Friday, February 24, 2012

Jackson to start Grapefruit League opener

Associated Press photo
Edwin Jackson will pitch March 3 against the Astros.
VIERA, Fla. -- Newly acquired right-hander Edwin Jackson is tentatively slated to start the Nationals' March 3 Grapefruit League opener against the Astros, manager Davey Johnson said today.

Johnson revealed a couple other rotation slots for the first week of exhibition play, saying left-hander John Lannan will start March 5 against the Mets (with Chien-Ming Wang throwing a simulated game that same day) and Jordan Zimmerman will pitch March 7 against the Cardinals.

That leaves two spots in the rotation (March 4 against the Astros and March 6 against the Braves) still to be announced, with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez expected to fill those slots in some order.

Johnson said he won't use any of his regulars in the March 2 charity game against Georgetown University.

With more than five starters in camp who need to be stretched out, Johnson plans to have guys "piggyback" off each other. For example, left-hander Ross Detwiler could come out of the bullpen to replace Jackson in that first exhibition game but get a full starter's work in.

Don't read too much into the rotation order at this point, though, because Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty plan to tweak things sometime in mid-March before setting their actual five-man rotation for Opening Day.

Jackson, Lannan, Wang and Zimmermann all threw bullpen sessions this morning, and Johnson came away particularly impressed with Jackson, the 28-year-old who signed a one-year, $11 million contract less than three weeks before camp opened.

"Today, Jackson turned the volume up a little bit," Johnson said.

With position players due to join workouts starting tomorrow, pitchers will begin throwing live batting practice on Sunday, getting a couple of opportunities to face hitters before reaching the exhibition season.

38 comments:

Just sayin' said...

To contribute to the "John Lannan to the Angels" discussion, Mark Trumbo as a potential left-fielder (assuming that Morse moves to 1B)? He's obviously not a CF (and ignore the notion of him at 3B), but focus more on the corner outfielder option. Another thought would be Trumbo at 1st if LaRoche isn't healthy. And, most likely, the Angels would probably be seeking Lannan + one, not a straight Lannan-for-Trumbo deal.

http://laangelsinsider.com/articles/mark-trumbo-super-utility-man

m.jake said...

how about laroche and moore? they seem to have a thing for 1st basemen.

Pete said...

What does this have to do with Ryan Zimmerman's extension?

Anonymous said...

What does this post have to do with Ryan Zimmerman's extension? I think its about the pitching rotation?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm well Trumbo isn't bad ...

572 PA, 0.338 wOBA, 4.8 bRAA ...

BUT Borjous still looks better: (and he plays a superlative CF)
552 PA, 0.355 wOBA, 12.7 bRAA

And besides there's still Chris Marerro and Tyler Moore not
to mention Michael Morse ....

Find a left-handed hitter and then you wouldn't be barking up the
wrong tree ...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Not sure what your point is there, Pete.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And besides there's still Chris Marerro and Tyler Moore not
to mention Michael Morse ....


Split the difference and get Michael Moore.
He's lefty.

blovy8 said...

Bourjos has a hip condition he's playing through, do we really expect our luck to change if he's traded here?

Anonymous said...

And not Phil Wood's new pet Gerardo Parra puhleeeze?

2011 : 489 PA, 0.328 wOBA, 3.3 bRAA
2010: 393 PA, 0.292 wOBA, -14.2 bRAA
2009: 493 PA, 0.315 wOBA, -6.8 bRAA

Well, he is age 24 so its possible the guy is just now "getting it". And he
is a gold glove. But the upward trend to a 0.328 wOBA isn't that great nor
is a 3.3 bRAA. He's still just a defensive replacement.

David said...

Daniel Cabrera had volume with his pitches... just saying. I wouldn't call that high praise, unless he said he liked what he saw, after that.

blovy8 said...

The Angels seem as cagey with their corner position players as the Nats are with their starting pitchers.

Anonymous said...

Split the difference and get Michael Moore.
He's lefty.


I'll pass and take a pinch of Skole between my forefingers.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Cabrera had volume with his pitches... just saying. I wouldn't call that high praise, unless he said he liked what he saw, after that.

Of all the starting pitchers currently on the staff which has pitched 200 or more innings 3 years in a row and has a no-hitter to his credit?

Just Sayin'.

blovy8 said...

To be fair, Parra's only 24, so he has time to get a little better and has three guys in line to get more playing time, but AZ probably will use him as much as the Nats would if Young's numbers don't pick up. It certainly fits the old M.O. of getting a good defender out there. Seems to be a decent breaking ball hitter already too.

Jaxpo Nat said...

Mark (or anyone), do you know what time the first workout is tomorrow?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Jaxpo Nat: They begin stretching for workouts at 10 a.m. each day.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Parra's only 24, so he has time to get a little better and has three guys in line to get more playing time, but AZ probably will use him as much as the Nats would if Young's numbers don't pick up.

Well, looking across the 3 years it is a fairly strong upward trend. But, if he does prove that he is really "getting it". Do you think Kevin Towers is going to want to lose a young, controllable left-handed bat that has a gold glove?

Anonymous said...

Split the difference and get Michael Moore.
He's lefty.

I'll pass and take a pinch of Skole between my thumb and forefinger.


And thinking about it further ... would have been nice if Rizzo and the FO had been allowed to get 'er Dunn with Matt Moore ... be an even more interesting starting rotation with Matt Moore added to the current mix. Best in baseball by anyone's measurement.

Silly Fans, silly Boz should have listened to the baseball people as Boz now exhorts the Lerner's to. Should have listened to them back then eh Boz?

Steve M. said...

For those who wanted Grady Sizemore, injured again. Already ruled out for Opening Day

natsfan1a said...

If I may hazard a guess, "Are we there yet?" :-)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Not sure what your point is there, Pete.
February 24, 2012 2:56 PM

Theophilus said...

Assuming Parra can actually play centerfield, he certainly would be preferred over an injured Bourjos. I seem to remember Nats brass saying Nyjer Morgan would be a better CF than he was in LF, and touting Bernadina as a CF. How'd that work out?

No reason at all to think LAA is hot to trade Bourjos, anyway. Their mission is to trade old outfielders (Abreu, Wells, Hunter -- soon to be the starting OF for the Sunrise Assisted Living team in the Old Folks Softball League), not getting rid of young ones.

This thread started out being about the ST pitching rotation and needs to get back there before it further degenerates.

David said...

Is Josh Smoker in camp? or accelerated minor camp with Solis etc? Or is he hurt?.... He made a lot of progress once switching to being a reliever fulltime last year . But he's 23. He's gotta start moving up quickly.

MicheleS said...

Does anyone know what a Split Change Up is? Apparantly JZim throws it, but they woulnd't let him throw it last year. Was watching BBTN with Kruk and he mentioned it. He thinks JZim will be the stud of the rotation this (apparantly he is being overlooked because of Stras, Gio, EJax????)

Anonymous said...

Kruk thinks JZim will be the stud of the rotation this (apparantly he is being overlooked because of Stras, Gio, EJax????)

Then Kruk's a fool. Do you know who the first player every team asks Mike Rizzo about when he talks potential trades? That's right. Zimmnn isn't Stras so why not pull the trigger? "Not on your life", says Mike quoting the MASN Riggles.

Zimmnn was last year's ace by a very wide margin even with the innings limitation. Its why Livo was finally let go and why Lannan is now as far down as #8 on the totem pole.

BUT, he has yet to pitch 200 innings plus like EJax has 3 years in a row. He
hasn't even done 2 as Gio has. Stras is now on an innings limit so it seems unlikely he will manage this? This is the year Jordan Zimmermann gets to prove he belongs as the team #1 or #2.

sjm308 said...

Peric/anon: I am still learning all these new stats and am not sure what they all mean but I do see that Parra is trending up. I also wonder why Parra can win a gold glove and be a defensive replacement? I realize the gold glove is often political but I would think he had to start last year. I also did not think he was a CF and I don't put a lot of stock in Phil Wood but it was an interesting thought.

Theo: I agree this was a post on pitching but I am almost certain that Rizzo was firm on Bernadina being a better corner outfielder than a CF. I could be wrong but those were my memories.

Now for my thoughts on pitching. Just throw first pitch strikes and good things will happen. Thats all I got.

Go Nats!!

Anonymous said...

pitching but I am almost certain that Rizzo was firm on Bernadina being a better corner outfielder than a CF.

It was the scouts and coaches who indicated that. Apparently Bernadina is best in left field and that is where most all of his web gems took place if I'm not mistaken? The problem is his bat isn't up to a corner spot.

Same deal with Parra he did start enough games to be eligible for a gold glove but he was more a de facto starter, and like the Nats, the Diamondbacks have been trying to find a legitimate replacement to put next to Justin Upton. If Parra improves on last year's huge statistical leap forward he could be the guy. If not, he will likely be replaced next year. That's likely how the AZ FO is approaching things.

BTW, what happened to Bernadina could happen to Brian Goodwin. No one is sure he can play CF in the pros. Its still TBD.

Jaxpo Nat said...

Thanks Mark! Making the 2-hour trek from J-ville in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Bourjos has a hip condition he's playing through, do we really expect our luck to change if he's traded here?

Yes, because Rizzo is going to continue to draft high end types for the spot until there is sufficient depth.

He didn't stop filling the catcher spot did he? One reason why they could afford to trade Derek Norris. David Freitas looks like he might become a legit impact hitter. Its still TBD but the results so far are very promising.

Its not like they don't have Hague, Rendon and Kobernus as depth to Lombo, Espinosa, and Desmond?

Even in CF with Michael Taylor, Eury Perez, Corey Brown (older now), and possibly Brian Goodwin? But this position is a sore spot so I expect they will keep after it through the draft and International signings. Some of these guys are within a year or two of being ready. If Borjous or Upton don't solve the problem it won't be like the world is crashing down due to a lack of depth ...

This isn't JimBo's Joy Ride anymore.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Does anyone know what a Split Change Up is? Apparently JZim throws it, but they woulnd't let him throw it last year.

I'm not sure how Znn throws it, but Halladay and Lincecum, among others, throw what they call a split change. There are various permutations, but the one I'm familiar with is held like a splitter, with the first and second finger on the outside of the seams, but instead of tucking the ring and pinkie underneath, they stay up next to the middle finger, on the ball. Done well, this can take 10+ mph off the speed of a normal splitter for a hard thrower, but with drastically less spin, so the break changes, too. AFAIK.

Theophilus said...

sjm -- When Bernadina first game up, in 2008 (pre-Rizzo In Charge), he was showcased as a centerfielder. Maybe because management had gagged watching Milledge out there. People (lay people, anyway) assumed that, because Bernadina was faster than than a streak of . . ., he was a CF and the story that he was a corner outfielder didn't emerge until 2010 came around and he disappointed in CF trying to replace the suddenly inept Morgan.

Switching Morgan to CF, incidentally, is one the prosecution's best exhibits in the case against relying on advanced "metrics." The results just didn't bear out the nos.

sjm308 said...

Thanks and could you also help me with those numbers you posted next to Parra? Hate to be so behind the times but I have learned from this blog that ERA (especially relief pitchers) and BA are not the end all and be all.

MicheleS said...

Sec3..

Thank you! I appreciate the info without the rude commentary (from some troll).

And here is hoping that it's just another pitch in the arsenal for JZ

Anonymous said...

Switching Morgan to CF, incidentally, is one the prosecution's best exhibits in the case against relying on advanced "metrics." The results just didn't bear out the nos.

JUST the opposite your honor. The problem wasn't Rizzo's eye for talent it was Riggleman's ability to manage. ALWAYS A HUGE albatross around the Nats neck thankfully removed by Riggle's himself.

Recall that Morgan managed to move from utility backup to starter in CF for the Brewers? And let's just look at those advanced metrics shall we?

Nyjer Morgan 2011: 429 PA, 0.359 wOBA, 14.2 bRAA
[ which is better than every hitter on the Nats with the exceptions of
Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman]

Nyjer Morgan 2010: 577 PA, 0.293 wOBA, -15.8 bRAA
Nyjer Morgan 2009: 212 PA, 0.364 wOBA, 6.0 bRAA

Notice that Morgan has improved from a 6.0 bRAA in 2009 to a
14.2 bRAA in 2011? With the aberrant year in between. Why
aberrant? Because of how Riggleman manages players. I'm not sure
I would hire that guy for a AA manager. Riggleman now has access
to Cincinnati's top prospects!!!?? That is a HUGE risk in my opinion.

Would the Morgan debacle have happened with Johnson in charge?
I really very much doubt it ... considering how well he did in Milwaukee.

Oh, forgot the fielding stats?

In 2009: 27.6 UZR.
in 2010: 1.1 UZR.
in 2011: 9.2 UZR.

and beloved "white guy" Rick Ankiel?

2009: -0.4
2010: 0.7
2011: 8.5

NOT EVEN CLOSE? OKAY? But Ankiel's arm is 1000 times better
than hockey player Morgan's. But guess what? Morgan has proven
that his bat is far superior to Ankiel's. Even if he was platooned.

sjm308 said...

Anon: you are getting better. No bolding or calling people names.

I have uzr down but wOBA and bRAA which seem to go with most of your arguments puzzle me. Help! and without taking over this board, why are they important?

Anonymous said...

Help! and without taking over this board, why are they important?

The distributions make more sense and appear handle "outliers" better. They are ballpark and defense neutral stats which bear out the individual talents of the player better than most I've seen ... its interesting to me that they appear to strongly reflect how the performance of individual Nats appear to the front office.

The wOBA I quote is the park adjusted weighted on base average. bRAA is batting runs above average adjusted similarly.

and without taking over this board

Calling out and calling names? Too many hypocrites here ... and racists and I didn't mean you @sjm308 by that last retort. I mean there's Elijah Dukes and Milledge ... but Morgan does not belong lumped together with those two just because (like Bryce Harper) he has a flamboyant personality. He does manage to put his money where his mouth is better than most. And unlike those two, as a former hockey star, Morgan is a real athlete.

dj in Fl said...

@Jaxpo Nat
Give yourself extra time to get below Daytona.
There was plenty of traffic today heading into that area, and it will certainly go down hill this weekend. It cleared as soon as I passed the last Daytona exit.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Missed you today dj. Are you going tomorrow?

dj in Fl said...

@NatsJack
Not tomorrow, current plan is Tues, Wed. and Fri
next week. I am not getting near the Daytona interchanges this weekend.
Let me know your schedule, I'm flexible. I have been rewarded with leave from all honey-do list for the duration of spring training.

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