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State of the Nats-4/22

Apr 22, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

Team Record: 10-8 (6-6)
N.L. East Standings













Offensive Game of the Week: Bryce Harper 4/20 vs. Mets – 3-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB

Pitching Line of the Week: Ross Detwiler 4/17 vs. Marlins – 7.0 IP, ER, 5 SO, 7 H, 0 BB, HR, 107 pitches (80 strikes)
Top Storylines

Ryan Zimmerman’s left hamstring – Zimmerman is on the 15-day disabled list as he deals with a sore hamstring. It sounds like a minor injury at this point, but he is the second starter to go down after Wilson Ramos. The Nats will have to face the Cardinals and then Reds without two of their key guys.

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  1. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman’s left hamstring – Zimmerman is on the 15-day disabled list as he deals with a sore hamstring. It sounds like a minor injury at this point,Throw in the still-to-heal shoulder and its a medium level injury. Again.And don't say he said its fine. He said that last season, the season before and the season before right? They said Rendon was just getting a blow? Davey said Lannan is my guy and then it was Detwiler. Its NOT fine.

  2. Drew - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I'm glad Jayson Werth owned up. When he took that inexplicable 3-0 swing, three age-old questions surfaced from a "Nook" in my mind:What was Jayson Werth thinking?What was he watching?Where was he going?

  3. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    He spoke the truth but definitely deflected some of it off of his Teflon coating like a politician.Kind of like what he does with his injuries which seem to always turn out to be more serious than he led on. And too often he stays in the lineup.Again, this has to end. The guy as to be given a chance to heal. Here is the opportunity with Anthony Rendon. Now, they can get him a first base glove and tell him you are just going to have accept this. Espinosa is a great shortstop and he is playing second for us. BUT, he is our #1 go-to guy at shortstop. You will be our first baseman and #1 go-to guy to fill in at third base. Hand the edict down and get on with it.

  4. Avar - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    "get him a first base glove and tell him you are just going to have accept this"And where will LaRoche play exactly?

  5. Rabbit34 - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    As fans, we just need to adjust with the team. Don't expect too much. Sit back, have a beer, and go with the flow.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Peric, that's the problem. Once RZim comes off the DL, someone has to go from the Goon Squad or they send back Rendon.You want to keep Rendon. Who goes home and what does your starting 8 look like?

  7. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Peric, go hypothetical. Rendon starts getting hitterish and RZim comes off the DL in 12 days, what moves do you make as the GM/MGR?You know I'm not sure Ghost. As you like to say first things first. NOW, they have no excuse and he has no excuse: HEAL!!! (striking forehead with bottom of palm).Once everyone is totally convinced Zim is completely and totally healed (just as they did with Morse remember?) THEN, just like with Morse you decide what to do. Zim should be given at least a month if Rendon proves to be effective.As for ALR if he's performance or lack thereof or not determines the next move … just as Rendon's performance or lack thereof determines the next move. Just like with Rick Ankiel (and of late ALR has been looking like the Nat's former starting CF). There are options including a propitious trade. I think its extremely unwise but perhaps they move Rendon to second or the outfield. I don't want to throw ALR under the bus but Morse was traded because Rendon was on the way not because they signed ALR. They signed ALR as the stopgap until Rendon was ready … he had a left-handed bat and Davey wanted him desperately as opposed to 1 year of Morse (which would have worked out perfectly in this scenario).

  8. m - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I have been following this team since its inception in 1969. It seems every ten years or so this team teases us with a touch of respectability only to revert to its traditional level of mediocrity. Case in point was last year. I felt last year the team had turned the corner. The team was young; we had good pitching; good defense and hitting; management was strong and ownership had the financial ability to acquire players they thought they needed. After watching this team I fear they are like their predecessors and will revert to their level of mediocrity. Some indicators are as follows:(1) The manager is two trusting of his veterans. Werth's decision to swing was inexcusable. Someone should tell Werth that he is not the manager. I read Werth's comments. It was all "I this", "I that" . Someone should tell this prima donna that there is no "I" in team. They is only one guy on this team who is playing his butt off and who should have been up there swinging and that was Harper. Werth should have taken the walk but he wanted the glory. That loss is directly on Werth. The sad thing is that he is supposed to be the leader. If that is the case we are deep trouble. Some example. (2) The veterans did not really prepare during ST. Johnson never had them play. He kept on saying that this player needed only a week to get ready or that that player knows how to prepare. There was no structure. Only Harper applied himself and it shows now. (3) RZ is one heck of a player but this guy has the yips. There is no shoulder problem. He has had the yips for the better part of three years. How you fix that I do not know but he is a liability and it is showing in his hitting. (4) Desmond is resting on last year. He is not focused.(5) Strasburg cannot pitch under any sort of adversity. He is not an ace. He is a good front of the line pitcher but not a stopper. Our stoppers are Zimmermann and Detwiler, assuming Johnson does not yank them after 5 innings. (6) Gio Gonzalez was an aberration last year. He is not 20 game winner. He is wild and too emotional. His is a back end pitcher. Milone is better. (7) Harren is a bust. Jackson is better. Even Lannan is better. (8) Espinoza cannot bat left handed. Johnson does nothing about it. All we do is watch him strike out. (9) The players are not facing reality. Their response to everything is that it is still "early". Well the next 11 games are against St. Louis , Cincinnati and Atlanta. Based on this team's level of play to date we could see them losing 11 straight. At best they might win 4 leaving us below 500. Maybe then Rizzo and Johnson will do something. They should have sent a message by benching Werth. Moore should be called to task for not legging out his strike out. Johnson and Rizzo need to install some accountability.It may not be too late but it is definitely not too early

  9. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I have been following this team since its inception in 1969. That's the expansion team and we've grouchily discussed "the Trade" one of the worst moves ever by the owner/GM. And how the players ridiculed ted Williams and on-and-on.This is a different franchise and a National League franchise. You could say you've been watching them from before the turn of the century when they played on the white house lawn but then you'd be in the Guiness Book of records.

  10. EmDash - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I'm not at all a fan of Haren thus far, but Jackson and Lannan wouldn't have been better.Jackson has been comparable to Haren thus far – multiple meltdowns, including two wild pitches in the same inning against the Giants – and would've required a four-year big money deal. Not an attractive option.I would've been in favor of Lannan – he's been pitching okay thus far – but he strained a knee on a routine play and will be out 6 to 8 weeks. We'd be out a fifth starter and looking at trade and minor league options right about now, which is pretty much the same position we're in with Haren's ineffectiveness. Pitchers are always a gamble.

  11. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    We'd be out a fifth starter and looking at trade and minor league options right about now, which is pretty much the same position we're in with Haren's ineffectiveness. They have plenty of decent and perhaps good-to-solid options at fifth and sixth starter. Danny Rosenbaum is pitching like the Danny Rosenbaum in Potomac in AAA Syracuse. Nate Karns is already on the 40-man and doing well enough in AA Harrisburg. Ross Ohlendorf and Ryan Perry or both veteran options. There's also Craig Stammen who perhaps should be given another chance to start? The problem with Harren is financial as they have depth behind him. What they don't have is depth behind Detwiler, JZimmn, Stras, and Gio who based on their performances so far would be placed in that order. That's the sticky wicket for Rizzo so-to-speak.

  12. Dave - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    I think m is talking about the Expos, actually, Peric. I'm not sure I agree with much of what he said there, but I'm pretty sure he's talking about since the inception of the Expos in '69.Picking up from the previous thread: I've got tickets for tonight, and my wife and I are going (sitting five sections away from normal, after a STH game exchange made many weeks in advance…grrr…). For the first time in a couple years, I feel like I'm doing my duty by going tonight–on a work night, when it's going to be cold, etc., etc. I hope Haren can get his act together, but I am prepared for disappointment.I appreciate everybody's comments in the last thread, putting the current status in perspective. The problem most of us are having, I imagine, is that of expectations. We all expect the whole engine to be firing perfectly on all cylinders, and it's not.And when I fret about Haren, I have to cast my mind back 12 months to the closer-of-the-day, Brad Lidge. That didn't work out so great while Drew was on the DL, and Rizzo eventually did the right thing by letting him go.In Rizzo I trust. GYFNG!

  13. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    I think m is talking about the Expos, actually, Peric. I'm not sure I agree with much of what he said there, but I'm pretty sure he's talking about since the inception of the Expos in '69.My apologies 'm'.

  14. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    I commented thusly on the previous post, in response to my suggestion that, among other developments, the Nats could be moving LaRoche by the trade deadline to solve their 3B issue. GhostofSteveM seemed to think I was being hyperbolic:"Again, if Zim comes back and is productive it's a moot point as 3rd base is his until you pry it from his hands."Speaking of "ifs" . . .. "If Zim comes back . . . productive," how? Productive with the bat? Able to find LaRoche with a mortar shot?The hamstring is only one, and probably not the most significant, problem. The truth is Johnson can't trust Z'man not to blow up the game at 3B. That's why he's going to "work on his throwing" while resting the hammie. It's much more important (to the team) for him to work on his throws during IF practice for 15 days without endangering the W/L record than it is to spend a couple of days in the hot tub. What are they gonna do when he's reactivated and resumes his pursuit of Butch Hobson's record?I hope Z-man works things out — but if he's as confused about what's wrong with his throwing as I am, and each throw remains an adventure, then they have to move him somewhere in a lot less than a year-and-a half — and they can't bench him or trade him."

  15. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    I guess I'm too DC-centric.

  16. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Then they have to move him somewhere in a lot less than a year-and-a half — and they can't bench him or trade him.Believe me when I tell you (and I know I look at different stats) they NEED that bat … even when he is coming back from injuries or succumbs and gets the cortisone fix his stats immediately zoom to the near the top of the roster offensively. He really is that good on the offensive side of things. You don't bench or trade Zim. You get him health. Now ALR, given his statistics over his career? He's an iffy proposition every single year. Otherwise he would have landed somewhere and stuck.

  17. The Herndon Kid - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I think he means the Expos. They started up in 1969. But generally he is way too upset about 12% on the season for a winning team.

  18. bdrube - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    The scariest stat to consider with this team is that they are 5-1 against the Marlins and 5-7 against everybody else (and only 2-7 against other NL opponents). What really worries me is the pitching. If Haren does turn out to be a total bust, Gio doesn't regain his form and the bullpen continues to stink this team isn't going anywhere this season regardless of what happens with the position players.

  19. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    As we have seen so far this season, baseball has been unpredictable thus far. I trust this team will come out the slump they are in and be the team they are capable of being.

  20. Gardner - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    The Nats have generally played like crap and are still 2 games over .500…sounds good to me. Solution to fix it – play less like crap.

  21. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    What was Jayson Werth thinking?He was signed to be Bryce Harper the elder; he is supposed to be mashing like Bryce. It ain't happening.What was he watching?The pitch he thought would be groove over the plate for him.Where was he going?Trying to pull the game out of the fire with a 3-run homer like he did inthe rain delay game last season.

  22. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Added rendon to my fantasy team. hopefully he reverses the trend of Nats not doing well on my fantasy team.

  23. bowdenball - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    m said… "Based on this team's level of play to date we could see them losing 11 straight. At best they might win 4 leaving us below 500."m, I have a proposition for you. If you think this is true, how about a wager? You can pick one. Either 5-1 that they lose 11 straight, or even money that they win less than 5 of the next 11. If you want you can take both.Based on what you wrote I'm offering you free money, you'd be CRAZY to say no. And don't give me some excuse about "not being a gambler." It's not gambling when you say things like "at best they win 4." It sounds like you're certain that they won't win more than 4 to me. So how about it? Do you actually mean what you say?

  24. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Nah, I assumed the same thing.peric said… My apologies 'm'. April 22, 2013 1:02 PM

  25. Exposremains - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    To me, They're still playing the way they played in the playoff. They haven't recovered yet. Inconsistent, awful pitching, (gio losing it, storen imploding) poor defense, lack of hitting, easily rattled. Looking really bad against good teams. They need to forget about last year and expectations and just play and see what happens.

  26. A DC Wonk - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    m, I disagree with much of what you wrote:(1) The manager is two trusting of his veterans. Werth's decision to swing was inexcusable.Swinging at 3-0 in that situation was not the error — it was swinging at a not-perfect-pitch in that 3-0 situation that was the error.Guess what? Werth makes mistakes, too. As he admitted, he was pressing too much. You can't put that on Davey.(2) The veterans did not really prepare during ST. Johnson never had them play.Hoo boy — it's _way_ too early to tell stuff like that. Johnson prepares for the marathon, not an April sprint.(4) Desmond is resting on last year. He is not focused.Desmond is batting .290 and it tied for 2d for most extra base hits in the NL.(5) Strasburg cannot pitch under any sort of adversity.Again — too early to tell. Remember, he was shut down early last year, and he's only 24. And it's still April.(6) Gio Gonzalez was an aberration last year.Gio's two years prior to last was 15-9 and 16-12 for two A's teams that didn't finish above .500 — that's pretty solid. Oh, and Gio was an All Star one of those years.(7) Harren is a bust. Jackson is better. Jackson is 0-4. Way too early to tell.(8) Espinoza cannot bat left handed. Johnson does nothing about it. All we do is watch him strike out.How do you know what Johnson is doing or not doing about it? And, btw, of the eight guys who have started the most for the Nats — Espi is tied for the _least_ number of K's.(9) The players are not facing reality. Their response to everything is that it is still "early".You know what — wait a whole week and you'll find: even _then_ it's still April!And how do _you_ know they're not facing reality? I think it's the opposite: they know they are frontrunners and they're not used to it.They should have sent a message by benching Werth.Right — bench a guy who's hitting .275 and is tied for second on the Nats in HR's.Moore should be called to task for not legging out his strike out.Uhh, many think he was.All: read Boswell's chat today. Good stuff. His diagnosis, and I concur, is that the Nats problems are mostly mental: pressing too much because a lot was expected of them right out of the gate. I think Werth's 3-0 swing is a perfect example of that.So, how do you fix that? Certainly _not_ by Davey creating _more_ pressure! Davey's job at this point is to get the players to chill out, and be themselves, because they have a heckuva lot of talent.

  27. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    'Trying to pull the game out of the fire with a 3-run homer like he did inthe rain delay game last season.' The Mets bullpen was in the process of doing it for us all by themselves until Werth decided to help them out.

  28. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    His statements were likely in response to questions about his decision. The "I" means that he was taking responsibility for his actions. There is an "i" in accountability (actually there's more than one, but work with me here). (1) The manager is two trusting of his veterans. Werth's decision to swing was inexcusable. Someone should tell Werth that he is not the manager. I read Werth's comments. It was all "I this", "I that" . Someone should tell this prima donna that there is no "I" in team. They is only one guy on this team who is playing his butt off and who should have been up there swinging and that was Harper. Werth should have taken the walk but he wanted the glory. That loss is directly on Werth. The sad thing is that he is supposed to be the leader. If that is the case we are deep trouble. Some example.

  29. Mr Baseball - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    The ideal situation when Zimmerman comes back, until the end of the season. Trade LaRoche! Infield this season: 1b – zimmerfman, 2b – Lombo, SS – Espinsoa and 3b – Desmond.

  30. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    I think we should move Desmond to CF and Span to SS.

  31. SCNatsFan - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Moore's play looked bad but he didn't know the ball got away. It's not like guys strike out and sprint to first hoping the catcher drops the ball. Well, maybe Harper does…

  32. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    I agree Faraz and while we are at it we should move Harper to catcher and Suzuki to the outfield. Maybe Henry can play some center.

  33. MicheleS - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Wonk: I HEART YOU.BTW.. SO you move a player to 1B during spring training, not in the middle of the season and not on a team that hopes to be in the playoffs. Just Sayin'

  34. BigCat - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    As for Gio….did it ever cross your mind that he's pitching naked. You know…without any sort of help. Bowden always called it playing naked if you weren't milligrammed up on something. With that trouble in Fla, maybe he's out of juice, so to speak

  35. SCNatsFan - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    BigCat, I disagree. If Gio was on anything he would have tested positive. He didn't.

  36. Mr Baseball - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I can tell you guys have never coached. Lombo is a contact hitter and gets on base. Espinosa is a natural SS and Desmond has the arm and range and would make a good 3B. Also, let Strasburg go back and be a power pitcher and don't worry about pitching to contact. Detwiller relies on the fast ball. Telling Strasburg to pitch to contact is like changing Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson and Bob Feller. While we on pitching I get so tired of hearing FP state our relief pitchers have to learn their roles. I don't care if they are in the 1st, 2nd or whatever the inning. Their job is to get three outs! Stop making excuses and give them a good kick in the butt!

  37. BigCat - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Here here Mr Baseball……touche!

  38. EmDash - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Gio was pretty great during the WBC, and I think we can assume the drug-testing regimen was well in place there so the league could avoid the embarrassment of a steroid-user representing the US. Lack of focus and efficiency seems to be his main problem.

  39. BigCat - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    yes, you're probably right. And someone mentioned the cold weather to

  40. Eric - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    "(1) The manager is two trusting of his veterans. Werth's decision to swing was inexcusable. Someone should tell Werth that he is not the manager. I read Werth's comments. It was all "I this", "I that" ."Yeah, and saying "I failed the team" is probably the one time it's OK to make it about oneself in a team sport. He's owning up to a mistake. Not sure what the problem is…

  41. BigCat - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    But if we ever needed Mr Haren to step up, its tonight. Come on Danny boy, win one for the Gipper…..or for Rizzo should I say

  42. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    is that the Nats problems are mostly mental: pressing too much because a lot was expected of them right out of the gate. I think Werth's 3-0 swing is a perfect example of that.Its also talent and mixing it the right way; in other words chemistry and that's basically the gist of Boz's chat when it came to just about all the sports. Just like they say in football its the coach's job to put players in the right position to succeed.And Davey has freely admitted he hasn't managed to do that yet with a starting lineup that Mike Rizzo changed significantly and a bullpen he changed significantly? It might take some time. Anthony Rendon appears to be a part of that process at least at this point. We'll have to wait and see how it all shakes out but I suspect there will definitely be some knock-down drag-outs between the Rizz and Davey before it does.

  43. BigCat - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    well, if Werth would of hit a ding dong everybody would of said it was a great move to swing. Or if his ground ball would of went down the line for a base clearing double, everyone would of loved it. But it didn't, so Werth is a bum. Thats what makes baseball such a great game

  44. Eric - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    PS – moving Desmond to third is trading throwing errors for a porous glove. I really think it's time to hold steady and let the team work through the slump…the worst thing you can do in a crisis is overreact and start changing things up wildly. I'm sure there are contingency plans and I'm sure there are fault tolerances that, when exceeded, will trigger them. I doubt fault tolerances are being approached during April with a 10 – 8 record.

  45. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    But if we ever needed Mr Haren to step up, its tonight. Come on Danny boy, win one for the Gipper…..or for Rizzo should I sayIt doesn't matter because Nate Karns is shutting down all the critics (hi guys!) who claim he should be in the bullpen. 24 K's against 6 walks. In AA. And then there's Danny Rosenbaum coming from the left side.These guys want to be in the majors NOW. Perhaps its strategy but it probably hasn't gotten past them that Rizz still has 2 slots left on the 40-man.

  46. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    I realize some of the suggestions are facetious, but for those that aren't, do you really think putting players at new positions will actually help the defense? Please. Desi is going to play short. Zim is going to play 3rd. All year long. They just need to play better, that's all.

  47. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    PS – moving Desmond to third is trading throwing errors for a porous glove.He's either a shortstop or a CF (as Riggleman figured him to be). Goodwin is looking like a clone of Roger Bernadina in AA so you never know. Or? He's traded and Espinosa slides over.

  48. BigCat - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    I knew we were gonna miss Burnett and Lombo. Those steady lefties out of the pen. Time will tell on the Span deal, but there's that old saying "if it ain't broke" or something like that

  49. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Zim is going to play 3rd. All year long. They just need to play better, that's all.And if he suffers yet another injury piled on to the two he is recovering from? Or exacerbates one of those further? Then what? Its not like he's been healthy the past 3 seasons now is it?

  50. BigCat - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    I missed this Karns kid in Potomac last year. i've heard he's at 93-95 mph after shoulder surgery. His stats are pretty darn good though

  51. Rabbit34 - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    I feel a whole lot better after reading these posts. Everybody has the answers as to why the team is where it is; and that is second place, two games above .500…..for now!

  52. Eric - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    I strongly agree that the team on the whole has been pressing. I know the feeling from times when I've played live music and there were outside pressures weighing on everyone. It leads to lots of little errors that don't necessarily sink the show, but certainly make it feel like a constant struggle. That's what I see happening on defense when things fall apart. Problem is, with baseball, there are a lot more uncontrollable factors unfolding all the time, so it's harder to hold it together once the vibe takes hold.So, I really think that explains the general erratic playing in general. Too much outside pressure to succeed that simultaneously makes everyone they play the underdog. In all sports, good and even hald-decent teams perceived to be underdogs can tend to play *really* well.I do think we're also seeing the result of various shifts in tactics and strategy being worked through in live games. Stras' learning to pitch to contact, Davey having to manage a much different bullpen, etc. I think all of these moving parts make it even more difficult to get through tough innings and tight games.

  53. BigCat - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    15 days off and a little needle in the shoulder might just take care of Zim

  54. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    I saw Karns in spring training and I was cautiously impressed. I say cautiously because in one game against the Cards he was beaten up pretty badly. In any event he has a total of 3 starts at the AA level (2 good and 1 bad) so he ain't the answer for 2013. Rosenbaum is a soft tossing lefty who the Nats left unprotected in the rule 5 draft so I don't think he's taking over from a proven top of the rotation major leaguer who is off to a rough start any time soon (there's also a little issue of a $13 mil investment).

  55. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    If he has another injury, he won't play. That's obvious. Did you really think I would suggest he would play 3B if he's injured? But if he's healthy, he's playing third. This year and next. ALR isn't going anywhere until at least the trading deadline next year. After that, I'm with you, a move to 1B is very possible. (Unless Ty-Mo needs to be there of course.) I mentioned Zim as our first baseman of the future many years ago, based on his throwing problems. Probably before you did.

  56. SonnyG10 - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    A DC Wonk, I endorse your comments at 1:59 and yours 1a @ 2 pm

  57. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Mr. Baseball, I completely agree with you that the whole concept of "pitching to contact" is nonsense. The idea is to make the hitter miss not pray to the BABIP gods.

  58. SonnyG10 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Good one Eric @ 2:45, I agree.

  59. JD - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Sec 222, If/when Zim moves to 1st and Rendon is inserted at 3rd this makes our team very right handed. I think there would have to be some pretty serious team re-engineering before that move is considered.

  60. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    JD, no question. After 2014, we don't have a lefty replacement for ALR in the pipeline, even if Zim stays at 3B. Skole, Marrero, and Ty-Mo are all RH if I'm not mistaken. At least we've got Span and Harper. It was interesting that Davey abandoned the R/L/R/L top of the order when Zim went down. I guess he doesn't see Desi as a cleanup hitter even in a pinch. I think I'd give him a shot to split up Harper and ALR in the late innings. Phillips is doing pretty well in that role for the Reds.

  61. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    I haven't posted much lately because of some other commitments, but — like many of you — I'm concerned about the way the Nats have been playing (and, in particular, pitching). That said, however, I'm trying to keep some perspective here, given that it's 162-game season and that you can read too much into small sample sizes. It helped me, at least, to take a look this morning at the loss column for some of the other teams that most observers considered among the best in baseball (on paper, heading into the season).Losses:Braves – 5Rangers – 6Yankees – 7Giants – 7Reds – 8Cardinals – 8Nats – 8Tigers – 9Dodgers – 10Angels – 10Rays – 10Blue Jays – 11So I'm just going to keep telling myself it's still early, lots of good teams are losing games at roughly the same clip as the Nats, and the Braves are going to have their own meltdowns over the course of the season.

  62. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Sec222, there is a nice article on FG today about why Phillips is doing well. he has votto and choo to thanks.

  63. sjm308 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    I have been away from "insider" for a couple days. I really liked several posts here. Rabbit has the right idea early in the comments and I have always liked Wonk's approach to things. Eric, to compare it to live music is also something I had never thought of. Bottom line is – it really is still early. Hate that line but after the next 3 series we will have a better understanding. Boz thinks we can wait even longer to get it all straightened out. I do think Davey is a big key here. He will not panic and will give everyone the time and ability to figure things out. He will not move players around, he will keep the batting order as close to what we have seen, he will stay with our starters and he has slowly figured out his new bullpen and I think they are on the verge of settling down (Storen is still a bit of concern to me but). That said, I would love to see us win those next 3 series. Not sweep but just win each one.Go Nats!!

  64. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    going back to OBP discussion, why does it include HBP baffles me. it has nothing to do with hitter's ability. choo's obp goes down to .443 from .523 if we take 9 HBP away from his OBP. On the other hand, Votto has walked 25 times, ten more than the next guy. I would rate Votto higher on OBP skills than Choo.

  65. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    "HBP baffles me. it has nothing to do with hitter's ability."Faraz, yes and no. It doesn't have much to do with the ability to put the bat on the ball, but the ability to crowd the plate successfully and still be an effective MLB hitter is not trivial. And then there's the ability to take the hit, which should not be overlooked — that [stuff] hurts. Playrs frequently lose a good bit of time — e.g., Espinosa just recently, Chase Utley when Lannan got him. I can tell you, even when it's not 80 mph, getting your fingers between the bat and the ball will get your attention.

  66. Dave - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    BigCat said: "I knew we were gonna miss Burnett and Lombo."Are you missing Lombo? I am pretty sure I saw him play in yesterday's game. In fact, I believe he got on base.I presume you mean Gonzo. Yeah, I sort of miss him in the 'pen too. He was pretty solid last year. Not on the big team at the beginning, called up sometime down into the season.But Duke did look pretty solid yesterday.

  67. sjm308 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Oh, I do have one comment on m's list of negatives. While this is a team sport in that one team wins and another team loses. No one goes up to bat with others helping him, so there is an I in baseball. Werth was taking responsibility in those quotes. I appreciated it.

  68. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Burnett, in case anybody else is wondering, is doing quite well in LA. Gave up a solo HR a few weeks back in the 7th inning of a game they were losing 4-1 already; that's the only run he's allowed so far, pitching setup.

  69. Eric - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Agreed. In any team sport, if you commit an error of judgement, that's unquestionably an "I" moment, imo. Props to Werth for shouldering it in this case. Gio and Haren have been great about this, too.Would be nice if they stopped producing reasons to be magnanimous about their failures, though ;).

  70. Drew - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Note to 222:Skole hits left-handed.He's a power prospect at first base.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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.
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

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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.
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