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Guess the Rotation, Round 2

As we await Delta 1268 non-stop service to Cincinnati, let's think back to a little game we played more than two months ago - Guess the Rotation. For the uninitiated, this was the little exercise in dart-throwing in which I asked - a week into spring training games - for loyal Journal readers to pick the five pitchers, in order, who they thought would represent the rotation when the year began.

Using a weighted points system that I devised but don't really remember, here are the results from March 7:

John Patterson (43 first-place votes) - 215 points
Shawn Hill - 135
Jason Simontacchi - 63
Tim Redding - 50
Matt Chico - 49
Billy Traber (1) - 47
Jerome Williams - 40
Beltran Perez - 35
Jason Bergmann - 10
"Other" (1) - 7
Jon Rauch - 6
Chris Michalak - 5
Josh Hall - 1
Joel Hanrahan - 1

Now, let's remind each other who started the first five games of the season:

John Patterson
Shawn Hill
Matt Chico
Jason Bergmann
Jerome Williams

Now, let's look at the five guys who will start the first five games on this road trip:

Levale Speigner - 1 career start
Matt Chico - 9 career starts
Jason Simontacchi - 43 career starts
Mike Bacsik - 16 career starts
Micah Bowie - 12 career starts

Total major league starts for current rotation: 81
Total major league starts for Tom Glavine of the New York Mets: 645

As Ray King said to me yesterday, "Our rotation's basically our bullpen." East is West, right is wrong, yin is yang, black is white. There is no making sense of it all.

How did this team just go 7-3 on the homestand. Bergmann did nearly pitch a no-hitter, I suppose, and it's likely he'll be the first player back. Manny Acta said yesterday that he expected Bergmann to be able to pitch the first day that he's eligible. Both Patterson and Hill are likely to throw bullpens this coming weekend in St. Louis.

Further updates: General Manager Jim Bowden said both Mike O'Connor (elbow) and Brandon Claussen (shoulder) should be able to throw 80 competitive pitches by mid-June, meaning they'll be working their way back through the minors somewhere, and ready to be in the big leagues if needed.

Joel Hanrahan, who was off to a very nice start at Class AAA Columbus before suffering a groin injury, threw at extended spring training in Viera, Fla., over the weekend, so he's on the road back, too.

So I offer you, on May 21, Guess the Rotation, Round 2. Let's do it this way: Pick the five pitchers you believe will comprise the rotation - that is to say, will be healthy and pitching and starting games, not on the DL - at the all-star break, which is now less than two months away. I'm asking you to be orthopedist/pitching coach/GM all at once.

Also, feel free to discuss that rousing win over the Orioles. Lost in Nook Logan's heroics yesterday was a big hit from Ryan Langerhans, who played with Danys Baez last year in Atlanta and said, because Baez has a nasty split-fingered pitch, he just wanted to jump on the first good fastball he saw, not allowing Baez to get to the splitter. That's what he did, lining an RBI single to right.

Also lost in the discussion: A pair of doubles for Ryan Zimmerman. He said over the weekend, "I feel as good as I've felt in my career, basically." It'll be interesting to see whether that translates to results.

Also, it'll be an interesting week for Felipe Lopez and, in particular, Austin Kearns as they return to Cincinnati. Here's a story I wrote this morning on the big trade from last summer. We also reported over the weekend that the Reds had filed a grievance regarding the health of Gary Majewski, who was in that deal, so there'll be some other stuff to monitor as we move forward.

Here's yesterday's rousing game story, written by new O's beat writer Adam Kilgore so I could write the above trade piece. The notebook has material on Micah Bowie, Ryan Church (bruised forearm, might not play tonight) and Chad Cordero. The podcast felt particularly rambling and stuttering when I recorded it yesterday, but who knows.

I've never had Skyline Chili. Should I?

Talk to you later.


By Barry Svrluga  |  May 21, 2007; 10:25 AM ET
 
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Next: Guess the Rotation, Round 2 Results

Comments

Barry, I saw in your story that Gary Majewski is mourning his 19-year-old sister's death in an ATV accident. I know you likely won't see him while in Cincy, but if you talk to Chad Cordero (who according to your story is still good friends with Majewski), please pass along some prayers to Gary via Chad.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 21, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

... And as for guessing the rotation, heck, I wouldn't wanna jinx them any more than they have been already. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | May 21, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Patterson
Hill
Bergman
Chico
Bascik

Patterson is listed 1st but may be the most "iffy".

Posted by: pk | May 21, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

changed my mind:

Hill
Bergman
Simontacchi
Chico
Bascik

Posted by: pk--- | May 21, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

For fast-food chili, it's not terrible.

Posted by: Chris | May 21, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Hill
Bergmann
Chico
Simontacchi
Redding

Posted by: Brian | May 21, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Chico
Bergmann
Simontacci
Patterson
Svrluga

I hear the Svrluga kid is a hell of a prospect. Why are the Nats hiding this kid down on the farm?

Posted by: Mel | May 21, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse


1. Patterson
2. Hill
3. Bergmann
4. Chico
5. Simontacchi

Posted by: Thunderstrucknatsfan | May 21, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Chico
Bergmann
Simontacchi
Bascik
Colome--(We will have gone through the rest of the bullpen by that time and it will be Colome's turn).

Guy in my office brought Cincinnati chili to a potluck once and we haven't let him bring anything else since. It's awesome. Go to Skyline.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 21, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

p.s. I've been a Patterson doubter since day 1 of Spring Training. Though I really, really want him to be great again, I say we move on.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 21, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

First of all, Sky Line chili is NOT fast food. It is the same basic recipe that my mother (and most other moms from east of Cincy to west of Louisville) had been making for many years before she started serving it to me more than 60 years ago. Maybe, like White Castle hamburgers, you have to be raise on it to fully appreciate it. Just be sure to get it five ways and maybe a cheese coney on the side. Yum, yum. Wish I was there. I might slip out for a bag of White Castles, too.

Posted by: saltydog | May 21, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

First of all, Sky Line chili is NOT fast food. It is the same basic recipe that my mother (and most other moms from east of Cincy to west of Louisville) had been making for many years before she started serving it to me more than 60 years ago. Maybe, like White Castle hamburgers, you have to be raise on it to fully appreciate it. Just be sure to get it five ways and maybe a cheese coney on the side. Yum, yum. Wish I was there. I might slip out for a bag of White Castles, too.

Posted by: saltydog | May 21, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Maybe you have to be raised on Cincy chili to fully appreciate it. Sort of like White Castles. But how could you go to Cincinatti and NOT try it? Get it five ways with a cheese coney. Yum. Yum.

Posted by: salty dog | May 21, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I want to apologize for my multiple entries on Cincy Chili. First, the Post computer said it had rejected my first shot, so I wrote another. Turns out said computer posted it not once, but twice. As well as my second for a total of three netries saying essential the same thing. Again, I am sorry for that.

Posted by: salty dog | May 21, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

One place you do have to go in Cincy is the Montgomery Inn. If you can't actually get to the real place, they do have a stand at the ballpark.

Posted by: Simon Oliver Lockwood | May 21, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Skyline Chili is not chili. Once I got over that, it was some mediocre variation on Greek food apparently. Not worth eating IMHO. Montgomery Inn, yes.

Posted by: Geezer | May 21, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

1) Bergmann
2) Hill
3) Patterson
4) Chico
5) That raccoon from Spring Training will be called up soon.

Posted by: ChrisC | May 21, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Skyline actually had a couple of locations in the DC area, including the Union Station food court, about 10 years ago. It's OK -- Hard Times' version of it is better.

Posted by: Cosmo | May 21, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

With the June draft coming up here's to the hope that the "best available" on the board will be Pitchers. With the May Hitter and Pitcher of the month awards coming up, Here are other guys I'd like to see moved up:
SS Marcos Cabral from Hagerstown to Potomac
P Cory Van Allen from Hagerstown to Potomac
OF Dee Brown from Potomac to Harrisburg
2B Greg Thissen from Potomac to Harrisburg (Har- 2B Harrisburg Dement is .228)
2b Ofilio Castro from Potomac to H-burg
P Garrett Mock from Potomac to Harrisburg
P Eddy Baeza from Potomac to Harrisburg
1b Josh Whitesell form H-burg to Columbus (Columbus 1b -Util Man Abernathy batting .223, Jennings is heating up to .224, Broadway hurt BA .171)


Hagerstown:
Probable Award winners-
Hitter SS MARCOS CABRAL (.429 in last 10 games) or OF Chris Marrero (.390 in last 10)
Pitcher - Cory Van Allen

Dear Mr. Bowden,
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MOVE MARCOS CABRAL UP AND BENCH IAN DESMOND IN POTOMAC!!! Cabral moving up to Potomac will make room in Hagerstown for Smiley Gonzalez to play there from extended spring league

Chris Marrero is doing well, and there isn't really a spot for him in the outfield at Potomac right now with Dee Brown and Marvin Lowrance there unless the team plans to move Baez (.248 BA) to the bench permanently.

With Eddy Baeza already moving up to Potomac and doing well, the Hagerstown Pitching staff sure isn't plentiful, but Cory Van Allen could be the starter pulled up to Potomac to replace John Lannan's spot

Bottom line:Other than Cory Van Allen there isn't much to move up here because there isn't a lot of room for OF's in Potomac right now. .

Potomac:
Probable Award Winners:
Hitter: 2B or 3B Ofilio Castro (.372 in last 10 games)
Pitcher: John Lannan (just called up today to AA) or Garrett Mock

Hitters to be called up:
Dee Brown- OF- Slumped this month but is still batting .305 and appears better than everyone else on diamond. Unfortunately has Christian Guerrero and Roger Bernadina doing well in Harrisburg ahead of him...
The third OF in Harrisburg RF Frank Diaz (.242) and former Rule 5 Draft pick Tony Blanco (.184) should look over their shoulders. (I know I've been told Diaz is good but I'd like to see Brown be able to move up and compete against the same kind of pitching as Diaz)

Greg Thissen - 2B- 3B - DH After starting the year in AAA and is now playing a lot for injured Brandon Powell (who was doing great and would be on this list but he got hurt the first week in May after being named the "Carolina League Hitter of the Week")

Ofilio Castro - 2B -3B He's doing well and should get a chance to show what he can do at the next level...

TO THE BENCH: SS IAN DESMOND- IAN is really lucky that there hasn't been a good shortstop at Hagerstown, or on the Potomac bench UNTIL NOW!. he's only batting .234 has made two times the amount of errors as anyone else, and couldn't get a bunt down on Saturday night... then preceded to make 2 errors in the 11th or 12th inning. PATHETIC!!! Luckily SS Marcos Cabral who joined Hagerstown in May is now doing very well... PLEASE MOVE UP CABRAL and bench Desmond. Maybe that will be the message to Desmond that he needs to perform.

Pitchers to be called up:
THEY TAKETH AWAY, BUT THEY GIVETH GREAT REPLACEMENTS: Well with Closer Alexis Morales and now Starter John Lannan already being called up, the pitching isn't amazing in Potomac... However, the recent additions of Garrett Mock and Eddy Baeza appear to be GREAT REPLACEMENTS

Eddy Baeza - Just called up from Hagerstown and is the current Potomac Closer. He probably won't get called up because he just recently was promoted, but he looks the best of all of the PNAT pitchers right now.

Garrett Mock - part of the Livan Hernandez trade. Shouldn't be in Potomac too much longer the way he is pitching. Great 1st start!

Harrisburg:
Good to see Alexis Morales doing well in AA from Potomac. With hitting stats like these you wonder how Harrisburg is in last place at 12-29, then you look at the pitching stats and you realize why.

Probable Award Winners
Hitter: OF Christian Guerrero (.357 in last 10 games), OF Rogeravin Bernadina (.333 in last 10 games ), 3b Juan Melo (.321 in last 10 )
Pitcher: Closer Brett Campbell or Former PNat's Closer Alexi Morales

Hitters to be called up:
1B Josh Whitesell- slumping but still batting .323

3B Juan Melo

OF Rogeravin Bernadina- Have Darnell McDonald, Brandon Watso, Restovich and Kory Casto ahead of them in Columbus.

OF Christian Guerrero- didn't perform at AAA with 1 Hit in 6 AB and there wasn't enough playing time for him there but is doing well now.

Pitchers to be called up: NONE right now... All Starters should worry about their jobs right now, Garrett Mock should be coming soon.

Columbus Clippers:
Hitter: OF Brandon Watson has hit .415 in his last nine games with eight runs scored. ... IF D'Angelo Jimenez has batted .350 in his last 10 contests with five RBIs and seven runs scored. ... OF Darnell McDonald has hit .378 in his last 10 games with nine RBIs and eight runs scored. ...

PROBLEMS!!! OF Kory Casto has collected just one hit in 18 at-bats since his return from Washington.


May Pitcher of the month Chris Schroder or Anastacio Martinez (NOT MUCH TOO CHOOSE FROM)

Logjam in Outfield:
With Casto now in the outfield with McDonald (.335), Watson (.325), and former Nat Michael Restovich, there just isn't room for Guerrero and Bernadina.

DEAD WOOD:
TJ Nall -Promotion from AA not deserved. Doesn't belong in AAA either.

there is nobody behind us...
Tim Redding SP 29, 6.48 ERA, Lucky there is nobody behind him
Brent Abernathy 29, 2B (& Disaster Pitcher) Batting .219

Posted by: Farm Report | May 21, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Because I am the nerdy Nats fan that I am (lets face it if you have posted in this journal before and you are not paid to do so you have to amount a considerable defense to avoid the nerd tag), I have been playing Guess the Rotation for over a month now. I could scan and distribute multiple scribblings to prove it. My best guess at the post allstar break rotation is: Hill, Chico, Patterson, Claussen, and Bergmann. And here's the surprise: Bergmann is last in this list because he will be the National's allstar representative (move over Mark Redman). Zimmerman you say? Nope, not with Chipper Jones, Cabrerra, and Wright in the NL. By the way LangerLogan was pretty much the entire offense on Sunday.

Posted by: NatBisquit | May 21, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

1. Chico
2. Hill
3. Simontacchi
4. Bacsik
5. Redding

I don't think Patty'll be back this year.

Posted by: Hendo | May 21, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Patterson
Hill
Bergmann
Chico
Simontacchi

Posted by: DE | May 21, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

1) Chico
2) Bergmann
3) Simontachi
4) Bascik
5) Hill

Patterson will get hurt again after he comes back but before the break.
Williams will "go see Dr Andrews".

Posted by: Sec 224 Row 9 | May 21, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of Cincinnati style chili but I think that you should try it and decide for yourself.

On the rotation:

Patterson (fingers crossed)
Hill
Bergmann
Chico
Simontacchi

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 21, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann
Chico
Simontacchi
Traber (because, seriously. there's no way Micah Bowie stays in the rotation for long, and Traber knows how to start)
That escaped fraternity boy that runs the NatPack. Has anyone else seen the arm on that kid? Sign him to a minor league contract, he'll be ready by the All Star Break.

Posted by: Atlanta | May 21, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Also, ditto on condolences to Gary Majewski.

Posted by: Atlanta | May 21, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

OK, here are my picks:

2 7 18 22 28 34

Oh, wait, that's powerball...

Patterson
Hill
Bergmann
Chico
Simontacchi


I stole DE's list, not so much cause I think DE is right, but because wouldn't it be cool if it was? If Patterson is pitching, I would theorize that he would be more-or-less physically sound, because while I wouldn't say we were 'deep' in pitching, the Nats have at least credible alternatives that would probably, from a personnel management point of view, make more sense than sending Patterson out there at less that 98.2%. While nobody outside of Washington (or the Nats fan base) would think much of that rotation, that rotation and some timely hitting makes for a pretty good bunch.

I got four of five last time...

Posted by: Wigi | May 21, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

FYI Farm Report ... Garrett Mock is back on the disabled list.

Posted by: Brian | May 21, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Me, too.

---

Also, ditto on condolences to Gary Majewski.

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 21, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Chico
Simontachi
Traber
Speigner
Bascik

Ok, so I'm pessimistic. to tell you the truth I expect Chico to be down too. Maybe Bergman will be back?

Posted by: SF fan | May 21, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Definitely go to Skyline Chili....it is unique and also quite tasty. Everytime I am back home I go at least once. If you can't find a Skyline Chili place Gold Star Chili is ok too but Skyline Chili is the best

Posted by: Cincy native | May 21, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

... without reading any of the responses above, my five would be as follows (and in this rotation order):

Shawn Hill
Jason bergmann
Matt Chico
jason Simontacchi
Billy Traber (or a player yet to be acquired by trade, who might be placed higher in this list)

Posted by: david f watts | May 21, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Another thought (plus, I don't wanna do work yet)...

Isn't it interesting how much more fun the Nats are to watch, when you strip away the expectation of wins and losses over a season, and look at it in a much smaller scale, like game, series, or homestand (or road trip)?

I think it is so cool that we are finding a new hero every day, or finding a rookie that is hungry and wants a roster spot, or players finally approaching their potential, and watching the team chemistry come together.

We knew April 2 that the Nats weren't going into the post season, and if you didn't, you did by the time Teddy came down the zip wire.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Nats are playing .520 - .550 ball in September.

Posted by: Wigi | May 21, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Hill
Chico
Bergman
Simontacchi
Hanrahan

Posted by: Mick | May 21, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Hendo offered:
"1. Chico
2. Hill
3. Simontacchi
4. Bacsik
5. Redding

I don't think Patty'll be back this year."

... I agree with your assessment of John Patty, but why have you left out Bergmann??? Explanation of your thinking, please.


Posted by: david f watts | May 21, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

First of all, lived in Cincinnati for three years and Skyline is not fast food, those are unbelievers, scoffers...ignore them. Go to Skyline, it's one of the great things about that city and there are many great things about that city. Have to disagree w/ above slightly and recommend you get a three way but agree you must get a cheese coney on the side. Fantastic. I pined for Skyline for a year after I moved away.

Rotation:
Hill
Bergman
Chico
Hanrahan
Simontacchi

Would leave to see Patty in there but have a bad feeling about that arm this year. I think Willliams is in trouble too.

Didn't get to see the game yesterday but love that Logan came through. If that guy can hit, that would be a jackpot find right there. Strange how the "feeling" about a team w/ such a poor record can be so positive. Zimm is hitting better, pitching is holding together, Logan and Guzzie are even hitting some. Get Hill, Bergman and maybe even Patterson back and I believe this team can play .500 ball. Probably too late for getting to .500 but they can play it from June on, I think. Love to think what this team could do w/ Johnson back and then next year a proven starting pitcher or two and a power bat and it could really be something.

Posted by: mlwagnercpa | May 21, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Hill
Bergmann
Chico
Simontacchi
Hanrahan

Hill/Bergmann: Real deal if healthy.
Chico: Surprised he's done this well, but has shown enough to stay in.
Simontacchi: Team needs an innings eater. Leave him in longer, Manny.
Hanrahan: Surprised if Patterson back; Claussen not ready; Williams gone.

Posted by: Section 418 | May 21, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Well said Wigi.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 21, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann out-of-the-rotation rationales:

1. I'm inclined to think Bergmann is more likely than not to be back in the rotation by season's end. But as other guys come back, the team will enjoy a little wiggle room and might rethink the decision to run him right back out there for 100 pitches every five days. Perhaps he could ease back in with some work in AAA, if he has options, or in long relief.

2. He could have a setback. I hate to say it, even think it, but Mr. Watts, having asked, is entitled to candor.

----

Please add me to the list of those who offer heartfelt condolences to Tex and the Majewski family.

Posted by: Hendo | May 21, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

While it might not be a five-star restaurant Skyline five way is worth the five minutes it takes to run in and grab a serving.

Posted by: confused | May 21, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Hill
Bergmann
Simontacchi
Chico
O'Connor

Posted by: pwf5 | May 21, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Now, let's get back to the stories not covered by YOUR Washington Post:

Nats & Reds Both Losers in Big Trade?
By Swanni

Only in the twin cities of Bowdenville and Barryville is the trade with the Reds still considered a "steal." To wit:

Since joining the Nats:

Austin Kearns' stats:

.247 batting average in 376 ABs
12 home runs
52 RBIs.

Felipe Lopez:
.264 batting average in 454 ABs.
4 Home Runs
32 RBIs (not a misprint, folks)
.333 On Base Percentage (a leadoff hitter?)
26 Steals

Mind you, I like Lopez; think he would make a good #2 hitter. And he looks better at second than short.

But to paraphrase that great philosopher Shakira: Hits Don't Lie. Or lack there of.

Neither team is benefiting much from the deal at this point.


Posted by: swanni | May 21, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I think "Guess the All-Star" sounds like a more intriguing game.
What odds can I get on Guzzie?

Posted by: Willie Gandebol | May 21, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I have a sinking feeling that come All-Star break, we'll be left with nothing but left-handed junk ball pitchers in our starting rotation:

O'Connor
Chico
Bacsik
Bowie
Traber

One thing that I've always wondered about and Barry if you could check to see if the Nats have ever considered this:

if Nook is a better batter from the right side than the left (.329 vs .246 career BA; .362 vs .303 career OBP), why wouldn't Nook just concentrate on being ONLY a right-handed batter? It's obvious he makes more contact and sees the ball better from the right side, so why not give up batting from the left side and hit from the right? He could still face both right and left-handed pitching, and with his speed he could still try and bunt occasionally for a base-hit (true, his speed is more effective from the left-side, but if he's not making contact, what's the point?).

Has there ever been a case where a batter started his career as a switch-hitter then gave up trying to hit from one side and decided to only hit from the other (and be successful at it)?

Posted by: e | May 21, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

my guess is much more optimistic

Patterson
Hill
Simontacchi
Bergmann
Chico

Posted by: natsinthevalley | May 21, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

e

what i think you are forgetting is that although the nookster's right-side stats are better, he is mostly hitting that way vs lefties. If he were to hit from the right all the time..the batting average would most likely go down.

Posted by: pk | May 21, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Hill
Bergmann
Chico
Simontacchi
Hanrahan

What is wrong with Cabesa Grande's elbow? Fruto had a .116 batting average against and I see he was placed on DL due to elbow problems? Is a visit to Dr. Andrews-Tommy John in his future? If healthy, stuff like his would deserve a look, even if he does give up more walks than he allows hits. 20 walks, 10 hits in 26 innings!

Posted by: Dick 419 | May 21, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Joe McClain
Bennie Daniels
Dick Donovan
Ed Hobaugh
Tom Sturdivant

An homage to the starting rotation (plus one) of your 1961 Washington Senators. Now that was a pitching staff.

Posted by: mojo | May 21, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

It sounded fine to me.

The podcast felt particularly rambling and stuttering when I recorded it yesterday, but who knows.

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 21, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Chico
Simontacchi
Traber
O'Connor
Hinckley.

Posted by: Ava | May 21, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Hill
Chico
Bergmann
Simontacchi
Bacsik
I think JP comes back a week after the break along with Johnson and Ayala. Should be a good time.

Posted by: Andrew S. | May 21, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Ava: Interesting choice of Hinckley. If I had included a current AA name, I'd have gone with Ballester.

I think we'll likely see at least one of the two some time in the second half of the season.

BTW did anyone notice Backstrom's breaking ball yesterday? Filthy, nasty pitch.

Posted by: Hendo | May 21, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

My picks for the rotation:

Hill
Bergmann
Chico
Simontacchi
TBD

I don't think the team will ever be able to count on Patterson for anything except maybe one start a month + 15 days on the DL after each.

Love Cincinnati Chile.

Posted by: Dancer13 | May 21, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Swanni. Dude. You care to make the other side of the case? Kearns and Lopez are actually *playing*. Compare their not-so-bad stats with the players we sent to the Reds and then reconsider your argument. Oh, righ. I think they have to actually *play* to get stats to compare.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 21, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Chico
Bergmann
Hill
Simontacchi
Bacsik

Posted by: O'Connor | May 21, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey did you guys see Armas lost his spot in the rotation?

Posted by: NatsNut | May 21, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying the Reds did well in the trade, but only that neither team is doing particularly with the deal. However, the party line from the Post and the Nats is that the deal was a steal. Not yet it isn't.

Posted by: swanni | May 21, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Barry - please go to Skyline! I will live vicariously through you. Live in Cincy in high school and became addicted to 3 Way Chili from Skyline. Definitely an acquired taste, so give it a shot.

Posted by: Cincy Chili fan | May 21, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Swanni: is it always raining where you are?

lets think about this for a moment...

Yes, swanni, you're correct, I would rather have Majewski et al, Vidro and Guillen, than Kearns and Lopez.

Not...

Posted by: Wigi | May 21, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

My brother and I were commenting that perhaps the Nats have some potentially decent trade bait when the pennant races heat up. Would Dmitri, Batista, Belliard, Fick have any value to other teams in terms of picking up some young pitching?

Also - I would think 1B and a power hitting outfielder would be potential free agent interests of the Nats. Would you agree and whom might be of interest?

Posted by: FrontRowPhil | May 21, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Rotation:
1. Hil
2. Bergmann
3. Chico
4. Simontacchi
5. O'Connor

Posted by: FrontRowPhil | May 21, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,
admittedly, most of that is wishful thinking because I think he's adorable (and I am SO shallow), but it seems like he's been around forever, and we're about getting to put up or shut up time. Let's see what he can do. I mean, we have to find starting pitchers somewhere, right?

Posted by: Ava | May 21, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Swanni, if you want to dump all over the team, that's fine, but no one's making you buy tickets, or support the Nats in any way. The same goes for the Post. So Kearns and Lopez are slumping. So is Zimmerman. They'll pick it up, and, yes, for what we gave away to get them, it was a steal. Since, wow, what we really need more of on this team is injured pitchers. Thanks, but I'll take the steady-if-not-spectacular veterans who can help build a team.

Posted by: Atlanta | May 21, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I had Skyline chili today that my brother mailed from Cincinnati at my request. Definitely have it. Hard times does a nice 5-way, but this is the real thing.

This is not even indirectly an endorsement of Cinci's ridiculous attempt to use a grievance to cover Wayne Krivsky's behind for a bad trade. I just like their chili.

Posted by: Kevin Costello | May 21, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

FARM REPORT-

Wow. I saved your post for reference the rest of the year. Great work, thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Kevin Costello | May 21, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

atlanta,
Love em or leave em, huh?

No constructive criticism allowed?

I disagree! We need to keep the Nats management honest lest we see a rerun of Griffith, Short etc.

Posted by: swanni | May 21, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Ava, no apologies needed for shallowness. I'm right on board with your "put up or shut up" with Hinckley. In an organization with precious few prospects, this is one who needs to prove whether he's MLB, Triple-A, trade bait or a washout.

Swanni, not being a native DCer I can scarcely imagine the pain that Short must have brought to these fans. Your criticisms, whether correct or not, are welcome. Keep holding our feet to the fire!

Posted by: Hendo | May 21, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

YES! Kearns just homered to make it 6-0 in the 2nd off Arroyo! CRAZY!

So, in the bottom of the first inning, when the Reds intentionally walked Langerhans to get to the pitcher's spot, couldn't Acta have put in a pinch hitter before Speigner was announced (and therefore not in the game yet)?

I seem to remember some managers have done that in the past, putting the pitcher's spot up at the top of the order, batting an extra hitter at the top of the first. Imagine if the Nats piled another couple runs in the long top of the first!

Just throw strikes Speigner!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | May 21, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Way to get out of trouble Speigner!

6-2 Nats after 2.

Posted by: Hendo | May 21, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe how much this group discounts John Patterson. I believe you seriously underestimate him.

Posted by: Tom | May 21, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Great stuff, Barry.

It's been a night of fives. Kearns hits his fifth HR, Zimmerman then knocks out his fifth, and Speigner lets in five. This coming after a day where I made purchases of $4.44 and $7.77. If anyone wins the Maryland lottery with 475, I want a cut.

I'm watching the game on MLB TV, and I really like Cincinnati's TV booth. Jeff Brantley and George Grande have a lot of chemistry, and have that great combination of fun and knowledge that fans of Carpenter and Sutton would enjoy.

Funny that everyone is talking about Nook's hit in the eighth and not about his run manufacturing on the bases earlier in the game. Beats out an infield hit, steals second, and then steals third. That's what they need out of Logan.

Salty hit it on White Castle (all three times). I just moved to Minnesota in January, and seriously, I don't see the hype with that place. Everyone says it will grow on me, but I've had better microwave burgers.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 21, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

... and NatsNation goes on suicide watch.

Posted by: JennX | May 21, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

To "FrontRowPhil":

Dave Shenin wrote a great piece about outfielders available in free agency.

"In Center, the Sky's the Limit"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/19/AR2007051900607.html

Posted by: BrianH | May 21, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"I can't believe how much this group discounts John Patterson. I believe you seriously underestimate him."

I agree with you Tom, and I think it is directly attributable to Barry Svrluga. He doesn't like Patterson for some reason, and makes snide and disparageing remarks about him at every opportunity. Naturally Barry's "followers" agree with him, and that is what you are seeing here. Actually, he doesn't seem to much like any of the players, the fans or anything else. Maybe he is in the wrong job!

Posted by: gil'sfan | May 22, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

The sun rises upon a day after one of those ugly, ugly nights. You knew more of them were coming.

Balls and strikes were what struck me all night, and not pleasantly. Seemed like Speigner was forever behind in the count. (I didn't get to hear Rauch's appearance.)

Too bad the Nats couldn't put it away after knocking Arroyo out of the box. Full marks to Cincy for clawing their way back to a win.

Posted by: Hendo | May 22, 2007 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Tom suggested:
"I can't believe how much this group discounts John Patterson. I believe you seriously underestimate him."

... I hope you're right Tom, that we have discounted JP too quickly. But I put myself in that group, and my reasosn are based on intuition only. I look at John this year and last, and I have a difficult time finding something on which to hang my hat. My speculation says that he will either a/ return from injury a lesser pitcher than before, or b/ not return at all from this career-ending injury.

... last night's game was one of those lousy losses (if losses can be so qualified). It'one thing to be up against a team which is much better and to lose, but it's quite another to have a team in your grip and not be able to hold it. Four runs in the first, driving away the likes of Bronson Arroyo should have been enough as Hendo laments, but this is the kind of game the Nats learn from. They learn that you can have some success and feel you're in control, but it's a nine-inning game, and you still have to watch out for bottom eight.

... trying out a new moniker - might have to go back to the original if this one doesn't call my name.

Posted by: david f watts | May 22, 2007 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Talking of counts, Barry's gamer indicates that Rauch got good counts, but threw bad pitches on those counts. Thus Dunn et al. done unto Rauch what the Nats done unto Danys Baez the other afternoon (and wish they coulda done Friday night).

Rauch is a stand-up guy, so he'll get the timing fixed or know the reason why not. Few worries from that corner of the bullpen.

Posted by: Hendo | May 22, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Cool, in the same blog Barry and the Post are being criticized for a) being too soft on the coverage, and b) being too hard on the coverage. I believe this is generally how you tell you are actually doing your job right. I read other papers - not just in DC - and I got to say for consistently good writing, fair treatment, and comprehensive coverage, the Washington Post Sports section has few equals. I don't always agree with the commentary, I don't always think they write about the right game/team story, but they seldom fail to provide an interesting story about the Nats game. This concept that the media is meant to put the screws to the team management is based on the assumption that the team management is incompetent. That can't be true of all 30 teams. Is it true of the Nats? I think we're still in the discovery process, but so far it seems obvious that the team has more valuable assets today than they had in September 2004 when Bowden took over and they have more valuable assets than they had in July 2006 when Kasten and the Lerners came in. In other cities there has been a slow decline in the same period: St.Louis, Cinncinatti, Chisox, Texas, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Toronto, etc.... Those are the towns where the media ought to be bashing the teams they cover. Take Toronto (please), millions and millions of dollars spent. A declining farm system, no depth, no return on investment, at least as many injuries as DC, etc.... There is an expose topic -- someone who had something, and pissed it away.

Posted by: NatBisquit | May 22, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

You know, I think Swanni is Randy Quaid.

Remember Quaid's character Johnny in the "Major League" films? (If you haven't seen any of them, the first one is enjoyable but the sequels are forgettable.) That's the guy who sits in the bleachers bad-mouthing everything the Cleveland Indians do and calling it "constructive criticism".

And it eventually becomes ludicrous to the point of funny.

My rotation speculation:

Bergmann
Hill
Traber
O'Connor
Simontacchi

I don't know what kind of control the guy from the Nat Pack has, but after watching him throw t-shirts from the field into the upper deck of RFK I will agree that he's got a cannon for an arm.

Posted by: Section 502 | May 22, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

NatBisquit is 3-for-3 this morning:

- The Post's baseball coverage is well written whether it's right (e.g., correctly using the word 'debutant' to refer to the '05 Nats) or wrong (e.g., trying to whitewash the emerging PED scandal in '98). Shirley Povich created a legacy of excellence that Boswell, Svrluga, Sheinin and the rest do a pretty good job of living up to.

- Let's give the front office a chance to really stink up the joint before we reflexively damn them. Maybe they won't. Not everyplace has to be Baltimore.

- Re the travails of teams on the decline -- I'd consider NatBisquit's list, minus maybe St. Louis and Chisox and plus Kansas City -- I smell the makings of an 8- or 10-part Sunday series: "Faith and Hope on the Downswing," perhaps?

Posted by: Hendo | May 22, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I can't take any more of Don Sutton. Please let Jaggler simulcast and do TV and Radio

Posted by: tom p | May 22, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

By the way, what happened to the car the Nat Pack used to drive in? Did the Repo Man get it?

Just kidding...I think.

Posted by: swanni | May 22, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Tom P,
At least Sutton doesn't say every pitcher is "nasty" or "filthy," as last year's Tom P. did.

He's an upgrade on last season, no doubt.

Although I think we were better off with Proctor and Darling as a team.

Posted by: swanni | May 22, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the Lerners sold the car when they saw gas prices going up.

Posted by: natpackcar | May 22, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Given the lack of game updates, I hope that Barry didn't (a) take a nosedive off the smokestacks or (b) overdo on the chili and cheese coneys.

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 22, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Bergmann
Hill
Chico
Fruto
Gavin Floyd (acquired from White Sox in Cordero deal)

Posted by: Sec. 210 | May 22, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Agree with tom p, Jageler was quite the offseason pickup. He and Carpenter on TV would be quite a one-two punch arranged either way.

These things can be touchy. I grew up listening to Bob Prince calling play-by-play for Pirates games on radio and TV. His dismissal in 1975 was a crushing blow in my young life; even though Prince's eventual replacement, Lanny Frattare, was and is a competent play-caller, I still think of him as a usurper. (Yes, I gotta get over it; Prince has been dead for over 20 years now.)

Posted by: Hendo | May 22, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Carpenter and Sutton are still better than Carpenter was with Pachorek last year. Sutton will give you insight, Pachorek would just crack jokes. Also, if Carpenter stopped being such a homer it would be much more entertaining. But by far, radio broadcast is superior to TV broadcast.

Posted by: Mel | May 22, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

That wouldn't be Mel Proctor, now would it? Seriously though, I much prefer the radio guys as well.

---

Carpenter and Sutton are still better than Carpenter was with Pachorek last year. Sutton will give you insight, Pachorek would just crack jokes. Also, if Carpenter stopped being such a homer it would be much more entertaining. But by far, radio broadcast is superior to TV broadcast.

Posted by: Mel | May 22, 2007 11:25 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a | May 22, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The Nats could lose 4 straight and it will still be a good trip if you make it to Skyline. Yes its that good. I'd recommend the cheese coneys but you can't go wrong with a 3,4,or 5 way either.

Posted by: Nathan | May 22, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Farm Report, that was an awesome post, thanks!

You can always count on Swanni for some lame pessimism that lacks all logic, i.e. Reds trade analysis.

Everytime I see his post, I imagine the voice of Bill Walton and tell myself I'm about to hear something completely ridiculous. Then I sit back and actually get a laugh out of it.

Posted by: G-town | May 22, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Can someone (ie. Barry), tell Carpenter to STOP using the term "here at the ballpark", it is the most irritating thing besides some other things that the guy blurts out on a daily basis. I call it the ESPN-ization of sports. We locals have always, and will probably always call it, what it is "RFK". Bob, pleeeeeeze spare us from the nasal talking announcer stuff and call the old "cement circle" RFK. Good I said my piece, now I can go back to listening to Charlie Slowes and Dave Jaegler.

Posted by: Tippy Canoe | May 22, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Patterson
Hill
Chico
O' Connor
Simontacchi

Posted by: Dave | May 22, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm starting to suspect Barry's trying to get his comment count up, maybe to 100?, before he posts again?

Posted by: NatsNut | May 22, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

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