Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beltway Baseball - 6/21/12



We had plenty to discuss on this latest episode of Beltway Baseball: The pine tar incident, Ryan Zimmerman's struggles, the decision to put Ross Detwiler back in the rotation.

Amanda Comak of the Washington Times and I also looked at which teams in the NL East the Nationals should be most concerned about over the rest of the season. And Chase Hughes of CSNwashington.com and I answered your questions as well.

Enjoy the show...

80 comments:

natsfan1a said...

Thanks for this Mark, Chase, and Amanda.

Also, my condolences to Mark DeRosa on his loss. When I saw him in the dugout the other night, I wondered how his dad was doing. I was away last week and missed that news.

MicheleS said...

As always.. good stuff! You all must have had a blast yesterday with Davey and Joe going back and forth at one another!

NatsLady said...

Thanks for answering my question, Mark. There seem to be a lot of choices on 1B (Moore, ALR, Marrero? Morse?)

I forgot to ask, but would be curious, are there advantages to having a lefty at that position, what are they, and if so, can they be quantified?

baseballswami said...

Speaking of DeRosa - I have seen, at various times, Jayson, Drew, DeRosa and Tracy in the dugout. I was just wondering if anyone knew if this was a common practice or not. I know that part of the time they have to be in Viera and when they are ready to play they go on rehab assignments. When Morse was on the dl he appeared to spend a lot of time with the team. I can see that it might help them feel a part of things and they are staying in tune with major league pitching, plus helping out the rookies. But, I am not sure that I have seen it this much on other teams or in other seasons. Anyone know? No sign or word of Ramos yet. My impressions of DeRosa's situation is that he put off his rehab process somewhat while his father was on his last days and now he is picking it up again. I'm sorry that he was hurt but glad he got to spend so much time with his family at this difficult time. Listing those dl types, I think they will all return this season except Ramos - plus HRod will be back - that's 5 people who will be voted off the island? Wow - I would not want to be making those choices - I don't think I would get past 1 or 2. This is not going to be pretty.

NLiaWW said...

There is absolutely no advantage to having a lefthander at first base. The reason you see so many lefties there is because there are three positions that a lefthander can't play (second, third and short) and one position that for some reason they rarely play (catcher). This leaves first base and outfield as the only options, and if the player doesn't have the arm, range and athleticism for the outfield, first base it is.

mick said...

natsfan1a said...
Thanks for this Mark, Chase, and Amanda.

Also, my condolences to Mark DeRosa on his loss. When I saw him in the dugout the other night, I wondered how his dad was doing. I was away last week and missed that news.

Let me just add, that one day, many years from now, Mark DeRosa's will have a catch with his Dad in heaven

God Bless you

MicheleS said...

Swami, when DeRo comes back, Tyler goes back to AAA probably. I think we have to look at who has options (like Mark mentioned in the video) and the ones that have not performed. I can see XNady getting voted off. Then the choices get harder. Bernie? Ank? ugh.. thank god Rizzo and Davey are making the decisions.

TimDz said...

Question first: What is the status on Giolito? Do you get any vibe, positive or negative, regarding whether he signs? If he is thrown 3 million, he should take it, given the uncertainty of his arm (perceived or otherwise). Not maany of us will be able to say that we could earn that much in a lifetime, let alone in one lump sum.

Regarding who we should be focused on in the division: I say its the Braves. The Fish are a step away from implosion, the Mets I feel will fade and the Phillies are old and may be sellers at the deadline.

SCNatsFan said...

Good episode and not just because my question was answered :) great to see this team with real options and almost too much talent for the roster size

TimDz said...

...Of course, I am directing this question at the more astute denizens of this blog, since the piece is already posted and my work internet has a firewall for videos..

NatsLady said...

Thanks, NLiaWW. Appreciate the explanation!

baseballswami said...

Can we just keep asking questions? When will they make final decisions about the all-star team?

mick said...

why on earth would Moore go back and not Nady?? what am I missing here?

MicheleS said...

Swami.. i think first of July they announce the starters (who won the vote), so they have to pick the rest shortly after that. Plus they have to do the Last Man in vote.

mick said...

I would think Moore is a lock the rest of the season. It sounds like Tracy is way ahead o schedule. If Werth and Tracy are back at end of July and with DeRosa back, i would think Nats would be set, I would then move out Nady and yes, Bernadina to make room.

mick said...

again.... is trade a possibilaty for a pitcher if Det/wang fail or a stud hitter by deadline?

MicheleS said...

Mick..Nady is definitely a candidate as we are all aware (the Matt Stairs Award winner this year). It's just that Minor league options have to be taken into consideration. We may not see/agree on any players given value, but the organization might.

mick said...

Michele... I agree, I just do not see how Moore is not an important piece the duration of the season

baseballswami said...

Anyone know what's behind the decision to make Perry a starter? Do we need the depth? Has he done it before? Just found it kind of surprising.

mick said...

swami... come again with that... Perry a starter, where is that mentioned. I thought he was ddone and the question is why...

rogieshan said...

NatsLady, there is a teenie-weenie advantage on a throw across to the bag at second or third because a left-handed 1st baseman doesn't have to make that slight pivot/turn to get a proper line.

* - I believe Mike Squires was the last southpaw to play in the infield (@ 3rd base).

MicheleS said...

Mick..

Ryan Perry Story

mick said...

Thanks Michele... wow. Not sure about this... but maybe he can convert, i have never been impressed with Perry at all.

mick said...

I would have liked to have heard Mark let us know about Werth and Tracy progress

A DC Wonk said...

Off topic, related to last thread:

Espi has had some good at bats up until it gets to 3-2 at which point every pitcher throws an off speed pitch below the knees and Espi strikes out on it every time (from the left side)

It may _seem_ that way, but splits show that on a 3-2 count, Espi has 16 walks and 11 K's. He's only 3-for-24 (.125) but with all the walks, his OBP is .425. (I have no idea if that's good or not -- and I have no idea if that can be broken lefty/righty).

Steady Eddie said...

Michele and mick,
Knowing that the Nats are likely to release Nady, I don't think you could get any value for him in a trade, even in a package. I do think someone is likely to pick him up off waivers as his couple of PH homers and his momentum-saving, HR-robbing catch in Boston has probably caught enough attention to make someone want to make him a PH, late inning switch guy.

The guy we should try to trade and could I think get a decent prospect for is Shark. His liabilities are well-known but you could make a case that his shortcomings are partly a lack of focus that comes from not getting into a rhythm at the plate, on the bases or in the field from a lack of regular starting time. A rebuilding team with a hole in LF (doesn't have the arm for RF, much less CF) might want to see what a few weeks of regular starts can do.

MicheleS said...

Mick.. look in Mark's Archive to the left.. Story titled Werth Targeting Aug 1st - details of progress are there.

mick said...

Eddie ... good points on Nady, that catch is the only thing that makes me wonder if he could help down the strecth


Michele... thank you!

Steady Eddie said...

mick -- you just answered your 12:34 stud hitter question by your 1:00 comment. We get two stud hitters by the trade deadline -- Werth and Tracy. (No one is going to give up any better for any price we might consider paying.)

Re Perry, I don't think anyone in the Nats organization was ever what you would call high on him. The point was that Rizzo knew Balester wouldn't make it in the Nats' pen and he was out of options. Perry was Balester with an option. I think they figure -- especially given the Tigers have released Balester -- that even if he can't be a starter for us, maybe someone else could give us some value for him as a 5th starter for them. Some conversions have worked before and it's better than hoping he'll suddenly figure out how to be a reliever.

MicheleS said...

SteadyEddie.. yup.. I would have XNady first and agree someone will pick him up.

Shark.. I think he could be trade bait too, but i think that also depends on what they think they could do with Ank. How much longer is Bernie under team control? Bernie's bat is better than Ank's and he has good speed on the base paths as well.

Glad it's Rizzo/DJ making the decisions.....

MicheleS said...

Also..

How GREAT is it that we are arguing/debating our 4th OF, 5th SP, odd man in the Pen, and the last guy on the bench!!!

So much different than a few years ago, when we were debating every roster spot except 3B

baseballswami said...

Even though I agree that Nady is probably done, he is not a bad guy at all. Most years I would have happily nominated several guys to be excused. This is the toughest I have seen since the beginning of the Nats to weigh who stays and who goes. Even Michael Gonazalez seems to have value, I hate to see Moore go back to Syracuse, Bernie has value but I think Ank will get the upper hand there. We have come up with a couple of answers here but not five. It realy is crazy.

NatsLady said...

Rosters for the Futures Game are up on MLB--Nats have Alex Meyer on the US team and no one that I can spot on the World team.

Futures Game

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120620&content_id=33663130&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

Steady Eddie said...

swami -- I agree re Shark and Ankiel. Though Shark has more value in almost every facet of his game, it's all inconsistent value (along with BA, his occasional fielding misplays and boneheaded running tend to make his web gems and speed a wash). Ank has even worse BA, average speed, marginally better -- because more consistent -- fielding, but he has The Arm, which is an incontestable ++ that's worth something when the opposing team has runners on base late in a close game. It's essentially a niche value, and the question about Ankiel as #24 or #25 on the roster has to be "compared to what?"

Again, though, with players like Shark and Michael Gonzalez around, I see a trade package for decent prospects coming. Obviously you have to have the right trade partner match of need and availability, but as the DL guys get back, you can't keep 'em all. And you can't give up potentially capable role players -- who simply are somewhat or a lot less demonstrably capable than the guys coming back -- for no value in return.

bowdenball said...

Question for next week:

Why haven't LaRoche, Harper and Espinosa told their teammates about this cool thing in the rules where if you record four "balls" during your at bat before you get three strikes, you get to go to first base? That seems like something they could pass along.

Interesting Nats fun fact: Jayson Werth is currently fifth on the team in walks.

NatsLady said...

Shark has more trade value. Ankiel is a free-agent and would be a short-term rental, and with the new CBA, there is no compensation pick.

Basically, Ankiel only has value to us. Also, who would you rather have giving fielding and base-running advice to Harper?

baseballswami said...

I was thinking of something else about being at the game last night. As I posted previously, the good sized crowd was all-Nats. I didn't see a Rays fan anywhere. You see the random Red Sox hat, Braves shirt, etc. but the Nats gear was all over the place. The thing that I noticed this season is that the shirts have many different names on the back. Used to be all Zim, then Strasburg, add Harper. I saw shirts with Desi, Espi, Gonzalez, Werth - lots of different players now. Also - there were quite a few "crazy" type fans. They were screaming out" Go Nats" , trying to get other fans going, very vocal during the game. It was pretty cool, but a different vibe from previous years.

Tcostant said...

Norris has made it to the bigs. I think he may have made it here quicker, with all the Nationals injuries. I wish him luck.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/21/as-call-up-catching-prospect-derek-norris-for-mlb-debut/

NatsLady said...

Didn't realize Norris was that close to being ML-ready. Good luck to him. Still happy with Gio, but looks like the A's got a good deal also.

Just watched Prince Fielder pulverize one (his first hit of the series). Really like the Detroit TV announcers, have noticed before they are excellent.

Tcostant said...

NLiaWW you should go back to the drawing board. With the right lefty 1B, you can chose not to play the "wheel play" on bunts. This is a huge advantage as you have a better shot to get a guy at second or third base. In addition, if the teams hits away, all your fielders are there. This cannot be understated and can't be done with a righty 1B.

mick said...

Steady Eddie said...
mick -- you just answered your 12:34 stud hitter question by your 1:00 comment. We get two stud hitters by the trade deadline -- Werth and Tracy. (No one is going to give up any better for any price we might consider paying.)


well said

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

micheleS said...
SteadyEddie.. yup.. I would have XNady first and agree someone will pick him up.

Shark.. I think he could be trade bait too, but i think that also depends on what they think they could do with Ank. How much longer is Bernie under team control? Bernie's bat is better than Ank's and he has good speed on the base paths as well.

Glad it's Rizzo/DJ making the decisions.....

June 21, 2012 1:09 PM


I agree that Nady has to be the first guy to go but I think the best you would get for Bernadina is a Cutter Dykstra type which is worth less than a case of sunflower seeds. Keep Bernadina as he has been a good bench add.

The top guys to trade to an American League team is Henry Rodriguez and Chien Ming Wang. Get what you can. If Wang looked like he was throwing BP on Tuesday, it may look worse in the bullpen. Trade both and get what you can.

mick said...

Like Mark Z said on HRod, it sounds like Nats are committed at least one more spring training

mick said...

If one could package Nady and Wang for a prospect,I say in the immortal words of Herbert Cowboy Coward "Don't say anything, juts do it" lol

mick said...

these Corona Light's are tasting good right now in this weather, lol

NatsLady said...

Re: DeRosa. In tonight's line-up for the P-Nats.

Mark DeRosa starting and hitting 3rd tonight for the P-Nats.

https://twitter.com/PNats42/status/215871754088886275/photo/1

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

mick said...
Like Mark Z said on HRod, it sounds like Nats are committed at least one more spring training

June 21, 2012 2:21 PM


Sounds like that way and Rizzo is playing with fire. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Henry will shine in low pressure situations and so could Josh Smoker. How can you trust this guy with a 1 or 2 run lead of a 1 or 2 run deficit.

A DC Wonk said...

How can you trust this guy with a 1 or 2 run lead of a 1 or 2 run deficit.

Well, the short answer is: you can't trust him now, but at age 25 it's too early to decide that he'll never get it. It's just too much raw talent to not keep trying.

Cameron said...

Not sure if anyone posted this, but Beachy needs Tommy John surgery. Braves are in trouble.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

A DC Wonk said...
How can you trust this guy with a 1 or 2 run lead of a 1 or 2 run deficit.

Well, the short answer is: you can't trust him now, but at age 25 it's too early to decide that he'll never get it. It's just too much raw talent to not keep trying.

June 21, 2012 2:45 PM
________________________________

I will say it again, 1st place teams stay in 1st place when they don't put unqualified people into spots that will hurt their team.

The next 12 to 14 inning game will be an example of when a Henry would have to be used and the result will either be great or horrific. There is no in-between with Henry.

Who needs that? Trade him in a package just like the A's suckered Mike Rizzo into in the 1st place.

NatsLady said...

Tonight's lineup (Davey doesn't waste time...)

Nationals PR ‏@NationalsPR
#Nationals lineup 6/21 vs. #Rays - Espinosa 4, Harper 8, Zimmerman 5, Morse 9, Desmond 6, Moore 3, Nady 7, Flores 2, G. Gonzalez 1

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Cameron said...
Not sure if anyone posted this, but Beachy needs Tommy John surgery. Braves are in trouble.

June 21, 2012 2:45 PM


Yes, it was in the pre-Game posts yesterday:

Gonat said...
Beachy to have Tommy John. He has been the Braves best pitcher

June 20, 2012 5:13 PM

Section 222 said...

Interesting discussion. So I think there are four categories of people "on the bubble."

1. Who would you willingly give up in a trade for pretty much anything of even marginal value in order to make room on the roster for Werth, Storen, DeRosa, or Tracy, and DFA if no trade is possible? -- my answers: Nady, Wang, M. Gonzales, Ankiel

2. Who would you give up in a trade with some regret and try hard not to DFA? -- Bernadina

3. Who with options would you send back to AAA rather than trade or DFA someone else? -- Moore, Mattheus

4. Who with options would you keep on the roster rather than send down, even if it meant DFAing someone else? -- Lombo, Stammen.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Tonight's lineup (Davey doesn't waste time...)

Nationals PR ‏@NationalsPR
#Nationals lineup 6/21 vs. #Rays - Espinosa 4, Harper 8, Zimmerman 5, Morse 9, Desmond 6, Moore 3, Nady 7, Flores 2, G. Gonzalez 1

June 21, 2012 2:51 PM


Thanks for posting! That was quick. Harper has his work cut out for him. Has to lay off of those low breakers.

Zim on the young lefty Moore has to be the matchup Zim needs. Davey staying with him in the 3 hole has to start paying dividends. The Nats bats are due for a big turn out. Tyler Moore and Nady should prove once and for all who has to stay and who has to go when DeRosa is ready to return.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

The plural of "bag of balls" is not "prospect." Look at what moves teams are making--by and large, they aren't trading for need, they're playing GM Gin Rummy: cut this guy, sign that guy somebody else just cut. Maybe later in the season a few teams will pull the trigger on a deal, but for now, they're keeping their prospects and filling in, and biding their time. That may be a consequence of the extra wild card--as I recall, someone in here speculated early on that that might happen.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Section 222,

1. I keep Ankiel as long as I can for the reason in September when you expand the rosters he will be an arm you may need. He's already paid for. Wang and HenRod are extra pieces serving to clog up the system once people on the 40 man have to go. Nady is expendable once DeRosa is ready. Mike Gonzalez needs to stay a while longer until they need the spot. MiGonz's recent history is bad, but they are saying was due to an injury.

2. Agreed. Again, need that guy with special talent every once in a while. Speed kills.

3. Good list. I still try to DFA as you need 40 man spots for 3 players between now and August 1st.

4. Agreed.

Tcostant said...

I love a starting lineup with Moore in it.

Add Wang to you possible DFA list, if he fails to get better than it is plausable that you try to waiver Wang toi get him to the minors for work with the upside being a Sept callup for Stras starts/

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Soul, I think a case of David SunFlower seeds has surpassed the bag of balls in value these days. The DL becomes the place to hide guys and HenRod may find himself back on the DL again. This guy can't be fixed on the MLB roster. I'm not kidding when I say this, he needs a pschiatrist, a hypnotist, and much schooling from McCatty in the off-season to see if he can be fixed.

I would hate to trade him or DFA him and prefer the DL as a way to hide him until Sept 1st. On Sept 1st he can be hid in the bullpen like Livo was last year.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

How GREAT is it that we are arguing/debating our 4th OF, 5th SP, odd man in the Pen, and the last guy on the bench!!!


Not that it isn't great, because it is, but at what point do we get used to the fact that this is a good team, and stop being awed by the novelty?

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Sunflower seeds. Got it. Thanks.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Seriously, how long can you keep a healthy guy on the DL? Is that one of Maddon's "between the lines in the rule book" things?

Scooter said...

Great work, 222. I won't quibble with specifics; I think you laid it out very nicely.

baseballswami said...

Section222 - Sane, logical presentation of the facts - good to know we can do that here :)

Scooter said...

Not that it isn't great, because it is, but at what point do we get used to the fact that this is a good team, and stop being awed by the novelty?

I dunno, Sec3, but after 33 years off, we prolly need more than two months.

Scooter said...

And speaking only for myself, I'm not especially planning to ever stop being awed at having a good team. I like being in a happy place, and I like to savor it.

Scooter said...

Speaking of things to savor, you're on quite a roll. Plural of bag of balls, DLing healthy guys, too much to name 'em all. You may stay after and clean the erasers.

MicheleS said...

Sec3.. would rather be in awe than take it for granted like Phillies/Yankees/Red Sox Fans!

SCNatsFan said...

I chuckle when anyone thinks we can get anything for Nady. Truth is on the pile of Nady, Wang, Ankiel, Bernie and HRod the only one who gets you anything other then minor league fodder is HRod, maybe. The rest you get guys who dream of playing in the bright lights of Syracuse.

natsfan1a said...

Also, he has an awesome avatar.

Scooter said...

Speaking of things to savor, you're on quite a roll. Plural of bag of balls, DLing healthy guys, too much to name 'em all. You may stay after and clean the erasers.
June 21, 2012 3:20 PM

MicheleS said...

BUBBLE WRAP!!!! Good Lord I need to stock up again!

Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWP
Interesting to see Moore at first. LaRoche had an ice pack strapped to side/back last night. Possible maintenance day for him.

baseballswami said...

Lombo sitting tonight. Probably traumatized at having interviews last night. He looked pretty uncomfortable - he needs Bryce's media coach. Interesting line-up. Espi leading off, Nady playing, Moore at 1B. Speculation is that ALR might be dinged up. Maybe time for Zimmy to have a day off?

baseballswami said...

MicheleS - Bubble wrap for the position players and COOKIES for Detweiler now that he is starting again. It does look like he is growing the hair back out, though. I'm telling you - it's the hair.

alexva said...

@SP, you can keep a guy on the DL until the end of the season, however he may not play on a rehab assignment for more than 30 days.

MicheleS said...

new post

Scooter said...

Frankly, 1a, I think it's a clown avatar.

natsfan1a said...

Well played, Scooter. :-D

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

What, I should have said Rigoletto?

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

And have you ever actually seen those operas? Criminy, it's no wonder people are afraid of clowns! Murdering [weird wusses].

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

Maybe, but no malediction allowed. Well, maybe if it's on the Phoolies. Or the Yankees. Or maybe the Braves. (What can I say? I'm fickle.)

Ugh, scary clowns (shudder).

What, I should have said Rigoletto?

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