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State of the Nats – 7/8

Jul 8, 2013, 4:00 PM EST

Photo by USA Today

Team Record: 46-42 (15-15)

N.L. East Standings



Offensive Game of the Week: Wilson Ramos 7/4 vs. Brewers – 3-for-4, HR, 5 RBI, R

Pitching Line of the Week: Stephen Strasburg 7/2 vs. Brewers – 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 8 SO, 4 BB, 105 pitches (66 strikes)
Top Storylines
Offense is booming – Finally healthy, the Nats are finally starting to hit. Washington has scored five runs or more in four straight games and dropped eight or more in three of their last four. Over the last week they are batting .294 as a team with five home runs and 31 RBI, averaging 5.5 runs per game. Over the last two weeks they have 14 home runs as a team and an .803 OPS, averaging 5.8 runs per game. Getting Wilson Ramos back paid immediate dividends as he posted three hits and a homer in his first game back on July 4. He brings power to the eighth spot and makes the Nationals' lineup as deep as they hoped it would be coming into this season.

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  1. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Ghost, I'm pulling these up from the last thread:"Eric, JZim would've finished with a great outing on Friday if Ohlendorf didn't give up a 3 run HR on JZim's record and give him 3 earned on the day and a no-decision."To clarify, I'm not saying our 1 – 3 starters have done badly in their most recent outtings…not at all. But, they have definitely labored, accumulating very high pitch counts fairly early in the game. I think all three hit 100+ (or at least came close) in the 6th inning? And, all seemed to struggle some with their control."Eric, Stammen has stuggled in 7 of his last 9 appearances. Ever since Ray Knight declared him MVP coincidentally ;)"Ha! Yeah, I didn't realize it has been going on that long…

  2. Nats 128 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Stammen started struggling right after Henry Rodriguez was traded on June 12th. Just kidding.

  3. Nats 128 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Stammen for now has earned the right to mop up duty. To go from dominant to dominated that quickly has to have reasons as to why. Could be as simple as arm fatigue.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Craig Stammen has been a great asset to this team in the bullpen. He will get 4 days or more off next week so if it is arm fatigue he will get some sorely needed rest.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    In case you didn't know this, Scott Hairston isn't a short-term rental, the Nats have him for next year also.After Eckstein gets him back to his 2012 swing, this trade will look great!

  6. 3on2out - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    I posted this at the end of the last thread but I thought it was interesting enough to do a Department of Redunancy Department iteration:Speaking of Tracy:A comparison of Matt Stairs' swan song numbers and Tracy's current ones:Stairs 56 games .154 .257 .169Tracy 55 games .138 .179 .263Yikes!

  7. realdealnats - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Somehow, the Nats have to hone an edge out of the liability of heading into each of the next two games with Jordan and Haren. I think these games will be real dog fights, and the Nats can't sit back and wait for anything to come to them. They've got to have a win each pitch mentality. I don't care if Lannan is pitching or who. I would love to see them sweep these guys and raise their game to that next level of conquering adversity. They're poised to do so, but it requires an active not a passive response on their part…all the way down the line.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    3on2out, as much as I think Tracy was a big mistake when Rizzo extended him in-season last year, he's still much better than Stairs with the fact he contributed to 2 wins.He just doesn't instill fear in the opposition and that tells you that he's a poor choice. In 2012, when Scott Hairston came in to pinch-hit against a Nats lefty, I was nervous.Speaking of Mets pinch-hitters, I would take Jordany Valdespin over Chad Tracy ;)

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    realdealnats said… Somehow, the Nats have to hone an edge out of the liability of heading into each of the next two games with Jordan and Haren. I think these games will be real dog fights, and the Nats can't sit back and wait for anything to come to them. They've got to have a win each pitch mentality. I don't care if Lannan is pitching or who. I would love to see them sweep these guys and raise their game to that next level of conquering adversity. They're poised to do so, but it requires an active not a passive response on their part…all the way down the line. I feel the same way. Tonight is a must win for the Nats as Lannan stinks in Bad Citizens Ballpark.On paper, the Nats matchup best for Monday and Thursday's games and hoping TJord and Gio can outduel Hamels and Cliff Lee.The good news for Haren and TJord is they won't have to face Ryan Howard.

  10. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:39 PM

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  11. A DC Wonk - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    One other thing about Stammen — I'm sure that, with the big lead at the time, he was told: dude, just throw strikes.And, sure enough, *every* pitch he threw in his first inning was a strike.When he started the next inning, he threw some balls and some finesse, and gave up two grounders that both just missed being outs.The point being, I don't think Stammen pitched as nearly bad as the stats showed for yesterday.

  12. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    "They're poised to do so, but it requires an active not a passive response on their part…all the way down the line."Well, for what it's worth, I think they're poised to do so specifically because they finally have adopted a very active, confident approach to the game. It's like a different ball club. An 8 game winning streak seems as plausible now as ever, since we're already 4 games in…stretching it to 11 games is probably way too optimistic.In any case, regardless of how each series goes, it seems very possible that we will get to 50 wins by the break. I think that would be a nice psychological boost given how things have gone until recently.

  13. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    The numbers are what they are, but one difference between Tracy and Stairs is, when he does hit one, it can get out. I knew Stairs was all done when he did get all of a fastball, and it still was a can of corn on the warning track.

  14. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    That's an interesting take on Stammen's most recent outing, Wonk…

  15. A DC Wonk - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    And a few things about Storen: I went back to the recap after his July 4 meltdown, expecting to see a gazillion "get rid of him" posts. What I found (I didn't look at the game thread, just the recap) was that a majority of the posters here basically said: "he's been good, he'll get it together".Well done!

  16. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    If a pinch hitter gets you 3 game tying/game winning hits in half a season how van you call him useless? What do you want from a bench player? if he was better/more consistent he wouldn't be a bench player.I never called him useless. But I don't agree with your analysis. He is often appearing in high leverage situations at the end of the game. He has 6 hits and 2 walks in 42 PAs as a pinch hitter this year. Yes, he had two big PH HRs. But I'm sure he could have helped the team alot if he hadn't failed to get on base the other 34 times. For a guy who is paid to hit, whose whole purpose for the being on the team is to deliver in the late inning, high leverage, pinch hitting role, I don't think a .270 BA and a .320 OBP is too much to ask. And no, that's not going to make him a starter. Last year he hit .261/.340/.391 as a PH. No one jumped to sign him to play 3B full time did they?At this point, Tracy is such as automatic out that opposing managers don't even bring in a lefty to face him. The sooner he's replaced the better.

  17. A DC Wonk - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Eric said… That's an interesting take on Stammen's most recent outing, Wonk…Thanks. I noticed that because I was at the game, and I looked at the scoreboard at the beginning of his second inning and saw the balls/strikes stat, and realized: "whoa! he still hasn't thrown a single ball!"

  18. JD - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Valdespin is actually having a terrible year this year. 4 HR's in 142 at bats .254 OBP. I think most of the bench players end up with crappy stats because they don't get regular playing time. Once in a while someone like Dobbs or Gload has an unusually nice year but that's an outlier. I think Tracy profiles similarly to these guys and I think at the end of the day whether you are afraid of him or not he will have several key shots and that's really all you should expect.

  19. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Phils are starting three lefties against us. Wonder if Harp or Span will get a rest for a night.

  20. JD - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Sec 222, Tell me who the pinch hitters are around the league who are hitting .270 .320? All pinch hitters hit in mostly high leverage situations. You don't pinch hit in the 3rd inning and they mostly face closers and yes they mostly fail. I agree with you that Tracy stinks, just tell me who you are replacing him with? BTW, 3 big hits:1)game winning home run against San Diego, Game tying home run against Cleveland (Nats won) and game tying home run against Paplebon (Nats lost).

  21. sjm308 - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    With the Phillies coming off a winning series against the Braves, I don't think it is realistic to think about a sweep. I have really bought into Wonk's theory about splitting the #4-5 games and going 2 of 3 with our big 3. If we get just two of these games I will be ok but of course I would like more. Not that it matters since the deal is done but the pitcher we gave up? Was he someone you guys who look at stuff like this targeted for the majors in the next few years?On Hairston – I am ok with this as I have heard he is a good clubhouse guy – we still have no one hitting well that can come into a game late and make a differenceGo Nats!!

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    JD, on Valdespin I put the smiley wink after my post. Valdespin only beats up the Nats. ;(

  23. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    "If we get just two of these games I will be ok but of course I would like more. "I agree. I think winning 4 of the next 7 is the most likely outcome. That would essentially mean winning all three outings by Gio, Stras, and Zim, then winning 1 of the 4 outings by our other 2 starters.Of course, with Gio matching up against Lee, a split between Haren's and TJ's starts might be necessary.Of course, if we keep averaging 5+ runs a game everything gets much easier…

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    If the Nats were fortunate enough to win 3 of 4 from the Phoolies, Amaro will hold a fire sale of Lee, Utley and Ruiz.

  25. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    JD, right. In one of those games he was the DH, which is why I said he had 2 PH HRs. But yes, he's had 3 HRs this year, and all were key hits. Good for him. He hasn't been completely useless.There's a big difference between "what do you want from a bench player?" to "well, who would you replace him with?" Last year, we had a guy named Chad Tracy who was a .261/.340 guy. We were willing to pay him a million dollars to come do it again. How about if we get that guy back? Anyway, I'm afraid I don't have time to see if there are any .270/.320 guys out there, and of course I have no way of knowing whether they are available for a trade or who we'd have to give up to get them. So I'll have to concede on that one. But I'll bet if I looked I could find several teams whose primary late inning PH is doing a whole lot better than .138/.179/.263. Are you really defending that level of ineptitude just because he's hit 3 HRs?

  26. sjm308 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    222Its not enough of a point to sway you but Tracy also can play 3rd base and not make a total joke of it. I cringe with Moore in lf, he is just not a major league outfielder. Tracy has not produced, I am not defending him but he is a veteran presence in the clubhouse and I don't compare him at all to Stairs who could not play the field or hit when we released him.

  27. jeffwx - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    NL Pinch hit avg ba is .230Braves pher/bench are batting .296.they're out there.

  28. A DC Wonk - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    sjm308 said……I have really bought into Wonk's theory about splitting the #4-5 games and going 2 of 3 with our big 3. I was thinking of that yesterday — since we got 3 of 3 from the big three this time around, we can lost the next two, and still have won the "wonk series."Of course, winning one of the next two would be a nice bonus.Section 222 said… Phils are starting three lefties against us.Uggh. I would, too, if I could.Nationals as a team bat .249 against RHP, and .218 against LHP. — which is almost solely due to the fact that our own lefties haven't hit lefties this year (our LH-batters against LHP are batting .182!!)

  29. jeffwx - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    and on the other hand, nats have by far the worst ph/bench ba of .170. yes worse than the cubs.

  30. jeffwx - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    or pray for rain. ;)

  31. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Just for fun I took a look at the guys the Phillies and Braves have used as PHs for a significant number of ABs this year. PhilliesKevin Frandson,31 PAs, .321/.387/.500 Laynce Nix, 43 PAs, .238/.256/.452BravesJordan Shaeffer, 25 PAs, .318/.348/.455Reed Johnson, 34 PAs, .357/.455/.500NatsTracy, 42 PAs, .150/.190/.325Bernadina, 17 PAs, .200/.294/.333Lombo, 28 PAs, .250/.280/.375 Scott Hairston, come on down.

  32. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    "Scott Hairston, come on down."Especially for this series. From the post heading up this thread:"Hairston has had more success against the Phils than any other club with a .307 career average, 12 home runs, 25 RBI, and 11 doubles in 45 games."

  33. hiramhover - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:35 PM

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  34. hiramhover - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Braves pher/bench are batting .296.Yeah, but don't underestimate the effect of luck over a small sample size. ATL's two most frequent PHers are Jordan Schaffer and Reed Johnson, both of whom are batting much better as PHers than their season or career #s would suggest.PHers and bench players have the same hot and cold streaks as everyday players. But they get fewer ABs and thus less chance for things to even out, which can leave them with really good or really awful stats that don't have a lot of predictive value.

  35. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Hairston is an upgrade over Moore, both as a RH pinch hitter against lefties and as a late game OF replacement as part of Davey's double switch strategy. He also adds speed on the bases as well as in the OF. And my guess is that he will be delighted to join a contending team in his final 2 years, or perhaps more. He will accept his role as a bench player and give it all he's got, just as his brother did. I like the pickup.Moore is not an OFer, and he has not played very well at first, either – perhaps because the Nats insist on making him into something he's not. Trying to play the OF may also be affecting his ABs. Last year, the difference in Moore's hitting stats as a first baseman compared to his hitting stats as an outfielder was stark. TyMo hit a lot better when he played first than he did when he was asked to play the OF.I don't think Rizzo is done, either. He needs a better LH bat off the bench, as well, and my guess is that he will get one. I don't believe Rizzo is assuming that Haren suddenly becomes effective, either. Probably hoping for the best, but trying to develop options in case of the worst.Who thought that Jordan Taylor could turn out to be such a pivotal player in the Nats' stretch drive to the pennant? Probably not even Mike. These revitalized Nats are going to hit, so the big 3 are going to win a lot of games the rest of the way. And what about when someone else takes the ball? If Mike can fix that, or if Detwiler's back recovers overnight, the Nats figure to win enough to take the division title from the Braves.Hey, we need a little drama between now and then to make it a little more interesting.

  36. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    308, yes, Tracy can play 3B, and 1B too for that matter. And now that Moore is gone, I guess he's the backup to ALR. Oh no, does that mean we're stuck with him for that reason? If only Marrero could hit and was LH. Can Hairston play 1B? Sure, anyone can play 1B, right? Laynce Nix did it. Even Alberto Gonzales and Alex Cora did it. Lombo, you're up next.

  37. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Hairston is an upgrade over Moore, both as a RH pinch hitter against lefties and as a late game OF replacement as part of Davey's double switch strategy. He also adds speed on the bases as well as in the OF. And my guess is that he will be delighted to join a contending team in his final 2 years, or perhaps more. He will accept his role as a bench player and give it all he's got, just as his brother did. I like the pickup.Moore is not an OFer, and he has not played very well at first, either – perhaps because the Nats insist on making him into something he's not. Trying to play the OF may also be affecting his ABs. Last year, the difference in Moore's hitting stats as a first baseman compared to his hitting stats as an outfielder was stark. TyMo hit a lot better when he played first than he did when he was asked to play the OF.I don't think Rizzo is done, either. He needs a better LH bat off the bench, as well, and my guess is that he will get one. I don't believe Rizzo is assuming that Haren suddenly becomes effective, either. Probably hoping for the best, but trying to develop options in case of the worst.Who thought that Jordan Taylor could turn out to be such a pivotal player in the Nats' stretch drive to the pennant? Probably not even Mike. These revitalized Nats are going to hit, so the big 3 are going to win a lot of games the rest of the way. And what about when someone else takes the ball? If Mike can fix that, or if Detwiler's back recovers overnight, the Nats figure to win enough to take the division title from the Braves.Hey, we need a little drama between now and then to make it a little more interesting.

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Section 222, is bringing it today. I was just getting ready to post similar.You have to add Gattis to your list as he leads the Majors in PH HRs with 4 and is slashing .750/.800 2.375/3.175 The Braves are winning games from their bench. They added Gattis and to the bench acquired Reed Johnson and Jordan Shaeffer. Again, the Nats could've gone after Reed Johnson last year and they didn't.Last year the Nats had a pride in their bench and this year they went from the Goon Squad to the Goof Squad. Just horrible results. I'd rather see Stras, Gio, Haren and JZim pinch-hitting as I'd expect better and more professional at-bats. It's been a weakness for over 3 months. Glad Rizzo made a slight upgrade, but what took you so long?

  39. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    "they went from the Goon Squad to the Goof Squad"I like Goon Squall better. Whiffing creates a lot of wind ;).

  40. Nats 128 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    "I'd expect better and more professional at-bats. It's been a weakness for over 3 months. Glad Rizzo made a slight upgrade, but what took you so long?"Thats true. It isnt as if Scott Hairston wasnt available 2 to 3 weeks ago. Rizzo probably overpaid just like the Cubs under-paid for Henry Rodriguez. Why didnt Rizzo send back the A baller that he got in that trade.Not impressed at all by Rizzos ability to make good trades unless you only consider what he got.

  41. NatsLady - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    It'll rain in Philly. Unfortunately, it'll be done raining by 5 o'clock.

  42. Nats 128 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Eric, thats a LOL however I wish we could laugh at someone elses team. The time it takes Rizzo to take action to fill a need on this team then hold your breath to see how badly he will get fleeced.The bounty he got for Nyjer and Henry is the equivalent of taking your completly wrecked car that never really drove well and getting next to nothing from the insurance company.

  43. Mickey Vernon - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Speaking of bench players, most batters move the bat down and then forward into the zone. Bernadina takes it back toward the catcher, and then tries to bring it forward on the right plane. That's why, IMO, he's often too late or off line coming through the zone.

  44. A DC Wonk - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Nats 128 said… Eric, thats a LOL however I wish we could laugh at someone elses team. The time it takes Rizzo to take action to fill a need on this team then hold your breath to see how badly he will get fleeced.Oh, please. Your anti-Rizzo animus is showing.He got Suzuki in a hurry when we really needed another catcher. That trade for Gio seemed to work out well. The trade sending Morse away seems to be pretty good. (so, was the trade _getting_ Morse — we traded away Ryan Langerhans to get him).You can't just "go out and get a good ballplayer" unless: (a) there's a team willing to deal one away; and (b) you have stuff to give up for him. It's not like the Nats are operating in a vacuum — there are 29 other teams who are trying to get better, too.

  45. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Ghost, I didn't mention Gattis because he only has 10 PH appearances and his numbers are so off the charts I thought people would think it's an unfair comparison. But I agree with your point 100%. We can and should expect more from our bench than we've been getting, especially from Tracy since he's the highest paid and the "professional hitter" of the bunch. Sometimes, of course, you get lucky, but other times you just get what you pay for, or less.

  46. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    My goodness. I just checked Hairston's stats. He has had his 8 HRs in only 99 ABs. That is a damned good ratio, about 1 HR every 12 ABs. I would classify that as more than a "slight" upgrade, Ghost. No one else on the current Nats 25 man roster comes close to that. Harper did before he got hurt, and could get there, again, when fully healthy, but he was the only one close to that number.When you can get a RH power bat for the bench who hits HRs at the same rate as a healthy Bryce Harper, I'll take it. I bet Davey will, too. Now, Mike, let's see you do the same with a LH bat for the bench. A guy who can play in the infield, too, like Hairston can play the OF.

  47. Nats 128 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Wonk is just another Rizzo apologist who doesnt want to see the truth. Look how this team is constructed and you will see how Steve Phillips couldnt have screwed it up with all the #1 overall picks and top Draft picks and a top farm system.Quickly Rizzo has emptied a good part of the farm system and made several poor trades of which Kurt Suzuki was one. After the Nats are forced to pay his 2014 $8,500,000 contract for a guy batting .170 below Wil Nieves. There were other options just that Rizzo went after Suzuki. By the way, Nieves is getting paid $800,000 this year however he doesnt hit HRs like Rizzo wants.

  48. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Interesting commentary over on MLB trade rumors. Chicago's first round pick remains unsigned. The deadline for signing is Friday. He is a SCOTT BORAS CLIENT. Could he also be the PTBNL from Chicago, with someone like Espinosa going to the Cubs, in that case? Could it be that Scott and his client are not too excited abut the Cubbies, but would cut a deal if he could then be a part of a trade to the Nats?Wild speculation, I know. But when you have both Rizzo and Boras in any dynamic mix, you never know what may result.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… My goodness. I just checked Hairston's stats. He has had his 8 HRs in only 99 ABs. That is a damned good ratio, about 1 HR every 12 ABs. I would classify that as more than a "slight" upgrade, Ghost. No one else on the current Nats 25 man roster comes close to that.He is a swing from his cleats type of guy and looking like an Adam Dunn. Again, he was a pre-season bench pickup on my shopping list so I'm glad to have him. Certainly an upgrade from TyMo, just hoping he is closer to his 2012 numbers which could carry a bench.

  50. hiramhover - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Nats 128Wil Nieves is Jhonathan Solano, having the luckiest stretch of his career, but without the cool nickname.

  51. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Could he also be the PTBNL from Chicago, with someone like Espinosa going to the Cubs, in that case?Not unless they don't name him until next year. You can't trade draft picks, and you can't trade draftees inside a year, with some irrelevant-to-this-case exceptions.

  52. jeeves - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I feel that Pineyro is a bit of an overpayment for Hairston. Interesting theory, Laddie. Can they do what you are suggesting though?

  53. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    NIDO Glossary, line 6: You can't trade draft picks.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Laddie, can't trade Draft Picks so doubt that could end up the PTBNL.

  55. A DC Wonk - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Nats 128 said… Wonk is just another Rizzo apologist who doesnt want to see the truth. Look how this team is constructed and you will see how Steve Phillips couldnt have screwed it up with all the #1 overall picks and top Draft picks and a top farm system.Couldn't have done worse? What on earth are you talking about?Perhaps you don't remember the two consecutive 100+ loss seasons not very long ago? A team that was so bad and had such an empty farm system that they had open try-outs for starting pitchers, going with guys like Mike Bascik, and a team ERA astoundingly bad — like over 5.00? The Dominican League mess that Rizzo was taked with cleaning up? Taking risks on some injured players that other teams passed over (you know, like some kid named Anthony Rendon?)He must have the entire world fooled except for you — how else could such a guy win "Executive of the Year" ?

  56. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    ahem.

  57. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    You can trade draft picks after they have been signed, and maybe they can't sign him unless they agree to deal him to the Nats, or someone else. If the cubbies are stuck with no chance to sign him, they may be willing to work something out to get something rather than nothing. Their guy, the no. 2 overall pick, looks like he could be an excellent slugging first baseman in a couple of years.

  58. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    I believe Sofa also likes his beer cold Ghost. :)

  59. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    He must have the entire world fooled except for you — how else could such a guy win "Executive of the Year"?Fellow Travellers and Fifth Columnists?

  60. A DC Wonk - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Interesting commentary over on MLB trade rumors. Chicago's first round pick remains unsigned. The deadline for signing is Friday.Both Strasburg and Harper were signed by Rizzo with less than two minutes left to the deadline. With that history, should Cub fans be worried?

  61. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Laddie, they cannot trade a draftee for the first year. It's a rule.

  62. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    "Not unless they don't name him until next year. You can't trade draft picks, and you can't trade draftees inside a year, with some irrelevant-to-this-case exceptions."Tsk, tsk, tsk. There's always a spoilsport! Of course, we don't know how much "later" the PBTNL later has to be, or do we? Is there a rule for that, too?

  63. karlkolchak - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    What is with this "poor trades" stuff? Rizzo has proven pretty adept at obtaining useful MLB players for a whole lot of not much from the farm system. The guy (Frietas) he traded Suzuki (whom we desperately needed down the stretch last year) for has a .309 OBP in the minors this year. He got Morse for Ryan Langerhans. Gomes he picked up for one guy who is now out of baseball and another who is bombing at AA this year. And it doesn't look like any of the guys he shipped to the Cubs for Gorzo will ever make the majors.Rizzo has made his share of mistakes, but he seems to be pretty adept at knowing which minor leaguers he can safely ship out for big league spare parts. Pinyero was the 27th rated prospect in the system prior to this year, so I'm not going to lose sleep over the fact that we gave him up to give our bench a VERY much needed upgrade.

  64. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Somebody else is going to have to get the link to cite that, though.

  65. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    "Not unless they don't name him until next year. You can't trade draft picks, and you can't trade draftees inside a year, with some irrelevant-to-this-case exceptions." Tsk, tsk, tsk. There's always a spoilsport! Of course, we don't know how much "later" the PBTNL later has to be, or do we? Is there a rule for that, too?

  66. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    And that reminds me of the komodo dragon.

  67. CN - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Baseball America just release their mid-season top 50 prospects list. A familiar name, Alex Meyer, is ranked at 32. Unfortunately, no current Nationals on the list

  68. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    "He is a swing from his cleats type of guy and looking like an Adam Dunn."He is striking out at a 22% rate this year. He is putting the ball into play more frequently than Dunn does. Maybe just bad luck he hasn't gotten more hits for his effort. I couldn't find his splits, so I don't know if he has done better against lefties than righties.

  69. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    "Not unless they don't name him until next year. You can't trade draft picks, and you can't trade draftees inside a year, with some irrelevant-to-this-case exceptions."I can read, but your response is ambiguous. "Inside a year" can mean inside a calendar year (i.e. 2013, meaning he could be traded as of Jan. 1, 2014) of it could mean inside of a full 365-day year after he was signed (or perhaps 365 days after he was drafted). If the rule is written as you stated it, we still don't know how much "later" that "later" has to be, nor do we know what it is that is that it has to be "later" than. The lawyers wrote those rules, and they are usually much more precise than your formulation.

  70. hiramhover - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    LaddieYes, he's better vs lefties than righties, career and this year, esp. for power. All of his HRs this year are against lefties.

  71. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Hairston's 2013 splits:Against righties:.143 .208 .190 .399Against lefties:.179 .239 .500 .739

  72. karlkolchak - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    CN – interesting, since Meyer's stats at AA this year are solid but not dominant. No doubt Rendon would have been near the top of that list had he not "graduated." The big disappointment in the minors so far this year has been Goodwin. Maybe they shouldn't have skipped him over Potomac after all.

  73. David Proctor - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    As I said in the initial post on the subject, there's no real reason to worry about Hairston's average. His iso, K%, BB% etc. are all similar to last year. The only thing different is his BABIP, which is .150 points lower. He's hitting into extremely bad luck. His average will go up. But even if he doesn't, he has more homers than Moore, Tracy, Bernadina and Lombo combined. It's a nice add.

  74. David Proctor - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Mark Zuckerman ‏@ZuckermanCSN 1mCurious to see if Hairston cracks #Nats lineup tomorrow. Career vs. Hamels: 12-for-30, 5 2B, 5 HR, 1.521 OPS.Wonder who would sit.

  75. UnkyD - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Doc: "One of our posters suggested that ARen reminded him of Molitor—good perception…."————————-I've made that observation, Doc…thanks. What always struck me about Molitor, was how compact his swing was. It seemed to me that he was able to wait much longer than most other guys, to decide to swing, and this is what I see in Rendon, that prompts the comparison. Hope he can keep repeating that sweet swing, for as long as Paul did….

  76. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    David, you are good! I was just going to post out on that!Who would sit? I would guess Span with Harp moving to CF.

  77. sjm308 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Wonk: you didn't even need to respond to 128. If you are a Rizzo apologist (which I do not think) he obviously is a Rizzo basher. To call the Suzuki trade a poor one is just silly. We gave up a catcher who at best was our 5th option and probably will never play an inning in the majors for a solid catcher who helped us into the playoffs. Rizzo is not perfect but no GM is. Hard to believe I am reading that Hairston has more home runs then our 4 bench players combined. I don't count the 2nd catcher on our bench because he rarely gets to pinch hit and is usually the only guy left in extra inning games because of fear of injury to whoever is catching that day (case in point, the Padres last series).Did not realize our last 7 are on the road and that our #4 & 5 will pitch in 4 of those games. I am adjusting my expectations to 4-3 and would call that a success.Go Nats!!

  78. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    It's hard to say if it would be Harper or Span, but probably one or the other. My initial guess is Span, but for Harper's history with Hamels…of course, Davey seems like the type to relish the growth of that history ;).

  79. sjm308 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    I am with Ghost on that even though I love Span. You certainly are not going to sit Harper vs. Hammels. That is just too good a matchup and Bryce will be chomping at the bit. I am sure they faced each other after the hit by pitch/steal home but I can't remember outcomes.Can Hairston play any infield positions, or has he?

  80. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    sjm, I'm thinking 4 – 3, with 5 – 2 being a more or less reasonable hope provided our bats keep it up…

  81. David Proctor - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Well winning today would go a long way towards that. With Lee and Hamels going next, beating Lannan would be nice. Unfortunately, we have Haren going.

  82. hiramhover - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    In his first year (2004), Hairston started about ~80 games at 2B. He hasn't had significant playing time there since–the last being 0.2 innings in 2011.

  83. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    David Proctor said… As I said in the initial post on the subject, there's no real reason to worry about Hairston's average. His iso, K%, BB% etc. are all similar to last year. The only thing different is his BABIP, which is .150 points lower. He's hitting into extremely bad luck. His average will go up. But even if he doesn't, he has more homers than Moore, Tracy, Bernadina and Lombo combined. It's a nice add. July 08, 2013 3:05 PM That's another really good post that gets you to think either he will progress to his mean which could suggest he is due for a real hot streak if Davey uses him in good matchups.By the way, TyMo is #152 on the Outfield UZR list, Scott Hairston is #160 in Outfield UZR and only slightly ahead of the Outfielder so many bash —- Josh Willingham.The reason I hate UZR is because a player like Alfonso Soriano is rated ahead of Denard Span. Not buying it.http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=of&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=40&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

  84. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    "All of his HRs this year are against lefties."Good info. You know, maybe that Rizzo guy knows WTH he is doing.

  85. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Against Hamels, Harper is 6-16 with a double, a HPB and a walk. Slashline: .375/.444/.438. Against Lee he is 0-6. He has never faced Lannan. So give Hairston tonight to rest, let him replace Span against Colbert, and Harp against Lee. See if he can deliver for us right off the bat, so to speak.

  86. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    David – The Haren that showed up against Atl/Bmore will come tonight…That cutter will be cutting through the line up…Ive faith we win and Haren has a good outting…*burns sage, says 3 hail marys while standing upside down and have my rally cap on*

  87. David Proctor - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Harper was HBP by Hamel? Who knew.

  88. Drew - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Karlkolchak:The silver lining about Brian Goodwin's season is that his .355 on base percentage is 100 points higher than his batting average.Goodwin also has 16 steals, but he's been caught 10 times, which seems very high.Goodwin is still just 22 and it seems he needs a bit more seasoning. Maybe next year he blossoms in AA and then heads to Syracuse.

  89. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Thanks Eric, re Hairston's splits. I took a look and the guy hit all 8 of his HRs against lefties in only 78 ABs. That's less than 10 ABs for every HR when batting RH against LH pitching. That's even better than Bryce at his best – right up there with Ruth, for Chrissakes.The closer I look, the better I like it.

  90. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    "Against Hamels, Harper is 6-16 with a double, a HPB and a walk. Slashline: .375/.444/.438. Against Lee he is 0-6. He has never faced Lannan. So give Hairston tonight to rest, let him replace Span against Colbert, and Harp against Lee. See if he can deliver for us right off the bat, so to speak."I like it.

  91. David Proctor - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Well Span is under contract through next year and there's a team option for 2015. So if Rizzo thinks that Goodwin could use an extra year, he could pick up Span's option. A lot of flexibility there.

  92. Eric - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    "The closer I look, the better I like it."Yeah, it's starting to look like more than a finger in the levee!

  93. Section 222 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    DP, right! I meant to put an (!) or make some snide comment about the HBP, but I was trying to post really quickly so I wouldn't owe anyone a drink!

  94. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Section 222 said… Against Hamels, Harper is 6-16 with a double, a HPB and a walk. Slashline: .375/.444/.438. Against Lee he is 0-6. He has never faced Lannan. So give Hairston tonight to rest, let him replace Span against Colbert, and Harp against Lee. See if he can deliver for us right off the bat, so to speak.You speak too logically ;) Let's hope Davey analyzes his mathematical equations and follows your lead.That's what I'm going with. Makes too much sense kind of like Eury Perez pinch-running for Chad Tracy ;)

  95. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    NEW POST

  96. jeeves - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    And Goodwin has been doing a lot better lately.

  97. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    I can read, but your response is ambiguous. "Inside a year" can mean inside a calendar year (i.e. 2013, meaning he could be traded as of Jan. 1, 2014) of it could mean inside of a full 365-day year after he was signed (or perhaps 365 days after he was drafted).Sorry, I was in a hurry and just being colloquial. A team cannot trade a draftee for one year (365 days) from the date he was drafted. They can make him a PTBNL, if they are willing to wait out the year, but in this case, it would be nearly a full year. Rule 4 Draft Rules

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