Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Check out the Nats' roster

Let's put the Mitchell Report aside for a minute. (Of course, that would take a forklift. I've got a copy sitting here on my desk -- rather, sprawled all over my desk -- and let's just say it ain't the Reader's Digest version.)

The Nationals made a couple of quasi-significant signings yesterday in bringing on Rob Mackowiak and Willie Harris. (Didn't exactly bump the Mitchell Report off the front of the sports section, but that's just bad timing.)

They're not significant because Mackowiak and Harris are great players. They're more significant because you feel like you have more of a sense for the entire roster. Let's take a look at the 25-man, shall we?

PITCHERS: (You gotta figure they'll go with 11. Maybe they'll need 12, but let's try 11.)
Rotation: (5)
Shawn Hill
Jason Bergmann
John Patterson
Matt Chico
Fifth Starter* (Now, I don't even pretend to know that those other four will be the first four starters. But let's assume they'll go with five starters. That takes five spots, regardless of the names. You follow? Good.)

Bullpen: (6)
Chad Cordero
Jon Rauch
Luis Ayala
Jesus Colome
Ray King
Saul Rivera (Again, not saying we know this for sure. But that seems pretty darned close, doesn't it?)

LINEUP: (8)
Felipe Lopez - 2B
Lastings Milledge - LF
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
Dmitri Young/Nick Johnson - 1B
Austin Kearns - RF
Elijah Dukes - CF
Paul Lo Duca - C
Cristian Guzman - SS

BENCH: (6)
Jesus Flores - C
Ronnie Belliard - 2B/SS/1B/3B
Aaron Boone - 1B/3B/2B
Wily Mo Pena -- OF
Rob Mackowiak - IF/OF (Has not played 2B since 2005; never played SS)
Willie Harris - OF/IF (Has played in the infield in just three games since 2005)
Dmitri Young/Nick Johnson - 1B

Oops, that's seven on the bench. So you can see how crowded this all is -- and it doesn't even mention a Ryan Langerhans or either of the Rule 5 picks.

Now, this assumes that both Johnson and Young are healthy and on the roster to start the season. And if Nick isn't ready - the Nationals and Johnson vow that he will be - then it creates another spot for someone else.

But it also makes one think: Are the Nationals done dealing? It seems perhaps they are not.

I'll get to more Mitchell stuff later in the day. But I thought this would make a nice respite.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 14, 2007; 10:47 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clemens's Denial
Next: Ballpark Fun!

Comments

Grrr, as always! Nice new post Barry. Here's my contribution on the Mitchell Report:

Hey, I think we should book players in the report.

But, 506!

1) That's only a few of the many, many culprits, most everyone is guilty

2) MLB and the clubs cultivated an atmosphere that rewarded it and are just as culpable

3) In some cases, the juicing wasn't even illegal

4) Cheating has always been part of baseball and if they don't cheat this way, they'll cheat another

Ah, but my friends, if fans punish everyone in the report then it will impact profits related to those players, which is the only language that any of these guys truly understand.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Haha, I was just gonna put up my 25-man on the last post as a follow-up to my commentary when Barry put his own 25-man up. As referenced in the previous post, though, I absolutely believe that there are more moves to be made.

I also think that there will likely be 12 pitchers on the roster. Given the unpredictability of our starting 5, I'm of the belief that we will want the extra bullpen help, at least to start out with, until we get a feel for how many 6- and 7-inning starters we actually have.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Any chance Many pencils me into that 5th starter spot?

Posted by: Tyler Clippard | December 14, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather see Schroeder in the bullpen than Colome. I think Colome was just a flash in the pan.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Also, you have to believe that at this point, Tim Redding has the upper hand in getting a starting job, given the fact that they are willing to go to arbitration with him.

To be honest, given the uncertainty surrounding Patterson, I'd put him as the 5th starter. My rotation would go: Hill, Bergmann, Redding, Chico, Patterson. Lots of right-handers, but those are the top-5 at this point.

Also, as a point of interest, Barry would get to see his Shawn-Hill-sinkerball-love-interest (at this point our number one pitcher and the one most worthy of opening the park in my mind) star for national TV on opening night.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

definitely not done dealing. makes no sense to sign all of those guys if you know you have to dump some of them, unless you have plans for either someone else already on your roster or thoughts of packaging them later.

some other comments...

i think you're generous giving belliard "SS" behind his name. granted, he did play there four games last year, and once in 1999 (5 games out of 1100+ in his career), but i think that's kind of like being the "emergency catcher."

despite the FO's declarations, i still suspect NJ will be on the DL to start the year.

not only has mackowiak not played 2B since 2005, he's only played 12 total games in the IF since then. i wonder how quickly he and/or harris can recapture infield skills to become "superutility" type players.

boone has only played 1 game at 2B since 2003 (coincidentally, the last year he played SS, 5 games in 03 and 16 in 02).

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

white sox may be willing to trade Konerko for an outfielder.

i say we jump all over that somehow someway. bringing in a first baseman with potential to hit more than 15 homeruns would be a nice start!

Posted by: longterm | December 14, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

506, I too would be disappointed not to see Schroder in the bullpen. I think he's got real closer potential down the line, and he deserves the reps as we will clearly be positioned to move either Rauch, Cordero, or both sometime this offseason or before the midseason trading deadline.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

faNATic: "I still think Lopez is fairly likely to get moved."

i still maintain you can't move him until you have a legitimate SS backup on the team to replace him. if guzman goes down and flopez is gone, not only is there nobody on the current roster reasonably capable of replacing him full-time, there's nobody in the system to call up either.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

longterm, three 1Bs on the roster, with 3 guys capable of backing up the position? konerko might be interesting, but we'd have to move at least one 1B out to bring him in.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Not to toot my own horn, well yes it is, but this is what I was trying to point out on the Mitchell thread.

I guess I'm a Nats junkie because I arcane roster moves more interesting than the Mitchell report.

Good call on Clippard and sorry 506 but I'll take Colome but agree about Schroeder, he was good and only kept getting better. Rivera might be odd man out even though he was good too.

I think Barry is right, they have enough good relievers they can get away w/ 11 pitchers and after that offense last year could use the extra bat.

Posted by: Avar | December 14, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

longterm, while I'd love to have Konerko on our team because he'd certainly make the team more electric next year, I'm not sure that we have room for him or that he fits in the (sorry) long-term plan.

He's 31, and certainly more than a spare part, unlike the vast majority of the older players that we have. The young core of the team has become Zimmerman, Flores, Milledge, Dukes, Kearns, WMP (with one of those last 4 likely to move after not working out), and our young pitching group that hopefully will continue to gel.

I'm not sure that committing to Konerko when we already have 2 first-basemen, not to mention other "utility" players who would be best suited to play first base more than any other infield position, would make much sense.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Really, I'm the 4th Outfielder. Don't think that Lastings will be in Center and I'll be in Left and You Dead Dawg will be texting from the bench or a bus to Columbus.

Posted by: Weapons of Mass Production | December 14, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

An excerpt from the an article about Johnson's "likely" ability to return for Spring Training:

"Johnson's return would mean that Dmitri Young would join Aaron Boone as one of the go-to guys off the bench. There was talk of Young playing the outfield, but manager Manny Acta said that was not going to happen."

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 14, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

231 (other 506), I think you're right as to the vitality of Lopez in the current role, because our slew of "utility" guys that were recently acquired still doesn't have anyone on it that could adequately cover SS.

I think that we're on the same page in that the fundamental part of making a good trade involving Lopez would have to be acquiring a strong minor or young major league SS prospect. In other words, teams that make good trading partners for us on the Lopez front are those that want to be competitive with the Detroit Tigers (just a bit closer to win-now mode than us).

I guess that if I were Jim, I'd be looking for a 1-for-1 trade, with us sending Lopez for the top SS prospect in somebody else's system. Now, as to whether that team exists and what other costs might be involved remains to be seen.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Once Shawn Hill, Jason Bergmann, and John Patterson inevitably go on the DL, we revise that list to be: Chico, Redding, Clippard, Lannan?, Hanrahan?, Gonzalez?, Mock?, Detwiler? Balester?

I think realistically you should think less about who are the 5 and more how do you get to 8-900 innings or so from your starters.

I bet it ends up looking something like this:

Hill: 120 innings
Bergmann: 120
Patterson: 20
Chico: 170
Clippard: 120
Redding: 90
Lannan: 70
Detwiler: 50
Gonzalez: 10
Mock or Balester: 30

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | December 14, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

and how "top" that prospect is and whether they think flopez is equal value. if the prospect is pretty good, we'd likely have to toss something into the kitty to get him. otherwise, as evidenced by adding youth in boston and NY has gone, there's no reason they wouldn't be as likely to use their own young guy with potential instead of trading for a guy coming off of a down year.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Why would Guzzie go so low in the order? My first predilection would be to put him higher up, but I dunno where.

Posted by: Juan-John | December 14, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The signings of Harris and Mackowiak certainly suggest the potential of more moves at least. But I'm not sure that we will see them until Spring Training. Their signings (along with Boone) also suggest to me however, that the FO is going to Viera with the belief that we "might" compete for the division this year.

I can't envision Flores on the 25-man roster at the start of the season unless Lo Duca tanks in Spring Training however. I think that they will want him to play everyday - at least early on. That means we would need another catcher.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 14, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

JimBo's motto this spring seems like it will be "versatility."

For instance:

"I can't envision Flores on the 25-man roster at the start of the season unless Lo Duca tanks in Spring Training however. I think that they will want him to play everyday - at least early on. That means we would need another catcher."

We sign a AAA free-agent catcher, got Flores, sign Lo Duca. One of them goes to AAA next year. "Who?" depends on spring training. Hint: it's probably the AAA catcher, but if it looks necessary, it's Flores.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Chad Moeller and Humberto Cota say hi

Posted by: AAA Catcher | December 14, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

awww, can't we send juice-boy down?

---

We sign a AAA free-agent catcher, got Flores, sign Lo Duca. One of them goes to AAA next year. "Who?" depends on spring training. Hint: it's probably the AAA catcher, but if it looks necessary, it's Flores.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Wowie!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/13/AR2007121302240.html?hpid=topnews

After a year of quiet, almost rambling, Boswell comes out and belts one over the fence. Should we be suspicious? How big's his neck these days?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Yes, my pitchfork is sharp and my torch is lit...

---

awww, can't we send juice-boy down?

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

why are you hating on Wily Mo? His numbers in the majors are much better than Milledge and Dukes. They wouldn't have singed him for 2 mil if they didn't think he was going to play.

Posted by: steve | December 14, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I just LOVE this Journal!!

Posted by: Pete Gaithersburg | December 14, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, my pitchfork is sharp and my torch is lit..."

And as we learned yesterday, that is called "due process"!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Sheer eloquence, Boz! Thanks 506
____________________________
Wowie!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/13/AR2007121302240.html?hpid=topnews

After a year of quiet, almost rambling, Boswell comes out and belts one over the fence. Should we be suspicious? How big's his neck these days?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 11:43 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | December 14, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

My question is where is the future of the shortstop position. Guzman is not the future and the way many talk either is Lopez. None of the signings have answered that question. Also now with more players able to play 3B, is Zimmerman's injury more serious than previously thought? The Nats may have some of these strong utility players as trade bait for June/July for young prospects to enhance the farm system even more? Will Ray King be another July trade for a good young prospect. Are Harris and Mackowiak this year's Marlon Anderson and Daryle Ward? Signing these players and then mid season trading them for prospects seems to be a plan...pitching, long-term infield help, another catcher....

Posted by: sazzwho | December 14, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

steve, that's a little unfair to dukes/milledge. if you compare their early ABs to WMP's early ABs, he doesn't look better. he didn't slug over 400 until his third year and after 100 ABs in the majors. and his BA and OBP were in the 220/250 range.

both milledge and dukes had OBPs above 300 for the same period. neither has WMP's prodigious power, but both have the potential to hit a lot more things that stay in the park and don't turn into outs, as well as both are more likely to walk. all three are KO machines at this point.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

i agree that at least a couple of those utility guys are trade fodder at mid-season, like anderson/ward in the past. of course, we thought that about belliard and young last may, too.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Nothing better to help bring out the best of Milledge, Dukes and WMP than to tell them one of them doesn't have a future here.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

but konerko would be the obvious starter. every corner guy we have considers 450 at bats a career year. it would be nice to have someone who considers 30 homers a bad year. this would allow marrero to proceed at a more reasonable pace, maybe even as flexible an outfielder part time if his bat is that studly.

prospecting is so much fun but it's just a piece of the puzzle to winning consistently longterm.

Posted by: longterm | December 14, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

i'd say wmp, milledge, dukes are the frontrunners but it doesn't mean it's handed to them. bring in more competition. the ones who do earn it will be better for it...

Posted by: longterm | December 14, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

But longterm, if we sign Konerko, what do we do with Young and Johnson? We would have other, cheaper, more versatile backups, and there is nothing to be done except to get rid of them.

I'm quite certain that we didn't sign Young to an extension just to get rid of him now, especially when we need (and have publicly stated that we will rely on) his mentorship to some of our more troubled young players.

I guess I just can't imagine that we will throw even more money into the first base position, where we hopefully already have a logjam of two capable players. We have other more pressing needs at this point, and our energy can be better devoted elsewhere, unless we know that we could flip Konerko, Young, or Johnson into an asset that we do actually need.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

acquiring konerko still leaves you with the problem of three 1Bs. we can't just cut $5m worth of salary. we'd have to have a second move available to trade johnson or meathook.

i'm not saying we shouldn't consider it, but whether it's worth it depends on what chisox want and what other moves we can make with the other 1Bs. while 1B isn't necessarily a position of strength, it's not a position of weakness, either. we're covered for 2 yrs there with decent players and a prospect in the system, while SS is empty after 08. completely empty. i'd rather see us spend our resources on upgrading SS than 1B.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

of course it all depends on what chicago would want. but i'm ready to designate dmitri a backup and nick johnson to be sent anywhere else for pretty much anything.

i'm a kearns fan but i'd give up kearns and something for konerko. eventually we'll have to take a step backwards to go forward. the reason we haven't had to yet is honestly because the entire team was pretty simple and lacking talent and depth. but i agree and have for a long time that middle infield is a disaster waiting to happen. wouldn't be surprised if we have to resign lopez next year...

Posted by: longterm | December 14, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I'd say that any of the three of WMP, Milledge, or Dukes will have a near-impossible time of permanently unseating Kearns in right field, unless we get rid of him... which I think is highly unlikely at this point. None of the three young guys can match his arm, which is a huge defensive asset at this point.

Furthermore, none of the other three are far ahead enough offensively to merit overlooking the previous point. Kearns has obvious flaws as a batter, but he also made quite a run in the later portion of the season... e.g., August, where he hit .306/.405/.519 in avg, obp, and slg respectively (which is a pretty impressive .924 in ops). He can and has pulled his weight at the big league level, meaning that the other 3 guys are likely rotating through the LF and CF spots.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

My earlier posting seems to be off in la-la land, so I repeat my usual indexer's lament: the report would have been a lot more accessible had they allowed for the time and cost of having it indexed.

---

Let's put the Mitchell Report aside for a minute. (Of course, that would take a forklift. I've got a copy sitting here on my desk -- rather, sprawled all over my desk -- and let's just say it ain't the Reader's Digest version.)

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

nick the stick, if healthy, should be the starter. period.

i also think chico starts in AAA, patterson on the DL. what about long guys in the bullpen? i dont see any. and with that rotation, you know you will need some. its too early to speculate.

not too mention inviting guys to spring training, see if they have "it", if not, ship them out or outright them. this year will just be a smaller version of last years sand filter.

Posted by: theraph | December 14, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Boz's article was great.

But I don't care as much about the fall of Clemens.

Where does that praise of Lo Duca go now that he, too, is damned?

It's the same testimony, it's even got documentation. Boz, do we still have the leader and a bat behind the plate?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | December 14, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"nick the stick, if healthy, should be the starter. period."

Well, now that we've determined that Nick won't be starting at first base...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Well all - exams are graded, reports are finished, and it is 75 degress outside (sorry John in Mpls). I think I'm going to turn off the computer and mosey over to the golf course. I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 14, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy putting around, lowcountry. Grrrr.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I am extremely envious. We are starting our exams in 1 hour.

Grading them is not something I'm looking forward to.

On the other hand, it will reach 70 in the ATL today, so I've got a nice weekend ahead of me.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 14, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

and by lowcountry in the previous post, I meant NattyDelite! I'm trying to figure out what these students are doing outside my door...

I love how you can track the lunch hours of all the posters.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | December 14, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking it will look more like this Barry.

Rotation
Shawn Hill
Tim Redding
Matt Chico
John Patterson (Assuming he's healthy--otherwise, Clippard)

Lineup
Felipe Lopez
Lastings Milledge
Zimmerman
Young/Johnson
Kearns
Pena
Guzman
Lo Duca

Bench
Belliard
Boone
Flores
Langerhans
Mackowiak
Harris
Young/Johnson

Posted by: Michael | December 14, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

hee hee! (You had me puzzling, Natty!)

---

and by lowcountry in the previous post, I meant NattyDelite!

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Just reposting this here to be sure the Blogfather sees it:

Re. the list of names that was posted here the other day, before the report came out, it seemed to have many inaccuracies. I don't know where it originated, but I think that it had been posted to a number of blogs. On a larger scale than this whole steroids mess, I feel that the instant info access aspect of the Information Age has lowered journalistic standards to some extent -- because of a rush to publish something and scoop other sources. One thing that I really appreciate about this blog is that it seems to be very careful about differentiating facts from rumors and about getting verification from reliable sources before posting something. So thanks for that, Barry.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I have been puzzling this through as well. Two things. Dukes may be more likely than Flores to play at AAA. I think they are Dukes back ups. He has yet to put up numbers that demonstrate he is ready for prime time and they might reasonalby expect him to play outside the spotlight a while to see just how stable he is. The more disturbing idea is that Bowden is trying to trade an outfielder. You look at the depth charts of teams like Texas and you have to ask if they are kidding. Byrd, Milton Bradley and Frank Catalanotto?? There are teams such as the Rangers who might trade a prospect, maybe even a Joaquin Arias for a Lastings Milledge or a Wily Mo Pena. I just hope Bowden is not crazy enough to trade Kearns and start Pena, Milledge and Dukes for the opener against the Braves on TV.

Posted by: Julia's Dad | December 14, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd go WMP/Milledge/Kearns to start the season and give Dukes some time in the minors to prove that he can last without going nuts. Then, if Kearns or WMP slumps (likely) or hurt (entirely possible), you bring him up.

The problem is that a platoon doesn't really work when what Pena, Milledge, and Dukes all need is to play everyday, and Kearns is making Kearns money.

Posted by: pondaz | December 14, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Flores will make the roster. I expect at least a 15 game suspension for Lo Duca, or something similar to what Jose got.

Posted by: 307 | December 14, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

i don't think their salaries have any influence on playing time. none of them really make enough to care.

you all are probably right though. dukes might be best served in AAA to start, although it sounds like the best manager is headed to AA. what about that? this all really depends on what else bowden does. of course he may be better off hanging out with zimmerman and dmitri and milledge.

i do not envy manny acta this year. but it will be fun to watch it unfold.

Posted by: longterm | December 14, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

i dont understand macowiak and harris when we took 2 guys in the rule 5 who will need spots on the 25 man roster. just seems like it really complicates the matter for secondary bench players

Posted by: love | December 14, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

An other STHs get a holiday card from the Nats today?

Posted by: Juan-John | December 14, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I think it's so cute that Barry reserved a spot in the starting rotation for J.P. That's like when someone leaves a ticket for Elvis at the Will-Call window -- such a Quixotic expression of eternal optimism.

Posted by: joebleux | December 14, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Any" not "An", sorry...

Posted by: Juan-John | December 14, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey 231,

My defense of WMP does not double as an attack on Milledge or Dukes. Numbers don't lie and regarding development they are further along at their respective ages than WMP was and might even turn out to be a bigger than than he will. However, at this point in time, I believe that WMP will produce more than milledge or dukes. I think they need some more seasoning. So my OF prediction for the beginning of the year is WMP in LF, Kearns in RF, and Milledge or Dukes in CF, with the other on the bench or in AAA.

Posted by: steve | December 14, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Left field is Wily Mo's to lose -- I can't imagine that given how long Jimbo has been lusting after him, and given the fact that he actually performed well for the Nats in his audition last year, that he'll start the season on the bench.

Posted by: joebleux | December 14, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Couple things...

First... I don't think the lefty bat thing is solved by those signings...

Second, about the rule five guys... It seems REALLY UNLIKELY that the Nats would have room for even one of those guys on the 25 man roster... So why do you have them? Perhaps, as leverage in some other trade? X for Y and I'll throw your guy back in...

Posted by: Wigi | December 14, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

joebleux, two very good points re: WMP. I pretty much entirely agree.

I still think Dukes will be in the majors though - they've pretty much stated that Dmitri and Dukes are to be joined at the hip when they're not on the playing field. That whole "support" idea that formed the basis of giving him one more chance goes out the window if you send him to the AAA or AA affiliate in small town America far from the friendly confines of the new stadium.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

as far as i'm concerned, WMP has to earn his starting spot, just like the others. it's not as if he's a proven veteran, he's got plenty of questions as well. while dukes/milledge didn't quite match his numbers last year, they're both far better defensively and have as much potential to "break out" this year as he does.

it all comes down to spring training. if WMP earns it, he should be the starter. if milledge/duke outplay him, they should start. kearns is the only OF who should have to play his way out of a starting role during the season.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

My dodgers-fan friend sent me this about the Dodgers' complicity in this whole mess, but the parts about Lo Duca are really eye-opening:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dodgers14dec14,0,1338262.story?coll=la-home-center

It kind of makes me wonder-- is Lo Duca going to be one of Selig's fall guys? After Clemens', Lo Duca seems to play the biggest role in this report. Are there any criminal implications for the middleman role he played?

Posted by: JennX | December 14, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

remember wigi, they didn't know they'd be able to make those two signings when they did the rule 5 draft. and $25k each is all the risk they assumed by drafting them. seems like a reasonable risk to take to me, even if they lose them back to their respective teams.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"i dont understand macowiak and harris when we took 2 guys in the rule 5 who will need spots on the 25 man roster"

Don't forget, many, many guys are not on the 40-man for a reason.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Wait-

Didn't we just do alote to get Willy Mo and there was big hipe over him and now...there not playing him?

Someone please explain

Posted by: BDS423 | December 14, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It's not entirely beyond consideration, is it? that they took these guys to keep anyone else from getting them? Worth $25K each just to put them on layaway?
********
i don't understand macowiak and harris when we took 2 guys in the rule 5 who will need spots on the 25 man roster. just seems like it really complicates the matter for secondary bench players.

Posted by: love | December 14, 2007 01:28 PM

Posted by: ce | December 14, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately or not, whether he has to earn it has very little to do with anything on this blog.

********
as far as i'm concerned, WMP has to earn his starting spot, just like the others.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 02:31 PM

Posted by: CE | December 14, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"a lot to get him?"

actually, i think you'd have to explain what you mean by "a lot." we gave up fruto.

===
The Nationals traded 23 year old pitcher Emiliano Fruto to the D-Backs for 25 year old 1B Chris Carter and then they shipped Carter to the Red Sox to finish the trade for Wily Mo Pena. This was a good move by the Nationals as Fruto was struggling (3-9, 5.26 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) in AAA this season. He has talent but he's never really learned how to pitch yet.
===

wily mo was a flyer we took on a guy that could pan out. boston was hoping to get something for him instead of releasing him. it's not like we gave up something special.

not to say i don't want him to pan out. i hope all three of the new guys do. it's better to have to figure out what to do with the extra player than to have 2 of 3 not pan out.

as far as the hype, considering the complete lack of power on last year's team, a guy with his power potential looks a lot more hype worthy than he did when he was a bench player for the bosox.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I think maybe they'd better have another backup catcher somewhere ...

****************
It kind of makes me wonder--is Lo Duca going to be one of Selig's fall guys? After Clemens, Lo Duca seems to play the biggest role in this report. Are there any criminal implications for the middleman role he played?
Posted by: JennX | December 14, 2007 02:32 PM

Posted by: CE | December 14, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't we just do alote to get Willy Mo and there was big hipe over him and now...there not playing him?

Someone please explain"

They're not playing Wily Mo now because the baseball games don't start until March. The only games being played right now are reindeer games, and Wily Mo ain't no reindeer.

That a good enough explanation for ya?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 14, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

How smart does that Schneider deal look now, wise guys?

Posted by: Omar M. | December 14, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I love this game.
******
They're not playing Wily Mo now because the baseball games don't start until March. The only games being played right now are reindeer games, and Wily Mo ain't no reindeer.
That a good enough explanation for ya?
Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 14, 2007 03:08 PM

Posted by: CE | December 14, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I think it written all over the place that Lopez is gone. The only question is where and with whom(er, Cordero), for a potential starter.

Posted by: Ken E. | December 14, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, this could work out. Sure Jimbo can work a bear market, and if MLB does (or is forced to) crack down, this could be one downright grizzly "correction."

Posted by: cevans | December 14, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

schneider deal looks just fine to me. loduca's issues have no bearing on that trade for me. it was about getting milledge for (hopefully) years to come.

again, until you can tell us who the backup is at SS, there's no way we can trade lopez.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a STH but I did receive one (my browser went dormant when I tried to follow the link, though).

---

An other STHs get a holiday card from the Nats today?

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"schneider deal looks just fine to me. lo duca's issues have no bearing on that trade for me."

Not yet. But Selig can't suspend Clemens for fifty games. He can't even suspend Bonds at this point. IF, and this may not happen, but if the owners panic and decide they need to throw a player to the pitchfork & torches, it's going to have to be a player who 1) isn't retired, 2) is well-known enough to make a splash when he hits, 3) is, or looks, guilty enough that they'll get away with it, and 4) is on a team whose owner can't (or won't) stop them.
They won't suspend half the league. They won't suspend everybody Mitchell named for any real length of time (~~ > 2 weeks?).

Posted by: cevans | December 14, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I got one from the Phillies -- go figure.

Posted by: CE | December 14, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

uh oh -- don't tell Sect. 506! ;-)

ce confessed: I got one from the Phillies -- go figure.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I didn't say THEY got one from ME.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 14, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

hee hee!

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 14, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

even if loduca is suspended (which is i think what you were intimating in your post, cevans), it still doesn't affect how i view the trade. there are still other options to backup or start in front of flores next year. if my choice is schneider for 08-09 and another year of arbitration for church or milledge, with options and a few more arbitration years, then i take milledge every time. even if we have to risk flores being the starter in 130 games.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Is it just my eyes (or computer) acting up, or has anybody else noticed the updated depth chart on nationals.com. Humberto Cota (from PIT) and Chad Moeller (from LAD) are listed as 3rd and 4th string catchers by being non-roster invitees. Putting people on the depth chart before a release is highly unusual. If this is true though, I hope Jesus is packing for a summer in Columbus.

Posted by: Corey | December 14, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The math seems to add up to this. Too many position players, and not enough starting pitchers.I think there are a number of candidates to be traded. I'm guessing it'll be a starter (Kearns, Lopez, or Guzman), a bench guy, and Cordero/Rauch for a #3 starter and a back up middle infielder.

Posted by: #4 | December 14, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

That's not just your eyes/computer, Corey. Mine show the same thing, which is a very significant change from the listing that was up just several hours ago, the last time I checked.

I think Jesus' travel plans will depend in large part on the fate that befalls Lo Duca in the wake of the Mitchell Report. Also, if Flores outperforms the two non-roster invitees in spring training, there's no reason to believe that it might not be a good sign that he's ready for the big time, regardless of Lo Duca's fate.

If Lo Duca avoids a major suspension and things hold the way they are today, though, I have to suspect you're right.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

gotsta get a shortstop, I can't stomach Guzman and Lopez another season.

Posted by: cabraman | December 14, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

They sent you a holiday card?!?! This is the same town that massacred Santa Claus!

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/eagles/2003-11-27-santa-snowballs_x.htm

And note the Philly Phan authors excuse! It's okay because Santa was a surrogate for someone else we wanted to abuse!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's something I've thought about...if you compare this year's 40-man roster to last year's it looks like the Nats have better talent, but I'm not sure they will have a better record. The middle infield and starting pitching are still major questions marks. I don't see how any team can win being weak in those areas.

Also, has anyone gone position by position comparing the Nationals projected starters to the other teams in the NL East. Here's my take comparing Nats to Phillies:

Catcher - I think it's even, maybe a slight edge to Wash

1B - HUGE advantage Philly
2B - Ditto
SS - Ditto
3B - HUGE advantage DC
LF - even
CF- total question mark, but I think Milledge is better than anything Philly has yet
RF - Advantage DC, kinda slight

Bullpen - Advantage DC, but close if Lidge is as good as he used to be

Starting Pitching - Advantage Philly - they lack depth, but the Nats don't have a Hamels.

Anyone want to do the other teams? Agree? Disagree?

Posted by: natswriter | December 14, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

cabraman, call it a hunch, but there's a better than good chance that you'll have to put up with either Guzman or Lopez at shortstop this season. Odds of both being traded have to be minimal, I'd think.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Nice idea on the divisional lineup comparisons, natswriter.

I'll take the Braves, since I think they'll be between the Phillies (1) and Mets (3) in NL East (non-Nats) strength.

C - edge Braves, McCann is better than any option we have at this point, unless Flores surprises everyone.
1B - edge Braves, Texeira has been great for them.
2B - edge Nats, Kelly Johnson is thoroughly unremarkable, and Belliard can outperform him.
SS - draw, Braves if Yunel Escobar continues to improve, but Nats if Guzman stays healthy and performs like 07
3B - edge Nats (but not huge), Chipper's due to fall off pretty soon, in my opinion, plus he's constantly out with injuries.
LF - edge Nats, WMP > Diaz any day.
CF - edge Nats, Milledge or Dukes is better than Josh Anderson, their scheduled starter based on recent trade with the Astros.
RF - edge Braves, Francoeur's defense is virtually unbeatable.

RP - strong edge Nationals. Our corps is deeper and has more quality from top to bottom.

SP - strong edge Braves, if their starters are healthy. A healthy lineup of Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, Chuck James (improving every year), and Mike Hampton will be hard for any other NL East team to compete with.

Posted by: faNATic | December 14, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Call me an idealist but I really believe this on the divisional comparison:

Manager: Advantage, DC. By a ton.

Don't get me wrong, I realize the seam-head logic that play-by-play calls tend to be a wash. But as far as the attitude and atmosphere of the team, I predict that Manny can establish winningness in a way few managers that I've ever seen can. I really think that one day he'll change the way people think about managing.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 14, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | December 14, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

if you compare the actual numbers, johnson comes out ahead of belliard. he was less consistent over the full season, but overall put up better numbers.

BA OBP SLG 2B 3B HR
.276 .375 .457 26 10 16 (Johnson)
.290 .332 .427 35 1 11 (Belliard)

belliard has 9 more doubles, but johnson has 9 more triples and 5 more HRs in about the same ABs (521 to 511). no reason to expect belliard to do any better, he was right about is career averages on all of that.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 14, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Diamonbacks just traded their closer, and may look to Nats for help. Meanwhile, Nats could still use the Snakes' LH hitting catcher, Miguel Montero, allowing Jesus to get AAA experience. You can see a multi-player deal involving some of Nats' spare IF parts for an additional prospect or two.

Posted by: EdDC | December 15, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company