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Guzman to DL, too

So now it's official -- a quarter of the Nationals intended eight everyday players are on the disabled list having played a combined nine innings or so.

Jim Bowden just said that tests on shortstop Cristian Guzman revealed a grade 1 hamstring strain, and he'll be placed on the 15-day disabled list, where he joins center fielder Nook Logan, who went there with a foot injury this afternoon.

Bowden didn't announced a corresponding move -- who the team will call up -- but we should know by the end of tonight's tilt against Florida (Shawn Hill on the, um, Hill).

And yes, Manny Acta talked to Felipe Lopez about playing shortstop earlier this afternoon, and Lopez said it was OK with him as long as it was for an extended period, and we now know that an extended period is at least two or three weeks. So the new Nationals' starting lineup over the next few weeks will include:

Ryan Church in center field (better hit, worse field?)
Felipe Lopez at shortstop (better hit, worse field?)
Kory Casto in left field (unsure on all counts, as he's never played above Class AA)
Ronnie Belliard at second base (worse field, same hit?)
Josh Wilson still on the bench

How's that for a shakeup in the first 48 hours? Some would argue that this is the team's best lineup. Would you? I asked Bowden that question, and he artfully side-stepped it. "I believe in competition. I think there's a lot of different opinions on what our best eight are. To give my personal thinking doesn't make any sense."

So there's that.

Game in a while. Chew on that news. But please, offer comments as to what you think the best Nationals' configuration is.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 3, 2007; 6:18 PM ET
 
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Next: Didn't Make the Paper, Vol. II

Comments

Can't chew the fat on this team cause there ain't any. Just skin & bones. Talk about snakebit. The bb gods aren't going to give this team their blessing. So boys, circle the wagons cause everybody is going to want to pad there record against you. Bowden says "a lot of different opinions". Well Jimbo...maybe so, but not many answers.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 3, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I think best 8 offensively is Schneider, Johnson, Belliard, Lopez, Zimm, Casto, Church, Kearns. Definitely giving up defense at CF and SS. It's a guess though since Wilson, Casto are unknowns, we can only guess. Not sure if Belliard/Wilson will be better or Casto/Snelling.

Watching the game now, what horrific luck for Hill, one hit 2 runs, bases loaded no outs. Unreal, the defense is worrisome.

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | April 3, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Good thing we wear out our bullpen last night.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 3, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Insert the word didn't in the previous post.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 3, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Either the Marlins are great this year, or the Nats are very shaky. The new lineup probably is the best 8 of the healthy players, but I'd rather have Escobar and Johnson in left and at first, respectively, if they were healthy. And Flores just might be better than Schneider -- hard to say at this point.

Off topic -- any idea what happened to Josh Karp? I know that he was injured last year, but would think he's healthy by now. Is he still in the Nats system? Also, why weren't Arnie Munoz and Justin Jones placed on a minor league roster?

Thanks

Posted by: NatFan | April 3, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Casto looks the goods. Snelling, for mine, is a plus over Church who seems a really streaky hitter. Based on his performances at minor league level, he is a .300 hitter. His MLB average suffers from his stint when he was 19 and was not ready. He can hit at this level, and will.

Posted by: cynic | April 3, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Best line-up:

Short-term: Lopez (SS), Casto (LF), Zim (3B), Kearns (RF), Broadway (1B), Church (CF), Beliard (2B), Schneider (C)

Long-term: Lopez (2B), Casto (LF), Zim (3B), Johnson (1B), Kearns (RF), Escobar (CF), Schneider (C), Guz (SS)

Posted by: Ashburn | April 3, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I would like to offer my services to Mr. Hill. I think he has a case of non- support.

Posted by: Denny Crane | April 3, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I've doubted our reliance on Patterson the whole time but I really thought Hill would shine. I couldn't catch the game tonight so I only had the play-by-play on mlb.com to go on, but I thought it was pretty good that a) Shawn was throwing quite a few first pitch strikes, b)he got beat up in the first inning but didn't seem to get too flustered and pretty much held them through the 5th and c) he actually made it to the 5th.
But sheesh, our bullpen is supposed to be our one strength. What the heck was going on there? And I'm VERY disappointed in Church, Kearns, and Schneider's hitting. Thought those guys would hit the ground running.

Posted by: natsnut | April 3, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

um. no pun intended.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 3, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I've been to both games now...
Positives:
Dmitri Young's hitting (mostly Monday)
Kory Casto's plate appearances (single, BB)
Ryan Zimmerman meeting expectations (Was
anyone else worried when he went
down in the Batters box and appeared
hurt?)

Slight Worries:
Schneider not hitting and us having only a Rule 5 catcher in reserve.

MAJOR CONCERNS:
$15 to park (10 the 1st year, 12 second, you know it's going to be at least $20 next year)

DEFENSE!!! If this is how the nats are going to play defense this year we are in trouble (Wilson's FC throwing mistake, Dmitri Young's Boot, Wilson not getting to a ball up the middle he should have had, Church misplaying at least 1 ball (9th inning) maybe 2 in CF, King not covering 1st)

6-9 hitters have 1 hit combined!!! Pathetic! Schneider, Church, Wilson, Pitchers (did anyone else wish Olsen could hit for us, I miss Livan's hitting)

YOUNG TEAM ONLY LEARNS HOW TO LOSE... I'm worried this team has had no momentum except for the 4 straight walks the marlins gave us. Cordero didn't look sharp, team looked sloppy and lethargic. Acta almost too accepting of losing. Did anyone else think we would be outscored 18-5 after 2 games vs. the Marlins? Maybe we needed some mediocre free agents after all.


Best 9
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Dmitri Young 1B (until Johnson is back)
Kory Casto LF (can he play CF? He's
willing to learn everything else?)
Lopez (might as well put him back at short)
Belliard or Jiminez (I'm hoping they call
up Jiminez, at least he could hit)
I'm not impressed with Wilson's
Defense or hitting so far
Larry Broadway (can he play LF?? pinch hit?
Why don't we need a .300 hitter in
Spring Training when are 6-9
hitters aren't getting the job done
Austin Kearns RF
Brian Schneider

Ryan Church looks lost in CF and at the plate.

Here's hoping Matt Chico can give us some hope tomorrow.

A better game might be to guess the attendance...
40,000 opening day
20,000 tonight
looking at roughly 17,000 tomorrow (based on "papering" of outfield with kids groups)

Posted by: erichardman | April 3, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Let there be little doubt ... the Nats were "better in Viera."

Posted by: Panera in Melbourne | April 4, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Guzzie we're sorry we booed. We really didn't know you were hurt. Get well soon.

Posted by: All Of Us | April 4, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Hard to panic too much over 2 games but on the other hand the Nats have looked absolutely atrocious.

I was intrigued by Wilson getting a chance in short b/c I had hopes for his bat. But egads, his play in the field was costly. The failure to get 1 out in the first really hurt as if Hill could have gotten out just down by 1 or 2 runs, then we have a ballgame.

Posted by: Hoo | April 4, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Very, very discouraging. Manny said the defense would be better than this. It's only two games, not supposed to panic. How do we spell relief? Just win baby.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 4, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I think the main problem with our 6-9 batters only having one hit so far is that they are mostly left-handed batters facing left-handed pitchers, which they can't hit. When putting this team together this off-season, Bowden brought in too many left-handed bats and not enough righties. Snelling, Church, Casto, Broadway, Schneider, Fick are all lefty bats. This doesn't give us enough room to make switches/give a player a day off when the other team throws a lefty on the mound. Hopefully when we're facing righties, this lineup will start hitting (unless of course they keep throwing curveballs and sliders to Church -- he can't hit anything right now).

Posted by: e | April 4, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Barry, get the web folks to fix the podcast link so that it works in iTunes. Keep doing the podcast. It's good.

Posted by: Derek | April 4, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Any word on how the other players on the DL (Ayala, Johnson, O'Connor,Escobar) are doing?

Posted by: Jo | April 4, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Once again, looks like I left just in time

Posted by: Number 20 | April 4, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This is a scary 1-8, and not in a good way.

Posted by: Willie Gandebol | April 4, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Not just a quarter of the starting 8, but 3 of the four most important defensive positions: SS, CF, 1b (got to count Nick), with a pitching staff that needs all the help it can get. They are one catcher away from free-fall. Get Schneider a bodyguard.

Posted by: it's Gan-DAY-bol | April 4, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone else caught the bcast last night, but they showed a clip of Nick Johnson doing some training sprints before the game. It nearly brought my wife and I to tears (in a bad way). He looks SO far from coming back. When he first appeared, my wife asked if that guy ate Nick Johnson. I know he's had a horrendous leg injury, but he looks to have gained 40lbs around the middle.

Reminds me of an old John Kruk line. When someone told him, "John, for goodness sake, you're a professional athlete. Get into shape." He responded,
"I'm not an athlete, I'm a baseball player."

Hope it's true for Nick too.

I'm not sure where the runs are supposed to come from for this team. I wonder if we'll see a Nationals HR this homestand?

Posted by: sec 315(2) | April 4, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

It's a bold experiment, alright, to have so many minor leaguers playing at key positions in the bigs. Have any major league teams tried it since the Clark Griffith Senators?.

We're going to see the reality that a huge gap separates the talent in the majors from the minors, why so few minor leaguers make it, and why the subs Bowden is bringing in play like they belong in AA.

We're facing years of sub-par performance with this management. It is yet to be determined whether the "build from the bottom up" mantra will hold up with the owners and fans in the face of the losing seasons ahead. First to go will be Bowden, IMHO. Then Kasten and/or Acta. It'll be interesting to see whether the Lerners behave like Angelos (i.e., playing favorites with upper management choices).

We're looking at 12,000 average attendance numbers, too, a la Montreal. Aramark can handle that.

But, hey, we have major league teams coming to town to play!

Posted by: JohnR (VA) | April 4, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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