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Beltway Baseball: Who has impressed?

Mar 7, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

In Part 2 of our spring training edition of Beltway Baseball, Chase Hughes and I discuss a couple of first-round draft picks who have really stood out through the first few weeks of camp: Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon. We also talk about the calming influence Davey Johnson has on the Nats’ clubhouse and what he said to his players last summer during their longest losing streak of the year. Make sure to check back tomorrow morning for our reader Q&A.

  1. MicheleS - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Wait! Mark's getting a TV SHOW! SWEET. will have to follow that on Twitter as well @CSNBaseballShow.Thanks Chase & Mark. Always like hearing about the depth of the team. Hopefully Chris Young goes to AAA.

  2. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    And set the DVR – yay!

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Scooter from the last post, if you are commenting on Rendon's shortstop defense based on the error the Phillies announcers attributed to him, that was not Rendon, that was Walters.

  4. Gonat - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Is that a bathroom in the far right-hand corner?

  5. baseballswami - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Watched the game last night. Some of you criticize Carp as a homer– oh, my, you should listen to the Philly guys. Second inning phi scored 2 runs on an infield hit, bunt, RBI out- nothing out of the infield. In the sixth we put some nice hits together where the balls actually reached the outfield and they called them " cheap hits"- said Rendon did not hit the ball well, it just got into the wind. They are constant with their excuses, their pet players can do no wrong, and everyone one else just gets lucky breaks. I did not know whether to laugh or scream.

  6. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Yes, for those who didn't see the tweet last night, "The Baseball Show" will debut March 21 at 7:30 pm on CSN. More details to come, but it's a 30-minute weekly show hosted by Rob Carlin and myself that will feature interviews, analysis, roundtable discussions and even some interaction with all of you! Really looking forward to being a part of it, and I hope everyone makes a point to watch and become a regular viewer. Like I said, more details to come.And no, there's no bathroom in the background of this Beltway Baseball video. That's the CSN newsroom behind us.

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    that's awesome Mark. congrats!

  8. APMcV - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    I think the bigest issue the Nats will have to face moving forward into next season is how they'll replace Davey Johnson. After seeing what Bobby V did last year up in Boston it's the only thing that worries me about our beloved Nats.

  9. sjm308 - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Congratulation Mark – will set the dvr accordingly. I am hoping you move the time when we start "real baseball".Swami – can't imagine anyone worse then Carpenter but I will take your word for it. Did any of them have a homerun call for a ball hit to the Shortstop? I exaggerate of course but you would think by now he would either have an idea of what is going to be a home run or wait just a bit. All that being said, the few times I watch the Oriole's, their guy (Jim Hunter?) is just as bad. Guess it is all part of the hiring situation.APMcV – I think Rizzo will stay "in-house" for our manager with one of the established coaches who have worked with our young players as they came up. Not sure we need a "name" with this group.

  10. Mac - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Jim Hunter is MASN's #2 Orioles PBP guy. Their #1 guy Gary Thorne is great.MASN's #2 Nats PBP guy is Johnny "Wake Me Up When Something Happens" Holliday. Nuf ced.

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    sjm308, I believe moving timeslot depends on the network. If you look at Nats schedule, Thursday might be the best weekday for the show. I see 2 conflicts in April, May, June, and 1 conflict in July, August, and September.If they can subset a game screen or put a TV screen behind them for those games as they continue their show, that would be fine I guess.

  12. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    I don't think that CSN could subset a game screen (if I'm understanding you correctly). I would think that MLB/MASN would have exclusive broadcast rights. I'm pretty sure that my DVR allows me to tape two programs at once, though.

  13. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    1a, I thought that would be the case. But I think a TV screen won't be an issue, right?whether they can do it or not, the number of games is not even 10 that are in conflict with show timing.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Mac said… Jim Hunter is MASN's #2 Orioles PBP guy. Their #1 guy Gary Thorne is great.Gary Thorne is great if you are an Orioles homer I guess. It was chronicled here last year how many negative comments he made on the Nats, Rizzo and Strasburg and seemed to go purposely out of his way to do it.No thank you Mac!

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Congrats Mark! Can't wait to see your show! Interesting on that 7:30 time slot.

  16. BigCat - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Article in the W-Post today talking about the Phillie rivalry heating up with Stra clipping Utley in the ankle and then Haladay throwing behind Moore. Yeah, well Utley gets right up on the plate. His hands are almost in the strike zone. And that old goat Manuel egging it on by saying he liked it that Haladay was retaliating. Screw him. Utley is lucky that ball wasn't up and in on him.

  17. Doc - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Swam, you're right about the Philthy mouthpieces. The Philthy players must pay Matthews a bonus for all his 'brotherly smug'.All the Nats' hits were either lucky or windblown.Being blowhards, they're kinda experts on windblown hits!

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Mark Zuckerman said… And no, there's no bathroom in the background of this Beltway Baseball video. That's the CSN newsroom behind us. I watched the video again for context. Near the end of the video a women comes out of that back door and looks over her left shoulder. If that was a bathroom door, that could have been a "Got HEEEEER" moment in Kevin Millar context.SJM, good research on that Thursday night 7:30 time slot. I'm looking forward to the production quality of it to compare to that "garage quality" show that MASN does called "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report" with Phil Wood, Mike Wallace, and the Orioles guys.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Getting back to baseball, I think Mark covered the Nats #6 starter well in the video which reinforces a lot of yesterdays discussion.My hopes when the Nats signed Rafael Soriano is that Rizzo followed the Wren program, get me a lead to finish the 6th inning and you turn it over to your shutdown bullpen.That should put less stress on your starters which I think is a key as I think you still want to keep your starters fresh going into the end of September. I think the push for Jordan Zimmermann from 160 innings in 2011 to 195 in 2012 was significant although once he surpassed the 160 in August, his outings were very inconsistent. The 6th starter is not only key for double-headers and to replace a starter in case of injury, but to also possibly fill-in for September callups. Somebody in AA or AAA has an opportunity to step it up.

  20. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    At least the Wagner piece spelled "Stephen" right, unlike the Bog item. Oy.Article in the W-Post today talking about the Phillie rivalry heating up with Stra clipping Utley in the ankle and then Haladay throwing behind Moore.

  21. Theophilus T. S. - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I realize Comcast pays Mark's bills for us, and for that I tip my cap to them and Mark. On the other hand, I can't stand their continually tub-thumping for the Bullets (nearly unwatchable), Caps (trending that way), Redskins (strict, cloying homer-ism, every sixth-round pick heading to the Pro-Bowl) and Ravens (out-of-town). Mark notwithstanding the Nats are still fifth in their pantheon. The best solution will be for Fox to either buy MASN or start their own regional net and sign Mark as their opening shot.

  22. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Typo corrected:Related Manuel quote from the WaPo piece mentioned by Big Cat ('Tis indeed a mystery. It's not like Utley crowds the plate or anything. Wait a minute…)."I like it," Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel said about protecting his team’s hitters. "That's baseball, really. In the past, it's not like we don't take care of our hitters, but it seemed like some of them — especially Utley — gets hit more than anybody."

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Theo, Comcast broadcasts the 'Zards and C*aps games on their network and as such Comcast will support that branding. Add to that the marketing guru Leonsis pushes his agenda as the more you saturate the media with them, the more awareness and he does it very effectively without paying much for advertsing. The one thing Leonsis forgot is you have to play good ball/puck.The Skins are the 365 day a year constant in the DC media. Can the Nats get to 365 days a year? I think with the post-season and Winter Hot Stove, baseball as proven by the MLB Network is now 365 days a year.

  25. natsfan1a - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    hmmm, do they read here or what? They fixed two of them, one to go. :-)natsfan1a said…At least the Wagner piece spelled "Stephen" right, unlike the Bog item. Oy.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Rafael Furcal of the Cardinals will undergo Tommy John surgery.

  27. BigCat - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Yeah Charlie, when you crowd the plate like he does, and hit like he does, well, your gonna get drilled some to. I loved it when Lannan plunked him and broke his wrist. Then drilled fat boy Howard and got tossed. Gotta love Lannan.And then tough guy Haliday throws 3 feet behind Moore. What was that all about? So Moore was trembling right? Yeah, he raked a double down the line. If Haliday would of had any guts, he'd of plunked Moore in the ribs. Put him on the fake tough list with Hamel.Ya know….I hate the Phillies. Lets start the season!

  28. BigCat - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Speaking of Lannan. i look for him to have a big year. Win 12-15 games if he stays healthy. I will always say we shouldn't of got rid of him. Wasn't sexy enough for Rizzo.

  29. Doc - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Big Cat, Hamels rekindled the fire fight last year, and the Nats are the guys to keep it going.Next?

  30. BigCat - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Gonna be a fun year. With all the hoopla about the Braves signing the Uptons, I had almost forgotten about the Phillies. And that punk Rollins running his yap about if they'd of been healthy….blah blah blah

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    BigCat said… Speaking of Lannan. i look for him to have a big year. Win 12-15 games if he stays healthy. I will always say we shouldn't of got rid of him. Wasn't sexy enough for Rizzo. March 07, 2013 10:50 AM I think Lannan will do very well on the road. I also hoped there was a way the Nats could've kept him or at least did a sign & trade to get him into the American League.

  32. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    or at least did a sign & trade to get him into the American League. What, and waste all that power?

  33. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Seriously, I think 12 wins is wildly optimistic, not that I don't wish him well. I think the real over/under is how many home runs he can hit in CBP. I make it 1.5.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Sec 3, I don't know if Lannan can change is horrible R/IP ratio in Philly. I think he will do well on the road.

  35. BigCat - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Lannan was pretty much a .500 pitcher and a sub 4.00 era guy on some horrific Nat teams. He's not flashy, he's almost boring to watch. But it seems he always around in the 6th allowing 2-3 runs.

  36. Rabbit34 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I think it's kinda say when 12-15 wins is a big year. That just indicates that pitchers don't pitch far enough into a game. They leave, ahead, after the fifth, and too many guys (I won't say people!!) come in with a chance to lose the game. Well, maybe that's why 12-15 wins is a big year. Not like the old days, is it.

  37. MicheleS - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    The only thing that worries me about Lannan in Philly is he is a ground ball pitcher. Let's see how his defense holds up behind him. Those Infielders have all lost some range.

  38. BigCat - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    you are correct Rabbit. Not a whole lot of complete games anymore are there? Now, its all about pitch count. I guess when you pay these guys 10-15 mil a year you gotta look out for their arms.

  39. sjm308 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Big Cat: Hope you are wrong on LannEn, not because I don't like the guy (which I do) but because if the Phillies #5 guy has 12 wins then we could be in for a huge pennant race. I made a bet with one of my season ticket partners, if he wins more than 10 I buy the beer if he wins less than 10 he buys and 10 is a wash (we both drink). My thoughts are he is a pitch to contact guy and their infield got real old real fast + their outfield has just one legitimate defender. Again, I wish LannEn was here and kinda hate that he is with the Phillies.Go Nats!!

  40. sjm308 - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Rabbit: 12 to 15 wins is not a big year for Verlander or Kershaw but for LannEn it would be a huge year. Again, # 5 starters don't usually win that many games and that is basically what LannEn is now.

  41. Rabbit34 - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    sjm…..yes, I'm on the same page with you.

  42. peric - Mar 7, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    My guess is LannEn will end up in the minors before too long, AAA. He just doesn't have the talent. Sorry. Yes, he is a competitor. He can be a huge competitor when he's in the right mood as we've all seen. But he has difficulty hanging in there for five innings. JD Martin was probably the most competitive, nothing-can-stop-me athlete on the team while he was with the Nats. And I was a fan of his while he was in Syracuse and he was the Chief's stopper, their ace. But as everyone loved to remind me JD Martin just didn't have the talent. Why? He's a soft-tosser who doesn't have enough trick pitches like a knuckle ball. The EXACT SAME IS true for LannEn and the advanced stats bear that out over FOUR YEARS!? When he and JD Martin were pitching together Martin was actually the more effective starter according to those stats that I bombe y'all with? And I did that to show that he might just end up in AAA. Even though Amanda, Mark, Kilgore et al said it would never happen.It happened and that's why and not because Davey or Rizzo were "fickle".

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 49 --
ATLANTA 58 52 1.5
MIAMI 53 56 6.0
NEW YORK 52 57 7.0
PHILADELPHIA 49 61 10.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Braves 7:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

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