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Nats vs. Phillies – 3/6/13

Mar 6, 2013, 3:37 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Bright House Field, spring training home of the Phillies.

As far as spring training matchups go, they don't get much better than this: Stephen Strasburg vs. Roy Halladay. OK, so each right-hander might be limited to four or five innings, and neither is facing a complete, big-league lineup. Still, you take what you can get on March 6 (especially when it's snowing here in D.C.).

Strasburg should actually face a decent test today against the Phillies, who are sending several regulars to the plate, including Michael Young, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. The Nationals ace is coming off a strong start against the Mets in which he struck out six over three innings and displayed some remarkable command of his curveball and changeup for this early stage of the spring. We'll see if his fastball command improves today in Clearwater.

Strasburg and Denard Span are the only Nats regulars who made the 3-hour trip across the state from Viera, but there's one particularly interesting twist in this lineup: Anthony Rendon is not only hitting third, he's starting at shortstop for the first time. Davey Johnson has been working with the top prospect on his footwork at second base, but this might be the first step toward seeing just how versatile Rendon can be around the infield.

If you subscribe to MLB.tv, you can watch today's game live online at 1 p.m. If not, you can catch the replay at 9 p.m. on MLB Network…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Bright House Field, Clearwater
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: MLB.tv (live), MLB Network (delayed at 9 p.m.)
Radio: None
Weather: Sunny, 61 degrees, Wind 21 mph out to RF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
2B Steve Lombardozzi
SS Anthony Rendon
DH Tyler Moore

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138 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Theophilus T. S. - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Does Span feel insulted by having to play with the rest of this lineup? Does Halladay feel unrespected?

  2. SCNatsFan - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Why play Rendon at short? If Desi goes down then Espi moves there, and with Espi's shoulder shouldn't we be getting reps at 2B just in case?I guess this is why Rizzo hired Davey instead of me.

  3. Les_in_NC - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    I just want to say how tickled I was to see Colbert get trounced by the Dominican team. A little "welcome to the show", er, WBC exhibition game.

  4. Noirelune - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Hi guys,I don't write very often because English is not my native language.So here is a question for you. My little finger whisper to me that Drew Storen could be trade to the Tigers, who really need a closer.1) Do you think Rizzo will make a move?2) If if do, which player would he want for Storen?Best from Quebec

  5. sjm308 - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    SCNatsFan: I am certainly not qualified either but maybe its easier for Rendon to stay on that side of the infield at first and slowly make his way to second base. I am betting he is getting work on all 3 positions in drills and practice. The way he hits, I am sure they want to be able to move him up sooner than later. The more positions he can handle the better for right now (in my opinion). Theo: I actually love seeing lineups like this. The more I see the guys we honestly won't be seeing during the season, the better for me. It is early but I am sure Corey Brown and Marrero are really looking forward to making a statement. Skole has actually looked good in the few highlights I have seen at 3rd and I can't wait to see how Rendon handles SS. Except for catcher and SS this is pretty much the Phillies team we will see this year. Hope we can score about 1/2 the runs the Dominican's put up the other day.Go Nats!!!

  6. sjm308 - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Noirelune:No expert here but I don't think your little finger is whispering correctly. I think Storen is still young enough that Rizzo sees him as our closer in a couple years. I am not sure I trade either Clip or Storen but if the Tigers offered enough, I might gamble that Clippard might be the one to dangle out there. He has pitched a huge number of innings in the last 3 years and I just think we have plenty of depth with Mattheus, Stammen, Garcia (when healthy), and Kimball.On a non-baseball note, I can't wait to get back to your city! Great beer, history, the falls, and old town make this a wonderful trip and the people made it even more special.

  7. Noirelune - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    sjm308 :Thanks for your kind words about Quebec City. You know, we still miss our Expos and that is why I cheer for my Nationals since they moved from Montreal. It won't be long before I go to DC watch the Nats and play golf in your wonderful area (even if there is actually snow)Regards

  8. SCNatsFan - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    sjm, I agree about Clip, escpecially with his contract running out. While we wouldn't give him away, Detroit comes calling with a good offer and I bet Rizzo doesn't hang the phone up.

  9. Steady Eddie - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Theo — nobody's being disrespected. Everyone gets what Spring Training is about and how it works.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.)

  10. Candide - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    (New-posted from the last post.)"…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.

  11. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    SCNatsfan, if Rendon plays second, then Lombardozzi, not Espinosa (who did not make the trip), probably plays short. Might as well give the kid a look at the other side of the bag, you never know.

  12. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Not at all, and it's quite accurate in this case. :-)

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

    Postus interruptus alert: my comment related to Candide's comment. But y'all probably figured that out. :-)

  14. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Wow. Just wow.

  15. Steady Eddie - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Candide @11:33 — agree with 1a, in this case, at this point, "men" is simply descriptive. (My 12 year old aspires to make it no longer descriptive, but let her first make her middle school softball team when she's eligible next year, and then her HS team after that. I would be thrilled out of my mind if her highest achievement is getting a college scholarship to play softball, especially as we'll be at retirement age when she enters college!)

  16. TNealls - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    I think Span grew up in Tampa, he may have wanted to go on this trip.

  17. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    I heard on the radio that Davey was smiling because Clip threw three curve balls for strikes! Right now, I can't see why Rizzo would trade either Clip or Storen because what do we need except prospects? Maybe Porcello, but would he be willing to go to Syracuse as the 6th starter? I would expect Rizzo holds fast to see what injuries occur. Right now the bullpen is a strength, but he just spent $28million to make it a strength, so why deal now when we don't know yet what our need might be in June or July?

  18. Scooter - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Saw Rendon play a few innings at short in Orlando. The kid looked very smooth over there. I think y'all are gonna like what you see.

  19. Mac Guire - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    I think Davey is trying to give Span as many at bats as possible against division opponents so he can get familiar with what NLE pitching is like.

  20. blovy8 - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I would trade Clippard for Smyly, but I don't know why Detroit would do that.

  21. Candide - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Lest I be misunderstood: I APPROVE of the use of "men of the Washington Nats."

  22. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    I got that, Candide.

  23. Mac - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    "Candide said… Lest I be misunderstood: I APPROVE of the use of "men of the Washington Nats."We get it. You're anti-Drake.

  24. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    lol

  25. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    We get it. You're anti-Drake. Or anti-2-syllable non-gendered descriptions. To be fair, it sounds better in the original German.

  26. sjm308 - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    NatsLady – that is exactly what I was thinking Rizzo would do is trade for two top prospects. Again, I love Clip and would not give him away. I have no idea who the Tigers top prospects are, but if they are dangled out there for a reliever, Clippard would be my choice to offer. I just think its a case of selling high and buying low. Clippard will probably never have a higher value than right now. Again, just my opinion.

  27. Candide - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Boy the ball makes a loud crack off Rendon's bat. Bad luck it got caught, but what a sound.

  29. peric - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    I don't think Span should feel insulted at all? Nor should Strasburg.Tyler Moore may be the Nats best power hitter bar none. He may be the best run producer to bat behind Harper. His stats from last season relative to that category were off the chart. And it is why they were willing to let Michael Morse go and demur to Davey Johnson's preference for Adam LaRoche. They've got Moore plus, perhaps, Skole at some point. So, they are well positioned. And Skole is also in this line up.Lombardozzi is a starter in all but name. Corey Brown is major league ready … finally. And carries a big left-handed stick. Round out with Marrero, Solano, and Rivero and it still looks pretty good.All you need to do is compare the 2nd team scrubs in spring training to 2 years or more ago or even to last year!Its a pretty impressive lineup and I'm sure the Phillies will agree.

  30. Candide - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Sec. 3, My Sofa said…To be fair, it sounds better in the original German.Die menschen?Yuk.English, please.

  31. sjm308 - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Peric: I was thinking the same thing!! This is really a line-up that could probably play at the major league level and do better than several of our teams of the past.

  32. peric - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    "Why play Rendon at short? If Desi goes down then Espi moves there, and with Espi's shoulder shouldn't we be getting reps at 2B just in case?"Precisely WHY its shortstop. With Espy's shoulder can one rely on his ability to make it through the season? He is their best back up shortstop. After Espy who else is a good shortstop? Certainly NOT Lombardozzi. He is barely tenable at third base. Walters? Rendon may be the better fielder and certainly a major league ready bat. They want to find out if its possible to slide him into any of the three positions should the worst happen.Can you blame them?

  33. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    The Tigers have a terrible farm system, right now. Like the Nats, they've promoted or traded a lot of their best prospects and they have not had high draft picks.30) Detroit Tigers (last year, 23): Very thin in all respects. Strengths: Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia could help soon, and there are some potential role players behind them. Bullpen arms. Weaknesses: lack of depth almost everywhere, particularly hitting.2013 Farm Systems Rankedhttp://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/1/28/3925786/2013-baseball-farm-system-rankings

  34. peric - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    I can't see why Rizzo would trade either Clip or Storen because what do we need except prospects? Maybe for a guy like Aroldis Chapman. They still need to shore up the left-handed contingent in the minors. Both Purke and Solis are going to be rehabbing from their surgeries. And they lost Rosenbaum to rule 5. There really isn't much there outside of Mooneyham I guess. The Tigers really don't have anything they need at this point.

  35. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Erpel? No, wait. Ente? [AFLAC]Sec. 3, My Sofa said… Or anti-2-syllable non-gendered descriptions. To be fair, it sounds better in the original German. March 06, 2013 1:00 PM

  36. RickH - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Stras has five strike-outs in the first two innings. Not bad!

  37. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    sjm, You are not getting 2 top prospects for a reliever; any reliever. I think that Nats Lady is right in that there is no reason to trade any one from the pen at this time.

  38. baseballswami - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Wagner stated on twitter that Stras was unravelling , but except for the plunking of Utley, it doesn't sound like anything was hit very hard.

  39. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Swami, Who is Wagner? I wouldn't lose any sleep worrying about Stras. He'll answer the bell when the time comes.

  40. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Nice job by Abad, with 2 on, gets easy grounder to 1B.

  41. sjm308 - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Agreed JD, that Clip or any other reliever would bring that high a bounty. I was just responding to a question on here about whether the nationals would be interested if the Tigers came calling. I had no idea their system was so weak and its the only thing I think Rizzo would want/need at this point is to stock up his minor league system.

  42. tayo - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Really hate when Umpires get Lazy and don't call obvious strikes just because the catcher doesn't catch the ball.

  43. sjm308 - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Wagner is one of the two Post beat writers and does a pretty good job. I also think if you allow 3 singles and hit a batter its probably fair to say the pitcher is having a rough go. Hit hard or not its 2-0 phillies.

  44. Teddy Rochlis - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    You guys are forgetting the possibility of a 3 way trade, we can always get farm if a team is desperate for porcello, it does not have to just be us and the tigers

  45. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Besides, plunking Utley is a tradition. SS is probably just going all Old School and Prestigious on him. ;-)

  46. baseballswami - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Definitely not Stras' best outing but plenty of time until opening day. Mostly singles, I think. First two innings were solid. He will be ready . Every batter, every inning , you can almost feel him making mental notes and learning. Intense guy.

  47. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Anyway, I don't think you ever trade Clip. Fireballers come and go, but Clip has his eye on a career like Mariano's. Or, if he can improve his efficiency (curve ball?), starting again.

  48. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Stras did not look happy in the dugout. No one comes near him when he's in THAT mood! Not even to remind him it doesn't count…

  49. sjm308 - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    NL – I don't have the ability to watch and have to rely on the Post live updates which are probably way late. What did the broadcasters say about Halladay throwing behind Tyler Moore? Retaliation in Spring Training??

  50. baseballswami - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I am using game day , which is often behind and sometimes mixed up, but it's free. So that Rendon kid can hit, no?

  51. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    He can hit but he just made an error when he took his eye off the ball in a simple grounder. Didn't hear anything about retaliation, sjm, but I wasn't watching every pitch in the early innings.

  52. baseballswami - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    So on the replay of the home run you can hear the Fooly announcers saying it wasn't hit all that hard, just got up into a wind current. Sure…..

  53. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Even Rendon's outs are hard hit. Have to like that HR to show the Phillies how deep the Nats are!

  54. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Here's the Rendon video of the HRhttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25672935&c_id=was&partnerId=tw_content_WAS

  55. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Swami, I just saw a replay. It was hit pretty well. There is no doubt the kid can hit he just needs to stay healthy. I don't think it's a great idea to move him all over the place just yet. At the end of the day something will have to give because Rendon won't be a utility infielder playing all infield positions. I still think that Peric's scenario is the most realistic in the long run if there is no trade involved.

  56. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Kimball and Abad took a couple of steps backwards in the race for the final bullpen spot.

  57. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    JD, yes, Abad did not pitch well against the major-league lefties.

  58. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Atahaulpa Severino took over with a no-hitter for the Dominican's vs Yankees and he just gave up the no-hitter and the shut-out and just got pulled.

  59. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Mark is on ESPN 980

  60. Candide - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    So Rendon now has three gale-assisted dingers this spring. Punk is totally overrated.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    NatsLady said… JD, yes, Abad did not pitch well against the major-league lefties. There are some people still thinking about trading a reliever like Clippard to a conender like the Tigers.You can't think like it's 2008 and the Nats will trade for prospects. If anything, I think Rizzo is looking for another reliever and another starter.The #6 starter is still a weakness and now with a few injuries, the depth in the bullpen isn't where we thought it would be.

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Another thought on relievers and how some of the analysts view them that JimBo thinks Rizzo had a great off-season especially with the signing of Rafy Soriano. JimBo commented that Rafael Soriano may be the player that tips the World Series in the Nats favor over the Tigers!

  63. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    You know, they are not allowed to use smokeless tobacco in the minors. Cutter Dykstra has a huge "chaw," taking advantage of being in a major-league game, for sure.

  64. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Cutter Dykstra up at bat and now batting 1.000

  65. MicheleS - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    So have been reading the tweets of some of the phillie beat writers. I hated the philly fans and now I am really beginning to dislike the players. Seriously, Doc throws at Tyler to send a message in a ST Game. Stay Classy Philadelphia

  66. Doc - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Couple of observations of recent games, DEspi is collecting lots of hits from the Left Side, and has the average to go with it.Also, EDavis should be in the conversation for the BP, if he isn't already.Rendon is already a ML hitter. Abad was Thatbad today–3 LH batters, and 3 hits!

  67. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Heather Zimmerman‏@HeatherZiMSI've got a cookbook & a kitchen ready for gourmet action, but this is all the hubby wants… 😒 http://instagr.am/p/Wh84-NqjNe/____________________________________________I'm trying not to judge about just wanting Rice Krispy Treats as your meal.

  68. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Did she mention a meal? Perhaps she was referring to gourmet desserts vs. Rice Krispies treats. Perhaps we really need some baseball to watch. :-)

  69. Knoxville Nat - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Michele,Just exactly what are the Phillie beat writers tweeting?

  70. baseballswami - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    So, next time Tyler faces him he will steal home? Rather see him hit it all the way into the Delaware River.

  71. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    NatsFan1a, the Instagram photo was Rice Krispies and marshmellows in a mixing bowl.

  72. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Halladay on the throw that went behind Moore "It slipped" and then he smiled.A quote from me, "Halladay, is fake tough"

  73. Steady Eddie - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    JD — Davey isn't moving Rendon around to make him a utility/bench guy to fill in a couple of innings here and there. He's doing it because Rendon needs to be a regular wherever he plays, and Davey — and Rizzo — wants to be ready to get him in the lineup should a gaping hole unexpectedly open up. Otherwise he's likely staying in Syracuse for a while.But I also would give decent odds that peric's scenario — of Espi's shoulder giving out by his throwing himself around the field — may happen sooner than later. And if that happens, you want Rendon's bat in the lineup rather than Lombo's. Plus you would then need Rendon up with the big team to be able to give Desi and Zim a rest at times, which you don't want Lombo to be doing (his glove is OK but his arm is not at those positions).

  74. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Yes, I know. I looked at it.Gonat said… NatsFan1a, the Instagram photo was Rice Krispies and marshmellows in a mixing bowl. March 06, 2013 4:42 PM

  75. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  76. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    IDK, if I were TyMo I'd be flattered. Strasburg hit Utley, so Halladay wants to reciprocate, but who can he hit? None of the regulars made the trip except Strasburg, who isn't batting, and Span, who just got here and thus is not the guy you go after. Really, it's between Lombo and Moore.

  77. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Corrected version (I *really* need some baseball to watch).My point was that there was no mention of a meal in the post to which you linked, so it does not (to me) follow that RZ just wanted RK treats as his meal, as you stated. Rather, she may have meant that she was equipped to make him a gourmet dessert, but he preferred RK treats. Again, I think we need to see a baseball game so we won't be reduced to reading the tea leaves (or marshmallows). ;-)

  78. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Steady, My point about Rendon and it's just my opinion is that he still needs to go down to Harrisburg and conquer that level while staying healthy. Unlike other posters I am not yet sold on the idea that he's 100% ready for the majors; he may be or he may not be and I don't think an AFL season and 25 at bats in early spring training prove anything conclusively. Using that line of thinking it seems to me that he'd be better of playing his best position every day. Having said all of that I, like the others agree that Anthony Rendon is a top flight grade A prospect.

  79. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    What's all this stuff talking about Rendon staying healthy. He's healthy now and that's all you can ask for. Rizzo wants him to get reps meaning regular reps and that means AA. There's no place for Rendon to play every day right now for the Nats.Espi is the starting 2nd baseman for the Nats, Desi is the starting SS for the Nats, and Ryan Z is the starting 3rd baseman for the Nats.

  80. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Why is everyone over looking Zach Duke as the 6th starter? He's basically John Lannan with a little more talent AND able to pitch out of the bull pen.

  81. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    NatsJack, not sure if you looked the last time Zach Duke was a starter in Arizona in 2011. His ERA was 5.47 and his WHIP was 1.628 and he was shoved in the bullpen.A little more talent than Lannan? I don't think so.

  82. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Did you know this– in 2012 Nats pinch hitters had the highest average in MLB (.288)? That is a tremendous advantage, especially in NL games.

  83. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Gonat….Zach has altered his deliver so that his mechanics are repeatable and is much improved over his 2010 and 2011 efforts.While he is ticketed as the lefty long man, I'm pretty sure Davey and McCatty would have no problem plugging him in for a spot start or two.The Nats still need to sign a veteran starter for Syracuse if Young doesn't work out.

  84. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    NJ, I'm not—I was thinking exactly that yesterday. He's been going multiple innings and hasn't given up a run. Gonat, as was pointed out, almost exactly a year ago Houston, the worst team in MLB, released Duke, and look where he is now. Things change, guys mature. Yes, he could be "only" Gorzelanny, that could be his ceiling. We just don't know yet. It would depend on his effieciency and whether he can have three working pitches. But I would say, it depends more on how long we need the "6th starter." If it's a season-ending injury, then Rizzo will probably go outside the organization–who knows, if it's June 15 and Lohse is still out there–/ If it's a 15-day DL stint, look for some combination of Duke/Stammen/Perry etc. with no one expected to go more than 5 innings.

  85. MurrayTheRed - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Sorry I had to work and couldn't watch the game – where exactly did SS hit Utley?

  86. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    NatsJack, I'm still thinking no other teams were knocking down Zach's door for a starters job so here he is. Can he be better than Lannan, I hope he can be because he may very well be the de facto 6th starter.

  87. Gonat - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    NatsLady, you said that very eloquently on the Gorzo meter!

  88. JD - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    NatsJack, I think Duke would be fine but I think he's penciled in to the Gorzo role and that will be valuable to the point where using him to start might upset the entire bullpen set up. I too am concerned that if we lose a starter for a significant period there would be a big drop off (to Maya?). I think Young is a reasonable alternative if he agrees to pitch in Syracuse and I think we also got Ohlendorf; right? You won't get someone like Lohse to be a no. 6 so really it's just a question of depth.

  89. Anna Peregrina - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Murraythered, hit him on the foot, I heard one commentator say on the spikes?

  90. MurrayTheRed - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    On the foot, and Holiday felt the need to retaliate – that team really is a bunch of —- I can't complete this sentence as I would like on the internet.

  91. baseballswami - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Yeah- they are a whiny bunch. I have relatives in that area and they all seem to share a certain paranoia. It gets old.

  92. UnkyD - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    If Lohse doesn't sign anywhere…does the penalty pick, for signing him disappear, at some point?

  93. MicheleS - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Rosenthal's fake twitter person is back with false PED Suspension reports. Poor Ken.. I think he gets it the worst of all the sports writers.

  94. UnkyD - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    JD: I think Ohlendorf was cut, earlier this week?

  95. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    "There's no place for Rendon to play every day right now for the Nats.Espi is the starting 2nd baseman for the Nats, Desi is the starting SS for the Nats, and Ryan Z is the starting 3rd baseman for the Nats."Then they need to make a place for him. He is not only the best hitter on the entire team, he is also the best power hitter they've got. I mean, the guy has hit 4 balls out of the park in 20 ABs, one of which was snagged by the Mets CFer when he was able to go up and over the left center field fence to bring that one back into the park. That's 1 HR in every 5 ABs, folks. Of course, he can't keep that up, but no one else on the entire team makes contact like Anthony Rendon, nor does it as often as he. And they are going to send him back down? He can learn to play 2nd base up here as easily as down there, and is less likely to get hurt playing on the immaculate IF of Nats' Park than in the relatively primitive conditions down there. Danny still has an option. Since when is a spot on a major league roster a matter of entitlement, rather than merit? That kid Rendon is the best hitter they've got. Tell me who's better.And it was only last year that "John's my guy" Lannan was sent down to make way for a better pitcher. Rendon should be in the opening day lineup unless they can find someone who's better by the end of ST. They won't. And if they don't, then the best man should stay, and someone else should go down and get the reps to learn to be the IF utility guy.

  96. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Rendon will be in the opening day line up. He'll be starting in Harrisburg where he was last seen hitting about .225.

  97. peric - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    The only problem Laddie Blah Blah is …Rendon is going to play third base …Have you seen Ryan Zimmerman playing at third base yet this spring? How many years how many injuries? And last I looked Rendon was younger than Zim?There's a reason why LaRoche has a 2 year contract and it has nothing to do with T-Mo and Skole and everything to do with Zim moving across the diamond. Danny isn't moving and neither is Desmond.Two years ago you were ready to option Desmond to the minors. Rizzo wants the best fielding most athletic infield in baseball. Once Rendon moves to third and Zim to first they've got it.

  98. baseballswami - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    I think Rendon has talent but the sample size is still small. Tyler Moore had the best rate of home runs per at bat last season but that might not hold over time. Rendon needs a full season at some minor league level where he has to face decent pitchers who will see him over and over. Unrelated, but the Yankees are breaking down . I think it's silly to blame the WBC if a guy strains his wrist practicing. Wouldn't that have happened in Arizona or New York ? I mean, maybe they are all breaking because the are getting old.

  99. tayo - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    All this debate about Zimmerman possible moving to 1st. I guess he will be great defensively there and would put up good numbers, but will he be able to put up power numbers like an elite first basemen can?

  100. Candide - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    baseballswami said… I think Rendon has talent but the sample size is still small…Rendon needs a full season at some minor league level where he has to face decent pitchers who will see him over and over.Swami,I think you can find almost exactly those words posted here a year ago; just substitute the name "Harper" for "Rendon."If he has 10 HR and OPS of 1.200 at the end of March, what do you send him down for? To work on his grammar?

  101. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Rendon will be in minor league camp by the middle of next week where he can get at bats and infield reps everday till Harrisburgs opening day.

  102. UnkyD - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    "If he has 10 HR and OPS of 1.200 at the end of March, what do you send him down for? To work on his grammar"————————Hehehe…. Good one, Candide!I think if Rendon continues like this at Harrisburg/Syracuse, the only way he doesn't come up, is if the IF collectively is tearing it up…. Win/win!!!

  103. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    I don't see Rendon as being a rare talent like Harper, although I do think he will be a very good player. If he tears it up in the minors and we end up needing him, then he will certainly be brought up.

  104. Gonat - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    If Espi is doing his job, then there is nowhere for Rendon until September.As they say, that's a big IF.

  105. Gonat - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    baseballswami, Harper wasn't exactly lighting it up in the Minors and Davey and Rizzo knew what they had and the same goes with Rendon.

  106. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    I think they are smart enough to see process, not just results. The main factor with Harper was not his performance, it was the Nats' need of him because of injuries. If not for the DL, Harper and Moore stay down. That is not a predictable factor. We don 't need him here, he stays where he is.

  107. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    "He'll be starting in Harrisburg where he was last seen hitting about .225."He was last seen hitting .400 this afternoon. Before that, he was seen tearing up the AFL last fall. If you want to go even further back, he hit 28 HRs his freshman year at Rice, while striking out only 19 times over the season.You can cherry pick any number you want to from the past. The kid is the best hitter in ST, bar none, right now.

  108. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Being the best hitter in spring training is a dubious distinction. He is trying to prove himself and get noticed. Most of the guys are trying to get ready for the regular season without getting hurt. It's fun to watch the young, talented, hungry ones. He is making the impression he wants to make. I am sure that it is being duly noted.

  109. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Spring training numbers do not mean anything. Tell me who led the Nats in avg., obp, home runs, rbi's or any other category last year in Spring Training and I'll tell you a big "whoop".Tell me how they did in their respective assigned regular season stats and I'll listen.

  110. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    And no…. he's not the best hitter in camp. The squaring up everything is Bryce.

  111. NatsLady - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Yes, the "penalty" for signing Lohse goes away with the Rule 4 (amateur) draft at the beginning of June.

  112. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    The guy

  113. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    In spring training I am pretty sure they are supposed to be tracking pitches, seeing a lot of pitches, working on their approach. It doesn't always show in the box score but will affect readiness for the season. Harper does appear to be locked in. He has also had a lot if at bats.

  114. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    "I don't see Rendon as being a rare talent like Harper, although I do think he will be a very good player."We agree to disagree. They are both phenomenal talents, but in very different ways. Harper works his game, is constantly tweaking his approach and adjusting his swing mechanics. I don't think you will ever see Rendon changing his approach or his swing. He doesn't have to. The kid is a natural. There is no one else on the team who can do what Rendon does so effortlessly and so effectively.I broke down his swing last fall, and I don't want to repeat that lengthy exercise, again. Suffice to say, whenever you see Rendon square up a baseball with that swing, count yourself privileged to have just borne witness to an extraordinary feat of baseball athleticism. No one else on the Nats has that swing, and few, if any, have the physical talent to execute it, even if they wanted to.He has the kind of swing mechanics that endure over a long career, like Hank Aaron's, because he and Aaron are/were among the few who could execute it consistently. One of these days FP will get Rendon on some super slo mo and go over his swing mechanics. His are different from those of anyone else on the Nats. FP probably knows about some other players who could pull it off, besides Aaron and Anthony. Ain't many.The kind of talent Rendon has is very rare. Harper is a thinking man's player, whose head is always in the game. He changes bats, he changes his stance, he dials up his swing, or dials it down, he uses a full body torque or he uses his hands, instead, he uses a leg kick one time, and a toe tap another time, and on and on and on, until he finds something that works for him. That is part of why he will be a great player. But Rendon's hitting is instinctive. The WaPo asked him about his swing a couple of days ago, and Rendon could not really explain it in a coherent way. That's just as well. He's better off just going up there and doing what comes naturally to him, and to no one else on the Nats' team.

  115. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    "Spring training numbers do not mean anything."Tell that to John Lannan. He may have a different take, based on what happened to him in ST last year.

  116. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    "And no…. he's not the best hitter in camp. The squaring up everything is Bryce."Harper has squared up one HR, and Rendon has knocked 4 out of the park. Facts, NatsJack, facts.

  117. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    "Being the best hitter in spring training is a dubious distinction."To whom? I suspect Davey and Rizzo do not detect anything dubious about it.

  118. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    "Rendon is going to play third base …Have you seen Ryan Zimmerman playing at third base yet this spring? How many years how many injuries? And last I looked Rendon was younger than Zim?"That could be, but not until ALR is an ex-Nat. Ironic that it is Rendon who is healthy and Ryan (Espinosa, too) who has questions about his health coming into camp. It is certainly possible they are worried enough about Ryan to keep playing Rendon at 3rd and SS, for now. If Ryan has to sit, I think I know who will the everyday guy at 3rd until RZ is ready to come back.

  119. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Ok, ok, no one is saying Rendon isn't good! He probably will be. Just a bit early to elect him to the hall of fame. We'll see. We all win if you are right. We will get a superstar and you will get to say you were right.

  120. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Hitting home runs against A level pitching and squaring up everything thrown at you are 2 different things. The difference between actually seeing each at bat and reading stats is why professionals employ scouts.

  121. Gonat - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Spring Training is a try-out for those like Rendon but he is trying out for a spot that is only hypothetical at this point because it doesn't exist in Washington right now.The starting infielders are RZim, Desi, Espi and LaRoche.Also keep in mind that Morse was on the DL to start the 2012 season and Rizzo still waited for the Super 2 cut-off on April 28th to call up Bryce.Let's just say Espi wasn't ready to go on April 1st, I still don't see Rendon taking his spot because of the Super 2 and the fact he hasn't taken game reps at 2nd.

  122. Candide - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    What about the Davey factor? He has a long history of bringing up talent before anyone else thought they were ready. Mightn't he decide that Rendon is ready, and that he's going to find a place for talent, no matter what?

  123. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    If there are lots of injuries ( making anti- curse gestures right now), Davey could. What happens with Rendon from this moment on is absolutely not predictable. Depends on how he does and tons of other variables. Bryce was at the middle of a very imperfect storm. We will have to watch and see how it plays out.

  124. Gonat - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Candide, yes, and it will only happen after April 28th because of Super 2 and it will only happen if he can start.Read between the lines, it means an injury or Espi just falling apart.Rizzo would much rather wait until after the June deadline so Rendon doesn't qualify for 4 years of arbitration, but he won't hestitate if there is a real need like calling up Harper extra early last year, but again they waited until April 28th.Rendon could really benefit from a few months in AA. I know some don't want to hear that but he does need to get those reps at 2nd, SS, and 3rd.

  125. Gonat - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    I think Davey was more impressed by Rendon's 1st AB vs. Halladay which was a roped liner that was caught than the HR against Durbin that did catch some air.

  126. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    I am watching today's game on MLB. Amazing how many things the Phils announcers have already gotten wrong.

  127. NatsLady - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    New Post: A Tale of Two Hitters (Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond). I think I'm getting the hang of this….Two Hitters (OK, Three)http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-tale-of-two-hitters.html

  128. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    Now that I am watching Strasburg's second inning- no big deal. Infield hit, bunt, weak contact. He hit Utley. Nothing hit hard, nothing out of the infield. His breaking stuff was bugs- bunny stuff.

  129. SCNatsFan - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Zim plays 3B until he doesn't want to. If Rendon squeezes into this lineup as a starter it won't be at the hot corner.

  130. Scooter - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:04 AM

    I just watched a bunch of the game. As the guy who said y'all would like Rendon at short, let me just say, "Oops."Bad day. It happens.

  131. DWS - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    Nice read Natslady. Deserves a link on the left side. No offense game 158.

  132. BigCat - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Laddie….you must be related to Rendon. Good God man, the kid hasn't done doodily squat when its counted. Whats that old saying "Hit .250, then pop off!"Take a deep breath

  133. Doc - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Well Big Cat you're right, our boy Rendon has a ways to go.But he'll get there, if he stays healthy. If there was room, and a need, Davey'd have him on the 25 man as we speak. On most ML teams he'd be on his way to opening day in The Show in 3 weeks.But yeah, he's the next 3,000 hit player in the making. Small hitch/loop in his swing, but one batter's hitch is another batter's timing mechanism.

  134. BigCat - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    3000 hits? Come on man. And Laddie….yes….20+ dingers as a freshman at Rice. Of course, when they got the trampoline metal bat out of his hands, he had 6 as a senior. Just sayin.Look, no one is saying the kid doesn't have potential. I hope he is a great player, cause that will make the Nats better. But lets just put him down in Harrisburg and see how he does.

  135. Daylos - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Not exactly sure I'd start comparing Rendon to Aaron quite yet either…

  136. Scooter - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Crap! And now I found out this morning that Rendon didn't make that error. So, I guess he was okay after all. I have to put this here now, just so I'm not slandering anyone.

  137. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Duly noted, Scooter. You're a good egg. :-)

  138. realdealnats - Mar 7, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    I'm in the Rendon Camp with Laddie and Candide, though I expect we will not see him until after April 28th. Maybe even the June deadline. I like he'll get the reps, but don't like him on questionable fields. And if they decide to really move him up the ladder literally, I don't like him playing in Syracuse where it is cold. I think that might be one reason Bryce only hit in the 250s there.What I do hope to see is Rendon coming up after the June deadline and basically taking over Lombo's role. I think Rendon will even surpass Moore and Tracy for coming off the bench to PH cold. He could be devastating in that role on days he is not starting as he gives Zimm or Desi or Espi a rest.This is one of those long term deals you cheat at–b/c this is the first real year of the window for winning it all. And if you win this year you might just win a couple more. But if you don't the pressure starts. And he can help in too many ways. And he can learn what he needs to learn around major league talent and Davey.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 +0.5
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's early games

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WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
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