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Beltway Baseball: On Zim and the bullpen

Mar 6, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

For our first installment of Beltway Baseball this season, Chase Hughes and I discussed the overall quiet nature of Nats camp so far, Ryan Zimmerman’s return from shoulder surgery and the wide-open battle for the final spot in the Opening Day bullpen. We’ll post another segment tomorrow morning with more impressions from the first half of spring training and then will post our reader Q&A on Friday morning. Enjoy!

  1. MicheleS - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I love waking up to baseball on a snowy day. Beltway baseball and now onto the WBC.Enjoy the snow everyone!

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Snow…..ughh. Don't miss that stuff at all.

  3. Joe Seamhead - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Jack, I don't tweet very good, but trying to figure the best way to meet up.We'll be down there Tuesday, staying in Ccoa Beach LaQuinta.We'll be at Weds game at Space Coast. Will you?

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Joe…. yep. I'll be in my seats in section 111, row 3 seat 9.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Cool. I'll see you on Weds. Don't need anything more to excite us to go down there, but this snow is making The Sunshine State look better all the time. We live in a somewhat rural area and seem to always be the first to lose power and the last to get it back.Back to topic, that would be pretty cool for Abad if he were to get that last spot, at least to start.But who would've thought M. Gonzalez would pitch for us last year, and do as well as he did? If he makes it, I see Abad filling his role.

  6. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Jack, are you going to the game today?

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Just a few notes on early observations in Spring Training.Danny Espinosa has exhibited better plate discipline with far fewer swings and misses and a much "quieter" swing from the left side.Wilson Ramos really looked comfortable in his first 3 innings behind the plate yesterday. Anthony Rendon is a natural hitter. And he will hit with more power than people think.It was good to see Corey Brown finally square one up yesterday as he seems to be pressing pretty hard at the plate and in the field.Carlos Rivero will probably be placed on waivers unless something really improves at the plate and especially in the field.Zack Walters has held his own and looks like a solid utility guy down the road.I need to see Abad a few more times but what he's shown so far looks good.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Gonat…. no. Today is my one full day of work.

  9. NCNatsie - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye — Any and all Nats Insiders are invited to DUFFY’S IRISH PUB, 2106 VERMONT AVE NW, on Sunday afternoon, March 24 from 1 – 3:30 PM for the official recording by the Nats Insiders Chorus of “Let’s All Cheer for the Washington Nats,” the rousing, joyous Nats fight song written by Yours Truly and arranged by Waddu Eye No.And, if you have singing talent, you’re also invited to join Waddu, Nats Lady, Section 222 Ron in Reston and various other ringer singers in the chorus. Even if, as in my case, the only singer in your family is a sewing machine, you may be able to be part of the recording, as there are a couple of places where there are shouted words.Or you can just observe and be part of the crowd. The whole thing is strictly a volunteer effort at this point. What we hope to wind up with is a You Tube recording to get the ball rolling toward – I don’t know, maybe nothing. Time will tell. What we’re going for is sort of a mini-flash-crowd look. If the thing goes viral, you could be part of history.Dress code is your finest Nats gear. Or whatever.To RSVP, or ask questions, just email gfyngpfb@gmail.com — a special address Waddu has set up for the project. If you want a copy of the sheet music, he’ll be happy to send it to you. RSVP’s would be very helpful so we can give Duffy a sense of how many folks we’re expecting.If nothing else, there’ll be great fun, a chance to meet cyberfriends and other Nats fans, and Duffy’s great food and cold beer for sale.I’ll post this a few more times between now and the 24th for those who didn’t see this post but may be interested nonetheless.

  10. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Jack, I guess you will be watching with the rest of us tonight on TV

  11. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    NCNatsie, can you post up the song again. Thanks!

  12. Andrew L. - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I was coming on here to share a music video that Luis Albisu just shared with a bunch of ushttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOA6yjw2w_sLooking forward to NC's music video!

  13. Steady Eddie - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Joe S. — let us know what you think of the Cocoa Beach La Quinta as we're staying there for four nights the last week of March.

  14. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Not sure whether I'll make it, as Sundays are pretty busy, but that's awesome, Natsie! I believe that an afternoon game will be broadcast on MASN that day?

  15. sjm308 - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    NCNatsie: sounds like fun BUT my grandson turns two that day and we are hosting the party (this is obviously not Kieran). I will be with you guys in spirit and will look forward to the video

  16. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    NatsJack, We're heading to Florida tomorrow (weather and airlines permitting). We'll try to find you over the weekend.

  17. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    NCNatsie, Where are your seats again?

  18. Steady Eddie - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Interesting — looking at the lineups and Nats pitchers for today, while it's doubtful that most of the Nats' AAA hitters (other than Rendon and maybe Marrero, the way he's going so far) could keep up with Doc, the Nats' pitchers will be an interesting test of how our most advanced AAA guys are doing. Other than Maya (who hasn't been terrible), Stras' relievers will be Abad, Davis, and Kimball. (Although Davis and especially Kimball will likely be facing AAA talent themselves by that late in the game.)

  19. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    "Danny Espinosa has exhibited better plate discipline with far fewer swings and misses and a much "quieter" swing from the left side."I wish those games had been televised back here, so I could see what he's been doing. As the K rate goes down and the contact rate goes up, his BA and OBP will benefit. Dialing back that swing is a good start. Good to hear. I always thought his main problem was between his ears."Anthony Rendon is a natural hitter. And he will hit with more power than people think."Not I. Rendon is a power hitter, and always has been. The games I've seen on MLB and MASN, up here, have shown a guy who rips the cover off the ball almost every time he gets a hit. No squibblers (like Perez' hits), no rollers squeaking through the infield, and no bloopers falling in behind the IF and in front of the OF. Everything he squares up is absolutely scorched. Looks like he is fully healed and healthy for the first time since his freshman year at Rice. And yet he's so small and innocuous looking. That guy with a stick is like Toscanini with a baton – the maestro. They have to get his bat in the lineup."It was good to see Corey Brown finally square one up yesterday as he seems to be pressing pretty hard at the plate and in the field."That's been my impression, too. Same with Moore. Those guys will hit, but barring injury, neither will start. At least Moore will likely be on the bench in the bigs, while Corey seems destined to spend yet another year playing at a high level in AAA. But he can't let that get him down. You never know.Thanks for the updates.

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    JD…..I'll be in Kissimmee Thursday right next to the Nats dugout towards home plate against the Astros and in my seat in sec. 111 for the Cards and the Fish Friday and Saturday. Look forward to seeing you.

  21. NCNatsie - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Gonat, I don't believe there's a way to post the music, but Waddu will send it to you from gyfngpfb@gmail.com. Here are the lyrics:Let’s All Cheer for the Washington NatsBreak out the gloves and balls and batsLet’s all cheer for the Washington NatsThey’re gonna win, so tip your hatsTo the mighty men of the Washington Nats.And when the innings all are played,We’ll lead the Victory Parade.We’ll beat the Braves and Mets and FishAnd make the Phillies swish, swish, swishAnd when the pennant race is wonThe winner will be Washington. So…Break out the gloves and balls and batsLet’s all cheer for the Washington NatsThey’re gonna win, so tip your hatsTo the mighty men of the Washington Nats.And thirty years seem now as naught.And all the longing long forgot.When on a sultry summer’s nightThe Capitol is gleaming brightFrom down the street a roar will come…The Nats just scored another run. So…Break out the gloves and balls and batsLet’s all cheer for the Washington NatsThey’re gonna win, so tip your hatsTo the mighty men of the Washington Nats.We’re first in war and first in peaceAnd first at last in the National EastRepublicans and Democrats,Will have their feuds and fights and spats.On this all parties can agreeThe Nationals and victory. So…Break out the gloves and balls and batsLet’s all cheer for the Washington NatsThey’re gonna win, so tip your hatsTo the mighty men…To the mighty men…To the mighty men of the Washington Nats. Go Nats!

  22. NCNatsie - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    JD, look for us in Sect 102 Row 5 Seats 5-16. We'll be there Friday and Saturday.

  23. waddu eye no - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    want to hear a midi file of the music? as natsie says – gyfngpfb@gmail.combtw – mark – "We'll post another segment tomorrow morning with more impressions"i didn't know you did impressions! the man is amazing!gyfng

  24. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    NatsJack & NCNatsie, looking forward. I just hope we make it out of New Jersey tomorrow.

  25. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Waddu eye no -Sent a response to "gfyngpfb@gmail.com" but it came back as undeliverable.

  26. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Nice song but eeeew–you got politics in my baseball. (Yes, I do understand that it's DC and all but still….eeew…imho…ymmv. :-))

  27. Candide - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    "…mighty men of the Washington Nats" is refreshingly sexist. I get tired of hearing announcers talking about how teams have two "people" on base, or how teams have good "people" in their lineups.Men: It's not a dirty word.

  28. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. UnkyD - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Laddie… Look closely…dyslexia kills

  30. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Not at all, and it's quite accurate in this case. :-) Candide said… "…mighty men of the Washington Nats" is refreshingly sexist. I get tired of hearing announcers talking about how teams have two "people" on base, or how teams have good "people" in their lineups. Men: It's not a dirty word. March 06, 2013 11:30 AM

  31. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    "Laddie… Look closely…dyslexia kills.."That could very well be. That's why I copied the address directly from NCNatsie's comment and pasted it in the address field (just like I copied and pasted it here – gyfngpfb@gmail.com) of the email I sent.

  32. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Laddie, your 10:37 comment had this gfyngpfb@gmail.com rather than this gyfngpfb@gmail.com

  33. Navy Nats Fan - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    NCNatsie's original email had the address wrong. Error carried forward. Partial credit.

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