Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Haren's season continues to devolve

USA Today Sports Images
PHILADELPHIA — Dan Haren's postgame interviews following losses this season have run the gamut. He's been dejected. He's been determined. He's been disgusted. And now, he seems to be completely disconsolate.

Following last night's outing against the Phillies, Haren was left to search for positives in a six-inning, four-run start that was by no means his worst of the season but still fell far short of the kind of performance the Nationals needed.

"I tried to keep my head in the game a little bit better than I have been," he said. "I was able to get six innings, which is better than five. Obviously, still room for improvement. I wish I'd given the team more."

Haren hasn't given the Nationals much through the season's first 2 1/2 months. He's 4-8 with a 5.72 ERA in 14 starts, only five of them "quality starts." He's allowed an MLB-high 18 home runs, including a towering blast by Ryan Howard last night. He's put 115 men on base in only 78 2/3 innings. And, perhaps most disturbingly, he's averaging only 5.6 innings per start, a full inning less than his career average entering this season.

Perhaps most notable about last night's start: Haren felt he needed to try a different approach, one that doesn't mirror his typical pitching style.

Recognizing that opposing hitters have been making solid contact off him all season, the usually control-minded right-hander decided to pitch more to the corners of the strike zone than over the plate. The end result: A season-high three walks from a guy who even as he's struggled this year still had kept the free passes to his typical minimum.

Afterward, Haren seemed to question his own strategy. Not to mention make a subtle reference to his teammates' inability to score runs this year.

"My game isn't walking guys," he said. "My game isn’t nibbling around the zone. My game is attacking hitters. The runs have been somewhat of a premium. ... I can't buy a break, and I've obviously made my share of mistakes. Just not a good combination."

With each successive start, Haren's season spirals further out of control. Now he has to fight the urge to try to salvage everything in one appearance.

"I'm confident coming into every game," he insisted. "I mean, I'm not just saying that. It's no secret I haven't done my job up to this point. But confidence isn't the issue. I've been good for so long, I believe in myself. I just gotta look at the small picture and not the big picture and try to take every game as it comes. I'm not going to try to be 15-10. I'm trying to win just the game and go from there."

Can the Nationals afford to keep giving Haren, who signed for $13 million in December, the opportunity to get on track? There aren't really any obviously appealing alternatives, with the likes of Ross Ohlendorf, Nate Karns and Danny Rosenbaum next in line to join the rotation should something happen.

For now, the club says it will stick with Haren.

"We have a lot of faith in him," manager Davey Johnson said. "He'll be fine."

97 comments:

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Devolve is a good way to describe it.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

"I tried to keep my head in the game a little bit better than I have been," he said.

Dan, do you really want to tell us that tidbit? Were you losing interest before or in a hurry to get somewhere?

Doc said...

At least Haren is open about his problems.

As for 'runs at a premium', that's the understatement of the season.

Drake's dad is hitting .213 against lefties.

Maybe time for Moore/Marrero to step it up in a platoon situation. Something that Davey wanted to do last year, before ALR got hot.

Eric said...

Ghost:
"'I tried to keep my head in the game a little bit better than I have been,' he said.

Dan, do you really want to tell us that tidbit? Were you losing interest before or in a hurry to get somewhere?"

I took him to mean that he was thinking too much about the big picture. As he says later: "I just gotta look at the small picture and not the big picture and try to take every game as it comes. I'm not going to try to be 15-10. I'm trying to win just the game and go from there."

mick said...

I have a great choice for a GM or head of player development...local boy, helped build the Giants, was a great college coach at GW...Mike Toomey!!

Tcostant said...

When the Cubs look smart (for backing out of a deal in the offseason) then you know you got issues.

I'd rather have CMW at this point, and that says it all...

Eric said...

That said, this piece is kind of strange coming on the heels of an outing that was 1 run above a "quality start." I'm not a huge fan of that concept, but still, considering some of his other recent outings this is the opposite of devolution.

If the rest of the season--and Haren's, for that matter--were going remotely according to plan, this would've been a fun game to watch that ended in a tough loss.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc, I wrote about a LaRoche platoon at 2pm yesterday.

Drake's dad is hitting .204 against lefty starters. He's done a little better against the LOOGYs but not last night as that .213 is down to .210 overall against all LHP pitching.

alexva said...

Olney, Verducci, MLB Network and a virtual majority of all the baseball experts said the Nats were positioned perfectly entering the season

mick says Rizzo is an idiot

who should I believe?

mick said...

If Haren is here the rest of the season..he could set 1 MLB and 1 DC baseball records in futility...

he would easily beat Bert Blyleven's 50 gopher balls which is the all time MLB record McClain's 22 losses in 1971

lol

and

he could beat Mc

mick said...

alex for the record, I did not call Rizzo an idiot

but given the team's situation, i would believe me

Tcostant said...

One of baseball’s ironies, you have to be a really good pitchers to lose 20 games. Otherwise you get pulled from the rotation. Haren will be pulled long before he gets near 20 losses..

Doc said...

Missed that one Ghost--was doing some grass cutting.

But yeah, Haren is hardly the Nats' only problem. Nats could cover for Haren if the offense was doing its' job.

Anyway what's on paper, doesn't always make it on the field.

mick said...

Tcostnat...good point hee hee

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

mick said...
I have a great choice for a GM or head of player development...local boy, helped build the Giants, was a great college coach at GW...Mike Toomey!!

June 18, 2013 11:07 AM


I want a guy like Andrew Friedman and if you can't get him (which they won't) I'd stick a little longer with Rizzo if he can evolve as a GM.

Success may have gone to his head. He overvalued too many of his players and even though Tracy has had a great week for a bench player overall not so good, he gave Henry 2 1/2 years, Espi 2 1/2 years, and made a big organizational decision signing LaRoche to a 2 year deal and spending most of his off-season cash on a $13 million starter who was a health risk let alone that he could regress further even if healthy. While he was doing all that other good players went by. By re-signing LaRoche he lost the comp Draft pick also.

It's now what he does going forward with Haren, LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman and Werth that are all key decisions.

mick said...

but is would fun to watch Haren accomplish these goals

karlkolchak said...

Tcostant - yeah, but being the Cubs they managed to quadruple their misfortune by signing Jackson to a 4-year deal. :)

MrsB loves the Nats said...

I expect DJ to back him.... Not sure you rip him in public...

What are Haren's 5 quality starts? I can only think of 3... Maybe 4...

mick said...

Ghost..great post... I say Toomey because of his ties to the area over 40 years as a player, coach and scout... he knows all the local talent and his rapport with coaches and scouts is outstanding... he is also an old school guy

Tcostant said...

Davey is interest, because the only guy I really heard him rip, was Zimmermann that first year he was in the dugout because he would be ptching well but throw a meatball late in the game. It seems to have worked for Zimmermann, I wonder why he doesn't do it more?

baseballswami said...

Just because something did not work out , that does not mean it was a bad decision. Due diligence, expert analysis, intelligent process. Then you just go with your decision and hope for the best. There are truly no guarantees. Look at the Dodgers, Angels, Blue Jays-- yeah, I know you are sick of hearing it-- but that is our peer group right now. The good team on paper that is just not working.

livernonions said...

Steve M,

What are you thinking could be done with Zimmerman and Werth given their contracts, which if I recall correctly, include no-trade clauses or other terms that make them effectively untradeable? I'm not ready to pull the plug on either player, but am not asking to be argumentative. Just curious what you think there is for Rizzo to do with these two.

mick said...

re reading Ghost post...it is very telling and spot on, your right my friend...the entire key to the future will be how those vets are handled

mick said...

liver...I think trades with them have to be on the table in the winter

MrsB loves the Nats said...

It wasnt like Rizzo didnt do anything over the off season.... He made moves... I can understand why he didnt do anything massive...

mick said...

hell..I say Ghost should be the GM...makes more sense than most of us and for that fact the Nats management

livernonions said...

Right, but my question is is that even possible (without totally eating tens upon tens of millions of dollars) to buy out no-trade provisions or their effective equivalent?

mick said...

liver...agreed, i have no idea what the contract specs are for them

A DC Wonk said...

Eric said...

That said, this piece is kind of strange coming on the heels of an outing that was 1 run above a "quality start." I'm not a huge fan of that concept, but still, considering some of his other recent outings this is the opposite of devolution.


In fact, had Span been in CF, this could very well have been a win for Haren, no?

NatsLady said...

mick, you can't trade them. They both have no-trade clauses.

I for one think RZ is far from finished at age 28. His shoulder is on the mend and look at that play he made yesterday on the Rendon throw. He is consistent and reliable and he doesn't make scandals.

Werth will naturally decline, and you can already see it in his fielding. but I expect him to go to LF next season, with Harper in right, and eventually be a player-manager or player-coach. When he was on the DL and away from the team, OBP was terrible. Now we are suddenly taking walks.

A DC Wonk said...

Tuesdays tidbits (not much here today):

- The Tigers are the only team in their division with a winning record.

- The Diamondbacks and Rockies both gave up only three hits and lost. (The D-Backs three hits allows -- two were HR's to Stanton; Rockies -- gave up all their runs on a two out single in the 8th to Izturis)

Doc said...

Correctomondo DC Wonk on Span catching that flyball that Kobernus screwed up for a Philthy triple.

Sometimes Davey seems to be thinking that anybody can play anywere in the OF!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

mick said...
Ghost..great post... I say Toomey because of his ties to the area over 40 years as a player, coach and scout... he knows all the local talent and his rapport with coaches and scouts is outstanding... he is also an old school guy


I think the lack of a baseball President above Rizzo who could have been a check & balance type hurt the situation this off-season as well as early season moves.

There has to always be a meeting of the minds after the season is over on where to improve and continual improvement into the season.

1. Best move was Soriano as closer although he over-paid especially since he forfeited 1st round pick.

2. The Nats could have pursued Justin Upton and leaving Bryce in CF and instead pursued Span. A big change in the dynamics as they were commited to trading Morse and losing his power bat.

3. Haren as an expensive 1 year signing vs other starters available was risky due to his previous injury and normal age regression

4. No situational lefty in the bullpen while going forward with Henry Rodriguez was a poor move

5. Not signing a veteran 2nd baseman in case Espinosa regressed from his shoulder injury was a risky move. At least Rendon should've been playing 2nd base along with 3rd base at the start of Spring Training which didn't happen.

6. Re-signing Tracy as your power lefty bench bat was another risky move considering he had no HRs the 2nd half of 2012.

7. Re-signing LaRoche for 2 years after he opted out just didn't seem the way to go since they still controlled Morse for 1 year.

8. The team waited much too long on in-season roster moves with Espi, TyMo, Henry, etc.

NatsLady said...

I think two runs are totally on Haren, the HR and the fifth inning run. He walked more than he should have but with better fielding (CF and RF) he could have come away 2-2 or 3-2 with 6 innings of work. I don't see Ohlendorf or Rosenbaum doing better than that on a consistent basis.

Of couse I liked CMW, but his first start back was 7IP with 10 hits and 5 earned runs... He had an excellent start Sunday, but he's had excellent starts before...and Texas is/was slumping big-time.

Now, whether you want to continue the strategy of filling the 5th starter spot with a free-agent one-year deal is a different question and it's way too soon to consider it.

Nats106 said...

Everything is devolving with this team. Not only on the playing field, but also the front (sales) office. Anybody see the ad in the post? It shows the Nats playing the Rockies 6/20-6/23. Then it shows the Nats playing the Rockies again 6/25-27. Who proof reads their ad copy? Not one aspect of this organization is working right.

NatsLady said...

Ghost, I agree with some of your points, but leaving Bryce in CF is a bad idea. Span will be fine, he will be an asset when he straightens around his hitting.

Arizona would have wanted more than Alex Myer for Upton, even though they were sour on him. Also, I have yet to be convinced that Upton is Giancarlo Stanton.

baseballswami said...

Thinking you can stick young, part time players anywhere and it will just magically work is another example of the haphazard managing this year. Way too much hoping the magic wand and pixie dust will fix things.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

mick said...
hell..I say Ghost should be the GM...makes more sense than most of us and for that fact the Nats management

June 18, 2013 11:33 AM


Nice of you to say, but no. I would certainly be that cartoonish devil on Rizzo's shoulder debating moves with Rizzo. I'm not a "yes" man and that's why I have done well (IMHO) in life.

I think Rizzo has great advisors on the amateur scouting side but has made some poor trades and then there are the 8 issues I detailed above.

Despite everything, this team is still excellent, they just aren't playing that way.

karlkolchak said...

One factor in the Nats' bad season that I think gets overlooked is how thin the organizations's talent base still is even after years of repairing the catastrophic damage caused by MLB's stewardship. Rizzo finally did what many of us were advocating and cleaned out some of the deadwood, but of the eight rookies who have played for the Nats this year, only Rendon and Krol have been effective and Krol was a total surprise as a throw in from the Morse trade.

In retrospect, the team's thin talent base meant that Rizzo needed to make all (or most) of the right moves in the offseason or the Nats were likely to regress from last year's soaring heights. Instead, he made mostly the wrong moves--and the surprising regression by a large number of the players he was counting on just maginified his mistakes.

A DC Wonk said...

baseballswami said...

Just because something did not work out , that does not mean it was a bad decision.


Agreed. Let's take ALR for example. Many were screaming for the Nats to re-sign him for 3 years. Rizzo wouldn't do it, and risked losing him. ALR came back and signed here for two years.

Despite the horrible April, he still is second on the team in HR's, and third in RBI's (and leads in BB's).

As for Haren -- he was a reasonable gamble. His track record was pretty good, and he had five straight years of sub 3.95 ERA, including 2011 where he lead the AL in starts and had an ERA of 3.17. He dropped off in 2012 in part due to back problems, and it wasn't unreasonable to think that, healthy, he could regain his 2011 form.

Rizzo often gambles on injury/reclamation projects, and sometimes they work out.

Let's not forget, for example, some college kid from Rice that had been projected as a #1 pick, but had a multitude of injury problems. At the end of his sophomore year he fractured his ankle and foot, then had rotator cuff problems, and -- when he was able to play -- was forced to DH during his junior year, and posted his worst year in his college career.

That's why he was still available at pick #6, and Rizzo gambled on him. See Rendon, Anthony.

ruggeds1000 said...

They could trade him for John Lannan :)

NatsLady said...

I agree they waiting too long on Henry.

Didn't they have to send Rendon back down for at least a month so we would have the extra year of control? They might have gone with your plan on Rendon and followed the Harper model, but Rendon came up in April to sub for RZimm, so he had to go back down for May. I was still worried he came up prematurely and will be delighted to be proven wrong.

They probably waited to long on Moore, but nothing that's come up to replace him has been any better.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Ghost, I agree with some of your points, but leaving Bryce in CF is a bad idea. Span will be fine, he will be an asset when he straightens around his hitting.

Arizona would have wanted more than Alex Myer for Upton, even though they were sour on him. Also, I have yet to be convinced that Upton is Giancarlo Stanton.


JUp has slowed down. Striking out more and not sure about his future but the same can be said for Span. Difference is JUp is a .830 OPS even with his recent struggles and can be a game changer.

Yes, JUp would have cost the team 3 to 4 players and 1 of them would have been Espinosa who Rizzo wouldn't part with.

When the JUp deal didn't happen, I liked the dynamics of the Span deal but it hasn't worked out. He's been like a defensive replacement and with his low walk total and sub-par BA and no power added to his poor baserunning, the Nats have greatly regressed in the lead-off.

They wanted Span to be re-tooled to 2009, heck I would take Span circa 2012 right now.

Unknown said...

If Haren was on a minimum contract, he would have been released by now. However, we must not make the proud and arrogant Mikey Rizzo look bad. This is just another in a long list of his bad free agent signings but it still isn't as bad as the Jason Werth contract. We have four and a half more seasons of that agony. I can't wait until the no trade clause of the Ugly Face of the Franchise kicks in next season. That will end up being Werth # 2.

A DC Wonk said...

baseballswami said...

Thinking you can stick young, part time players anywhere and it will just magically work is another example of the haphazard managing this year.


I hear you, but: if Span needed a rest/foot hurt -- who would you have played in the outfield last night? Given Korbernus' speed, it didn't seem totally unreasonable -- and he was awfully close to making that catch -- on a ball that was hit a loooong way.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Didn't they have to send Rendon back down for at least a month so we would have the extra year of control?


Nope, they got the extra year of control by waiting those 20 days in April but as of now Rendon qualifies for 4 years of arbitration instead of 3 due to the Super 2.

He's in the same situation as Bryce for team control and arb years.

NatsLady said...

Wonk, I would have played Bernadina in CF rather than Kobernus. I understand the platoon thing, but if neither one is hitting I go for the better, more experienced fielder.

A DC Wonk said...

However, we must not make the proud and arrogant Mikey Rizzo look bad.

That's just really silly. Rizzo's interests are the same as the fans'. When the Nats win, we're happy and Rizzo looks good.

Mr Baseball said...

NatsLady
Why was leaving Bryce in CF a bad idea. It's the easiest OF position to play and he was developing well in CF. If he had stayed in center he may not be on the DL. He had the speed and arm to play CF.

A DC Wonk said...

NatsLady said...

Wonk, I would have played Bernadina in CF rather than Kobernus. I understand the platoon thing, but if neither one is hitting I go for the better, more experienced fielder.

Well, I hear you, but . . .

For a team that had just been shut-out 2-0, and with ALR and Span out, I can see the need for some hitting.

And Bernadina is hitting .133 against lefties this year.

Doc said...

Ghost I've always thought the same thing about the Nats' executive structure, and Rizzo's lack of some baseball guy overseeing him.

Cubbies seem to have the right format with Epstein overseeing Jed Hoyer.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, well, Kobernus is hitting .214 against lefties, so big whooop!

baseballswami said...

Wonk- definitely Bernadina. But with the lengthy outfield DL time and dings-- Span's is ongoing, we probably needed another outfielder here for a while, Brown or Perez, instead of another infielder. Perez would give you speed, Brown's D is good. And I don't agree that we have a weak talent pool right now -- we have players who are not finished developing yet trying to learn on the fly.

Don said...

Looking back to the days of MLB holding the team is a reach. Ancient history.

The team is very good, but they waited too long to move on from Espi, the D has killed them, they've had bad luck in terms of bench play, they keep asking guys to perfom in roles ill-suited for them, and and now they are in a hole. But the D has improved, the bats are coming alive to some extent, Rendon is a nice jolt, Werth should help once he finds his good swing and Harper should soon be back. The club is playing .500 ball of late and that will not do, but they are showing signs of life. Let's hope that they can reel off 6-7 in a row and get back in the thick of this thing.

NatsLady said...

Mr B--I always understood LF to be the easiest to play because you have the fewest chances and Bryce's arm would not go to waste there. I think CF is "easier" in the sense you don't need the greatest arm.

But you do need to be fast and have good reads and cover for X,Y, and Z in the corners (in this case, Lombo/Moore, etc). CF is considered a "premium" position (like SS) whereas you expect more offense out of RF and LF.

Unknown said...

DC Wonk Let me remind you, the Nats aren't winning. Last year is over and the future does not look all that bright. Strasburg and Harper are brittle. Werth and Zim are in decline. The only bright spots are Desmond and Rendon and on the pitching side Zimmermann. Worse yet, the cupboard is bare in the farm system. There's isn't a single hitter who is an above average prospect and most of the better pitching prospects have been traded.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Water under the bridge on the outfield situation.
To make the best of it, the focus has to be on getting Span better.

Even with that the Nats have to upgrade and find that 4th outfielder. Remember that name I threw out with Coco Crisp and got laughed at----the guy is having an All Star type season. Nats need a good upgrade and someone who can take some ABs from Werth as he is regressing and he ain't getting any younger and now has the constant DL thingie too.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Remember, Harper can play all outfield positions, Span is a CF and Jayson can play all outfield positions. The Nats need another Corner outfielder that can also provide some pop off the bench.

Just my 2 cents looking forward.

Mr Baseball said...

NatsLady

In CF you get better reads on balls hit. You are looking straight in and can see the ball coming off the bat better. You don't have to notice the angle of the bat as much as you do in LF and RF. And a lot of CF have had very good arms. Your weakest arm is usually in LF. The reason the ball is going to RC and RF more today, is because pitchers are not knocking the hitters off the plate. Hitters are diving into the zone and pitchers are conceding the FB up and in!

SCNatsFan said...

Was resigned to another night kicking the dog and throwing the remote but I picked up a Dave Chappelle ticket for tonight so, for once, I will be laughing tonight

NatsLady said...

Well, things are getting a wee bit touchy in the Evil Empire. Cahman calls out his hitting coach.

Yankees

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/18/brian-cashman-calls-out-yankees-hitting-coach-kevin-long/

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Remember that name I threw out with Coco Crisp and got laughed at----the guy is having an All Star type season.

They laughed when I suggested Bartolo Colon, too. Hell, *I* even laughed when I suggested Bartolo Colon. Espinosa + [pick 'em] for one year of Robinson Cano wasn't well-received, either.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Well, things are getting a wee bit touchy in the Evil Empire. Cashman calls out his hitting coach.

Interesting. He's not upset with Long because they're not hitting, he's mad that Long is running his mouth to the press, instead of the team, apparently.

Eric said...

"In fact, had Span been in CF, this could very well have been a win for Haren, no?"

I took that play in via the AtBat radio feed from the grocery store, so I can't really comment. But, based on the description, it certainly sounded possible. I distinctly thought to myself, "it sounds like Span could've had that one."

Speaking of "sounds like," Slowes and Jagaler sounded rather disaffected throughout the game, particularly with Haren, and also with Kobernus when he missed the catch in question.

They also went on at length about Lannan's behavior last season. They were largely disapproving, but gave him credit for not commenting about it to the media when he was called up for a couple of starts.

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

Oh yeah!

I was home and watching on TV by the time Tracy hit his homer. During his at bat I said, "come on Tracy, tie it up! Oh, wait, no, you already hit a homer this week, and two this month, so it'll be another year and you'll strike out now."

The silence that greeted Tracy's answer to my snark was priceless! It's really too bad we couldn't capitalize.

Eric said...

From the twitter feed:
"#Braves place Evan Gattis on DL with oblique strain, recall Tyler Pastornicky from Triple-A Gwinnett."

mick said...

Thank you Nats Lady on the info about Zim and Werth's contract...so if I am reading correctly, your saying they can not be traded, is that unless they agree to one? That being the case, it seems that Zim and Werth are here as long as they want.

OK, so why not preserve Zim's physical health and move him to 1st eventually, since he is locked in. I realize if Espi ever did come back, one could move Rendon back to 3rd in that case. If Ryan is going to get injured every year, throwing the ball, why not move him to 1st after ALR departs?

Ghost,
good analysis, especially #2

2. The Nats could have pursued Justin Upton and leaving Bryce in CF and instead pursued Span. A big change in the dynamics as they were committed to trading Morse and losing his power bat.

mick said...

Span is a good move, would have like Upton better, but with the right players, span will fit in fine

Eric said...

>2. The Nats could have pursued Justin Upton and leaving Bryce in CF and instead pursued Span. A big change in the dynamics as they were committed to trading Morse and losing his power bat.

From what I understand, the Braves fans would serve him to us on a platter of late. I'm sure none of us would do the same if he slumped here ;).

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Eric, I put everything I had into the Reverse for Tracy's home run.

"They're DOOMED!" I said. "NO WAY Tracy can hit a homer off Papelbon. I guaranTEE it! Never. Going. To. Happen..." and like that, all through the at-bat.

He owes me one.

Eric said...

You and me both, Sofa!

karlkolchak said...

I have to say "au contraire" on Zim's contract. I distinctly recall it being reported at the time that his contract EXTENSION has a no trade clause, but in 2013 he is in the last year of his original contract, which does not, and he is not yet a 10/5 guy. Not that I am saying they should or would trade him this year, but I believe they COULD.

natsfan1a said...

I'll take a piece of that action, sofa and Eric. The cat can vouch for me. :-)

mick said...

interesting Karl

NatsLady said...

mick, yes, in theory either Werth or RZimm could agree to a trade but I see no reason why either one would.

I am not as pessimistic as some about Zimm's future at 3B. As long as his shoulder holds up AND Rendon can play 2B, that means you have power and average at every position this year and next (also assuming ALR produces at his career norms). You have Harper, Span, in the OF and Ramos/Susuki at catcher that is a heckuva lineup, along with out pitching.

The Nats could go on a real tear with that lineup in the 2nd half of the season, the tear that was projected for them all along. When they win the division with 90 games, everyone will yawn and say we predicted it from Day One.

NatsLady said...

kk, in theory they could but I believe he has a "poison pill" in his contract that triggers a substantial pay increase if he is traded.

Theophilus T. S. said...

My recollection is that, apart from the 10/5 rule that doesn't apply (yet), Zimmerman's "no trade" protection was a "gentlemen's agreement." If so he is rapidly erasing that agreement from the sandy beach.

karlkolchak said...

Sec. 3, My Sofa - funny, immediately after that dropped pop fly in Cleveland I turned to my wife and said, "this would now be a perfect time for Rendon to hit his first MLB home run." Jinxes are funny things. :)

livernonions said...

Zim's extension is reported to have a massive escalator clause that kicks in if he is traded before the no-trade provision itself kicks in. His price per season going forward, if traded this year, is the functional equivalent of having a no-trade provision, assuming my memory is correct.

Eric said...

"Not that I am saying they should or would trade him this year, but I believe they COULD."

I seem to recall that you're correct: he can be traded this year, but after that, he's a career man.

"The cat can vouch for me. :-)"

And, my wife can for me!

alexva said...

"but I see no reason why either one would"

$$$$$

ding ding ding, we have a winner Johnny

NatsLady said...

I could be wrong, maybe it was discussed but not implemented. Also, he was the last of the players to have benefits included for after his career (they disallowed that now). It's not clear what would happen to those commitments if he were traded, would the other team have to take them on?

baseballswami said...

Even though we lost the game, it was a great moment watching that jerk Papelbon blow a save and CBP go deathly silent. It was a special few minutes. Nats did score in the eighth and ninth, which is a good thing. There are random good things happening in every game- the timing is just all hosed up. Clip pulled a Houdini act. In the crying over spilled milk department I wish it had been Storen OR that we had walked Brown, hottest hitter in the league right now. Cliff Lee tonight. Oy.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

I'll take a piece of that action, sofa and Eric. The cat can vouch for me. :-)

Maaaaaaaaaaaan. This is going to be like that Levi's CA lawsuit, where everybody got, like, twenty cents.

alexva said...

Cliff Lee tonight? if only we had Danny on the roster. he owns the Cliffster

Eric said...

"Even though we lost the game, it was a great moment watching that jerk Papelbon blow a save and CBP go deathly silent. It was a special few minutes."

Yes. In. Deed.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Sec. 3, My Sofa - funny, immediately after that dropped pop fly in Cleveland I turned to my wife and said, "this would now be a perfect time for Rendon to hit his first MLB home run." Jinxes are funny things. :)

I'll gladly defer credit to you on that one, Stalker. My hopes were much more modest in that case.

NatsLady said...

That is a very strange delivery from the Atlanta baby pitcher (Alex Wood).

Theophilus T. S. said...

NatsLady --

Your optimism is founded on the proposition that their current performance is, just like a sulky teenager "going through a phase." I don't see it. Your "heckuva lineup" requires Span, Zimmerman, LaRoche, Suzuki and maybe Espinosa, plus the woeful bench, to rediscover the difference between a ball and a strike between now and opening day in 2014 and for Ramos to cancel his annual 90-day trip to the DL. Span has turned into Willy Taveras before our eyes. LaRoche had a lucky month of running into pitches but has otherwise been Ankiel. Suzuki has shown just how scarce any catching ability is at the major league level, somewhere above Flores and Nieves but not much. And it is a sad, telling and possibly fatal commentary that Johnson doesn't trust Storen to pitch an inning late in a tie game or, according to Johnson's explanation, pitch with a runner on first. I waiting for objective evidence of a reason to be hopeful.

karlkolchak said...

On Zim being traded--probably academic. We'd be selling very low and there is every chance that at his age he could bounce back and have a great season next year. With Zim's struggles and the huge amount of money due to him, we likely wouldn't get much more in return than we got for Henry unless the Lerners were willing to eat a big chunk of that money. I just don't see them doing that--especially not to the "face of the franchise."

A DC Wonk said...

Last year is over and the future does not look all that bright. Strasburg and Harper are brittle.

Thank you for the laugh, Legion of Doom.

Harper is 20 -- kinda early to be calling him "brittle" don't you think? In fact it's too early to give that label to Stras, too, at age 24. Rendon's had more serious injuries then both of them put together, yet you call him a bright spot.

Fact is, the Nats have one of the youngest teams in MLB. The future looks pretty darn good from where I'm sitting.

Players usually have their peak years between age 27 and 32. Our pitching staff has: Stras (24), JZim (27), Gio (27), Detwiler (27), Krol (22), and Storen (25). Between them and Harper (20), Rendon (23), Desmond (27) -- the Nats have a darn good nucleus for years to come.

Sorry to spill some sunshine on your rain cloud.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

"The Internet" means never having to say "I don't know."

From Cot's Baseball Contracts, Zimmerman (emphasis added):

6 years/$100M (2014-19), plus 2020 club option

signed extension with Washington 2/26/12

14-18:$14M annually. 19:$18M, 20:$18M club option ($2M buyout)

5 year/$10M personal-services contract, to begin once playing career ends

no-trade protection, beginning in 2014

if traded in 2012-13, salaries increase to $16M in 2014 and $18M in 2015-18, with 2019 and 2020 option unchanged and personal-services contract voided

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Now that that's out of the way, Zimmerman is only slightly more likely to be traded than Rizzo himself.

Kiterp said...

I am humbled by so much collective genius

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Kiterp, we've got a lot to be humble about in here.

Wait, that didn't come out right...

natsfan1a said...

#humbled

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