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MLB Power Rankings: Drama at the bottom

May 23, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

By Steve Roney
CSNwashington.com

The Cardinals are holding strong as the top dog in the league, and the Braves are trending back upwards as the Marlins and Astros duke it out to see if there will be a challenger to the '62 Mets. Here's how Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, Nats writer Chase Hughes, and I see the rest of the league shaking out:

1. St. Louis Cardinals (29-16; LW: 1) – Zuckerman: Every member of the rotation boasts an ERA under 3.60. That's how you win night in and night out.

2. Texas Rangers (29-17; LW: 2) – Roney: Baseball America No. 1 prospect Jurickson Profar has finally made the show — it'll be interesting to see if he's up for good.

3. Cincinnati Reds (28-18; LW: 4) – Zuckerman: Shin-Soo Choo might prove to be the most important acquisition of 2013 across the big leagues.

4. Atlanta Braves (27-18; LW: 10) – Hughes: Atlanta is getting hot while the Nats are having trouble. Evan Gattis is back to hitting homers and Kris Medlen is looking like the ace he was last season.

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127 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Section 222 - May 23, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Hadn't heard Trout/Harper compared to Williams/DiMaggio before. Is that analogy more apt than Mays/Mantle? Discuss.

  2. Doc - May 23, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    I'm more apt to consider Mays/Mantle. Both Harper and Trout are way ahead of Teddy Ballgame in the OF and on the bases.As far as the MLB Power Rankings, at least the Nats have company in the Dodgers, Jays, Angels, and KC as underachievers!

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    #2 in the Power Rankings is the Texas Rangers. They had the opportunity to get rid of a veteran Free Agent they signed to a 1 year $1.25 Million deal and they DFA'd him. You all may remember him from the Braves, his name is Derek Lowe. His ERA is within a few points of Zach Duke.I've said it before, Rizzo has been way too slow to pull the trigger on DFAs in my opinion. Players like Matt Stares and Doug Slaten come to mind and last year was Brad Lidge who wasn't released until June 25th.What takes Rizzo so long to make in-season roster moves? Henry has lasted 2+ seasons already and Zach Duke is still around. Tyler Moore still looks like he could use time to get his confidence back in AAA and Espinosa, well we have talked about that enough. Chad Tracy won a game for the Nats but the jury is probably still out on him although there seems to have been better options in the off-season for the LH power bat.

  4. Theophilus T. S. - May 23, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    What's the difference between Washington and Kansas City — one is supposedly looking forward to a home stand and the other is "fall[ing] back to earth." Both are .500 and both have a stale, musty odor on their good days, e.g., days when they scrape out a 2-1 win.

  5. Dominats Vobiscum - May 23, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Harper is a Mormon so he'll never endorse Mr. Coffee. But he did almost decapitate himself the other day, so maybe a cryogenically frozen head is in his future.

  6. bowdenball - May 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    GoSM-If you want to understand why the Rangers can DFA a struggling veteran more readily than the Nats, check their respective minor league system rankings. Not that I fault Rizzo- if you want to turn around a franchise that was in the sort of dire straits like the Nats were when the Lerners took over, you have to make a few "trade the farm for Gio" type moves.If you want take someone off the roster, you have to have a replacement in mind. Otherwise you just sound like want them to do it out of spite rather than to improve the ballclub. Who do you want to replace Zach Duke (and for that matter, why does it matter who mops up)? What about Tyler Moore? Are their right-handed bats in Syracuse that are ready for the bigs who can back up LaRoche at 1B and platoon with Bernadina in the OF? Who's the lefty bench bat ready to replace Tracy?Not saying there aren't candidates for some of these roles. There probably are. But you can't look at the roster in a vacuum and just give everyone a thumbs up or thumbs down.

  7. SonnyG10 - May 23, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    bowdenball said…If you want take someone off the roster, you have to have a replacement in mind. Otherwise you just sound like want them to do it out of spite rather than to improve the ballclub. Who do you want to replace Zach Duke (and for that matter, why does it matter who mops up)? What about Tyler Moore? Are their right-handed bats in Syracuse that are ready for the bigs who can back up LaRoche at 1B and platoon with Bernadina in the OF? Who's the lefty bench bat ready to replace Tracy?Not saying there aren't candidates for some of these roles. There probably are. But you can't look at the roster in a vacuum and just give everyone a thumbs up or thumbs down.May 23, 2013 4:08 PMI agree bowdenball. One of my pet peeves is when someone says a player has to go and then doesn't say who they would replace them with, and whether that replacement player is even available.

  8. jeeves - May 23, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Mark, the Nats rotation is almost as good, except for Haren. The dfference between the team is the big offensive numbers the Cards put up night after night.

  9. peric - May 23, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Not saying there aren't candidates for some of these roles. There probably are. But you can't look at the roster in a vacuum and just give everyone a thumbs up or thumbs down.Walters isn't ready. Goodwin and Hood still look a long way off. Skole had TJ surgery.At this point its Brown, Komatsu and Marerro. Don't even go there thinking Marerro in left field. If Soriano sees that guy out there he'll have a complete meltdown and claim they should sign his 4 year old. Brown and Komatsu are both excellent fielders with great arms. Both have to the potential to hit will in the majors. Both are stuck in AAA almost at the point of becoming AAAA in some of the smaller, less patient minds on this blog. Both are left-handed bats. Both have had issues that have landed them on the DL this year. Komatsu went back on it again. Another possibility might be Chris Rahl who is right-handed. Has speed and is a pretty decent outfielder who can play all three spots. Then, there's Kobernus who has a small "smart" ball bat like Span's, Lombo's, etc. A speedy athletic guy who can steal a lot of bases. Except Davey doesn't manage that way. He's not "smart" enough. :)Then there's veteran Wil Rhymes. That's what the depth chart looks like..

  10. peric - May 23, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    And NO not Rendon? You supposed "fans" on this blog were all over the guy whenever he did anything wrong. And this is really his first year in the pros since last year was all about another injury. He hasn't played a full year in 2 or 3 years. He does need seasoning.He is better off in the minors and away from you "fans".

  11. peric - May 23, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    And supposedly they do Ricky Hague in front of Rendon at second base. The guy deserves it if he can manage to do well in AA and then AAA at second base.

  12. m - May 23, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Read the Ghost and Bowdenball posts. I thought Ghost made some valid points. Does Bowdenball have any constructive comments to make? Bowdenball seems to be inferring that the farm system is barren and the team really can not do anything to address its problems. If that is the case then Rizzo really has not done the job. I agree that Rizzo really hasn't performed. For instance who would you rather have Liriano or Haren? I could go on and on but what is the point. Bowdenball any suggestions?

  13. Doc - May 23, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Good review of the 2B depth chart peric. It is what it is.By the way, has anybody scouted Soriano's 4 yr. old?? Maybe he's got some game? LOL

  14. baseballswami - May 23, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    In another year I would say Rendon in September. This year I think the handwriting may be on the wall and he will be up earlier. Waiting for that step to Syracuse. Any guesses on when that might be? I have a feeling that the manager and gm may be doing things this season that they don't normally like doing — although they really surprised me last year when they DFA'd Ankiel and Nady. Did not think they would go there. You see how well Ankiel is doing?

  15. bowdenball - May 23, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    I don't understand your post, m, so I'll just try to respond point by point.The farm system is far from barren, but it's not deep like the Rangers. But my point was not about farm system depth generally except as it pertains to the Rangers. My point was that demanding or even suggesting that players be removed from the 25 man roster is foolish unless you can suggest who should replace them.As far as Rizzo generally, I think he's done an excellent job. He inherited a perennial loser with a weakened farm system and turned it into a 98 game winner that I think will be in contention for a playoff spot for most of the next 5 years.As far as Liriano over Haren, obviously. But that's a really silly question to ask. Pick any GM in the game, and I can name a free agent they've signed to their club in the last year or two where, in retrospect, they could have had a better player for less money. For example, I think the Rangers and Cardinals are baseball's two best-run franchises in the last decade. How do you think the Rangers feel about the 6 year 6 million deal they handed Matt Harrison at the moment? How about the back of that Cardinals rotation? You think they wouldn't love Liriano too, instead of Westbrook and the injured Garcia?I don't have suggestions. Sure there are minor league bats I would like to see at the major league level over Espinosa, Moore and Lombardozzi, but I don't know enough about those players defensive skills to know if they're ready to handle the position in the bigs. Do you?

  16. bowdenball - May 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Should be $60 million for Harrison.

  17. Section 222 - May 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Welcome back peric!

  18. sjm308 - May 23, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Peric, excellent analysis on who may or may not be moving.

  19. Section 222 - May 23, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    I don't know if I'm one of the impatient and small minds that peric is referring to, but if having serious doubts that Corey Brown, a 27 year old almost out of options outfielder who has played six and a half years in the minors and has yet to make any impression at all at the major league level, is going to make a serious contribution to the Washington Nationals this year or in the future makes me impatient, I will plead guilty. I'm glad you mentioned Ricky Hague and Wil Rhymes though. Look forward to seeing them at 2B before Rendon.

  20. David Proctor - May 23, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    Interesting article from Jon Heyman on CBS. He thinks Don Mattingly could be the guy to replace Davey Johnson.I'll pass.

  21. baseballswami - May 23, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    John Heyman with the question– Mattingly replaces Davey in 2014?? Are you curious about who it will be? I feel bad for the dude, replacing such a colorful character. Won't be easy, whoever it is. Coming in and establishing your own system with the whole – that's not how Dave did it, thing.

  22. baseballswami - May 23, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    You beat me by four minutes, David.

  23. David Proctor - May 23, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    You better believe that Jayson Werth will have some input into who it is.

  24. NatsLady - May 23, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    I don't see Don Mattingly for this team. He did not impress me with his skills in our series or the Braves' and players "liking" a guy only goes so far. OTOH, I'm a little leary of the promote-from-within that says it should be Randy Knorr. Even though he's made mistakes I liked Bo Porter.

  25. David Proctor - May 23, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    I liked Bo too. I thought it was a virtual certainty he would replace Davey. I don't understand why he would go to Houston to manage that team when he could wait one year and manage a contender. I guess a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    m said… Read the Ghost and Bowdenball posts. I thought Ghost made some valid points. Does Bowdenball have any constructive comments to make? Bowdenball seems to be inferring that the farm system is barren and the team really can not do anything to address its problems. If that is the case then Rizzo really has not done the job. I agree that Rizzo really hasn't performed. For instance who would you rather have Liriano or Haren? I could go on and on but what is the point. Bowdenball any suggestions? m, thanks. If you have read me in the off-season I put out there all the moves I would have made. I would have kept Morse and wouldn't have retained LaRoche after he opted out. I would have gone after Justin Upton as I detailed. I would have kept Lannan and used the $13 million for JP Howell and others but Haren isn't the problem here, its been the problem of no #6 pitcher like Lannan. The team did the kind thing to Lannan and set him free but keep in mind the team still controled him for 1 more MiLB option. He could have been the team's #6.Who would replace Zach Duke now? Not a lot of great choices as the time to get the guys was in November and December. I suggested Chris Young before the season started as the long-man in the bullpen.TyMo for the short-term could be replaced by Marrero as a bat off of the bench and could give LaRoche a day off. When TyMo gets his stroke back, bring him back.Zach Duke wouldn't have made my 25 man roster nor would've Henry and probably not even Danny Espinosa. I would've been looking for Kelly Johnson as a Free Agent and have traded Espi.Did you see what Chad Tracy's season looked like after the All Star break? No HRs, very little power and in September .250/.344/.286/.629 Why did Rizzo extend him? Are you telling me there were no better left-handed power hitters to put on the bench for $1 million? Sure, Travis Hafner would have cost $2 to $3 million but he would have been the big hairy lefty bat off the bench.http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions/free-agents/position

  27. NatsLady - May 23, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I don't think that was the question, Ghost–what you would have done. The question is, as you look around at the teams that have no shot, and our system, what would you do now?

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    NatsLady said… I don't see Don Mattingly for this team. He did not impress me with his skills in our series or the Braves' and players "liking" a guy only goes so far. OTOH, I'm a little leary of the promote-from-within that says it should be Randy Knorr. Even though he's made mistakes I liked Bo Porter. Ugh. He's not good. Reminds me of Torre and not in a good way. He actually tried to hand the Nats the Greinke game only the Nats didn't capitalize.Torre needed years of screwing up before he found his calling in managing a true All Star team aka the 1996 Yankees.

  29. SonnyG10 - May 23, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    From a few posts ago:3on2out said…MicheleS, SonnyG10 and 1a: I love you guys! Always a flickering light of positivity in this dark and fetid henhouse dominated by Chicken Littles.May 23, 2013 12:20 PMThank you for the kind words!

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    NatsLady said… I don't think that was the question, Ghost–what you would have done. The question is, as you look around at the teams that have no shot, and our system, what would you do now? I thought I did but tried to explain that poor decisions were made in the off-season1. Send Espi to AAA once Rendon has worked 2 straight weeks as a 2nd baseman2. DFA Duke and bring up Chris Young. Can he do any worse?3. DFA Henry and bring up JC Romero and send Krol to AAA4. Send TyMo to AAA and bring up Marrero. Get TyMo back on track and then re-evaluate5. Keep an eye on Corey Brown as a possible replacement of Chad Tracy.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Peric, Hague is the hot hand now at 2nd and has finally stepped up. I don't think they can risk adding many more to the 40 man.Again, its a risk to see how his game would translate at the MLB level. Think of Antonelli and guys like that.

  32. David Proctor - May 23, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Tyler is quite possibly the worst player in baseball right now. That's not hyperbole. He has the worst WAR. He brings nothing to the table defensively and he's even worse offensively than Danny. I really, really like him, but he needs to go back to AAA and re-establish his timing and confidence before coming back up. Maybe Corey Brown, Kobernus, or whoever doesn't light it up here, but I think they'll probably perform better than Tyler has.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    David, the problem here is you have to be very careful about adding players to the 40 man. Davey will be very hesitant to add players unless its like a Romero who he would DFA if he didn't make it.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Here's your 40 man. It's thin. Marrero and Corey Brown are on it. http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=was

  35. David Proctor - May 23, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Why do you have to be careful about adding men to the 40 men? Are the rules about how often you can add or subtract guys from it? What exactly is the 40 man? I'm not familiar with all of that stuff, could you explain it?

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    David, once you are put on the active 25 man roster you have to also be on the 40 man roster which includes several top MiLB players like Purke, Rendon, and 13 others.Once you move a man onto it someone else has to be removed and that becomes difficult in most cases.

  37. NatsLady - May 23, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Ghost. Ok, here is where I differ. I would not bring Rendon up to play 2B (with or without two weeks of practice).I might DFA Duke and bring up Young, but I don't know how Young is doing (I heard not so great). I would not DFA Henry.I have reservations about Corey Brown.I would like to check into whether a promotion would be right for Krol.I would like to send Moore down, but I think Marrero would end up sitting on the bench with his skills decaying. I would trade Marrero.

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Once you add a veteran player onto the active roster like a Chris Young or a JC Romero, if they don't work out they would have to clear waivers to be sent back to AAA unless the team doesn't care and then they are available to be picked up by any team. That player also would cost Rizzo a pro-rated amount of the MLB salary to the end of the season also if they weren't picked up by another team so those moves add up in salaries also.

  39. David Proctor - May 23, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Hmm. I thought we had an open spot on the 40 man? BTW, Christian Garcia is going to report to Harrisburg soon. Assuming he performs well, I fully expect to see him up with the big league club by the All Star Break. His stuff is too nasty to leave him in the minors, especially when we need bullpen arms.

  40. David Proctor - May 23, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Interesting idea to trade Marrero, NL. He's performed pretty darn well this year. I wonder if we could get anything decent for him.

  41. baseballswami - May 23, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    For one thing , if you put someone on the 60 day DL, then when they come back you might have to dfa someone to make room when they return. I like Tyler , but I think his current situation is hurting his future. Some time back in Syracuse would probably be good, Marrero might contribute, Corey Brown is an outfielder. Other than those guys , probably not anyone else . And I doubt that two weeks at second in the minors would replace Espi 's defense. Might as well use Lombo, who will hit well when playing every day and play adequate defense. Rendon's time will come. He is not even in Syracuse yet. Even Bryce did not skip a level. Rizzo's Rules.

  42. Eugene in Oregon - May 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Lots of interesting ideas. I still anticipate some roster changes being announced in the Friday morning mail; my guess is that Mike Rizzo and his staff — along with Davey Johnson — have been having these same sorts of chats today in Washington. We'll see.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    I hope you all are watching Gausman's debut. He is set to pitch Wednesday against the Nats.His jersey # is 37.

  44. peric - May 23, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    I might DFA Duke and bring up Young, but I don't know how Young is doing (I heard not so great).He's allowed the most home runs on the team … albeit Matt Cain has allowed a couple more … but he also pitched more innings.Terrible doesn't begin to describe how he's doing. His 82 mph fast ball is like a come to dinner bell for every slugger in the International League.

  45. peric - May 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    I would like to check into whether a promotion would be right for Krol.Lets's see how he does in Harrisburg and if he continues one can be certain Rizzo will move him up to Syracuse at some point in June or July. There's always room for another good left-handed power arm reliever.

  46. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    I wouldn't touch Young with a ten foot pole. I'd bring up Rosenbaum to start for Detwiler. He's not Tommy Milone (THAT'S WHO I WANTED to replace John Lannan … and how's he doing right now? Another AAAA type said way too many "experts" on this blog") but he's the best left-handed starter they've got after Detwiler period.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    NatsLady said… Ghost. Ok, here is where I differ. I would not bring Rendon up to play 2B (with or without two weeks of practice).I'm probably in the minority on that. I just think the Nats need his bat and he has the ability to learn at this level and it doesn't have to be long-term. Why are so many opposed to sending Danny to AAA so he can get his head together?Maybe this is 2 weeks, maybe longer. Why are so many opposed to trying to make this team better?The Nats are scoring 3.38 runs per game and should be at 4.70 where they were last year.

  48. David Proctor - May 24, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Kevin Gausman looks great. Hitting 98mph, throwing 94-97 consistently.

  49. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Watching Gausman so far, he reminds me a bit of Detwiler – inducing a whole lot of weak contact ground-outs.

  50. David Proctor - May 24, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Utley going on the 15 day DL with an oblique strain.

  51. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Why are so many opposed to sending Danny to AAA so he can get his head together?Maybe this is 2 weeks, maybe longer. Why are so many opposed to trying to make this team better?I'm not as long as it is beneficial. However, you have to wonder what it would do to his confidence? And no I wouldn't risking ruining both Rendon's ankles and his career by plopping him in the majors at an unfamiliar position without even 1 year under his belt of professional ball. After not playing an entire season pro or college for the last three at least?Ghost you know far better than that and I am really surprised at you?Now, Kobernus is a different story … or Rhymes the veteran. Either would end up backing Lombo up.

  52. David Proctor - May 24, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    The difference, EmDash, is that Gausman is throwing offspeed stuff too. He has a great changeup and a good curve. Det needs to work on his secondary pitches.

  53. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Again, its a risk to see how his game would translate at the MLB level. Think of Antonelli and guys like that.A big part of the why with Antonelli was the serious injury he suffered to his hand. That may also be the case with Espinosa but the difference is Espy has stellar fielding on a different plane than 98% of the players in the majors.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Gausman I think is over-throwing which reminds me of Detwiler when he was younger.

  55. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    And Gausman's breaking stuff gets crushed a bit – also very Detwiler-like.

  56. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    DFA Duke and bring up Chris Young. Can he do any worse?Based on his performance in AAA? And it is after all AAA? Hell yes he could! Duke killed it in AAA and made the All Star team as a 15-game winner. Believe me that is not happening with Young.

  57. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Ross does need to work on more variety, it's true. And this guy throws harder. Maybe it's more strategy than 'stuff' that makes me think of the comparison…

  58. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Its been only for a brief time but right now one of my favorite minor leaguers is the most effective starter in Syracuse: Ryan Tatusko. He had another great start and in ERA is under 3 as is his adjusted ERA. He has pushed his FB speed to 97 mph now and again. His is a power arm.

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    I hope the Nats have advanced scouts there. Chris Davis is a beast. His OPS is over 1.100! You have to pitch him outside with movement and hope for the best.

  60. David Proctor - May 24, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    We should have Gio and JZimm going against the Orioles (at home) and then Haren and Detwiler against them in Baltimore. They'll miss Strasburg.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Poor execution by the Blue Jays.

  62. David Proctor - May 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Not a good inning for Gausman, but given the jam he was in, he did a pretty good job working out of it. Of course Kawasaki helped by popping up a bunt.

  63. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    OH NO!!! We could be in trouble? Anthony Rendon had a position change in today's game … he was the DH. Maybe he's headed for the American League?

  64. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    I hope they leave Tatusko in at starter after they demote Yunesky Maya after DFA'ing him to get his slot back.

  65. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Wouldn't Det be slotted in behind Gio to avoid Zimm having to pitch on short rest, though? It'd make the rotation a little unbalanced in the L-R way, but probably no way around it.

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Correct myself, Gausman would go Tuesday against Detwiler if Mark Zuckerman is correct on the Nats new alignment which is:Strasburg, Gonzalez, Detwiler, Zimmermann, Haren

  67. David Proctor - May 24, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    I don't think so. Zim has historically performed better on short rest than long rest. I think they'll keep it the way it is, but I'm not sure.

  68. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Micah Owings with his 4th home run and 20RBI.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    David, I did a chart on JZim. I think you mean on regular rest not short rest. He does so-so on 1 extra day of rest but fine on 2 extra days of rest.

  70. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Zim's going to hit .300 or over if he stays healthy. Once the shoulder gets to feeling a bit better around June (or so he said) we should start seeing power production from the Nat's very best hitter. He can play third at a competent level as long as he hits.

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    "Catcher Jesus Montero, one of the expected building blocks of the Mariners' future, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday as the club looks to spark some change in the wake of a six-game losing streak.Montero, 23, is batting .208 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 101 at-bats over 29 games this season."Just the latest former top prospect heading back to the Minors and this guy was batting .208

  72. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Peric, when Zim said "by June" I took that to mean June 1st. If that's the case, that's next week. He's hitting the ball harder but he isn't throwing the ball better.

  73. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Wow, Toronto fans are…something. Just threw a bottle at the O's left fielder for making a great catch.

  74. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    If that's the case, that's next week. He's hitting the ball harder but he isn't throwing the ball better.That might be permanent Ghost. I think his shoulder surgery was far more serious than they are letting on. In the back of my mind I kind of wonder if that isn't why Espinosa is worried about doing that to himself. Rendon is your third baseman of the future. Ryan Zimmerman just needs to make sure his bat is still effective. And as you just stated its getting better and better. And just what they need when they need it. He'll likely end up at first base as that seems to best position for him given the shoulder injuries he's suffered. Or second base. If you think Rendon can learn that spot in 2 weeks I should think Zim the consummate veteran could learn it in less time than that. And you don't use the big arm that often at 2nd … unless you are an all Universe fielder like Danny Espinosa with the range to make himself a short outfielder like they have in softball. He is pretty amazing out there.

  75. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Chris Rahl just hit a home run completely out of the park.

  76. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Peric, I have to wonder if the playing through the injury last season and compensating with cortisone shots didn't seriously aggravate the injury more than it being caused by surgery.But if he has the strength to hit for power, shouldn't he have the strength to throw the ball if he can fix his mechanics? I may be missing something there…

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Yes Peric, Rendon is the 3rd baseman of the future. I think we can all agree on that. Future could be 1 year, 2 years or 3 years.Unless you plan on moving LaRoche to the bench or trade him which doesn't make sense, then why wouldn't you take the best hitter in the Minors and let him play 2nd base with his ankles taped like a running back.

  78. SonnyG10 - May 24, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    I don't think Zimmerman would work out at 2b. Can you imagine a submarine throw from second to first on a double play? Probably less chance of an accurate throw than from third.

  79. peric - May 24, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Cabrera with 14 homers … Harper just 2 behind the MLB leader.

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    EmDash, and that's the great mystery of RZim's career. So many injuries and so much cover-up. I don't think anyone knows what to believe. All I know is that his throwing deteroriated years ago.

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    peric, your MLB leader is Chris Davis with 15.

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    The fact that Bryce has 12 HRs with as many injuries as he has had this year tells you how many he will hit when he gets back to 100%.

  83. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Strop with the crooked cap just gave up #13 to Edwin Encarnacion (Grand Slam)

  84. peric - May 24, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    then why wouldn't you take the best hitter in the Minors and let him play 2nd base with his ankles taped like a running back.Too much risk. Not enough reward. It's going to take Rendon a bit to adjust to major league hitters before he becomes an effective offensive weapon. As you so often opine … mostly to me …. the minors are waaaay different from the majors.So, you risk the most important part of your infield … the middle on a guy who hasn't had much experience at the position at all? For offensive benefits that could be more than a month away, perhaps not even until next season? And then there's the ankles and the inherent risk. The guy has already lost a step range-wise because of the same injury to both ankles. Again, you aren't thinking like normal Ghost? Maybe you need some bourbon and maalox?Right now, Espinosa is their best bet at the position. If for some reason they decide to send him to AAA to work things out or send him off to get the surgery (more likely in my mind) … then you get Lombo backed up by either Rymes or Kobernus. Probably Kobernus. Rendon finishes his season in Syracuse after making the All Star in the Eastern League at third base. Ready to start next season. And Adam LaRoche will likely back up Zim at first and acting as the left-handed bench bat replacing Tracy. Expensive? Sure, but well worth it for a world series contender. In fact, if he isn't adverse to the idea of being a sub maybe they extend him. Meanwhile, I suspect Mr. Rizzo will be trying to find a left-handed power bat for left-field. It would be nice if Corey Brown could make his case as the best possible choice but I think you'll see an all left-handed outfield with Jayson Werth as the 4th outfielder.

  85. baseballswami - May 24, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    It's 43 degrees at the Twins/ Detroit game – and rainy. So much for the boys of summer. Former Nats Jamey Carroll and Josh Willingham getting it done.

  86. peric - May 24, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    peric, your MLB leader is Chris Davis with 15.You know I hate the Orioles! But, yeah quite a find by Showalter. He's worth twice what they are paying him there. Duquette hasn't been too shabby surprisingly.

  87. A DC Wonk - May 24, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    two quick clarifications:As far as Rizzo generally, I think he's done an excellent job. He inherited a perennial loser with a weakened farm system No — Rizzo inherited a perennial loser with a decimated farm system Can you imagine a submarine throw from second to first on a double play? Probably less chance of an accurate throw than from third. Hmm . . . but the baserunner might get an imprint of baseball stitching in his forehead ;-)

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    peric said… Too much risk. Not enough reward. It's going to take Rendon a bit to adjust to major league hitters before he becomes an effective offensive weapon Again, you aren't thinking like normal Ghost? Maybe you need some bourbon and maalox?I think you meant adjust to MLB pitchers not hitters.I also think Rendon is ready just like Harper was last year and Zimmerman was in 2005/2006.He will have his struggles but he will be a huge upgrade overall. If Espi finds himself in AAA then you send Rendon back unless Rendon is killing it.

  89. SonnyG10 - May 24, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    A DC Wonk said…Can you imagine a submarine throw from second to first on a double play? Probably less chance of an accurate throw than from third. Hmm . . . but the baserunner might get an imprint of baseball stitching in his forehead ;-)Good one wonk, that gave me a chuckle.

  90. peric - May 24, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    If Espi finds himself in AAA then you send Rendon back unless Rendon is killing it.Espinosa hasn't been the same since the shoulder injury … and they initially misdiagnosed it. He needs a Dr. Andrews type treatment. Espy is far too valuable a young player to continue like this. It destroys his morale, his confidence so that once he becomes healthy he may still be living in his head! Again, if he goes off for surgery Mr. Kobernus comes up to help out Mr. Lombardozzi. After those two sits Wil Rhymes and Ricky Hague on the depth chart. Rizzo hasn't changed his depth chart and I don't see him doing so there's just too much risk involved.

  91. peric - May 24, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    Grand slam Micah Owings. 24 RBI now. 5th home run.

  92. baseballswami - May 24, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    I know Espi is a confident kid. I know baseball is a game of failure. But he did not have all that much time in the minors, was just handed the 2b job without really having to fight for it, based on his potential, and he has not had very much consistent offensive success since that magical September call up. Even for a confident young man, this has got to be affecting him. He also seems to be somewhat of a loner. I wonder if he relaxes, has fun, sleeps. Some minor league time might take off some pressure and give him space to get right. Maybe he missed some steps along the way?

  93. Section 222 - May 24, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    I hope you all are watching Gausman's debut. He is set to pitch Wednesday against the Nats.I'm not watching, but just saw the MLB update. He gave up 7 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings. Jays now up 8-6.

  94. baseballswami - May 24, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Is Micah Owings on the 40 man? Can he play any defensive position? Might be a good bench bat. Almost thought he would break camp with the team instead of Tyler.

  95. A DC Wonk - May 24, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    Micah Owings _does_ have an MLB Silver Slugger to his credit ;-)

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    peric said… Espinosa hasn't been the same since the shoulder injury … Let's be fair, other than his first 2 weeks during his Sept 2010 callup and 2 months to start 2011, Espinosa has been awful at the plate. I don't think he had a shoulder problem to keep him back in the rest of 2011 and all of 2012.

  97. baseballswami - May 24, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    So Ghost, do you think Danny was rushed to the majors?

  98. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Gausman looked good early, but his off-speed stuff looked pretty hittable and he started leaving stuff up after a few innings and got hit hard. Will be interesting to see if he can make adjustments.I don't think Owings is on the 40 man? He can nominally play outfield, I guess…

  99. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    baseballswami said… So Ghost, do you think Danny was rushed to the majors? May 23, 2013 9:51 PM Nope, he wasn't rushed as he looked ready but should have been sent back in July 2011. Big mistake and again, not saying it in hindsight, I was saying it in 2011. His swing & miss was bad then and now worst in the Majors for 1000 ABs over the last 2 years.

  100. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    If you send Moore down (which you should), I would rather bring up Owings than Marrero. Owings can sit on the bench and DH when we get to AL teams. See what you can get on the trade market for Marrero, he is young. We don't need all these first basemen.

  101. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    NatsLady, Owings is out of options I think so if you do that and he needs to be sent down you lose him.It may be worth the gamble closer to September. Its still early to risk it. My thinking is TyMo needs 2 to 3 weeks of playing every day. You can flip-flop them back.

  102. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    I thought Owings signed a minor-league deal. Why would options be in the picturee?

  103. peric - May 24, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    If you send Moore down (which you should), I would rather bring up Owings than Marrero. Owings can sit on the bench and DH when we get to AL teams.As Moore should be … Owings is learning to play the outfield. Of course right now Syracuse is now overloaded with outfielders and first baseman. Whereas earlier they were really pretty short. Marerro is the right guy to recall. He shouldn't be allowed in the field to play any position. His best position is DH or on the bench. Moore is a better athlete albeit slow afoot. But Marerro is younger.I would go with Marerro and let him spell LaRoche periodically. While Moore and the rest work to improve as everyday starters in Syracuse.

  104. peric - May 24, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    I thought Owings signed a minor-league deal.Owings did. He's not on the 40-man. They would have to add him which would be problematic at this time. Not happening anytime soon which means before July 31st. Marerro on the other hand **IS** on the 40-man and does still have options.

  105. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    I can't picture Tyler playing every day for two weeks in the majors at this point, though. Even with Werth out for an extended period, Davey hasn't played him that much. Not a huge sign of confidence he'll re-find his stroke with time, no matter what he says in public.

  106. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    How long will Mattheus be out? Maybe he can go on the 60-day and open up a spot.

  107. David Proctor - May 24, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    They're saying 6 weeks for Mattheus, but that's optimistic. Placing him on the 60 day would make a lot of sense. The problem is we'd have to DFA someone when Mattheus gets off.

  108. EmDash - May 24, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Hmm, that could work. 4-6 weeks to heal + work to regain strength + some rehab appearances is gonna take quite a while.

  109. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    By that time it will be close to the trade deadline. Rizzo will have plenty of time to DFA or trade someone.

  110. Theophilus T. S. - May 24, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Finding someone to DFA on this team should not be a problem.

  111. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    NatsLady said… I thought Owings signed a minor-league deal. Why would options be in the picturee? He did sign a minor-league deal and once you call him up the minor-league deal he signed is over. Since he has no options, you would have to DFA him and he would have to clear waivers to be sent back to AAA.

  112. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Finding someone to DFA on this team should not be a problem. May 23, 2013 10:30 PM You create problems if you add guys like Kobernus, Hague. If you add JC Romero or Chris Young and they don't work out you clear a spot by DFA'ing them. That's lower risk.

  113. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    Well, you might not have to cut him, if he (Owings, that is) is the big righty bat off the bench. If he isn't, what have you lost? He is not in the long term picture.

  114. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    And I wouldn't wait, because we need offense NOW. That is the weakness in this team. Obviously, if we stay around .500 and then go on a 19-6 run (Cleveland), that would solve a lot of problems. :) So bring up a bopper now, and send Moore down, he is just not cutting it. If he figures it out, then that is the guy you bring up later.

  115. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    NatsLady, it appears Owings isn't in the long-term plans but you never know. The guy knows how to hit and he projects as a DH or bench bat. If they don't bring Tracy back in 2014 you never know if Owings could fill that spot as a RH big bat. This is a guy who batted well getting ABs once every 5 days as a pitcher so he projects well in that bench role.

  116. Theophilus T. S. - May 24, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    Ghost — Between incompetence, injury, superannuity and run-out-of chances there are six guys on the 40-man roster today that could be DFA'd or sent to the 60-day list with injuring in the slightest the team's (dwindling) chances of making noise in the post-season. I'd trade any one of them for a hot minor leaguer who could go on a 5-6 game hitting streak.

  117. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    NatsLady said… And I wouldn't wait, because we need offense NOW. That is the weakness in this team.I agree with that 100% but replacing a bench bat will have minimal positive change which is why if you feel that way you should support sending Espinosa who has 4.5 at-bats each game to AAA also.

  118. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 24, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    Theo, I agree with you. I see 4 spots you can free up easily. Rizzo just doesn't like to add the young players that he doesn't think is ready unless they have to be protected for Rule 5.

  119. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Ghost, Espinosa is (to me) a different case. He isn't going down, so it's academic. Moore should.

  120. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    Moore/Owings is replacing one bench bat with (hopefully) a better one.

  121. peric - May 24, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    And I wouldn't wait, because we need offense NOW. That is the weakness in this team.Nope its pitching. And defense. The Nats are LAST in defense and that's one area where you can't BLAME ESPINOSA! We've watched games LOST due mostly to errors or a relief staff with supposedly reliable arms going south. Storen at close to a 5.0 ERA? Mattheus? No one is safe. The errors exacerbate a pitch-to-contact philosophy. Who's guilty? Well it starts with ZIM. But we need his offense. Who else? Desmond although he has improved of late. Harper is still learning the outfield but he is there FOR HIS OFFENSE?No, on this team the foundation is pitching and defense. Its why your #4 hitter is batting .227 I think? LaRoche might not get to .250 this year. Hell yes he should be traded before the deadline and replaced if you want Rendon. But that won't happen because they need his defense.

  122. peric - May 24, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Moore/Owings is replacing one bench bat with (hopefully) a better one.So, you're assuming that someone who is playing everyday in AAA will be able to adjust to major league pitching through a bench role? Offensively?I've got this great bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.Trade LaRoche. Put Zim at first. Call up Rendon to play third (an improvement defensively) and wait for him to adjust to major league pitching as they did Harper.That's the best move for this team over the long run.

  123. sjm308 - May 24, 2013 at 5:04 AM

    It's not going to happen but I totally agree with Peric. I am not sure Zimmerman has ever played first but the way to get Rendon in the lineup this year is juSt what he proposed. Plus, LaRoche could probably bring decent value. Does he have a no trade clause?

  124. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  125. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Trade ALR, put Ryan at first this year and watch this team go below the Phillies and Mets in the standings. You underestimate the importance of Adam's defense.Zimmerman has never played even one inning at first in an exhibition game. You want to kill your pitcher's morale? Go ahead, put a rookie at third,who hasn't played anything close to a complete season at any level, and then put a guy at first who has never even taken reps there in a practice. Sounds like something you'd see done in Little League, not on a contending ML team.

  126. NatsLady - May 24, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Yeah, I don't understand how in one breath you say "defense" and in the next "trade LaRoche." Ain't happening, people.

  127. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    And in the past couple of threads it has been written by some that we should bring up Chris Marrero and Rendon, maybe play either of them in the outfield.I said this a couple of threads ago,but it was the last post and doubt anybody saw it, but Chris Marrero was drafted as a third baseman out of high school. His way was blocked at 3rd by Ryan Zimmerman so they tried to turn him into an outfielder.That plan failed miserably, as he had no aptitude for it. Next they moved him to first where he has developed into an often injured journeyman AAA first baseman that still makes way too many errors. As to bringing Rendon up to play a position that he has played less than a dozen games as a minor leaguer,2B, is reckless, but to ask him to play the OF is laughable.Why do so many people think that just anybody can play the outfield? Man, this team doesn't need wholesale panic moves. You all need to relax. We got this.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
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NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
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WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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