Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Position analysis: Outfield

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper enjoyed one of the best big-league seasons ever by a teenager.
As we transition into offseason mode, we'll start by breaking down the Nationals' roster by position (infield, outfield, catcher, rotation and bullpen) this week and examine where things stand at season's end and where things might stand moving forward. Today's position: Outfield...

OF JAYSON WERTH
Stats: 81 G, 344 PA, 5 HR, 31 RBI, .300 AVG, .387 OBP, .440 SLG
1 E, -12.6 UZR, 1.0 WAR
2012 salary: $13 million
Contract status: $16 million in 2013, $20 million in 2014, $21 million in 2015, $21 million in 2016, $21 million in 2017, free agent in 2018
Where he fits in: After a frustrating debut season and after missing three months this season with a broken wrist, Werth finally got to enjoy playing in D.C. (and D.C. finally got to enjoy watching Werth play). The biggest key to his success: Embracing the leadoff role and becoming a potent force atop the lineup. The question now is whether he'll be back in that role next year or whether the Nationals want to add a more traditional No. 1 hitter. Given his skill-set and the makeup of the rest of the projected lineup, it probably makes sense for Werth to stay right where he is in 2013.

OF BRYCE HARPER
Stats: 139 G, 597 PA, 22 HR, 59 RBI, .270 AVG, .340 OBP, .477 SLG
7 E, 9.9 UZR, 4.9 WAR
2012 salary: $1.75 million
Contract status: $2 million in 2013, $2.15 million in 2014, $2.25 million in 2015, arbitration-eligible in 2016, free agent in 2019
Where he fits in: Harper burst onto the scene only three weeks into the season with expectations sky-high. He might very well have exceeded them by season's end, finishing strong to produce the second-most homers, the second-most stolen bases, the third-highest OPS and the most total bases ever by a teenager in the big leagues. Now the scary part: Harper is likely to improve by leaps and bounds next season. History has almost universally shown major leaguers who debuted at 19 really take off at 20 (which, FYI, he turns today). There's no reason to believe Harper won't follow that longstanding trend.

OF MICHAEL MORSE
Stats: 102 G, 430 PA, 18 HR, 62 RBI, .291 AVG, .321 OBP, .470 SLG
1 E, -9.4 UZR, 0.3 WAR
2012 salary: $3.25 million
Contract status: $6.75 million in 2013, free agent in 2014
Where he fits in: Morse missed the season's first two months with a torn lat muscle that proved far more troublesome than anyone originally expected. It took awhile for him to rediscover his power stroke, and then once he did he was hampered again by nagging injuries to both hands. There's no denying Morse's offensive skills when he's healthy, but he'll have to prove he can stay on the field for all of 2013 in what will be a contract year at age 31. Because of his contract status, the Nationals may need to decide this winter whether to try to lock him up longer or perhaps even consider a trade. Morse's status may depend on what happens to Adam LaRoche. Either way, this one bears watching during the offseason.

OF ROGER BERNADINA
Stats: 129 G, 269 PA, 5 HR, 25 RBI, .291 AVG, .372 OBP, .405 SLG
0 E, 2.5 UZR, 1.9 WAR
2012 salary: $493,500
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2013, free agent in 2016
Where he fits in: After teasing everyone with his on-and-off potential for several years, Bernadina finally came into his own this season. Davey Johnson did a nice job establishing his role as a fourth outfielder and putting him in situations in which he could succeed. He'll be a due a raise in arbitration, but even at $1.5 million or $2 million, he's a valuable player on a contending club.

OF TYLER MOORE
Stats: 75 G, 171 PA, 10 HR, 29 RBI, .263 AVG, .327 OBP, .513 SLG
0 E, -3.2 UZR, 0.6 WAR
2012 salary: $480,000
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2016, free agent in 2019
Where he fits in: Moore made his big-league debut one day after Bryce Harper and over the course of the season proved his gargantuan minor-league numbers were no fluke. The kid from Mississippi can flat-out hit and even learned how to do it while coming off the bench cold as a pinch-hitter. Could Moore be ready for an everyday job? Possibly, though his defense in both left field and at first base leaves plenty to be desired. If he doesn't crack the lineup, he'll still provide a potent bat off the bench and is nice insurance to have in case one of the veterans goes down to injury.

IN THE MINORS
Corey Brown put up some big-time numbers at Class AAA Syracuse (.285-21-75 in 126 games) and earned some limited playing time in the big leagues, but the soon-to-be 27-year-old appears caught in a numbers game and stuck down the depth chart. The speedy Eury Perez put himself on the map, hitting .314 while stealing 51 bases at three levels of the system. He'll probably return to Syracuse to open 2013 but could force his way back onto the big-league roster if he keeps it up. After a strong 2011 at Class A Potomac, Destin Hood struggled at Class AA Harrisburg with a paltry .644 OPS. Highly touted center field prospect Brian Goodwin was fantastic at low-Class A Hagerstown and earned the right to bypass Potomac altogether. He's currently in the Arizona Fall League and could crack the Nationals' roster by Sept. 2013 or Opening Day 2014. Several club executives were touting Michael Taylor one year ago, but he cooled off at Potomac and still appears to be a long-term project.

OFFSEASON NEED?
If they want to keep things as-is, the Nationals could very well return in 2013 with the exact same outfield alignment they had this year: Morse in left, Harper in center, Werth in right, with Bernadina and Moore on the bench. It's not necessarily the best defensive alignment, though, and it's possible the club would prefer to acquire a true center fielder and move Harper to one of the corner positions (which would force Morse either to first base or off the roster altogether). In the end, the Nationals seem to believe one of their center field prospects -- headlined by Goodwin -- will be ready to take over in 2014, and thus there's no urgency to spend money and devote multiple years to a premier free agent like Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton.

211 comments:

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Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Absolutely an area of strength for the Nationals. I'd be content to stand pat, though I doubt that will be the case.

MicheleS said...

Hmmm so much depends on ALR. It's going to be very interesting to see how this plays out during the off season. The only thing I want out of any of our guys - take care of any injuries EARLY - like now - rest up and be healthy come spring training.

Constant Reader said...

Morse presents an interesting quandary. If he posts '13 number like he did in '11, would you re-sign him to a multi-year contract? Would you commit to him being a left fielder at age 35? Firstbase could be open immediately, but we all strongly suspect our current thirdbaseman is our future firstbaseman. It just doesn't seem he fits long term and his value is as high as it could be.

We'll all see how Rizzo sees it soon enough, but Morse feels like the centerpiece of a trade that gets us a near-top of the rotation starter (James Shields, for example but not to start a debate over that specific name).

Gonat said...

rmoore446 said...
One sure thing about NatsLady, she loves her some fangraphs. For myself, I don't completely worship at the shrine of modern metrics. I pay some mind to it but leave just a wee bit of room for my own observations and judgements.

October 15, 2012 11:26 PM
__________________________________

I think SteveM once used a Reagan-esque type variation "Observe and Verify" or something like that.

Yes, see it with your eyes and then see if the stats back that up but clearly stats never tell the whole story as players do things that don't show up in the stats and players go thru streaks and slumps and some evolve and change their approach which is why they have scouts.

One of my favorites was the Juan Pierre on his "cybergenics" quote in describing himself:

“With all the computers, the cybergenics [sabermetrics], whatever they do, I think I rate the lowest possible in those things. The things I do don’t show up in box scores. Sacrifice bunting doesn’t make any sense to do. They don’t look at the guy going first to third or taking that extra bag.”

I also don't think they look at the effect a speedy baserunner has on a pitcher or the batter who sees a lot of balls or the batter who will shoot a ball to the rightside to advance a runner which is considered an out and not a sacrifice.

There's a myriad of things players do that don't show up in the boxscore nor do clubhouse dynamics.

320R2S15 said...

I believe we need a center fielder. Harper can do it, but I would rather see him in left for the whole season. The MM tryout is over, he is a liability out there that we do not need. I would think that we can afford to go with a proven option in center ( not necessarily BJ or Bourne) and I still consider MM a project. Thanks Michael, good luck with the rest of your career.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
Hmmm so much depends on ALR. It's going to be very interesting to see how this plays out during the off season. The only thing I want out of any of our guys - take care of any injuries EARLY - like now - rest up and be healthy come spring training.
____________________________________

You are correct. That is the 1st domino.

Gonat said...

Mark writes...In the end, the Nationals seem to believe one of their center field prospects -- headlined by Goodwin -- will be ready to take over in 2014, and thus there's no urgency to spend money and devote multiple years to a premier free agent like Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton.
__________________________________

That is the quandry of sorts. You can leave Bryce in CF until one of the youngsters is ready for CF and Bryce shifts to RF and Werth to LF.

Gonat said...

320R2S15 said...
I believe we need a center fielder. Harper can do it, but I would rather see him in left for the whole season. The MM tryout is over, he is a liability out there that we do not need. I would think that we can afford to go with a proven option in center ( not necessarily BJ or Bourne) and I still consider MM a project. Thanks Michael, good luck with the rest of your career.
_________________________________

Read Mark's last sentence and also consider that Left-fielders get few difficult plays and aren't the big liabilities except bumblehands Matt Holliday.

If Morse's arm is better, he actually gets good reads and has a good glove. Its his range and speed which is his liability. If you take him out of the equation and replace him with a speed w/ OBP guy, you lose Morse's power.

Remember, Davey has Bernadina many games available as a defensive replacement for late innings at the most critical times and Davey hasn't made the move so what does that tell you?

Oldguy said...

Ok, guys, have to interrupt this discussion to say for the first time since Friday, I am really angry. Check out the Post Metro section today with comments by the mayor. His comments about Drew are as lousy as anything I have seen anywhere, and--oh yeah--he wanted to know why Davey didn't bring JZ in again. The man doesn't know any more about baseball than a potato knows about Sunday.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

You all are really beating up this Morse thing. Look what the offense did just having Morse back in the lineup. 2nd 1/2 scoring.was way up. Sure Zim was hitting but the teams black hole was LF until Morse got back and early he wasn't healthy.

Why try to change what worked. Balls hit in the corner for doubles will still be doubles no matter who is playing there.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, Observe but Verify.

Gonat said...

SteveM, I don't think Morse was healthy most of the year. He gutted through it.

MicheleS said...

Ghost.. Yesterday everyone was harping on K/Espi, today it's Morse as a defender. I think that Morse came back to early and was still hurt. Plus the issue with his hand/thumb did slow the progress of the bat. I wouldn't give up his bat. But as some have noted, he has to stay healthy - as we saw him in 2011. If he is our opening day LF next year, he has to stay healthy.

baseballswami said...

Old guy - I had the same reaction. Felt like a combination of kicking someone when they are down, being disloyal to your team in public and not understanding the entire situation. Not appropriate. The Nats seem like they have been great citizens of the city and bring a lot to the community. I think some of the comments about who will be our outfielders will depend on what Rizzo can get. We saw how there are initial offers for deals, they fall through, something else comes up or it doesn't - they are constantly adjusting on the fly. We wanted Buehrle, we ended up with Gio, we wanted Prince, we stuck with ALR. I would be okay for 2013 with Morse, Harper and Werth, though. Moore and Bernie can both do the job if needed, but in different ways. Different sides of the plate - Moore has power, Bernie has that sparkling defense. Gives you lots of options.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, agreed. You could tell Morse wasn't ready. His throws to the cutoff looked like Little League lobs.

If the Nats get the Beast of 2011 back, there's no telling how far this team can go. The offense in April was so anemic and was carried by ALR and Desi.

Big key is healthy players starting in Spring Training.

Any word on Zim getting that AC joint operation?



Ghost Of Steve M. said...

DC Mayor ticked off more on losing all that tax revenue. A World Series win here would generate more than the entire season in tax revenue I would think.

Theophilus T. S. said...

" Morse feels like the centerpiece of a trade that gets us a near-top of the rotation starter (James Shields, for example but not to start a debate over that specific name)."

Indeed, if you want to trade Morse, you need to focus on a specific name, for at least two reasons: (A) trading a position player for a pitcher potentially hurts a team every day while improving it -- maybe -- only one day out of five; (B) in two-thirds of a season Morse proved he is a 25-30 HR, 95-100 RBI guy and there can't be more than a half-dozen pitchers for whom it would be worth sacrificing that kind of performance, especially as the Nats don't have any proven assets in the organization who could be counted on to replace those numbers. Shields happens to be one of those names and Morse would be a good fit in Tampa. Who else is available -- from a team that needs a big bat to push them to the top -- I don't know.

However, I wouldn't give up Morse unless I was confident the Nats were getting a 15-16 win, fast-balling pitcher.

hiramhover said...

The things I do don't show up in box scores.

Remind me--where do Juan Pierre's accomplishments show up? In bouncing around among 6 teams in 13 years?

PS - What's with the picking on NatsLady for using Fangraphs? In case you didn't notice, our esteemed host is posting the same #s above. Neither one, so far as I know, ever suggested that looking at the #s was an alternative to actually watching the games (from what I can tell, NatsLady does plenty of that!).

Faraz Shaikh said...

Ideally, Goodwin is ready to take over CF by 2014 Opener which gives us 3 very good offensive/defensive OF in Werth, Harper, and Goodwin. We also sign ALR this off-season for 2-3 years and let Morse go after 2013. And we hope to have a 1B by the time ALR's contract is up.

Anyways, as far as next season is concerned, we are set in OF and additional replacement OFs. Only in case of a trade, we need to visit this again.

hiramhover said...

As for Morse--yes, he may have been playing injured some this year, but he's a minus defender in LF (at 1B, too). My eyes have told me that all along, and the '"cybergenics" agree--his UZR/150 was only marginally less bad in 2011 than 2012.

MicheleS said...

Why would Tampa want Mikey? Did you see his salary for next year? Plus he is only under contract for next year only. He doesn't fit with the Young/Cheap/Controllable MO of Tampa.

Theophilus T. S. said...

The real issue w/ Morse is not whether the Nats need him in LF next year but what to do with him after next season. If they extend both Morse and LaRoche, ultimately, I think, they have to deal at least one of them. At some point the team has to get younger (and in Morse's case, more gazelle-like) at one or both of those positions. If the Nats blanche at a market-value extension for Morse (as with LaRoche, probably three years), then he walks and they get a draft pick. If at that point there's a player on the bench (Moore) or in the system (Goodwin?) clearly capable of replacing Morse's production then the draft pick might not be a bad outcome. I just don't think it's clear Goodwin is going to be ready and reliable.

Trading Moore relieves the outfield log jam for the moment but leaves the issue what to do w/ an aging Morse. Ultimately, it would not be a solution and might make things worse.

Feel Wood said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Gonat, Observe but Verify.


Ronald Reagan: Trust, but verify.

Yogi Berra: You can observe a lot just by watching.

MicheleS said...

So yesterday JFlo posted he is playing winter ball. Do we know if anyone else is?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Feel Wood, Davey believes in trust but perform.

natsfan1a said...

Michele, found this but shows prospects only.

natsfan1a said...

I think it can be the case that more veteran players don't join the leagues until late in the season.

NatsNut said...

okay, i think it's my turn to come out from under my rock. So many of you expressed what I was feeling the past 4 days and for that I'm very grateful, because in addition to the pain (it was almost physical), grief, sadness, disbelief, etc., there was also a little shame that a ballgame could effect me so much. It has been invaluable to read that so many people have felt exactly the same way.
My backpack and goodies from Friday's game (rally towel, shirt, hat, ticket, blanket, etc.) have all been sitting in the same place I left them when I got home because they were too painful to even look at, much less put away. Like many of you, I had to tiptoe into the media stuff - the last things I wanted to read were the "they should have done this" comments that were inevitable.
My eyes only welled up once, and that was reading Mike Wise's article on Storen, because thinking of him (and the other players) especially hurt.
Anyway, the black cloud is lifting and I think it will all be ok now. I can't express enough how cool it is to have a sort-of community to commiserate with. Some of your comments have been so great.

NatsNut said...

effect = affect

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
320R2S15 said...

Trade Moore and keep MM, are you kidding me? I just think we are beyond the tryout stage with MM. Too many if"s, If he is healthy, if he can hit like 11", if he can improve his D. We have moved past the finger crossing stages, they need to spit the $ to get a proven quanity. with a serious center fielder the nats outfield is as good as anyones. I would rather they give Moore the job than crossing fingers on MM.

natsfan1a said...

Reposting with correction:

Also, I actually turned on the MLB Network for a minute this a.m. First thing I saw was Matheny at a presser with a boo-boo face. Nice managerial story and he's also pretty easy on the eyes but - haha! Nice work, Giants!

(Then again, evidently I give the name 'Fan' its true meaning, in an obsessive, birthday suit kinda way. I read that on the interwebz, so it must be true. :-))

Faraz Shaikh said...

wait, brandon mccarthy is a free agent. why his name hasn't been mentioned before? we already have Suzuki and Gio. I think he would be a great addition.

JamesFan said...

To me, the primary needs for the Nats next year are one top starter for the rotation (let EJax go) and improvements in the pen.

The outfield is interesting. I wouldn't clog it up further with new, high priced acquisitions like Upton or Bourne. The tough decision is whether to leave Harper in center? Possible but Brown is capable and the other guys in the minors are not far away.

Moore proved this year that he is probably a 30 homer guy (10 in 171 ABs). I wouldn't let that go. Bernie is very valuable but does not hit consistently. He has value and probably needs a chance to start somewhere in the MLs.

Morse? A lot depends on what happens with LaRoche. If LaRoche stays, Morse stays in left to start the year.

Werth stays in right.

So I guess I come down on standing pat in the outfield and use our system for backup unless some great trade comes along for a top notch starting pitcher.

SCNatsFan said...

I think Moore can post similar numbers to Morse both in the field as well as at bat, leaving MM a nice trade bait if ALR leaves.

Anyone else worried about just giving CF to Goodwin?

NatsLady said...

Harrisburg Senators ‏@HbgSenators
Join us in wishing @BHarper3407 a very happy 20th birthday! Happy Birthday, Bryce!

Faraz Shaikh said...

People do wondrous things in their contract years. I wouldn't put it beyond MM to do something incredible either. Also nothing wrong with keeping Moore on bench in case of injury to other players. By cutting Morse, who will you go after? Bourne, upton, victorino? Hamilton? I don't think Nats have shown interest in any of them recently after the way Harper has played CF this season.

natsfan1a said...

On-field considerations aside, evidently McCarthy is a very funny guy and a total stat-head. I'm just saying.

Faraz Shaikh said...

wait, brandon mccarthy is a free agent. why his name hasn't been mentioned before? we already have Suzuki and Gio. I think he would be a great addition.
October 16, 2012 9:01 AM

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I posted about Gio should have been pulled in the 4th inning as he looked agitated and couldn't locate his pitches.

StlToday.com put together Cards player quotes in their comeback.

I saw it from 200 feet away. Davey and McCatty were in the dugout and guess what, the Cardinals saw it from 60 feet 6 inches.

They smelled blood and Gio opened the door.

Again, YOU LEARN A LOT FROM OBSERVING.
,

Faraz Shaikh said...

1a, not just him. His wife as well. did you see the two-face picture she posted of Brandon on her twitter account?

I have never seen a couple that is so frank and funny to each other.

natsfan1a said...

True that, Faraz.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
I posted about Gio should have been pulled in the 4th inning as he looked agitated and couldn't locate his pitches.

StlToday.com put together Cards player quotes in their comeback.

I saw it from 200 feet away. Davey and McCatty were in the dugout and guess what, the Cardinals saw it from 60 feet 6 inches.

They smelled blood and Gio opened the door.

Again, YOU LEARN A LOT FROM OBSERVING.

October 16, 2012 9:14 AM
_______________________________

SCHUMAKER: "Carp says right away, 'Boys, this is going to be an epic comeback. Just epic.' And he kept saying that over and over. Then I started thinking the same thing. I started buying in on it. I started saying it, too. Then everyone started believing. We were just as loud as we could be."

A turning point came in the top of the fifth inning. Encouraged by batting coach Mark McGwire, the Cardinals began taking pitches to make Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez sweat. Gonzalez, who seemed to be feeling the pressure, began obsessing over ball-strike calls by home plate umpire Angel Marquez.

The Cardinals could see Gonzalez weakening, and that fired them up. As one Cardinal said, "Gio looked like he didn't want to be out there. The guy has a 6-0 lead, then 6-1, and he's panicking out there. We smelled blood."


Seeing Gonzalez falter despite having a big reinforced the Cardinals' belief that they could win Game 5. And part of the formula was applying pressure to a young Washington team.

Cardinals batters made Gonzalez throw 36 pitches in the fifth, and he ran out of gas. He was pulled after five innings. That gave the Cardinals a chance to exploit a tired Washington bullpen. The Cardinals sensed that the Nationals were nervous and playing tight.

Gonat said...

SteveM, you called it during the game and after the game. It all started right there with Gio.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Are we still talking about the game? Is it gonna be re-played after NLCS/World Series?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, I didn't know what Daveys need to get Gio thru 5 innings was. It wasn't like a regular season game where you want to get him a W.

At 6-3 the Cardinals were back in the game

Jimmy said...

I think the short deal the club gave Morse is telling about where he stands in their long term plans. To me it says 12 and 13 are an extended tryout to see if he can do consistently what he did in 11 (which is the first time in his career that he really put it all together). 2013 will have to be a very good (and healthy) year for him if we expect to see him extended, since 12 was a bit of a wash due to Morse missing so much time. Basically, is he really just a late bloomer like Werth? Or is his talent and health too fleeting to last (or be relied upon)?

He is a good presence in the club house, and I think he adds to the positive chemistry of the team (speaking of things stats don't explain, see Miami 2012). Would be a shame to see him go after next season, but I agree with others that say we have the means to replace him in-house.

BigCat said...

Looks like this Skole kid is burning up the Arizona league. Rendon better watch it. All that hype and potential talk only takes you so far. Skole, like Tyler Moore did, is putting up numbers, big numbers.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, after the fact narratives. You wouldn't be reading those quotes if Gio had settled down and made pitches like he has a dozen times before. The Cards didn't expect to win the game, period. They didn't even have a pitcher warming, they had no plan for extra innings. Enough, already.

natsfan1a said...

Not me (or reading about it, either). I expect that MLB Network will be replaying each of the series.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Are we still talking about the game? Is it gonna be re-played after NLCS/World Series?
October 16, 2012 9:29 AM

Faraz Shaikh said...

1a, what I was trying to imply that all this 'analysis' isn't doing anyone any good. It is not like the game five will be played again, now that we know we should have pulled Gio in fifth (which we have heard many times on this board now). It just gets tiring to having to read one view again and again.

natsfan1a said...

Yes, I'm in complete agreement with you on that, Faraz.

JD said...


NatsLady,

Exactly !!

Thanks,

JD said...


A couple of comments re the outfield:

1) Werth's defense in right wasn't very good; likely better suited for left field at this point.

2) Morse or Moore in left are a real liability defensively; better suited for 1st base.

3) Harper could be an all star center fielder but that arm might be better suited for right field.

4) Projecting Goodwin is premature; he has yet to hit at AA. I wouldn't plan on penciling him in to the lineup just yet.

5) Corey Brown and Eury Perez should get a real shot at to make the team unless we make a big time acquisition in the winter.

6) It makes no sense to me to pursue a big time pitcher like Greinke or Shields or Price when you already have 4 solid young arms who will all turn very expensive in a couple of years.

7) Lohse and McCarthy make good sense to me; whomever you can get for no more than 2 years.

mick said...

Faraz Shaikh

you make a very good point. Frankly, I have learned to not give a rats you know what about what the MLB Network analysts say about the Nats. They know nothing about the organizations and they offer little or NOTHING in terms of insight on baseball. The media culture overall is sickening and debilitating. This has trickled down into sports where the mind set is that baseball fans care more about the Kardashians of baseball (NY Yankees) club house nonsense than what is actually going on in terms of match ups and strategies and significant team news.

This is what NI should be model for other fans teams around the league. I learn more about prospects and the Nats here than I would any where else. I am still impressed with Nats Jack months ago telling us about Garcia. The man actually watched the young man play several times. Peric gives great insight as well and I never would have known about Garcia or Perez if it was not for NatsJack and Peric. You will never get this insight in the Post or anywhere else!!

natsfan1a said...

I think Faraz was talking about rehashes here as opposed to on tv, but I could be wrong.

mick said...

natsfan1a said...
I think Faraz was talking about rehashes here as opposed to on tv, but I could be wrong.


maybe, but these rehashes I am afraid will be on the tube throughout the winter

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Yeah, after the fact narratives. You wouldn't be reading those quotes if Gio had settled down and made pitches like he has a dozen times before. The Cards didn't expect to win the game, period. They didn't even have a pitcher warming, they had no plan for extra innings. Enough, already.

October 16, 2012 9:34 AM


The only reason their quotes are relevant is because they pulled it off otherwise it would be the journalists second quessing why they didn't pull Wainwright after the 1st inning, but reading what they felt at the time is very telling.

Like I said, I saw it. They saw it. Baseballswami saw it. Others saw it.

You can't give your competitors an opening and especially in a "do or die" game.

What did we learn from July 20th?

Faraz Shaikh said...

yeah I was talking about NI posts.

To be honest, NI is the only site I visit for Nationals. Everywhere else I only read headlines. I read articles on other sites only after someone from NI makes a suggestion. Not that I am lazy (which I probably am), but I think between mark and all of us, we got it covered opinion-wise.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Danny Rouhier will be discussing his Nats makeover today on 106.7 This should be interesting.

natsfan1a said...

Of course, which is not to say that I plan to watch them. ;-)

Re. the game, no doubt lots of us saw things during the game. Not everybody posts during games or rehashes their posts afterwards. I'm just saying...

maybe, but these rehashes I am afraid will be on the tube throughout the winter

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD said...5) Corey Brown and Eury Perez should get a real shot at to make the team unless we make a big time acquisition in the winter.


Who can they replace as you have
1. Tracy signed
2. Bernadina under team control with no options
3. Lombo/Espi as your infielder
4. Backup catcher

which leaves Tyler Moore or going with Corey Brown or Eury Perez.

Davey likes his RH power bat off the bench. Chad Tracy only had 2 RBIs in the 2nd half and no HRs and was 0-4 in the playoffs. Was it premature to re-sign him with Corey Brown available?

Todd Boss said...

I just don't believe the team is actively looking for a center fielder. Bryce's UZR numbers were fantastic (he would have been 4th in the majors had he had enough innings, better than Trout and Upton and Span and all these other supposed targets. And it was basically his first full season playing the position, so he'll only get better! Harper's defensive value would be completely wasted in a corner spot.

Now, you CAN make the argument that Werth is regressing in RF and thus we need Harper and his gun in RF. That's fine; but it is so much easier to find corner outfielders than CFs on the open market. Do you think the Yankees would have moved Mickey Mantle out of center-field because they had a defensively weaker right fielder? No way; you need and want a premier defensive guy in CF and if that guy also happens to give you 20/20 capabilites you keep him there.

JD said...


Ghost,

It's hard to say at this point because we don't know how the ALR situation shakes out and also where/if MM plays next year and if we make an outfield acquisition.

I didn't bother trying to do the whole roster math thing yet because there are too many unknowns; I just feel that these 2 have earned a shot.

I don't really have a feeling about Tracy one way or the other; I think the team likes his character,experience and power potential off the bench.

I don't think it's a slam dunk that Lombo and/or Bernie are on the team next year.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Todd Boss, I feel the same way about leaving Harp in CF in the near-term but there will be a need to move Werth to LF at some point too.

Let the Minors take their time in producing the Nats CF of the future.

From Mark...Highly touted center field prospect Brian Goodwin was fantastic at low-Class A Hagerstown and earned the right to bypass Potomac altogether. He's currently in the Arizona Fall League and could crack the Nationals' roster by Sept. 2013 or Opening Day 2014.

Maybe in 2014 but certainly by 2015, Werth in LF, new CF, Harper in RF

JD said...


Todd Boss,

Yours are reasonable points to be sure. I think Werth would definitely be better in left field so maybe you are right and maybe we try to find a good fit for right field.

BigCat said...

We are a very young team. We won 100 games. There aint a whole lotta tweaking needed. A year of maturity and more experience will go a looooong way. We really need to sign Laroche though. And don't try and nickel and dime him. The guy is a good soldier. Give him what he wants. Don't let it drag on. Sign him and be done with it

MicheleS said...

Things I hope that happen next year.

First Phillies game, someone nails Jimmy Rollins in the rear end for his "If we were healthy comment"

Second. We dominate the Cards and take the in season series 7-0 (if that is how many games we play them in season). And if somehow the Cards make it back to the Post Season, we are the ones that Crush them and send them packing.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD said... I don't really have a feeling about Tracy one way or the other; I think the team likes his character,experience and power potential off the bench.

I don't think it's a slam dunk that Lombo and/or Bernie are on the team next year.


Tracy's power was zapped after his injury. He got singles and a few doubles and he is the slowest guy on the field which then makes him a liability on the basepaths.

If you don't have Lombo, you have to replace him with another utility infielder so Corey Brown wouldn't take his place.

I see Corey Brown competing with Tracy and Bernadina. Without a DH, I think you need your bench players to be more versatile so I would take Brown and Bernadina. Brown has pop, speed, defense, and baseball smarts.

I couldn't understand why Brown didn't get some starts down the stretch to get some more looks at him.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Put me in the "Bryce in CF" group for the near future. His adaptation to a most demanding position in such a short time borders on miraculous. He can handle the position as long as he wants, as far as I'm concerned.

If the Nats have struck pay dirt with Goodwin or Eury Perez continues to develope so much the better. But for the near future, Bryce is the man.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, where do you see the various CFs playing in the Minors to start 2013?

It almost seems that there could be 3 or 4 CFs between AA and AAA.

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

I only we'd face the Phillies in spring training and could check that one off then.

Would still have to save part two of your wishes for when the games count. :-)

MicheleS said...

Things I hope that happen next year.

First Phillies game, someone nails Jimmy Rollins in the rear end for his "If we were healthy comment"

Second. We dominate the Cards and take the in season series 7-0 (if that is how many games we play them in season). And if somehow the Cards make it back to the Post Season, we are the ones that Crush them and send them packing.
October 16, 2012 10:32 AM

natsfan1a said...

I nominate H-Rod to handle the first item, if he's with the team and if his control is on. :-)

natsfan1a said...

That's very wrong, isn't it? :-)

Steady Eddie said...

Ghost -- Corey Brown or Eury Perez (my money's on Brown as he's got more tools than Perez) would be replacing DeRosa. The fact that DeRosa wasn't on the postseason roster is irrelevant because Davey wanted to carry an extra reliever (yeah, which he didn't use adequately in Game 5).

JD, I like a lot of your commentary at 9:58 except 2 (Moore and/or Morse to first) obviously assumes ALR is gone. I think the fact that Davey gave Morse no time at first says that if ALR is gone, Morse to first is not gonna happen; and he's not going to turn first over to Moore with so little MLB playing time (and still-developing skills) there. Suggests they will go to the max 3 years to get him (and Nats Lady, while I agree ALR will not give a discount in terms of $, he's already said he'll give one in years -- that another team would have to offer "an extra two or three years" to beat a Nats offer).

Count me with those who think that IF he can get the right deal, Rizzo will package Morse with some grade B prospects for a decent #4 or 5 starter. Whether he includes Shark in that package depends on what he thinks about Perez or Brown as a defensive replacement. Actually if he deals Morse he would have to be planning on Brown as in the mix at least in a platoon with Moore, with Moore in LF when he plays and possibly Brown in CF -- with Werth to LF and Harp to RF -- when he plays. Although as NJ said, with Harp's emergence, energy and range in CF, you could readily go with Brown in RF if he plays.

Rizzo may not make such a deal, though, if they think that, between Lannan, Garcia, and Perry, they'll find a fifth starter. Doubt they want to go with Lannan and if I had to guess, the likelihood is they give Garcia a try at starter because they can comfortably keep him in the pen if he doesn't work out. Problem with Lannan and/or Perry as SP insurance is that they're both out of options.

But that's a conversation for a later Mark thread.

For what it's worth, I think Brown and what Davey thinks of him is the wild card in all this. He's had little chance to perform thus far but at least as a PH he's shown some capable situational hitting and a little pop. Big question mark is that he's struggled for a while at each new level until he's found his footing, and question how much we can afford that next year. ST will be Brown's proving ground, as it will be Perez's.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Nats are at the eenie-meenie-minie-mo point on several players, Brown and Bernadina among them. There may be a market among teams like KC for Bernadina -- they need a RF. Perhaps there are others. Looking at 2013, if Morse and Worth are healthy (and Morse stays), Bernadina won't get anywhere near the number of ABs he had in 2012. Hence, his value will go down, and Brown is a replacement part. The key is that some team has to see Bernadina as not only low cost but as a starting OF. Teams don't trade for reserve OFs; if they do, they trade for the Corey Browns who cost less in trade.

Feel Wood said...

I couldn't understand why Brown didn't get some starts down the stretch to get some more looks at him.

Because until game 160 it was a pennant race, not a tryout camp.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Whatever moves the Nats make will probably be ad-libbed by Rizzo as the off-season plays out.

Last year he was going to get Buerhle, and ended up with Gio and EJax after most here thought he had blown it (i.e. getting another starter), remember? He ended up getting two starters who had never before been considered as possibilities here.

He failed to get a CFer / lead-off guy, but decided to take Davey's recommendation to bring up Harp and ended up with a better CFer than he could have gotten in either a free agency or in a trade.

His other main objective was to improve the bench. He eventually improvised his way to one of the best benches in the MLs, if not the very best.

Then Ramos went down, and he pulled Zuki out of his hat, and after the trade deadline, at that.

Lots of interesting suggestions here, but Rizzo dances to his own tune. Maybe he got lucky last year. OTOH, maybe the guy knows WTH he is doing. He sure as hell has impressed yours truly.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steady Eddie said...
Ghost -- Corey Brown or Eury Perez (my money's on Brown as he's got more tools than Perez) would be replacing DeRosa. The fact that DeRosa wasn't on the postseason roster is irrelevant because Davey wanted to carry an extra reliever (yeah, which he didn't use adequately in Game 5).


DeRosa wasn't going to be on this team next year in my opinion.

1. Tracy signed
2. Bernadina under team control with no options
3. Lombo/Espi as your infielder
4. Backup catcher
5. Tyler Moore ?

Whose place does Brown/Eury take?

Theophilus T. S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MicheleS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theophilus T. S. said...



Agree that this exercise is for our benefit not Rizzo's -- we are only trying to divine what is in -- or should be in -- the mind of the all-seeing, all-knowing Rizzo the magnificent who in his borderline divine and mystical way will navigate the off-season. Long before ST, people on this blog will be saying "I'm not in the least surprised, I told you this was going to happen."

The rest of what we are doing is trying to herd the discussion in a particular direction, like a herd of cats.

MicheleS said...

1A, good call on MPHRod to do the Rollins deed. Then the Nats can say Bad Henry/No Control and play dumb. Hopefully Henry has his control and would only hit him in the rear. Don't want anyone to get hurt, just send a message.

Steady Eddie said...

Laddie @ 10:52 -- all very true, but if we left it at "we trust Rizzo to figure it out" (which I assume most of us do), what would we have to write about?

Especially as what we say here is irrelevant to what Rizzo will actually do.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I don't doubt that Rizzo is already fielding calls for trades. Moore, Morse, Lombo, Espinosa, Bernadina, Lannan, Flores, and yes, Storen.

It is now the time to trade Lannan and Flores before ST starts. On any of the others, you better get good quality back.

natsfan1a said...

Agreed.

MicheleS said...

1A, good call on MPHRod to do the Rollins deed. Then the Nats can say Bad Henry/No Control and play dumb. Hopefully Henry has his control and would only hit him in the rear. Don't want anyone to get hurt, just send a message.
October 16, 2012 11:02 AM

Steady Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theophilus T. S. said...

Steve -- I, among others, would be happy to see Lannan moved as soon as possible but suspect it won't happen until at least the winter meetings after other GMs have struck out on pitchers they'd rather have.

Steady Eddie said...

Steve -- as I wrote, he takes the place of the extra reliever. We had all five of the guys you listed AND DeRosa on the 25 man in mid-summer.

And five starters, and a bullpen that was as full as Davey and Rizzo wanted it.

I agree that Flores is almost certainly gone. Even with the question mark over how fully Ramos will come back, between Leon and Solano we've got enough depth to fill in as needed.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steady, Davey will be carrying 7 relievers and 5 starters and 5 bench players and 8 starting position players. There's no extra space for 6 on the bench.

Section 222 said...

Steady/Ghost-- The extra reliever for the playoffs replaced Stras/Lannan, not a bench player. With a 12 man pitching staff, you get only five bench players - a spare catcher, Bernadina, Tracy, Lombo, and Moore? When DeRosa was on the squad we had various injuries to our starters opening up spots, or Moore wasn't up yet.

NatsLady said...

I'm keeping cable for another week to see the games that are on TBS, but right now, the postseason is not thrilling to me. I'm hoping for Giants-Detroit.

(1) Not in the mood to watch Cards.
(2) Yanks are sleep-walking, or as one commentator put it, Cano. their best hitter, is playing at room temperature. Ichiro--and his fussy mannerisms--is the only one who is making it at all interesting.
(3) I get a kick out of Verlander, I just do. I'm over CC, but if he pitches a good game 5, OK.
(4) Detroit is a shell of a city. Any money that comes their way, good (as long as corrupt politicians don't throw it away).
(5) Giants and Tigers are both teams with strengths and weaknesses that opposing managers can exploit. Neither manager is stupid or inexperienced. It should be a good series.

Leyland made an interesting comment about "closers." He said, as saber-people have long pointed out, that you should use your best reliever in the high leverage situation, even if that situation occurs in the 7th inning. But he won't do it on a regular basis, because it leads to endless second-guessing. IOW, he will manage the playoffs differently than the regular season.

I want it to be over so we can see the moves Rizzo will make and start scoping out next year. That's how much of a homer I am. I agree with posters who say that a young team that won 100 games (+20 from 2011) and failed to make the NLCS because a ground ball went off the shortstop's glove doesn't need to make a lot of moves.

Section 222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Section 222 said...

Put that coke on my tab, Ghost.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Theophilus T. S. said...
Steve -- I, among others, would be happy to see Lannan moved as soon as possible but suspect it won't happen until at least the winter meetings after other GMs have struck out on pitchers they'd rather have.

October 16, 2012 11:06 AM


Yep, Lannan has no options and it is probably best to trade him early in the off-season and no later than the Winter Meetings.

Unfortunately Rizzo won't get much for him as he will be a Free Agent after next season.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Section 222 said...
Put that coke on my tab, Ghost.

October 16, 2012 11:16 AM


Good minds....

NatsLady said...

MLB Trade Rumors thinks the Brewers could non-tender Nyjer Morgan.

The Brewers have three arbitration eligible position players: Morgan, Ishikawa, and Gomez. Morgan lost his effectiveness against left-handed starters, and won't be worth his projected arbitration salary. [$2.6 MM]. Ishikawa was decent in limited action, but there's still some danger of a non-tender. Gomez hit a career-high 19 home runs, and is locked in as the Brewers' center fielder for next year.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady, thanks for that! I wonder which town Nyjer will take his "side show" act to. I hoping Ringling Bros could use a new clown.

MicheleS said...

I wonder if Nyjer lands in Houston? Or maybe KC? thinking he is going to just keep going down the pecking order of bad teams.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, do you really think Bo Porter would want Nyjer on his team? I think Bo is smarter than that.

NatsLady said...

Probably not Houston, not the direction they are going. They'll be terrible for a few years, but won't be a circus act. I feel for them, because that's where the Nats were. They have a Plan--I hope it works.

Now, KC on the other hand...

MicheleS said...

Forgot about Bo going to Houston, so you can cross of the Stros. He might be a perfect fit with the Fish.

Feel Wood said...

Yep, Lannan has no options and it is probably best to trade him early in the off-season and no later than the Winter Meetings.

No other team is going to accept Lannan in trade before the non-tender deadline (which IIRC is right around the time of the winter Meetings) because there is always the chance that if they wait they can pick him up as a free agent. Before Lannan can become a trade chip the Nats will have to make the tender/non-tender decision on him. And if they tender him a contract it will be harder to trade him. My prediction is that he is non-tendered, and then possibly re-signed by the Nats on a cheaper deal.

Faraz Shaikh said...

instead of doing my job that I am getting paid for, this is what I found on Brandon from couple of sites:
"On Brandon McCarthy: “The cutter… he’s a mini Maddux is what he’s doing now. It’s cutters and sinkers to both sides of the plate. When guys are on him a little bit, or if he doesn’t have as good of command, he’ll start mixing in his breaking ball. There are times during games where he doesn’t really need it early on, because he has such good movement on his sinker and cutter to both sides of the plate.

“He made some adjustments the last year or so. He watched some guys like Halladay — I think he watched quite a bit of them — and changed his mechanics a little bit. He lowered his arm slot a little bit and that created some more movement for him.

“He’s a smart guy. He leaves no stone unturned. His preparation… he’s continually trying to get better, not only understanding his own strengths and weaknesses, but he understands the strengths and weaknesses of the hitters as well. He‘s very well prepared.” - Bob melvin at fangraphs".

another site had this to say - "Brandon McCarthy / RHP / starter

McCarthy has resurfaced in the major leagues in 2011 as a new pitcher. He's still a strike thrower, but now he's sinking his fastball and throwing a cutter. Brandon still owns a good curveball that can miss bats and a changeup he'll show to LHs. His new repertoire, including the shocking amount of cutters he is throwing, has become formidable in the AL West.

McCarthy began his career as a high profile prospect with the White Sox. He was dealt for John Danks following the 2006 season, but arm injuries and general ineffectiveness ruined his time in Texas. Brandon missed all of 2010 due his shoulder issues before signing a deal with the A's. 9/7/11

[2-seam fastball(88-93), curve(77-84), cutter(88-91), changeup(83-85)]"

I am also looking at LH relief options in case burnett leaves.

NatsLady said...

Couple of other notes I got off Trade Rumors:

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweets that the Blue Jays had nine different scouts in attendance for Edwin Jackson's final three regular season starts. Jackson will be a free agent this offseason, and while he'd like to return to the Nationals, he could end up elsewhere. The Jays are planning to shop aggressively this offseason.

Ian Desmond could be in line for an extension this offseason, and Kilgore suggests a six-year, $45MM contract could work for both sides.

Steady Eddie said...

Emily Litella mode -- Steve, never mind. Forgot DeRosa was on the DL most of July and August and that TMo was a fill-in for him.

With the young 'uns coming up, and Bernie's limits as a fill-in starter clear, he may be part of a package deal if one is put together.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Nyjer's act might play in Italy. Seriously. It's difficult to imagine any major league team having a use for him, given his production the last three years. "Hey, buddy? Wanna buy a guy who gets you 16 RBI?"

Theophilus T. S. said...

If Jays saw Jackson's last three starts -- and watched the playoffs on TV -- he can spare the effort of giving them a call.

NatsLady said...

I think Rizzo will make Jackson the qualifying offer, it's a no lose situation.

(1) If he declines (which he probably will), you get the draft pick.
(2) If he accepts, you are only stuck with him until June. He's insurance against an injury during that time, and you see how he performs.

Faraz Shaikh said...

six years and $45 million? hmm, not too sure about the amount. don't mean to be stingy but seems like a lot based on one year.

NatsLady said...

Some people have suggested the Nats go after Lohse.

lohse-hasnt-received-offer-from-cardinals

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/10/lohse-hasnt-received-offer-from-cardinals.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MlbTradeRumors+%28MLB+Trade+Rumors%29

Theophilus T. S. said...

Actually, I'd be surprised if Desmond accepted that offer. It's $7.5MM per year, only a few million more than he stands to make in arbitration -- present trends prevailing. And he gives up two FA years, in which he may be fantasizing about $12MM or $15MM. Last, he puts himself back on the market, hoping for his last big contract, at 33, when his skills/marketability may be declining.

NatsLady said...

Theo, in his last three regular season starts, only one was bad. That one, of course, was very bad.

But, on 9/21 he went 8 innings and gave up 1 ER (that's the game Clip blew).
On 10/3 he went 6.2 innings and gave up 1 ER.

So, I would say the Jays scouts saw some excellent pitching and a meltdown.

BTW, on 10/3 he did not give up a run in the first inning, he gave up his only run in the fourth inning.

NatsLady said...

Theo, I was thinking the same on Desi. $45MM for six years for a SS in his prime years is not a lot. Yes, he's had a career year but you also have to feel (I feel, anyway) that it wasn't a fluke, he matured and figured a lot of things out.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Theophilus T. S. said...
If Jays saw Jackson's last three starts -- and watched the playoffs on TV -- he can spare the effort of giving them a call.


EJax fired Boras at the wrong time. I don't see him getting more than a 2 year deal.

Maybe Bo will want him in Houston but will Houston pay his asking price.

Unfortunately, EJax will be 1 and done in Washington and on his way to another new team and jersey.

I like the guy and truly believe McCatty and Davey put a lot of time in trying to get him to improve and every time EJax gave you a great start he would follow it up with a start that wasn't so good.

That was the same book on him in Arizona and Detroit.

Faraz Shaikh said...

btw any speculations on how much haren will be going for if he becomes a FA?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Theo, in his last three regular season starts, only one was bad. That one, of course, was very bad.

But, on 9/21 he went 8 innings and gave up 1 ER (that's the game Clip blew).
On 10/3 he went 6.2 innings and gave up 1 ER.

So, I would say the Jays scouts saw some excellent pitching and a meltdown.

BTW, on 10/3 he did not give up a run in the first inning, he gave up his only run in the fourth inning.

October 16, 2012 12:10 PM


His last 3 regular starts were certainly a mixed bag.

His 1 1/3 innings against the Cardinals on Sept 28th was bad.

His last start was against the Phillies after the Nats clinched the Division and he faced the Phillies "B" squad. Can you really get much out of that game? Michael Martinez, Nate Schierholtz, Frandsen, Ruf, Domonic Brown. Only regulars were Chase Utley and Ruiz and you could see they didn't want to be in that game.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz Shaikh said...
btw any speculations on how much haren will be going for if he becomes a FA?

October 16, 2012 12:20 PM


Probably looking 12 to 14mill but I wouldn't take the chance.

He blew up after the All Star break and his ERA almost hit 5.00. Just a bad year for him and at 33 years old you have to wonder which side of his career he will be on.

Faraz Shaikh said...

weren't we arguing that 'B' squad players have even more incentive to perform at that point in the season?

I think Ejax can be a steal for any team if he stops stinking every 10th or 15th day.

Faraz Shaikh said...

GoSM, his optionof 15million will surely be declined. He has to take a paycut of more than 10% at this point if he wants a multi-year deal. anyways, i agree with you that he may not be the best option for us.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, yes. I keep wondering what happened to Jackson in that Cards game. He's had bad innings before, many a-time, and gotten back on track. He clearly wasn't injured. Definitely an enigma.

NatsLady said...

FS, not only do "B" squad players have incentive to perform, they are not as tired and injured as the regulars. Remember, for a lot of September the Fillies were going all out for a miracle run at that second wildcard.

Feel Wood said...

His last 3 regular starts were certainly a mixed bag.

His 1 1/3 innings against the Cardinals on Sept 28th was bad.

His last start was against the Phillies after the Nats clinched the Division and he faced the Phillies "B" squad. Can you really get much out of that game? Michael Martinez, Nate Schierholtz, Frandsen, Ruf, Domonic Brown. Only regulars were Chase Utley and Ruiz and you could see they didn't want to be in that game.


Any scouts who came to watch Jackson were paying no attention to who the batters were or even how they did against him. They were watching his pitches, timing them with radar gun, watching his demeanor on the mound, etc. If all they wanted was the information you listed here, they could have gotten that by staying home and reading the box score.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz Shaikh said...
weren't we arguing that 'B' squad players have even more incentive to perform at that point in the season?

I think Ejax can be a steal for any team if he stops stinking every 10th or 15th day.

October 16, 2012 12:25 PM


He is highly inconsistent and that isn't a good sign for a starter. If you want that for your starter than good for you.

EJax did here what he has done his entire career. You now know why next year he will be with his 8th team in 11 MLB seasons.

I'm most disappointed on all the hype from some here that kept saying EJax will show his value in the post-season. All I saw was an uninspired lousy start and in his 1 inning of relief he struggled through his 1 inning of work.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Ghost, yes. I keep wondering what happened to Jackson in that Cards game. He's had bad innings before, many a-time, and gotten back on track. He clearly wasn't injured. Definitely an enigma.

October 16, 2012 12:29 PM


That sums up his career, an enigma.

When I saw him in April against the Reds, I remarked that it was one of the best pitching performances I had seen. He gave up an early run and then shut them down for the next 8 innings. His slider had late break and frustrated the Reds all game.

He just couldn't repeat good performances but nothing was worse at crunch time and when the Nats really needed a great start, he failed. It still baffles me why Davey used him in relief in Game 5.

NatsLady said...

All of the rotation, except Detwiler, had lousy starts. To some extent, I think it is lack of postseason experience--the travel, the upset in routine, the cold weather, extra interviews, etc. I have no sense at all that Strasburg would have done better.

I do feel that the team will do better next year if we make it to October because they will know what to expect, especially the pitchers. I think it's one of those things you have to live through yourself to understand the additional mental and physical demands--again, especially the pitchers. And even though he only lived through it in the dugout, it had to be beneficial for Stras to be there.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, IMO, it wasn't an unreasonable move to use Jackson. He was healthy and reasonably rested--which is more than you could say about the bullpen. Whatever went wrong in his start should have been discussed and reworked (as it was for JZ). There was no reason to expect him not to be able to give Davey one clean inning, and he's certainly a better pitcher--right now--than Mattheus or Garcia, both of whom also had uneven performances in the playoffs.

Faraz Shaikh said...

something I came across:http://www.actasports.com/stats_detail/?StatId=326
interesting stuff.

JamesFan said...

Here are some guys I would like to see get a chance elsewhere, not because they are bad guys or bad players. It is because they have talent and would make good everyday players elsewhere:

-John Lannan. He doesn't fit the mould for the Nats and will not become the fifth starter next year.

-Lombo. If they don't give him a shot to be the everyday 2d baseman, he needs to go somewhere that would play him everyday. Frankly, I think he is perfect for the O's and would make the Nats weep in the long run.

--Roger Bernadina. Capable guy, but I think he deserves to be a starter.

--Corey Brown if they don't have a spot for him on the bench.

--Jesus Flores. He is talented enough to be the starter but the Nats now have no room for him.

--Danny Espinoza. All potential yet realized. I don't think he will ever be a hitter. He needs to go someplace that needs an excellent shortstop on doesn't mind the strikeouts. If he goes, Lombo must stay of course.

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

NatsLady said...
All of the rotation, except Detwiler, had lousy starts. To some extent, I think it is lack of postseason experience--the travel, the upset in routine, the cold weather, extra interviews, etc. I have no sense at all that Strasburg would have done better.

I do feel that the team will do better next year if we make it to October because they will know what to expect, especially the pitchers. I think it's one of those things you have to live through yourself to understand the additional mental and physical demands--again, especially the pitchers. And even though he only lived through it in the dugout, it had to be beneficial for Stras to be there.

October 16, 2012 12:44 PM


There are no rewind buttons or DVD alternate endings.

I suggested Lannan has been a big game guy for this team. I had no confidence in EJax but hoped he had confidence in himself as I wrote before the playoff roster was set. It was clear EJax was going to be on it.

JZim threw strikes and the Cardinals were just waiting to ambush him. 78% fastballs. Lousy gameplan. Where was the curveball, changeup and slider?

Gio was a huge disappointment. I really believe as I have said and others that he needs another pitch because when he is "pressing", his curveball isn't working and he is only left with his fastball. He has no other pitch. He is then left to hitting corners and giving up too many walks. I'm concerned about Gio as a "big game" pitcher.

NatsLady said...

In Mattheus' previous outing (Oct 10, the 8-0 loss), he gave up 3 hits, 2 earned runs, and 1 walk (28 pitches).

In Garcia's previous inning (same game), he gave up 2 hits, 1 run and walked 2 batters.

At the time when the bullpen took over in that game it was 4-0 and Carpenter was very vulnerable.

Thinking back, what happened to Jackson was that 3-run homer by Kozma. Jackson did what a lot of pitchers do, he got to the bottom of the order and a light hitting shortstop and he relaxed. All these guys are major-leaguers.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Ghost, IMO, it wasn't an unreasonable move to use Jackson. He was healthy and reasonably rested--which is more than you could say about the bullpen. Whatever went wrong in his start should have been discussed and reworked (as it was for JZ). There was no reason to expect him not to be able to give Davey one clean inning, and he's certainly a better pitcher--right now--than Mattheus or Garcia, both of whom also had uneven performances in the playoffs.

October 16, 2012 12:50 PM


Davey needed a stopper in that situation. The score was 6-3. EJax has a 7+ ERA in his 1st inning of work.

Considering most relievers other than "long men" go 1 inning or less per appearance, you don't ever want a reliever with a 7+ ERA which is essentially what you had with EJax.

Guess what, EJax now has a 9.00 ERA as a reliever. JZim has a 0.00 ERA as a reliever and had a 1.74 ERA in his 1st inning which is why JZim made sense and EJax didn't.

Horrible decision.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, I didn't say there were rewind buttons, I was addressing your puzzlement at Davey bringing in EJax. He didn't have a reliable bullpen at that point. (I still think they were probably under the weather, also).

NatsLady said...

Ghost, I don't think it was a horrible decision. We just disagree.

Kevin Mahaney said...

Allow me to introduce myself, I am the son of SJM308 and I have been reading this blog and all of the comments for about a year now. I have a 20 game plan with my pop and baseball is and has been my favorite sport for a long time now. I grew up a Pirates fan until I moved to Maryland (when I was 9). I do not hate the Orioles, just their owner. Anyway, enough about me, I just want to thank everyone including Mark for all your insightful comments. Whenever I was away from a TV I could allways count on NI to come through with updates. Likewise, I came here after the devistating loss last week for comfort. I have met several of you in person including Section 222, Nats Jack, Michelle S, DC Wonk, and Rob in Reston. You guys are great and Ill start posting from here on out instead of being just a bystander. Morse has his upside and when he is on he is "gold Jerry gold." However, I would not be completely upset if he was traded in a package with LanEN and a player TBN for another hot shot pitcher (releiver or starter). Move T-MO or even give Cory Brown a shot left. Leave Harper in center and leave *JasonwasWerthit in right.

NatsLady said...

Nice to "meet" you, Kevin. Yes, this blog has been a refuge, a good place to be.

pdowdy83 said...

I don't see Jackson returning to the Nationals. This offseason has a solid market for mid-level starting pitchers. The list is pretty deep.

Jorge de la Rosa (likely to have his option declined)
Ryan Dempster
Jeremy Guthrie
Dan Haren
Ervin Santana (reportedly having his option declined)
Hiroki Kuroda
Edwin Jackson
Francisco Liriano
Shaun Marcum
Brandon McCarthy
Anibal Sanchez
Joe Saunders
Kyle Lohse

That is a pretty deep list. I could see the Nationals being in on McCarthy, Marcum, Haren, Dempster and Lohse. I don't see them going after a lefty since they already have Gio and Detwiler.

If the Rays were interested in trading a starter for Michael Morse, James Shields would be a great fit in the Nationals rotation in my opinion. He makes LESS than Edwin Jackson did last season and is far more consistent. He also has a solid reputation as being a big game pitcher and has the postseason track record to back it up. I would take him in a heartbeat. The Rays will need a powerbat either in LF or at 1B this offseason since both Carlos Pena and BJ Upton are gone (Desmond Jennings takes over CF). For those who say Morse is too expensive for them, that is not true. They put that much money into Luke Scott last offseason. If the Nationals were to package Morse with a minor leaguer I think it may be a deal that benefits both teams. This is all contingent on signing LaRoche to an extension though.

If LaRoche is gone. I move Morse to 1st. Then I target Melky Cabrera. Melky will be cheaper due to the steroids. He will likely be looking at a 1 year deal since he will want to prove his last 2 season weren't a fluke. He is a switch hitter and can handle LF fine for a season. If you don't want to go for the added drama he may bring than you target Angel Pagan or Shane Victorino on 2 year deals. If they don't bite you still have Tyler Moore, Corey Brown, Roger Bernadina and Eury Perez to try and fill out the last OF spot.

I would also inquire with the Yankees on Curtis Granderson. He probably isn't available but that would be a nice power bat/center fielder to make up for the loss of LaRoche.

I guess my point is there are A LOT of ways the ball could bounce this offseason.

Theophilus T. S. said...

"I do feel that the team will do better next year if we make it to October because they will know what to expect, especially the pitchers."

Knowing what to expect won't mean squat unless the pitchers do a little growing, too. Like the Cardinals hitters, I saw Gio's body language and it wasn't pretty. What annoyed me most was blowing on his hands after every pitch. It wasn't because it was cold -- it was a nervous twitch.

Gio needs a bit more metal in his Frosted Mini-Wheats. It was very disappointing.

During the season, Strasburg, Gonzalez and Detwiler allowed umpires to get inside their heads. Detwiler seemed to outgrow it, somewhat, not sure about Strasburg. But in Game 5 Gonzalez started wandering around the mound like a man with flashing lights in his head. Happy-go-lucky/the world is my oyster goes only so far.

pdowdy83 said...

Another option I meant to list was trading for Arizona's Chris Young to play CF. He is VERY good defensively. He also has some power and speed to go along with it. Again this is contingent on keeping LaRoche and letting Morse go in a trade. Desmond would move to 5th in the lineup and Young could slot in in the 6th spot. He strikes out too much but his plus defense and 20/20 potential is intriguing for 1 year. He also has an option for 2014 and could allow the Nationals a season of evaluating their own minor leaugers similar to my Melky Cabrera idea for if Laroche is gone.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Theo, well said. Tough love and I agree. Gio got a pass too many times here.

Feel Wood said...

What annoyed me most was blowing on his hands after every pitch. It wasn't because it was cold -- it was a nervous twitch.

It was pretty cold on Friday night, especially as the game wore on. And for whatever reason, despite the cold Gio was wearing the short sleeves with no long sleeve underneath. If it was Zimmermann from Wisconsin, that would be no big deal. But Gio is from Miami. He had to have been cold, which means he wasn't just blowing on his hands out of nerves.

In case you haven't noticed, Clippard blows on his hands after every pitch too. Is that why Descalso homered off him?

Perhaps McCatty should have gone to the mound and told them to quit blowing on their hands. Y'think?

NatsLady said...

pdowdy, I had the same thought on Chris Young. Got blasted for it as he is a career .239 hitter.

NatsLady said...

It was cold. I checked the temp and it was 47 degrees at one point. I had two shirts, a sweater and a jacket on and a blanket around my knees. Another item that the staff will have to prepare for with October baseball because it could get a lot colder.

Steady Eddie said...

Pdowdy, interesting thought on Morse as a possible fit for the Rays (where he also would be available as a DH if they look elsewhere for a 1B).

Have to think there's no way Rizzo is ever going to go for Melky, especially not after the phony website in conjunction with the steroids. Rizzo goes for character guys, remember? That's part of what made the clubhouse so tight this year. Also, Desi is a really upright guy as well as a team leader and I can't see him thinking well of that kind of move.

sjm308 said...

What the hell do I do now? Wonder how many Father/Son combinations there are on NI? Does this mean I have to actually think before I post?

OK: put me in the Harper stays in CF for one more year. I like keeping all 5 of the guys Mark highlighted and not trading for Bourne or Upton. Moore will continue to get better, Bernadina really came into his own with the way Davey used him. I think Morse will play really really well in his contract year and I would like our team to benefit from that. If Goodwin is the real deal then we don't have to worry about Morse. MichelleS nailed all this talk though. If we don't re-sign LaRoche then things change drastically. We would then have below ave. defense in two positions (Left & First) and probably have to sign that CF.

One last point. Going through the early posts, I actually started skipping Ghost. We give Peric grief about staying on the same topic endlessly. How much longer are you going to remind us that during the game, after the game and four days after the game you thought Gio should have been removed? I agree with you, it needed to be done but guess what. You can't go back. Move on, please. You are too insightful to harp on the same thing over and over.

Hi Kevin, great to see you on Sunday and I will see you again on Friday when we head up to "almost heaven"

Go Nats!!

MicheleS said...

Here is Kilgore's conversation with

Davey

sjm308 said...

pDowdy: excellent analysis and thanks for that list of pitchers and what might happen. The one stat that jumped out for me on Lohse and I had not seen him all season was 16 WINS and 3 loses. I realize most people focus on whip, era etc but I am an old guy and wins are what do it for me. I like Jackson even with his rough finish but he is very very expensive and we can probably do better. We are honestly going to need some money in the years to come because we have some guys who are going to be very expensive to sign.

JD said...


Ghost et all,

You guys are talking about Gio as if he gave up 6 runs in 3 innings like Wainright or blew up like EJax in game 2 and JZim in game 3; he gave up 3 runs in 5 innings to a great lineup. Not his best effort but nothing to deserve your hate. This was the same guy who was the best pitcher on the team start to finish and heck yeah I give him some extra rope over guys like Matheus and Garcia.

Ghost, I also need to correct you in another area. In JZim's 1 inning of relief he wasn't cute or tricky; he blew them away with 97 MPH fast balls. The fact that he threw many fastballs (consistent with his normal repertoire) wasn't the problem in his start but rather his inability to locate them better.

And lastly; Davie did navigate the staff to be in position to win with his closer on the mound and a 2 run lead; I'll take it every time. The game was not lost on bad decisions but rather on the closer's inability to pitch around extremely tight umpiring calls as well as bad luck.

MicheleS said...

So I looked up Loshe. Can you tell me why we want him? 10 of his 16 wins came against CO, MIA, HOU, Cubs. Maybe I am not seeing something, but when your W's come against the Crap of the NL, not sure why would be so hot for him.

SonnyG10 said...

Welcome Kevin Mahaney.

pdowdy83 said...

I agree Rizzo probably doesn't deviate from the squeeky clean image of the team by signing Melky. He is just an intriguing option.

Natslady, I'm sure people would/will criticize Young for his low BA. He does have a career .318 OBP though (which is only .03 points below Morse's this year) and has played at a 4.6 WAR level for 3 straight season (his season was hampered this year by injuries but his 2.8 WAR would project out to 4.5 for a full season). Morse has only accumulated 4.7 WAR total over that span compared to the 12 WAR Young has contributed.

Since I am basing his acquisition on meaning Morse was traded (by himself or in a package) for a good starting pitcher. I think James Shield + Chris Young > Michael Morse + prospects.

Just to clarify. If Morse stays I would have no interest in Young.

MicheleS said...

Kevin!!! HI!

When is the grandbaby coming?

Faraz Shaikh said...

Haha love the fact that sjm is using a stat in favor of a pitcher and michele is using that same stat against him.

SonnyG10 said...

MicheleS, I agree with you on Lohse. There must be a better alternative.

NatsLady said...

JD, that's pretty much what Davey said in his interview (see MicheleS post). Said when you get to your setup guy and closer with a lead you expect to win. He also felt Jackson was a better pitcher than Mattheus (so do I) and that Jackson had a good prior record against the batters he would be facing. You can't ask for more than that from your manager. He wasn't asleep or "fiddling as DC burned" (headline from another site). He considered his options and chose what he thought was best.

He said he considered walking Kozma, but righty vs. righty he expected Storen to get him out. Finally he said, "Too many walks." Said that had been a problem for the last two weeks.

He expects to be back. Says he has unfinished business.

pdowdy83 said...

MichelleS, because Wins are not an accurate representation of what a pitcher brings to a team. Yes they are nice to look at but his other numbers are solid for what would be a 4th or 5th starter.

The fact that he only lost 3 games shows that he didn't put his team in unmanagable holes a lot during the season. He pitched 211 innings without throwing a complete game so that means he pitched deep into a lot of ball games on a regular basis. He doesn't walk a lot of hitters. He also is a veteran presence on what will still be a young rotation.

Also last time I check the Nationals still have to play HOU, COL, CHIC and MIA 38-40 times next season and need to win those games. That is how teams build big win totals. Play .500 or so against the tough teams and pound the bad ones.

MicheleS said...

SJM308.. That's why I looked up those 16 wins. Everyone was all hot after him, so I wanted to see who he beat. Are the 16 wins the only reason to get him? I looked at what he did against the NL East, maybe he pitches pretty good agains the PHL/NYM.. Not so sure about ATL. I discount MIA

pdowdy83 said...

Sorry if that last post sounded snarky. Wasn't my intention.

My point mainly is a guy like Lohse, McCarthy etc would be a good fit instead of Edwin.

JD said...


Lohse is just 1 option. I wouldn't mind McCarthy, Dempster or Marcum either. The idea is to get a solid, reliable veteran for the no. 5 slot for a short period of time while you keep developing: Meyer, Solis, Purke etc.

MicheleS said...

PDowdy, didn't take as snark.. good reasons, but HOU is going to AL, if he moves over to us, he only gets more of MIA, but less of CHC. i am more concerned with how he does against NL East teams since that is who he would face now instead of cruddy NL Central

Faraz Shaikh said...

we need to check his run support in No decisions before we say anything else I believe. 55 runs of support in games he received no decision, that is 3.92. 9 games out of those 14, he pitched at least six innings and gave up 2 or less ER. that is more than a 'quality start'. I want to look at some more numbers to point out that he is a pretty good pitcher, but I think he will be equally in demand.

Section 222 said...

Ok wait. Are you guys seriously dissing Kyle Lohse? The guy whose ERA was 2.86, 4th in the NL and better than any Nationals pitcher? Whose WHIP of 1.090 was 4th in the NL and better than any Nationals pitcher? Whose 211 innings pitched was more than any Nationals pitcher? Ok, so he pitched in a weaker division, and wins mean virtually nothing I agree, but seriously? You don't think he'd be an improvement over E-Jax as our 4th or 5th starter?

Geez, tough crowd.

pdowdy83 said...

Ooops forgot about Houston moving. Thanks for reminding me.

I looked at Lohse's numbers on baseball reference. Against the NL East he was 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 70 1/3 innings in 11 starts (including WC and DS games against Braves and Nationals). All 3 regular season wins came against the Marlins but he held the Mets and Phillies in check in his 3 starts against them. The Nationals crushed him during the regular season but he came up pretty big in the post season against them. He also pitched well in the Wild Card game against the Braves.

Theophilus T. S. said...

As to how cold it was/may have been, I grew up in Michigan where any temperature above 32 degrees feels like Spring and Tigers pitchers had to throw in freezing weather throughout April every year. How do you suppose the guys in Minnesota do it?

JD said...


Faraz,

His K to BB ratio was about 6 to 1.7 which is good, the ERA was a career low which is scary because the BABIP was .269 which is a fill .3 below his career number; this tells me that he has also been very lucky.

I think he is a very solid and dependable pitcher but I think someone will give him 3 - 4 years for something like $36 - $40 mil; I wouldn't go there. I would do 2 at $25 mil.

If you can get someone like Marcum, Dempster or McCarthy for that type of deal that would work also.

rogieshan said...

Unless Rizzo shoots for the moon and go after Josh Hamilton, then I would stay the course with the current corps of outfielders and see if one of Moore, Brown and Perez can elevate his game and possibly push Morse out of left-field. Of course, it all depends on whether LaRoche stays or not.

I sincerely hope BJ Upton is no longer on Rizzo's radar. Another undisciplined free swinger, regardless of his overall tools, is the last thing this team needs.

pdowdy83 said...

Like JD said though there are a number of complimentary starters on the free agent list. The Nationals don't need to go after Greinke or someone like that. If they can land a guy like James Shields or someone else in a reasonable trade or sign a guy like Lohse, Dempster, McCarthy, Kuroda or Marcum on a 1 or 2 year deal they will be in very good shape rotation wise.

2 years allows you to see if Karns is for real, Meyer to develop more, Purke to try and get his footing, Solis to recover from injury and who knows what else will develop prospect wise. Every year there is a guy like Brad Peacock or Nate Karns that comes out of nowhere.

MicheleS said...

222.. I just wanted to see more numbers on Loshe, b/c my STL friend wasn't all that hot on him (not sure his reasoning). But I agree, he's better than EJax. Also would wonder how in demand he would be? Does STL want to keep him? Do they have a kid under control that can take his spot.

MicheleS said...

Just say NO to Hamilton.. Pass on that one please.

pdowdy83 said...

St. Louis appears to be passing on Lohse because of Garcia, Lynn, Carpenter, Shelby Miller, Jake Westbrook and that Rosenthal kid who throws hard as hell.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I personally think of Lohse as someone who pitched good despite their poor advanced stats such as low BABIP, high FIP, etc. also we should mainly look at his last two season stats, not before that because he seemed to have turned a corner after 2010. his walk rate, k rate, babip, and all other indicative stats suggest that he may not be regressing to bad pitching anytime soon. he was already making 12 million as a card. i think he will make more than 14 for 3 years.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Marcum and McCarthy are soft-tossers w/out a strike-out pitch; Dempster is older than dirt. Haran is an intriguing FA but I wonder if he's slipping -- has thrown a lot of innings, lots of Ks until this year. Kiroda worth one year only. Agree that Lohse seems to have been extraordinarily lucky this year. Except for Peavy, the kind of pitcher the Nats need doesn't seem to be a FA this year.

mick said...

welcome aboard Kevin, your Dad is a great guy and was a great Coach at Chevy Chase CC, two of my sons and one of my daughters swam against a few of his teams in the mid 1990's during Championships, many many summers years ago.

Steady Eddie said...

MicheleS -- Hamilton is not happening for the Nats any more than Melky Cabrera is. Rizzo is not bringing in anyone with issues that are not strictly baseball performance issues.

Choosing among capable ballplayers who fit a need, "character guys" is Rizzo's mantra.

pdowdy83 said...

Theo, what "type of pitcher" do you think the Nats need? I would put Peavey into the question mark category that you placed Haren in. He is a good pitcher but his injury history scares me.

From where I'm sitting they have 1-2-3 locked up right now.

It is hard to say Marcum doesn't have a strike out pitch when his career K/9 innings is 7.3 and was at 7.9 this season. While maybe he doesn't have 1 pitch he mixes his 5 pitches well and his changeup is pretty darn good.

JD said...


Theo,

Marcum averaged 8 strike outs per 9 innings last year. In his career 7 per 9 innings. This is slightly higher than Jordan Zimmermann. Where do you get the idea that he has no strike out pitch?

Section 222 said...

Remember what Peavy did to us when the White Sox came to town in 2010? (3 hit, complete game shutout). He had a very good year in the AL, though he has a history of getting injured. I'd defintely take a shot at him if that injury history makes it hard for him to score a long term deal.

MicheleS said...

222... Didn't Peavy criticize the FO on the shutdown? If he did, then he won't be a Nat.

Feel Wood said...

Theophilus T. S. said...
As to how cold it was/may have been, I grew up in Michigan where any temperature above 32 degrees feels like Spring and Tigers pitchers had to throw in freezing weather throughout April every year. How do you suppose the guys in Minnesota do it?


You're missing the point. There was lots of speculation before the game Friday that if it was cold Gio might be affected because he's a Florida kid and hasn't pitched well in the cold before. Then it's cold on Friday night and Gio has a bad start. No one, be it Gio or Davey or anyone else on the team, is going to use the cold as an excuse. But you know it had to have affected him at least a bit.

baseballswami said...

Here is Rizzo's MO -- he knows of someone he thinks would work for the Nats that is on the market -- free agent, maybe trade. He tries to make what he thinks is a reasonable deal. If it's too much, he walks away and we use the personnel we already have. If it works out - fine, we're happy with our new guy. He is very much in the driver's seat because of the depth he has created. He can use those deep, valuable players in trade or he can promote them to the spot he needs to have filled. Either way, it gives him options and he never is forced to give away too much money or too many players. No wonder some of those un-named gms are so full of anonymous, sour grapey, spiteful nastiness. They are just jealous. Maybe they ought to pay more attention to their own organizations and their own decisions. Rizzo is a shrewd and canny horse trader. I can imagine that there are those who can't stand him. Speaking of -- I have been hearing so many remarks about how much people now hate the Cardinals. I personally don't because they beat us fair and square. What do you think of last night's controversial slide, folks?Dirty? Definitely late. Anyway - have you noticed that the Nats have started to become targets of some hate and discontent? Do you think the Braves just love us at this point? My Philly relatives call us the Gnats - because they think we are just so annoying. I think it's pretty funny.

Section 222 said...

I didn't remember that MicheleS, but a quick google search revealed that you are absolutely right. So he and Rizzo might not see eye to eye. Still, pretty good pitcher.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks for posting, Kevin. It's nice to "see" you on here. I've always enjoyed reading your dad's comments and look forward to reading more of yours as well.

Section 222 said...

Welcome Kevin. Meeting you and your Dad, along with the rest of your group in 308, was a highlight this year. And I'll never forget running into you as we left the park for the last time in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Look forward to your comments during the off season.

Steady Eddie said...

swami -- good description of Rizzo's MO.

One thing to remember is that he used that MO while building the team we have now. In other words, he didn't beg or kowtow even when we weren't a particularly attractive place for FAs to come.

It'll be fascinating to see what he can pull off this offseason, with a team that's not only a powerhouse contender and will be for years, but has a clubhouse whose calm and lack of backbiting or destructive cliques or egos will make it a really attractive place to come.

Now that I think of it, that's another of the eleventy-one reasons why we should get ALR for 3 more years (along with all the on-field reasons). THAT sends a signal to other FAs too.

Steady Eddie said...

At least, it's an attractive clubhouse to players who value that kind of atmosphere. Most of those who it turns off, I'd think we (or at least Rizzo) wouldn't want them here anyway, because it turns them off.

baseballswami said...

Funny how I have heard some nasty comments about how players wouldn't want to come here. I think it's just hot air actually. Look at Kurt Suzuki - he seems ecstatic to be here. Winning team, baseball legend manager, great guys, bright future. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? I think Buehrle is kicking himself about now to tell the truth.By the way - that situation has been oddly quiet for a bit. Wonder when it will start blowing up again?

Theophilus T. S. said...

Re: Marcum -- His FB averages around 86 mph, not enuf to break a pane of glass. What I'm talking about is not necessarily a "strike out" pitch but a "put him away" pitch. I don't think he has the pitch -- whether its a FB or sinker or slider -- to put a hitter away when he absolutely needs an out. According his "stats," most of his strikes are outside the strike zone. A patient team -- and the Nats aside from Werth aren't one -- can beat him. I think that's why, relatively, his ERAs are so high, because his WHIP nos. would indicate an ERA of around 3.00. Any way, someone afraid of Peavy's injury record should be equally frightened by Marcum.

Steady Eddie said...

Swami, as far as I can tell, most of the comments were by other teams' FO and management, and by players who are out of the game. The comments reek of self-justification, tremendous insecurity, and great anger that Rizzo has such a strong position as GM that he can do what he did and not get fired for failing to win everything now. People in other FOs feel, and they're probably mostly right, that they would be canned for doing what Rizzo did, and they're resentful as hell and bile-spewing about it.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Also, see Marcum's record in last year's playoffs. Makes Jackson look like Bob Gibson.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsTown is the place to be. Unless it's geographical, the Vets who want to win a WS will be trying to be a part of this 2013 team.

There is still a lot to learn and everyone starts at 0-0 on the first day but now these guys know what it takes.

One more starter and 2 Good AAA starters for those doubleheaders and this team is set.


baseballswami said...

Steady Eddie - probably right about that. It's odd to go from irrelevant to target. I guess it's a sign that you are successful when people start to resent you.

baseballswami said...

Hey - forgot to wish Bryce Harper a happy birthday!!! He isn't a teenager anymore. Our Bryce has gone and grown up (tear). I hope he just tears it up next year.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

baseballswami, if Bryce's age 20 maturation parallels Mike Trout's, we could be looking at a 30/30 player and MVP but let's face it, any improvement to Harps 22/18 season is a big bonus as that was the best CF production in Nats history.

I can think of many reasons to believe the 2013 Nats can be even better.




baseballswami said...

Ghost - I am sure that you would not post that if it were not true - but, really? The best CF production since 05? Every single day I read or see something that shows me how much things have changed. Also - as part of my own personal healing process (and I was still scarred from the Cubs come-from-behind win over Livo from July 2011 so you know how this affected me), I have decided that every single day I am going to stir up a memory of a great nats moment from this season. Today's memory is The Great Toronto Blue Jays Series. Ah - that was fun. Tyler Moore's coming out party! You should try it - there have been so many that it's easy to do. I have said this before but I will repeat it - I hope MASN does a season retrospective at some point.

sjm308 said...

MichelleS - "chainsaw" is due in late Nov! I wanted Willie Mo but was overruled so we are going with Chainsaw here.

I am old and a little onery, so if wins are not a big deal how come the divisions, playoffs and World Series are decided by wins and not statistics?? I realize you guys are correct about run support, strength of who he pitches against and all that but the guy lost just 3 games and won 16!! There are obviously other guys out there but I do like what I saw from Lohse in the playoffs. I mean, the Cards started him in a must win game against the Braves and then he did well against us. When you think that he will be a #4 at best on this staff its pretty impressive and that leads me to my last thought. Whoever this pitcher is has to be ok with being a #4 or #5 and that is not easy for some. I am probably not wording this correctly. I don't want someone who is complacent and I guess every pitcher thinks they will win every game they start. It is one reason that Jackson is acceptable to me in that he realizes what this staff has and fits in well.

Go Nats!!

Joe Seamhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Seamhead said...

Ok, I deleted part of my last post, which was written out of frustration. I'm editing it and re-posting.

I came on today to read about outfielders. As to Game 5. give it a break. Johnson didn't lose the game, neither did Gio. We got to the 8th and turned a 3 run lead over to Clip. We got to the 9th with a 2 run lead turned over to our star closer. Money in the bank. Perfect situation except for the perfect storm that came from the Cardinal's batters. They beat us. They beat Storen, in spite of a pretty well pitched 9th that the Cards batters showed incredible plate discipline, and the ump gave him nothing.

As to the outfield in 2013, personally I believe that it will stay basically unchanged. Bryce Harper has the package of the speed, the arm, and the natural instincts to play a better CF then anyone else on the team. He only needs to mature and to learn what he can't do. Werth isn't going anywhere next year, though I believe he will be moved to LF in the near future, as there are arms better suited to RF then his. Morse is at best an average LF'er, but in my opinion plays there as long as he produces at the plate. His presence,when healthy, makes this whole lineup better. As I've said before, Roger Bernadina is a terrific 4th OF'er, and good enough to win with as your bench/ defensive replacement guy. If anybody is expendable, it's Shark, because of the likes of Brown, maybe Perez, and Moore, [only because of his bat]. Moore hasn't shown that he can play a dependable OF. He has a suspect arm, gets poor reads, and takes terrible routes to the ball. As has been stated, everything is dependent on what happens with ALR. I think Michael played an okay !B last year at best. He looked better then he is because he does have a good IF glove. He just hasn't had the reps that it takes to be a finely tuned ML first baseman. He hugged the line when he should not have, and he did not charge bunts very well. That's all stuff he can certainly learn. If ALR isn't back, and MM plays a whole ST at 1B then I think we could function with him there. I am against making a blockbuster trade regarding our outfield unless we get a very good starting pitcher out of the deal. Forget Bourn, too, especially if Johnson returns. Davey likes power out of his outfielders.

Joe Seamhead said...

I thought I was a bit too harsh, Bobby. That's the part I took out.

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