Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thriving in Desmond's absence

US Presswire photo
Steve Lombardozzi and Danny Espinosa have capably filled in with Ian Desmond out.
They survived without Michael Morse for two months. They made do without Jayson Werth for three months. And they held it together without Drew Storen for 3 1/2 months.

But when Ian Desmond succumbed to a torn oblique muscle four weeks ago, it appeared the Nationals had finally sustained an injury that could not easily be overcome.

Turns out the Nats didn't just overcome Desmond's stint on the disabled list. They played their best baseball of the season in spite of it, going 19-6 since their All-Star shortstop last appeared on the field during the July 21 doubleheader against the Braves.

And their reward for it all? It appears they'll be getting Desmond back on the field sooner than anyone expected.

After a week's worth of full workouts with the club while it was on the road in Arizona and San Francisco, Desmond is all but ready to return. He's scheduled to get at-bats against Chien-Ming Wang today in a simulated game, and barring any major setbacks, the Nationals plan to activate him off the DL before tomorrow night's series opener against the Mets.

It would be stunning recovery for a player widely expected to miss at least six weeks when he was first shut down. Desmond won't appear in any minor-league rehab games or get any at-bats against live pitching other than Wang's simulated game, but he and the Nationals are convinced he'll be able to make a seamless transition back into the lineup.

There's no debating Desmond's significance to this team and the difference he should make as soon as he returns. But there's also no debating how well the Nationals held up over the last four weeks without the heart and soul of their infield.

Danny Espinosa, a natural shortstop who had become a top-flight second baseman in the big leagues, transferred back to his old position and showed no signs of rust, proving quite adept at playing shortstop in the big leagues over a prolonged stretch. He also picked up his performance at the plate, hitting .288 with five homers, 16 RBI and a .500 slugging percentage over the last 25 games.

And Steve Lombardozzi, who was beginning to make a name for himself as a rookie utilityman, ably took over everyday duties at second base and hit .308 with a .351 on-base percentage and six extra-base hits.

It's enough to make you wonder why the Nationals feel the need to rush Desmond back so soon. Sure, he was missed and his return will make them even better, but it's not like the Nationals suffered in any real tangible way without their starting shortstop.

Desmond's return also bumps Lombardozzi to the bench just as he's begun to find a consistent stroke at the plate as an everyday player. Manager Davey Johnson says he will continue to find ways to get the versatile rookie into his lineup, but obviously he won't get as much playing time as he had over the last month.

The Nationals feel like it's worth the challenge in order to get Desmond back. And over the long haul, they'll benefit from his return.

But the Nats had better hope Desmond picks right up where he left off four weeks ago. Because the last thing the best (and hottest) team in baseball needs right now is anything that might tinker with a formula that has been wildly successful.

130 comments:

Unknown said...

This is a mistake. He needs a re-hab assignment to get his timing back at bat and more importantly in the field. It took Morse about 3 weeks to get going and he's a much better hitter than Desmond ever will be. Espinosa is a steadier presence at SS. I love Desmond, but feel the Nats are better as presently constituted.

I would let Desmond rehab through August and then bring him up when he is more than ready to roll and help the team as the pressure ramps up in September - the hardest month to win ball games of all.

Mike Rizzo, please step in here and restore sanity!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Whooo Hooo... Off day today then tomorrow I fly up to DC to spend time at my favorite place in the world, Nats Park.

hiramhover said...

Color me unconcerned. If Ian is indeed recovered, he doesn't need a long rehab period. He played 3-1/2 months and only missed four weeks-- unlike Werth or Morse.

As for upsetting team chemistry--I remember folks fretting about that with Werth's return too. Seemed to turn out ok--because Werth is a vital part of the team chemistry. So is Ian.

Steady Eddie said...

Unknown, while I agree that Desi should get some rehab both to get his timing back and to get some game-speed reps in the field, let's not get all overheated here. Remember that Morse had had NO ST (and same with Storen who it now appears was rushed back unwisely) -- whereas Desi was playing at, well, an All-Star level before AND DESPITE his injury.

But again, I do agree that there is no need to rush him back under the circumstances; but also that it's hardly "insane" to do so.

baseballswami said...

My concern is about the roster move. I see one of two things happening. The first would be the mystery ailment that seems to crop up whenever we need a spot. There are basically only two weeks left to deal with. The second would be that TyMo goes to AAA so that he can hit every single day so that he is sharp off the bench in September. Again - it's only two weeks, but critical games ( aren't they all at this point?). As a fan, I don't want to give up any of them!

mick said...

Davey has some great problems that 20 plus teams wish they had... Espi is now hitting like a monster, when Desi is ready, how do you sit Lombo down/? great problem, its fun now that this team has them

mick said...

For all you who are upset about Strass' impending shutdown... Always look on the bright side of life, and I give you a blast from the past from Eric Idle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Wx230gYJw&feature=fvwrel

Joe Seamhead said...

The job that Espinosa and Lombardozzi have done has been beyond my wildest expectations.I figured they'd be ok for a few games, but a month? Espy playing a good SS wasn't a shock, he's always had a great glove. Where I was wrong was Lombo's bat. He has been more, for a longer time then I ever thought he would've been. Heck, both of them have just been hitting great, and overall they have been very good defensively. As much as Lombo has impressed, I still don't see this as being a huge dilemma for Davey. Ian Desmond is his shortstop. Danny Espinosa is his second baseman.Steve Lombardozzi is his very good utility guy. As to how much rehab Desmond needs, in Davey we trust. He sees these guys in practice every day and will make the call as he and his coaches see it.GYFNG!!!

MicheleS said...

I can't believe we are having this problem. I am pinching myself. We are all worried about the 25th man on this roster. How great is that? We are debating what moves should be made when our All Star shortstop comes off the DL.

Swami, I am with you, I don't want to give anyone up either, but Rizzo/Davey will figure it out.

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

Me, three. Or however many that is now.

Okay, so here's a wacky worry story for y'all. As with so many other mornings this a.m., woke up and started prattling to my hubby about my Nats and this wild ride we're having (how about that road record?). Then I started talking about magic numbers. After I'd explained how that works, I had a thought. I suppose there would be a bunch of bandwagon fans hopping on and attending games. What if they start doing the wave and embarrass us on national tv? The horror. If/when they get to the postseason, maybe Terrance could develop a little oblique strain. Nothing serious, mind you, but enough to rule out anything strenuous like leading fans in the wave. Nice to have these kinds of worries, eh? ;-)

Swami, I am with you, I don't want to give anyone up either, but Rizzo/Davey will figure it out.

mick said...

Hey gang... Morse streaks continues... I'm telling you if it hits the real the 40 range, forget the Strass talk, all talk will be on Morse's streak and MLB changing their call from the Phillies game. Lost of good stuff with this team!

NatsJack in Florida said...

It's obvious to me that Davey wants these guys exposed to the pressures of a playoff race earlier than later, IF he deems them healthy.

Joe Seamhead said...

As to Drew Storen, he seems to be squeezing the ball right now. By that I mean he is sometimes tense, and over throwing, but not every outing. He is still trying to get his confidence, or "command" back. I doubt that it's a physical issue, but after his poor outing Tuesday night Johnson said they he hoped that he hadn't left him out there for too many pitches, which I took to mean for enough bad pitches to hurt his now tender psyche. Davey probably feels that it's better him then anybody else to nurse Drew through the confidence battle.

Joe Seamhead said...

realdealnats, I think it was you back in June that said you thought a Lombo/Espy duo would play out just fine. You were right.

sjm308 said...

Good morning all!

Not much to add here. I am in the camp of thinking Desmond could have used maybe a week of re-hab but I am strongly in the camp of letting Davey & Rizzo handle things just like they want them. Davey obviously wants this and so be it, case closed.

We just played 16 days in a row with a double header in there as well. Since the All-Star break we have had ONE day off until today. That is 32 days of baseball in 33 days! I don't know how many of you have worked that many days without breaks but they have come through with flying colors. They now get 3 days off in the next 3 weeks, plus the majority of their games will be at home.

Besides the anticipation of playoffs, I can't wait to see what Davey/Rizzo do with the move to add Desmond. Will it be Moore? Will Itzturis develop a corn on his little toe? I am also eager for the call-ups. Totally different than last year but this is where Detwiler made this club was his performance at the end of the year. This year they are trying to show Davey/Rizzo they can handle the stress of the playoffs so I am expecting the play to remain strong and crisp.

So exciting!

Go Nats!! Go Playoffs!

Mr Baseball said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Next year we don't go after a CF, we move Desi to that position. With his arm and range we settle that problem and we have Espi at SS and Lombo at 2B next season.

sm13 said...

I too am glad to get Desi back. This team needs as much time as possible to have its playoff lineup on the field. Remember, hey have not had their A lineup on the field all season. We need to see how Jason fits in at leadoff and where Ian and Danny slide into the batting order. We also have the luxury of a seasoned Lombo to fill in at mutiple positions now that he has been bumped from the starting lineup.

These are the worries of contenders. Let's enjoy watching the way Rizzo and Davey sort this out.

NatsNut said...

Mick, who of us is upset about Strasburg's shutdown? =)

One of my biggest peeves is when the blow-hards say the fans are/should be outraged by the shutdown. Far as I know, we aren't and won't be.

NatsLady said...

Mike Morse's agent needs to get moving!

The Baseball Cube ‏@thebaseballcube
Active Batting Streaks: Mike Morse (22), Pierzynski (14) Ortiz (11) Jeter (10) Tulowitzki (10)

Brother Juniper said...

Nothin' but fun. In our streak of 35 games in 34 days, the Nats go 24-11.

sjm308 said...

Natsnut - I agree, I have seen NO outrage over SS, but admit it, haven't you at least quietly questioned whether its the correct choice? I am not talking about the blowhard ex-pitchers or Steven Smith type responses, but when I read a well thought out piece by Jayson Stark, it at least makes me wonder what the right call is. Again, its back to trusting Rizzo on this and it looks like even if Davey did want more innings, its just not happening. We all want what is best for Strasburg and our club but like Stark says in his article, no one will ever know who was right on this one. You just won't be able to prove it.

Go Nats!! Go Playoffs!

NatsNut said...

Also, (sorry if I'm kicking the bee's nest here) peric, who are these "more than a few online experts" who are saying this now? I'd really like links. Thanks.

Peric said, ..."And there will come a day when everyone will be "ragging" about Mr. Werth. And then I will get really tired of hearing it because its something I already knew, already said, that more than a few online experts are saying right now."

NatsNut said...

sjm,
Sure, I pay attention to, and consider, a well thought out argument about the shutdown, but no, I don't really wonder or doubt at all. One of the other peeves I have about the argument is the assumption that the team is riding on his back alone. And those of us *really* paying attention know that's not the case. The most I worry about is just Strasburg's *feelings* and how much it will SUCK for him to standby and watch, but I don't think it's the wrong decision.

Drew said...

I'm not worried about the chemistry. This club seems to get along well. Of course, everyone wants to play.

A couple of days ago, folks here fantasized about trading for King Felix. Either he's untouchable, or his price just went way up.

That said, Edwin Jackson could walk in the offseason. CMW will be gone and Meyer won't yet be ready. It's certainly plausible that Rizzo, dealing from strength, will try to trade for another controllable starter.

The Nats seem to have a logjam at first base (LaRoche, Morse, Moore, Marrero) at catcher (Suzuki, Flores, Solano, Leon) and in the outfield (Moore, Brown, Perez seeking ABs with Morse, Harper, Werth here and Goodwin climbing the ladder.)

Beyond the untouchables -- Meyer and Giolito -- the Nats have Purke, Karns, the returning Solis and two lefties in funks -- Rosenbaum and Ray.

There's a lot of talent here and a couple of guys will have to give way once Rendon and Goodwin are ready.

"Hey Billy, this is Mike again .."

sjm308 said...

Natsnut - you and I have the same thought about how difficult it will be for the young man himself. I am hoping he will grow from it and of course there will be disappointment but maybe we can turn that into joy as everyone pours champagne on each other in late October.

Do these other experts even see what Gio & Jordan have done? (not to mention, its a team game and our team is pretty damn good)

Go Nats!

Traveler8 said...

I think the reason why us long time fans are not riled up about Strasburg being shut down is that we already went through all the alternate scenarios (delay his starts, etc.) months ago. The hoi polloi is only doing that now.

Grandstander said...

He's scheduled to get at-bats against Chien-Ming Wang today in a simulated game

Hey, the Nats finally found a use for Chein-Ming Wang!

NatsNut said...

Traveler8, yes, we are WAY ahead of them.

One other thing related to the shutdown: since we beat 2005 in the latest we've been over .500, it's all been (rich, delicious) gravy to me. I'm becoming more and more sure about the playoffs, but let's just say I won't be (super) heartbroken if we don't go all the way this year. In fact, when it comes to THAT result, I'm already looking forward to next year. If we can come this far in the first year everyone is finally gelling as a team, look out. I will *expect* it next year I'm sure and I hope this time next year, I'll be grateful for the shutdown.

(feel free to bookmark this and throw it in my face if necessary) ;)

NatsLady said...

sjm, yes. I had a moment of doubt when someone discussed (or posted) statistics of how few teams make it back from a "magical" season--in any sport, not just baseball. We have been extraordinarily lucky with the health of our rotation, and that our injured players (except Ramos) all came back as good as ever. Bryce is in a slump, but really, everyone who came up from the minors has performed ABOVE expectations. How often does that happen?

I felt sad for athletes who never got that one ring, despite great careers. Adam LaRoche could be one of them, if he doesn't re-sign, I get that.

But there have been long runs of excellence, and not only the Yanks. Atlanta and Cincinnati come to mind. In the end, baseball is entertainment, and it's for the fans, the fans who are paying the bills.

Rizzo has built this team for the long run, giving the team the best chance to be competitive for years to come, and Strasburg the best chance for a healthy career that could bring him $144 million and the Hall of Fame. So I expect to be entertained well into my retirement...

Rizzo isn't doing anything different than he said he would do (see Kilgore on that). He is a man of his word, and you can see that from his draftings, signings, and trades. He's built a team based on developing talent--and character-- not flashy tools, not expensive quick fixes.

Which brings me to: If you think the Werth signing was a bad one, then why were Filly fans crying in their beer? No one cried when Soriano left. Yes, it may drag on the team in its latter years, so may also the Zimmerman signing. Every team has those. Ours came from so many losing years--and loyalty to the Face. But so far, you have say both signings are successes. Ooops, I think I wandered from the topic...

NatsLady said...

Bryce could use a day off, but he could also use some of those CMW at-bats. Low and outside, please.

mick said...

NatsNut said...
Mick, who of us is upset about Strasburg's shutdown? =)

One of my biggest peeves is when the blow-hards say the fans are/should be outraged by the shutdown. Far as I know, we aren't and won't be.

None of you, I stated national media, and morons like Stephen Smith. in fact, NI gets it. i wa snot saying anything negative about the posers here

NatsJack in Florida said...

sjm308... as one who follows the Tampa Bay Rays as a second team, I've watched their pitchers develope through their system in a methodical manner. David Price is the only pitcher to have been accelerated with his primary developement at the Major League level.

All others have been brought through their system accumulating a minimum of 450 innings and have approached 180 or better in their final minor league season of developement.

Stephen Strasburg, aside from coming off TJ surgery, has no where near the amount of professional innings to extend beyond the 160 - 180 mark safely.

There is not one iota of doubt that the Nats are handling him appropriately.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

A day off. What to do. What to do.

natsfan1a said...

I don't do armchair GM stuff, but because it had been discussed on here recently the thought did occur to me. The other thought that occurred to me was, dang, I wish we were facing the Rays again. :-)

A couple of days ago, folks here fantasized about trading for King Felix. Either he's untouchable, or his price just went way up.

sm13 said...

It's about time for the Braves to lose a few games. I guess we'll just have to take care of that ourselves next week, but a little help would be nice.

MicheleS said...

sm13...+1 on the Braves losing!

Santangelo for President 2012 said...

Scott Boras is going to be on Mike and Mike at 9:30 this morning. If anyone catches it would love to know what he says about the shutdown especially after Leo Mazzone was so outspoken yesterday.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

The color she wants to repaint the bathroom. The tides rising in Fuji. Which way the wind is blowing in Indonesia. The Redskins' backup backup backup long snapper. The Nationals' decision on their 25th man for two weeks until the rosters expand Sept. 1.

All issues I really don't have to care about at the present time.

Four and a-half game lead (maybe five after tonight, c'mon Jason Marquis) on Aug. 16.

Ain't life grand?

MicheleS said...

Boras is bringing it! I will try to post to link when it's up on the site.

baseballswami said...

Mick - I am appalled that there has been no attention paid to Cole's whining to interrupt a hit streak of a player on an opposing team in a division. If they all weren't so obsessed with another situation..... Lost in all the rarefied air up here in first place -- are we like 8 or 9 wins from our first winning season? That's what I thought our next step would be. Third place last year was a great step and we came within a whisker of a .500 or winning season. No baby steps this season it seems.Hate to count chickens before they hatch, you know, but this milestone does not seem to be a stretch.

Santangelo for President 2012 said...

Thanks MicheleS. I knew he was going to be good on there.

NatsFanChris said...

I'm sure Rizzo will make the right roster decision. IMO, he has each time this year. I don't expect to see DeRosa going anywhere though.

Desi had his BA up to .286 (correct me if I'm off a few points) despite the injury. Davy seems to have a great feel for hitters. If he thinks Dez is ready now, I trust him.

NatsLady said...

A guy on Hardball Talk (Fish fan, really funny guy), said a while back he's not worried about the Nats winning it all, he's worried about the drinking problem Stras will develop when he sees someone else holding up the WS MVP trophy.

So--there's always AA, right?

mick, I'm a-tweeting out there Morse every chance I get. What Torre doesn't seem to realize is that for every winner there's a loser--why should Hamel's improve his ERA at Morse's expense? Or pick some other guy to hang the error on; if I recall there was another, more egregious misplay in that inning.

MicheleS said...

FP For Pres:

Boras brought up the Steve Avery and the issues with his career.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

If anyone can link the Boras interview, much appreciated.

MicheleS said...

Ghost.. just waiting on ESPN. As soon as I see it, I will link

A DC Wonk said...

Sure, I pay attention to, and consider, a well thought out argument about the shutdown, but no, I don't really wonder or doubt at all.

+1 on that. The following was an interesting comment:

I had a moment of doubt when someone discussed (or posted) statistics of how few teams make it back from a "magical" season--in any sport

Yes, but: this team has a very solid foundation. That the talent was so obvious is what led Davey to say "they should fire me if we don't make the playoffs."

Strasburg & JZ are not having magical years -- they are having years that we thought they might have. Gio is pitching better than previously -- but remember, he was already an All Star before he came to us, and he has changed his approach (to be more aggressive).

We have been extraordinarily lucky with the health of our rotation

Perhaps. But we did lose our top closer. And, this is key I think: in any even, our good luck with pitching was offset by bad luck with the rest of our lineup -- as Mark noted above: losing Morse for a while, then Werth. Zim for a short while. Ramos for the season. Etc.

So, here's a though experiment (I'm not predicting -- just a hypothetical): imagine next year our pitching is marginally worse, but we have Werth, Morse and Ramos all year, and we have Espi not flirting with Mendoza for the first two months; and we expect Harper to be magnitudes better.

We have one of the youngest teams in all of baseball to go with the best record in all of baseball!!

And if anyone falters, we have Moore, Corey Brown, and Rendon waiting in the wings.

My point is that if you look objectively -- this team looks a whole lot more like those early Braves teams that dominated the division for a decade, than those flash-in-the-pan magical teams.

Yes, it's sad that Ernie Banks never made the WS. But in these days, *five* teams make the post-season from each league, not one.

Without any kool-aide, this team really, seriously, looks like a team that ought to be able to finish in the top five in the NL a couple of times over the next five years. Really.

And you know what will help? Having Strasburg be able to go a whole season in 2013, 2014, and beyond.

So, no, I have no doubt at all. Not one iota. We withstood the loss of other players. We have a great pitching staff even without Stras. The playoffs are a total crap-shoot anyway (note how many wild card teams have won the WS, or come close, recently).

I want to _increase_ the odds that Stras (who, frankly, comes across as a tiny bit fragile from time to time) has a Hall of Fame *decade* (and more) with us.

MicheleS said...

Wow fast. Here it is

Boras Interview

A DC Wonk said...

MicheleS said...

Boras is bringing it


Details, please!!

MicheleS said...

Oh.. and just saw that Tommy John will be on the Herd at 10:30 am.

Can you tell I am bored?

MicheleS said...

Wonk.. see the link I posted to ESPN interview. It's about 10 minutes long

smurff said...

In a nutshell, Boras cited the high innings load that Steve Avery pitched in his first few years in the league (~790 vice ~500 for Smoltz and ~400 for Maddux) as a prime contributor to his early demise. Says that Strasburg wants to keep pitching, but will heed advice of mgmt and his doctors. Reiterated that the Nats are going off of medical advice. Didn't outright say whether he agreed with the Nats or not. Proof again that he's a lawyer....

Doc said...

I too am totally disgusted that the feeble baseball FO called the Commissioner's Office listened to the whining Philthies, and took away The Beast's hit streak.

So Jimmy Rollins gets an error--how does he feel? He must be the low man on the Philthies loosers' pecking order.


These are the same clowns that let an admitted blown call by an ump ruin a perfect game.

Yo Torre, get real job!!!!

A DC Wonk said...

OK, thanks, I just listened to it. Boras was great.

He made a good point:

1. When there's a problem, everyone tries to get expert medical advice.

2. After the surgery, why do so many then ignore the medical advice.

Boras also made a point that I've been trying to make (and/or a point I keep bringing to rebut those stupid talking heads who keep saying "why don't you just monitor Stras and see how he pitches?") -- that Stras (and, as Michele noted, this happened with Steve Avery) could pitch great all season, and pitch great all the way through the playoffs . . . and the trouble might not show up until two years later.

baseballswami said...

Ok - my entire opinion of Scott Boras has now changed. He- was- awesome!!! He addressed every point logically and clearly ( attorney), and kept stressing that this was an issue even with healthy players who had not had surgery. It sounds like even when Stephen got drafted there were discussions about building up innings. Can we just disseminate this out to all the blow-hard morons that have been running their mouths? Boras really zinged the former players, etc that think they know medical stuff. He obviously thought out what he wanted to say and it was quite effective. Thanks, Scott. That Nats- Boras relationship just got a little bit tighter.

mick said...

Wonk and swami: THANK YOU! I missed it but I am glad to hear that Boras was great!

mick said...

and thank you too Michele

Santangelo for President 2012 said...

Thanks for the link Michele and thanks to everyone else for the updates on the interview. Mazzone just rubbed me the wrong way yesterday. It's easy to be a pitching guru when you have three future hall of famers in your roation. I wish Mike and Mike would have brought up Avery yesterday. He was the first person I thought about hearing Mazzone talk. Mazzone sure didn't work his magic in Baltimore and I don't think anyone has taken a chance on him since he was fired in 2007. Just another so called expert I guess.

pRAA with the ISO said...

a point I keep bringing to rebut those stupid talking heads who keep saying "why don't you just monitor Stras and see how he pitches?"

The only rebuttal you need for that is this: That is exactly what Rizzo is doing. He doesn't have an innings limit for Strasburg. Not only has he never announced one, he has repeatedly said there is no specific number of innings. Not even a range. What Rizzo has said, from day one, is that they are monitoring Strasburg's pitching and when the time comes they will shut him down. Rizzo has never said what the specific criteria are, but then again why should he? It's a complex decision. There are undoubtedly multiple things they're monitoring. Even the doctors - all of whom advocate shutting him down - can't agree on how to know when to do it. So Rizzo has to gather all that input, process it, and make a decision. That's his job. Like the President, he's the ultimate decider. As for whether or not his decision is the right one, only history will tell. And even then, we may never really know. Only the wrong decisions are guaranteed to show up in hindsight.

Section 222 said...

Always fun to read the comments the morning after a great win. In addition to smart, informed thoughts on a variety of Nats related comments, peric appears to be still asleep. And NatsNut has joined in this morning with a vengeance, which is always a pleasure.

I am so looking forward to this homestand. The reception at Nats Park for these guys, returning from an absolutely outstanding roadtrip, is going to be amazing. And we have a chance to stop the Braves' great August run right in its tracks. (By the way, the Braves are 9-4 in August. The Nats are 12-3. The Braves have lost 2 games in the standings this month. Incredible.)

I'm sure the team recognizes just how big the Braves series is. Hopefully the weekend with the Mets won't be too taxing on the bullpen because I want them to be rested and ready to shut down the Braves in the late innings like no one's business.

I'm not at all concerned about the return of Desmond messing with the team's chemistry. He helps create that chemistry and he seems to be a great calming influence on the pitchers too. I am concerned, however, about whether he's really ready to just jump back in the lineup. So here's a question for the rulebook experts: if Davey decides he made a mistake by not giving Desi a week or two of rehab in the minors, can he do that after Desi has played a few games in the bigs. Or can you only go to a rehab assignment after being in the 15 day DL before returning to the 25 man roster? I fear it's the latter, but if anyone actually knows the answer I'd be interested in hearing it.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Thanks Michelle. Terrific interview. Just for the heck of it I looked up the stats on King Felix. By the age of 23, he had already pitched over 900 innings for the Mariners. It does not yet seem to have affected him, and he is now over 1500 innings, and counting.

Nevertheless, I would not want to bet the farm system to bring him into the Nats fold. Some guys do have rubber arms, like Walter Johnson did, but the odds are against making such a franchise bet on a guy who has been used so much in so little time, and at such an early age.

A DC Wonk said...

Nats Playoffs Chances

(From Kilgore this morning)

If the Nationals finish out the string at .500, the Braves would have to play .600 ball AND either the Cardinals or the Pirates would have to finish at least 31-14 to put the Nats on the outside looking in.

Say the Nationals bomb out and go 18-26 down the stretch. The Braves would still have to go 23-22. Atlanta would probably pass them, but they would still win 91 games. Either the Pirates or Cardinals would still have to finish 27-18 to catch them.


Nats are *nine* games ahead of the last wild card spot, and just 44 games left to play.

A DC Wonk said...

pRAA wrote, on the subject of monitoring Rizzo:

That is exactly what Rizzo is doing. He doesn't have an innings limit for Strasburg. Not only has he never announced one, he has repeatedly said there is no specific number of innings. Not even a range. What Rizzo has said, from day one, is that they are monitoring Strasburg's pitching and when the time comes they will shut him down.

I know Rizzo said that, and I flat out don't believe him. No way. Impossible.

Why?

Suppose Stras is up to 160 innings, then starts one more time, and throws 6 shut out innings and looks strong. And then they decide "well, one more" and he does it again. And again?

Sure, they're monitoring him. And if he's losing it, they will shut him down. But if he's pitching "lights out", they will still shut him down. As they should. That's the part that the stupid-talking-heads don't get. And from now on, I'm going to keep saying, and end these thoughts with: "See: Avery, Steve." (Although I'm sure there are easily 5-10 more examples over the past 20 years).

CN said...

Comak reports that CMW's now scheduled to pitch for Harrisburg tonight, so there's now a mystery pitcher for Des's simulated game

Comak Story

pRAA with the ISO said...

In order to do a rehab assignment, a player has to be on the DL. The minimum DL stint is 15 days, counted from the last game the player appeared in. This is why it doesn't make sense for them to get rid of Izturis, because the time they need him for insurance is now, until they know that Desi is back for good. So DFAing Izturis is the last thing they want to do to make room for Desi. Even coming up with a bogus injury to stash Izturis on the DL makes no sense, because then he's unavailable for at least 15 days, and you can't get him back if Desi falters during that timeframe. But if they option someone down to make room for Desi, the normal 10-day waiting period before they could bring him back is waived if it's an injury replacement. So if the worst-case situation occurs and Desi needs to go right back on the DL, they're screwed if they got rid of Izturis. But if they sent Moore or Lombo down, they can bring him right back on the next plane.

Drew said...

Wow. Boras vouches for Rizzo's reasoning and underscores that he is putting Strasburg's health first.

Great stuff. What a testament to Rizzo and to the Lerners' classy franchise.

Thanks, MicheleS.

Grandstander said...

Did anyone else do some reading between the lines on the Boras interview and think that he actually had quite a large role to play in the decision to shut Strasburg down?

The way he was saying things made it seem like he basically threatened Rizzo into making sure Stras stayed on a limit because he wanted a "reputation of protecting young ballplayers".

Maybe I'm just reading too much into it, but just the phrasing he used seemed so deliberate when he was being asked about his involvement in the decision.

MicheleS said...

Oh, by the way. Tommy John just said that Nats fans should not by tickets to next season b/c of the Stras Shutdown and not going for it this season.

Geesh!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Boras = Assistant Nats GM

Section 222 said...

Thanks pRAA, good info. We'll see what they do on Lombo/TyMo/Izturis. No need to repeat that discussion here.

My view is that the "no specific innings limit" is basically a way for Rizzo to let Stras complete a 6 or 7 inning start, rather than forcing Davey to pull him after 4 innings because he's reached 160 or 165 or 170 or whatever the target limit is. Remember, JZnn pitched 161 1/3 innings, not 160. But they wouldn't even bring him back for an innning in relief to let him qualify for the league leader boards.

Ron In Reston said...

A couple of things...

Of course Boras is going to support Rizzo's decision. Strasburg pitching for another 10-15 years makes Boras a LOT of money. Stras pitching thru potential playoffs and WS this season and then ending his career in 3-5 years (see Avery, Steve) makes Boras a lot less money. FWIW I completely agree with the shutdown, it's absolutely the right thing to do.

Also, Davey said he had a plan for when Desi came back, but wouldn't elaborate on it and seemed to be quite secretive with a "y'all ain't gonna believe this move" kinda feel to it. My bizarre thought:

To keep Lombo's ridiculously hot bat in the lineup, he sits Harper. Lombo to left, Morse to right, Werth to center for probably a week or so. Harper can come in to spell Werth in center late or once a week or so. You play the hot hand and right now Harper is wearing batting gloves of ice while Lombo needs oven mitts to hold his bat.

Of course I could be completely wrong about this, but it seems Harper is doing what a 19-yo Mike Trout did last year....and look what he's doing THIS year.

As far as the roster move for Desi, I think either DeRosa gets DFA'd or Moore goes down so he can get consistent ABs until September callups.

A DC Wonk said...

As noted in prior threads, Tommy John was in his 30's when he had his surgery.

*Plus* -- this has almost nothing to do with TJ surgery. As all the stat-heads and medical experts keep saying, as Verducci keeps saying, as Boras just said -- this has to do with too many innings prior to age 25, even if there hadn't been any surgery!

Section 222 said...

Tommy John just said that Nats fans should not by tickets to next season b/c of the Stras Shutdown and not going for it this season.

Darn, I already renewed and can't get out of it. My ticket group would kill me!

I think TJ should protest the Nats' decision by not commenting anymore on the Nats' decision.

MicheleS said...

Boras will be on 106.7 at 12:15

sjm308 said...

Grandstander - No, I did not get the same thoughts as you. I listened to it live and then again thanks to MichelleS - I see no "threatening" language in there at all - SS is his client and of course the longer he pitches, the more money Boras makes so he is an investment to Boras, a player to his team and fans but no threats. That is just silly to think Boras would be threatening someone he needs to work with for years to come. Plus Boras works for Steven, not the other way around. Give it a rest. This is Rizzo's decision.

One thing that did rankle me a bit was right after Boras did a terrific job of making Malzone look like a fool Golic acted like he did not listen to one word and started rolling out stats on pitchers that were 1. older or 2. never injured. All the radio show guys want to do is create controversy and they won't let this die until Rizzo pulls the plug.

Mick is right, at least our group here is united.

Natslady - wonderful post at 9:06 thank you.

Go Nats!! Go Playoff!!

LoveDaNats said...

I have nothing positive to add. Just agree with most of you and honored to be part of the NI "collective".

A DC Wonk said...

Nats Stats

Nats now as high as 5th in BA (in NL) and 6th in runs scored.

Nats lead NL in ERA, runs allowed, WHIP, 2nd in K's, 3rd fewest HR's.

And on top of all that:

Nats have the double-barrelled honor of the team with the best record in baseball, as well as the youngest team in baseball (well, kinda tied with KC Royals on youngest).

NatsLady said...

Laddie, of course. I think Rizzo and co. are going by percentages. There are always outliers. King Felix is a HUGE outlier.

I would love to see Stras pitch a no-no/perfect game when he's 28 or 29, even if it was for another team. We've lived and breathed with this guy for years--stayed up til midnight for the signing, watched video of every minor-league game, re-watched the debut a hundred times (only a hundred?), laughed at Miss Iowa, sweated with him in his Florida rehab, etc. etc.

Faraz Shaikh said...

i think Royals will only get younger next season, which they should.

NatsJack in Florida said...

King Felix has been pitching professionally since the age of 16. Strasburg since the age of 22.

NatsLady said...

Good point, NJ. Also Boras made the point that Stras was drafted a "year earlier" than he should have been, and that his talent ensured he would reach the majors quickly--before his body caught up; he mentioned his leg strength in particular. If KF was pitching professionally since 16, he probably developed that kind of leg strength early on--just guessing.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Yes, NatsLady....it's all about developement till the age of 24 or 25.

NatsLady said...

Here is an enjoyable article from a different perspective. I almost didn't click on it...

shutdown

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/steve_rushin/08/15/stephen-strasburg/index.html

A DC Wonk said...

The key -- according to Verducci and many others -- is, actually *not* (solely) how many innings you pitch before age 25 (despite the fact that's exactly what I wrote above, but I was trying to simplify), it's also how fast you ramp up

Including minor leagues:

Felix, at 18 pitched 149
Felix, 19, 170
Felix, 20, 191
Felix, 21, 190
Felix, 22, 200

etc.

Compare to Steve Avery:

Avery, 19, 171
Avery, 20, 182
Avery, 21, 240
Avery, 22, 253
Avery, 23, 239
Avery, 24, damaged goods

Was the number of innings the main difference here?

I dunno. Perhaps 200 is OK if you build up to it at a young age, but 240-250 with a couple extra weeks (post-season) is way too much? I dunno.

And, of course, each pitcher is different. The exact same plan for one pitcher might not work for another.

NatsLady said...

From Kilgore--

Follow @JamesWagnerWP this week for Nats news. I will be far off the grid, getting married at home in Maine. She's 80s across the board.

What--these guys have lives? Don't they know we are in the middle of a pennant race and a Controversy? :)

Send your congrats, I did!

peric said...

Also, (sorry if I'm kicking the bee's nest here) peric, who are these "more than a few online experts" who are saying this now? I'd really like links. Thanks.

Its not worth the trouble but it would start with Keith Law and you'd have to have a subscription. Law's basic analysis? The Nats have paid 126 million but do not have a 126 million dollar outfielder. Money poorly spent. And he isn't the only one. Posnaski, Passan ...

The thinking behind breaking up the payments and paying Werth that way was that he would be a run producer in the heart of the lineup. That hasn't happened last year nor this year. In fact Werth has only played in 190 games over these first two years which should be his prime years.

He was projected to hit between 26 and 30 doubles this year with between 22 and 25 homers. Keep in mind, this is the end of most players' prime at age 33. In his last year with the Phillies he had 46 doubles and 27 home runs and a .388 OBP.

He hasn't and will never come close to producing the way he did in 2010. So, one can easily see why these pundits would say that and they are right!

Right now Roger Bernadina is producing and fielding better than Jayson Werth. See the headline above and substitute the Shark and Werth and you could pretty much use the same wording.

In a normal world that would be fine and dandy. But purportedly this organization has been built for the long haul thus the reason Strasburg gets shutdown. Its not a one-and-done deal they plan on showing up for the playoffs and world series perennially. I don't see Jayson Werth at age 34 to 38 contributing as much as some of the younger players they are developing except as a bench bat, late defensive replacement and mentor. But, will the Lerners spend on say, a King Felix, after seeing what they ended up with in Werth? That's the biggest fear.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Great article, NatsLady. Especially liked the Beach Boys" reference at the end.

UNTERP said...

I haven't posted here in nearly three months and have only begun revisiting the site about three weeks ago. Most of you have continued very thought out and insightful comments which have been both thoroughly educating and entertaining to me. My main point is that it is quite fascinating that most (not all), but with most Nationals fans and the Nationals organization have arrived at a consensus of shutting down Stephen Strasburg as the right thing to do and that other baseball fans who are not Nationals fans and baseball pundits that shutting Stephen as a hasty shortsighted decision to say the least.

What is interesting about the two thoughts of opinion is the compassion one side has as opposed to the passion the other side has. Not that I speak for anyone other than myself, but I believe that a precedent is being set here with the Washington Nationals that I don't recall ever witnessing before specifically in professional sports and maybe not at any level, and that is in putting the athlete first before winning at all cost. What is unique about all of this is the almost collective conscious the Nationals fans in concurring with management’s decision. No one is saying it, and maybe I shouldn't either, and not that we do not want to win as much as any fan base does in any sport in any town, and quite frankly, it might be possible that we might want to win more than anyone in any sport in any town. This is the truth, not only do we expect to win the World Series without Stephen Strasburg in 2012; we expect to win the World Series in 2013, 2014, 2015, etc., with Stephen Strasburg. We want to win at all cost just like anyone else does, just not the way that anyone else would.

Good Day...

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"laughed at Miss Iowa"

LOL. That was my first game to see SS pitch, and we watched him warm up in RF before the game, as usual. We had a WTH moment when Miguel Batista took the mound. As luck would have it, Miguel pitched about as well as SS did, at his best. That must have been Batista's career game. Last I heard, even the Mets BP was too good for him.

Funny game.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Good to see you Unterp. And great post.

NatsLady said...

not a KLaw fan, peric, so I wouldn't subscribe. However, I appreciate your arguments. I'm not sure Bernadina is "fielding better" than Werth right now. If he were, he'd be in there on a daily basis, and Davey would let him play RF, which he never does, RF being the trickiest of the three positions. Not the one you need the most athleticism for, but the one you need the most smarts for.

Also, I don't know if you noticed, but Bernie wasn't exactly hustling out of the box to first base--so he's either tired or injured, or he's Bernie, the Bernie who forgets how many outs there are, misses the squeeze signal, and takes at least one bad route for every good one.

Santangelo for President 2012 said...

Michele if you have time and could post the highlights of what Boras has to say on 106.7 for those of us stuck at work that would be great.

pRAA with the ISO said...

Remember, JZnn pitched 161 1/3 innings, not 160. But they wouldn't even bring him back for an innning in relief to let him qualify for the league leader boards.

Never understood why people got all worked up over this. Not like Zimmermann was close to the top in any of the categories. Who really cares that he never got the chance to be tenth in the league in ERA? I'm sure he doesn't.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"Was the number of innings the main difference here?"

More likely, it's genetics and/or pitching mechanics, and you can't re-engineer a guy's genetic makeup. Walter Johnson, a power pitcher if there ever was one, put both Felix and Avery to shame:

age 19 - 110 IP
20 - 256
21 - 296
22 - 370
23 - 322

And at age 38, he still pitched 260 innings. I don't even want to look up Rapid Robert Feller, who started his ML career at the tender age of 17. I still think Rizzo is making the right decision for SS, and I would not make the trade for Felix.

Rizzo is a risk/reward guy, IMO, and so am I. The risk is too great to give up what the Mariners would want for Felix.

NatsLady said...

Laddie, I was at that game, too, my first opportunity to see Stras pitch. There was no announcement--at first we thought Batista&crew were joking with the fans. And then Batista threw the first pitch, and everyone is looking at their neighbor and asking, "what happened?" No internet (as usual with the big crowd) and so I went out to the TV monitors and finally got the story.

Lot of people there only to see Stras, so they wandered the concourses on a lovely evening while Batista pitched a good game. Very strange.

MicheleS said...

I would concur on NatsLady's opinion of Keith Law. Up until recently (and i mean only in the last few months), his opinion of the Nats has been derogatory to say the least.

And Pres2012, will post when I can. And Sadly, I am stuck at work too, just waiting on 50 other people to get stuff done before I can work.)

peric said...

I'm not sure Bernadina is "fielding better" than Werth right now. If he were, he'd be in there on a daily basis, and Davey would let him play RF,

Werth now has a bum ankle, as it is FP Santangelo painfully pointed out Werth's inability to get to a ball in the corner and then slide properly?

That's completely ludicrous Natslady of course Bernadina is the better fielder and next year at age 34 the difference will be even more Stark. Right now Werth's best value is as a part-time player where his recent spate of injuries could be minimized. He is another Mark DeRosa in the offing.

UnkyD said...

Welcome back, UNTERP!!

sm13 said...

Sounds like Boras' comments dovetail with the conversation Rizzo had with Sttas' father, per Boswell. Rizzo promised he would protect the kid and that is what he's doing.

peric said...

pRAA with the ISO said...

That's yet another clown post bro' when are you going to stop eroding your credibility with this ridiculous meme act.

NatsLady said...

If Davey needs to rest Werth, which he probably does, why doesn't he play Morse-Bryce-Bernie? Very simple, he doesn't trust Bernie in RF. I wouldn't either. He trusts even Morse over Bernie in RF, and that tells you a lot.

P.S., my opinion of Morse's fielding is going up--a little. Maybe because he's feeling better, maybe because he's getting more experience there. Bernie is still Bernie after all these years. I'm glad he's on our team, he's young, athletic, and a real tryer. He's been productive.

But if I could trade Werth and all his salary tomorrow and make Bernie the 3rd (regular) outfielder, I wouldn't do it--and that's setting aside offense/baserunning/leadership, etc.

It's true that in a couple of years Werth's body may wear out on him. But he takes pretty d*** good care of it and he plans to play a long time. He said so.

sm13 said...

I guess if Tommy John and Joe Madden prevail , we'll have no fans and no players coming to Nats Park.

I'm not worried!

NatsLady said...

Please, please don't bring up the 160 innings and Z'nn. #NotDoingThisAgain

peric said...

*Plus* -- this has almost nothing to do with TJ surgery. As all the stat-heads and medical experts keep saying, as Verducci keeps saying, as Boras just said -- this has to do with too many innings prior to age 25, even if there hadn't been any surgery!

OR closer to their teen age years ... which is the range on which all large sample size studies have been done. The closer to the teen aged years the more accurate those studies would be. At this point anything beyond 3 standard deviations from the mean would be an outlier. And age wise Tommy John and Jamie Moyer would be outliers.

The real fear is shoulder problems which do not even come close to having the kind of success TJ surgeries have. These are known to develop if the number of innings is great in younger pitchers.

pRAA with the ISO said...

MicheleS said...
Boras will be on 106.7 at 12:15


Too bad he's not on later. Hearing Lavar trying to interview him would be pure comedy gold.

NatsLady said...

sm13--LOL. I haven't forgotten either. Would love to see that team again, like our chances.

peric said...

It's true that in a couple of years Werth's body may wear out on him. But he takes pretty d*** good care of it and he plans to play a long time. He said so.

Two wrist surgeries to the same wrist? I really doubt it. Aren't you still a big proponent of Chien-Ming Wang? How did that surgery work out on a guy well past 30 now? Hate to say it Natslady but I fear you will be wrong about Jayson Werth. He has also said that he wouldn't mind being a bench player later in his career.

BIGNAT33 said...

I guess Izturis is gone when Desmond returns? As hot as they are, you can't bench Lombardozzi or Espinosa. Hate to say it, but maybe Bryce rides the bench more and Lombo sees more time in the outfield? This is sure a great problem to have - potentially spare outfielders like Harper, Bernadina and Moore?

And all the talk about shutting down Stras - It's going to happen, so why keep questioning it? Sure, we'd love to have him for the playoffs, but you have to think long term. I am with Rizzo on this one. I'm counting on the beginning of a Nats Dynasty!

peric said...

P.S., my opinion of Morse's fielding is going up--a little. Maybe because he's feeling better,

It is because his back and ham string appear to be getting better. Davey has made it point to rest him regularly. He has played the outfield for Seattle before he ran into a wall and had to have shoulder surgery at the beginning of 2008.

peric said...

I guess Izturis is gone when Desmond returns? As hot as they are, you can't bench Lombardozzi or Espinosa. Hate to say it, but maybe Bryce rides the bench more and Lombo sees more time in the outfield?

I am hoping they DL Bryce for 15 days and bring him back for the September stretch run. He needs a rest to regain some perspective. To get his mojo back.

NatsLady said...

Well, I don't think breaking his wrist on a play was the result of Werth not taking care of his body. Bottom line, if Werth said that about being a bench player, good for him. It's what he should say, and that leaves it up to whoever is managing at the time. Not going to worry about it now, putting that worry along my interest in the future color of Sunshine's bathroom.

Yes, I was a big proponent of CMW. I may have fallen victim to the "I-was-there-and-I-saw-him-pitch-a-great-game-so-therefore-he-must-be-a-great-pitcher" syndrome. Sometimes you have to revise your opinion--and I have the Nyjer Morgan tee to remind me of that!

Still, I hope CMW can make a comeback, even if it isn't with this team. I think he's a talented, hard-working guy who's been through a lot of adversity on and off the field.

NatsLady said...

They are not sending Bryce down and they are not DFA'ing Izturis or finding an injury to put him on the DL. They'll send Moore down to get regular at-bats and work on his fielding (though he may not need to field much in September). It's only two weeks and we are not that much in need of Moore's bat--and we certainly don't need his fielding.

peric said...

Well, I don't think breaking his wrist on a play was the result of Werth not taking care of his body.

It doesn't matter if injuries start to pile up. And that's the point with older players and Werth is definitely an older player. With the Phillies he averaged well over 600 AB's injury free for 3 years. With the Nats? That isn't going to happen.

peric said...

Still, I hope CMW can make a comeback, even if it isn't with this team. I think he's a talented, hard-working guy who's been through a lot of adversity on and off the field.

He needed to do what Tommy John did and this to learn a different style of pitching. He still relies on the 94 mph power sinker and he can no longer produce or command that consistently as he once was able to do. He's still a one trick pony. That was not a smart move.

pRAA with the ISO said...

The injuries I'm getting from banging my head on the wall every time I read one of peric's posts are starting to pile up.

peric said...

They are not sending Bryce down and they are not DFA'ing Izturis or finding an injury to put him on the DL.

I firmly believe Bryce Harper still needs the rest he was going to get at the All Star break. A rest that Davey STRONGLY felt he needed. Tyler Moore isn't going to get anything from 12 or 13 days in AAA. It makes no sense to drop Iszturis when they are about to "experiment" with Desmond.

But Bryce definitely needs a rest to regain perspective and his mojo. You can see it in his interviews.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"Also, I don't know if you noticed, but Bernie wasn't exactly hustling out of the box to first base--so he's either tired or injured, or he's Bernie, the Bernie who forgets how many outs there are, misses the squeeze signal, and takes at least one bad route for every good one."

I've noticed, and I think Davey has, too. You have to take the bad with the good with Bernie. Davey has used him very well this year, and Bernie seems content to be a kind of super sub. If there was something like a 6th man award, as there is in basketball, Bernie would win the Nats version, hands down. But I would not want to see him out there every day.

Just one vignette about Bernie. The Nats were playing out west last year, Arizona, I think, and JZ (lucky JZ) was on the mound, cruising. There were 2 outs and the batter hit a high fly ball to right center. Bernie was in CF and Werth was in RF. Bernie got within 10' of where the ball landed and looked at Werth.

It was Bernie's ball so Werth looked to Bernie to catch it. Bernie did not move a muscle until the ball landed. For the only time I can remember, JZ expressed his consternation, raising both hands up to his shoulders and then dropping them back down as if to say "WTF." The runner was credited with a double, later scored (an "earned" run), and JZ ended up with one of those undeserved losses that seem to be his fate, so far.

Really, I think Bernie has ADD. He seems to lose track of the game, the situation, the count, the number of outs, misses signs, makes bad reads, takes bad routes, and turns many routine plays into hits for the bad guys, or attempts needlessly spectacular diving catches to redeem a bad situation that he just created, all on his own. I am sure Bernie is doing his best, but his head sometimes seems to be in Never-Never Land.

It may be that he concentrates better when he is put into a critical game situation as a PH, where his attention span does not have to exceed a single AB. Where he so often fails to perform is in the routine situations when he makes you wonder WTH is he doing, or thinking.

peric said...

pRAA with the ISO said...
The injuries I'm getting from banging my head on the wall every time I read one of peric's posts are starting to pile up.


That's two emails to Mark sent my meme. They are starting to pile up.

peric said...

I still think I would risk Bernadina over Werth and his bad ankle right now. He almost gave up a double to the "hamstrung" Panda. Plus his bat is hot. And now it has come out that Werth hates playing CF. And he has some "ADD" plays in that position. He definitely prefers his home in right.

But, I wouldn't be surprised to see a trade involving Roger next season as he has done enough to raise his value in the minds of some GM's perhaps? Whereas Corey Brown has yet to play in the majors. He is a far better fielder in the outfield than anyone on the club so he makes sense as the next left-handed 4th outfielder.

pRAA with the ISO said...

Really, I think Bernie has ADD. He seems to lose track of the game, the situation, the count, the number of outs, misses signs, makes bad reads, takes bad routes, and turns many routine plays into hits for the bad guys, or attempts needlessly spectacular diving catches to redeem a bad situation that he just created, all on his own. I am sure Bernie is doing his best, but his head sometimes seems to be in Never-Never Land.

Which raises a question. Has anyone ever seen Bernie and Teddy together?

NatsLady said...

peric, seriously, get past it. Mark isn't going to ban the guy--apparently the guy can't or won't change his handle. Just be tough, I know you can do it.

Now, in regard to Bryce. Yes, he probably does need R&R and a longer mental break than a game or two. The problem is, he needs to play the whole season--tired, bruised and in a slump. Because being tired, bruised and in a slump is what it's like in a six-month long major league season. (Hopefully, seven months long). You can't put him on the DL or send him down for two weeks because he's tired, bruised and in a slump. Gotta live with it, just like we lived through Espy's slump because that's what you do with your stars.

NatsLady said...

You are right in that, peric, the bad ankle makes it closer between Bernie and Werth than it should be. Hopefully it is just a "spring training" thing that Werth has dealt with for years.

Section 222 said...

Someone wake me up when this blog contains something other than a back and forth between peric and NL about a topic that's been hashed and rehashed into oblivion already. If you insist on doing this guys, at least change the subject.

Thankfully there's a new post.

peric said...

peric, seriously, get past it. Mark isn't going to ban the guy--apparently the guy can't or won't change his handle. Just be tough, I know you can do it.

Natslady, Mark himself is the one who (somewhat cryptically) asked me to email him ... by making the point of saying ANYONE in all caps. So, let's see what he does. I'm really not expecting Mark to do anything about it at all. I just want to make the point that this person is not some simile I created ... as NatsJack seemed to imply.

pRAA with the ISO said...

Who was it that created the monster, then, if not you?

NatsLady said...

Laddie, I think you may have put your finger on something there, with regard to Bernie's "attention span." Here is something out of my own experience.

When you are in the performing arts, there are a lot of rehearsals. In rehearsal, a great deal of time is spent on people who are not you, but when your time comes, you have to be totally focused and ready--otherwise you are wasting the other 500 people's time (and the owners' $$) while the director wakes you up...Won't keep your job very long or get another one.

You can't read, talk on the phone or a dozen other things to pass the time, because you are in position (sometimes even in costume). You have to be very quiet for a long time, but you can't daydream. It must be like that in the outfield, a special skill.

A friend of mine (a psychologist) came to rehearsal once and was bonkers after 10 minutes--how can you stand it, she asked? I was too polite to ask how she could stand her job, listening to people feel sorry for themselves hour after hour...

NatsNut said...

Sorry. Today's version was my fault.

pRAA with the ISO said...Who was it that created the monster, then, if not you?

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

Apologies to Section 222 for weighing in on this topic, but . . .

peric, as I understand it, Werth's wrist surgery in 2012 didn't involve ligament repair, just setting the bone, which isn't uncommon for wrist breaks. No reason why a broken bone shouldn't heal completely. And in spite of an injured ankle, he managed to make a couple of really good plays on balls off the right field wall in SF to keep the game close on Tuesday night. I think the rumors of his decline are premature.

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