Skip to content

Who replaces Haren in rotation?

Jun 24, 2013, 3:43 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images

Dan Haren's placement on the disabled list, while not a total shock, does leave the Nationals scrambling to find a replacement starter by the end of the week. That's a short-term problem. Long-term, they also need to figure out what exactly they intend to do with the final spot in their rotation.

Do they give Haren another shot once he's deemed healthy, or have they seen all they need to see out of him? Do they have a viable alternative in-house, whether a journeyman veteran like Ross Ohlendorf or a highly touted (though still really green) prospect like Nate Karns or Taylor Jordan? Or does Mike Rizzo need to go look outside the organization and make a bold deal for another starter before the July 31 trade deadline?

Before we get to the long-term question, let's quickly address the short-term one. The Nationals don't have to make an immediate decision, because they don't need a replacement starter until Saturday in New York at the earliest.

The easiest answer would seem to be handing the ball to Ohlendorf, who has been great in two appearances so far (one start, oneRead more »

209 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Haren onto the DL. Anything new on Harper coming off?

  2. Dave - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Mark, Has anyone asked about the tipping pitches possibility? I can't imagine that the coaching staff wouldn't have picked up on something by now if it was the case. Other than him just sucking, or (cough, cough, wink.)being hurt, it was my only other thought.

  3. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I bought up Taylor Jordan to a couple of folks and had to be reminded that he hasnt pitched more than 5/6 innings… his pitch count is low in all his games…Although he has nasty stuff, I dont see him being bought up quite yet…Ohlendorf has been good… very good actually so I can see them rolling with/for him until they can get another SP…

  4. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Reposting from prior thread – was composing when Mark's new post appeared:"I feel terrible for Espi but he kinda bought this on himself… He needs to get the surgeries and fix everything, then chill out and get ready for next year…"I am more convinced than ever that Espinosa's shoulder is affecting his swing. He should have the surgery now. He has always hit better from the right side than the left, so he could be more than a good field, no-hit SS if he is used to platoon with a leftie bats either in the IF or in the OF. He is athletic enough to play OF, has a great arm, plenty of speed, and is already great on going after fly balls hit over his head. He could be much better in that role than Kobernus, IMO.But it is time for him to get his head straight and get healthy as a pre-requisite to anything else. I doubt that any GM is going to give up value for a guy who now has no power and is striking out at a 60% clip – in the MINORS. Even if it is not Danny's shoulder that is causing the problem, why would another GM take a chance that it is not the shoulder? I wouldn't.If Danny can accept that Rendon is the future for the Nats at 2nd base, and if he can accept a reduced role as a utility player, I would bring him back next spring – AFTER he got his shoulder repaired, and ONLY if he had the surgery done. Even if he gets the work done, but refuses to accept the reality that he is Wally Pipp to Rendon's Lou Gehrig, then trade him next spring, when a healthy Espinosa could have more trade value than he does now, which is nada.Danny could still have a very good career, if he is used to do the things he does best – defense and hitting right-handed.

  5. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Mrs B, Jordan went the full nine on 6/13 and eight innings on 6/19. They are stretching him out, seems to me, with a purpose.

  6. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    "Davey Johnson, though, seems to prefer the veteran right-hander out of his bullpen, not wanting to put a younger pitcher in the awkward role of 'long man.'"I suppose that's why Ohlendorf hasn't been the defacto solution, at least in the short term…

  7. m - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    I would stay away from giving away what limited prospects we have for some veteran pitcher. Until this team can prove it can hit, another veteran as a fifth starter is not going to help. We are not going to win the way we are hitting now. Don't be stupid and waste a limited resource, which is our farm system.

  8. MicheleS - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    I hope its Taylor Jordan. I will be at the game on Friday

  9. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    If Taylor Jordan is going to be limited to 120 innings or so, I wouldn't mind seeing 35 of them in the majors. Can't be worse than Haren.

  10. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Thanks NL – I just saw/heard that… But I would be very cautious with him…I also wonder what is going on with C Garcia as I know they were trying to make him into a SP…

  11. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    And another thing NL – if he is on some kind of innings limit, I wonder if they will do the opposite of SS, in the respect that, give him a little rest/ light innings and then ramp it up towards the end of the season…I know a lot of folks were upset about the innings limit last year with SS and discussed why the Nats didnt push his time to play at a later date…It was evident SS's last 6 starts or so that his arm was tired as he wasnt as effective…

  12. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    I don't care if they re-sign Livan Hernandez, if they don't start hitting, soon, and for the rest of the season, it won't matter.

  13. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    At this point of the season, I am not saying we go ahead and give up on things. Not at all. But I will say that I think we can't do worse by trying out some of our personnel and see how it goes. I would agree that if we let Taylor Jordan pitch and he is awful, it's not worse than Haren and maybe the experience will make him better in the future. I do not see the Karns starts as being a waste — I think the organization knows, and he knows where things stand and what needs to happen next. That is valuable. And bringing up Abad and Krol shows you what these guys have against major league teams. I do have to confess that yesterday I honestly believed that game would end at 7-0 or at the most 7-2. I did not see that rally coming at all. I was also very happy to see some of our part time players involved in that. There have been more hits in the last couple of weeks, and more late game fight. We just need to get over that hump of getting runners all the way around to score. Then — fix the pitching at 4 and 5. We are so lucky that the NLEast has been weak this year.

  14. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner.Sec. 3, My Sofa said… I don't care if they re-sign Livan Hernandez, if they don't start hitting, soon, and for the rest of the season, it won't matter. June 24, 2013 12:18 PM

  15. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    They have options other than a trade. Jordan is one. Ohlendorf another.Davey used Krol for 2 innings against the Rocks yesterday. He used to be a starter. They could convert him to the LH long role (Stammen is the righty), bring Cedeno back up as the LOOGY, and hand the ball to Ohlendorf as the new 5th starter.Or they could bring someone else up to fill the long role. There are a couple of candidates in their minor league system, e.g. Rosenbaum.They could try Jordan, first, as the starter, and still have Ohlendorf as a backup option, with Krol moving to long relief and Cedeno (or someone else) moving to LOOGY, if Ohlendorf ends up as the starter.No need to trade a prospect like Jordan for a stop-gap when they already have some interesting options, in house. They have nothing to lose by trying to fix this with what they've already got. If it doesn't work out, Rizzo can still make a trade.I like the Ohlendorf option with Krol going to long relief. That would stretch him out and prepare him to compete for the 5th slot next spring, along with Jordan. It's possible they could both end up as starters next year if Detwiler can't get his early season mojo back."I also wonder what is going on with C Garcia as I know they were trying to make him into a SP…"He was last seen on Syracuse's 7-day DL.

  16. dave - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Ohlendorf to the rotation, Rosenbaum or Mandel in long relief.

  17. A DC Wonk - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Eric said… "Davey Johnson, though, seems to prefer the veteran right-hander out of his bullpen… I suppose that's why Ohlendorf hasn't been the defacto solution, at least in the short term…Don't we already have Stammen for that role?

  18. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    >I don't care if they re-sign Livan Hernandez, if they don't start hitting, soon, and for the rest of the season, it won't matter.Actually, it would've mattered quite a lot yesterday.

  19. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Yesterday pitching would have mattered…

  20. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    D'oh… My bad Eric…

  21. PChuck - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    The idea that he's already pitched 84 innings after a season after TJS as a reason to not promote him is nonsense, Mark.What this team needs right now, immediately, is to stop the losing. Right now, he gives the team the best chance to do that. The season is nearly half over. His limit wouldn't come until well into the second half of the season. The team can deal with replacing him when he hits his limit.

  22. Candide - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    baseballswami said…I do have to confess that yesterday I honestly believed that game would end at 7-0 or at the most 7-2. I did not see that rally coming at all…Hellnobody saw that rally coming, except maybe an astronomer using the Hubble telescope.

  23. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Haren's loss in San Diego was 13 – 4; he gave up 7 runs and left after 5 innings.In Colorado we lost 8 – 3; Haren gave up 5 of those runs.In Philly, he gave up 4 runs and we lost 5 – 4 in the bottom of the 9th.Pitching could've made a difference in those games, too. So, that's 4 losses that may have been winnable.

  24. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    With San Diego it's perhaps more debatable, but I included it because a solid performance of 6 – 7 innings by someone remotely performing like our 1 – 3 starters might have meant 4 runs were enough. And, who knows how Davey would've managed the pen that day if the starter went deeper.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Have to stick with Ohlendorf to see what he has before considering a trade.

  26. d'grviii 8 - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Sec. 3, My Sofa said… I don't care if they re-sign Livan Hernandez, if they don't start hitting, soon, and for the rest of the season, it won't matter.In his most recent turn with the Nats, Livan Hernandez was about as effective a starting pitcher as Dan Haren has been this year. But he was fat and lovable while doing it, so people can actually joke about bringing him back now. Perhaps Haren should just spend his DL time vegging out on the Sofa and put on a beer gut, and he'd be welcomed back with open arms!

  27. JamesFan - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    The problem with the Nats is hitting, not pitching. Replace Haren from within and avoid spending big in young talent or cash for a rental player. We need sticks on the bench. Unfortunately, Marrero and Kobernus and to a degree Lombo are not able to take advantage of the opportunity they have right now.I really do not want the Nats to panic at the trade deadline and overpay for another mediocre pitcher. Look for a bargain for the bench. Otherwise, stand pat and ride out the year. I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that this is a leadership problem among players and in the dugout. Sorry, eck but someone has to be held accountable for the performance at the plate, and you are it for starters. DJ is next.

  28. d'grviii 8 - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Hellnobody saw that rally coming, except maybe an astronomer using the Hubble telescope.Right before Zimmerman's single/error in the 8th, when the bases were loaded with two out, I looked at my scorecard and noted that the Nats had left 10 men on base in innings 1 through 7 and were poised to make it 13 if Zim couldn't come through there. So really, that rally wasn't a surprise. The offense had been sowing the seeds for a rally all afternoon.

  29. ExposedinDC - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Look at the batting averages of your starting 8 yesterday…..um, hitting is the problem, has been all year and with Davey's " he will come around " approach will continue to be.

  30. alexva - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    yes hitting is the problem, hopefully a complete lineup will spur some increased productionI'd move Ohlendorf into the rotation and if you want a veteran in the long relief role, trade for one. it would be a lot cheaper

  31. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    I can hardly believe they are considering anyone other than Ohlendorf for the next time Haren's spot comes up (and long term if he continues to perform well). The guy pitched extremely well in his one start, and then, 8 DAYS LATER, comes back and does it again in long relief. Why would you bring up an untested minor leaguer (or a tested and minor leaguer who failed the first time around) for the next start? Just so you have Ohlendorf in pen to use 8 days later again, or five days when the untested guy blows up? Come on. That's nuts. Ride the hot hand as long as it stays hot. You've got Stammen in long relief, and Krol is capable of going 2 innings at least. That's why Ross O hadn't pitched in 8 days before then. (Well, that and because Gio, Stras, and Zim are pitching as hoped.)

  32. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    There have been quite a few games in the last couple of weeks with astronomical numbers of hits as compared to runs actually scored.Base runners are camped out on the bases so long they should pitch tents. Meanwhile the other team will find a gap for a double, seeing eye single gets through and , voila! — instant runs. Meanwhile, there are our baserunners super glued to the bases. Not much clutchiness. Loved seeing the onion just ambush the heck out of the pitcher and break through! I thought I might shed a tear.

  33. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    One nice side benefit of scoring 6 runs yesterday, even though we lost: fewer calls today for Eck to be fired.

  34. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Several comments in the last thread about Espi's play and future. I'm sure no one remembers, but once it was announced that Rendon was being promoted to AAA and would play 2B there, I adopted a Zen-like attitude about Espi. It was only a matter of time. Now that the deed is done, I have to say, I don't much care how he's doing in Syracuse. If Rendon keeps hitting, and barring an injury to Desi that keeps him out of the lineup for more than a few games, Espi won't be back in the starting lineup this year. And that's just fine with me. If he turns things around, maybe he comes up to sit on the bench in September, and he can compete for a starting job next year either here or somewhere else. But with Rendon kicking butt and taking names, Espi's future is not something that keeps me up at night.

  35. d'grviii 8 - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    The Fire Eck Society is using the off day today to get some free wings. They'll be back.

  36. Tcostant - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    I think it's Ohlendorf or Stammen. I don't think it will be Taylor Jordan for the reason above (pitch limit, etc.) and the fact that he isn't on the 40 man roster. If by the end of July the replcement (or even Haren again) doesn't look good then you shop at the trade deadline.

  37. realdealnats - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    I too am of the school of solve the #5 problem in-house. Ohlendorf for starters, and if he fades move to Taylor, etc… Do what Bucky did last year with the Os.I am even more of the school that we need another big bat. I was all for getting Span and keeping ALR, so I'm not going to jump ship on that. But that said, I do think we miss Mikey Morse's bat and his light hearted approach to the game which I believe kept the locker room loose. If we had his bat again, and/or someone like him, I think that would put us over the hump. If we had kept him and Lannan, we'd have our #5 issue mostly solved and we'd still have that bat–not only off the bench, but playing left or right field a good amount of the time over these last 4 weeks. And I was in favor of that. It's like Rizzo got soft at just the wrong time. And don't get me wrong–I'm a Rizzo fan.

  38. James Joyce - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    They need a 5th SP who can eat innings in a big way, but they also need some offense. Jayson Werth's $126M .750 OPS when healthy is killing the club. Even when Harper is back, they need some more RH thump.

  39. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Ken Rosenthal has a column up (read it on Twitter so don't have link handy) analyzing four hyped-but-disappointing-teams — Angels, Royals, Dodgers, and Nats — and concludes that the Nats have the best chance of coming back to win their division.Also, on the hitting coach question, he notes that the Royals have actually seen their team batting average decline since George Brett took over the oversight job.

  40. Joe Seamhead - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Ohlendorf from now to the trade deadline unless he shows he can't handle it, in which case make a trade.Regardless, we are not hitting, and our outfield situation stinks. If Werth is going to only be available for less then 1/2 the games we seriously need to acquire another outfielder. Preferably a big hairy chested one.

  41. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    >If we had kept him and Lannan, we'd have our #5 issue mostly solvedLannan gave up 4 in 5 innings to the Mets last night and isn't doing much better than Haren over all (5.84 for Lannan vs. 6.15 for Haren).

  42. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    When I saw Werth pull up lame yesterday, I briefly had a thought that I have tried to banish from my brain, but just can't: The Nats may very well never be completely restored to health this year. Last year, we faced a series of injuries that cost many key players a lot of games — Morse and Storen coming out of spring training, then Zim, then Werth, then Ramos, then Desi. But Harper came up, the bench way out performed expectations, and everyone other than Ramos was back for the stretch run. It sure doesn't look like we'll be as fortunate this year.

  43. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    >Regardless, we are not hittingIs that still true? I have somehow developed this sense that we're hitting a LOT now, we're just still not doing so with RISP…

  44. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I'm glad we have some options for replacing Dan Haren while he is on the DL. I hope they can straighten him out and use Ohlendorf or Stammen or Jordan in the interim and focus more on getting a 4th outfielder as there are no guarantees that Harper or Werth can stay healthy. Most contenders in the AL need relief pitching. I would make that kind of trade for a bat. The yanks had KC and Moose Skowren to pickup what they needed come Mid July. Boston and NY are desperate for bullpen help.From trade rumours:Nationals right-hander Drew Storen is an interesting alternative for a team looking for a closer. Storen was the Nationals’ closer two years ago but hasn't been as sharp in 2013 as he was in years pas

  45. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    "When I saw Werth pull up lame yesterday, I briefly had a thought that I have tried to banish from my brain, but just can't: The Nats may very well never be completely restored to health this year."While I'm extremely dubious that the DL can be avoided if he pulled his groin, I also can't imagine it would take him out for much more time than his hamstring did.If Haper's truly on his way back in the next week or two, then I suspect we'll be at 100% by if not immediately following the ASG…But, as always, we'll see.

  47. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    more from TL Andre Ethier, Josh Willingham, and Carlos Quentin are viable possibilities. Ethier would be an amazing grab

  48. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    He suggests that Andre Ethier, Josh Willingham, and Carlos Quentin are viable possibilities.

  49. SonnyG10 - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    m said…I would stay away from giving away what limited prospects we have for some veteran pitcher. Until this team can prove it can hit, another veteran as a fifth starter is not going to help. We are not going to win the way we are hitting now. Don't be stupid and waste a limited resource, which is our farm system.June 24, 2013 12:04 PMm, I agree with you. I'm afraid Rizzo might pull something like he tried to do with Zach Grenike. I don't want any potential studs to be traded.

  50. nats guy - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    MLBTR is saying that the NATs are the most aggressive Team on the market right now.

  51. sjm308 - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Great comments today. I am in agreement with so many of you about using Ohlendorf and am surprised this is even an issue. He has done nothing yet to show us he can't handle starting. I am not with Boz on the trade situation just yet. From the last post – WODL, not sure others understand what has happened in my sport but I appreciate your comment. Unfortunately, it's not just a local issue. Eric – we might be getting on base a little better than weeks past but I am betting we are still way down the line on obp and you are correct that our hitting with RISP has to be poor as well. We need Candide to do the negative mojo thing like he did with walks. I think he put an over/under on 4 walks for the series and we had 8 or something in the next game.At least I get to wear the same hat for two days now with our off day. Would love to see what Wonk and Natslady talked about and have a 5+ winning streak. Go Nats!

  52. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Yes, and it's not too hard to imagine the knee swelling up again with his kind of excellent and agressive play and given the type of injury.

  53. realdealnats - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Eric–true enough re: Lannan. And the same could be said of Morse who is currently around .251/.313/.767. Just a feeling they'd be doing a little better here. The kind of opinion that drives lots of you guys crazy I know. But there you go. And it's all crazy talk anyway b/c they're not with us and neither are coming back.

  54. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Remember, TINSTAAPP (There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect). Meaning, there are only so many innings on a guy's arm and you don't want to waste them in the minors. If Jordan is ready, bring him up. Trust me, Ohlendorf/Stammen will get plenty of work the way Detwiler is looking, and also on these hot, humid days.Speaking of which, I hope the Diamondbacks spend the day here in air-conditioned comfort. It takes 3-5 days to get acclimatized to the DC-type weather. Let 'em wilt.Have we heard anything about Jayson? I am a little worried he has something worse than the flu–like bronchitis or pneumonia. This is hanging on for quite a while. Was he at the gala, how did he look (and sound)?

  55. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Eric, you may be right that this particular injury might not keep Werth down for long (though he missed just over a month with his hammy so that would take us well past the ASG. But the thought I had when it happened was that we can't take for granted that once Harper is back no else will go down, or he won't go down again. We've already seen Ramos, Espi, Werth, and Harper end up with serious DL time after they were supposedly healed. Unfortunately, this could just be a year when the injury bug keeps on biting.

  56. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Morse is on the DL. He can't seem to get healed from an injury he got running the bases. When he was off the DL, he hit some bombs and doubles but only a .250 average. Kobernus and Marrero show you the difference between AAA pitching and major-league pitching. The ML pitchers you see are mostly on rehab or trying to resurrect their careers. It is not a good sign if Tyler Moore is not hitting. (Danny, who knows. As pointed out above they may be breaking him back down to zero to rebuild him).

  57. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Since June 16:Since June 16, Nats runs scored/ Hits0 74 92 66 85 112 51 66 13Avg: 3.25 R/Gbut 9.25 hits/GMore hits but same amounts of runs

  58. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Storen + Abad for Ethier

  60. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    realdealnats, your opinion doesn't drive me crazy in the least.I think it's *possible* Morse would have been a very slight boost, but I doubt he would've gained us any more than a game, maybe two, especially with how often he's been injured already.Lannan, on the other hand, seems to have been about as bad as Haren AND if we assume the injury was unavoidable, it would've meant THREE starter slots were being filled by call ups or long relievers all at the same time.222 – Er, duh: if Werth goes on the DL for a pulled groin, I seriously doubt he'll be back by the ASG…funny that I overlooked that in one half of a post that discussed it in the other half ;).

  61. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    People advocating for Ohlendorf on the basis of ten innings seem to forget his ERA in his last stint as a ML starter was over 7.00. Leave him where he is and hope other teams don't figure out his juju. Similarly, the pitchers Boswell is advocating are Hydes having Jekyll seasons. One just off the DL and two w/ career ERAs of 4 1/2. I think Boswell is just positioning himself to claim he was the burr under Rizzo's saddle if/when Rizzo makes a move. To justify a move there has to be someone who improves the situation and also happens to be available, probably from a team that has already conceded the season. What team is that? And who do they have they might give up? You want Carlos Zamboni? Jason Marquis? Puleeze . . .. The Cubs aren't giving up the Notre Dame with the unspellable name. Not to mention the Nats have so few ML-ready prospects they can't afford to give anything up. I think the Nats have to go w/ T. Jordan for a couple of starts, then Haren if they really think he's "healthy" — and then maybe by the deadline some team will drop out of the pack and decide to hold a fire sale. (Maybe Milwaukee if Braun gets 50 games.)

  62. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    "More hits but same amounts of runs"OK, that jibes with my perception. I think if we keep hitting like this, we'll start seeing more and more of those 5 and 6 run totals…

  63. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    With Harper and Werth, Absolutely more runs…With Lombo and Bernadina, would be more difficult.

  64. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    When Rizzo traded for Span to replace Morse in the outfield I suspect he had 2 objectives: 1) improve outfield defense – accomplished. 2) Introduce a 'true' leadoff hitter to the lineup – not so much. Not knocking Span but his success was also dependent on OBP and his OBP career wise was good enough for the job (.350) though not spectacular. The move did alter the dynamics of the entire lineup because Werth and Harper were so good at creating havoc at the top of the lineup, working the counts, drawing walks etc. It might not be a crazy idea to resurrect that combo and move Span to the back of the lineup. I fairness Zim and ALR have both dropped off offensively this year compared to last so it's not all on Span but I think a change is worth a try considering we are in 28th place in offense in the majors.

  65. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    T.S. we tried Karnes with 0 ip, Duke with a lot more, Maya with not so much.

  66. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Yeah, it seems as if we have been hitting the ball much better lately… We need to play some more small ball and stop trying to swing for the fences each and every time… Just make contact, and that can maybe lead to a few lucky bloopers…

  67. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    I think Span will come around to his usual good .340-.350 OBP but when ?I don't trust the health of Harper and Werth…one more OF bat and we win it all.

  68. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    I was joking about Livo, but they've only scored four or more runs in two of Haren's fifteen starts. Your average fifth starter isn't going to win much at that rate. They were hoping he'd be more like an average third starter. They were wrong.

  69. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    NL, I agree with you re Jordan. If he's deemed major league ready bring him on up. if he's at 85 innings and if Rizzo follows the STras/JZim formula he will let him pitch about 140 which leaves him about 55 innings which is about 9 starts. I really don't want to trade a Jordan or a Goodwin for a so so starter just yet. I would also not mind riding the Ohlendorf train for as long as possible.

  70. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    jeffwx, How do you get another outfield bat?

  71. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    How do you get another outfield bat? Not to mention, where do you play him?

  72. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Theo, I haven't forgotten Ohlendorf's history at all. He's one of two lousy starters from the 2009 Pirates (in the immortal words of some other commenter) that we've had on the mound this year. I'm not advocating that we give him Haren's spot and then keep him there for as long as they gave Haren. But he's had two very good outings so far, with velocity that he hasn't had for years. Why wouldn't you want to see if he's riding a wave, or has figured it out, or whatever? Who do you think is more likely to give us 6 good innings on Saturday, Ross O, or Jordan? And if you say Jordan, you're basing that on him being good at AA? Karns was impressive in AA earlier this year too, but lousy here. What makes you think Jordan will be better?

  73. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    JD @ 2:33 p.m. wrote: 'I[n] fairness Zim and ALR have both dropped off offensively this year compared to last…"———————Ryan Zimmerman 1st half 2012: .243./.308/.386, OPS+ 92Ryan Zimmerman 1st half (so far) 2013: .269/.350/.463, OPS+ 124Where's the drop off for Mr. Zimmerman?

  74. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    The same way you get another starter…via trades.Many teams are desperate for bullpen help esp Bos, Yanks, Det, LAD.Where do you play him ? We've had 90 games with infielders (Moore, Lombo, Kobernus) and Bernadina in the outfield so far… I'm betting we will continue to need help there with injuries and off the bench. Trade Rumors mention teams are interested in Storen.

  75. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Not to mention, where do you play him?In RF, CF, or LF, depending on whether Harper, Werth, or Span is injured at the time. Or would you prefer to see one or more of Lombo, Kobernus, or the Shark starting every night from now until the end of the season?

  76. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Ethier???? Why? Isn't he on a LONG, expensive contract? DOn't we already have two of those?

  77. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    And Ohlendorf has made major adjustments in his approach this year in the minors with excellent results.

  78. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Hmm, I would owe jeffwx a drink except that the point bore repeating.

  79. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Doesn't have to be Ethier but He is better and younger than Werth and faster with great obp and some pop.NL, if you were to shop for an outfielder that would be an upgrade over Lombo/Kobernus/Moore, could you recommend someone ???

  80. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    but NL, you are right he is signed until 2017 but he is about the same price as we are paying Haren this year. Dodgers could help with contract given unlike the Nats, they negotiated an amazing cable contract.

  81. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    No worries, 222, I don't drink

  82. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Remember that any OF is going to have to come from a team that (a) considers itself out of the running and (b) has an OF who isn't part of their future plans. The list of 'out of it' teams is limited, particularly given the 2nd wildcard option. There may be a few semi-contending teams willing to part with a player — such as Andre Ethier — who has an expensive, longish-term contract, but realistically you're looking at the Astros, Brewers, Cubs, Miami, maybe the White Sox, and the maybe the Mets. The NatsGM blog recently mentioned David DeJesus — I'm not pushing him, but that's the sort of player who will likely be available.

  83. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    222, Actually Karns was not doing great in AA (ERA over 4). He was a shot in the dark based on a strong year last year. Jordan has an ERA of under 1 (0.73) at AA and he has already moved up a level this year. The impressive part for me is that it's normally a major move from A+ to AA; Karns has struggled with that move and Jordan has blown through it seamlessly. I haven't ever seen him pitch and he may well be over matched in the big leagues but stranger things have happened.

  84. Water23 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    In an odd way, Alfonso Soriano might make sense. Take him for Bernie or other PTBNL (Brian Goodwin Eury package etc)and maybe get only $8 – $10 Million from Cubbies (less if necessary).He could play OF and when needed in the WS to DH Power bat with one year left. Granted, I would rather take A. Rios and no money but realistically you have to give to get.Any money you get you might apply to his salary next year. Pay the $10 million he is owed this year and then move him for nothing in the off-season. I would think someone will want him to DH next for $10 Mill.Again something with a low cost of ownership other than Lerner $$$.

  85. Doc - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Zach Walters is looking better as a good utility+ prospect for the Nats. Now that Espi is playing more at SS, Walters is doing some 3B. Like Kobernus before him, he should start getting some playing time in the 'Cuse OF.He's raised his BA recently, and he's on a 162 game pace to hit 40 dingers.

  86. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Eugene, DeJesus would be great but I would be very hesitant on giving away anything promising. I am fine with trading: Rosenbaum,Marrero,Skole,Perez etc. but stay away from our young arms and Brian Goodwin.

  87. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    JD, I defer to your much greater familiarity with our minor league players, and I hope you're right that Jordan stands a better chance of being successful than Karns. I'd still like to see Ohlendorf start until he falters.

  88. Water23 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    And reality, doesn't it make the most sense to look at Rizzo's favorite trading partner Billy Beane? What on the A's roster matches up with the Nats' needs?

  89. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Water23, You are taking that contract off the cubs payroll AND you are giving them Brian Goodwin? Wow.

  90. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Sec 222, 'I'd still like to see Ohlendorf start until he falters.' I agree.

  91. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    The Mets are going to start both Harvey and Wheeler against us next weekend (Friday/Sunday). Oy !

  92. Water23 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    JD, maybe but if it gives us $10 million towards his contract. Would rather take the contract and pass alon Cutter Dykstra but not sure they will do the deal. If they gave up $10 Million for Brian Goodwin would you not do the deal?

  93. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    water23, no.

  94. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    222, actually, NatsJack is really familiar with the young pitchers in general and Jordan in particular.

  95. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Section 222 and JD — Just because Rizzo has made unsound decisions about emergency starters twice doesn't mean he should make another one. Ohlendorf has been more than I expected but he's doing it David Copperfield style — distract the hitter w/ a lot of motion and then hide the pitch in plain sight. Even if he gave you one good (six-inning) outing it would be foolhardy to expect a second. Between Ohlendorf and Jordan, I think the chances of a quality start are about equal. One is a pitcher who looks OK in limited exposure but whom the league has seen for several years; the other is a rook w/ stuff whom the league has never seen before and could be successful just as a novelty. In the long run, Jordan is a much better prospect than Karns. I also think — and this is not defeatism — I suspect Rizzo et al would like to give Jordan some brief major league exposure, to give him a taste and illustrate what still needs to be worked on. Assuming, purely for the sake of argument because it is becoming increasingly unlikely, the Nats are in a pennant/playoff race in September, Jordan isn't going to get any late-season starts. If he flunks his PSATs on Friday, then rethink it. But for now, I'd give him a chance because I don't think there is much to be gained by going the other way.

  96. Water23 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Fair enough, but they need some options as Werth's body cannot keep him in the lineup and Harper's knee will need rest. How about looking at Aoki? Solid OF with decent OBP plus low contract. Alas, he may cost a decent prospect?

  97. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Jordan is pitching tonight which puts him in line to pitch Saturday in NY. That really could work if you move Det to Friday to act as the sacrificial lamb in the game against Harvey.

  98. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Aoki would be excellent. How long is he signed for? However, he is under team control until 2018. I wouldn't give him up if I were the Brewers.

  99. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Water23, I am petrified of trades made out of panic.You rarely come out ahead in such deals. GM's like Alderson and Epstien are licking their chops looking for a contender to take away their bad contracts and give them prospects to boot.

  100. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Thanks for the rationale Theo. I don't agree, but that's mostly because I see Ross O as having figured something out that he didn't know before and having greater velocity than he had when the league figured him out and slapped him around. I also feel burned by the Karns experience. Three starts where he couldn't get out of hte 5th inning was two too many. There's just too much hype for our prospects on here. Their success for a few months at Harrisburg or below just doesn't readily translate to the bigs (except if you're Rendon or Harper). But I see where you're coming from.

  101. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    JD, works for me. I don't know what's wrong with Det, but he only threw 68 pitches. That's not much more than a bullpen session. Throw him out there and see what he does.

  102. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    NL, I think the master plan is to have Goodwin patrol CF and leadoff in 2015 and he's starting to produce in AA. The big question mark for me is what do you do when Werth is on the DL all the time like Chase Utley and his production is way down?

  103. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    From what I hear, the Taylor Jordan folks were spot on. More rookies!! Need more rookies!!!

  104. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    That is– I heard on WTOP that he is getting the call.

  105. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Of course , they also said we lost 2 of 3 from the Rockies.

  106. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Sec 222, Mostly I agree with you. We have seen our share of Shairon Martis, Luis Atilano etc. but Jordan does give me some pause. he is not just having success at AA he's dominating it and that's after moving up a level. He's 24 so he's not a kid and he's also not a junk ball pitcher. Again, I have never seen him pitch, in person or even on TV so I'm just going by numbers but you know, some prospects do actually make it to the show and stick.

  107. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    The other reason I would like to see the kid is that it would be so cool to resolve that spot in the rotation from within and not have to shop for the next Haren in the off season. Now as far as Det goes. I am worried.

  108. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    All of my posts are ghosting away again.

  109. Water23 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    JD,I, too, dislike swaps under pressure. But, it might be time to ask the question, are the Nats a bonafide contender or was 2012 an everything clicked year and things are not quite as rosy as they seem?Maybe, and as a die-hard Nats fan since they moved to town, I am going to blaspheme and say – 1) Gio is really a #32) SS is not worth the money vs the health/mental issues. He is going to ask for a ton soon.3) The Nats seem to be irritating their best pitcher – JZimm (Just a sense that he feels under-appreciated).4) Werth = poor man's Utley. Injured all the time but a good character and fan favorite.5) RZimm will be and slightly above-average 3B for the next few years.6) Clip & Store are worn out as reliever are wont to do. It is time to move them.If half of this is true, that is some serious issues to the core of the team. In two years, the core be a team made up of SP – SS, Gio, Det plus Desi, Harper, Rendon with RZim and Werth fading. Not sure that is enough to get it done.

  110. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Did anyone notice that Nat stopper Freddy "Cy" Garcia, has been DFAd by the Orioles.I guess he didn',t pitch against Nats enough

  111. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    People say there is absolutely nothing to the terms of "ace" or number one, 2,3,4,5,etc. I disagree and if you define it, it is JZ. No contest. Right now, today, who would you want to have the ball if someone said ONE GAME for all the marbles? It is one thing for the rest of baseball not to recognize it, but our organization does not . And he seems to have the same demeanor off the field as on. He went to arbitration– do you doubt that he will walk away? I think he would and I think he will totally cash in and be the true ace of a staff. Do you want our team to have to face him a few times a year? I would rather see the. Nats keep him than almost any other player.

  112. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    The Mets owner is having financial problems and they clearly have no need for Matt Harvey. Can you imagine him as our number one starter?

  113. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Matt Harvey I seriously doubt will go anywhere

  114. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Rizzo is never moving Clip. He might move Storen if he returns to being inconsistent, but Storen is young and under team control, however, as a flame-thrower, Storen can flame out at any moment.Clip is Rizzo's eyes and ears into the bullpen. Also, Clip is working on his curve (and a cutter–those that hasn't been as successful). Remember, Clip came up as a starter and pitches from the windup when he can, which also reduces stress. Clip has his eyes on how Soriano operated (not to mention Rivera). Those are my observations.

  115. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    "We need to play some more small ball and stop trying to swing for the fences each and every time… Just make contact, and that can maybe lead to a few lucky bloopers…"Agreed 100%, MrsB. I have been aching for small ball all season. IMO our lack thereof is our biggest offensive weakness. Pitchers know that in a tight spot we swing out of our shoes; if they were more afraid of our small game, I suspect they'd nibble more and we'd walk more, in addition to knocking in more runs.That said, I do think there are signs of improvement. I think as a whole the team is pressing less (hence, more hits, better outings from Gio and Stras), even with RISP. We still have strides to make in the latter case, but we're getting there. IMO, Desmond's grand slam at bat was a perfect microcosm for where we are with RISP as a team. He was lucky to remain standing after the first two swings, but then he buckled down and won the battle.We're doing it more and more. It sure would be sweet if that game were a microcosm for the whole season. I do think that we're finally becoming a veteran team with a veteran mentality, but I have to think that's the hardest transition to make in baseball, because it requires everyone.

  116. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    I would like to see Harvey, Shelby Miller and the other brand new phenoms pitch a bit longer before we elect them to the Hall of Fame. Medlin seemed to be unhittable and then he faltered a bit, the league adjusted, as they did with Stras. This is a long term dog fight and watching Stras develop has shown us what it actually takes to have a brilliant pitching career. I think we have enough to deal with right now with young pitchers. I might like another one in that 28 year old , five years range.

  117. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    WODL – Idc that the Mets have money issues… they aint letting Harvey go nowhere…I'd like to see him pitch another year or so… see how the adjustments are made against him…

  118. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Ya know – I tried to be upset after the loss on Sunday but I honestly wasnt… Dont get me wrong, I was livid in the beginning becuz being down 7-0… well ya know, with our (lack of) offense I didnt want to be embarrassed…But I was totally proud and happy that the Nats showed a come back ability and showed flashes but we just came up a little short… Granted, it is still a loss but this was totally different than say the 10 -1 drubbing by the Mets…

  119. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Water23, 1) Gio is really a #3 I disagree – He's no worse than a 2.2) SS is not worth the money vs the health/mental issues. He is going to ask for a ton soon. I disagree – I think one day real soon SS will establish himself as one of the top 3 pitchers in baseball and on a consistent yearly basis.3) The Nats seem to be irritating their best pitcher – JZimm (Just a sense that he feels under-appreciated). I think they will give JZimm many barrels full of cash shortly. that tends to improve one's disposition. He will still be a no. 2 to SS when all is said and done.4) Werth = poor man's Utley. Injured all the time but a good character and fan favorite. Werth's contract is a problem as everyone knew it would become one. He may becaome a very expensive platoon player before his contract ends.5) RZimm will be and slightly above-average 3B for the next few years. That could be but at 28 I would hate to assume that his best years are behind him. He is very streaky and I think there is a nice long hot streak just around the corner.6) Clip & Store are worn out as reliever are wont to do. It is time to move them. It's certainly possible that one or both of these guys will be moved eventually. It's generally a bad idea to pay your relievers big bucks. The trick is to keep finding Abads and Krols and trade them when they get pricey.If half of this is true, that is some serious issues to the core of the team. In two years, the core be a team made up of SP – SS, Gio, Det plus Desi, Harper, Rendon with RZim and Werth fading. That's a lot of good young talent. Rizzo needs to be better at finding the complimentary pieces. We need more Jordan Schafers and Nate Scheirholtzs and less Chad Tracys and Chris Marreros.Not sure that is enough to get it done. We'll see.

  120. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    I was happy to see the much maligned bench guys, Lombo, Kobernus and Solano making that rally happen. That is what you call a very positive sign. We need all 25 guys.

  121. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Agreed swami.And, yeah, MrsB, that's one of those infamous losses I can live with ;).

  122. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    The Mets entire master plan revolves around: Harvey,Wheeler, D'arnaud and anchored by Wright. They aren't moving any of these pieces, that's for sure and don't be surprised if the Mets are big players in the Stanton sweep stakes. I think Alderson has always targeted 2014 as their break out year and once he gets all the dead money off the books he will also spend to augment their team.

  123. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    And as to Clip and Storen? I feel that they are the heart of our bullpen. Both could pitch any inning or close. Drew has had a few inconsistent innings but lately his pitches have been totally nasty. Not ready to let either one go.

  124. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Mrs. B Say what you will about our hitting woes but we did manage to win 3 games in a row when we got decent pitching. These last 2 games were a reminder of how great our big 3 are.

  125. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Boy am I glad our team doesn't do this–except for the rookies. Joe Maddon ‏@RaysJoeMaddon 7mOur next themed trip is accidental preppie to Houston. Looking for shorts & sports coats from the guys. Seersucker and madras encouraged.

  126. Eric - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Agreed again, swami, re: Clip and Store. I'm afraid I'm developing a habit!

  127. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    JD, agree on the Mets. What is their farm system like?

  128. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    If we get even mediocre starting pitching yesterday and not a total meltdown, we win 3/4 against the Rockies. As is, we split the series but still won the season series. Can't complain. That's a good team.

  129. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Rockies are one of the best offensive teams in MLB. At one point of the game we had 3 bench players in the outfield, two were utility infielders, a backup catcher and a rookie third baseman at second, a AAA player at first. Zim and Desi were the only players from opening day. And we almost won the game. Any question as to the potential of the team?? We lost by one. Oh- and our pitcher got shelled. Almost won.

  130. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Clip is Rizzo's eyes and ears into the bullpen. What does that mean?

  131. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    This is long but extremely interesting. Interview with Dan Brooks, explains pitch f/x, how it works, and discusses several pitchers in great detail (none of ours).podcasthttp://www.replacementlevelpodcast.com/2013/06/24/episode-23-dan-brooks/

  132. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Without Tulo, the Rockies are not that good. They are a .500 team and we are a .500 team. We split this series. Meh.But I was a lot more upset about Saturday's game than yesterday's.

  133. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    NL, Not sure about the Mets farm system but I think it's rated better than ours.

  134. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    222, I'm sorry, was that a confusing statement?>Clip is Rizzo's eyes and ears into the bullpen. What does that mean?

  135. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Sec 222, IDK, I was pretty impressed by their entire lineup. I think if they get decent pitching they will be in the mix out west.

  136. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    "[The Rockies] are a good team."I disagree. They've got at least four holes in their starting lineup, and Tulowitzky is out. And their pitchers didn't magically turn from sh__ to Shinola just because they got shed of Guthrie. That's a mediocre team on its best days, playing over its head. Wait until they do a Buccos-thing after the break. Nats should have taken their lunch money all four games.

  137. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    One rival executive said that while trade talk around the league remains mostly quiet and preliminary, as is typical with more than a month to go before the deadline, Washington has emerged as the most aggressive team. “They’re calling everybody, trying to do something,” the exec said. “They’re looking for pitching, and they’re being really aggressive.”Okay so between that and Boz's article, I have to think it's only a matter of time before a trade is done.

  138. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Yes it was NL. I'm trying to understand. Is Clipp a spy for Rizzo? Does he report to Rizzo on how the other relievers are doing or what they are saying? Does Rizzo ask Clipp who should be sent down or brought up? Or what? And because of that Clipp will never be traded? Really? And on what info do you base this somewhat remarkable statement? Has it been reported somewhere?

  139. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    This list might be helpful in looking at trades.Trade Leaderboadhttp://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-trade-target-leaderboard/

  140. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    I have no idea whether Clip "spies," on other pitchers. I do know that when Rizzo wants something he asks Clippard. He said so himself on the radio.

  141. Doc - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Just an observation, and somewhat of a corollary to your post on Clip, NatsLady, but having watched the boys in the pen for the past several years, nobody studies opposing batters like Clip.He's like a hawk getting a bead on his next meal of carrion!

  142. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Rizzo never, ever shows his hand and whatever happens always seems to be a complete shock to us but makes sense. That's how he rolls.

  143. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    And as for the Rockies lineup- check their stats with or without Tulo. And Cuddyer? Hello? One man wrecking crew.

  144. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    He does that. Reminds me of Cabrera when it comes to hitters, he doesn't study video (much) he watches how the pitchers warm up, and how they throw to other batters. Clip said he doesn't watch much video of hitters, he watches video of himself, to see if he is falling into bad habits, changing his release point, tipping his pitches, etc.

  145. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Also, there was an interesting interview with Wainwright on the Baseball Tonight podcast, how he studied other pitchers (in particular Cliff Lee and Carpenter) when he was on the DL. He gave particular focus to cutting down on his walk, and NOT looking at who is up next, but focusing on the current hitter. Clip could stand to do that and improve his efficiency–although I REALLY thought Detwiler should have walked Cuddyer once he fell behind.

  146. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    When he wants something? Like what?

  147. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    We've got Gio, JZim and Stras going against the D'Backs. Got to like those chances.

  148. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    From CBS:"Haren's struggles have caused some to speculate that the Nationals are trying to trade for a starting pitcher, but sources familiar with their plans say they still believe they can solve the problem without making a deal. At this point, they believe Jordan is the best solution."Interesting.

  149. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    David, I looked at the DBacks numbers and they are getting great production from some surprising sources. Parra is doing great, Gregorius who was supposed to be a defensive shortstop has good numbers and Goldscmidt has been a wrecking crew all by himself. They don't look scary on paper but they are winning so we have to be wary but overall I like our chances to win the series.

  150. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    NatsLady, also.how Wainwright aggressively goes after hitters and attacks the batters. Must trust your stuff.

  151. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Guys in the minor leagues must be psyched up and super motivated this season. Never know when it's your turn to audition. I just don't remember any season where there was so very much overlap. Last year we called a few up and they stayed- end of story. This year it is yo- yo time.

  152. JD - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    David, The problem with Haren is that he has not been merely mediocre which would be fine for the 5th starter, he has been awful and I don't think any one would have expected that.

  153. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    222, I have a student right now. If I get a chance I will try to locate the audio and you can judge for yourself.

  154. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Great. No hurry NL.

  155. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    For everyone who thinks firing the hitting coach is a magic fix:"Small sample size caveats apply, of course, but since firing their hitting coaches and replacing them with George Brett the Royals have actually scored fewer runs.Kansas City scored 4.0 runs per game and hit .261 with a .689 OPS in 50 games before firing hitting coach Jack Maloof. And in 23 games since Brett took over the Royals have scored 3.7 runs per game and hit .247 with a .658 OPS."

  156. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    I remember Bob Feller saying that Stras should take a couple of tours around the league before we anoint him as the next Rapid Robert. Now you might say that and then add that we should wait until after he undergoes TJ surgery as posted by one witty NI'er yesterday.I might take a look if I have some time but I am not one of those guys who can just devote endless hours to baseball musings, but anyway, who was more impressive in his first half season, Strasburg or Harvey. My guy instinct is that Harvey has been, but maybe that is just based on the notiong that whatever is new is always better or something.I think most people who follow baseball would say that Strasburg's career has been a disappointment so far, and I would agree, but only to the extent that it is like drafting Wilt Chamberlain or Lew Alcindor or Ralph Sampson. Ralph Sampson made the All Star team his first several seasons before washing out with injuries, but even before, he was no Wilt or Kareem. Stras had similar acclaim coming in and has obviously had injuries, but at this point, I think the odds are against Strasburg ever becoming a Tom Seaver. He has been pretty darn good when he has been healthy, but I have trouble remembering any great pitchers previously pitching themselves into the Hall of Fame while under that kind of burden.Maybe Jim Palmer? He did have a slow start after 1966, only regaining full form in 1969. I just feel the way that they treat Stras like a thoroughbred racehorse is beginning to get tiresome. How did the guys in the past like Seaver, Ryan, Marichal, Carleton and on and on, pitch upwards of 150 pitches ago without their arms melting off? Nolan Ryan doesn't believe any of this new so-called pitching science.Horseracing has been ruined by the excessive protection given to horses. I am sorry for being unfeeling or whatever, but I am beginning to get tired of the coddling. If these guys are too valuable to play whenever they have the slightest injury, my time may become too valuable to waste trying to discern when Bryce or Stephen feel up to being out on the ball field.I honestly do not feel than any great from the past, would have taken a month off with a minor injury the way Harper has. And I do understand the economics behind it, he is making only $500,000 a year so why should he risk it? We, the fans, need to push the player's union to get rid of these ridiculous rules that prohibit fair compensation of young guys.

  157. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    I agree JD… I said yesterday that I really appreciate SS and JZ for their performances against the Rockies…I sincerely hope Det develops his non-fastball stuff… He's got a pretty good curve ball but he needs to develop his other pitches…

  158. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    222, it was an interview on 106.7 the Fan, around the time of the famous McCatty tee shirt. Best I can do.

  159. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Looking at Strasburg's first year and Harvey's (last year), they are very similar. Strasburg has a SLIGHTLY higher ERA, but struck out more batters. They walked about the same number of people. Gave up the same number of HRs. Similar WHIPs.

  160. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    OK, NL. If I can find it I'll have a listen. I'm doubtful that it supports the idea that Clip will never be traded because he is Rizzo's "eyes and ears" in the bullpen, but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise.

  161. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Hum – count me among the ones who would be quite alright if Clip is traded….I like Storen… I hope he doesn't leave…

  162. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Did Rizzo ask Clip for one of the T-shirts, thereby assuring that Clip would never be traded?

  163. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    I don't want Clip to be traded. He may give us a heart attack, but he's still one of our most reliable relievers. Our bullpen is finally looking pretty good, I don't think getting rid of a key piece of that is the way to go.

  164. DJB - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    I would eat R Zimmerman's remaining contract, but it's not my money. I would then package him with Storen, Abad, and Taylor Jordan for Stanton. Move Rendon to third and play Lombo at second. So the Marlins would get a young closer under contract, a young lefty specialist under contract, an All-Star third baseman for no money for four years, and a young starter under contract. We would then be set with Rendon hitting second (righty gap power), Harper hitting third (lefty power to all fields), and Stanton hitting fourth (righty power pull hitter), all I believe under 25. How much money will the Lerners be willing to pay for Stanton? Fire Rizzo, choose a younger player manager at the end of the year, and build up a real baseball front office (you could keep Rizzo if you do that). How does that sound?

  165. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Does anybody want Zimmerman and his contract?

  166. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Or do you mean you would pay Zimmerman not to play for the Nats, sort of like the Yankees paid the A's to let David Justice play for them?

  167. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Let's get real, people.I'm as tired as anyone of Zim throwing the ball into fourth row of the seats on routine grounders. But he is NOT going to be traded, ever. He will play his entire career here, a la Brooks. This idea of packaging him for Stanton, while attractive enough, is never going to happen. He's not the FoF without a reason.

  168. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    I swear the ideas that get thrown around on here sometimes…

  169. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    You have to trade from your strength to address your weakness (a poor offense and bench w/o backup outfield options). You can make a trade and throw in a Marrero/Eury, etc but you won't get much. Many contenders are desperate for Bullpen help.NL likes Aoki but I doubt Milwaukee would trade a key part of their future. However, I think anything is possible for the right deal where two teams address their needs. One thing is for sure, never say never. Clippard could be traded for the right bat. Shoot we traded Alex Meyer, tried to trade J. Zimmerman, Storen and Espinosa a couple years back.And JD agree with your assessments of the future mets.

  170. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Late inning relievers are known for terrifying the fans. It's the situation. And we never, ever forgive them for giving up a run, even though none of them ever ends the season with a zero era. We expect them to be perfect when they just can't be. Drew had forty some saves in 2011. His pitches are ridiculous. Someone else would jump to have him. And Clip has been, I think, our number one reliever in the last few years . And as for that old Nolan Ryan pitch til your arm falls off chestnut– back in that gloriously wonderful era, ( not), the pitchers spent many years in the minors paying their dues and building up innings. There were no relieving specialists to speak of, they made hardly any money, were in awful shape, and no one cared what happened to them. Ryan was the lucky one. He threw tons of innings when he was a mature pitcher. That being said– I feel that SS has prima Donna tendencies and is somewhat immature and temperamental.

  171. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    I propose a rule that from now on anyone advocating firing the hitting coach must disclose his or her batting experience while playing baseball in terms of years and success and what about that experience leads him or her to believe that batting coaches have significant influence over their charges.I sincerely doubt that we are going to find many who played baseball beyond age 12 who think that batting coaches can do much of anything to improve a team's batting. Here are a few things that hitting coaches can do:Say "keep your eye on it" to players when they hit.Say, "you might want to try a heavier bat."Say, "you might want to try a lighter bat."Say, "you might want to choke up on the bat."Say, "you might want to try not choking up on the bat."Say " don't swing at balls that are outside the strike zone."Say, "watch for the pitcher's curve or slider when he is ahead in the count."Say, "watch for the fastball when the pitcher is behind in the count."Say, "great job," after a player gets a hit.Say, "you'll get him next time, after a player makes an out.Say, "good eye," when a player gets a walk.Say, "you might try going to the opposite field, if a pull hitter is in a slump."Say "don't toss your bat after you swing. That can be dangerous and it is even an out in some leagues."

  172. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    My no trade list on our MLB roster (worthless but what the heck):1. Ryan Zimmerman.2. Ian Desmond3. Stras/Zmnn/Gio/Det4. A. Rendon, B. Harper5. I. Krol, C. Stamman, Clippard and 4 of remaining 5 relievers (ie: I would only consider trading one of the following, not 2 of either Storen, Davis, Abad, Mathews, Ohlendorf).

  173. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Hey, sunshine– when have you seen Zim throw a ball into the fourth row of seats? You been watching? He has been awesome. Shoulder is finally cooperating. We are so lucky to have such a fine third baseman. You know, Brooks Robinson said he loves watching Zim.

  174. realdealnats - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I say we keep switching out #5s as we need to between Ross O, Taylor Jordan, maybe Haren again. Don't trade minor league talent for an expensive #5–especially with such erratic hitting. And hope Det gets it together. JZimm, SS, and Gio are now pitching fine imho. Also, I'd keep both Clip & Storen. I like relievers who go for the jugular. They drive me crazy when they go for the capillaries, but lately they seem to be going after batters with a little more verve. Need to get a power bat for the second half. Don't know how or where, but that's our most severe weakness. Of course fielding a healthy starting lineup for more than a few games in a row would be nice.

  175. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    WODL– well then why the heck do we have them???????

  176. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Yes, many teams are pursuing Storen as reported in MLB Trade Rumors. I think in many ways the Nats have hurt Storen and his confidence esp to pitch in the post season by changing his role after one bad inning. He and Espi would be better served and could have a great career elsewhere. Hot stove in June.

  177. jeffwx - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    I love Ryan Zimmerman…He is only 28 years old and see him producing about what he always does for the next 8 years at least. We are lucky to have him.

  178. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Sorry you are focusing on this minor, throwaway remark, 222, I'm sorry I mentioned it because it's distracting form the main point. Even if Clip is someone Rizzo leans on, that wouldn't stop Rizzo trading him. The focus needs to be on Clip's performance, has his velocity dropped (it hasn't), are hitters routinely getting the best of him (they aren't) and so forth.

  179. mick - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Boswell's oped is spot on, glad he mentioned the fan support which is what I have posted about a few times…DC is a great baseball town. However, the patience will run out if they do not get this together, first sign was the booing of Haren which was more than appropriate.

  180. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Why do we have hitting coaches? People need feedback don't they? And former players and minor league guys need work. Are you guys really going to begrudge Mr. Eckstein his sinecure? His job is to divert criticism from Davey and Rizzo and he is doing one damn fine job of it.You will never hear me complain about more jobs for guys like Mr. Eckstein. Now don't get me started on guys like Haren making 26 times what Manny Machado is earning.

  181. mick - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    jeffwx…I agree,Nats could get something of value now for Storen and Espi in a 2 for 1 trade

  182. mick - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    it would be fantastic if Taylor Jordan was the answer

  183. realdealnats - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    I have faith that when Bryce gets truly healthy–something I'm a bit worried about with that knee–and he pairs up with Rendon in the lineup, then Zim and Desi and ALR will come on even stronger b/c it will get contagious. Ramos back and healthy and rotating every other day will help in the #8 spot too. This and a big bat at the trade deadline–with JZimm, SS, Gio coming on strong and Det coming around and the BP hanging tough maybe even Garcia and Mattheus reappearing–I think we have a good chance of making a hell of a run at winning the division. But we have to get healthy.

  184. Water23 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    JD, I like your analysis and hope things work out that way.Jeffwx, I am not sure any of our hitters other than Harper are good enough to be untouchable. I remember a year or two ago mentioning that a trade of RZimm for M. Cabrera would be a no brainer. Remember, the players are nice but the team wins a championship.

  185. nats guy - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Storen has value, Espi is damaged goods right now. No one in their right mind would want him even for a bag of used baseballs. He would have to prove in AAA he is not hurt. So far not so much.

  186. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I just read an article that said Bryce had the bursitis before the wall. I did not know that. Should we be worried about this? Can he finish the season?

  187. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Swami – that's interesting if he has it before the injury… I had read that it normally takes 4-6 weeks to actually heal from it… I'm hoping he can come back against the Mets…Do we have any on the farm who are really worth trading right now? I'm not sure teams are pressed for Eury, Espi, or Marerro… I don't want us to give any pitching prospects away…

  188. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Uhm, DJB – I would absolutely not do any of that to which you just wrote…

  189. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    And DP, I agree that the BP finally seems set… They have ALL been really good the past 10 odd games or so… But I just wouldn't be upset if they were to trade Clip (but honestly, I don't see that happening)….

  190. David Proctor - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I seem to recall Bryce saying his knee hurt from his previous wall crash–in Atlanta, when trying to rob Hudson of his HR. That's where everything originates from.

  191. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Sheesh- Bryce, dude. With the force if that second crash, and knowing he already had knee issues, I really wish they had DL'd him right away. Injury management not so good. End up losing more time.

  192. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Taylor Jordan starting tonite in Harrisburg. Gives up a 2 out single and a third out pop up.The Nats could slip Det into Fridays start and use Jordan Saturday if they decide to go that route.

  193. NatsLady - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    If you didn’t guess from the name, released righthander Shane McCatty is the son of Nationals big league pitching coach Steve McCatty.

  194. baseballswami - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Ouch.

  195. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Jerad Head hits his 9th home run with 2 outs on the first. 1-0 Senators after 1.

  196. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Taylor Jordan starting tonite in Harrisburg. Gives up a 2 out single and a third out pop up.The Nats could slip Det into Fridays start and use Jordan Saturday if they decide to go that route. June 24, 2013 7:08 PM I believe that is exactly the route over which the Rizzo-Davey-McCatty stagecoach is riding.

  197. d'grviii 8 - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Why do orchestras need conductors? All they do is wave their arms around.

  198. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    I like T Jordan… Just a little concerned about the innings limit and him not going over 100 innings… I know they stretched him out and I have no issue with giving him a shot (I mean how much worst can things be, right)Idk… Just a little concerned… But we will see what happens…

  199. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    I hope the Nats don't rush Taylor Jordan. After talking to a few scouts most didn't even have him on their radar but I did find a scout with an opinion. He doesn't think he is ready because he found him as a 2 pitch guy who needed to perfect his slider to go with his "plus" changeup and fastball with good movement.What works in AA could certainly work or you could end up like some of these Cardinal and Orioles top prospects who had a nice record in the Minors and got crushed once there was a scouting report.Second time through the order in the MLB, Taylor Jordan can be very hittable. He needs more grooming. What's the rush?

  200. d'grviii 8 - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    If Machado lasts as long in the bigs as Haren has, he will make as much or more than Haren has. That's how the system works. The days when a player's salary is based on how he's playing right now are long gone.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

Follow us on Twitter