Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beltway Baseball Live - 9/28/11



The Nationals just wrapped up their 2011 season in style, with Stephen Strasburg striking out 10 over six brilliant innings and Drew Storen shutting the door on a 3-1 victory over the Marlins. Just like that, they reached the 80-win mark for the first time since 2005, a significant accomplishment for this franchise.

If you're still aglow from the late-season surge and aren't ready to say goodbye to baseball for the winter, you're in luck. Chase Hughes and I had a live episode of Beltway Baseball at 7 p.m., discussing what happened this year and what to expect next year. We also answered your questions from earlier, and there were some interesting subjects raised.

If you missed the show live, no worries. Here's the entire episode, broken into two parts. Click on the jump below for Part 2...

67 comments:

rwagner23 said...

Will Chris Marrero actually have a chance to compete for the starting 1B job?

Todd Boss said...

Has Chien-Ming Wang shown us enough to pursue a FA deal with him for 2012 (and therefore blocking a prospect?)

Todd Boss said...

Do you tender Tom Gorzelanny a contract offer in the off season?

Todd Boss said...

Who is your 2012 long man/spot starter? Stammen? Balester? Gorzelanny? Livan Hernandez?

Todd Boss said...

Ross Detwiler is out of options; does he make the 2012 25-man roster out of Spring or do we DFA/trade him?

Todd Boss said...

Do you use Lombardozzi as a utility infielder at the MLB level in 2012, or do you start him in AAA so he gets full-time playing time?

Todd Boss said...

Predict Bryce Harper's MLB debut:
a) the day he avoids super-2 status in 2012
b) Sept 1 2012
c) sometime in 2013 or later.

Mark'd said...

Mark, I have seen some good guesses for the 2012 roster. It looks like Gomes, Livo, Pudge are Free Agents that won't be returning and Slaten sealed his fate long ago. I think we have 21 to 22 of next years Opening Day team in the locker room right now + LaRoche.

Who do you see as "in" and on the "bubble" for Opening Day?

Scooter said...

Not sure whether your focus for this episode will be the season just ended or what is to come. If you're looking forward, I'm curious about what ballplayers do in the offseason.

Specifically, I'm curious about who plays winter ball, and who decides who plays winter ball, and where. (And are some guys discouraged from playing, because the team thinks they need to rest?) Also workout regimens: do the kids get guidance on how to keep/get in shape for 2012?

I asked a similar question for the last Beltway Thing, and I think it might be more appropriate here.

Anonymous said...

Give us your 25 man roster predictions for next year.

Here's mine:

Ramos
Flores

LaRoche
Espinosa
Desmond
Zimmerman
Bixler
TBD (could be Lombardozzi or Cora or maybe Hairston again?)

Morse
Werth
Ankiel
Bernadina
Gomes (or a free agent right handed outfielder)

Strasburg
Zimmermann
Wang
Detwiler
Lannan

Storen
Clippard
Burnett
Rodriguez
Coffey
Stammen
Gorzelanny (although he could be trade bait)

I hope that Slaten is released. I fear that Livan doesn't fit. I'll be sorry to see Balester go, but like Livo, there just isn't a spot for him. I see Mattheus, Maya, and Severino (along with MIlone and Peacock) back in the minors (assuming they all have options left).

Water23 said...

With the development of young pitchers and needs other places, what is the likelihood that John Lannan (proven starter) is moved as part of a deal to acquire a player?

Uncle Atom said...

Rizzo built this year emphasizing defense, then Davey came along, and he likes 3-run homers. How do the Nats reconcile the philosophies of the GM and Manager?

natsfan1a said...

Who is the 2012 manager? Who are the bench/utility players?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Your "off-season" plans (besides being a dad, not that that isn't worthy)? Will you be blog-covering the playoffs this year? Going to the AFL?

I understand Pudge keeps an in-home nutritionist. Does Jayson Werth have a live-in barber?

natsfan1a said...

Or looking backward, who is this year's MVP for the Nats?

Who does he look like, Madame Clio? said...

What will the weather be like for opening day?

What do you think tonight's powerball numbers will be?

Should I buy silver now, or wait for the price to go down?

Finrockets said...

Would the Nationals seriously consider trading a young pitcher, like Milone or Peacock, for a starting centerfielder?

Constant Reader said...

To take the next step (being in playoff contention September of next year), the Nats clearly need a table setting bat and a third starter. The Nats finally have tradeable pieces to construct a deal to get a key player. If you could fill one need and rely on what you have on your team for the other, which do you go for?

Grandstander said...

What's Bernadina's role next season? He's out of options, but he also doesn't really carry enough value to trade him.

Also, why hasn't my nickname for him stuck? The Flying Dutchman. Please use it while referring to him.

Can't wait to read your season recap!

Gonat said...

Mark'd, can I try?

1) Desmond SS or New Acquisition CF
2) Werth CF or RF
3) Zim 3B
4) Morse LF, RF, or 1B
5) LaRoche 1B or New Acquisition RF or LF
6) Espinosa 2B
7) New Acquisition RF or LF or Desmond SS
8) Ramos C

1) JZim
2) Stras
3) New Acquisition or Lannan
4) Lannan or Wang
5) Wang or Peacock or Milone or Detwiler

1) Storen CL
2) Clippard SU 8th
3) HenRod SU 7th or Burnett or Detwiler
4) Burnett or HenRod
5) Gorzo or Detwiler
6) Coffey or New Acquisition
7) Stammen or Detwiler Long Relief

1) Flores or Pudge
2) Lombo or New Acquisition
3) Marrero or New Acquisition
4) Ankiel or New Acquisition
5) Bernadina or New Acquisition

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

"Also, why hasn't my nickname for him stuck? The Flying Dutchman. Please use it while referring to him."

Too late, GS. Sharkadina's already got a name. That, and "Flying Dutchman" refers to someone who's been damned and forever lost, so the metaphor really isn't too appealing.

Wikipedia "Designated For Assignment" said...

Designated for assignment is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball. When a player is designated for assignment, he is immediately removed from the club's 40-man roster. This gives the club 10 days to decide what to do with the player while freeing up a roster spot for another transaction, if needed. After designating a player for assignment, the club must either:[1]

(a) return the player to the 40-man roster within 10 days from the date of designation, or (b) make one of the following contractual moves:

Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period)
Trade the player
Release the player

DFL said...

What are the chances of a Strasburg-Zimmerman-Lannan-Peacock-Milone rotation next season?

ehay2k said...

I want to know if there is any pitcher in MLB that fields their position better than Livan Hernandez. And if not, what can we do to get him in serious consideration for a Gold Glove? We (Nats Nation) owe him that.

Natslifer said...

Who is available to be "Speedy McLeadoff"? Do we stand pat for a year until the FA crop there is better?

(captcha just said "gotorehe" - is that a club or a farm team somewhere??)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

natslifer, I think that's one of those imported knock-off nutrition drinks.

secondwind1 said...

I concur with what "Constant Reader said" but I believe a more pressing need is for an IMPACT bat.....someone who can not only protect Morse but also be a more consistent threat to drive in runners in scoring position. Werth has proven he's not the answer and unfortunately I don't believe LaRoche will be either....tooooo many strikeouts. Do you foresee such a player being available next year that can fill that need, perhaps someone like Michael Cuddyer?

waddu eye no said...

question about mark z -
how'd we get so lucky?

thanks for another great year

Chevy Chase Bob said...

How about Werth getting laser treatment...takes so many called strikes.

David said...

If a top of the line starter like Zack Greinke or someone similar becomes available in a trade do you think Rizzo will trade key pieces to obtain them maybe Storen, Desmond, Morse or Espinosa as he tried to do this last off season or is he satisfied with Strasburg and Zimmermann as his two aces?

I'm not advocating this I just think Rizzo's quest for a rotation similar to the Giants or the Phillies is what he truly desires.

JaneB said...

LOVE ehay2k's question! I want an answer to that, on or off the show.

Is there ANY WAY we get to keep Livan next year, in any sort of role?

Do you think Morse is better suited to outfield or 1B?

Scooter said...

I thought Grandstander's bonus question was excellent -- personally, I'm all over The Flying Dutchman. But then, I'm a traditionalist. When you find a good nickname, run it into the ground.

My question is, how come nobody else ever calls our middle infield Despinosa? All I ever read is Desi and Espi; it's like we're all 16-year-old girls or something.


captcha is "horses" -- what, OMGPOnies!! wasn't available?

Anonymous said...

What do you see at the biggest surprise trade of the off-season?

Scooter said...

And Sec3, Wagner may not have been the nicest fella, but "damned and forever lost"? Taking things perhaps a bit too far, aren't we, old boy?


PS Yes. I know. :-)

Scooter said...

Somebody said...
What do you see at the biggest surprise trade of the off-season?


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

(I promise, I'll go find something else to do for a while.)

Mark'd said...

Greinke is a Free Agent after next season

P. Cole said...

The Nats are 79-81 with 1 game left? What happened to game #162?

Slidell said...

P Cole: That Awful Week a little bit ago when it rained every day- A Dodgers game that could not be played and will not be made up because neither team is in playoff contention.

natsfan1a said...

P. Cole, a game against the Dodgers was rained out. The teams were not slated to face each other again, and neither was in the hunt, so it won't be made up.

(And what's your point, Scootie? ;-))

Scooter said,

My question is, how come nobody else ever calls our middle infield Despinosa? All I ever read is Desi and Espi; it's like we're all 16-year-old girls or something.

natsfan1a said...

Dang, now I owe Slidell a coke.

P. Cole said...

Thanks Slidell. Too bad we get short-changed as we could have reached .500.

Constant Reader said...

I see your point secondwind1. My thought was that since our leadoff hitter finish dead last in MLB in avg, obp, slg, and ops, improving that will give the bats down in the lineup more opportunities. Frankly, it's remarkable we've produced the runs we have with ZERO production at the top (our #2 hole hitter was also deadlast in MLB in avg).

JaneB said...

Personally, I like Despinosa for the MI. ANd I like it better than Espi and Desi.

--a former 16 year old girl

DCJohn said...

If the Nats can win improve their record by another 11 or12 games, very possible with Strasburg, Zimmermann, and possibly another front line starter. I would like Mark and Chase to discuss how this team can get to 90 wins. How did the Diamondbacks do it. Can we?

Anonymous8 or 8 for short said...

Mark, besides the Free Agents that Nats have, and the obvious big name Free Agents of CC Sabathia and CJ Wilson, Pujols and Fielder, who do you see as the most likely target of Rizzo in Free Agency?

I have seen Coco Crisp thrown around and in the past few days Josh Willingham. Really? Josh Willingham? I thought that ship had sailed.

Gonat said...

DCJohn, the Diamondbacks found balance and there XFactor in Paul Goldschmidt.

Justin Upton had a career year and the pitching combo of Ian Kennedy, Hudson, Saunder and Collmenter all had 10 wins or more and JJ Putz was big in the bullpen.

Collmenter was a rookie and actually had the 2nd lowest ERA of their starters.

Add to it that they play in an offense challenged NL West. They have good balance, 6th in offense and 8th in pitching.

I don't expect them to go far in the Playoffs. Still, a good story in the MLB this year.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Scooter, you leave me no choice. I'm sorry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Dutchman

The legend of the Flying Dutchman concerns a ghost ship that can never make port, doomed to sail the oceans forever. It probably originates from 17th-century nautical folklore. The oldest extant version dates to the late 18th century.

Sightings in the 19th and 20th centuries report the ship to be glowing with ghostly light. If hailed by another ship the crew of the Flying Dutchman will try to send messages to land, or to people long dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is a portent of doom.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

"Somebody said...
What do you see at the biggest surprise trade of the off-season?"

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.


Cosign.

Gonat said...

“It was a joke on some levels, but on some levels not,” Werth told Kilgore regarding his assistance in the President's Race. “There’s an expectancy of losing there. It goes back to the first month of the season when we won two games in a row and [a reporter] asked me about the two-game winning streak. It’s like, ‘No.’ That whole thing had to stop. That had to stop in a big way. When an organization or a team is really young and is coming from many losing seasons, it starts to get ingrained. I’m not saying that I’m the one who changed it. It’s got to be a conscious effort on everybody’s part. But I definitely wasn’t complacent when I saw that happening.”,

Listen to Jayson Werth's words. When someone said these games were meaningless and other said they have meaning, I have felt what Jayson has said to be a mindset or Jayson says is "ingrained" with some and accepting losing is OK.

Look, we all know every team will lose their 50 games and win their 50 games and it is the rest of those 62 that determines the playoff teams and the cellar dwellers. Given that, we still shouldn't say, ok, we lost that game and it is ok we lost because we learned something. You should learn from every game just like last night's game.

The culture has to change where we expect winning last night. I felt that change recently and last night stung. It felt like same ole same ole. Lack of offense, member of the bullpen blows it, we say how great the opposing pitcher was. I can think of 49 other games like that.

Gonat said...

From Boswell's chat at 11AM yesterday, very important to read his comments on Wang for anyone who thinks he is any better than a #4:

...Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann are far ahead of the rest of the Nats starting pitchers in talent and neither of them has ever won 10 games. The rest have the potential to be pretty good.

As amazing as his comeback story is, Wang isn't close to his NY stuff. Looks like a Jason Marquis type at this point in his career. Lannan, an average MLB starter, never pitches well against the Phils. He won last week. But they still looked like they were constantly about to clobber him. Detwiler still needs to prove he's toughened up enough to get the most out of his stuff. His 3.00 ERA is part good luck this year. FIP __Fielder Independent Pitching__ is a could counterbalance to ERA so you don't get too excited (or depressed) about various pitchers. Here are the Nats FIPs.

Strasburg...1.47. Zimmermann...3.16. Milone...3.30....Marquis 3.78...Peacock 3.86...Livan H 3.95...Detwiler 4.20...Lannan 4.30...Wang 4.56.

If forced, I'd take the FIPs of this group as more indicative than the ERAs. (Excluding Stras' number.)

Anonymous said...

Is the front office optimistic enough about 2012 that they would start Strasburg's season in June to keep him pitching through a potential playoff run?

natsfan1a said...

(non-Nats - this year - but baseball related)

Will you be setting up game discussion threads for the division and championship games and the World Series as you did last fall?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Boswell's comments on Wang: "As amazing as his comeback story is, Wang isn't close to his NY stuff. Looks like a Jason Marquis type at this point in his career."

OK, but to be fair, that's after two years of rehab, and about two months of starts. He's not all the way back yet, and this was an unusual injury for a pitcher, so it's not out of the question he can still improve. I don't think I fold that hand without seeing what else is on the table.

N. Cognito said...

Gonat said...
"Listen to Jayson Werth's words. When someone said these games were meaningless and other said they have meaning, I have felt what Jayson has said to be a mindset or Jayson says is "ingrained" with some and accepting losing is OK."

You are taking the use of "meaningless" on this board, way, way too literally.

Anonymous8 said...

You know what is amazing to me about the Arizona Diamondbacks is they get rid of their 3rd baseman Mark Reynolds who was a HR hitting strikeout king and scored 20 more runs this season however the big difference has been in the pitching. They allowed their young pitchers like Kennedy to mature and Kennedy knocked off 1 earned run per start off of his record and Collmenter was a 1/2 run better than their 2nd best pitcher last year.

Overall, pitching got better by over 170 runs vs. last year which of course is over 1 run per game and that's how they did it.

Now, the question can be, besides a maturing pitching staff, what did Kirk Gibson and coaches do to get any change. It is one of the most dramatic changes in baseball history.

Anonymous said...

Werth should try to get a key hit to help us win instead of just talking about winning. His season has been a disaster. I can't even believe he's talking. Worst clutch player on the team. 90% of the few hits he did get were in low stress situations. With him locked into the top half of lineup because of his salary, he needs to be surrounded with a couple new guys that put the ball in play. We can excuse Zimm and Morse's K's because they generally produce.

Scooter said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Dutchman


Yes. I know. :-)

(Also, I assume you knew to whom I referred as "Wagner." After posting, I realized that it could refer to Richard as well. Essentially, my entire comment was one great big Nickname Fail.)

Gonat said...

N. Cognito, there are just too many excuses given for losing. Many times it is the personnel just aren't doing the job. Doug Slaten is one of them.

I wasn't on the Henry Rodriguez love train as I didn't see him as MLB ready when the Nats brought him up. He cost the team in many games that counted and he has certainly progressed, and as the say "at what price comes progress"?

There were others who didn't get the job done like Stairs, Broderick, Burnett (for most of the season), and of course there were those big injuries and long offensive slumps. Then there was the debacle prior to Opening Day with Nyjer Morgan which left the team with no lead-off until Davey fixed Ian Desmond.

Some of it is hindsight. Much of it was foresight. How many losses could have been wins? The Nats only missed the playoffs by 11 to 12 wins. Yesterday was just 1 of those 11 to 12 losses that you wonder what could have been done differently.

Anonymous8 said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
Boswell's comments on Wang: "As amazing as his comeback story is, Wang isn't close to his NY stuff. Looks like a Jason Marquis type at this point in his career."

OK, but to be fair, that's after two years of rehab, and about two months of starts. He's not all the way back yet, and this was an unusual injury for a pitcher, so it's not out of the question he can still improve. I don't think I fold that hand without seeing what else is on the table.

September 28, 2011 2:17 PM

Interesting comment from Boz. "At this point in his career" is the key phrase. Can Wang get better or is he going to be a 6 inning max with 3.80 ERA guy like we saw the past few weeks and at times, inconsistent?

Based on what we saw, I don't see Wang as a 19 win guy. Will he improve next year? Hope so if he is playing on the Nats.

Anonymous8 said...

Boz on Harper:

Another note, Harper's progress got slowed by AA pitching. He's going to be a factor, but I'd say more like '14-'15 than '12-'13. Remember, he won't be 21 until after the '14 seasaon. With hindsight, the Braves probably pushed Jayson Hayward too fast. Now he's batting No. 8. There's a lesson in that.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Yes. I know. :-)
(Also, I assume you knew to whom I referred as "Wagner." After posting, I realized that it could refer to Richard as well. Essentially, my entire comment was one great big Nickname Fail.)


OK, in context, my first thought was of Der Fliegende Holländer--and not Xaviera, the other one. But then I realized you might have meant Wagner, not Wagner.
But Great Big Nickname Fail would be a good name for a garage band.

captcha: "poxina" -- which might be a nickname for Poison Ivy.

Scooter said...

I totally meant Wagner, and you totally knew it. You're just totally pretending you thought I meant Wagner instead, trying to wind me up.

A poxina upon all y'all's houses.

Nats Outsider said...

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year's day, starts tonight. To Mark, Mrs. Z, Brian, and all Insiders who celebrate the day, I want to give the traditional greeting, Shanah Tovah ("a good new year" to you). And to the Nats also, a good new year!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Shana tovah, as of 6:56

Anonymous said...

& Shana tovah to all.
Now. Come. Eat. Dinner's ready.

Starbud said...

Go Indians! For the Love of God....Go Indians!

Anonymous said...

Selected item currently not available.

And the question you should have asked or commanded, Todd Boss, was when he thought Rendon would be in the majors because he is likely going to be a lot better than Harper.

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