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Nats vs. Mets — 3/13/14

Mar 13, 2014, 12:37 PM EST

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We’ve reached that point in the spring where several players are dealing with minor tweaks and other ailments. They say these are the kinds of things they’d play through during the regular season, but on March 13 they figure it’s not worth the risk.

So, the Nationals for the moment are without Ryan Zimmerman (sore shoulder) and Ian Desmond (cut finger, illness). Bryce Harper also is under the weather, but he’s playing today. Nothing wrong with Ross Detwiler, who is on the mound and expected to pitch four innings against the Mets.

Daisuke Matsuzaka — yes, the one and only Dice-K — gets the ball for New York, trying to beat out John Lannan for the fifth spot in the Opening Day rotation. (What would the odds of that competition have been a couple of years ago?) The Mets also will send highly touted prospect Noah Syndergaard to the mound later this afternoon.

No TV or radio coverage today, unfortunately. But please keep the conversation going here as always…

Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: None
Radio: None
Weather: Sunny, 58 degrees, Wind 18 mph out to LF

CF Denard Span
2B Jeff Kobernus
LF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Zach Walters
DH Tyler Moore
SS Danny Espinosa
RF Brian Goodwin
(LHP Ross Detwiler)

SS Ruben Tejada
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
RF Curtis Granderson
1B Josh Satin
C Travis d’Arnaud
LF Andrew Brown
DH Anthony Recker
CF Matt den Dekker
(RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka)

  1. Sonny G 10 - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Just come through this healthy, boys. We’ve already had our injury plagued year. Time for a healthy season. Go Nats!!!

  2. TimDz - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Not really thrilled to see Zimmerman’s name and “sore shoulder” in the same sentence…

    • natinalsgo - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      See the previous post for a discussion on Ryan. What can you do but hope for the best.

  3. David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    With a leadoff double today, Span is 10-22 this Spring and 3/4 in stolen bases.

  4. Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Det getting good results so far! Anyone able to comment on pitch selection?

  5. Steady Eddie - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Even if you were at the stadium, it’s kind of hard to tell which being thrown apart from the obvious difference between heaters and breaking stuff, because there’s no speed gun board at the stadium.

    • Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Fair enough…but with Det, it says a ton if folks are seeing obvious breaking stuff and he’s doing well.

  6. David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Adam LaRoche just stole a base.

  7. Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    OMG…LaRoche just stole a base…was there a wild pitch? A pig flying by?

    • Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      And then he gets third on a wild pitch. Love it.

      C’mon Espi…just punch it through a hole.

    • Section 222 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      The NIDO spreadsheet can be found at:

      • Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:02 PM


  8. natsfan1a - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Are we sure it wasn’t Drake? :-)

    • ArVAFan - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM


  9. sjm308 - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Trying to multi task here with my Terps on (down 40-39 as I type)
    Lots of anxiety here and probably every other major league blog concerning injuries
    People have to understand that throwing a baseball is just not a natural action and the body sooner or later will react to that unnatural motion. It is actually why submarine throwers have very very few shoulder injuries and also why Zimm dropped down last year as well.

    Pretty sure that all of you who played something at sometime. please tell me you didn’t play through pain or try to.. We all did. One of the hardest parts of my job in another sport that has unnatural motion (swimming) was trying to decide whether it was injury or just soreness. Believe me, we had a full chest of ice bags at the end of every practice

    Bottom line for me is that I am not going to write posts worrying about how bad something is. I appreciate others concern but it truly is a big part of this game and one of the determining factors in our success or lack of.

    • snerdblurter - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      I don’t get it. That’s like owning a Ferrari and not wanting to know how high the engine coolant level is.

      • Steady Eddie - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        No, it’s like looking at the Lerners’ Ferrari and trying to guess the coolant level with the hood closed.

  10. Hiram Hover - Mar 13, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Anyone see fangraphs “impact” rankings of farm systems? They put Nats 3d to last, ahead of only the Brewers and Angels.

    They see Giolito (duh) and Cole as the only players in the minor league system likely to become above average major league regulars (their definition of “impact”).

    They’re intrigued by Walters but see the roughness in his offense (high K rate, few BBs) that we all see, They regard Solis as a “medical train wreck” whose stuff is “headed backward.”

    They praise the Nats for picking well with their high draft picks, but say Rizzo needs a new path to success now that the team isn’t getting high picks. Perhaps that’s what he’s already starting doing, using trades to restock the farm system (a la the Lobaton deal).

    • David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      How can they evaluate Rizzo’s strategy when they’ve had exactly one draft where they didn’t pick high? And in that draft, they picked Giolito, whom they praise. I suppose you could include 2013, where they didn’t have a first round pick at all, but first round picks are crapshoots as it is, going beyond that is tough.

      They may very well be right, but there’s certainly not enough evidence to draw any conclusions.

    • veejh - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Sporting news, I believe, had the Nats farm system at 16. That’s a pretty large discrepancy.

    • therealjohnc - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      First of all, it’s not what “they” think about the Nats’ system. Articles on fangraphs are not consensus pieces. This was one author’s opinions. He’s also looking at systems from a particular perspective; even then there are some problems with his methodology (read the comment thread for various critiques of the “analysis”). Suffice it to say that the ranking of the Nats’ system as 28th is an extreme outlier. Most rankings have the Nationals in the high ‘teens. Which, given the graduation (via trade or callups) rate of the past couple of years is actually pretty impressive.

      I’m not a scout so I can’t comment on his assessment of Solis, except that I’ve not seen anything else really negative about him. Most analyses that I’ve seen have Solis’s ceiling as a #3-4 starter, with a more likely landing place being a bullpen guy/swing starter.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        Yes, “he,” not “they” – in addition to being a real john, you’re a real pronoun hawk!

        As you saw, the author was pretty clear that he was ranking farm systems in an unusual way, on the basis of “impact” players. The other rankings that you and veejh refer to are not following that same method, to my knowledge, and thus they are not directly comparable.

        As for Solis – the language of his (oops, also typed “their”) description was surprisingly negative, but I’m not sure that in the end it is so different from the likely result you indicate–if “impact” prospect means likely to be an above average regular MLB player, then BP/swing starter probably does not qualify.

      • therealjohnc - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        Eh, I’m not usually a pronoun hawk – but in this context it changes how seriously I take the low ranking. If Fangraphs qua Fangraphs developed and blessed a ranking system I’d tend to give it some deference, because their “page” products (fWAR, etc) are pretty rigorously vetted. An attempt by one of their authors to craft a new ranking system of the top of his/her head is going to get less deference from me.

  11. David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Christian Garcia appears to be rounding into form. He just pitched 1.1 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts. This after striking out the side his last side out.

  12. David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP now
    Rafael Soriano, who was terrible his last time out, made David Wright look silly during a strikeout.

    • David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      Soriano had an easy 1-2-3 against the heart of the Mets lineup: Daniel Murphy groundout, David Wright strikeout, Curtis Granderson popout on the infield

  13. Section 222 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    But, but, but, I thought Soriano was terrible, on a downhill slide. How dare he interfere with conventional wisdom by taking a few appearances to get into shape!

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:04 PM


      • nats128 - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:07 PM


    • bowdenball - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Sorry, but the concerns about Soriano are absolutely fair, and one clean inning is not going to change that. I’m not sure a clean spring training would have changed that. When you are 34 and you lose velocity and your K rate drops by more than two Ks/9 in a season, fans and front offices are 100% right to wonder if you’ll still be effective. He’s earned the right to be at the back end of the bullpen to start the season, but not the right to be treated like Mariano Rivera.

      • David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        The concerns about Soriano are fair, the concern about his two prior spring outings were not fair.

      • Section 222 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Exactly DP. People were acting like his two spring outings confirmed their opinions of him. That’s ridiculous. I like Soriano, but he’s certainly no Mariano Rivera, or even David Robertson . Save the concerns for the regular season though. He’s a veteran and knows what he needs to do to get ready.

        By the way, bowdenball, good to see you. Feel free to update the NIDO spreadsheet with that virtual beer you owe me for our Det/Haren bet. :-)

      • bowdenball - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        Sure, but I don’t think anyone would have cared about his spring outings if he’d been above 8 K/9 last season and his pitches had looked the same. When there is already cause for concern, anything at all that exacerbates the concern seems like fair game to me. Premature, perhaps, but understandable.

        Sorry 222, I don’t remember the bet. What was it? Whatever it was, I’m happy to buy a beer.

      • Section 222 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        bb, on July 18, with Det on the DL and Haren having just come off it, we had a disagreement over whether they could be relied on for the rest of the season. I suggested that unlike many NI disagreements, this one would have an empirical answer. With about 26 starts remaining to cover between them, I said they would make no more than 15 starts for the rest of the season. You said, “15 total starts between now and the end of the season for Haren and Det combined? Sure, I’ll take the over on that. Consider it a bet, 222.”
        (The really funny thing about this thread is that Feel Wood actually defended me. I kid you not.)

        As we now know, Det didn’t start a single game after the ASG, and Haren started 14.

  14. Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Nice clean outing by Sori…

    • veejh - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:59 PM


      • adcwonk - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Soriano finished the 2013 season with 12 straight appearances without allowing a run — including five perfect innings.

  15. David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Tyler Clippard with a very quick 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout.

  16. jd - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    The pitching staff is looking good all around. I think it would be great news if Garcia grabs the last bullpen spot, I love his stuff.

    I also think that Taylor Jordan should only make the team if he clearly beats out the competition for a regular rotation spot, otherwise he should go Syracuse and pitch every 5th day. Detwiler line looked good today but it appears that the 4th inning was his worst which is of course the concern with him. Since it’s only midway through ST we shouldn’t draw to much from it but we need to see Det pitch as well in the later innings as he does at the start of games, otherwise he should be destined to the pen which I think is a great idea.

  17. David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    This Manny Delcarmen guy is getting knocked around some by the Mets minor leaguers

  18. jd - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM


    I think he’s a long shot to make the team. I think he’s behind Ayala and even Garcia in the pecking order.

    • David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Ya, I don’t think there’s any way he makes the team.

  19. David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    There is now some guy playing LF for us named Randolph Oduber.

    • David Proctor - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      We have a guy named Dupra pitching for us now.

      • jd - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        This is so far removed from being a major league game now that the results are really not relevant at all.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        My favorite ST name so far was for the Yanks the other day – Zelous Wheeler.

      • Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        Loved that one! Clearly the parents forgot the ‘a’ on the birth certification.

      • Eric - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        Er, *certificate…heh

    • Steady Eddie - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      I’ll grant you, Zelous Wheeler is definitely a cool name, but the Yanks’ Yangervis Solarte is WAY cool.

      Also, Randolph Oduber has been bouncing around Hagerstown and Potomac for the past four seasons — but I have never heard of Brian Dupra, though apparently he’s been in our system for the past two-plus years.

      • Hiram Hover - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        Yangervis – that is a great name!

  20. Jonny Rasch - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Here is the Good, Bad, and Ugly from todays game.

  21. natsfan reduxit - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    … I like the way Matt is working this Spring Training. As always, I hate it when the team loses, no matter when or where the games are played. But taking note of the way he gets the lesser lights a lot of playing time, and chances to get into tough situations then work out of them, it to me this kind of attention will serve the team very well during the regular season, since the organisation is bigger than just the big team.

    Go Nats …





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