Monday, July 29, 2013

State of the Nats - 7/29

Photo by USA Today
Team Record: 52-54 (20-21)

N.L. East Standings


Wild Card Standings


Offensive Game of the Week: Jayson Werth 7/22 vs. Pirates - 2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R

Pitching Line of the Week: Stephen Strasburg 7/24 vs. Pirates - 8 IP, ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 12 SO, 118 pitches, 80 strikes

Top Storylines

Can they keep it up? - Having won four of their last five games, the Nats would probably prefer not taking a day off in interest of continuing their momentum. But fortunately for them, the recent three game winning streak came with the back of their rotation pitching. They'll pick back up on Tuesday with Strasburg on the mound - who is coming off a dominant start against Pittsburgh - and Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann to follow. If the Nationals are going to start making a run anytime soon, now would be a good time. The Tigers are up next and have been hot lately, but after the Nats leave Detroit they play nine of their next 12 games against teams with losing records. They have been saying for weeks, if not months, that 'now is the time.' But really, now is the time.
On the road - After an off day on Monday, the Nationals embark on a quick road trip to Detroit for two games and then to Milwaukee for three. Those five games will be important as they are followed by a homestand that begins with the Braves and Phillies coming to town. The Nats swept the Tigers in a two game series earlier this season at Nats Park on May 8 and 9, but Detroit has been a much better team than Washington in the months since. The Tigers have won seven of their last eight games, including a three game sweep of the Phillies this weekend in which they outscored them 24-5. If the Nats can get through the brief road swing with a winning record, they will set themselves up nicely to play the Braves with Strasburg, Gonzalez and Zimmermann lined up to pitch.

Trade deadline Wednesday - The Nationals aren't expected to make a major splash this year before the non-waiver trade deadline, but Mike Rizzo has said bench is a need. If the Nats do trade for a bench guy, it will likely be a left-handed bat as they already traded for Scott Hairston earlier this month. There still remains the possibility they trade for a pitcher, but Rizzo and Davey Johnson have said they think their newfound rotation depth could be enough for a playoff run. The emergence of Taylor Jordan - even with his innings limit - and the recent production from Ross Ohlendorf has the Nationals thinking they can make it through the season with what they have. And if they do decide to make a move, they could always wait a little longer and try to beat the waiver trade deadline on August 31. Last year they brought in Kurt Suzuki in August and that worked out pretty well.

Quote of the Week

Tyler Clippard on Drew Storen being sent to Triple-A Syracuse:

"It's one of those things that I think was handled very poorly by the organization. But at the same time, that's the decision that was made and we have to move forward as a team...

"I think there's a lot of things that led to this that could've been prevented. You know, you basically send a guy a message this offseason, for having one bad game, that he's not the guy for the job. He's only human. I mean, it's going to get to anybody...

"I can understand, you know, after the devastation that happened last year, maybe trying to make a change and say: 'Hey, we're going to bring in somebody that we think can get it done in that big situation. It's just the wrong message to send, I think. But at the end of the day, that's what happened and that's where we're at. It's up to me, it's up to Drew, it's up to everyone in this locker room to pick ourselves up and move forward."

Tweet of the Week

Harper really, really loves his bat:
Road Ahead

Mon. – OFF
Tue. – 7:08 p.m. at Detroit Tigers (Strasburg)
Wed. – 1:08 p.m. at Detroit Tigers (Gonzalez)
Thu. – OFF
Fri. – 8:10 p.m. at Milwaukee Brewers (Zimmermann)
Sat. – 7:10 p.m. at Milwaukee Brewers (Haren)
Sun. – 2:10 p.m. at Milwaukee Brewers (Jordan)

131 comments:

Tcostant said...

Please no Tracy at DH in either game.

I'd almost rather Ramos DH one game, so you can get his bat in there while giving him a night off catching.

Knoxville Nat said...

I'd settle for a split in Detroit and hopefully a sweep of the Brew Crew.

Jimmy said...

Lovely day at the ballpark yesterday. Made a last minute decision to attend the game with our two small kids, found a ten dollar parking lot on N.Cap, walked up and bought a pair of five dollar tickets (the kids are young enough to get in free), and was then handed a free extra ticket from some gentleman passing by. The free ticket had me and my toddler son watching the game from section 204 when Ramos knocked in the grandslam. All-in-all, not a bad day.

If this is the turnaround, you can thank us for finally making it downtown this season. If not, well, there's always 2014.

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

From the last thread...I think it is pretty obvious that Davey and Rizzo hate each other. Davey never wanted Strasburg shut down, never wanted Span, knew they needed LH'ers in the bullpen, thought it was bush league to fire Eckstein, etc. I think Davey has had a horrible season managing, but I would take his side every time against Ratzo, who is reminding me more and more of Dr. Evil from Austin Powers.

UnkyD said...

Yeah..... Really not so obvious.....

NatsJack in Florida said...

What a joke.

JD said...


222,

I am not against trading prospects, I was all for the Gio trade, as a matter of fact I think that since our organization is much better at developing pitchers than position players we will need to convert some of the young arms into position players eventually.

I think renting veterans at the trade dead line is 'fools gold'. They very rarely make a difference (one exception is Cliff Lee to Texas for Justin Smoak) and we aren't close enough where it's worth the gamble.

Coolhandbane (formally Bob Saget) said...

Game 1. They can have either Harper or Werth DH the game with limbo starting in their spot. Game 2, have Ramos has DH.

Game 1:

1: Harper - DH.
2: Lombo - LF
3: Zim - 3B.
4: Werth - RF.
5: Desi - SS.
6: ALR - 1B.
7: Ramos - C.
8: Rendon - 2B
9: Span - CF

Game 2

1: Harper - RF
2: Rendon - 2B
3: Zim - 3B.
4: Werth - RF.
5: Desi - SS.
6: ALR - 1B.
7: Ramos - DH.
8: Span - CF.
9: Suzuki - C


Coolhandbane (formally Bob Saget) said...

Game 1. They can have either Harper or Werth DH the game with limbo starting in their spot. Game 2, have Ramos has DH.

Game 1:

1: Harper - DH.
2: Lombo - LF
3: Zim - 3B.
4: Werth - RF.
5: Desi - SS.
6: ALR - 1B.
7: Ramos - C.
8: Rendon - 2B
9: Span - CF

Game 2

1: Harper - RF
2: Rendon - 2B
3: Zim - 3B.
4: Werth - RF.
5: Desi - SS.
6: ALR - 1B.
7: Ramos - DH.
8: Span - CF.
9: Suzuki - C


jeffwx said...

but I am almost certain Davey will not do that...another opportunity to get Tracy and Bernadina going....sigh

Teddy Rochlis said...

don't understand how Span's game or Ramos was not the offensive line of the week

JD said...


MatsJack,

If you're talking about Erik keep in mind that his posts are generally anti social.

Section 222 said...

JD, I always thought a "rental" was a deal where the player traded for is in his contract year. Like when the Giants acquired Carlos Beltran for Zach Wheeler. That was crazy. Do you consider a deal for a player who has one year left after this one a rental? Also, not every deal at the trading deadline is a rental. And sometimes a longer term deal can be reached with the player.

At any rate, it doesn't sound like Rizzo is even looking, which is too bad. But given where we now are in the standings, as opposed to where we were after the ASG, I can't say I blame him.

But I'm glad to hear that when you said earlier, "Give no prospects away Mike" you meant, "Give no prospects away, unless you are getting a good return back, Mike." I can certainly agree with that general principle.

Secret wasian man said...

Must get 10 of the next 12.

Secret wasian man said...

Cool ane, Lombo should DH Harper in the field.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Also keep in mind that Rizzo never shows his hand. It's one of the things I like about him.

Section 222 said...

Very true NJ. No one saw the Gio deal coming, or the Span deal, or the Scott Hairston deal for that matter. The only thing he has telegraphed in recent days is that he'd like to find a replacement for Chad Tracy. I don't think anyone here would have a problem with that.

JD said...


222,

No a player with one year left isn't a rental but getting Peavy in that scenario would be similar to getting Haren or EJax and we didn't give up anything to get them. If I trade decent prospects ideally I would like someone in their mid to late 20's where there's a decent chance that their best years aren't behind them.

JD said...


222,

Not a problem with that at all although I don't think you can get anyone who'l make very much difference. Bring up Corey Brown if you must, heck he's been pretty hot lately.

ChiefWJ said...

The Shark is 2 for 20 lifetime against Anibal Sanchez.

hiramhover said...

222

With Garza already dealt, Peavy is regarded as one of the best (if not the best) SP definitely known to be available at the trade deadline. The market for him will be determined by teams who see him as the piece they need to solidify their playoff chances for 2013.

The Nats are not such a team. If they want a veteran back end starter for next year, they are better off waiting til the off season, when supply (via FA or trade) will be higher, and they won't have to deal with inflated trade deadline prices and demands.

A DC Wonk said...

I think it is pretty obvious that Davey and Rizzo hate each other. Davey never wanted Strasburg shut down . . .

must . . not . . feed . . troll . . .



ChiefWJ said...

Possible deal: Javier Lopez is a free agent at the end of the year & presumably wouldn't cost a major prospect. The Nats could use a LH reliever (Abad has been OK, but mostly in low leverage situations). Plus Lopez is from the area (Robinson HS/UVA) & might be amenable to signing for another year.

Tcostant said...

I think a lot of us saw the Span deal coming. Rizzo was lusting after him for years. In retrospect, he might have choice the wrong Twins OF to trade for (as Ben Revere looks like he has the brighter future despite his reason injury).

Interestingly I heard Bill Ladson on the radio this weekend, and he thinks Span will be traded by the Nationals this OF. I don't see it (Rizzo admit a mistake, not likely), but he indicated he thinks it will happen unless Span improves a lot the last two months.

David Proctor said...

Ladson is pretty clueless in my experience. At least compared to Kilgore, Mark, etc. Laddson always makes predictions that never turn out to be true. But we'll see.

Alphabet Soup Erik said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tcostant said...

David I agree it won't happen, but I was surprised how sure he seem to be.

I figure Rizzo will want to see Span next year with a new manager and hsi second year in the NL.

I wouldn't bet it would happen.

NatsJack in Florida said...

JD...I think your antisocial comment fell short.

David Proctor said...

Yeah antisocial is far too kind

Another_Sam said...

Going 4 for 5 cured a lot of short term stuff here. I know I'm feeling much better. I just want to continue to see good, interesting, and winning baseball. I'm not watching the out of town scoreboard these days.

Whack-a-Mule said...

Mule Notes: The remaining games -

The 56 games which remain must be approached in the best Crash Davis/Nuke Laloosh manner (i.e. "We gotta play it one day at a time.")

That sterling insight having been recorded, one potential positive is that 35 of the 56 are against N.L. East opponents (ATL-9, Phil-9, NYM-7, MIA-10). Nine games head-to-head with the team 8.5 in the lead presents a fine opportunity for advancement.

However, as do most clubs, the Nats play much better at home. Thus far in 2013, they are .553 at home (31-25) as opposed to .420 on the road (21-29).

Unfortunately, a majority of games remaining (31) are away, with only 25 home games left in the season.

To paraphrase Lou Brown, it's gonna take 36 more victories to win this thing (final record 88-74). Winning 36 of 56 is a .643 clip. Should the Nats raise their road play to just over .500 (16-15), that would require them to go 20-5 at home, which is asking rather at lot of any home team.

Therefore, a winning percentage on the road of well above .500 will be required; .600 +/- at any rate (18 or 19 wins out of 31 games).

Starting tomorrow in Detroit, "(w)e gotta play it one day at a time."





David Proctor said...

Desmond said he's treating every game from here on out almost as a playoff game, because we can't afford to lose many more. It's a good way to look at it.

SCNatsFan said...

Tconstant if you read the Philly blogs they would take Span over Revere right now. I don't know if either one, right now, is any better than the other.

Or is it then the other? I always get confused.

David Proctor said...

Revere is a disaster in CF, but I don't think there's any doubt Revere has outperformed Span so far offensively. Although Span does have 2 homers to Revere's 0 so.... :)

James Joyce said...

I just don't understand Rizzo. He goes after Scott Hairston, a guy he liked because he's under contract for 2014 ($2.5M) -- ok, not sure that was a good call, but maybe. But, why is Tyler Moore still a Nat as they have no place for the guy in 2015 and he aint getting younger on the farm. I really hope Rizzo pulls the trigger moving some of these guys at Cuse who really do not have a place in Natstwon going forward (good for those players and good for hte club) and gets something to help aid a stretch run.

sjm308 said...

Off days might not be great but the comments in this post and the last were very insightful (actually, even the one troll gave me insight into how he felt even if it was ridiculous).

Dueces - I fall in the column of keeping what we have an not adding that veteran. It's not that I think Haren will become an All-Star all of a sudden but his last 4 starts have produced a 3. something era and what do you think Peavy would give us? If NatsJack thinks the prospects are coming sooner than later, that is good enough for me. (poppycock or no poppycock).

There was an interesting comment on Norris vs. Suzuki earlier. I realize Norris is much younger but he has sort of fallen out of favor with the A's and does not start on a regular basis. I loved what Kurt did last year but its obvious that Wilson is our catcher for the future and I also think Kurt will not reach the games played number to get that automatic extention. Does that mean we are in the market for a #2 catcher next year or is Onion going to move right in? Probably not important as we keep fighting for a playoff spot but I had not thought about Suzuki vs. Norris until today.

The great thing about baseball is that hope does continue in a long season. I don't think any other sport can compare, especially with two wild cards. I saw a quote from Bochy saying he still feels his team has a strong chance and they are even farther out of first than we are and in last place in their division.

Go Nats!! split with the Tigers and win the series with the Brewers and don't worry about the other teams, take care of what you need to take care of.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Finishing up my DC trip and Eastern Shore vacation. Fun time at the park over the weekend. I found the best 3 games to go to and chose the Sunday game to sit in Presidents seats to watch TJord up close.

NatsJack is a wise man and the scouts that gave me all the scouting reports on Taylor Jordan nailed it from the start. Just like they said a #5 with #3 potential and if he can perfect his slider he will be a #3 as his 2 fastballs work with great location and his 2-seamer is a true sinker and the changeup with split movement is darn good.

Here's what I noticed. He struggled for location with the first 2 batters and then settled down and looked great for 4 innings. His slider looked great the first few innings. As the game went on he did have issues with a put-away pitch. Ramos moved him around and under the hands of Davis a few times and he really could've gone shutout on the day.

The fact that he could hit his spots when needed was key.

I did read the guys who had him at the kids camp were saying he was going to try to add a cutter in the off-season to use on lefty batters.

I would say that if he could get that cutter going as a "go to" pitch against lefties he can possibly be a top of the rotation guy but certainly a #3 type with his slider movement.

All the talk about the Nats needing another starter is probably mistake unless you felt Detwiler wasn't coming back.

With Stras, Gio, JZim, Det, and TJord you have your 2014 rotation with Karns in the wings and maybe Rizzo gets smart and ties up Ohlendorf as his long man for the bullpen as he has been invaluable.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

sjm308 said...
There was an interesting comment on Norris vs. Suzuki earlier. I realize Norris is much younger but he has sort of fallen out of favor with the A's and does not start on a regular basis. I loved what Kurt did last year but its obvious that Wilson is our catcher for the future and I also think Kurt will not reach the games played number to get that automatic extention. Does that mean we are in the market for a #2 catcher next year or is Onion going to move right in? Probably not important as we keep fighting for a playoff spot but I had not thought about Suzuki vs. Norris until today.


I will give you my prediction again. Rizzo will attempt to make a deal for Kurt to stay but at market value. Kurt is the most over-paid catcher in baseball. Rizzo isn't stupid, he likes him but isn't about to pay him more than $1 million to be a backup.

alexva said...

I don't know Ghost, skipping from AA worked for Harper and Rendon but I'm not convinced Jordan couldn't use a year in AAA.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

alexva, you could be right. AAA would give him the opportunity to work out his repertoire but OTOH he sure looks ready to step up and stay here.

Nats106 said...

Tcostant said...
In retrospect, he might have choice the wrong Twins OF to trade for (as Ben Revere looks like he has the brighter future despite his reason injury).

Tcostant-agree 100% about Ramos being DH in Motown, but if you've seen Ben Revere's arm, I think you'd reconsider. He makes Hairston's arm look like a bazooka. I know alot of people are hating on Span, but he makes CF look easy and seems to be settling in on the 7 spot to hit well.
Plus, he was a class act (along with a few others that I mentioned previously) at the Fan Appreciation day, talking with the crowd, shaking hands, etc as opposed to giving the fans a Queen of England wave as some did.

JD said...


alexva,

AAA is nothing but a glorified taxi squad for the major league team. It's not normally a development stop for top prospects. If you can master AA your next challenge is the big leagues but generally there's nothing much to be gained with a AAA stint.

David Proctor said...

It would not surprise me at all if Harper DH's given his knee situation. I'd also strongly consider Lombo at 2B. Not because he's a better player than Rendon, but because he's hot right now and we need to ride the hot hand. When Lombo cools down (which will be sooner rather than later), you can put Rendon back there.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, I agree but I think alexva meant for additional work but I'm hoping TJord has a great off-season and Spring Training.

Karns could also step up. It's nice to have too many, right?

James Joyce said...

Ok, so Suzuki is the most over-paid catcher in baseball? Maybe. But not sure that we can bet that Rizzo will be so shrewd when it comes to signings for next year's club. He's a good GM, but Rizzo is not exactly the best spending GM on the planet, he did just pick up something like $3.5M in payroll (combined .13 and '14) in Hairston (which leaves no place for Tyler Moore). He spent $13M on Haren, $126M on Werth, $100M to a guy to play 3B but who likely won;t be playing there much longer. $28M to Soriano. $24M to LaRoche. $5M to Lannan last year. Wang, Maya. Ouch, ouch.

Section 222 said...

DP, just curious. After two good games, Lombo went 0-3 on Friday night. He didn't play Saturday and got a single in a mopup role on Sunday. So you'd put him back in against the Tigers, taking out Rendon who even though he went 1-5, hit several balls hard for outs. Just how many more 0-fer games would it take for you to declare Lombo cooled off?

David Proctor said...

Lombo went 0-3 against Harvey, so I kind of excuse him for that. A couple more 0-fers and I'd say put Rendon back in.

alexva said...

JD, Matt Harvey made 20 starts in AAA, Shelby Miller 27. I could go on but just because the AAA roster is often stocked with replacement major leaguers don't undervalue the experience to be gained.

JD said...


James Joyce,

I don't think Hairston is in competition with TyMo. TyMo is either good enough to play 1st base every day or he is off to another team. I don't think he works well as a bench player and certainly not in the outfield.

SCNatsFan said...

I predict Espinosa to the A's by Wednesday. I have no info or insider connections. Just connecting dots.

James Joyce said...

JD -- I agree on Moore, but I just don't understand the move for Hairston. Moore is blocked by LaRoche now by Zim soon and even if Zim can play 3B then potentially by Werth down the road should he not be able to run around in the outfiled well. So, if Moore is tradable, and he should be, then trade him get something the club can use before it is too late this season. If it can wait until the off-season, then adding Hairston now was a costly move with limited upside, no?

James Joyce said...

Espi to the A's is not a bad call. They need middle infield help. But, they are looking to win now and he's likely too much of a project for that. Alexei Ramirez to Oakland maybe? Jamey Carroll? Long shot but would be fun to see, Jimmy Rollins going home to Oakland??

David Proctor said...

Jimmy Rollins has said he won't waive his no-trade clause.

A DC Wonk said...

SCNatsFan said...

I predict Espinosa to the A's by Wednesday. I have no info or insider connections. Just connecting dots.

It's hard to imagine trading him at what's probably his lowest value ever

paul brandt said...

anybody else see this? pretty cool, we do have some great fans:

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/washington-nationals-fans-gives-away-season-tickets-honor-155049736.html

NatsJack in Florida said...

Espinosa isn't going anywhere.

Not unless another solid shortstop prospect comes back in the deal.

SCNatsFan said...

Brandt, very cool link.

And while I agree Espi is at his lowest point, I just see boras staring at Rizzo with a death stare. Their relationship has been good, sometimes you have to makes moves with a bigger picture involved.

You put Moore and Espi together to a team like the A's, maybe include a third team, and ho knows ho we get. Again, just me blowing smoke out my rear. But don't think I won't be first to say told ya so if it happens.

David Proctor said...

Tyler Moore just hit a Grand Slam. He's been on fire

paul brandt said...

DP, I say bring him up and have him platoon with ALR and use ALR as a late inning defensive replacement when Moore is playing vs. lefties...we have waited long enough for ALR to get the bat going.

David Proctor said...

ALR at least has a track record of getting hot in the late summer. Moore has no such track record and has been awful all season.

SonnyG10 said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
Espinosa isn't going anywhere.

Not unless another solid shortstop prospect comes back in the deal.
July 29, 2013 7:14 PM


I think this is exactly right. Rizzo would be a fool to trade away Danny unless he gets a good shortstop prospect in return. I've seen enough of Rendon at shortstop. If something happens to Desi, we need a real replacement or forget about ever winning the division.

paul brandt said...

ok, question: when a pitch hits the dirt, 100% of the time, the ump throws the ball out of play and in comes a new ball but when a ball is hit into say a 6-3 ground ball out, the ball gets thrown around the horn and remains in play...what gives?

Nats 128 said...

Colorado was up 5-1 against Braves. Then gave up 5 runs. Back to tied 6-6. Beachy is getting pounded. Colorado with a costly error.

paul brandt said...

DP, hope you are right re. ALR because his glove his second to none but the clock is ticking and we are in the mid-late summer... hoping August is the month where he gets it going but am sure Davey will provide a real long leash.

paul brandt said...

128, just saw the Barves score, makes me sick!

Nats 128 said...

Trade Espinosa? Why trade a player at the bottom of his valuation. Get him back in September and showcase him!

Nats 128 said...

paul, bases loaded and the 3rd baseman Arenado got a double play ball and booted it. Opened the flood gates.

Nats 128 said...

Michael Morse activated and Jason Bay gets his walking papers.

Eugene in Oregon said...

paul brandt @ 8:23 p.m.,

To partly answer your question, I did a little research a couple of seasons ago after I had seen one too many pitcher ask the umpire for a new ball. From my early knowledge of baseball, I had always assumed that a pitcher would want to hold onto a scuffed or otherwise defaced ball so that he could make it dance a bit. So I couldn't understand why a pticher would give up a perfectly good -- meaning potentially bad -- ball. What I learned was that sometime in the 1980s (when I wasn't paying as close attention to the game as I was before or after) MLB was seeking to crack down on the use of doctored balls and ended up making it the pitcher's responsibility (with suspensions as the penalty) if the ball were challenged and found to be less-than-perfect. Thus, the incentive for pitchers to ask for a clean ball after one has been thrown into the dirt. Why they don't feel a similar need after a ball has been in play, I don't know. But long gone are the days when a Whitey Ford would sharpen his wedding ring to use in doctoring balls. At least I think they're long gone...

James Joyce said...

Trade Espinosa? Yeah, they should have pulled the trigger on that idea in the off-seaso nwhen the guy ahd osme value.

Eugene in Oregon said...

P.S. - I should have written pitcher or catcher. Catchers also used to sharpen the metal rings on their shin guards to use to scratch up balls, etc. But the crackdown on spit balls put an end to that, as well.

David Proctor said...

I'm not sure why people think Espinosa had so much trade value in the offseason. He didn't. Not because of his play, but I don't think many teams wanted to trade for a guy with a torn rotator cuff.

paul brandt said...

Eugene, thanks, interesting & makes sense from the pitchers perspective so he doesn't get tossed but after a ball is in play is where I am still scratching my head.

Seems like a waste of baseballs too. I saw at Nats stadium where they sell what appears to be every ball thrown out of play and include a description of what happened but perhaps the balls would be better if donated to LL teams throughout the DC area that could use them.

Nats 128 said...

"James Joyce said...
Trade Espinosa? Yeah, they should have pulled the trigger on that idea in the off-seaso nwhen the guy ahd osme value"

I do remember someone saying it but cant remember who they had to replace him.

Only trade I remember that turned into a real steal trade was Langerhands for Morse.

Eugene in Oregon said...

pb,

Good point on the wasted ball, although I just assume they end up in the batting practice buckets. Little League couldn't use them, unfortunately, as they're bigger and heavier than LL balls.

As a former (a long, long time ago) LL umpire, I'm astounded at how cavalierly balls are disposed of at the MLB level. I recall being given a 12-ball box to use over the course of a six-game week, i.e., two balls per game. Period. And each team's coach expected to get one of the balls at the end of the game for his team's practice bucket. As long as a ball wasn't water-logged we'd put it back into play. And if it was water-logged -- some were hit into a nearby ditch -- we'd take it home and dry it in the oven for use in the next day's game. I'm not making that up. Over the course of the season, I don't think we lost more than two or three balls.

slidell2 said...

I wonder if many of the discarded balls eventually make it back into play, after inspection?

SCNatsFan said...

Slidell2, now that 'used' balls sell for $100 on the concourse I wouldn't expect the trend to change

paul brandt said...

Eugene, funny, yea, I remember when my dad as a LL coach would come home with a 12 ball box, man, it was like Christmas, I would smell them, touch them, throw them in the air and never forget him screaming, you better not drop any of them...never did.

now I don't know how many end up for sale but there is a table on the 3rd base of Nats stadium with various memorabilia but it also includes alot of baseballs thrown out of play with descriptions like (Harper, 2-1 count, date, pitcher name, team, and foul off left foot) or some other odd description with prices varying given the players involved.

but you are right, re. the baseballs being heavier than LL calls for but they could be used for local HS or low budget college teams, I don't know, not trying to make a big deal out of this but its astonishing to me how many balls are thrown out of play and to sell them for profit just seems wrong.

SonnyG10 said...

Eugene in Oregon, very cool you were a little league umpire. Thanks for serving the little kids.

SonnyG10 said...

paul brandt said...

...but its astonishing to me how many balls are thrown out of play and to sell them for profit just seems wrong.
July 29, 2013 9:35 PM


Guess they got to pay Ryan and Jayson somehow. :)

paul brandt said...

sonny, I hear ya'

and I'm not trying to slam the Nats, they do wonderful things especially for the troops every home game which is very moving & I love it...guess I'm just bored given the off day, just something I have noticed with the baseballs.

#4 said...

The average life of a Major League baseball is three pitches. When I coached in HS I was mad if we used more than four balls in a game. Reserve players who were good at retrieving foul balls were valuable.

David Proctor said...

Tyler Moore with 2 homers, a double and 6 RBI tonight for the Chiefs.

Doctor Joe said...

Little League baseballs are the exact same size and weight as Major League baseballs. They may have different cores, covers, and seams. But as for differences in the size and weight - ain't none.

paul brandt said...

Doc Joe, thought MLB balls were a tad bigger & heavier but thanks for the insight...may have to send this to wikipedia, ha!

Eugene/former ump...thoughts?

sjm308 said...

Both Moore and Corey Brown are on fire right now. Does Rizzo wait until Sept? I realize both have had shots and not done well but what are Tracy and Bernadina doing to help?

Would a team really pick up Bernadina if we tried to get him through waivers? I love the shark but its all about what have you done for us lately in my opinion. Give Corey another shot!

sjm308 said...

The more I think about this, the more sense it makes. Rendon can play 3rd when Ryan needs a day off with Lombo taking 2nd. Moore is your backup first baseman, Brown can play all 3 outfield positions. Why do we keep two guys hitting under .200? We lose no prospects this way and while people keep talking about our pitching, it truly is our hitting that his been hurting us.

David Proctor said...

Well in Tyler Moore's case, he's a righty. So he can't really replace Tracy or Bernadina. But Brown could.

paul brandt said...

sjm, bring up Moore now before he cools off and alternate him & ALR given the pitching match-up...sorry but ALR has been given way too much rope to get out of his offensive funk. ALR vs. R handers and Moore vs. L handers, stick with it and bring in ALR in late game for defense.

if you don't agree, then heck, its all poppycock!

Eugene in Oregon said...

SonnyG @ 9:39 - Thanks for the thanks, but I was 15- and 16-year-old kid myself, mostly doing it for $3/game we got paid.

On the question of baseball sizes, I'm pretty darn sure that there are differences between baseball specifications as you move up the ladder. If you go to your local Dick's Sporting Goods, check out the Little League ball vs. an MLB ball. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I remember it. Also, I recall that the during the College World Series the announcers were talking about the differences between MLB and NCAA balls (something to do with the seams, mainly).

David Proctor said...

" Why do we keep two guys hitting under .200? "

How quickly we forget though. Moore WAS one of those guys. And his defense is atrocious. Even at first. It's atrocious. I can live with it if he hits, but he didn't hit all year and he got a lot of rope. I'm wary of calling him back up so soon.

Don said...

Doctor Joe -- not sure that is accurate. The size is the same, but the weight is not -- based upon my highly scientific side by side compare just now, that is.

Nats 128 said...

Bernadina would be picked up quickly. He's the best defensive OF off the bench. Team needs him.

sjm308 said...

DavidP - I agree and mentioned that both players I discussed have been given chances and failed but Moore did not fail last year! I realize you lose Tracy's lefthanded bat but I was just worried about covering all the replacement positions, not the righty/lefty thing. Its tough being a faux GM/manager. Great thing about Moore is if he goes into another funk, you send him back down and try something else. I do wonder what his future is with this club though.

sjm308 said...

128 - from the little I know about AAA, I think Brown is an above average defender and you are not really using Bernadina now as a defensive replacement. He comes in for double switches but its not like we have Morse or even Moore to replace in the late innings like we did last year. Our starting 3 play really good defense.

David Proctor said...

Braves win.

Nats 128 said...

Freaking Braves with a walkoff hit.

sjm308 said...

Just wondering 128 - are you ok with our bench being one of the worst in the majors? I like all our guys and have loved what Bernadina and Tracy did last year but they are killing us this year. For that matter, Hairston has not done a thing and even Lombo has regressed (as has Suzuki). I do worry about what losing even more guys from last year will do to morale but then again, they are pros and have to figure out its a game of production.

sjm308 said...

So I now become a Padres fan for a couple of days!

Nats 128 said...

sm308, Corey is a corner outfielder and he can play CF however I wouldnt try it as Davey wont play him which makes it a mute point.

Nats 128 said...

I would bring Corey in for Tracy.

Nats 128 said...

Adam Laroche was another poor signing by Rizzo. If it wasnt for his ability to catch Ryans poor throws he would be well below average this season. One good month doesnt make a season.

I hope Rizzo can trade him even if he has to eat money.

Rizzo rated himself a "C" in the QA yesterday. I think he was to kind to himself. I would say D-

Doctor Joe said...

Official baseballs are 9 inches and 5 ounces. That goes for Little League, the Major Leagues, and everything in between. As I mentioned, they do all have different specs with regards to the core, cover, and seams. They might feel different for that reason. Heck, even two different Major League balls may feel different - e.g. when a pitcher requests a different ball from the umpire.

And back to the conversation - - I don't think Brown or Moore have a future in town :o).

sjm308 said...

128 - you nail it as Davey will just not give the "kids" a chance. Its just me having time on my hands and crazy ideas to help us get better.It does drive me crazy having 3 guys on the bench under .200 though. I do remember starting 3 and even 4 players hitting under .200 during that horrible streak. We would joke that the pitcher that game was our #5 hitter in reality. At least now, all of our starters are hitting above .200 which is not that great an accomplishment but baby steps I guess.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

MLB Rule 1.09

The ball shall be a sphere formed by yarn wound around a small core of cork, rubber or similar material, covered with two stripes of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together. It shall weigh not less than five nor more than 5 1/4 ounces avoirdupois and measure not less than nine nor more than 9 1/4 inches in circumference.

sjm308 said...

Dr. J - I am pretty sure Brown is totally out of options and I am guessing he will end up a career AAAA player or maybe hook on with another team as a 4th outfielder ala Bernadina. I really thought we had something with Moore, but if they are honestly going to move Zimm or Werth to first as I read here, then I guess he will be used in some sort of trade. I would guess that Moore has options so they might yo-yo him again next year.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Whereas

(from Livestrong.com, of all places)

Little League Baseball

Little League baseballs vary depending on the league and age group. For example, tee ball leagues typically use a low-level compression ball, which feels rubbery when squeezed. The 16-and-under leagues use a baseball that is similar in dimensions to the ball used by the NCAA and MLB. Baseballs used in Little Leagues are designed to be safe and progress to a harder ball as age group increases. No certain manufacturer constructs Little League baseballs. Local leagues can make further suggestions on the ball to be used during game play."

David Proctor said...

I mean...if Moore can hit, i can deal with his defense (even in LF). If he performed like he did last year off the bench as as a spot starter in LF or on 1B, that would be fine. But if he's not hitting, having his atrocious defense out there doesn't help matters.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

I think Corey Brown might have an option year left; he's only been up during 2011 and 2012.

Doctor Joe said...

http://www.amazon.com/RAWLINGS-RLLB1-OFFICIAL-LITTLE-BASEBALL/dp/B002VK9VAM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1375154548&sr=8-5&keywords=Official+Little+League+BAseball

You'll see the size weight on the pic of the ball.

http://www.amazon.com/Official-Major-League-Baseball-Rawlings/dp/B0013VERWM/ref=sr_1_4?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1375154634&sr=1-4&keywords=Official+Major+League+baseball
This shows the weight of the big league ball. Same as the Little League ball.

Don't know how the misconception that the balls are different sizes/weights got started - maybe because that is the case in other youth sports.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

I appreciate the discussion about baseball construction. I live in an area where baseballs seem to invariably land in my yard and never get reclaimed and I have several and it is surprising how different they can feel from one another, while always roughly the same diameter. They actually can feel as though they are different weights. Perhaps this could be due to moisture absorption.

I recently read some materials from Baseball Prospectus indicating that ball construction may have been more responsible for the home run barrages of the recent past than were steroids. It was almost certainly a combination of the two.

Doctor Joe said...

And there was the controversy in the Japanese League this year where the league officials admitting to juicing the ball. I don't know if MLB would ever own up to that, but it is pretty common knowledge that the baseballs used during the Home Run Derby are wound just a wee bit tighter than the game balls.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

In terms of quality, I wonder if the MLB balls are worth the difference in cost, although they do have all the marks of MLB, which makes them nicer....

Doctor Joe said...

"I live in an area where baseballs seem to invariably land in my yard and never get reclaimed..."

Are you the real-life Mr. Mertle from the movie The Sandlot? :o)

What I find funny is that the while the official MLB baseballs are definitely better made, more durable - can stand a lot more play and hits before going a bit "mushy", in actuality that never comes into play during games because balls are taken out of play so frequently.

Drew said...

Big Jake Johansen had another encouraging outing, throwing five scoreless innings for Auburn. He has an 0.99 ERA in 27.1 innings.

The exciting thing is that Johansen appears to be responding to coaching. The more he pitches, the fewer guys he walks.

He's moved from 2.2 innings in his initial outings to 5 inning stints. He's walked 14 batters in his 27.1 innings -- but only two batters in his last 10 innings.

Barring a big offseason trade, the Nats will have fierce competition for the back end of their rotation in the next few years.

Look at all of the promising arms: Taylor Jordan, Karns, Cole, Ray, Solis, Taylor Hill, Purke, Treinen, Schwartz, Mooneyham, Johansen, Giolito.

William O. Douglas Loeffler said...

Actually, I live sort of in a ravine-like area and whenever we have big rains in the area, things just float down into my yard....

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

I didn't realize we had picked up Mark Lowe until I saw he won a game for Syracuse (in relief). Not that he's great--by any means--but interesting to have another guy with a lot of MLB experience there. I wonder if they use guys like that for batting practice...

NatsLady said...

Drew (or anyone else who knows the minor-leagues system well), why does it seem like the Nats are so good at drafting and developing pitchers (or picking them up off the scrap-heap), but we don't have that knack for position players?

BigCat said...

Hmmmm....I see Cole won his first game at Harrisburg. 7 innings 3 hits and 1 run. Good going kid

fast eddie said...

From a previous thread re: an Espinosa trade:
If Jhonny Peralta gets suspended this week, the Tigers will have an urgent need for a SS. Danny would be a good fit here with his glove and they don't need his bat.

Joe Seamhead said...

NatsLady, We started out with a heap of junk only 8 years ago. Rizzo, and Bowden before him have rightfully put pitching as a #1 priority, but there is only so much that could be done in that time while also putting a competitive on the field at the ML level at the same time. Virtually every player we started out with 8 years ago was at best replacement level, with only a couple of exceptions. The minor league farm system was akin to a dead carcass that had been picked over by a pack of hyenas. I think that folks complaining about the job Rizzo has done really need to look at the bigger, and long term, picture.

NatsJack in Florida said...

From a developement stand point, I watch how ever pitcher, whether in Fall Instructs or minor league ST games has a guy charting pitches (type, speed and location) and two cameras recording every delivery, one from behind the plate and one from his throwing side.

I've never seen recording of any hitters. I'm thinking most of the hitting instruction takes place in the cages and during bp but without all the recording.

It just seems to me that the total emphasis is on building up a supply line of pitchers and Tayor Jordan is just the start of what portends to be a steady supply of arms for the Nats.

Hitting wise I can't say the same.

alexva said...

I think that will change over time Jack. I know you know the depths of our pitching quality when Rizzo took over. and without a doubt he wants pitching and defense first

there may soon be a shift to drafting more hitters.

NatsLady said...

NJ and Seamhead, that's been my impression also. Focus has been on pitching for years--and it does pay off. Look at the supply of baby pitchers we had ready for the Gio trade (and the Span trade). I remember when Christian Garcia and his agent were looking for a spot they rated the Nats as the best for his situation.

Just wondering if the Nats can walk and chew gum at the same time.

P.S., saw this news on Alex Meyer.

SEATTLE -- Double-A right-hander Alex Meyer, out since June 1 with a shoulder strain, is scheduled to throw his first bullpen late this week.

The hope is to have Meyer make at least one start in the Gulf Coast League before returning to New Britain around mid-August. The Eastern League season ends Sept. 2.

After that Meyer could head to instructional league in Fort Myers or the Arizona Fall League.

"We need to get him some innings," Antony said.

Meyer, 23, has just 190 professional innings since being drafted 23rd overall in 2011. Of those, 61 have come this season.


http://www.twincities.com/minneapolis/ci_23749248/minnesota-twins-alex-meyer-scheduled-throw-this-week

NatsLady said...

fast eddie, interesting thought. What do the Tigers have that we want? Could trade Danny back to us at the end of the season, it's happened before.

alexva said...

and this from NatsLady is reason #1 why you always need pitchers

injury

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

NL:
How about Nick Castellanos? It would take a lot more than Danny to pry him loose--TyMo, Shark, AA pitcher?

The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. said...

"NatsJack in Florida said...

From a developement stand point, I watch how ever pitcher, whether in Fall Instructs or minor league ST games has a guy charting pitches (type, speed and location) and two cameras recording every delivery, one from behind the plate and one from his throwing side.

I've never seen recording of any hitters. I'm thinking most of the hitting instruction takes place in the cages and during bp but without all the recording."

There's a fundamental difference between hitting and pitching that you fail to grasp. People constantly refer to hitting as "offense" but in reality it's not. Except in T ball, hitting is reactionary. Everything follows from the pitch, which is not consistent. The hitter doesn't attack the pitch, he reacts to it. While pitchers have a finite set of pitches for which their mechanics need to be cast in stone, hitters have a swing that needs to be adapted to a large variety of pitches. Recording every pitch a pitcher throws can be helpful to them in solidifying their mechanics and making them repeatable. What good would recording every swing a batter takes in the cage or during BP do? The coaches are watching them and giving them feedback to help them avoid irregularities in their swing. During games, their ABs are all recorded so that they can later review how they responded to live pitching, which is what matters. Remember, it's "see ball, hit ball" not "see ball, go to the video room, hit ball."

NatsJack in Florida said...

How silly of me to not realize that video analysis only applies to pitching mechanics. Even sillier to not recognize that hitting mechanics aren't important or, apparently, don't even exist.

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