortadoctors, beards

  135. Section 3, my sofa - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    You can't learn much from single data points. How do other sports teams' doctors do in this regard? Unless you have something to compare to, it's just a single point.

  136. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    "They don't run through the full bank of lung cancer screenings the very first day a patient shows up with a hacking cough."They did with Strasburg.

  137. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    It took a while before they fully tested Strasburg too. They were blinded by Miss Iowa's cleavage at first.

  138. MicheleS - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    1A. I have a feeling that the reason that we haven't heard about MASN is that MLB is trying HARD to get a deal together for someone to buy MASN.

  139. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    The reason we haven't heard anything about MASN is because they're waiting on Selig to make a decision. Same reason the A's are waiting on a new ballpark, same reason it took so long to get a team here. Patience. He's working on it, or so he always says.

  140. Section 222 - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    You just don't go injecting you into a joint without suspicion of a tear; you do a MRI and correlate the results with a patients symptoms as well as the examination. Injecting the dye is a more invasive procedure and, although rare, can cause problems from the injection. I assume you're not a doctor, but now you're playing one just as much as those of us who are disturbed because the enhanced MRI wasn't given sooner. I think I'll hold off on further commenting on this topic until the question I posed is asked and answered, but I do want to note that the timing of Espi's injury — right before the stretch run and the playoffs when he needed to be in top form, and close enough to the start of the 2013 season that time was of the essence in terms of having surgery and being ready to play — made quick and accurate diagnosis very important. That makes the situation much different from your garden variety weekend warrior sports injury or hacking cough.

  141. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Michele, the only way Angelos is selling MASN is if MLB finds someone who will overpay by more than FOX offered. I just don't see a quick end to it. I despise Angelos so my ultimate hope is that the award to the Nats was so large Angelos would be forced to sell.

  142. baseballswami - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    New post!

  143. SCNatsFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    sec 222 I am a doctor, sorry

  144. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    And here I thought SCNatsFan must have been this FeelWood guy.

  145. SonnyG10 - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    SCNatsFan said……Injecting the dye is a more invasive procedure and, although rare, can cause problems from the injection… January 28, 2013 2:11 PMIf medical protocol calls for going from less invasive to more invasive only if additional data is needed, can you imagine the lawsuit that would happen if a doctor did the more invasive first and ruined a players career?

  146. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    I agree that competitive athletes shouldn't have to wait for time-consuming medical protocols to run their course when instant solutions are available. I suppose that's why they destroy race horses when they break a leg.

  147. Section 222 - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    SCNats, you've played the trump card. And if Rizzo's answer is that the doctors tell him that the MRI arthrogram is more invasive and too risky to do right away, I'll defer. But I've had the procedure done, and I don't remember any discussion of risk that would make me think that it is great enough to warrant waiting a full month to do it if there's a need to get a good diagnosis right away.

  148. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    The doctors don't tell Rizzo how to do his job, so why should Rizzo get to tell them how to do theirs? Rizzo has always said that everything he does is based on doctor's orders. Why should he have to itemize each step of every procedure and indicate that he initialed his approval? This isn't the Journal of the AMA, is it?

  149. Section 222 - Jan 28, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Tony/Feel, I have no idea what your last comment is saying, but no one but you and I are reading this post still anyway. And we've had this argument before. Cheers.

  150. Luis - Jan 28, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Ladson likes to make up stuff that only makes sense to him.

  151. Tony - Jan 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Apparently so does Section 222.

  152. Rabbit34 - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Detwiler number 5, Haren number 4. It makes no difference. All the SPs could be number 1 starters somewhere else. All five can't start on the same day! It makes me feel good thinking Haren's worst year at 12-13, 4.33ERA is better than our number 1 starters for a long time! GO NATIONALS!!!!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
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.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

Follow us on Twitter