Monday, June 18, 2012

Nats getting bullpen back in order

US Presswire photo
Ryan Mattheus returned from the disabled list yesterday.
They've gone through four different closers. They've had five different guys succumb to injury. And they've been forced to readjust roles far too many times already in a season that's only 2 1/2 months old.

Through it all, the Nationals bullpen has managed to get the job done and enters the week third in the NL with a 3.11 ERA, second in the league with a .217 opponents' batting average and third in the league with a .655 opponents' OPS.

"I think the bullpen has performed great," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "Yeah, they've been mixing and matching, and there's been role adjustments and personnel adjustments and a lot of different things going on. But I think they've done great."

Successful or not, the Nationals have been counting down the days until they could get their full complement of relievers back together as one cohesive unit. They're almost there at last.

Ryan Mattheus' return from the disabled list yesterday helped bring some order back to the bullpen (though it cost veteran Brad Lidge his job). Henry Rodriguez is due to return from the DL himself "very soon," according to Rizzo.

And most importantly, closer Drew Storen continues to progress in his recovery from elbow surgery and remains confident he can make his season debut around next month's All-Star break.

"It feels really good. It feels a lot stronger," said Storen, who has been throwing off a mound three days a week. "I just know we're still on track for that All-Star break."

Storen's impending return will be particularly beneficial to a Nationals relief corps that has done its best to fill in for its injured closer but could certainly use some stability in the ninth-inning role ... not to mention some added depth for the seventh and eighth innings.

Though Tyler Clippard has gone a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities over the last three weeks, the right-hander figures to slide back into his setup role once Storen returns. Paired with left-hander Sean Burnett (who boasts a 1.17 ERA), the Nationals could boast as dominant a bullpen trio as there is in baseball.

Each reliever who returns, however, requires an open roster spot, which leads to some difficult decisions for Rizzo. He already made a tough call yesterday designating Lidge for assignment after the veteran right-hander was scored upon in three of four appearances since returning from sports hernia surgery.

And there will be more changes to come in the next few weeks.

"It's very tough, because when the music stops, someone's going to be left without a chair," Rizzo said. "You look at the number of people there, there's going to be a very talented, very successful person, whoever that is."

One such dilemma would seem to involve Rodriguez, the flame-throwing right-hander who dazzled early this season with his triple-digit fastball and knee-buckling breaking ball but who lost all ability to throw strikes before landing on the DL with a minor finger strain.

What do the Nationals do with Rodriguez, who is out of minor-league options and would almost certainly be claimed off waivers by another club that can afford to use a roster spot on a pitcher still trying to work out his issues?

As one club official put it bluntly: "Henry's not going anywhere."

Not wanting to give up on a reliever with that kind of dominant repertoire -- especially after seeing Joel Hanrahan resurrect his career in Pittsburgh after getting shipped out of Washington three years ago following a similar bout of wildness -- the Nationals are determined to keep Rodriguez and hope he discovers some semblance of consistency.

The Nationals do face a dilemma foreign to them over the last several years. In the past, when they sat well back in the NL East, they could afford to use a roster spot or two on "projects," guys who might struggle at times right now but could pay off down the road.

Does that philosophy change now that they're in first place?

"No," Rizzo said. "We're never going to forgo depth and talent over immediacy. We're never going to do that."

That approach could wind up forcing a productive pitcher who happens to still have options (ie. Mattheus or Craig Stammen) back to Class AAA at some point. It's a sacrifice the organization would be willing to make to ensure they maintain as much depth as possible over a season that could extend into October.

In the meantime, they'll just keep mixing and matching whatever group of seven relievers they currently have, hoping this unit can continue to perform despite the constant change.

"Davey's done a great job keeping guys in roles, for as much as they've been moving around," Storen said. "In the past, it's been kind of random roles even when guys were healthy. He does a great job of defining that. I think they've done a great job adjusting and hanging with them, because there's been some injuries dealt and some big changes around."

182 comments:

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

Thankfully, we- the fans- don't have to make these decisions. I see Mike Gonzales as the one unknown. He get's to show off what he can do between now and when Henry gets back. When Storen comes back.. someone gets optioned to AAA. Not sure if it would be Craig or Ryan M. Craig is a Righty long man, so I can see the need for him. Ryan might be the odd mad out, but who knows. we have several weeks to figure this out and way too many things can happen in that timeframe..

NatsLady said...

I'm still worried about Mattheus' foot. He didn't cover homeplate on that passed ball. Carp said he thought he hit the guy (it does look like he did on the replay) and so the ball would be dead and a HBP, not a walk with a live ball. But why wouldn't you automatically run to cover? Either his foot hurts or he needs better coaching.

Positively Half St. said...

I would be shocked to see Stammen go down, considering how he has pitched. The timeframe for Storen's return starts to get us toward the trade dealine, as well. Who knows what Rizzo may have up his sleeve.

+1/2St.

MicheleS said...

And anyone that needs to have a Natitude Adjustment. Go Read Boz's Chat. First question will have you back on track with a realisitc approach.

Les_in_NC said...

I will feel bad for Tyler if he has to give up the closer spot to Drew. He has really done well this far.

sjm308 said...

I also can't see Stammen going anywhere and I hate to see Mattheus sent down as well, but its a reality that he has options and Henry does not. I think in a 6th or 7th inning role, Henry might be ok and god knows he has talent worth keeping. The other fact is that someone would scoop him up immediately so that Nats Official is right, Henry is not going anywhere. MichelleS has it right that Gonzalez, while doing a decent job is probably the first to go and I would hope he does clear waivers but I am betting against that.

What a difference from years past where we didn't have 25 major league ballplayers to even fill our roster and now we have guys in the minors that could easily step right in. This team will be facing these decisions for years to come and makes Rizzo's job even more difficult. I love it!!

Go Nats!!

sjm308 said...

Les - that is another point my son and I have discussed with no real answer. I would leave Clip closing when Storen comes back and see how Drew handles an easier role for his first two or three appearances. I doubt if Davey actually does that and its why we are fans and he is the manager but if its not broke, why fix it?

Will said...

I say we just release Nady when HRod returns and just use Strasburg to PH in his absence.

Heck, even using Wang to PH in place of Nady wouldn't even be that much of a downgrade.

erocks33 said...

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I still haven't been convinced about Mattheus just yet. I think in time he will be a valuable piece in the bullpen (whether it's for the Nats or not, only time will tell), but I think if anyone has to go down it will be Mattheus (but only because he has options).

Also, even though stats can be cherry-picked to prove any point, I was curious to see how many "perfect" appearances the Nats relievers have had this season (i.e. no hits or walks allowed when the reliever entered the game - be it for one batter faced or for a three-inning stint). This is what I found out:

Long relievers:
Stammen - 26 appearances (35.1 IP). Has allowed a base runner (via hit or walk) in 22 of those appearances (84.6%)
Gorzo - 20 appearances (33.0 IP). Allowed a base runner in 17 of those appearances (85%)

Other relievers:
Clippard - 30 appearances (29.1 IP). 18 with a base runner allowed (60%)
Burnett - 28 appearances (23.0 IP). 16 with a base runner allowed (57.1%)
Hrod - 24 appearances (21.0 IP). 15 with a base runner allowed (62.5%)
Mattheus - 20 appearances (20.1 IP). 15 with a base runner allowed (75%)
M. Gonzalez - 7 appearances (5.0 IP). 5 with a base runner allowed (71.4%)
Lidge - 11 appearances (9.1 IP). 9 with a base runner allowed (81.8%)

What this tells me is ... I have no idea. Just thought it was interesting. Especially seeing HRod have more "perfect" appearances (9 out of 24) than I would have thought.

erocks33 said...

Oh, and I just want to add on one more item from the previous thread about the Yanks' approach at the plate during this series and then I'll let it go (sorry, but when you're out of work and have had a large iced coffee, this is what happens).

Top of the 6th in yesterday's game. Yanks up 2-1. EJax entered with 85 pitches thrown. If he can manage a rather typical 1-2-3 inning with minimal # of pitches thrown, he might be able to come back for the 7th, to save the bullpen a little more.

Instead, he walks Andruw Jones on 5 pitches. Goes to a full count to backup Catcher Chris Stewart, with Stewart flaring a single to center on the 6th pitch he sees, moving Jones to third (11 total so far this inning). Nova sac bunts Stewart to 2nd (1 pitch; 12 total). Jeter works another full count, hits the 7th pitch to shallow CF; no run scores (19 total). The Granderson works another full count, and grounds out to 1B on the 6th pitch he sees, inning end.

25 total pitches in the inning, driving total count to 110. Although it is more than likely that since he was out there for what seemed like a LONG top of the 6th, Ejax is spent. But if Davey REALLY needed one more inning out of Ejax, I would bet EJax would have tried and gutted one more out for the team.

However, in the Bottom of the 6th, this is how the Nats #3-4-5 hitters approached their at-bats:

Zim - ground out to SS on first pitch.
ALR - 1st pitch ball; 2nd pitch ground out to 1B
Morse - flied out to RF on first pitch.
Total pitches in inning for Nova -- 4!! (putting him at 62 thru 6 IP)

After your starter labored thru the top of the inning, you're telling me that the heart of the lineup comes out and gives the opposing pitcher a 4 pitch inning?! Your starter ain't coming out for the 7th for sure now, and your defense just sat their Aunt Fannies on the bench, barely had time to take a sip of Gatorade and now they have to turn around and get back on defense. That, to me, is some poor game management and that was all on the Nats' veterans.

A DC Wonk said...

from last thread, Steady Eddie wrote:

They [Yankees] came in knowing we had a great pitching staff and that they would not win planning on the 3 run homer, so they would wear them down and take what was given, including walks and high pitch counts to get the starters out.

Again, I'm not convinced that's true. The problem was that our staff was not getting first-pitch strikes. If they _had_ been getting first pitch strikes, I'm not so sure the Yanks would have been taking so many pitches. Someone else posted a stat indicating how few first pitch strikes JZnn threw.

You generally don't take pitches when the count is 0-1, if you know what I mean.

sjm308 said...

Wonk - that was me and erocks is continuing to nail it with has last post - I am not calling for anyone's head or huge changes, I just wanted to note how patient the Yankee's were and how "jumpy" we seemed to be. Again, first pitch strikes are a key and I know McCatty has to stress that, hell every coach has to be stressing that so we just need to execute on the mound and at the plate

Go Nats!!

NatsLady said...

erock33, yeah I was cold and went to sit for a minute in the sun and missed that half inning. The Yankees fans next to me (from Milwaukee--don't ask, because I didn't) gave me the recap in 4 words.

NatsLady said...

Well, the previous knock on Znn was that he threw too many strikes, and hitters could (and would) foul them off and wait for a pitch to slam.

Bottom line is, if hitters are patient they work it to a 3-2 count and are pretty much in control unless you have a strikeout artist like Clip who can throw 19 pitches until he gets the out. Not every pitcher can do that, certainly not every starter.

Again, I'm not convinced that's true. The problem was that our staff was not getting first-pitch strikes. If they _had_ been getting first pitch strikes, I'm not so sure the Yanks would have been taking so many pitches. Someone else posted a stat indicating how few first pitch strikes JZnn threw.

Section 222 said...

I think Mattheus is almost certainly the odd man out when Storen returns, heading back to SYR. Stammen is too valuable as the only RH guy in the bullpen who can regularly go more than an inning, with Det and Gorzo both filling that role as lefties, which is fine because we have four RH starters.

I also expect that Storen will throw at least a few innings as a 7th or 8th inning setup guy before Davey puts him in the closer role.

So long, for now, Ryan M. And Mike G, thanks for the memories. Davey loves lefties, but he's not going to part with H-Rod or Stammen to keep you.

So as Mark suggests, soon we will be back close to where we started in spring training before Storen and Wang went down, except that Stammen as moved into the slot that Lidge occupied. Barring other injuries we'll have our five starters, now shown to the the best starting five in baseball, and a bullpen made up of:

Storen
Clippard
Burnett
H-Rod
Stammen
Gorzo
Det

If this team could ever learn to hit, that's a pitching staff that can win championships.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Henry Rodriguez is due to return from the DL himself "very soon," according to Rizzo.

And most importantly, closer Drew Storen continues to progress in his recovery from elbow surgery and remains confident he can make his season debut around next month's All-Star break.


I just went through the 40 man roster. Does anyone know Cole Kimball's status? He is on the 60 Day as is Drew Storen, Jayson Werth, Wilson Ramos and Chris Marrero. Ramos won't be off the 60 day this season which leaves making room almost certainly for Marrero, Storen and Werth.

Then you have the HenRod dilemna when he is scheduled to come off of the 15 day as he doesn't have options.

3 players will need to be removed from the 40 man roster in the next 2 months most likely.

Candidates are DeRosa, Nady, Perry, Severino, and Mike Gonzalez.

Who goes when HenRod is ready to return which should be before Storen or is there going to be a trade?

hiramhover said...

Agree with a number of commenters here and in the last thread about Yankee hitters adjusting their approach at the plate. That's where they excel, and where our guys still have some growing up to do. The Yankees hitters adjust during an AB and from AB to AB--to the pitcher, count, etc. Our hitters didn't yesterday, and generally don't.

As a team, Nats hitters swing at more pitches than any other team in baseball, even tho they rank near the bottom in pitches seen in the strike zone. What that adds up to is no surprise--the team has the worst contact rate in the majors.

NatsLady said...

That, to me, is some poor game management and that was all on the Nats' veterans.

Nope, not buying this a-tall. The bullpen was fine, Gorzy, Mattheus, Burnett, Gonzalez, even Clipp available with a day off Monday. No need for Ejax to go past six.

The game was 2-1 at that point, why would you tell your 3-4-5 hitters to pussyfoot around? Nova wasn't tired. If they couldn't produce, they couldn't produce, sobeit.

As for the defense having to go right back out--it wasn't a hot day, what's with that? Nope, not buying it.

Darin H said...

This series loss to the Yankees was extremely alarming, I know Boswell stated the opposite but the only good out of it was that we were extremely lucky the rest of our division got swept as well.

The Yankees truly exposed our team's weaknesses which the rest of the league will surly glam on to and our inevitable downward spiral will begin.

First of all our starting pitching is not that good, they throw too many pitches in the early innings and get way to flustered and have to get pulled after6 innings - they should be going 7 or 8.

Secondly, I fear that Ryan Zimmerman is done. We wasted $100 million on him and I see his career playing out like Chase Utley from here on out, no production, you just dont come back from devistating shoulder injuries like the one he is hiding.

Dont jump down my throat here, but I have a solution.

We trade Strasburg and trade him now. We have pitching depth in the minor leauges to cover it up.

We get someone willing to take Zimmerman and his contract along with Strasburg and try to get a true, professional hitter back along with a prospect or two.

From there, we still have pitching depth, financial flexibility and we are set up to win in the long run.

And... Strasbrug, we all know it, ends up like Wood and Prior and we aren't on the hook for that.

Strike while the iron is hot Rizzo!

hiramhover said...

Darin H

Nats management thanks you for your input. It will be placed in the appropriate file.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

hiramhover said...
Agree with a number of commenters here and in the last thread about Yankee hitters adjusting their approach at the plate. That's where they excel, and where our guys still have some growing up to do. The Yankees hitters adjust during an AB and from AB to AB--to the pitcher, count, etc. Our hitters didn't yesterday, and generally don't.

As a team, Nats hitters swing at more pitches than any other team in baseball, even tho they rank near the bottom in pitches seen in the strike zone. What that adds up to is no surprise--the team has the worst contact rate in the majors.


I don't watch enough Yankees baseball to know how much of the weekend series was a factor of:

1) Yankees strategy to drive up the pitch count
2) Nats pitchers inability to put away Yankees batters
3) Nats pitchers inability to throw strikes
4) Nats pitchers not being aggressive enough

What I saw Friday night was Gio trying to stay on the fringes of the strike zone and patience from the Yankees batters. Gio was still effective while being ineffective with his pitch count because he wouldn't give in and throw a mistake pitch, but became his own worst enemy with driving up the pitch count. I would have liked to have seen more curveballs from Gio.

On Saturday, JZim had a good rhythm going. He was pounding the strike zone and then got rattled by a botched tailor-made double play then the Desmond error. He had to face 3 more batters than he should have and instead of starting the next inning against the bottom of the order had to start the next inning against Derek Jeter. While JZim only gave up 2 earned runs, it again goes back to poor defense driving up the pitch count. Even though the Yankees didn't score in the inning with the poor defense, the toll was taken on the pitch count.

On Sunday, EJax had a typical poor 1st inning and then pulled a Houdini act to get out of it giving up only 1 run. The problem was multiple 3 ball counts and a high pitch count that followed him for the rest of his day. He seemed to follow Gio's model of not giving in and sacrificed pitch count in return for not giving up the big inning. In the fateful bottom of the 4th inning, Espi grounded into that doubleplay. Was it a coincidence that the 1st batter faced in the top of the 5th clocked a HR? Maybe a lapse of concentration or a momentum shift back to the Yankees in a 1-1 game.

The way I saw it was the starters, although not efficient, kept the Nats in every game. Have to score more runs offensively and execute fundamentals in these types of games.

rogieshan said...

The surplus of pitching will sort itself out, as it usually does. Either someone else will get hurt or pitch himself out of a job a là Lidge. If necessary, I bet one of Wang, Detwiler and Mattheus will get traded.

MicheleS said...

HIRAM.. LMAO!!! Thank you!

Doc said...

My BP would be like Section 222's.

Mattheus is still not quite up to snuff, and like NatsLady I am still wondering why he didn't cover HP. Also, Stammen has earned the right to stay, big time! He can do long & short relief.

It then comes down to MPHRod and Mike Gonzo. Since the former is a keeper, let's hope he acts like one!

Faraz Shaikh said...

Darin H, that is an outrageous suggestion to say the least. If you say our starting pitching is not as good as we think, then what is the point of trading away Strasburg and weakening our rotation.

MicheleS said...

Rogie.. just a shout out.. loved your posts over the last few days.

NatsLady said...

MicheleS--second that!

BTW, did you see Bam-Bam when he got to second base trying to chat it up with Jeter? Jeter's polite for a few and then walks away, "That's fine, Kid, but I'm working here."

Whatever else, the Yankees are pros. They are not out there to have fun, fun is for the fans--for them the fun starts in November. (We hope not in October...!)

pRAA said...

sjm308 said...
Les - that is another point my son and I have discussed with no real answer. I would leave Clip closing when Storen comes back and see how Drew handles an easier role for his first two or three appearances. I doubt if Davey actually does that and its why we are fans and he is the manager but if its not broke, why fix it?


There are at least two big reasons why Storen will be the closer immediately when he returns:

(a) Players do not lose their jobs on account of injury. This is an accepted rule throughout sports, which is not to say that it is never broken. But if it is broken, it is typically in situations where the incumbent was on somewhat shaky ground before the injury - which is certainly not the case with Storen. He was the established closer for two full seasons before he got hurt, and was on track to have the job without competition in ST this year.

(b) The closer role is different. It's not just about stuff. The mental aspect is equally or even more important - which is why you typically see closers not pitch as well when it's not a save situation. So there's nothing to be gained by having Storen ease his way back into the role once he's activated. He'll pitch rehab innings in the minors until his stuff is back, but there's no rehab required for his head. He's either got that or he doesn't, and the only way to find out is to have him close games.

So once Storen is activated, he will be the closer - and it has nothing to do with Clippard. Storen was bred to be a closer, he really can't pitch in other roles. At best, he's unproven there. Clippard has shown that he can close if necessary, but he's also proven to be one of the best setup guys in baseball. Common sense alone tells you that going with proven quantities in both roles is better than going with an unproven guy in one role just because the other guy can do both.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

By the way, this Yankees series had a playoff vibe. In the long run, this may help the Nats if post-season does become a reality. I hope today many of the Nats players and coaches are relaxing and watching video of the games. Learn how to win and put away games when you have the opportunity.

I have mentioned many times that the Nats need to walk into the batter's box with a plan and execute. This is where Bryce Harper excels (except Saturday) and this 19 year old can maybe teach his teammates. Its much more than "see it, hit it" as you saw with the Yankees. Have a plan for the situation and execute.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Someone earlier ceded a roster spot to Marrero. Prediction: Marrero will not be in a Nats uniform again.

NatsLady said...

Er, I believe Darin H was putting up a little satire--poking fun at some of the comments here--carried to extreme.

rogieshan said...

I would say they were all factors to a certain degree, Ghost.

1) "Yankees strategy to drive up the pitch count"

It seems to be the hitting philosophy with this team since the Torre era, and almost every player who wears the uniform buys into it.

2) "Nats pitchers inability to put away Yankees batters"

Good, professional hitters know how to spoil a pitcher's pitch and the Yankees are full of them. How many 8+ pitches at-bats did we see from them over the weekend? Quite a few, I believe.

3) "Nats pitchers inability to throw strikes"

I don't think this was necessarily the case, but rather the pitchers were respectful of the power in the Yankees lineup. Nerves and the pressure of pitching with very little margin for error knowing your own offence is impotent can have an effect also.

4) "Nats pitchers not being aggressive enough"

See #3

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Whatever else, the Yankees are pros. They are not out there to have fun, fun is for the fans--for them the fun starts in November. (We hope not in October...!)


I would agree with you. Swisher likes to have his fun, but the rest of them don't show much emotion and seem very concetrated on their plan.

Andy Pettitte in his post-game interview on the Yes Network described his plan perfectly which was to take advantage of Bryce Harper's aggressiveness. He didn't say he purposely threw out of the strike zone or gloat but there weren't many pitches near the zone unless Bryce was swinging a golf club.

The same to Lombo. They made him expand the strike zone and Zimmerman the whole weekend was darting the outside edges on the black and seeing if he would bite (which he did).

The Yankees pitchers didn't have a consistent plan with the rest of the order as I don't think they were concerned. Take out batters 1 to 5 and the rest will hit at best to their averages and not hurt them.

When the Yankees pitchers made "mistake pitches", the Nats batters didn't place them in the outfield seats, but that has been a consistent problem with the offense most of the season outside of LaRoche and Desmond and Harper.

rogieshan said...

Thanks for the shoutout, Michele! Trying my darndest to be a team player!

MicheleS said...

GHOST.. I hope Bryce and Lombo saw that interview with Pettite and learn from it.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

rogieshan, thanks for taking the time to go through my thoughts point by point. I really like your thoughts on the Yankees ability to spoil the Nats good pitches.

That is what I wish the Nats batters could do. Wait for your pitch then "see it, hit it". This is where Espi and Lombo have to get better at. Don't swing at pitchers best pitch if you don't have to, swing at your best pitch.

In the 4th inning yesterday with LaRoche on 3rd and Desi on 1st with one out, Nova is supposed to throw a fastball low in the zone to induce a double play. Instead he misses the target and leaves the ball up. Espi fouls it off instead of depositing it in the seats or at worst getting a nice Sac Fly. Nova dodged the bullet and worked 3 balls on the fringes and Espi was in a 3-1 count. Nova goes back to the fastball set up outside and low:

A) Should Espi not swing which would take the count to 3-2
B) Try to foul it off taking the count to 3-2
C) Go with the outside pitch and lace it to Left field
D) or Pull the pitch on the ground to the 2nd baseman for a tailor made inning ending double play

pRAA said...

The Yankees truly exposed our team's weaknesses which the rest of the league will surly glam on to and our inevitable downward spiral will begin.

Yes, just like the Dodgers swept us and exposed our team's weaknesses which the rest of the league glammed onto and started the inevitable downward spiral. Then the Marlins swept us and exposed our team's weaknesses which the rest of the league glammed onto, continuing the inevitable downward spiral. Geez, how were these guys even in first place going into that Yankees series, much less after?

Steady Eddie said...

DCWonk --

I did make that point but work interfered with what I was about to post, which is that Gio and JZimm especially seemed to be pitching extremely cautiously to almost the entire Yanks lineup, nibbling around the edges until they got so far behind that they finally had to trust their stuff and throw into the zone with movement to get K's or outs in play. With EJax is seemed more problems with control.

This was very unlike those 2, especially Gio's usual fierce attacking hitters and getting ahead (thinking particularly of his My Park game against Phils). It's one thing to back away if the Yanks' great hitters catch up to your stuff, but not before you try your usual approach first. Whereas they attacked the zone and once Pur aggressive hitting became clear, they gave us all low first pitching with lots of movement to guarantee ground outs and popouts. Examples of how we helped to heat ourselves. And ironic because Gio and JZimm especially were mostly lights out when they did trust their stuff.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS said...
GHOST.. I hope Bryce and Lombo saw that interview with Pettite and learn from it.
June 18, 2012 1:20 PM


Bryce has probably saved the game film and post-game interviews to watch and never repeat. I'm not worried about Bryce as I am sure he went home and studied video and he had a nice 2 for 4 yesterday. Impressive.

Its probably more a message to Zim. I said this last week that until he shows he can hit the pitches on the outter part of the plate the only inside pitches he will see is mistake pitches. The Yankees executed on him the entire weekend. The book on Zim is outside of the plate and let him expand his strike zone. In a 2 strike count, throw him a high fastball for a swing and miss. Yesterday, Zim was 1st pitch swinging in 3 at-bats yesterday. He saw 7 pitches in 4 at-bats yesterday.

David said...

Why on earth would Mike Gonzalez go when Rodgriguez is over his "injury"? He's given us 5 straight outings that weren't heart attack worthy. I'll take that any day over "Where is this ball going?" H Rod.

JD said...

David,

Because Mike Gonzalez is a luxury. We have Burnett, Gorzo and Detwiler from the left side in the bullpen and the Nats are clearly not prepared to toss Henry away just yet. There is a possibility that Mattheus goes to AAA until things sort themselves out at the trade deadline.

I think the Nats should use their depth in the pen to try and improve on their lineup and bench.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steady Eddie, I agree with your assessment more with Gio which set the tone for the weekend. Nibble but don't give in.

I'm not sure if it was your post that said Gio looked to be pitching nervous but it seemed to me he was pitching overly cautious and that may have been the plan. It just felt to Lannan-like to me with pitching around certain batters which is ok, you just can't put lead-off men on base. My recollection is that most of the time the leadoff man got on, he scored.

The starters did put the Nats in position to win each game and that's all you can ask for. Again, if Nats offense scores runs, Nats might have swept the series.

JD said...

I was out of town so I only followed the series peripherally this weekend but having said that I am not shocked by the sweep. The Yankees are the hottest (if not the best) team in baseball right now and the Nats were due for a bit of a comedown. The Yankees lineup is much deeper than the Nats and their scoring is normally achieved via walks and long balls.

I believe that Nats Lady has it right when she says that the high pitch counts are acceptable when they are accompanied by low run totals given up and a strong bullpen. If you pitch to the middle of the strike zone against the Yankees you will be bloodgeoned.

JD said...

Steve,

I agree with you that too many of the Nats hitters don't have a plan at the plate; plate discipline has never been strong company policy.

I am beginning to wonder about Zim. When someone is so far below their career numbers you have to consider the possibility that he is not completely well. This is not a minor slump anymore; this is 60+ games.

MicheleS said...

From Boz's chat..
Comments on Eck and seems like Boz has a man-crush on Tyler.

Q:Nats offense is offensive
What are the options for improving the Nats offense? Replace Eckstein since several Nats hitters seem to be completely lost at the plate? Bench Espinosa as a left handed hitter? Is it time to give Moore a fulltime shot in LF since Lombardozzi seems to be slumping?
– June 18, 2012 10:21 AM Permalink
A.
Thomas Boswell :
It's time to be patient. Johnson is one of the better hitting minds around. If he wanted a different or better hitting coach, he'd have about 20 of them on speed dial. Davey is as "connected" as anybody in the game and anybody'd want to work with him. So HE doesn't think the problem is Eckstein or he'd have been gone long ago because Davey has been with the Nats (and Eckstein) for three years.

Now Tyler Moore is a REALLY interesting question. It's not just that he hit 31 homers in A ball, then 31 homers in AA ball. It's that, in AAA this year in 100 ABs, he hit 9 homers with 26 RBI (!!), a .310 average and 1.032 OPS. He bloomed a little slow (25). But he is a really good looking hitter. He's only had 33 ABs w the Nats, but he's hitting .303 with a .888 OPS.

There is every reason to think that this guy can hit. Maybe he can even REALLY hit. Harper's seen him a lot and he thinks a a lot of him. Maybe that's rookie-rookie support, but I don't think so.

Where do you put him and when? You LH bats so you'd think they'd pick up LaRoche's option year in '13. LaR has a really good glove and 1st is Moore's natural position.

I suppose it's good to have 4 OFers in Werth, Harper, Morse and Moore. But, ideally, you don't want to stunt a 25-year-old like Moore who's now had almost 2 1/2 years that say "30 HR bat, maybe."

NatsLady said...

So I'm driving to work and Mike Wise is on the ledge (I didn't hear that part) and Jason Reid of all people talked him down VERY sensibly.

One thing Mr. Reid said that made me think is that if the Nats had taken 2 of 3 from the Yanks (or swept them) they would have been on the cover of Sport Illustrated, etc., etc.

Would that have been the best thing for this young team? To maybe be fooled into thinking they are so full of talent it's an easy ride to the playoffs?

This way, the team, Davey and Rizzo KNOW they have lots of work to do.

The season so far has shown that if everyone does their job, then, despite injuries, they are a legitimate first place team. But no beer and chicken, guys! (Not sure what the problem is with chicken, but seems like they go together like love and marriage, horse and carriage--beer and chicken.)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...

One thing Mr. Reid said that made me think is that if the Nats had taken 2 of 3 from the Yanks (or swept them) they would have been on the cover of Sport Illustrated, etc., etc.


NatsLady, the Nats took 2 of 3 from the Yankees in 2006 and again in 2009 and only got the cover of the Washington Post.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady, I think the Jason Reid comment may have been on point as the Dodgers series and Yankees series would have validated the 1st place Nats as a true contender.

If lessons can be learned, the Dodgers series taught us that HenRod is not a closer, you can't out-smart a great hitter who es en fuego like Kemp, and the Yankees came into this series with a well executed plan.

Live and learn and move forward.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

It's three games against a tough team they don't have to play again, with almost 100 games left, they're in first by 4 games, and the second place team just lost 2, themselves. Lesson learned: the team that scores more than the other one wins. Swing at strikes. Go get 'em tomorrow.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Trade Strasburg? Jeezuz.

Section 222 said...

So once Storen is activated, he will be the closer - and it has nothing to do with Clippard. Storen was bred to be a closer, he really can't pitch in other roles.

That's pretty insulting to Storen, and it's also factually incorrect. He pitched and excelled in other roles from May-July of 2010, before he became the closer. (Remember we had a guy named Matt Capps then.)

If Storen's first appearance this year is in a save situation, I'll be surprised, but I'll be happy to say I was wrong. I just think it's more likely that Davey allows him to dip his toe in the water in a setup or even a mop up appearance or two, or even three, to let him get acclimated to the big leagues again.

It would also be smart because it would show respect for Clipp and the incredible job he's done filling in. After Storen has had a few good outings, it will be easier to go to Clipp and say, "look, I know you love closing, and you've been spectacular, but you're our best reliever and you're more valuable to me and to the team in the highest leverage situations in the 7th and 8th. So I'm moving Drew back into the closer slot. He's shown he's ready." Otherwise, if Storen blows a save in his first time out there after the long DL stint, you've got a problem. Clipp will know he would have put that game away and even though he's a team player and Storen's buddy, he'll resent not being given the chance to do it.

NatsLady said...

I think Davey might go back to the "A" and "B" bullpen plans when Clipp and Storen are both available.

"A" vs. RHP Det/Gorz/Burnett/Clip
"B" vs. LHP Stammen/Mattheus/Storen

Or some arrangement like that. I know Davey would like to get to a six-man pen and add a bench player, and I feel he would be working toward that for August and stretching Detwiler back out.

mick said...

Possible that Harper and Moore are the 2012 version of 1975 BoSox rookies Lynn and Rice.

mick said...

Harper and Moore could be the spark

mick said...

thinking back to 75, Yaz struggled like Zim is.... as Yogi would say, hey boo, no, I meant its deja voo all over again, lol

Section 222 said...

This is a good opportunity to talk about what the A and B bullpen means. I don't believe it means dual closers. Davey has never said he'd do that when Storen is back. Rather, it means two sets of setup guys who Davey alternates and relies on equally so that one set is always rested. The closer gets his rest by not pitching on days when a closer isn't needed. Obviously, the closer wouldn't go more than 3 straight days, so there will always be slight variations. But the point is that you don't have one bullpen that you use when you're winning and one that you use when you're losing, which is the way alot of managers (like Riggs) manage their bullpens.

If Davey does turn to an A and B bullpen, I'll bet Burnett and Clipp are the 8th inning guys, rather than being paired.

Davey is a master of bullpen management. It think it's one of the really fun things to watch about this team. He always seems to set it up well to give his long guys the opportunity to pitch more than an inning without having to bat, and to have a long guy ready to take the last innings of an extra inning game after he uses up his one inning guys. It's one reason I liked our chances in the 14 inning game on Saturday. Unfortunately, it went on so long that he had to use Lidge.

SpringfieldFan said...

Off topic:
ESPN's Jim Caple is running a silly "battle of the ballparks." He makes a snarky comment about ticket prices at Nats Park, which I don't understand at all because I love my $20 seats in 309.

Vote here:
http://espn.go.com/new-york/story/_/id/8060191/battle-ballparks-vote-mlb-best

Candide said...

NatsLady said... One thing Mr. Reid said that made me think is that if the Nats had taken 2 of 3 from the Yanks (or swept them) they would have been on the cover of Sport Illustrated, etc., etc.

Not necessarily a good thing. Remember the SI jinx. Last year, SI did a cover story on the Brewers, with a cover featuring Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Nyjer Morgan. So Braun gets off a PED bust on a technicality, Fielder signs with the Tigers, and Nyjer has 2 RBIs (both on solo shot HRs), is batting .229 with a .577 OPS, and inexplicably has three fewer BBs than Ian Desmond (8 vs. 11).

Here's the cover.

So careful what you wish for. Put the Nats on the cover of SI and they could lose their closer, left fielder, right fielder, and catcher to the DL.

Oh, wait...

Candide said...

Oh, and the Brew Crew are in 4th place.

Section 222 said...

One other thing. It's true that Davey would love having only a six man bullpen so he could add a bench player. But that's only feasible when you have starters who routinely go seven or eight innings. Right now we have only one guy capable of doing that (E-Jax). So I'm pretty sure we'll have a seven man bullpen for the foreseeable future.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

mick, I don't know what Moore will be, but I always believe in the short-term that you go with the hot hand. Personally, I thought Davey's insertion of TyMo into the Blue Jays series was smart and was hoping to get him in the batting order on Friday and give Espi a breather.

I don't know if Tyler Moore is long-term as we have to see if scouting and adjustments change his approach.

In the meantime, the kid singlehandedly won that game in Toronto. Was surprised not to see him in the lineup on Friday.

baseballswami said...

Agreed that our pitchers did fine - it was the Yankee hitters' approach that was the problem. All of our pitchers "struggled" - as well they should have with that line up. And they were " pitch efficient" if the pitch didn't end up in the seats. They got outs doing whatever it took to keep runs off the board - that lineup fouled off dozens of very good pitches. Yes, it took more pitches than anyone would have wished - that's the way it goes with good hitters.Our starters held a vaunted line -up to very few runs. Brad Lidge inflated the figures. Starters kept us in all three games. The issue here is that our hitters are the opposite of their approach - it's never going to change because that is Davey's approach - swing early and hard - he does not want them taking pitches.He said he thinks that is passive. When opposing pitchers know you are going to swing, swing, swing - they know exactly how to take advantage of that.The Ankiel Approach. I would love to see a little more of the hot hand playing and the slumper sitting and resting ( thinking, watching, re-motivating).

mick said...

Ghost... Moore reminds me of Lynn, we shall see

mick said...

anyone know Werth and Tracy rehabs, how they are going, when are we looking at returns for both?

pRAA said...

After Storen has had a few good outings, it will be easier to go to Clipp and say, "look, I know you love closing, and you've been spectacular, but you're our best reliever and you're more valuable to me and to the team in the highest leverage situations in the 7th and 8th. So I'm moving Drew back into the closer slot. He's shown he's ready."

Davey won't need to do this, because he already had the following conversation with Clippard:

"Look, I know you want to close. And you've been spectacular, you're our best reliever, but you're more valuable to me and to the team in the highest leverage situations in the 7th and 8th. So I'm letting you close until Drew comes back off the DL. Because he won't be back until he's ready to take over the closer slot. I know you'll do a great job for me until then."

Both Clippard and Davey have acknowledged that some form of this conversation took place. Neither one is deluding himself with the notion that Clippard could do anything while he's in the closer role to merit hanging onto it once Storen is back - even if only for a few games. So why are you deluding yourself into thinking there's a reason that should happen? Lombo did a great job filling in for Zim at third, but once Zim was back he was in the lineup from day one. Same with filling in for Morse. When a starter who lost his job due to injury comes back, he gets his job back.

Otherwise, if Storen blows a save in his first time out there after the long DL stint, you've got a problem. Clipp will know he would have put that game away and even though he's a team player and Storen's buddy, he'll resent not being given the chance to do it.

How is the situation any different if Clip gets a few save opportunities before Storen gets the job back, and then Storen blows a save or two? It's Storen's job when he comes back. Everyone knows that. Your scenario is just prolonging the inevitable, to no good end for anyone involved.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

mick said...
Ghost... Moore reminds me of Lynn, we shall see

June 18, 2012 3:46 PM


Interesting. I don't know who he reminds me of as I haven't seen him enough. Kind of like Lombo, I will let you know after a few 100 ABs who he reminds me of.

The kid made the most of his 2nd callup so far. He has my attention.

To be honest, I wasn't high on him based on his OBP and I expected when I met him in Spring Training that he was going to be like Adam Dunn in stature. He is actually built like a slightly thinner version of Ryan Zimmerman. I think they are about the same height. I like his "gee shucks" attitude. Very unassuming until the Blue Jays series.

Again, I play him in LF or 1st base as the opportunity exists to get a hot bat in there. I would think he will be in the lineup tomorrow vs the LH pitcher.

Steady Eddie said...

swami @ 3:47 -- I mostly agree with you, except that re the pitchers, they made it harder for the bullpen and themselves by doing more nibbling and getting away from the attacking the zone approach that got them the seasons they've been having. Maybe you do that with 1-5 but some of the toughest innings started with walks or long ABs, getting behind, to bottom of the order guys hitting .203.

The thing that doesn't make sense is -- and there must be more to it than appears on the surface -- is Davey having them continue to take the same approach regardless of the game plan of the team they're facing and the pitching game plan of that team at that time. Adaptive management is just processing feedback and adjusting to changing conditions. Can't believe it just got worse as the weekend proceeded, because as many of us have written in one form or another, the Yanks certainly adapted to the game the Nats were playing and the capabilities of our players.

Section 222 said...

The difference between the Clipp-Storen and Lombo-Zim or DeRosa/Nady/Bernadina/Ankiel/Moore/Whoever-Morse is that Clipp and Storen are equally good players. Actually, Clipp is better, not only more experienced and higher paid but better according to the SABRE stats and any other measure. And I haven't said that Storen should lose his job (though it actually wouldn't trouble me greatly if Davey rode the hot hand with Clipp as closer until he falters), just that he should be eased back into it.

You haven't convinced me, and I haven't convinced you, but it's been fun talking about it, and I guess we'll see who Davey decides was right. Because unlike many such disagreements on here, this one has a right and a wrong answer. We'll just wait and see what Davey does.

Section 222 said...

Both Clippard and Davey have acknowledged that some form of this conversation took place. Neither one is deluding himself with the notion that Clippard could do anything while he's in the closer role to merit hanging onto it once Storen is back - even if only for a few games.

1. Do you have a reference for them having some form of this conversation. I follow the team and this blog pretty closely and I don't ever remember Davey saying anything that even approximates: "Storen's first appearance back from the DL will be in a save situation and nothing anyone can do between now and whenever that is will change my mind.
2. Davey ("John's my guy") Johnson changes his mind all the time.

Steady Eddie said...

222 and pRAA -- actually, it's not inconceivable that the result could be somewhere between the two of you. While I mostly agree with the overall assessment pRAA made, it wouldn't be a bad idea for Davey to give Storen one or two medium leverage relief situations when he first gets back, simply to get his feet wet and make sure everything looks right in an actual MLB game situation. The reason Davey might do this is that closer is basically an all-or-nothing situation. You don't pull a closer after a couple of walks or hits -- especially not a proven closer like Druuuu -- as Davey does sometimes with Stammen and had to do with HRod. And you don't want to have something look weird in Druuu's delivery or arm slot or landing or whatever, and not feel you have to leave him in to blow the save because you don't pull the closer (and especially here, raise "is he really OK to be back as a closer?" questions).

But beyond that, the rule that "a clearly accomplished starter does not lose his job by injury" should hold, especially when it's no surprise that Clip would be an equally capable closer. He's also proven as an emergency fireman who's unparalleled on this team. (I don't remember the last time Clip was not allowed to finish an inning. If it happens, I don't think it's more than once or twice a season.)

MicheleS said...

Ghost.. Some of us got carried away with the Lombo love (raises her hand sheepishly). But your right. Give Tyler 100 abs see how he does and go from there.

I do like riding the hot bat, sadly we don't have too many right now.

I was hoping that on Sunday, Davey would put out a poop stick of a lineup that we would all gripe about (nady/ank starting) and then they some how manage to win that game.

MicheleS said...

Clemens NOT guilty on all counts

JamesFan said...

Storen may not be close to resuming the closer role. I would keep Clip in it, let Storen work the 7th and 8th to see where he is. If Clip stumbles, the choice is easy. If not, we have to go with the hot hand and ease Storen back into clser when Clip is not available.

JD said...

Here is what everyone is missing in the Storen/Clippard debate. Closers make more money than set up men because the ridiculous stat called the save is used in Arb rulings. This also causes pitchers who are not closers to have lower FA base salaries and less chance of making incentive bonuses.

Keeping that in mind and knowing that Clip has been perfect in the closer role do you think you can just tell him: 'be a good sport and go back to what you were doing before?' he himself said that he considers closing an upgrade and even if he goes back to his previous role he will inevitably be resentful and will look for an opportunity to close somewhere when he has the freedom to do so.

Section 222 said...

Steady -- That's basically what I've been saying. pRAA is certain that when Storen is activated he's the closer from Day 1. I don't think that's what's going to happen. He may have one appearance in a non-save situation, or two, or three -- or maybe Davey lets Clipp go for a few more weeks before making the change. All I'm saying is that's he not going to have a save opportunity his first time out, and I think that's a good idea, for the reasons you and I both stated.

Also, this "you never lose your job to injury" stuff is malarky. Your job security depends on how good you are (both before and after the injury) and how good your replacement is. Zim is not going to lose his job. Neither is Morse. But Ankiel was injured last year and lost his job to Bernadina, for awhile. I'm sure there are other examples from major league history, even if Wally Pipp may not have actually had a headache the day that Lou Gehrig replaced him.

NatsFanJim said...

I don't think Clippard is going to be real good natured if he is relegated back to the set up role.

The Fox said...

Good discussion on Clippard and Storen and who will be the closer.

I think what 222, ,pRAA, Steady Eddie and Nat's Lady posted are all correct in there assessment of the 2 players. It really comes down to Davey.

Davey loves situational advantages so Nat's Lady is correct that there could be an A ad B bullpen especially with different set up men. Steady Eddie is correct that he might ease Storen back into the role, giving him a greater likely hood of success early. pRAA says Davey will not take Storen's closer job away from him due to injury and both 222 and S. Eddie show that Clippards numbers show that he is an elite bullpen guy who can close.

So what will happen?

Davey has one weakness he knows he does to. If you give Davey a superior bullpen arm he will abuse it. Davey last year said he would leave before he would let Clippard be traded. Davey can pitch Clippard more than an inning too. So because Clippard is more valuable to Davey Storen will close.

Sorry if I over simplified your post everyone has the correct points the outcome comes down guessing WWDD, (What would Davey Do). I say Davey abuses Clippard. Let's hope his arm does not fall off

Section 222 said...

JD -- exactly right. That's why the situation has to be handled carefully.

MicheleS said...

Clipp may not like going back to set up,but guess what, he has proven he can close and sadly this means that come FA, he is riding off into the sunset to a team that needs a closer.

Section 222 said...

Let's hope I'm right about how Davey conceives of the A and B bullpens. If so, he won't abuse Clipp's arm. I definitely worry about that. And he definitely needs to be careful of Storen's arm, which means Clipp could still get a bunch of save opportunities this year.

hiramhover said...

MicheleS

Agreed--about TyMo and Lombo. But as someone who was raising red flags about Lombo 10-14 days ago, I will add that we shouldn't switch too quickly from Lombo lovers to Lombo haters (or--since that's too ungenerous in your case--Lombo doubters).

Lombo actually did pretty well in his first 100 ABs--thru the end of May. It's in the last three weeks that the wheels have come off.

I think the jury's still out on how to interpret that--whether he was just having crazy good luck at first, whether he's having crazy bad luck now, whether pitchers are adjusting to him, whether he can adjust in response.

His BABIP has been uber-lousy this month--.162--which I think means that some of it is just bad luck. His K rate is up to 16% in June, which is worse than before but still not too bad; his BB rate in June is 8%, which is a hair better than MLB average.

NatsLady said...

Here are my thoughts on Ryan Zimmerman.

Nothing's Wrong with Ryan Zimmerman. Nothing

http://natsratstats.blogspot.com/

NatsLady said...

Clip has never not finished an inning, and I believe that was true last year also. No pitcher has inherited a runner from him.

NatsLady said...

Actually, I think, in the recesses of my mind, there might have been an inning Storen finished for Clip last year, I would have to look it up. I remember it being an amazing stat.

A DC Wonk said...

NatsLady said...

Here are my thoughts on Ryan Zimmerman.

Nothing's Wrong with Ryan Zimmerman. Nothing

http://natsratstats.blogspot.com/


Intersting hypothesis. But I'm not yet convinced. The flip-side is that RZ could be thrilled as punch that his _real_ long term goal, playing on a winner and getting a ring, is now within sight.

NatsLady said...

JD, very true on the stupidity of arbitration. But there is nothing to stop Rizzo from offering Clip above the arb rate, is there? (He was Super 2 last year). He will not be a free agent until 2016, so I wouldn't worry about that now.

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

Wonk, just a theory, putting it out there where I can delete the flames... I've never met RZ in my life, it's all speculation.

I think he probably is thrilled, and frustrated that he's not contributing. There seems to be a lot going on in his life right now, that's all I'm saying. It's not as simple as, take a few days off and let his shoulder heal.

The Fox said...

222,

Clippard could get save opportunities this year but that probably would mean Storen was not doing well. As I said before there is a reason Jesse Orosco has the most games played as a pitcher he pitched for Davey in New York and Baltimore. If my memory is correct he also signed him for the Dodgers before Davey was let go. Davey goes to that well until it is dry.

Orosco was mostly the closer for the Mets before Davey switch off between him and Roger McDowell. So you could see something like that But Storen and Clippard are both right handed so probably not with those two. Maybe with Burnett but again Storen would not be doing great if that is the case.

Davey overall has been pretty good at not over using the bullpen at least for him but if September rolls around and the Nats are in the playoff hunt Davey will not be able to help himself.

I think Davey will look at it as how can I get the maximum number of innings pitched by both Clippard and Storen and the answer will be pitch Clippard more.

One interesting thing about the high turnover rate in the bullpen is that the Nats may actually have some fresh arms at the end of the season. All the injuries may be a blessing in disguise.

JD is correct about the money but Clippard will bite the bullet if the payoff is the playoffs.

ehay2k said...

In have a new favorite advanced stat: EIOBP. Basically, you take a veteran guy like LaRoche, who worked out last year and early this year in Viera, or a young guy like Lombo or Harper who came out of the minors, and then you subtract the OBP from their first 50 to 100 plate appearances from the OBP of their next 50 to 100. The difference is the EIOBP - Eckstein Influenced On Base Percentage.

Hopefully, it's a positive number!

NatsJack in Florida said...

For the record.......the Orioles have ZERO chance tonite. Two letters and one word......R. A. Dickey.

NatsLady said...

Atlanta got a run off CC with a triple and a groundout. Hey, we coulda done that!

NatsLady said...

Dickey threw 9 knuckleballs and one 85 MPH fastball. No chance.

baseballswami said...

This whole season is just wacky,we beat up on atlanta, they beat up on miami, who beat up on somebody else, we beat toronto, they beat the phils. Just you watch Atlanta sweep the Yankees now. Somebody wrote, ( I am not that creative), that it was a big game of rock, paper, scissors. It certainly is not predictable. If Atlanta beats the Yankees tonight, I am going to just say that we tired them out and wore them down, because we did.

NatsLady said...

It was me on the rock, paper, scissors. LOL. Strange season.

NatsLady said...

Do you suppose Lannan could learn the knuckleball? Dickey perfect after two.

Gonat said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
For the record.......the Orioles have ZERO chance tonite. Two letters and one word......R. A. Dickey.

June 18, 2012 7:15 PM
__________________________

First O baserunner was the pitcher with a walk.

NatsLady said...

Dickey threw a coupla fast balls and Arieta walked. Bet he quits doing that.

Gonat said...

Mike Minor is no-hitting the Yankees thru 3. Averaging 13 pitches per inning w/ 1 walk.

Gonat said...

Mike Minor is no-hitting the Yankees thru 4. Averaging 12.5 pitches per inning w/ 1 walk.

Gonat said...

Mike Minor's no-hitter has ended in the 5th.

baseballswami said...

We really did tire the yankees out - they are exhausted, spent, used up - we confused them and confounded them and now Atlanta is taking advantage of them in their weakened state. We really did.

pRAA said...

Section 222 said...

JD -- exactly right. That's why the situation has to be handled carefully.


Just can't give it up, can you? Look, this decision is a no-brainer if there ever was one. Clippard has never, not even once, been given the expectation that he's anything more than the interim closer until Storen returns. That probably has a lot to do with why Davey had to be backed into even giving him the "closer" label in the first place - even after Henry failed to do the job there. Meanwhile, Storen is chomping at the bit to get back. You all expect that out of respect for Clippard's fragile psyche Davey is going to pull a Lucy-yanking-the-football-away-from-Charlie-Brown act with Storen? Yeah, you can come back. But you can't close yet. What good does that do?

pRAA said...

NatsLady said...

Here are my thoughts on Ryan Zimmerman.

Nothing's Wrong with Ryan Zimmerman. Nothing

http://natsratstats.blogspot.com/
June 18, 2012 5:48 PM


There's only one thing worse than people who post too much. People who post too much and then pimp their blogs.

baseballswami said...

I don't think it has to be so black and white with the closer situation. It might be a good idea for Drew to work his way back in with some low leverage situations - by the way, do we ever have those? That doesn't mean he won't end up as the full time , main, A number one closer by the end of the season. Even if he comes back lights out, they also will not let him pitch too many days in a row. We win 2, 3, 4 in a row and need a closer because it's close? ( and it always is) then he can't be the only one closing. There will probably be somewhat of a transition period and a time for him to work his way back up. It also will depend on how he is doing and how his arm feels. Having other people who can close is truly a luxury. I am so glad that Davey knows Clip can do it now.

Gonat said...

Simultaneously the Mets and Yankees in their games had bases loaded. The Mets Ike Davis hit a grand slam and the Yankees scored 3.

Gonat said...

baseballswami - The Yankees 3 Braves 2

rabbit34 said...

Need an open roster spot!!!! Send down Zimmerman!!!!!!! Bring back Matt Stairs!!!!

MicheleS said...

Rabbit ..just hush. We had a relatively peaceful off day and you are trying to start a fight.

Now back to your room

MicheleS said...

Although i did hear Matt Stairs on MLB radio the other day. He was pretty good (and i kept reminding myself he is no longer on the Nats )

baseballswami said...

Gonat - saw that. One of those weird nights where I should really want the Yankees to win over the Braves but it offends me so very much to ever want them to win.Too bad they can't both lose.

NatsLady said...

Jeez, pardon me for trying to save space here.

This blog was the first one I ever did. Nobody told you you have to read it, you pR---! I never noticed you before except in peric's hate-posts, but now see why he doesn't like you. Wow.

Gonat said...

baseballswami, well said. Feel the same way about the MaSngelOs/Mets.

SonnyG10 said...

When I was a young lad, I remember reading a baseball antidote about former Yankee player who was on the downside of his career and was being teased by the younger players on his new team. He told them to shut up or he would put on his Yankees uniform and scare them to death. I think that had something to do with our being swept by the Yankees. I think our pitchers may have given the Yankee hitters too much respect. I think our pitchers should not have nibbled on strike 1, but should have been more aggressive on strike 1. You can nibble when the count is in your favor.

MicheleS said...

RA Dickey is just sick, crazy, filthy

Gonat said...

RA Dickey with another 1 hit shutout.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
RA Dickey is just sick, crazy, filthy

June 18, 2012 9:19 PM
__________________________

I love when you talk dirty!

baseballswami said...

RA Dickey terrifies me.

MicheleS said...

Gonat

Hopefully when Baby Z reads all of this in a few years, he won't hold it against us.

Teddy Phinolah said...

Don't panic Nats Nation! One series a season does not make. We didn't hit well against the Yankees but we were in all three games. If we are within five games of a playoff spot when we finally get healthy we'll make a go of it. Besides, this season is merely a test run. Next year we'll have Ramos, Werth, Storen and Strasburg for the entire year. Plus, I look for Rizzo to sign Michael Bourne so we'll have a leadoff hitter that can play All-Star CF. The future is bright in Nats Town!

baseballswami said...

Wait - I thought Bryce Harper is our future All-Star centerfielder? Anyway -- veteran NI bloggers will just be thrilled to hear that Brian Bixler and JMax are tearing it up tonight for the Astros. They are living proof that if you hang around long enough in baseball you will find a home and fans that appreciate you.

MicheleS said...

I can't remember who made the comment - the Yankees have spent a gazillion $$$$ over the last 12 years and only have 1 WS to show for it. They may make the playoffs but i think their age will show in the Post season. Kind of like the Phoolies.

Steady Eddie said...

I still think my theory for Clip and Store is in the works. For all the "Davey loves to burn out great relievers" silliness, he does have the chance to and I suspect he will let Clip take 1/3 to 1/4 of Druuuu's save opportunities so as to NOT burn Druuuu out. And then will give 35-40% of what would normally be Clip's set-up or high leverage opportunities to Stammen. And give Burnett (who is NOT a LOOGY, his BAA is the same for RH as LH hitters) and Mattheus (who will be around for what I predict will be pretty much the full 30 days that HRod will rehab -- Mike Gonzales will either go or be traded in a package when Druuu gets back) a cut of everything but closer and long man. All these good options mean no one needs to get burned out, because you don't have anyone in the pen for whom you need to minimize appearances.

Nats Lady -- I have been told that peric sometimes posts here under other names.

sjm308 said...

Man is RA Dickey on a roll!

Two one-hitters and he and his team have to be taken seriously. I looked at that lineup and thought the O's would have a chance but it wasn't even close.

Hard to watch both these games. I honestly did not want anyone to win but I was hoping the Yankee's would take care of the Braves and that looks promising in the 8th inning.

So we will head into tomorrow with our 4 game lead and lets hope by the time we leave DC it will be at least 4 and maybe even more.

Go Nats!!

sjm308 said...

MichelleS - please don't take this for gospel but I think its over 2 billion dollars and they have not won a World Series for over 10 years! I think next year will be the first that they will not spend 200 million. Its just crazy.

MicheleS said...

SJM or anyone else...

Which lineup would have a chance against RA Dickey?

MicheleS said...

SJM..
2009 they beat the Phoolies. One in 12 years is not what Yankee fans expect

baseballswami said...

Well, when you look at it that way, things just feel a little bit better. I think I read somewhere today that if the playoffs started tomorrow the yankees would be the only one of the top-spending teams to make it in. I love the teams that do it with drafting, scouting and just good, hard work - some smart coaching. I am looking forward to seeing the Rays because they fit that mold. It was interesting to see a professional, mercenary, old team - there are definitely things to learn.You can see where all that money has been spent. But I just love young, scrappy teams like the Nats. Besides -- their outfielders just got pummeled everywhere today for that whole double-switch fiasco. They did all look pretty silly out there trying to figure out who had to sit down.

baseballswami said...

By the way, Beachy seeing Dr. Andrews tomorrow -- that's almost as scary as facing RA Dickey.

NatsLady said...

RA Dickey==> at this rate there's thirty wins for the Mets. Someone said if it's his day we should bring up a guy from the minors and not waste one of our starters. Sounds like a plan.

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
Wait - I thought Bryce Harper is our future All-Star centerfielder? Anyway -- veteran NI bloggers will just be thrilled to hear that Brian Bixler and JMax are tearing it up tonight for the Astros. They are living proof that if you hang around long enough in baseball you will find a home and fans that appreciate you.

June 18, 2012 9:35 PM
________________________________

JMax is now serviceable, but still far from great against RH pitching. SteveM wrote earlier today that JMax's time with Kevin Long of the Yankees really helped him.

Happy that JMax has found a home. Bixler is a small sample size. Let's see where he ends up. The kid has speed and worked out hard in the off-season. Happy for Bixler too. I really liked him as a XFactor bench guy but he just couldn't hit here.

Steady Eddie said...

I read that Dickey's one-hitter was the first time in 68 years that an NL pitchers threw consecutive complete-game one-hitters.

Ridiculous. Can batters do anything but guess and swing up there?

Gonat said...

baseballswami said...
By the way, Beachy seeing Dr. Andrews tomorrow -- that's almost as scary as facing RA Dickey.

June 18, 2012 10:16 PM
_____________________________

Yep, and Drabek having Tommy John surgery tomorrow.

NatsLady said...

FYI (from ESPN)

Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria aggravated his left hamstring injury during a rehab assignment game Monday night.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Longoria's rehab assigment has been suspended indefinitely after he experienced some discomfort in his partially torn hamstring.

Longoria will join the Rays in Washington, D.C., Tuesday and continue his rehab there with no timetable for his return.

Gonat said...

NatsLady, that answers the Longo question. Such a shame we will miss him.

Gonat said...

Maxwell just hit a 2 run HR

realdealnats said...

SJM--
Just finished catching up from last night's thread. Agree on Desi--especially with his muscle strain. But, in general, have been very surprised and pleased how he has come on strong this year both hitting and fielding. He still disappears a little at bat--and you've got to figure those 3 errors in three days were not all nerves over the Yankees.

Re: Tyler Moore and anyone else with a hot bat--I know Davey likes to keep all 25 involved--but after a 2 HR/Double/5RBI game--I'd find him a position to play the next day. It seems to me you have to go with hot bats--especially on this team--and this is why I think we agree it works to keep Moore and Lombo in the steady rotation. I know Lombo has quieted down, but I think he'll come around again sooner than later.

I don't agree with those who say Drew jumps right back into being "The Closer." Davey will ease him in and rotate him for a while at least with Clip. And I really do believe he'll do a similar thing with HRod but in the other direction, pushing him away from the 9th inning for a while so as to drop the confidence issue out of the equation so he can feel how good it is again to blow batters away. Agree with 222's bullpen. And re: Ryan Mattheus--and Lidge for that matter--don't rush these guys back. The numbers crunch is in our favor. Let Mattheus work in Syracuse for a couple weeks until he is totally back in the groove. Especially with HRod's lack of options.

This is a good team with a superb core of players who are young. They are not used to winning on this level, and they have suffered a slew of injuries that have forced everyone to get jostled out of position. They lost to a hot team this weekend, but I see the glass as half full. Lots of young talent that could very well help us in the hitting department, and a bunch of guys capable of learning what the Yanks had to teach us about working counts, stealing bases and advancing runners, excelling at the crucial time--They'll absorb all this and get better. One of my favorite things about the Nats is watching them talk to each other in the dugout. They seem to really like each other, they seem to be generous in sharing knowledge, and they seem to want to absorb any and all knowledge like sponges. This kind of attitude is as good as it gets. IMHO.

Gonat said...

Dan Plesac
‏@Plesac19 out of Atlanta say ‪#Braves‬ Brandon Beachy has a UCL tear in his rt elbow, seeing Dr Andrews,Tommy John surgery looming. Not good.

realdealnats said...

Re: Mattheus--I know he's up now. I'm saying generally let these guys, when possible, get back in the groove in AAA so they don't blow up like Lidge did this weekend. I feel bad for the guy. Maybe he's totally lost it, or maybe he just needed to get his feel and rhythm back in AAA rehab for a longer time before facing the Pin Stripe hitting juggernaut. Actually someone like Lidge could teach guys a lot in the minors.

NatsLady said...

From youcantpredictbaseball.com:

RA Dickey has set an MLB record with his fifth (!!!) straight start of 0 ER and at least 8 Ks.
- Today he got the runs backing him from a grand slam from Ike Davis, who still isn’t hitting .200.
– In Dickey’s last six starts, he has 63 Ks and FIVE walks.
— Dickey beat the Orioles, managed by Buck Showalter, tonight. The last time Dickey faced one of Showalter’s teams, he gave up six home runs.
—- The first baserunner against Dickey was the AL pitcher, by the way.
—– Who walked.

pRAA said...

You can't predict baseball. But you can predict who's going to post too much.

DWS said...

I don't post much pRAA. You're talking predictable?
Take a look at yourself.

Section 222 said...

Just can't give it up, can you? Look, this decision is a no-brainer if there ever was one. Clippard has never, not even once, been given the expectation that he's anything more than the interim closer until Storen returns.

Decided to take the night off from arguing with pRAA about Storen. Seriously dude, you sound a whole lot like peric with your attacks on other commenters who disagree with you. And to think peric wanted you banned, now there's an irony.

I'm comfortable with my position, well supported by Steady Eddie, baseballswami, and others, that Storen will be eased back in to the closer role. You think his first appearance in the bigs will be in a save situation. Fine. We don't have to argue anymore. Let's just wait and see who was right, perhaps as soon as a month or so from now. I'll happily confess that you were right if Davey goes with your approach. Will you do the same if I'm right?

Laddie Blah Blah said...

The Yankees are a very good team that played almost flawless, fundamental baseball. But they are not going to get any better. That's the best they've got.

The Nats are a very good team that made some fundamental mistakes both in the field and at the plate. The experienced, mature, opportunistic Yanks took advantage.

Never mind that Zim did not produce and Morse is still not there. Both the SP and BP were excellent, Lidge excepted, and he's gone now. A blown call cost the Nats the win in game 2. Never mind any of that.

While the Yanks applied what they already knew, the young Nats learned how a winning team plays, and wins, the tough games. But the aging Yanks have nowhere to go from here but down. The young Nats have the time and the ability to go way, way up from where they are now, which ain't too bad.

Would you rather be where the Yanks are, with what they've got, or where the Nats are going to be, with what they've got? By season's end, both look headed for the post-season, but, by then, the Nats will be a better, tougher team, and the Yanks will be what we just saw, and no more.

sjm308 said...

So when you can't sleep, where do you go? NatsInsider of course.

222 - I can't support it with facts, like the others, but add me to someone who earlier mentioned they thought Clippard should stay as closer when Drew is back, at least for the first few appearances. I also will admit I was wrong if Davey just throws Storen in to close in his first start back and will be surprised by that. I would also bet that his first appearance in the minors will not be as a closer either. It would seem to me that they have young guys on all 4 teams who are trying to develop that role as well. I guess after getting a couple of early appearances, he might close in the minors to have that experience but does he really need that? He closed all of last year so what would be the purpose? To me, all you are looking for in his re-hab appearances is for velocity and control of pitches as he builds arm strength. Maybe I am wrong and it sure won't be the first time.

I watched Dickey just carve up the O's and it really was masterful. Still can't believe the Mets or the O's will be there in the end but they both have been great stories so far. Best thing though is the story just a little bit further South.

Go Nats!!

baseballswami said...

A little time passing after the weekend series does wonders for perspective and turns everyone's thoughts forward. The Nats are seriously young and talented and in first place. They did not play their best - the pitchers mostly did - and you know my feelings about them this weekend. I thought they were fantastic. The hitters were off and the defense had some very rare slips. Other than that, the Yankees did not swamp us and each game was winnable. If we had been at our best and they had not been in the middle of a hot streak, things could have gone another way. They are flat out dominating everyone - our starters were very stingy with them ( yeah, too many pitches, blah, blah, blah, I know). I think they knew they were in some games and they did not have an easy time winning, especially on Saturday, where they actually did not win. If our offense does start clicking all at the same time and our pitching stays anywhere close to where it is? Watch out! Go Nats! This series should be fun with two similar teams.

MicheleS said...

Rabbit.. you can come out of your room now.. ;-)

Anywho, on the Yankees, I think one thing that will serve us well in the Dog Days of August is our youth. The Nats will have more energy than some of the old fart teams. With the banning of substances, older teams slow down real quick later in the season.

I am also excited about seeing the Rays (As I was with the jays- until their pitchers started to drop like flies). Good to see how we compare to a really well run franchise

baseballswami said...

MicheleS - So many broken pitchers right now. I feel their pain - I clearly remember hearing that JZim needed TJ and also Strassie - it was like a Nationals day of mourning. I almost cried both times. Some of these guys have been pitching extremely well, too. Won't see Longoria - still hurt.

pRAA said...

I guess after getting a couple of early appearances, he might close in the minors to have that experience but does he really need that? He closed all of last year so what would be the purpose? To me, all you are looking for in his re-hab appearances is for velocity and control of pitches as he builds arm strength.

Exactly. He will build arm strength and re-establish all his pitches during his minor league rehab. And once he has done that, what else does he need in order to be able to close games? The mental aspect - which can't be developed any other way than by doing it. So what is the point of having Storen in the Nats bullpen if he is not going to be the closer? He's not developing his stuff, and there's no way to "ease into" the mental aspect of closing. It's sink or swim. Everyone knows that Storen is the closer and Clippard has just been keeping his seat warm while he's been on the DL. I understand that you all think that Clippard deserves some kind of reward for doing a good job as the closer, but getting a few more save opportunities while Storen cools his heels in the bullpen is just not the way that's going to happen. The closer's job belongs to Storen unless and until he shows that he can't handle it. It is indeed possible that he won't be able to handle it any more after coming off the DL, but there's no way to find that out until he actually starts doing the job. There is absolutely nothing to be lost by throwing him right into the fire as soon as he returns, and absolutely nothing to be gained by waiting to do it while you "reward" Clippard with a few more save chances. There is going to be a change in the closer role when Storen returns. It's a foregone conclusion. Why are you even arguing that this won't happen?

MicheleS said...

pRAA, I think for the most part everyone agrees that Druuu is the closer, I think the disagreement is how he comes back to that role. Tomato vs Tamata. Everyone is playing arm chair shrink (vs arm chair gm) and trying to figure out what Davey is going to do.

I believe in Sec 10 Paragraph 25 of the Guide to Being a Fan, it states, The Fans get to question and debate every possible move the team makes.

On the last page of the Guide, the very last rule states "That when all else fails, PANIC!"

Section 222 said...

There is going to be a change in the closer role when Storen returns. It's a foregone conclusion. Why are you even arguing that this won't happen?
Ha ha ha!
1. Because it would be the smart thing to do for the reasons stated ad nauseum, and most recently by sjm308 (good point about not using him as a closer during rehab games).
2. Because Storen has appeared in other situations in 2010. That is a fact. He doesn't have to cool his heels in the bullpen until Davey turns over the closer keys to him again. He can prepare, and contribute, by pitching the seventh or the eighth, in a tight game or a laugher.
3. Because, as MichelleS, says, we're entitled to our opinions.

Seems like you're on your own here pRAA. Will Davey side with you or the strong consensus of the NI ArmChair GM/Mgrs? Stay tuned.

On another note, I'm sorry that Longoria isn't ready to return. He's a great player, and I'd love to see the hot corner manned by two of the best this week at Nats Park. See you out there folks.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Storen's first effort back will be in a close situation, whether it's a 1,2, or 3 run save.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

By the way, Beachy seeing Dr. Andrews tomorrow -- that's almost as scary as facing RA Dickey.

I'm pretty sure R.A. Dickey is seeing Mr. Applegate.

NatsLady said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Storen's first effort back will be in a close situation, whether it's a 1,2, or 3 run save.

Was waiting for someone I respect to say this so I could agree. Not an issue. You people who are arguing about it need a baseball game. :)

MicheleS said...

NJ.. I am about 99% on the side of the Druuu closes when he comes back. My reasoning is that Davey kind of did the same thing with HRod/Lidge - throw them into the fire and see how they do.

The other 1% is holding onto the fact that we are talking about Davey and lord knows he changes his mind all the time. If as others say, they bring Druuu back slowly, fine, I am good with that too.

MicheleS said...

Sofa.. who would play Mr Applegate this year? Boras? Bud Selig? the Ghost of George Steinbrenner?

NatsJack in Florida said...

I think Rizzo should send the entire 40 man roster to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next off season to gain the same karma bestowed upon one R.A. Dickey.

Tcostant said...

Rotoworld think the Nats starters are #1 in the majors:

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/18/reviewing-the-rotations-nats-dodgers-lead-the-way/

NatsLady said...

MicheleS, I don't agree that Davey "changes his mind all the time."

If you want to see a manager who changes his mind all the time, look at Joe Madden (and his players know it and expect it). Davey's had lots of injuries and poor performances to deal with, and as a result he's changed things--out of necessity.

For example, he's never changed the pitching rotation, he never skips starts, not for rainouts, matchups, nada. If he changed the person in the No. 5 position, well, we all know why that happened. Many managers skip their No. 4 or 5 starter if there is a rainout or an off-day so that the "better" guys can pitch if they have had regular rest. Not Davey.

As regards the position players: We complain that he didn't play the hot hand (Moore), but he's said consistently that he believes players should predicable "roles" and know what they are so they can prepare. The line-up has stablilized so there is a vs. RHP version and a vs. LHP version, we know who's on the bench, etc. When he wanted to give Lombo more at-bats, he didn't switch out Espi (or Desi or RZ), rather, he put Lombo in LF and the kid had to suck it up. Personally, I wish he didn't value the L/R splits quite so much, but he does.

The "disarray" in the bullpen that Davey complains about has come from poor performances and injuries, not Davey changing his mind.

A final note. Before I got blasted, I was going to make my second ever blog post as a player-by-player comparison of Nats/Rays (since the Rays are a team we are not familiar with as fans). In the course of doing the research for the post, I ran across a fantasy website that lets you do this. (I don't play fantasy. If I wanted to make money gambling I would just play poker).

The website works pretty well, except--it hasn't caught up with some of the stuff Joe Madden has done...

Here is the site, have fun with it. I did.

compare players

http://www.fantasyplaymakers.com/fantasy_baseball_compare.php

pRAA said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Storen's first effort back will be in a close situation, whether it's a 1,2, or 3 run save.


There is one possible way this might not be the case - if after he returns they go 3, 4, 5 days or more without a save situation and they put him into a non-save situation simply because he needs some work. If and when this happens, prepare for Section222 and his ilk to start crowing "We were right! We were right! In your face! USA! USA!" They'll be worse than JayB ever was - and every bit as clueless.

pRAA said...

You know what they call a manager who doesn't change his mind all the time? A loser. Or Jim Riggleman.

hiramhover said...

Can I shift the baseless speculation from Storen's first return appearance to the draft?

Giolito remains unsigned--anyone else concerned about that, or want to speculate about when/if he signs? I note that of the 15 players drafted before him, 10 have already signed or agreed to sign. Among the 5 unsigned is the pouty Boras client, Mark Appel.

In other news--the Braves have released Livo. Sorry, big fella.

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Sofa.. who would play Mr Applegate this year? Boras? Bud Selig? the Ghost of George Steinbrenner?

No, it has to be someone you'd invite in.

NatsLady said...

Tcostant, nice link. The author makes the point that ERA's rise in the heat of the Texas summer.

We are about to have one heck of a heat wave here, right when we are home and in Ballmer (might break by Sunday).

NatsJack in Florida said...

hiramhover.... I doubt Giolito signs until the last day due to the fact that Boras will want to wring every last avaialble nickle out of the Nats and that there's really no hurry anyway.

Giolito will be assigned immediately to rehab in Viera and believe me, that's something you want to delay as long as possible.

MicheleS said...

NatsLady.. when I refered to Davey changing his mind, I was referring to "John is my 5th Starter". That stuff, not talking about in game management. I am sure it's driving him nuts not to have the bullpen roles sorted out.

Sofa.. hmmm who would I invite in that can be cast in the Role of Applegate.. one to ponder.

NatsJack in Florida said...

OOPS.. my bad... I meant CAA will want to wring evet=ry last nickle.

NatsLady said...

HH, the latest "news" I could find was Amanda's article yesterday which said the Nats could scrape together about $3 million to offer him, and they would not forfeit a future draft pick by going over the limit (though they might pay the $$ penalty).

My opinion is that it will go right to the wire. Knowing Rizzo, he won't be bullied and he has lots of patience. The Nats are likely to pick much lower than 16th next year, so getting the compensatory "sandwich" pick (17th, I believe) if he doesn't sign wouldn't be the worst result. We got Storen the next year when Boone didn't sign.

If he signs, great, but you still have to deal with the fact that he's four years away and we don't know whether he will have to have TJ or something. If he doesn't sign, you might get someone next year who, if he is three or less years away from the majors, is close to the same value. So, no, I'm not worried.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I think signing Giolito is almost a must. He's got much more upside than the traded A.J. Cole.

I agree, however, that not signing him isn't the end of the world, just that he's someone Rizzo really covets.

hiramhover said...

NatsJack

That seems a possibility to me too.

It's just curious to me that most of the higher picks aren't going down to the wire. I guess Giolito is different because of the injury, and because he'd have gone higher without it. The later the Nats wait, the more time they have to their other picks and figure out exactly how much "extra" money from their pool allotment they have to offer him.

According to Baseball America, the Nats are "under" allotment by almost $690K after signing 7 of their picks from the first 10 rounds (also still unsigned are Mooneyham and Benincasa).

Section 222 said...

Good to know that NJ and NL agree with pRAA. That's fine, you're entitled to your opinion, just as he is. And yes, I will crow if I'm right but only because pRAA has been such a jerk about it.

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

Thanks to MicheleS for citing an excellent resource in the Guide to Being a Fan (as well all know, the first page tells us to "root, root, root for the home team").

Re. the Drew debate, while y'all were choosing up sides, you forgot about those of us who are content to sit on the sidelines with our popcorn and watch, i.e., waiting and seeing rather than theorizing and debating (to be followed by either crowing or crow-eating). :-) Happily, there's a game tonight so that we'll able to watch some actual, you know, baseball happening.

NatsLady said...

From Giolito's point of view, I can't understand why he wouldn't sign, assuming he gets the max amount of money the Nats can offer without a penalty.

- He will get exactly the same medical treatment, and better training.

That's because he will spend three years in the pro system rather than three years in the college system. His peripherals (fielding, game situation awareness, etc.) won't develop as well in college. Also he will pitch against better hitters in the minors because he will face other top prospects and rehabbing ML players. He may face good hitters in college, but not as many and not on a regular basis.

- If he waits, he might get more money, but he will go to a worse team (probably a lot worse team), and probably a team with a worse track record of developing pitchers.

OTOH, it's probably a lot more fun to spend three years in SoCal than three years riding buses in the East. So, the question is, how serious is he about a major-league career? Is he willing to spend an extra three years in the minor-league grind to be a better ML pitcher? (I'm assuming that he would still spend a year in the minors if he were drafted as a college player.)

NatsLady said...

Exactly. That's what kept me from weighing in on the issue. Who wants to be on the side of that pR---?
_________________________________________________
Section 222 said...
Good to know that NJ and NL agree with pRAA. That's fine, you're entitled to your opinion, just as he is. And yes, I will crow if I'm right but only because pRAA has been such a jerk about it.

MicheleS said...

New post.. and something new for us to debate...

Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Sofa.. hmmm who would I invite in that can be cast in the Role of Applegate.. one to ponder.

Casting no aspersions on anyone, right off the top of my head...Brian McNamee.

Scott Duhaime said...

Probably a bit of unconventional thinking, but I would like to see the team extend the starting rotation to preserve Strasburg. Detwiler could go back to the rotation, and the young and/or fragile (wang) pitchers could be extended far longer than their current pace projects.

As it stands now, Strasburg is on pace to reach the 150 inning mark at around game 130 (end of August)for the Nationals, taking him out of a possible pennant race in September and possibly the postseason.

Moving Detwiler to the rotation and using a 6 man rotation would get strasburg to the end of the season and possibly into October; which for a team in first place is an attractive option.

NatsLady said...

I understand your thought, but it would also mean Gio, JZ, and EJax only pitching every 6th day, and I don't think that's desirable.

Section 222 said...

Hahaha! Turns out I was right after all. Storen returned to the majors on July 19. It's now August 1. He's had seven appearances and not a single one has been in a save situation.

Now when can I start as a GM or manager somewhere?

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