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Previewing Karns’ MLB debut

May 28, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

USA Today Sports Photos
Right-hander Nate Karns was 4-2 with a 4.60 ERA at Class AA Harrisburg.

Nate Karns wasn't supposed to the be first minor-league pitcher summoned by the Nationals to start a big-league game this season, but circumstances made him the best choice for tonight's surprise outing against the Orioles.

With their Class AAA Syracuse rotation struggling mightily through the season's first two months, the Nationals elected to dip down into the ranks at Class AA Harrisburg, plucking the 25-year-old Karns and throwing him to the wolves tonight in Washington.

Not that Karns hadn't earned the opportunity. This is, after all, the organization's reigning pitcher of the year and the fifth-rated prospect in the entire system entering 2013 (according to Baseball America). He also impressed this spring in his first big-league camp, allowing one earned run in 3 2/3 innings of relief against the Mets and Cardinals.

"I caught him a couple of times, and he's got a good arm," catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "Obviously, spring training is really early, and heRead more »

134 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. baseballswami - May 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Did I read calm exterior? Almost as good as having a good change up.

  2. SonnyG10 - May 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I have a ticket for tonight's game so I'll see him in person.

  3. MicheleS - May 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    This is going to be FUN! Gausman looked okay last week, 2nd time through the order he got smacked around a bit. Good Luck Mr Karns!!! Knock 'em dead!

  4. baseballswami - May 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Rookie pitcher's duel or slugfest? Should be interesting. Stay tuned.

  5. JaneB - May 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Welcome to the day you've been dreaming of, Nate. May it be a glorious game for all of us.

  6. ehay2k - May 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Good luck Nate.

  7. natsfan1a - May 28, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Welcome and good luck to Nate (hmmm…I typed "Nats" the first time). Gotta figure out how to get my radio working downstairs before first pitch, so I won't need to listen to the "we are family" MASN broadcast. I'll miss Bob and FP but sometimes you have to take one for the team, guys. ;-)On a somewhat related, positive note, I thought Nats fans did a good job of drowning out O's cheers during yesterday's game. Good practice for Phils games, I suppose. On a not-so-positive note, on the way out we took the ramp down. It was very crowded and some young adult O's fan kept bumping into me from behind. Then he stepped on the back of my tennis shoe and apologized profusely (and rather insincerely, I thought). Then he started in on that "oooooo" chant with his buddies. If it was deliberate, way to show off for your buddies by kicking a Nats fan who is old enough to be your mom, son. Very impressive. But it's a new day, with a new starter. I will enjoy this ride. Daggone it.

  8. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    natsfan1a said: On a not-so-positive note, on the way out we took the ramp down. It was very crowded and some young adult O's fan kept bumping into me from behind. Then he stepped on the back of my tennis shoe and apologized profusely (and rather insincerely, I thought). Then he started in on that "oooooo" chant with his buddies. If it was deliberate, way to show off for your buddies by kicking a Nats fan who is old enough to be your mom, son. Very impressive. Sorry about the experience, 1a. I've noticed an influx of rusted-out 1977 Olds Cutlasses heading southward on the B-W Parkway the past few days. That can only mean one thing: The Yo's are in town, along with their Yo-Yo fans.I took the 83-year-old mother-in-law to the game yesterday and remarked how well-behaved Angelos Inc. seemed to be acting. But it only takes a few jerks. I'm heading to Charm City Thursday night, armed with enough bug spray to kill a small army. I might actually leave behind a few bars of soap. It seems like a commodity in short supply in CC.

  9. A DC Wonk - May 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    So . . . the "order" of the starters (which used to be Stras, Gio, JZim, Haren, Det) has been switched to: Stras, Gio, Det, JZ, HarenI apparently missed that memo. Can someone fill me in on the thinking behind that? I.e., "why?"

  10. Section 222 - May 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Wonk, the rotation modification was caused by the off day, which allowed Davey to skip Det's spot in the rotation for a few days in order to give him a little more time to rest. But he couldn't skip him for a whole turn of the rotation because that would have required JZnn and Haren to go on three days rest. So he slotted back in after Gio, and, of course, wasn't ready to go. But without this change, Duke/Karns would have had to pitch on Sunday.

  11. Steady Eddie - May 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Wonk — While 222 mostly beat me to the punch, the other element is to manage around around Det's DL time while keeping everyone else pitching on regular rest as much as possible.

  12. Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    We're going tonight. Though they aren't sitting with us, we're giving a ride to another couple that are O's fans. Please win tonight,Nats. I don't want a long ride home with 2 winning Orioles fans!Good luck,Nate! Make your mama proud!

  13. UnkyD - May 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Notes to Nate:Throw strikes. Especially early…HPU will not give you the paint rook, so hit Kurt right in the pocket of his mitt, and make them swing. You seem to have enough stuff to make it through the lineup a few times, if you let Kurt call your game, and, again, throw it where Kurt wants it. Relax, trust your stuff, trust your defense, and have fun… These guys have never seen you before…You got this, kid! GYFNGOGOGO!!!!

  14. Gonat - May 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    A good Tweet this morning to give some clarity to the season:Jack O'Beam ‏@JackoBeam The Nats have to play the next 109 games 5 games better than the Barves.

  15. SCNatsFan - May 28, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Gonat I realize the season is far from over… but I hope the Nats start thinking maybe this time to pick it up. I don't want to see a post after 100 games telling us what we need over the final 62 to win the division! Go Nate take a moment and look around, its a day you'll never forget. Enjoy it.

  16. Theophilus T. S. - May 28, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    This team will have trouble playing 5 games better than the Marlins.

  17. Gonat - May 28, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    SCNatsFan, the bullpen and bench were set up to be strengths of the team and it just hasn't been that way. Yes, the bats aren't exactly hot either.Still not sure what Rizzo is waiting for to make those moves. Now is the time.

  18. Gonat - May 28, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I've been disappointed at the lack of matching up in the bullpen and using who they have.It was mentioned here that Davey this season has been a 1 reliever/1 inning type of guy. Is it because he didn't have a guy like Abad before?I also am shaking my head about the mirage that Henry is. Plenty of Twitter chatter on it. That AB on Saturday where Storen had to pitch to Dominic Brown turned that game. Storen just is not good vs lefties now. All 3 of the HRs he has given up has been to lefties. Here's Storen's slash against lefties and that is awful:.400 .432 .650 1.082

  19. Theophilus T. S. - May 28, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    There is a serious lack of accountability on this team. According to Gio Jackson, "I felt like I was in the zone …." That's most ludicrously poor bio-feedback I've heard in a long time. "In the zone" getting hammered except when "not in the zone" when he was walking the bases full of baserunners. Send the boy a tube of the pink cream.Expectations for Karns and his changeup are exceptionally low, not giving the masses any reason for either hope or change.

  20. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Gonat, Abad did come in to face the last batter in the 7th inning. It wasnt exactly a game on the line situation like the Dominik Brown AB, a good test tho.

  21. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    "Theophilus T. S. said… There is a serious lack of accountability on this team. According to Gio Jackson"Do you mean Edwin Jackson or Gio Gonzalez.

  22. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Does anyone happen to have a heat shield? Steam is hissing forth from the venters with no sign of letting up.

  23. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    With the Nats facing the lefty Braves this weekend, it would be a good time to dump Henry or Duke or both and bring up JC Romero. Davey needs to set up his bullpen with 2 leftys and by the way Im not counting Zach Duke as one of those leftys.

  24. Just wonderin' - May 28, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Isn't the bigger question here whether Karns can hit? Because if he can't generate some offense himself, who else is going to?

  25. Section 222 - May 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I just wanted to take a moment to welcome Sunshine back, or at least I hope he's back. We've missed your bourbon and maalox infused humor around here my friend.

  26. Section 222 - May 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Just wonderin', excellent question. Maybe he'll be the one pitcher for whom it would be worth sending Espi up as a pinch hitter. ;-)

  27. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Thanks 222. I've been on extended spring training. Thanks for the welcome back. With our bullpen woes, my bourbon and Maalox supply may not last until the All-Star break.GYFNG!!

  28. Candide - May 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Nats 128 said…With the Nats facing the lefty Braves this weekend, it would be a good time to dump Henry or Duke…Henry's ERA is 3.78. He isn't Greg Maddux for control, but he seems to be well past the stage where he was a danger to anything between the on-deck circles. Davey even brought him in the other day in a 3-3 game, and he came through. I was an inch away from wanting him cut loose not long ago; I'm happy to say I think I was wrong and Davey and Rizzo were right.(…not for the first time…)

  29. JD - May 28, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Nats 128, Romero is on the DL and he wasn't pitching all that great in Syracuse either. It could very well be that Karns will return to the minors right after the game today and Cedeno will return. When you keep screaming to dump 1 player or another please consider the possibility that the players you are dumping may be better that the ones available to replace them.

  30. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Agreed about HRod, Candide. He seems to be reigning it all in.

  31. JD - May 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    In a bit of good news to brighten the dark mood here: Sammy Solis pitched 4 hit less innings yesterday for Potomac in his 2nd outing back from TJ surgery. This level is generally too low for him and he should be up with Harrisburg as soon he builds up his arm strength. I think he may be a real prospect.

  32. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Candide, it was a test for Henry in that 3-3 game and BABIP worked for him. Yesterday it didn't but the walk didn't help just like the HBP in the Phillies game.My take was that Henry needed to show consistency and he didn't yesterday. It was a bad inning of work.As Gonat mentioned Storen just is bad against leftys. Davey needs 2 leftys in the bullpen against the Braves.

  33. John C. - May 28, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Theophilus T.S. said … This team will have trouble playing 5 games better than the Marlins.Well, this is pure Legion of Doom stuff at its finest, from a charter member. Impressive! The Nats are currently 13 games ahead of the Marlins. I am happy to offer Theophilus or any other members of the LoD a wager, cash on the barrelhead, that the Nats finish more than 18 games ahead of the Marlins. The Marlins are currently on a pace to win about 41 games (.255). They're surely not THAT bad, are they? Well, in the unlikely event that they pick up their pace for the rest of the year to last season's .422 rate, they will finish about 59-103. Yes, they will need to improve significantly to match the 2008 and 2009 Nationals. Let that sink in. And to beat that "improved" 59-103 mark by 18 games, the Nats would need to finish 77-85. Any takers? Mick? Theo? Although Theo thinks the Nats "will be lucky" to hit that mark, I'm willing to go even money. Any mutually agreeable third party stakeholder, proceeds to be awarded at the first Nats Insider gathering after one or another party has clinched victory. Step right up, Legionnaires! It's practically free money, right?

  34. Section 222 - May 28, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Well played John C. And of course you are right that no one will take you up on it. But the very fact that in a World Series or Bust year we are talking about how certain it is that we will finish ahead of potentially the worst team in baseball is saying something, isn't it? Now if you were willing to make an even money bet that the Nats would win the division, I'll bet you'd have some takers. And they wouldn't all be LoDers either.

  35. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    JD nothing I do or say will influence Mike Rizzos decisions however Davey needs better bullpen and bench options. I wasnt aware that Romero was on the DL. I hope he gets better soon.

  36. JD - May 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Nats 128, Gonat is wrong. Storen has very good numbers against lefties in his career. Like everyone else you guys are too quick to jump to conclusions based on small sample sizes. Storen has had a poor beginning of the year, no doubt, but when he is on his game he gets lefties out. The BABIP against him this year is .379 which indicates that he has also been very unlucky.

  37. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    JD, yah, HRs aren't in BABIP. You are wrong there as this year is this year and Storens sample size is large enough to see the HRs given up to lefties and the BP fastballs they have been hitting. Lefties are feasting on Storen and to use Storens own quote from the Phillies game "What have you done for me lately" as he spoke about himself.

  38. JD - May 28, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Sec222, There is clearly reason for concern. Not because of our relative position in the standings but because of the lineup we are putting out there art this time. I had a very bad feeling about yesterday's game as soon as I realized that Moore and Bernie are hitting 6th and 7th and Lombo is hitting 2nd. The next 6 games have the potential to be very challenging. We are playing good teams at half strength. If we come out of it in roughly the same place we are now and key players start returning I will feel a whole lot better.

  39. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. UNTERP - May 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Nate'Nat'Karns, "Break a leg"…"Break a leg" is a well-known idiom in theatre which means "good luck."

  41. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    By the way Im not bashing Storen but he has faced 45 leftys this year and thats a good sample size. Hes been good against rightys facing 49 this year. There were a few people posting here after the Phillys game to send him down. I dont agree with that.

  42. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    "But the very fact that in a World Series or Bust year we are talking about how certain it is that we will finish ahead of potentially the worst team in baseball is saying something, isn't it?"Yeah, it says the same thing that's "said" when the media spends weeks on end focused on Barack Obama's birthplace and religion instead of drone strikes and war zones and a weak economic recovery.Saliently, I think this "says" something more meaningful:"Now if you were willing to make an even money bet that the Nats would win the division, I'll bet you'd have some takers."

  43. JD - May 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Nats 128, Storen has had the equivalent of 9.0 innings against lefties this year. That's a small sample size. If you think that the answer is Abad or Romero then prepare to be disappointed.

  44. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    JD, I can only go with the facts in front of me that says Storen is giving up hits to leftys at a 4 in 10 pace and they are Homering at a 1:15 pace and that isn't good.Maybe Storen turns it around with the next 40 to 50 leftys he faces. You got me. I just think if you have lefty relievers use them in those key situations. Thats all. Dont make it into a conspiracy theory.

  45. 3on2out - May 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Just a question for Rabbit34 who guaranteed the Nats would be below .500 after the Phillie weekend. How did that prediction work out for you? To Theo and secret waisan man and rest of the Chicken Littles…take a chill pill. This team may not be everything the Sports Illustrated cover promised but it will be in the hunt all summer. Meaningful games in September. That is all any self-respecting baseball fan can ask for. In the famous words of Seamhead, "relax, we got this."

  46. jeeves - May 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Additions and deletions–Add Steve Sosa (Sousa?) in right field. Put Kobernus or Rendon on second and bring up the lefty Khol from Harrisburg. Have Perez play left field until Harper returns. Bring up Marrero to replace Moore, Brown to replace Bernadina. Send down Moore, and the Shark, as mentioned, as well as Duke.With Harper in, the lineup would be Span, Kobernus/Rendon, Harp, Zimm, LaRoche, Sosa, Desi, and Suzuki. With Harper out, Perez would be in the lineup but not batting third. Bet this lineup would be an improvement, but, of course, we will never know.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - May 28, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    It's Souza with a "z".

  48. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    jeeves you cant send down Shark as he is out of options. You would have to DFA him.

  49. John C. - May 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Section 222, I agree with Eric's essential point – that the only reason that the concept of finishing ahead of the Marlins over the remainder of the season is being discussed is because someone foolishly broached it – not that it is a legitimate concern.And I'm no polyanna, or Dr. Pangloss – of course there "would be takers" on an even money bet to win the division for any team that is 4.5 games out of first as they approach the 1/3 mark of the season. The Nats have some challenges to surmount, no doubt about it. I'll be there tonight to root for the new guy, and will be cheering the rest of the summer to see if the Nats can run down the Barves. If you just put aside the chest-thumping foolishness about expecting 100+ wins this season, you'll enjoy what could be a very tense and exciting chase that could last all summer long and (given how young the rosters of both teams are) for several years to come.PS: Let's park the politics at the door on a baseball blog.

  50. Caps Fan - May 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Why not Sammy Sosa? He's available.

  51. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    "John C. said… PS: Let's park the politics at the door on a baseball blog."+1 on that

  52. Theophilus T. S. - May 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    These guys might be a good team but they are playing like a very bad team. Right now they've got maybe four position players (Harper, LaRoche — in May only — Desmond and Suzuki) who are playing at or above career levels — and you are not going to win pennants, or even a lot of games, following Desmond and Suzuki. Maybe four-five pitchers in the same category — Zimmermann, Strasburg — in May only — Soriano, Clippard and, charitably, Stammen, and you're not going to win pennants, or even a lot of games, following your long reliever. That's 16 or 17 guys playing at (or below) the Astros level. (Not sure whether I should count the injured Werth or Ramos or not; neither was burning it up and God only knows when they'll be back.) April and May is not a "slump." It's a third of the season. Zimmerman says, "We're just not hitting them [the good pitches]" as if that's different from "I/we stink." They are extremely fortunate that Zimmermann can win with almost zero support. Unless Moore's .150 BA counts as "heating up," I don't see any objective reason for optimism. I guess that qualifies me for the Legion of Doom.

  53. Section 222 - May 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Matt Skole, if that's who you mean, is out for the season.Steven Souza has played 13 games in Harrisburg. You really think he's ready to bat 5th in MLB? Even peric isn't making that suggestion yet.Has Perez ever hit the ball out of the infield in a regular season major league game?Have any other ideas?

  54. UNTERP - May 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I might have been incorrect in my assessment of the Nationals on winning 99 games. Never predicted a WS, however. I would be perfectly happy if they went 83-79, even though that would mean missing the playoffs…

  55. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    To be perfectly clear, my point in bringing up "politics" was simply to illustrate that it's very, very easy to derail meaningful dialog in favor of least common denominator drivel (i.e., "the Nats might mist the division win" vs. "the Nats are gonna finishe 5 games above the Marlins").That said, if there are people here who question Obama's status as a Christian American, my apologies for opening a political can of worms.

  56. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    "you'll enjoy what could be a very tense and exciting chase that could last all summer long"I'm not sure "enjoy" is the term I'd use. More like, I expect to be riveted and on the brink of insanity all summer, with brief moments of stress-free enjoyment sprinkled throughout ;).

  57. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Eric, this is a place to come to for Nats baseball not politics. If you dont get it you dont get it.

  58. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    "I don't see any objective reason for optimism."Your entire post constitutes an objective reason for optimism…unless you think the career numbers are the fluke for everyone currently performing below their career averages.

  59. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    "Eric, this is a place to come to for Nats baseball.."And, topic copping apparently.It strikes me as odd that commentary about my post is becoming more political than the actual comments I made are. And, it's doing a great job of illustrating the point I was making in the first place.Anyway, my apologies for derailing the conversation؟

  61. NatsJack in Florida - May 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Most of us undestood, Eric. No problem.

  62. John C. - May 28, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Jeeves, your revisions won't get tested because they make no sense. First of all, as Nats 128 points out, you can't send Bernadina down, you'd have to DFA him. Also, calling up Souza and Krol would require two others to be cut from the 40 man roster. I'm OK with Duke for one, but I'm not sure who the other cut would be at this point. Bringing up Marrero to replace Moore runs into a problem: he has no place to play. Marrero can only play 1b, and LaRoche isn't moving. He's one of the only offensive weapons the Nats have right now. The RH 1b/OF to replace Moore would be Micah Owings, which would require another 40 man move to make it happen.And finally, don't be fooled by minor league stats. Souza has worked himself onto the radar screen, but he's only played 13 games above A ball. It's a long way from Potomac to the NL. Brian Bixler wore out AAA in 2010 and 2011, but that didn't make him a major league quality player.

  63. NatsJack in Florida - May 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    And the first year Souza ever hit above .260 was last year combined at both low and high A ball.He's running out of time but hopefully, his new found success will continue.

  64. 3on2out - May 28, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    As usual John C. you are on the money. You don't post often but you always put the barrel on it. It's a pleasure.

  65. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    John C. good stuff there!

  66. alexva - May 28, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    while Jeeves may have stretched it a bit, Brown for Bernadina and Marrero for Moore works just fine, assuming Harper is ok to play. options or not Bernadina is not cutting it and Moore is whiffing himself out of a job.

  67. Gonat - May 28, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… To continually place blame on the hitting coach when inept hitters can't square up fastballs down the middle (Tyler Moore) foul off pitches that are marginal instead off whiffing (Lombardozzi) recognize unhittable pitches out of the strike zone (Desmond), or swing at the first pitch they see as a pinch hiter and pop it up (Tracy) shows a total disregard to the quality of the students.How come Mark McGwire was a genius at St. Louis and such a bum in Los Angeles? The quality of the instructees. May 28, 2013 8:19 AM _________________________________This was a really good post also and kind of goes to the problems on the bench and with a few of the starters.Tracy may be the most frustrating out of the bench trio of Moore, Bernadina ant Tracy because of his experience level.

  68. Section 222 - May 28, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Eric, I got your point. But then again, my politics are probably the same as yours.I now realize that jeeves meant Ian Krol. Does 18 appearances in Harrisburg, no matter how good, mean he's ready? I just don't know the answer to that. Have you seen him pitch?

  69. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    "I now realize that jeeves meant Ian Krol. Does 18 appearances in Harrisburg, no matter how good, mean he's ready?"Ironic on the day Nate Karns is going to start that Krol has more time in AA then Karns if you include Krol's time last year in Midland in the A's organization.

  70. John C. - May 28, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    alexva said … while Jeeves may have stretched it a bit, Brown for Bernadina and Marrero for Moore works just fine, assuming Harper is ok to play.Brown for Bernadina is at least plausible, although it ignores the fact that you can't send Bernadina down without DFA'ing him – and even if he clears waivers I believe he can refuse the assignment and become a free agent. It also ignores the fact that Brown is only just back from the DL and has only been hitting .256 (.307 OBP) in AAA and (in very limited action) has never shown that he can hit at the MLB level.On the other hand, the "Marrero for Moore" issue, as noted above, is that Marrero has no place to play.

  71. Caps Fan - May 28, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    "That's 16 or 17 guys playing at (or below) the Astros level."So now we know why Bo Porter left.

  72. SonnyG10 - May 28, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    A few days ago I made a remark about Storen's career going up in smoke (didn't seriously mean it). Later, Davey said on his post game interview that Storen has good stuff. It's his location that's a problem. I thought I should cut Drew some slack because maybe the bone chip operation on his elbow is something that affects control for a while like TJ surgery. So I want to officially take back what I said about his career going up in smoke. Go Drew!!!

  73. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Glad my point cut through for some.In the interest of full disclosure, though, my apology was full of snark, hence the backwards question mark ;).Anyway, I don't have much to add to the roster shuffling discussion. But, for some reason I'm strangely excited about today's game and Karns in particular…for basically no reason that I can discern. Maybe it's the grim determination on Karns' face in the pick above the article ;).

  74. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    This will be a good test for Davey and Rizzo in the surprize attack of bringing an unknown in for a game. I dont have high expectations or really any expectations and just hope Davey is quick on the trigger to pull him as anything above 3.1 innings of quality pitching is more then what they got from Zach Dukes last week.

  75. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Oh, just what we needed, the Jays making errors… C'mon, guys!

  76. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Being as how Marrero can't play ANY position except 1B, I think you have to stick with Moore and Bernadina until Werth comes back and Harper is healthy (or healthier). That's just the facts, ma'm and sir. Sheesh, ANOTHER error! Jays, Jays, Jay, you are NOT helping.

  77. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    2 errors in the 1st inning by the Blue Jays. Already 3-0 Braves

  78. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    My feeling is they will stick with Henry and Duke at least until Garcia is ready. If Abad can cut it and Detwiler is healthy, I'm not sure you need Duke. Stammen and Henry can both go more than one inning, and if healthy, Garcia probably can also. I say let Garcia be the other long reliever/spot starter. I know that brings us back down to one lefty, but Clip is just like a lefty and as mentioned, when Storen is on his game he also can get lefties.

  79. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I hate rooting for Melky Cabrera.

  80. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    "I know that brings us back down to one lefty, but Clip is just like a lefty and as mentioned, when Storen is on his game he also can get lefties."I never counted Duke as a lefty in the bullpen since he was used as a mop up.Not to be overly critical however it seems like saying Storen also can get leftys is like saying Duke can get rightys.There has to be better alternatives for Davey to get matchups that line up better.

  81. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    OK, hello, Barfs fielders??? Do we know how to call for a ball?

  82. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Mark Derosa swings away on a 3-0 pitch and hits a game tying double.

  83. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Nats 128, I think Abad will help with that. Davey can use him to finish off an inning with a tough lefty and then bring in Clip (or Garcia when he gets here). That way you avoid overusing Clip. And right, I don't count Duke as a "lefty killer" either. That's the way, Blue Jays. Make 'em pay!

  84. JD - May 28, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    NatsLady, I think we are all to quick to get rid of Duke. He was supposed to be this year's Gorzo and while he's been untidy to be sure I think this is too quick a trigger. But if Rizzo does pull it it won't break my heart.

  85. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Both Uptons brothers are sitting on the bench today.Blue Jays 4 Braves 3 and its only the start of the 2nd inning.

  86. JD - May 28, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    NL, Are you sure about Abad? maybe he is ready to take the Sean Burnett role but I sure haven't seen enough to make that statement.

  87. Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Interesting in the Blue Jays/ Braves game in that neither Upton is in the line up today. Meanwhile it's 4-3 Jays.

  88. Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Sheesh, NatsLady, I'm going to owe you a 6 pack at this rate!

  89. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Natslady glad we see it the same. Im old school double barrel guys working in the bullpen and bring in the lefty to get Dominick Brown and you just cut Storens day short like Davey did yesterday with Stammen when he brought in Abad.In Daveys defense it isnt like he has lots of options outside of Clippard and Abad. We all know he prefers to use Clippard for a full inning which takes away from the one key batter role that Davey needs for his bullpen.

  90. Doc - May 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Good luck to Nate, to-night!Do you have any bros that can hit??

  91. Laddie Blah Blah - May 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    The Nats have swapped out Harp for a guy who has been hitting around .100 all season long, have swapped out Werth for a guy hitting below .150 all season long, have lost Ramos' big bat for the 2nd time this year, have yet to see Zim regain his power stroke, and have watched as Desi has slipped into a slump. The one and only improvement at the plate, lately, has been Lombo for Espinosa.The Nats will score when Zim gets his stroke back, Desi breaks out of his slump, Harp regains his health, and Werth and Ramos finally return, fully healthy. That's a lot of missing firepower from the starting lineup that figures to turn things around in due course.But Rizzo needs to tweak the bench. Only Lombo is contributing to the offense. Tracy, Moore and, especially, Bernie, have been mired below .150 for most of the season, along with Espinosa's being below Mendoza virtually all season long. The Nats can do better than that. They will have to, in order to win their division. And they can. Brown, Owings, Marrero and, especially, Rendon, can juice up the offense. Marrero has surprised me by developing into a respectable power bat at AAA. Rendon has been ready since spring training. Brown is better, both offensively and defensively, than Bernie. Owings would give them a RH power bat off the bench who would probably be an upgrade over Moore in LF, defensively.Moore is a first baseman, not an OFer. Bernie will be 30 years old next year, and he has blown more chances to prove himself than anyone else in the system. Tracy gave them one good year, but hasn't followed up. Kobernus already gives them the super-utility guy who can play the IF and the OF, pinch run, and pinch hit, when needed.Moore might be back next year if he goes back down and regains his stroke, but I doubt if either Bernie or Tracy will be back, anyway, next year, or any year. I don't know what Rizzo is waiting for.Oh, wait, he's hoping for Danny to be put back in the lineup. That'll do it.

  92. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    "Joe Seamhead said… Sheesh, NatsLady, I'm going to owe you a 6 pack at this rate!"I think you owe me 2!

  93. Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    And Jordon Schafer, playing CF today for the Braves hits a 2 out homer in the 2nd to tie it up.

  94. jeffwx - May 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    To continually place blame on the hitting coach when inept hitters can't square up fastballs down the middle (Tyler Moore) foul off pitches that are marginal instead off whiffing (Lombardozzi) recognize unhittable pitches out of the strike zone (Desmond), or swing at the first pitch they see as a pinch hiter and pop it up (Tracy) shows a total disregard to the quality of the students.==========================Then why have a hitting coach ?If He can't improve Moore's after 230 whole ABs in the Majors, why do we need one.

  95. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    JD, no, I am not at all sure about Abad–who can be with a lefty reliever? But he won the spring training "contest" and we shall see, that's all you can ask for. Agree, Duke could be useful, but so far he hasn't been. I don't have a problem keeping him until his spot is needed. Seems like a nice guy who won't have a fit and break his hand if he has a bad outing. He was once an excellent pitcher (All-Star), so if he can bring that back he's worth something.

  96. Joe Seamhead - May 28, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Oops, you're right 128.

  97. sjm308 - May 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Excellent reading today as I join later than usual. Those calling for change-change-change, have you ever thought what making multiple changes does to a clubhouse? I am not for standing pat if someone has struggled and is young enough and has options(Espinosa). But to move multiple players for unknowns in the minors makes little sense to me.We are not playing well on defense or on offense and my expectations were set way too high but I still think we can recover our mojo and get back to playing quality baseball. I am big on the chemistry thing and I think Morse helped more in that area then we will ever know and DeRosa as well.OK – thanks to John C and many others for the positive vibes and a welcome back to the bourbon and malox as well.Go Nats!!

  98. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    "Tracy gave them one good year, but hasn't followed up."Don't you mean Tracy gave them a good 2 months. Really nice guy I hear. Where the nice guys finish.

  99. jeffwx - May 28, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Agree however that the bench should be improved and that Lady B. and others have some good thoughts:1. Bernadina –> Owings/Brown2. Tracy –> Marrero3. Moore –> 4. Lombo –>5. Kobernus –> RendonWhat do we have to lose ?

  100. NatsJack in Florida - May 28, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Who says Moore has fixable problems? Maybe he just can't hit.He wouldn't be the first guy to discover he has unfixable weaknesses.

  101. Anna Peregrina - May 28, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    I always like new players with good anagrams: welcome, Snark!

  102. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    "I always like new players with good anagrams: welcome, Snark!"Ha!

  103. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… Who says Moore has fixable problems? Maybe he just can't hit.He wouldn't be the first guy to discover he has unfixable weaknesses."On the fixability scale, I take Moore over Espy and it really doesnt matter as both arent respectable right now. Put both in AAA and bring up replacements for them. Kobernus is already here so give me Marrero and Brown.As mentioned, the Mariners sent down Ackley who was the #1 prospect a few years ago. It happens. With any luck Ackley figures out his issues and comes back to the Mariners and hits like its 2011. What do you have if you do nothing. The season is 1/3 over. There is no downside in sending them down in this point in there career except for hurting there feelings. Booo Hoooo.

  104. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    I shouldve said I would take Rendon however theres no place to put him. Hes the only impact bat the Nats have ready.

  105. SCNatsFan - May 28, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    I still don't see what the problem is in letting someone who is struggling at the MLB level who has options to be returned to the minors to play every day and see if their groove returns

  106. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    "SCNatsFan said… I still don't see what the problem is in letting someone who is struggling at the MLB level who has options to be returned to the minors to play every day and see if their groove returns"Well that makes just to much sense. Can you ask Rizzo on his call in radio show.

  107. Pilchard - May 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Has it been announced who's spot on the active roster Karns is taking when he starts today?

  108. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Pilchard, he was already on the 40 man and took Xavier Cedenos spot on the 25 man.

  109. EmDash - May 28, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Cedeno was sent back down after not seeing any use yesterday. I imagine he was called up before the decision to have Karns start over Duke was made?Actually, Davey's use of the minor league replacements this year to date suggests that he does not trust them. Cedeno was never used. Eury Perez got 5 plate appearances while he was here. Solano has played in very few games, and Suzuki seems to be wearing down a bit. Kobernus has yet to have a plate appearance. It's very curious all around.

  110. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    You can vote in my new post. Are we all voting for JZimm? Y'know, because he's our guy or we really think he'll win the Cy Young?

  111. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    "There is no downside in sending them down in this point in there career"While this may be true for each individual player, these moves don't happen in a vacuum. Honestly, y'all sound like you're desperately grasping at straws. All the shuffling in the world isn't gonna snap ongoing slumps, repair hamstrings, resolve bursitis, etc., etc., etc. As sjm mentioned, what widespread shuffling *will* do is set anyone who is even remotely under performing to looking over their shoulders, back biting, etc., and convey of a sense of, well, desperately grasping at straws.Yes, an improved bench would help, but a) there's no reason to assume that swapping the current bench for farm hands will lead to actual improvement and b) the bench is not our biggest problem right now. IMO, our biggest problem is we haven't had the full opening day lineup healthy and hitting at the same time for almost the entire season.

  112. NatsLady - May 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Joey Bats. Mmmmmm… nice Joey Bats.

  113. Sec. 3, My Natural Sofa - May 28, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    In the interest of full disclosure, though, my apology was full of snark, hence the backwards question mark ;).The superscript percontention point was too small to see on the screen, I guess. See, I can never tell when you're kidding¿

  114. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    "shuffling *will* do is set anyone who is even remotely under performing to looking over their shoulders, back biting, etc., and convey of a sense of, well, desperately grasping at straws."Kinda like to Lombo before the game when Davey announced that Espy might be ready on Wednesday or Thursday. Sorry, this is the big leagues. you dont perform you can expect reprucussions.

  115. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    >See, I can never tell when you're kidding¿;)

  116. Section 222 - May 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    the bench is not our biggest problem right now. IMO, our biggest problem is we haven't had the full opening day lineup healthy and hitting at the same time for almost the entire season.That's right, and that means that we're going to have bench players starting a lot more than we'd prefer. So the question is not whether you want Brown or Perez or Kobernus on the bench, but whether you want them starting games until Werth and Harper are healthy.

  117. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Nats 128 – what on earth does flipping back and forth between Lombo (a fairly long-standing bench player) and Espi (a…starting position player) have to do with widespread shuffling?

  118. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Lombo has been shuffled around himself. LF, 2nd base, 3rd base, bench, pinch hitter. Seems he has done much better than Espy and deserves to play 2nd base for a few weeks to see if he can contribute there before hearing the whispers that Espy is ready to come back.

  119. Sec. 3, My Natural Sofa - May 28, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Honestly, y'all sound like you're desperately grasping at straws. Well, nobody has yet suggested trading Bernadina, Moore, Tracy, and Storen to the Angels for Steve Trout;signing for Time Machine Willie Mays;trading the first-round draft pick; orcontinued random beatings until morale improves.So it's going to get worse. Great.

  120. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Nats 128, you and others are talking about shuffling the entire face of the bench by swapping out current players for farm hands.Again, what does Lombo moving around the field have to do with that? That's just…using the bench we already have in a way that the bench is meant to be used…

  121. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Eric, I think there's potentially 2 players with options to send to AAA. Im not Jeeves who called for flipping over the bench. Please dont throw me in with those people. I just mentioned some names in the bullpen and bench who arent performing and would like to see TylerMo get a chance in AAA to play every day and the same for Espy. I think if Espy is away then Lombo will play better.

  122. Nats 128 - May 28, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    I watch these hot spot zones on my computer on my MLB At Bat app and it says dont pitch inside to Evan Gatis and what does Ramon Ortiz do. yep, HR.

  123. jeffwx - May 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Eric, we don't have to switch all the players filling in right now. So there's no reasonable way the team can improve the bench or the current starting lineup by using their minor league players to replace others who are not performing well ?Personally, I would keep Lombo and Moore (yes Moore has shown some signs of hitting), but look into the other 2 (Bernadina, Tracy). The second question is who do you replace them with ?Are there players on your 40 man roster that could be an improvement over these two ?Or Do we just stay the course ?

  124. Knoxville Nat - May 28, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    EmDash said:"Actually, Davey's use of the minor league replacements this year to date suggests that he does not trust them."And if I recall correctly wasn't this one of the criticisms frequently thrown at Riggleman, his constant loyalty to veterans over rookies and younger players? Is Davey not in some way cut from the same fabric as Riggleman and many other managers in this regard?

  125. jeffwx - May 28, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Do any of the following players have a better chance of providing support than anyone on the current bench:1. Marrero2. C. Brown3. M. Owings4. A. RendonMaybe some of them aren't ready ?(Tracey, Bernadina, Moore).We need Lombo where he's at.Personally, have given up on Tracy and think he is this year's Matt Stairs.

  126. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Nats 128, fair enough.Likewise, please don't compare what I'm saying with moving Lombo around the field and quasi platooning him with Espi ;)

  127. Eric - May 28, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    jeffwx, I'm not opposed to changes, just agree with others that a wholesale flip is ill advised. Re: Shark, didn't he get a double and a triple against the Phillies, as well as a loud out at the warning track?

  128. Sec. 3, My Natural Sofa - May 28, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    @BillShaikin#Angels LHP Sean Burnett to see doctor later today. He says his left elbow hurts after playing catch today.

  129. Pilchard - May 28, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    The problem with Marrero and Owings is defense. Marrero can only play 1st (or DH), and while Owings can play OF, he is a terrible defensive player. Moore and Bernadina (and Espinosa) have done nothing to keep their MLB jobs, but there are issues with every possible replacment.

  130. A DC Wonk - May 28, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    new post . . .

  131. SCNatsFan - May 28, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    There is always the option to not use our farm system, to go out and trade for anothe bat off the bench

  132. Sec. 3, My Natural Sofa - May 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    There is always the option to not use our farm system, to go out and trade for anothe bat off the benchThere may be that option, but at this point in the season, anybody who thinks they're still in it will probably want to keep whatever bench they have, and anybody who is out already probably doesn't have much worth what they'd ask. They might be able to get somebody like Alfonso Soriano, I suppose.

  133. Sec. 3, My Natural Sofa - May 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Speaking of playing Fantasy GM, you may have seen this from MLBTR about the real one, over the weekend:Rosenthal On Rizzo, Altuve, MattinglyBy Charlie Wilmoth [May 25, 2013 at 8:01pm CST]Nationals GM Mike Rizzo might make an intriguing free agent after the 2015 season, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says in a recent video. Rizzo's friends tell Rosenthal that Rizzo is not afraid of leaving after 2015 if the team does not pay him well. The Nats exercised their 2014 option on Rizzo last month, and have another option for 2015. Earlier this week, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported that the decision to exercise the 2014 option may have annoyed Rizzo, since the contract from which the option came was not especially lucrative. Under the 2014 option, Rizzo will be in the bottom third in GM pay, Kilgore noted. Here's more from Rosenthal.

  134. Less Platu - May 29, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Wow the Power of Prayer!! 100,000 Nats fans were praying for rain to escape a AA rookie going up against the O's

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