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On Harper, Strasburg and the 2012 Tigers

Jun 14, 2013, 10:00 AM EST

Last night on "The Baseball Show," Rob Carlin, Jim Duquette and I discussed the pending return of both Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg from the disabled list, and why all the panic over Harper's trip to see Dr. James Andrews probably was unwarranted.

We also made some interesting comparisons to this year's Nationals club and four pennant winners from the last decade who actually had worse records than this current Nats team through their first 65 games: the 2003 Marlins, 2005 Astros, 2007 Rockies and 2012 Tigers. I think last season's Detroit squad offers some very good parallels to this season's team in D.C., as you'll see in the above clip.

And in this week's Minor League Spotlight, Chase Hughes takes a look at Danny Rosenbaum, who has been perhaps the most consistent member of the rotation at Class AAA Syracuse and could put himself in line for a promotion to D.C. later this season

You can find the Harper/Strasburg and Rosenbaum clips below…Read more »

171 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. baseballswami - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Thanks for the great stuff as usual. Cannot believe you had surgery less than a week ago! And thanks for the other stuff last night. Go Nats!!

  2. jeeves - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Things looking better for the Nats. But the offence should still be a concern. The Nat veterans, have to step up, as in Werth and LaRoche. They have been members of the team for fifteen months now. (actual playing time) Because of injury or ineptness, Werth has produced in approximately three of those fifteen months, LaRoche in approximately five, or fewer, in his fifteen months. Rendon has been a big plus over Espinosa and Desi and Zimm are doing the job, but the two aging veterans with the big salaries have to start earning them. Span getting on base more would help.As someone here noted the other day (I think Wonk), Desi started hitting better when Rendon batted behind him. That might work for the number two hitter as well if Span became more consistent.

  3. Doc - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Probably just wild rumour, but I heard that Balkin' Bub Davidson and and his buddy Hoye are in line to be added to the 40 man roster.Both have 'indisputable' talents and could bring a lot of intangibles to the Nats' game

  4. baseballswami - Jun 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    You know, I watched the game and the guy really did make an obvious move- more than once, at a critical juncture of the game. You cannot pitch at this level and let that happen. They should have been mad at their guy , not the umps.

  5. jeeves - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    On the topic, Rosenbaum did poorly in the second half of last year and has been, I feel, inconsistent this year. Taylor Jordan, on the other hand, has been amazing at AA. He is 5-0, has a 0.60 era, and last night went nine innings for a shutout with eleven strikeouts. I've followed him through the minors and he has been consistently good at every level. Injury did delay him for a while, but obviously, he is back.

  6. fast eddie - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Jeeves:I agree with you re: Werth and Laroche. Their bats are critical and they're not producing.Davey should move Rendon to #2 and drop Werth to #7, if his ego can handle it.

  7. sjm308 - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    While I don't think I have ever seen two balks back to back (not to mention it allowing a run to score), I do agree with Swami that there was definite movement. Do some umps give a little more leeway? sure, but there was movement.Looking forward to this series and another 2 out of 3. That has been my mantra since we started to do well last year and I see no reason to change. I have a running bet each year with one of my old swimmers who lives outside Cleveland and have won the last 3 years (best overall record at the end of the season). Best year was when we had our last game rained out and the Tribe under Manny Acta lost their last game to fall under .500. At one time the Tribe was 12 games over .500 and in first place that year. Aahhh Manny. What a difference.One last bit of totally useless trivia. Did you know that the Indians have used the same mustard at their stadium since 1903? Yes yes, I know its kinda stale by now but seriously, the same brand with the same recipe is what I meant.Go Nats! and thanks Mark for what you do including last night

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Taylor Jordan is pitching for his first full season after TJ surgery and rehab. Previously, the most innings he's ever pitched is a little over 90 in one season. He's already at 77.1 after 12 starts this year I would expect that he gets shut down just shy or right at 140 innings this year.I've followed him since his high school days at Merritt Island and got to observe how hard he worked in rehabbing at Viera. Between his rehab and how much work Robbie Ray put into refining his mechanics into a repeatable form, they were the two guys I identified as ready to bust out this season in their developement.The future looks bright.

  9. Joe Seamhead - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Despite his horrible start, ALR leads the team in runs scored and walks. He's second in home runs, and before yesterday he led the team in RBI's.

  10. Drew - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Mark:Glad to see you're looking well after your DL stint.While Taylor Jordan and A.J. Cole deserve the spotlight for their excellent outings last night, let's also tip the Nats cap to Potomac shortstop Jason Martinson, who hit three home runs.He's still at high A and he'll be 25 in October, but let's give him his due. He's an RBI machine. His bio says that in 2012 he was one of only two minor leaguers to drive in 100 and score 100 runs.He's an unusual power-hitting shortstop. He strikes out a lot, but he's not a plodder. He stole 30 bases last year and has 11 this season.

  11. Gonat - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    NatsJack, that is encouraging info on Taylor Jordan!

  12. Gonat - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Drew, it is also encouraging to hear that AJ Cole is showing the results that we had hoped for.

  13. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Speaking of injuries, any word on how Roger is doing? He looked like he was really hurting in the dugout after that 8th inning collision at second base.

  14. Gonat - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Byron Kerr writes…Harrisburg pitching coach Paul Menhart said Taylor Jordan was able to use "deception mixed in with excellent feel for all" of his pitches________________________________NatsJack, what does the kid throw and how is his velo.

  15. Drew - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Jordan's fastball was hitting 92 late in the game, which was on the radio in Richmond.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Taylor Jordan is at the same stage that Jordan Zimmermann was when he first came up.He tops out at 94-95 with a power sinker and good slider. He also has a solid change up.Robbie Ray hits 94 on the gun with good breaking pitches. He needs to lower his walk total but is K rate is off the charts.

  17. alexva - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Fast Eddie, give Rendon some time to settle in. ultimately he'll be 2nd in the lineup but right now it would be a lot of added pressureDrew, two other guy that struck out a lot in the minors: Danny and Tyler

  18. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    sjm308 said… While I don't think I have ever seen two balks back to back (not to mention it allowing a run to score), I do agree with Swami that there was definite movement. Do some umps give a little more leeway? sure, but there was movement.Just wondering about Balkin' Bob: I wouldn't be surprised if he calls more balks than the rest of the NL umpiring crews combined.That being the case, it seems to me that someone isn't doing his job. Either Davidson is calling them properly and all the other umps simply can't recognize a balk or don't care, or he's wrong and the league doesn't care, even though his blown balk calls actually affect the outcome of games (yesterday's allowed the Nats to tie the game at 3).I can't recognize a balk unless the pitcher goes through the entire throwing motion and never lets go of the ball; Cunegonde asked me what a balk was earlier this season and my answer consisted mostly of the word, "Uh…" before I had to confess all I could tell her was that it amounted to the pitcher's trying to deceive the runner as to whether he's coming home or not. So can someone tell me who's right – Davidson, or all the other umps?

  19. Rabbit34 - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    I definitely agree with Fast Eddie. We are wasting Rendon at the bottom of the lineup and Werth needs to be dropped way down in the lineup where he belongs. While the middle of the lineup guys were striking out, Rendon was barreling the ball.

  20. Gonat - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    NatsJack/Drew, just great stuff. Taylor Jordan is getting up there in age as he will be 25 in the off-season. Sounds like he could get the chance for a September callup if he hasn't hit his innings limit.

  21. MicheleS - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Reposting:Good Morning ALL! Well apparantly it was an eventful evening. Mark thanks for monitoring the site. Have the Show DVR'd so I will watch later today!As with NatsLady, have we heard anything about the Shark?? That shoulder didn't look good.Mom's in town for the degenerate nephew's graduation (YES WE GOT HIM OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL), so I hope to be catching game updates on MLB.com or I might be sneaking a small radio around with me.Good to see Ryan and Desi keep up with the hitting. I hope Desi gets the manager's pick for the ASG.. he was selected last year, but didn't even go to the game. Plus NY is so close and i think we play at home right after the ASG.Very excited to see/hear the games this weekend and CLE. I think we have a good chance for 2/3 and take yet another series.Can't believe that LannAn is pitching on Monday.Stay Positive People! and Enjoy some good games!

  22. Joe Seamhead - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Also,yesterday I mentioned Billy Burns, OF for Potomac and his stolen bases. He had two more last night bringing his total to 35 with only being caught 3 times. At this point I don't know if he has a ML future, but he is a very good defensive OFer and is said to be the fasted player in the Nats organization.

  23. Joe Seamhead - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    "fastest player"

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Remember that both A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray came in the same draft out of high school. Both were paid well over slot and considered by most scouts the top left hander and right hander coming out of high school that year.And both were solidly committed to colleges. Another great job by Rizzo and crew.

  25. -Dan- - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Candide, actually, being a pitcher myself, I can tell you that most times Balkin' Bob is correct. Calling a balk is such a difficult thing, as a pitcher can balk in so many ways, that is almost impossible for an umpire to check every aspect of a pitching motion at the same time at full speed. Yesterday's second balk was just a slight mistake by the Colorado pitcher, but it was called (correctly) only because Balkin' Bob had his attention on Lopez's right hand for checking if he would have done the same movement twice. So my opinion is that Davidson pays more attention to pitchers' motions than most of the other umps, who just give up and call only the most obvious ones.

  26. JD - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    GonatJordan isn't likely to make it up this year because as NatsJack said he will reach his innings limit before September but he will likely be in the mix next spring.Good calls Nats Jack.

  27. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    As someone noted, Jordan is (A) 25; (B) was allowed to go 9IP and 111 pitches last night. Suggesting the Nats are unlikely to be as protective with him as they were w/ Strasburg. I think he goes more than 140 innings if he stays healthy, not necessarily long enuf for a September callup. Plus, he's not on the 40-man roster which is at least a slight complication.Say he gets four more starts in June, five in July, averaging six-seven innings/start. Another start in August puts him around 140 innings, in which event they might sit him until the AFL season. He definitely needs some AAA or AFL competition before they can contemplate bringing him up to the bigs.

  28. Doc - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    sjm308 great stat on the mustard at Indians' park.Let's hope that the hotdogs are a little fresher!

  29. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    -Dan- Thanks for that.So my opinion is that Davidson pays more attention to pitchers' motions than most of the other umps, who just give up and call only the most obvious ones. You'd think MLB would send the umps to off-season refresher classes or something or that umps would have an off-season convention with workshops ("How To Spice Up The Game With An Unexpected Balk Call", "Punchouts With Style: How To Be The Star Of The Show On Strike Three", "Ow, My Balls! Avoiding Those Pesky Foul Tips…"). I don't care much for the excuse that the job is difficult. If it was easy, I could do it. The guys who play the game every day are the ones who their teams believe are the 750 or so best players in the U.S., and we beat them up for the tiniest sins of both commission (swinging at the first pitch when the two guys ahead of you both walked) or omission (not hustling out of the batter's box on a long drive).These are supposed to be the best 60 or so umps in the entire U.S. And yet they can collectively decide – with one striking exception – that they can't be bothered learning and enforcing a rule that everyone knows is on the books.They must have a great union.

  30. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    "Also,yesterday I mentioned Billy Burns, OF for Potomac and his stolen bases."Joe, I've been tracking him, as well. I haven't seem him play, so it is good to know that he is a good defender. He is the only P-Nat position player to be named to the Eastern League All-Star team. When Span's contract is up, I think the Nats have been expecting Brian Goodwin to step into the CF role in 2 years. With an OBP consistently over .420, and the way he steals bases, young Mr. Burns could put himself into consideration as the perfect lead-off guy, if he keeps performing at higher levels the way he is at Potomac. I hope the Nats move him up to AA before year-end, so we can see both him and Goodwin on the same field.

  31. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    "As with NatsLady, have we heard anything about the Shark?? That shoulder didn't look good."It looked like he was rubbing his right collar bone. I once dislocated my right collar bone, and it is not a pleasant injury to deal with. That did not look good to me. It will be a lot worse this morning, if that's what happened to Shark. I thought we would have heard by now. Bernie was really performing after an awful 0 for 30 start to the year, and had become the Nats most reliable bench player.

  32. Doc - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Thanks for all the scouting reports, NatsJack!Do you think that they'll soon move Robbie Ray up a notch?

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    If Robbie starts showing better control by not issuing 4.5 walks per 9 innings, yes. Especially if Jordan gets a shot at Syravuse.

  34. alexva - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    not to rain on the Billy Burns parade but he's a year older than Eury Perez and two levels below him. he does get on base more via walk but he shows very little power

  35. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Jordan's game is in the archives of MiLB.tv if you want to see it (and have the program)."Harrisburg Senatorshttp://www.milb.com/milb/multimedia/milbtv.jsp

  36. -Dan- - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Candide,last thing i wanna do is to justify an umpire for not calling a balk. It's a call they have got to make, just like every other call. The only difference that, in my opinion, makes it even tougher, is that it can happen at any time during a ballgame. You know a pitch is gonna come when you decide whether it is a ball or a strike, you don't know during which half inning a pitcher will hesistate for a split of a second, causing a balk. I noticed this yesterday during the bottom of the seventh, just after the two balks were called I just found a small example in the Condensed Game (http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=28003929) at minute 11:22.The second base umpire is clearly looking at the runner on first, ignoring Stammen's delivery to the plate. What if Stammen balked there and the only man who could see it was the second base umpire? We wouldn't have known, and the runner would have stayed at first, with no balk called. My point is that for calling balks, you have to really pay attention to the pitcher's motion for nine innings, and even then, it wouldn't be guaranteed that every balk would be called. Therefore, i can't really blame the umps for that.

  37. A DC Wonk - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    "Punchouts With Style: How To Be The Star Of The Show On Strike Three",Or, last night: an ump punched out a guy with nice flair — on strike two! Really! (I'm sure somebody enterprising here will find the video in 5 minutes of looking ;-) )

  38. A DC Wonk - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Because of injury or ineptness, Werth has produced in approximately three of those fifteen months, LaRoche in approximately five, or fewer, in his fifteen months.Yes — but — as Joe Seamhead said…Despite his horrible start, ALR leads the team in runs scored and walks. He's second in home runs, and before yesterday he led the team in RBI's.Let me also add:In the last 365 days (or, actually, when I saw the stat, which was Jun 12 2012 to Jun 12 2013) ALR has the third most home runs of anybody in the league.

  39. -Dan- - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    There ya go, DC Wonk: http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=27996481

  40. A DC Wonk - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Balks:I can't recognize a balk unless the pitcher goes through the entire throwing motion and never lets go…There are a myriad ways to balk. The one the Davidson called, and although I've almost never seen it called (it was called on the Nats this year I think, too) is as followsif I understand correctly:When a pitcher is on the rubber, once he starts his motion of bringing his pitching hand to his glove, he has to complete that motion and bring the hand to the glove(do I have that right?)what the pitcher did yesterday was move his right hand a bit, stop, and the move it again towards the gloveif the above rule as I stated is accurate, then it's a clear balk (albeit a somewhat minor move that I don't see called very often — but maybe because other pitchers don't do it very often?)Hope that helps a bit

  41. A DC Wonk - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Re a "punch out on strike two":-Dan- said… There ya go, DC Wonk: http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=27996481Wow — two minutes! You guys are great! Thanks!

  42. capitalbeltwaysportsblog.com - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    http://www.capitalbeltwaysportsblog.comCheck out my article above for the 3 reasons the Nats are back.

  43. Joe Seamhead - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I would've liked to gone up to Frederick to watch Cole last night, but with the crazy weather there was no way.My daughter's street in Rockville got crushed, but she and my grandsons were ok, along with their home.They still don't have power, but it is expected to be back soon.Laddie Blah Blah, the knock on Burns is his size [5'-9"] and no home run power. His arm is "OK' but not five star. He hasn't had an error this year, gets on base @ a .431clip, hits over .300, has a low strike out ratio of about 12%, last year at Hagerstown it was less then 1 out of every 10 AB's, and draws a lot of walks.I also hope that he gets moved up.

  44. Gonat - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    On to Cleveland! I think Strasburg's 1st road start of his career was in Cleveland.

  45. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    -Dan- said … The second base umpire is clearly looking at the runner on first, ignoring Stammen's delivery to the plate. What if Stammen balked there and the only man who could see it was the second base umpire? Sure, umps miss plays all the time. Okay, not ALL the time, but certainly at least once or twice every game. The fact that they get the bangbang calls at first right so regularly is, frankly, a mystery that surpasseth my understanding.But there's a difference between getting a call wrong, or even missing a call (as you point out above), and deliberately, as a policy, ignoring a rule. So what if it's tough to catch balks? That's what you're paid to do. And it appears that only one ump in the game does it. And everyone makes fun of him.

  46. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    @capitolbeltwaysportsblogThanks for the link. Enjoyed your graphic with the ranking of the Nats in various categories. (Might steal it, as the way I present similar stats is kind of boring…)

  47. Joe Seamhead - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Thanks, Wonk. I think the knock on ALR not producing is a little bit of a stretch. He hasn't driven in many the last ten games, but he has gotten on base, by hook or by crook, almost every game since he broke out of his deep slump. All batters have cool spells, and he has cooled a little, but I don't see him as "not producing. Werth? He's basically still getting his timing back after missing a long month.The one I can't justify in any way, other then he's a nice guy, is Chad Tracy. He's 0-forever seemingly. This is no longer a small sample size, even for a pinch hitter. Like I said the other day, find something else for Jewitt to do before he hurts himself, and make Tracy the 3rd base coach. [for the record: said with a little bit of my tongue in my cheek].

  48. blovy8 - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Burns could be a Brett Butler type of player if he kept up that walk rate, but he'll have a hard time doing it as he advances to higher leagues. Still, you have to love a guy who hits more triples than doubles.

  49. natsfan1a - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Mark's the bees' knees.Speaking of Balking Bob, the Rockies fan behind me couldn't believe the second balk. He said he'd never seen that happen, so I turned around to commiserate about Balking Bob and tell him about the Hernandez/Perez (I think it was Perez) incident. He told me, "And Davidson is from here, too." I'm like, "Yeah, you'd think he'd be more fair." And he's like, "Maybe you could take him back with you." And I'm like, "Thanks, but no thanks."And carrying forward:Drew, my husband drove up to the summit but it wasn't his first mountain-driving rodeo (getting into the local lingo here). Before the game, we visited the baseball museum near the park. The guy working there was a Nats fan who had recently relocated to Denver, and we had fun talking about RFK and Nats Park experiences with him. I highly recommend the museum, btw.We also visited the Pacific Mercantile Company before the game. It's an Asian grocery/sundries store. I was looking for a certain type of cookie as well as a maneki neko or two (lucky/beckoning cat). We found and purchased both the cookies and maneki neko. As we were checking out, the older gent behind the counter noticed our Nats gear and asked if we were going to the game. We said yes. He said, "You're going to win today." I was like, "I don't know. Our starter just came off the DL." He replied, "Doesn't matter. You're going to win." I'm like, "Well, your offense is pretty good." Him: "Doesn't matter. You're going to win." Well, grocery store dude-guy, you were right. And thank you. :-)

  50. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Yesterday the umps had to call 13/14/18 inning games. On June 8 they had a doubleheader, and 11/18/20 inning games. (not all the same umps, of course). They don't get to go in the dugout every 1/2 inning for bathroom breaks and gatorade. That's a lotta hours on your feet with total attention, and in those extra-inning games, every play is high-leverage (well, maybe not for Mets/Marlins–but still, imagine 6 and a quarter hours officiating the Mets/Marlins…). I got sympathy.

  51. natsfan1a - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Oh, and the Cleveland mustard is very tasty. I brought some home with me after the game we attended there.

  52. bowdenball - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    FWIW on the balk, it didn't affect the game result. Without it the Nats would have entered the bottom of the 9th up 4-3 instead of 5-3, but they would have held Arenado at first instead of letting him move to second on defensive indifference, and he wouldn't have scored on Helton's single. The game ends 4-3 instead of 5-4, but the same team gets the W.

  53. Traveler8 - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Echoing 1a, you can buy the mustard in the Jake's team store, great souvenir!Re balking twice in a row, I recall our pitcher doing it, and Angel Hernandez calling him on it – looked like he was about to kill Hernandez, with teammates dragging him off and he was thrown out of the game. What I am blanking on is his name – only pitched for Washington for one year, Dominican, and was the starting day pitcher for the first game at Nats Park. I have no doubt that if I hit send it will instantly come to me.

  54. waddu eye no - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    wonk & dan – re: "strike two or three"the real story isn't the call – it's that an umpire admitted a mistake.

  55. Caps Fan - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    The pitcher was Odalis Perez. I was at that game. Angel Hernandez called him for two balks, but I don't think they were consecutive. Apparently Perez and Angel had a history over balk calls.

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    NatsJack and Drew, help me out here on scaling the young arms. The pool of potential top of the rotation guys are Cole, Purke, Giolito.The pool of middle rotation guys are TJordan,Karns, Robbie Ray, Sammy Solis.What I find interesting is Taylor Jordan was nowhere on this years Baseball America list of notable Nats and Rosenbaum might just end up AAAA or needs to be tried in the bullpen. I don't think he can handle the innings and becomes an over-thrower.

  57. NCNatsie - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I still don't get balks. Last year I suggested in this blog that the whole balk rule be scrapped, and several of you came down hard on me, saying that it would be the end of baserunning as we know it.No doubt you were right, and I overspoke. But how in the world did last nights two separate and virtually undetecdtable motions deceive the runners? In each case, only one (a different one) of four umpires and nobody else could even detect them. Would the runner on third have stolen home if he hadn't done the second one? Let's get serious.Besides, if Candide can't tell you what something is, it doesn't belong in baseball.So I'm proposing a compromise. Strip the balk rule of its hyper-anality and reduce it to something umps can see and that actually does make it harder for runners to do their thing.

  58. SCNatsFan - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Sorry if mentioned previously but Duke now a Red to AAA

  59. Traveler8 - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Caps Fan, thanks, Odalis Perez, exactly – if he didn't do it consecutively as I remember, i am quite sure it happened in the same inning.

  60. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Is the blog back working?Morning folks…Really glad to hear about T Jordan and him doing so well… I wonder how much longer before he gets sent up to the next level…I know it is still early but with the news that Morse trade seems that we got the better end of the deal…Just heard Z Duke signed with the Reds… Good for him.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    The Nats play a 4 game home series next week against the Rockies and won't have to face Troy Tulowitzki and still uncertain on Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler on how long they will be out.

  62. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    NCNatsie, a good base-stealer has his eye on every minute movement the pitcher makes. You are talking fractions of a second here, which is why Span getting picked off doesn't bother me if it's in the 1st inning–he gets a feel for the pitcher's motion and his pick-off move and transmits that information to Desi & co. Now, you could argue if Lopez always makes that motion to his glove, it's not "deceptive." That might hold if you are talking about a starting pitcher. In this case you have a reliever on a team that is not a division rival–how much video do you think our boys saw on this guy? Probably not much, and if they did watch video they focused on his pitch types, movement, release point, etc.As Davey said, you can't be doing that at the major-league level, and certainly not the second (or third) time.

  63. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    You're about right, Ghost but keep in mind that Cole and Ray are only 21. The others are older yet their developement has been slowed by injury.I still think Ray and Taylor Jordan followed by Cole are the more immediate prospects while the others have alot to show.

  64. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Oh… and I'm not high on Karns as a starter.

  65. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    BTW, rather than lessening the possiblitly of a balk, they have actually increased it by disallowing the "move to third, then throw to first." You might get the feeling MLB likes action on the basepaths.

  66. -Dan- - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    NatsLady is right, and they even disallowed a fake move to third. You now can only fake a pickoff move to second, which is a huge thing for baserunners, not only for stealing but even for secondary leads.

  67. Exposremains - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Jordan looked overmatch against the Cards in spring training. To the ones that have seen Jordan is there reason to believe that he has improve enough to be able to be sucessful at the MLB le vel now?

  68. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    NCNatsie said…Besides, if Candide can't tell you what something is, it doesn't belong in baseball.Wait, WHAT???

  69. bowdenball - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I saddens me to ask this, but are there any semi-decent catchers who might be available at the trade deadline in exchange for one of our young arms? I think we may need one.

  70. D'Gourds - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I agree with you NCNatsie. How in the world does a slight twitch to reach into your glove BEFORE you even come to a set pause can be decyesterday offer any advantage? It's moronic. As it is 80% of base steal attempts are sucessful. And they even take away the third to first move, further shifting the advantage to the runner. We got lucky yesterday as that run was the difference in the game. A game shouldn't be determined by whether Balkin' Bob is on the diamond.

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Exposremains, not everyone is going to be a 1-3 on the Nats and the Nats #4 (Detwiler) could be a #1 on the Os.The Nats need some internal candidates that can be consistent 3.99 guys and take that #5 spot and organizational depth.

  72. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Jordan was working on his mechanics in ST…..that and still building arm strength. There hasn't been one hiccup in his season , so far. Before his TJ, he was considered as having the best "stuff" in the minor league system.

  73. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    bowdenball said… I saddens me to ask this, but are there any semi-decent catchers who might be available at the trade deadline in exchange for one of our young arms? I think we may need one. June 14, 2013 10:36 AM Don't be sad. I think Ramos will be back at the All Star break and Suzuki clearly isn't handling the grind.Are you thinking something else?

  74. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Davey really has to get better on day-offs for some of these fatigued players. The grind is taking its toll. Suzuki is batting well below Mendoza on the season now for road games and Werth needs a day off as well as LaRoche and possibly even Span.

  75. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Bowdenball – Re the catcher, dont feel bad… Im not sure we need to get another catcher as I know we are loaded thru the farms but DJ probably needs to let The Onion play at least 1 game every series so that Zook can get some rest…At least, that is what I am thinking…

  76. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    If Lopez "looked puzzled" (as described in one article) after the first balk, then all he had to do was ask his manager or pitching coach to get clarification on what was the balk. Or, his manager/coach should go to the mound be proactive. If you balk three times in an inning with exactly the same move, someone is not doing their job. The first balk call (not by Davidson) was a warning, and it was ignored. I'm without sympathy.

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I'm hoping it was the Colorado air as the reason for the sluggishness of some of the players.

  78. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Argh GoSM – I was just about to post … I know with the injuries DJ has to lean a little on the regs and not give them days off but there are certain players who desperately need it.. Span and Werth for sure… I actually thought Marerro would have played instead of LaRoche yesterday….I hope Roger B is okay… But it may be time for C Brown to come up and help out…

  79. D'Gourds - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    NatsLady, explain to me how a twitch to reach into the glove before set position offers an advantage to the pitcher. Also, I don't follow the difference between a starter and reliever in that respect.

  80. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Ghost, Davey did the same thing last year and it was really getting on my nerves. LaRoche especially looked worn down but played game after game even though there were alternatives, and even though we had a solid lead in the Division.This year, the only person who has had a "scheduled day off" is Desi (one in May). When you are on a long road trip and with no off-day until June 24, the fatigue factor has to be managed. Let Marrerro or Tracy take a turn at 1B. The problem of off-days in the outfield will solve itself when Harper gets back. Hopefully that will be in Philly, a familiar park.

  81. Exposremains - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Thanks for the infos. Hs numbers are certainly encouraging.

  82. bowdenball - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Mrs B-I feel bad is because the reason I was asking is that I think we need an upgrade for Suzuki. He had a great September for us last year and then started out well for the first few weeks of 2013, but thanks to that little run many Nats fans are oblivious to the fact that he was dreadful offensively for most of 2012 and now for 2013 as well. He's an adequate but not great defensive catcher. I like having him back there, but when you're OPS is constantly threatening to dip below .600, as Suzuki's has been for two seasons now, you need to be playing Molina level defense to make up for it.

  83. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    D'Gourds–regarding starter vs. reliever. A starter has been in the game for several innings, plus the team has seen video on him. If he is consistent with his motion, the umps will probably not call a balk because they feel runners should not be "deceived" by something they have had opportunities to scope out.With a reliever, you are talking about one inning of a guy you've never seen before. There is little opportunity to scope out his delivery.There is more opportunity for deception, but it has to be within the rules. It could be that Lopez always, or often does than motion with his glove, or maybe he was just nervous. But the umps don't evaluate motives–even if he didn't intend to deceive, the effect was deceptive.As to movement to the glove–see above. Good runners are on a hair-triggerl, Just imagine runners at the track, how many times do they make a false starts? Answer, lots. But they have to hold back if they have already made one because the next one will disqualify them. So if you have a pitcher whose delivery is deceptive, you have to hold back your body from that instantaneous move.

  84. Joe Seamhead - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Ghost, didn't we just have an off day and a rain out? I'm not sure that I agree with you on those guys needing a day off. Except Zook's, who wasn't on your list. And until Harper gets back, if I'm pitching I want Denard in CF every inning, and with Shark possibly hurt, I want Werth in RF. I think that Jayson needs AB's, not tar time.And I think that anybody else at first is a serious downgrade.

  85. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    "You are talking fractions of a second here, which is why Span getting picked off doesn't bother me if it's in the 1st inning–he gets a feel for the pitcher's motion and his pick-off move and transmits that information to Desi & co." I read stuff like this and have to wonder if this is sarcasm.There is a huge difference between a pick-off where the runner goes 1st move compared to a pick-off where a runner is caught. Spans pick-offs are just being caught. Getting picked off like Span is a cardinal sin of baseball and if it happens multiple times like Span you have to coach him to take a smaller lead. Here Span was supposed to cause confusion to the pitcher on the basepaths and it has worked the oppisite as it has been Span who looks confused on the basepaths.

  86. pk24 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    I agree with others who have opined that Jeeves' criticism of ALR is misplaced. True, he hasn't hit for power as much this year, but he is getting on base and delivering with RISP. What is notable is his approach this year when opposing teams utilize the defensive shift. Last year he didn't seem to exploit the shift too often but this year he is taking advantage with easy hits. As veteran he knows when the team needs base runners and when it needs him to swing away. He may not put up the same number of HRs as last year but I wouldn't be surprised by a similar RBI total and a higher batting average than last year by end of the season.

  87. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Bowdenball, I agree with you about Suzuki as he just isn’t good enough defensively to make up for the drop off in his offense.The worst part will be that there is the looming $8+ million option that is going to kick in that will be a huge overpay and that money needs to be spent to overhaul the bench. Do you realize what $8 million buys you in bench players these days: 8 Chad Tracys! ;)

  88. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Nope, not sarcasm. Sorry.

  89. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    LOL on the 8 Chad Tracys! So we might get a hit every 32 games?

  90. pk24 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  91. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Does it seem to anyone that Desi has slightly altered his approach recently? More singles, a couple of walks (!), and not swinging at EVERY first pitch?

  92. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Bowdenball – I love Suzuki… But I get what you are saying… I hope he stays with the team but I think his # could and would be better if we didn't run him ragged… I think he calls a heck of a game and can be an offensive weapon… Not too many can play every day and this is where DJ needs to see that his folks maybe needs more breaks…

  93. -Dan- - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I agree with NatsLady on Span and the pickoffs. Last week my team was playing against a lefty which had 2-3 different deceptive moves. When our leadoff guy got on base, he was picked off at the fourth throw over, but we, from the bench, saw every type of move that lefty could do to pick us off, so we weren't at all mad at him. It's his job to do the "scouting" on the pitcher, and we ran a lot on the pitcher during the game also thanks to his work during the first inning.And yes, Desi is way more patient, he isn't afraid to go deep into counts and he has even drew more walks as of late.

  94. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Just heard Tulo is out 4-6 weeks with a broken rib… Ouch!I guess we wont see him next week…

  95. Eric - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    What happened to the Shark? Guess I shouldn't turn off the atbat feed when checking out at stores any more ;).

  96. Eric - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Agreed re: Desi's plate approach.

  97. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    For those on ALR, his power comes in waves. It was his ability to hit the outside pitches to leftfield that kept the teams from putting the shift on him and he has quite a few hits to short rightfield that could have been outs if the shift was on.Of note is the this years LH/LH slash of LaRoche .220 .277 .424 .701 which is 106 below his OPS for facing RH pitching. The .277 OBP isn't going to work but Davey keeps trotting him out there against Lefty starters. Yes, there are Leftys that LaRoche hits well. Marrero should have started yesterday.

  98. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    -Dan- said… And yes, Desi is way more patient, he isn't afraid to go deep into counts and he has even drew more walks as of late. It sure helps that he doesn't feel he has to do it all himself. Having Rendon behind him is the 1st time this year he has had a legit hitter. You could see in the 2nd game of the Cubs series they put Desi in a slump as they weren't giving him anything to hit and Desi expanded his zone and struggled for a while. It's great to see the good Desi back.

  99. D'Gourds - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    But my point is where is the DECEPTION? Before set position, the pitcher can't go home. Any throw must be to the base. So why would a microscopic twitch before set position be deceptive? I can understand the deception of a twitch after set position, but not before. Also, a balk should be a balk whether it's a reliever or starter.

  100. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Dan, can you qualify for us who you play for? Major League teams have film on all current pitchers and the 1st base coaches job in particular is to know the pitchers move, timing, ect to communicate back to the baserunners. Some teams go an entire season with no pickoffs like we have seen with Span.

  101. mick - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    power finally back at home, had to listen to Charlie and Dave yesterday… but I love them and they are good.I assume Det looked OK? now, a little momentum going Nats way

  102. SCNatsFan - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I feel for Suzuki but clearly we are running him into the ground. If Ramos is going to miss extended time then I think we need to get a better back up option if the onion is not the answer.

  103. mick - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    in terms of added depth, if Espi can right his ship, you can rest one of the 3, Desi, Rendon and Espi later in the season. my question is…who is back up 1b?? Tracy, Zim??

  104. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Exceptable risk is getting caught stealing, botched hit and run, suicide squeeze that doesnt work out. Getting picked off so your bench knows a pick-off move is not exceptable risk. This is a foolish discussion.

  105. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    mick, glad you are back. I lost my power to. It was painfull posting from my cellphoen.

  106. mick - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    thanks nats128…. I have too many right thumbs to be able to post from my cell, lol

  107. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    "my question is…who is back up 1b?? Tracy, Zim??"Chris Marrero for now.

  108. mick - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    so is it possible that Zim play 1b this year, in order to rest ALR?

  109. -Dan- - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Nats 128, i play in the Italian Baseball League, which is more or less like Double A Baseball. Some of our games are televised and we have some clips, even though we don't have as many as in MLB. I never said that Span has to get picked off in order to be a good leadoff man, that would be stupid, but it CAN happen. And in the end, you can watch as many clips as you like of a pitcher, but still seeing it in person on a given night gives you a way better idea and perspective.

  110. mick - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    ah, thanks Nats 128, did not see your post, that makes sense and I forgot about Marrero

  111. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    mick, I tried only 1 post last night to stick up for Gonat. I stuck to reading and then Marks blog seemed to shut down. Some loser Oreos fan was causing problems. Mark deleted a few dozen posts. Guy was threating people and challenging them to fights.

  112. mick - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Nats 128 glad I had to listen to radio

  113. NCNatsie - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Candide said "Wait, WHAT???"Just a small tribute to your erudition.

  114. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Dan, thanks for the distinction and your bio. You want to encourage throwovers to see what he has however never subject yourself to a pick-off. Span has seemed to learn his lessons or maybe the coaches sat him down for a talk. The Twins I noticed tried several times to catch him flatfooted and he got back each time. I guess thats called progress. Overall his baserunning has been bad. A disapointment since that was supposed to be a strength of his game.

  115. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    I also didn't say Span SHOULD get picked off. I said I didn't mind if he got picked off in the 1st inning, If it happens repeatedly in later innings, especially if it dries up a rally, I would be really upset. Span said at the beginning of the year he wanted to improve in that area, steal more and get caught less. So far, we haven't seen it, but his speed is apparent in getting the extra base hits, and of course in the the outfield. Hopefully, as he gains familiarity with NL pitchers and catchers, it will happen.

  116. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    128, I also came home from work and tried to post a question about Bernadina's status. It kept saying "You must be a member of this blog to post." After Mark got off his TV show I was able to post, so I assume he blocked all posting for that period due to the one disruptive poster. A shame that was necessary, but we have a good blog here and a good blog administrator.

  117. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    NatsLady, is there a Bernadina update. He played in LF after his collision at 2nd.Didnt Bernadina hit Tulos knee. If he hit Tulos knee how did Tulo break his rib.

  118. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Tulo also came up hurting after the Desmonds 4th hit, the one he dove for but couldn't get the ball over to second. They seem to think it was more that play.

  119. Nats 128 - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Natsjack, gotcha. Tough watching a game on a radio if you kno what I mean!

  120. Caps Fan - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    "D'Gourds said… But my point is where is the DECEPTION? Before set position, the pitcher can't go home. Any throw must be to the base. So why would a microscopic twitch before set position be deceptive? I can understand the deception of a twitch after set position, but not before. Also, a balk should be a balk whether it's a reliever or starter."His move violated the letter of the balk rule, although perhaps not the spirit of the rule. But for those who advocate removing all the specifics in the balk rule, that's a bad idea. It puts you into the same quagmire as checked swings.

  121. jeeves - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    My LaRoche and Werth comments were totally on base (no pun intended) . LaRoche missed almost his entire first year with the Nats. Werth's first year was very poor. Last year LaRoche had a carreer year but a month and a half of the year was abysmal offensively. Werth missed half a year due to injury but was good the rest of the year. This year twenty first baseman have more rbi's than LaRoche and another five have only one fewer. And Werth this year. C'mon, check the stats for the limited time he has been playing.

  122. NCNatsie - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    I don't think I advocated removing all the specifics, just — if we must have it — making the rule so that: a) it really has something to do with acatually giving the runner a fair chance to steal the base (thanks D'Gourds for your comments on this point), and b) when it happens unpires and others can notice it in real time. I would also note that talking about baserunners studying videotape of pitchers moves is irrelevant, since balk rules were in place long before the invention of videotape.

  123. Doc - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Now that we have 2B guys coming out the ying-yang, maybe it's time that CBrown be given a chance to play some MLB.Tracy was always seen as Zim's backup, but we have ARen more than ready to do that job, and then there's Lombo too. Seems like Kobernus, like Lombo, can do everything but pitch.

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    jeeves, your ALR stats while on point for the entire season is what happens when you are playing catch up. ALR had a dismal month of April which makes any comparison difficult when 40% of his time was poor stats. ALR had a fantastic month of May. The only way to judge him will be on how he does going forward as we can't change the past.I think the real discussion on him happens in the off-season and I wouldn't be shocked if the Nats swallow their pride and make him the big lefty bat off of the bench if his production isn't upper 1/2 of 1st basemans for the season. His defense is good on the bag, not great in the field, but he's an over-compensation for RZim's poor throws. Well if you move RZim to 1st base you increase your overall production and most likely infield defense. The Nats can then look at Rendon's 2013 production and defense and decide if they move him to 3rd and get a new 2nd baseman or vice versa.

  125. bowdenball - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    jeeves said…"Last year LaRoche had a carreer year but a month and a half of the year was abysmal offensively"Huh? Which month and a half was that? The only month is which is OBP slipped under .300, June, was also a 7 HR month for him.Also I checked Werth's stats for the limited time he's been playing. They're not good. What's your point? That he should be on base more? Yes, you're right. The .388 he posted last year would be more than enough. Let's hope he gets back there, but he can't just try extra hard and make it happen. Playing time, spot in the batting order and matchups play a role.Also, you have inadvertently provided a great argument as to why RBIs are just a terrible way to measure batters. Why do you think LaRoche's RBI total is low? Would it surprise you to know that LaRoche has a .310/.483/.524 slash line with RISP? With guys on second or third this season he's basically been as good as Albert Pujols in his prime. You can't possibly ask more than that. The RBI total is low because there's no runs for him to bat in because nobody is on base ahead of him, not because he hasn't been "productive."

  126. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    NCNatsie said… Candide said "Wait, WHAT???" Just a small tribute to your erudition.My writing abilities far exceed my baseball knowledge, which is why I'm always asking for clarification on rules (and maybe I'm a little anal-retentive…).

  127. Doc - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    I think that your speculation is right Ghost.Not sure if ALR would be happy with bench work, but it would loosen the log jam in the infield.By the way, I said last year that Mickey Mo was better than ALR in the field, but had a few things to learn to get better than ALR around the bag. What ALR does around the bag is like magic.

  128. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Doc, nobody has a better glove on the base than LaRoche with Texeira, Loney and Votto right behind him but his lateral defense just isn't great. That hot shot he missed in Haren's blow-up inning with 2 outs continued that inning and the eventual 3 run HR.I am well documented on the pros and cons of Morse and the main reason they needed ALR back IMHO was so RZim didn't commit a dozen or more errors this year. Maybe Morse could have improved but I think that was the main reason.This could be a very very expensive lesson to Rizzo and even more expensive if Suzuki is a $8 million backup to Ramos in 2014.Yes, they are 1 year problems but I also think you don't start players based on size of their salaries. Again, fine for this year to continue "as is" just that this will probably be a hot off-season topic and with the stats Jeeves brought up, it's time to park that away as a possibility.

  129. bowdenball - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…"This could be a very very expensive lesson to Rizzo and even more expensive if Suzuki is a $8 million backup to Ramos in 2014."Not exactly sure what you're talking about here with respect to LaRoche. But I'm even more lost with respect to Suzuki. His $8 million for 2014 is a club option I believe, if they don't want to pay him $ 8 million for whatever role that have in mind for him, they won't.

  130. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I have not seen anything on Roger, but as you know this team waits until the very last minute to announce anything (not that I blame them).

  131. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Suspension: Kennedy 10 games, Hinske 5, Howell 2, Schumaker 2, McGwire 2, Belisario 1, Mattingly 1, Gibson 1.Zack Greinke, Yasiel Puig were fined but not suspended. Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra were fined as well

  132. Tcostant - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    $5 tickets for the next two series:http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/5series.jspHarper Bobbleheads tickets gone, but rest still have seats including Saturday.

  133. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    As I understand Zuki's contract there is a team option for 2014, and a 650K buyout. But the amount that Zuki would make if the team exercises the option increases by 750K if he plays over a certain number of games this year. Doubt very seriously that Zuki will be back unless he agrees to a significantly smaller contract.

  134. Caps Fan - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    "I don't think I advocated removing all the specifics, just — if we must have it — making the rule so that: a) it really has something to do with acatually giving the runner a fair chance to steal the base (thanks D'Gourds for your comments on this point), and b) when it happens unpires and others can notice it in real time."Three times yesterday the pitcher violated the rule that says you can't make a move to the glove, stop, and make another move to the glove. That's the kind of move that can deceive a runner, and that's why it's specified in the rule. It may well be that this pitcher always makes that move so runners aren't deceived by it, but it still is a violation of the balk rule that was noticed by umpires and others in real time. All balks are not caught, just as all highway speeders are not caught. But just as the driver is still speeding whether or not he's caught, the pitcher is still balking even if it's not called. Pitchers should know that and not make those moves.

  135. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Ten game suspension–I think that's the most I've seen other than PEDs. We see the D-backs starting June 25. Wonder if he will appeal or just serve it.

  136. Caps Fan - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    The two catchers who have caught the most games in MLB over the last five years are Yadier Molina and Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki's durability is a big part of his worth to this team. Given Ramos's injury history, I fully expect Rizzo to pick up Suzuki's option whether or not he gets enough starts for it to vest. $8M is not a big price to pay for the certainty of having a proven big league catcher like Suzuki available for the full 162.

  137. DaveB - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    I think Suzuki's 2014 contract both goes to 9.25M and vests if he gets over 113 starts.

  138. bowdenball - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Caps Fan said…$8M is not a big price to pay for the certainty of having a proven big league catcher like Suzuki available for the full 162.That's a huge price to play for a .280 OBP and a .320 slugging with average defensive skills. It doesn't matter if its one guy making 162 starts or ten guys making sixteen starts each. That's replacement level production, which by definition means you can find it pretty much anywhere on the cheap.

  139. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Just a quick two cents on the balks. No doubt that both calls were justified and I'm glad we won the game, but I agree with those who think that there was no deception involved and there is no reason to call those tiny flinches a balk. Any rule that is so technical that most umpires won't enforce it, or that a single umpire gets the reputation for enforcing differently than everyone else, and he's actually right, needs to be revisited.

  140. jeeves - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Bowdenball, In June of last year LaRoche batted. 182 with a. 253 oba. From August 7th to the end of that month he batted approx. .175. His whole month of August had a. 239 ba, 302 oba, and 389 slg. line.By what standards can those numbers be acceptable. Obviously, the rest of the year he was outstanding, but true to form, he still had those major slumps.

  141. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Almost certain that the "vesting" has to do with the increased salary that goes with the team option on Zuki, it doesn't force the Nats to exercise it. Relax everyone, Rizzo isn't going to pay 9.25 million for a backup catcher, or even a starting catcher, next year.

  142. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    I am glad Kennedy got 10 games. If he wanted to his, he should not have aimed at their heads.Besides in his interview, he seemed pretty proud of what he had done. While Montero was showing concern for Puig, he was just standing at the mound asking for ball back. seriously?

  143. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    bowdenball said… That's a huge price to play for a .280 OBP and a .320 slugging with average defensive skills. It doesn't matter if its one guy making 162 starts or ten guys making sixteen starts each. That's replacement level production, which by definition means you can find it pretty much anywhere on the cheap.Fair point, but you indirectly raise another point – that durability has value, too. If you have ten catchers on the roster, that leaves you with only 15 slots for the rest of the team. Okay, nobody's going to put ten catchers on the roster, but do you really want to be in the position of having to hunt for a replacement two or three times during the season? I don't know how much you should value durability, butI have to figure it's worth SOMETHING.Uberfact: Solano is listed as being an inch taller than Zuke, (6'0" vs. 5'11') and 16 pounds LIGHTER (180 vs. 196). From just eyeballing them, I woulda thought Onion was shorter and heavier. Also didn't know Solano is 27 – for whatever reason, I thought he was a younger, maturing catcher. Guess I have DKS disease (don't know squat…).

  144. Joe Seamhead - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Ghost said:That hot shot he missed in Haren's blow-up inning with 2 outs continued that inning and the eventual 3 run HR.Again, I went back that day and looked at that play again It would have been a huge game changer for Harenif that ball had been caught, but Adam jumped up on a ball that was akin to being shot out of a 7mm Remington magnum and it just cleared his glove. I'm not sure that too many 1st basemen even come close. I, like everybody else here, wished he had caught it, but I think it would have been Web Gem material, not a routine play.. I'm sure Davey will give Marrero a start sooner or later, but in my opinion your defense goes down to AAAA level. And for those that thought that Davey was loyal to Espinosa to a fault, I believe that ALR is a totally different level on that blind loyalty scale.

  145. NatsLady - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    FS, yeah, it also seemed like Greinke and Montero had worked things out and were even-steven. Kennedy took it way too far. Apparently he was upset that it took Greinke three pitches to hit Montero and you are only "allowed" one try as per the unwritten rules. But even if that was the case, he had absolutely NO business aiming that high.

  146. bowdenball - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    jeeves said…"Bowdenball, In June of last year LaRoche batted. 182 with a. 253 oba. From August 7th to the end of that month he batted approx. .175. His whole month of August had a. 239 ba, 302 oba, and 389 slg. line."A .253 OBP for a month is not good at all. But when it's the player's worst month by 50 points and it's paired with 7 HRs, a .466 SLG and above-average defense, it's hardly a disaster. Likewise, his .691 OPS for August was also not great, but considering he followed it up with a 1.057 in September to help the team to its first ever division title, I'm not gonna shed a lot of tears over it.More generally, this is how baseball works. Even the best guys get hot and cold. Mike Trout's April 2013 numbers were barely better than LaRoche's August 2012 numbers. Would you advise the Angels to trade him based on that slump? How about Andrew McCutcheon and his .731 OPS for April of this year? Good thing the Pirates are a little more patient waiting out slumps than you are, huh?

  147. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Until much longer suspensions are handed out, they won't serve as any deterrence to the stupid and dangerous "old school, prestigious" practice of intentionally throwing at batters for infractions of unwritten rules, or to the stupid and dangerous practice of batters charging pitchers and teams charging onto to the field to fight. It doesn't help that in places like MLB Network, with a few exceptions, the commentators support these "old school, prestigious" behavior and have a lot of laughs over it. Players risk injuries enough playing the actual game, as we saw last night, without this kind of idiocy. As soon as the melee started, someone should have grabbed Puig and pulled him the hell out there, and I hope they'll do the same with Harper if anything like that happens involving the Nats.

  148. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    While we're talking about ALR's defense, has anyone noticed that although his glovework is superb, he doesn't have much of a stretch? He seems to not stretch toward the ball and never does the kind of split that you see Fielder, Votto, and other 1Bs do.

  149. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Agreed sec 222. I only pointed out that if you really want to hit someone (though you should not), don't aim for their heads at least.instead of longer suspensions, they should charge more fees.

  150. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    How about a 50 game suspension if you throw at someone intentionally, or charge the mound, 100 games if the pitch hits the batter in the head? Think that would get their attention? A fastball is a lethal or at least career threatening weapon.I know you can't make the home plate ump's decision to eject someone the last word on whether a HBP was intentional, and that sometimes pitchers are just trying to keep batters that crowd the plate honest, but MLB can sort that out in its investigations. Kennedy was aiming at the guy's head. And Quentin could have hurt Greinke even more seriously than he did. There has to be a way to stop this nonsense.

  151. Caps Fan - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    "Almost certain that the "vesting" has to do with the increased salary that goes with the team option on Zuki, it doesn't force the Nats to exercise it."Vesting of the option works the same way as vesting of a retirement plan at work does. If you have a retirement plan that vests after you work a certain number of years, then your retirement plan becomes guaranteed after that number of years. If you have an option that vests after a certain number of starts, then if you reach that number of starts the contract vests, or becomes guaranteed. It is no longer an option.

  152. jeeves - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    My whole point, Bowdenball was that LaRoche's first year was a bust because of injury. Regardless of how well he did last year, he still had close to two months where he was subpar. And yes I would take his year overall last year, but that wasn' t my point. This year he picked it up but overall has not been impressive. These are the facts. Ignore them if you want. You win, okay.

  153. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    personally I think, who would not want to earn millions while serving out a suspension of 50 or 100 games in a season? that's why I think bigger fees can be a better detterent than longer suspensions.either way, MLB needs to take this more seriously.

  154. bowdenball - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    So then what IS your point? That he was injured in 2011, and that he was good in 2012 overall, but slumped a bit at various points just like almost every player in the sport does, because he's not Miguel Cabrera or something? If that's your point, I agree. So where does that get us? Do you think the $11 million or so a year that the team is paying him somehow means that we as fans are entitled to a first baseman who is as good as Joey Votto, but never slumps or gets injured? That seems unreasonable. Yes, this team's record should be better than it is. But if I had to assign blame for that among the 25 guys on the opening day roster, LaRoche would probably be around 20th.

  155. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… personally I think, who would not want to earn millions while serving out a suspension of 50 or 100 games in a season? If I'm not mistaken, when you get suspended, you lose your pay for the games you're suspended. So it DOES amount to a fine. Losing 100/162 of your salary (roughly five-eighths) has to get your attention even when you're pulling down seven or eight figures.

  156. Tcostant - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Candide you are correct, no salary during a suspension.

  157. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    "You must be a member of this blog to post." I noticed that last night too, for the first time. If you look on the left hand side, right above the blog roll there is a section called "Followers" Sign up there and I'm pretty sure you become "member" for purposes of that posting restriction, should Mark have to invoke it again.

  158. Tcostant - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Moreover – if A-Rod gets suspended; he would loss his salary but not miss time on the active roster since he is hurt.That why if A-Rod is suspended, he really shouldn't appeal so he may come back when he is healtly. But since that would be nearly a $10M haircut, he likely would appeal and risk missing actual time on the feild…

  159. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Joe Seamhead, I hate to say the Barf Freddie Freeman makes that play as he makes most plays hit near him. It pains me to say that.

  160. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Perhaps some of you heard Ross O talking about his old school (but not prestigious) delivery last night with Dave Jaegler. I didn't, so really enjoyed this transcript provided by DC Sports Bog.

  161. Nats106 - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Doc said… sjm308 great stat on the mustard at Indians' park.Let's hope that the hotdogs are a little fresher! June 14, 2013 8:35 AM Doc's comment reminded me of the below story. Anybody remember this?http://fulfilledprophecy.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9492

  162. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Feel, are you sure that's how Zuki's contract is written? Vesting is just a term used by a commenter here. I don't think Billy Beane would have agreed to a contract that required him to re-up Suzuki for a fifth year based solely on the number of games he played, or that Rizzo would have agreed to assume that contract. By the way, the A's picked up Zuki's salary last year and are paying some part of it this year as well.

  163. David Proctor - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Ugh. Tracy at 3B tonight. Sigh.

  164. David Proctor - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    And no Rendon. Wtf?

  165. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    If you look on the left hand side, right above the blog roll there is a section called "Followers" Sign up there and I'm pretty sure you become "member" for purposes of that posting restriction, should Mark have to invoke it again. No, that's not the same. (I'm a listed follower and I tested it last night.) Mark had shut off all comments except his, and presumably Chase's.Which is not to say there's no value in being listed and logged in–it makes it easier to allow other followers to contact you, for instance.

  166. -Dan- - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Only reason Tracy is playing (I guess) is that he's a career 2 for 2 hitter with a Homer against Justin Masterson.

  167. David Proctor - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    This lineup is baffling to me. I understand wanting to DH Zimmerman. But why do you not play Rendon at 3B and Lombo at 2B if you want to do that? Why Chad Tracy? WHY CHAD F'N TRACY????

  168. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Maybe Feel was right. Check out some of the comments on this piece. People really thought highly of Zuki back in 2010.

  169. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    How about an old-school prestigious way of going to jail? If it would be a felony in the parking lot, why shouldn't it be a felony on the field?

  170. Candide - Jun 14, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    David Proctor said… WHY CHAD F'N TRACY????Do I owe you a drink for thinking EXACTLY those words just before reading your comment? Except that I filled in the entire word in "F'N."

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