Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nats at Marlins - 3/13/11

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats are back in Jupiter again today to face the Marlins.
It's been four whole days since the Nationals last played the Marlins, so I think contractually they were required to make the trip down to Jupiter this morning. I kid, of course, but it sure does seem like these two teams play an inordinate number of times. Just one of several reasons the Nats are looking to move out of Viera to either Florida's Gulf Coast or Arizona, where there are more teams in closer proximity.

Today's game features Jordan Zimmermann, who has yet to allow a run in six innings this spring, plus reliever Henry Rodriguez, who is finally making his Grapefruit League debut after arriving to camp late following visa issues.

Plenty of Nationals regulars made trip, including Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Nyjer Morgan and Danny Espinosa. If you subscribe to's package, you can watch the game via the Marlins' broadcast...

Where: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: FSN Florida via
Radio: Marlins radio via XM and MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Mostly sunny, 73 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Alex Cora
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Rick Ankiel
DH Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jesus Flores
3B Alberto Gonzalez
(P Jordan Zimmermann)

DH Chris Coghlan
2B Omar Infante
SS Hanley Ramirez
1B Gaby Sanchez
LF Logan Morrison
3B Donnie Murphy
CF DeWayne Wise
RF Bryan Peterson
C Brad Davis
(P Ricky Nolasco)
1:15 p.m. -- Sad news to report: Mitchell Page, the Nationals' former hitting coach, apparently died in his sleep last night at age 59. Page was a wonderful coach and a very nice man who unfortunately battled his share of demons, most notably alcoholism. He served as the Nats' hitting coach in 2006 and for the first half of the 2007 season before he was let go after a relapse. May he rest in peace.


Theophilus said...

Ladson is spreading a rumor that the Astros think Flores's arm is still subpar. Mark, what is your sense? It sounds to me like the Astros complaining that the Nats want a real player in exchange when they thought they could get Flores for a Class A knuckle-balling reliever. If Flores's arm was still ailing, it seems to me (A) he would be DH'ing, not starting; (B) he would be back in the minor league camp; (C) Nats would not be "showcasing" him as who wants to showcase damaged goods.

I'm OK w/ the idea Flores should be catching five days a week in Syracuse after almost two years off. But I hate somebody passing off malicious gossip as news, if that's what it is.

Stranded_in_Philly said...


Rumor has it Washington is scouting Carlos Silva. What do you make of them targeting another back of the rotation starter?

sjm 308 said...

not sure if I saw this correctly but yesterday vs. the Yankee's Flores threw sharply to first on a pick-off attempt and we have heard nothing negative on his arm. I think Theo has it nailed that this is just politicking by the Astro's to drive the price down. That plus Ladson is wrong just about as many times as he is right.

BinM said...

Theophilus, just an opinion, but...
Flores doesn't have the best arm in camp behind the plate - If Ladson is comparing him to I-Rod, Ramos, & Norris, then yes, his arm is sub-par. But that's a high standard to match, imo.

Don't generally read Ladson, but what's Houston whining about - that Rizzo is looking for something of value in return for a solid game-caller with some power? The Nationals still believe (as do I) that Flores is still a MLB-capable player; Offer a comparable player in return, not the dime-on-a-dollar exchange that was offered initally.

Anonymous said...

Any chance the Fish can plunk Nyjer and make the OF decisions a lot easier? Bernadina in CF and Monster Morse in LF. Problems solved.

-Pedro G.

BinM said...

S_i_P: Nothing's impossible, but why in the world would the Nationals even be kicking the tires on a bottom-rung SP with an $11.5M pricetag & possible heart problems (on DL w/accelerated heartrate in August, 2010)? That makes little sense, imo.

Mark Zuckerman said...

From what I saw of Flores this spring, his arm looks fine. You guys are correct that he doesn't have the gun Pudge and Ramos have, but that's not because of the shoulder injury. Flores' arm looks as strong as it was pre-surgery.

My opinion of all this trade talk: I just don't see Rizzo dealing away a catcher right now. For one thing, other teams aren't going to give up anything significant for Flores until they've seen him play on a daily basis during the regular season. More importantly, the Nats don't know which one of their young catchers is ultimately going to pan out as the best of the group: Ramos, Flores or Norris. Why trade one of them now when you don't have to, and then have that guy turn out developing into an All-Star? Might as well keep them all in the fold as long as you can and ensure you wind up with the best of them for years to come.

Doc said...

It's not Flores' arm that's the problem, it's Ladson's head! Ladson's at his best when spreading screwy rumors.

For a year now, Ladson's been saying that Morse can't hit; his swing is too long. Actually, the problem is that Ladson's tongue is too long! Good thing that he has a steady job churning out bogus pulp for Rizzo.

Jesus Flores had absolutey noooooo problem throwing out runners in the VWL. Two years of rust will be easily erased by some daily catching in AAA. He's still a top grade catcher, and probably has more power at the plate than Ramos. I-Rod, and Norris.

To hell with the Astros!

Anonymous said...

And to hell with Bill Ladson! He's done just about everything wrong, and still has a job.


Anonymous said...

Nolasco didn't put enough on it.

-Pedro G

Rob Dibble's Ghost said...

FYI, even though Marlins radio may be broadcasting today's game, XM is not picking it up. Even though they carry every regular season game, I guess they carry only select preseason games.

The XM pbp schedule is here:

Anonymous said...

So was it intentional or Nolasco had control problems because next guy was walked too?

Wait a minute. Another HBP as I type this post. danny this time. Are they trying to putout as many of our regulars as possible or something?

hondo69 said...

Hey, Mark and everyone else. If you have DirecTV, the game is on live on channel 654 (Fox Sports FL). It is supposed to be blacked out but they have inadvertently left it on. DirecTV often misses these blackouts, so if you have it. always check. You could be pleasantly surprised!

Stranded_in_Philly said...

Anywhere there is a live blog of this game? Nationals Journal isn't posting one right now

Anonymous said...

That plus Ladson is wrong just about as many times as he is right.

@cheist got him good on Ben Goessling's podcast ... Ladson is know for saying "play the kids", cheist stated that should "let the kids write". Its about time for Ladson to retire from his subpar Montreal / Nats coverage.

Original Nats Fan said...

blog at Federal Baseball

Andrew said...

Wow, did you see that scoop by Adam LaRoche at first on that double play throw from Espinosa in the dirt!


Andrew said...

hondo69 said...
Hey, Mark and everyone else. If you have DirecTV, the game is on live on channel 654 (Fox Sports FL).March 13, 2011 1:41 PM
Nice, I was watching on MLB.TV Much better on the big screen! THANKS!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, talk about efficiency.

5 innings in just 25 pitches.

Theophilus said...

Catching up w/ the box score on Gameday. Considering the production from Ankiel, Bernandina, Morgan is toast absent a huge turnaround. He is going to be the fourth-string CF. Ouch. I don't think I recall another case (possible exception, Albert Belle) where a player so quickly not only alienated the fans but also a segment of the fan base against the team. The further away he gets (Lotte Marines?) the better it will be for the Nationals as an organization.

BinM said...

Nolasco massively under-achieved in his outing (1.2IP, 2HBP, 1BB, 4H, 4ER), while JZimm over-acheived (5IP, 3H, 1BB, 2K). Nice bottom line, so far.

Andrew said...

Anonymous said...
Holy crap, talk about efficiency.

5 innings in just 25 pitches.

That's not accurate unfortunately. Still a great outing!

Anonymous said...

Oh my bad.

Has gameday performed really poorly for anyone else this spring?

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

A shame on that flyball by the leadoff in the 6th that Eury Perez got twisted and turned like a pretzel and couldn't catch it to put Rodriguez behind to start the inning.

Andrew said...

Gameday has not been keeping accurate pitch counts all Spring. When a pitcher hasn't walked a batter it has shown that the pitcher has thrown all strikes.

BinM said...

Good outing from former Nat Shawn Hill - 3.0IP, iH, 4K for the Marlins.

BinM said...

Peeps: FYI...
In the spring, the Gameday is showing 4 balls for a player drawing a walk, 3 strikes for a player going down on strikes, and 1 strike for a player putting a ball in play. The pitch counts from are a joke.

Anonymous said...

Another grapefruit league win notched for the Nats. Right now FLA considers Shawn Hill veteran depth to be stashed in AAA. But the way he is pitching now ... esp.. the fast ball we could see him in the majors before June. Great story post 2 TJ surgeries plus shoulder. Maybe Rizzo should look into swapping Wang for HIll ... ~smiles~

natsfan1a said...

That's too bad about Page. Condolences to his family and friends.

Anonymous said...

I meant Shaun Hill ... yes its very sad news about Page ...

nats24 said...

So I would imagine, unless Jesus turns it on in the week or so, it will be him as the regular at Syracuse and Norris at Harrisburg. Honestly, the 'Stros would be more likely to look to the Yanks, who have a caching jam w/ Cervelli, Montero and Romine, and not enough playing time at AAA and the majors for all three.

Anonymous said...

So I would imagine, unless Jesus turns it on in the week or so, it will be him as the regular at Syracuse and Norris at Harrisburg.

Or vice-versa. Norris is good enough for Syracuse now. So is Flores but he is still coming back after a year away. They could share time in Syracuse or ...

Steve M. said...

Chris Marrero is starting today. This far into Spring Training to see Marrero there and starting is certainly interesting as he is a RH batter to compliment Adam LaRoche as a LH batter.

So here is what I am thinking, Michael Morse has earned the starting spot in LF and Bernadina may be the starter in CF and LaRoche at 1B.

Could Rizzo be thinking of carrying 2 1st baseman as Marrero would become a bench guy or is he not ready.

I am thinking for the bench so far Ramos C, Ankiel OF, Hairston utility, AGonzalez IF, and of course there is the Nyjer situation.

What do you all think? Is there any real possiblity that Chris Marrero is the big surprise this Spring? I will answer my own question and say lets see how he does facing real MLB pitching.

JD said...

Steve M.

It makes no sense to me to have a 22 year old sit on the bench or be part of a platoon. I would rather see him play every day in Syracuse.

The more interesting question for me is what to do about Detwiler; if he is really ready to step into the rotation (I think he is) then he has much more upside than Lannan and I don't really see the value of having the better pitcher go down to the minors.

I would like to see the Nats use their excess of starting pitchers and catchers to obtain at least one good prospect. Lannan can be valuable in a trade because lefties are always in demand.

Mark'd said...

Way to early on Marrero though with Morse starting in LF they may need another righty bat.

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