Monday, March 7, 2011

Nats vs. Astros - 3/7/11

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals host the Astros today at Space Coast Stadium.
After getting two-hit by the Braves yesterday, the Nationals have a few more regulars in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Astros. And for the first time this spring, they've got Adam LaRoche at first base. His sore shoulder apparently no longer a significant issue, LaRoche has been cleared to play the field. (If you missed it earlier, I wrote a full feature on the Nats' new first baseman today for CSNwashington.com.)

Another intriguing pitcher takes the mound for this one: Yunesky Maya. The Cuban right-hander has looked sharp all spring and now gets his first chance to start a Grapefruit League game. (John Lannan, whose regular turn is today, is pitching in a minor-league intrasquad game.) Like Ross Detwiler, who was fantastic yesterday, Maya is trying to parlay a strong spring into a spot in the Nationals' Opening Day rotation. Whether there's actually a spot for him on March 31 remains to be seen.

No TV broadcast today, but Charlie and Dave can be heard on 1580 AM. Enjoy the game...

ASTROS at NATIONALS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM)
Weather: Mostly sunny, 70 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF
STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS
CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
DH Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
C Ivan Rodriguez
LF Jeff Frazier
SS Alberto Gonzalez
(P Yunesky Maya)

ASTROS
CF Michael Bourn
SS Clint Barmes
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brett Wallace
3B Chris Johnson
LF Brian Bogusevic
DH J.D. Martinez
2B Angel Sanchez
C Carlos Corporan
(P J.A. Happ)

76 comments:

Sunderland said...

Bernadina is out to prove he can play CF and hit leadoff. Opens the bottom of the first with a bunt single, then steals second.

Steve M. said...

Sunderland, I have no doubts about Bernie playing CF and I would rather see him there then as a corner OF position trying to show he has corner OF power.

If he can play small ball and get on base and use that speed and score in front of Werth and Zim then this is how you blueprint it.

Of course when Bernie got to 3rd on the wild pitch, Werth wasn't supposed to strikeout in the blueprint, but seriously, this is what this team needs at the leadoff. JUST GET ON BASE!

Anonymous said...

I think thats his 3rd bunt hit of the Spring is it not? And I know he's stolen a couple bases on top of today.

estoppel.08 said...

4 hits in 2 innings, including HR by Bourn (who hit only 2 HRs in 605 PA last season). Isn't Maya sharp?

Anonymous said...

Bernie gets a bases loaded walk.

Doc said...

The Flying Dutchman for CF!

NatsJack in Florida said...

I have been expounding Bernadina as our CF lead off guy since discussing his abilities with Rick Eckstein back in December.

There is another guy acting as a bench coach in Spring Training that is promoting Bernadina as well. Hopefully he will prevail and our suffering with Nyjer Morgan will finally be over.

JD said...

NatsJack,

If Bernadina can keep taking walks and getting on base to something like .330 or .340 then I,m with you 100%.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And, hopefully, this will be our last Garrett Mock sighting.

MGG said...

It HAS to be! Mock can no longer be part of this organization he just doesn't fit in with the new winning Nats.

JD said...

There is no danger of Mock making the team. I think when the starters begin to pitch 5 or 6 innings there will no longer be a need for Martin, Mock et.al; in the meantime we can be content in the knowledge that the damage they are causing is meaningless.

MGG said...

Does anyone have data on Werth's spring training numbers?

His AVG isn't so good right now and I was wondering if shes just not good in spring training or if hes just kinda mailing it in until the season starts.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I don't want him (Mock) taking up a spot in Syracuse or anywhere else in the organization.

Anonymous said...

is there anywhere to get updates on this game?

MGG said...

This is what I use, its not the best but it works: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_03_07_houmlb_wasmlb_1&mode=gameday

Navy Nats Fan said...

Here's a trivia quetion for you all - what goes from Fort Smith to Little Rock to Nashville to Louisville to Northern Virginia?

Navy Nats Fan said...

Give up yet?

Anonymous said...

NatsJack in FL -

Your last comment regarding Mock is pretty strong .. are there other factors or is is just his lousy pitching that make you think that he's unsuitable?

Mark in Arlington

Navy Nats Fan said...

It's MY SEASON TICKETS! They are apparently taking the UPS scenic route but should be here tomorrow!

NatsJack in Florida said...

He's 28 yo and still can't consistently throw strikes. Today was a perfect example. Walk, walk, three run homer.

There is nothing in his recorded history that indicates that he can pitch once they turn the lights on. He's remarkable in bull pen sessions, but nothing when the action goes live.

SCNatsFan said...

I'm going to say it again... why is it such a given that Storen has a roster spot?

Anonymous said...

Navy Nats Fan said...
"It's MY SEASON TICKETS! They are apparently taking the UPS scenic route but should be here tomorrow!"

When were they sent out? For installment people, they were scheduled to start shipping on the first. Others, today.
However, that doesn't look like UPS 2-day.

MGG said...

@SCNatsFan It shouldn't be, he should be in competition just like everyone else with the exception of a few players (zimmeran, werth, maybe laroche). The bullpen is crowded or so I hear, but I think Storen will bounce back. Maybe he shouldn't be going to school in the offseason?

N. Cognito said...

The most important question in Spring Training is "why."
"What" is vastly overrated.

NatsJack in Florida said...

At this stage of his career, Storen ISN'T guaranteed a spot in the bull pen. That's the beautiful thing about having quality young arms with options.

We will have a very good pen with or without Storen

JD said...

I don't buy it NatsJack, I don't see any way Storen isn't on the opening day roster. I am completely unconcerned about his current struggles; he has some history of success to fall back on so what I,m saying is that we know who he is and that's pretty good.

Anonymous said...

As much as I wanted to be after hearing all the hype, I wasn't very impressed with Storen last year and certainly not this Spring. He's been treated like the golden child and I hope he doesn't get a spot by default of the execs trying to justify their drafting expertise. He doesn't look like a big league closer or throw like a closer. He's a nibbler and doesn't throw the ball past too many big league hitters with his fastball. A lot like the average pitchers Rizzo has trying to graduate out of...

Navy Nats Fan said...

My tickets left Fort Smith on the 4th of March. My guess is they use Weldon, Williams and Lick, Inc (just in case you're bored). I now return you to your regularly scheduled discusion of Mock vs Storen, etc...

Anonymous said...

JD..
What history does Storen have to fall back on? I'd say from his performance in the Majors so far not much... He might be "smart" and "crafty" and that'll work in college and the minors but I think we're all trying to talk ourselves into the fact that he has an elite big league arm or stuff. I don't see it.

JD said...

Anon @ 4:05,

You are so wrong. He throws consistently at 94 MPH with a good breaking ball. He was a rookie last year still learning and having very good success along the way. How many rookies close in the majors?

How many teams would line up to go after him if he was put on the block? 29? 30?

Feel Wood said...

Storen had one good year - actually not even a whole year - last year, and now you want to automatically grant him a job just because of that? How is that any different than automatically granting Nyjer Morgan a job last year on account of his half a good year in 2009?

Feel Wood said...

"How many teams would line up to go after him if he was put on the block? 29? 30?"

They don't have to put him on the block. He has options left. They can just send him to Syracuse or Harrisburg to work out his demons - like they did with Lannan last year.

JD said...

Anon @ 4:10,

Read this article in fangraphs about rising young bullpen arms:

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/ninth-inning-arms-on-the-rise/

I don't know where you get 'crafty' from. He is a young power pitcher still learning his craft not a junkball soft tosser as you imply.

JD said...

Feel Wood,

What demons? 2 bad ST outings?

NatsJack in Florida said...

That's exactly what I meant and said. It's great to have young arms with options.

Drew has been working on a curve that breaks more than his "slurve" and it's been getting belted. He gets the first one by a guy for a strike but the next one they see they smash. I've seen it happen 5 times in his two outings before today. (Not there today so I don't know what they hit)

JD said...

NatsJack,

Isn't that what spring training is for? working on new pitches? That's the beauty of it; if it get's smashed it doesn't matter; it doesn't cost your team a game that counts and you maybe you perfect another pitch for your repertoire.

Feel Wood said...

"JD said...
Feel Wood,

What demons? 2 bad ST outings?"

So far. If it continues, they may need to send him down. That's all.

Theophilus said...

Re: Storen

This is a point on which Dibble was rightly frustrated: too many Nats pitchers, especially relievers, in love with their curve balls. The big jug-handled curve ball, once you've seen it, is easy to time -- the batter knows exactly where it's going to be and when it is going to get there. Recognizing the story about Storen being victimized by Werth on a ninth-pitch fastball last year, the problem wasn't the fastball it was the location. As NatsJack says, one curveball per batter is enough -- maybe one curveball per inning, maybe.

Anonymous said...

JD...

You may say he's a power pitcher but it doesn't pass the eyeball test to me. He rarely threw that fastball past anyone. He was good a few outings when his slider was working, but by the end of the season he was pretty scared to challenge anyone with a fastball anywhere over the plate and was getting hit regularly. The gun may say 92 or 94 but it is one of those fastballs that the hitters see very well. Luis Atilano gets it up to 94 mph occaisionally too and right now that's who Storen reminds me of in body type and stuff.

Anonymous said...

Louisville, KY, United States 03/07/2011 1:10 P.M. Arrival Scan
Nashville, TN, United States 03/07/2011 9:32 A.M. Departure Scan
03/07/2011 8:51 A.M. Arrival Scan
Little Rock, AR, United States 03/07/2011 2:46 A.M. Departure Scan
Little Rock, AR, United States 03/06/2011 8:26 P.M. Arrival Scan
Ft. Smith, AR, United States 03/04/2011 9:45 P.M. Departure Scan
03/04/2011 5:20 P.M. Origin Scan
United States 03/04/2011 9:08 A.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

Anonymous said...

Storen is the real deal. He will have a long career. As long as JD doesn't become manager it will be with the Nats.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And JD... I'm not bashing Storen here, merely stating what I've seen and what I know.

We have two rule 5 guys we are reluctant to give back (Broderick and Ramirez) so some really tough decisions need to be made. So if there is someone not quite ready and he has several options, he is not guaranteed a spot in the bullpen. Burnett and Clippard are probably givens at this stage. Everyone else is competing for a job.

JD said...

Anon @ 4:36,

I can't argue something as subjective as 'eyeball test' what I can tell you is that he had 9 k's per 9 innings; the league batted .232 against him; he threw 60% fastballs, 28% sliders 10% curve balls and 1% change ups. I think he threw a bunch of fast balls past hitters and the numbers say he wasn't hit regularly as you allege.

And pleas; don't compare Storen to Atilano; that's ridiculous.

I think he did real well for a 22 year old who started the year in AA

Anonymous8 said...

Steve M. said...
What a horrible performance by Storen. That is back to back sub-par appearances and both while facing AAA and AA guys.

March 4, 2011 3:36 PM


When Steve says something like he did on Friday, I listen to him as he is usually very spot on. I just spoke to a buddy who was a former Minor Leaguer and is leaving Viera today and he said Storen looked like he was missing his spots and not fooling anyone. Again, 95MPH without movement isn't going to fool a true MLBer and apparently not too many AAA players.

IMO, Storen is young and needs to build up his confidence but I could see him re-starting himself in AAA if he can't get himself right in Spring Training. With that said, there is still 3 weeks left for him to get himself right.

Werth has some work also to get his timing right. Bixler is having a good Spring and Harper came up big today as well as Cora, Espinosa and Bernadina.

Anonymous said...

I think Storen was rushed to the big leagues and quite honestly is not a big league pitcher at this point in time. He needed more time in the minors to begin with.

JD said...

NatsJack,

I know you are not bashing Storen; you know too much about Baseball but Anon or Anons got my blood boiling when they started calling him 'crafty' and comparing him to Atilano.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I agree on the "crafty" part. And I,too, found it humorous to see Storen and Atilano in the same comparison.

SonnyG10 said...

Well I'm optimistic on Drew Storen. I think he's going to be a good reliever for us. If he gets beat out this spring and goes to Syracuse for a while, so be it. I'm also still optimistic on Ross Detwiler, though the same may happen with him.

SonnyG10 said...

I wonder if Storen was brought up early, in part, to send a message to the other draftees that if you sign early, you may be rewarded with a call up to the majors earlier.

Anonymous said...

Storen could get pushed by both Ramirez and HRod. Both Kimball and Carr are also having good springs? And don't look now but so is Athaulapo Severino. Sending Storen to Syracuse to be their closer is a nice problem to have for the Nats.

Navy Nats Fan said...

anon @4:46 - yours are a couple of hours behind mine - Philadelphia is the next stop!

Philadelphia, PA, United States 03/07/2011 5:20 P.M. Arrival Scan
Louisville, KY, United States 03/07/2011 3:33 P.M. Departure Scan
03/07/2011 1:10 P.M. Arrival Scan
Nashville, TN, United States 03/07/2011 9:32 A.M. Departure Scan
03/07/2011 8:51 A.M. Arrival Scan
Little Rock, AR, United States 03/07/2011 2:46 A.M. Departure Scan
Little Rock, AR, United States 03/06/2011 8:26 P.M. Arrival Scan
Ft. Smith, AR, United States 03/04/2011 9:45 P.M. Departure Scan
03/04/2011 4:24 P.M. Origin Scan
United States 03/04/2011 9:08 A.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

Anonymous said...

I was told it was UPS 2 day.
Perhaps they changed their mind.

Ernie said...

Where are you guys getting tracking info? No one has sent me anything yet and I paid in full back in October. Maybe it's just because I order over the phone every year instead of using the official paperwork, but I feel like I'm out of the loop about season ticket issues.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on what the Nats could get??

The Astros are looking into Jesus Flores.
The Astros lost young catcher Jason Castro to season-ending knee surgery last week and need asomeone to pair with Humberto Quintero or J.R. Towles behind the plate. Flores has battled shoulder injuries for the last couple years, but his offensive production has been solid when healthy. He could net the Nats something.

BinM said...

Late coming in on the debate, but it seems to me that Storen neglected his off-season throwing regimen while at Stanford; Thus, he's well behind the other pitchers in camp. He'll get another week or two, but could be looking at being optioned late in ST if he can't find his secondary pitches.

Mock, IMO is a "dead man walking" on this roster - He's 28, still doesn't trust his delivery, and as a result he can't throw strikes consistently. Hitters are either taking, or laying back on that 93-96 fastball (with no movement) & killing it when he throws it.

N. Cognito said...

Anonymous said...
"Any thoughts on what the Nats could get??"

They're not going to move him.
You don't trade a player when his value is low.

Theophilus said...

Re: Anon@9:46p.m. and Flores --

Not sure what they could get for Flores but they should be looking for a good High-A or AA CF prospect who would be major-league ready w/in two years. (Plan B if Perez doesn't work out.)

Anonymous said...

Ernie said...
"Where are you guys getting tracking info? No one has sent me anything yet and I paid in full back in October."

There have been no advanced notices. Those who paid by installment are getting mailed their tickets first. Don't know why, maybe it has to do with the free gift you get. The beginning shipping dates for the two groups are only a week apart.

sparky said...

Theophilus - This CF prospect, sounds a lot like Corey Brown, no?

Tim said...

Think they should hold Flores until he is proven healthy. Ramos makes more sense if they want to trade today.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Flores value is extremely low. Houston would either want Ramos or Pudge Rodriguez. My guess would be that Pudge would not go to Houston, and it would be a mistake to move Ramos at this point.

Derrick Norris is close to the Big Leagues he is a year to 2 years away defensively. His bat is ready now. Flores' bat is at least a few months
away.

There's no deal here for Rizzo to make ... yet.

Anonymous said...

Look for Lannan for prospects first.

JayB said...

I have been very down on Morgan that is for sure and for very good reasons but.....IF the Wpost interview is take at face value and Morgan is learning baseball 101 this spring and has fully bought in on that plan......THEN I am willing to give him a chance but not at the MLB level....he is going to need to go down (has an option) and play AAA CF until he proves he has reinvented himself....that will take 300 AB's in SYR at least. I am not willing to give him this time at the MLB level...This team must win now if they expect any hope of signing the needed FA's this winter to compete for the Division over the next few years.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

The Astros-looking-at-Flores rumor is from Ladson, btw. FWIW.
http://tinyurl.com/4arzsxt

Jeff L said...

Hi everyone,
when folks refer to a player as 'having an option' or not, where can I find that information? Is there a website you recommend?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Jeff L.... from Wikipedia.....[edit] Options.. If a player is on the 40-man roster but not on the active major league roster, he is said to be on optional assignment—his organization may freely move him between the major league club and the minor league club. If a player is on the 40-man roster and not the active 25 man roster for any part of more than three seasons (in which he spent 20 or more total days of service in the minors), he is out of options and may not be assigned to the minors without first clearing waivers. However, if a player has less than 5 years of professional experience, he may be optioned to the minors in a fourth season without being subject to waivers. If a major league player is ineligible for free agency and "has options" remaining, his team may option him to a minor league team without consequence. This is usually what is meant when players are "sent down" to the minors. Likewise, when a player on the 40-man roster is added to the active major league roster, he is "called up" to the majors.

It all has to do with years of professional service...and time on the 40 man roster..

Navy Nats Fan said...

My tickets left Philadelphia this morning at 0305, made a brief stop in Springfield, and are out on the truck for delivery! Not sure why I'm at work today.

natsfan1a said...

Am I the only one who has trouble posting in this new interface? It keeps refreshing on me and scrolling up and down while I'm entering a comment.

Anyway, was fun listening to C&D again on my hubby's shortwave. Can't wait 'til they're on 106.7. Was a rollercoaster of a game, but I liked the last two innings pretty well. btw, I called the Ankiel homer. As his at-bat began, I stated to the room at large (population = me), "it's time for the Nats to go ahead." The rest is history.

Feel Wood said...

"My guess would be that Pudge would not go to Houston"

Unless he has a no-trade clause in his contract (which is unlikely, since Kasten was adamantly opposed to them) he wouldn't have a choice in the matter. If he gets traded somewhere, he either goes or he retires.

N. Cognito said...

Visually, the site is fine. Interactively it's a piece of crap.

The banner at the top still does not work as a link to the home page and when I am entering the "secret code," the cursor jumps out of the text box.

N. Cognito said...

Navy Nats Fan said...
"My tickets left Philadelphia this morning at 0305, made a brief stop in Springfield, and are out on the truck for delivery! Not sure why I'm at work today."

To pay for your tickets?

Theophilus said...

Overnight to Sparky, re: Corey Brown:

I don't think anyone knows what the Nats have in Corey Brown. Right now the position (including pitching) of greatest weakness is CF. So the Nats should stockpile there (and hope they end up as deep as they are at C).

To Jay B:

There isn't much point to sending Morgan to Syracuse in the expectation that he will come back and win games to attract FAs. The FA they need most is a CF/lead-off guy. If Morgan doesn't help you win games now, get rid of him. Send Flores to the Astros and, in exchange, make them take Morgan off our hands. Based on WaPo story, they are trying to do a complete psychological re-build on Morgan. Not only is that unlikely to be successful, the diagnosis -- if everything in the article is true -- is way overdue. They should have figured that out a year ago.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

1a and ncognito - me, too, but only on the phone (droid). I moved to the Opera browser and got a whole different set of problems, but it does post a bit easier. FWIW.

Feel Wood said...

A year ago they were trying to remake Morgan from a head-first slider to a feet-first slider. We all know how that worked out. This year they're trying to do an even more extensive makeover on Morgan. What makes us think this makeover will work when last year's didn't?

Navy Nats Fan said...

N. Cognito - good point - I knew there was a reason!

Jeff L said...

NatJack

Thanks a lot for the information. After looking at my post I wasn't very clear. I'm good with the options definition. However, is there a site where the options listing can be found for MLB?

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