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Felipe Lopez: "Bench? No. ... Hell no."

That's the crux of what he just said. I'm going to write about this for the paper, obviously, but Ronnie Belliard is now hitting .459 on the spring, and he hit his third homer today. He came here as the starting second baseman, right?

Felipe Lopez went 1 for 4, and he is hitting just .205. He does, however, feel good about his at-bats.

"No. Bench?," Lopez said when asked if he would accept a role behind Belliard. "No. I already said that. No. Hell, no. I feel good. The numbers are not showing, but I'm hitting the ball hard, playing great defense. I feel [freakin'] good."

He was asked if he thought it would be a tough choice: "Yeah I think so. It's really tough. You got Guzzy and Belly, their numbers are there. I don't have the average, but I'm hitting the ball and having good at-bats. So whatever happens, I would like to stay here, but I'm not going to be happy on the bench. Hell no."

Belliard's take: "It don't matter to me. Whatever they decide."

More on this in the paper. But it's getting interesting.

Nats win 9-1. Redding felt horrible -- half the team has had flu-like symptoms -- but he survived. Interesting that he was able to overcome it and Patterson, pitching the other day, wasn't. He was far from perfect, lacking control of his breaking stuff. But considering how he felt, he was pleased.

Joel Hanrahan: Two more scoreless innings, making it 9-2/3 this spring with two hits, two walks and 13 strikeouts. The strikeout today: Gary Sheffield on a slider, in case you were wondering.

Gotta hack here. Enjoy the Nats' off day tomorrow.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 18, 2008; 4:56 PM ET
 
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Next: The Off Day

Comments

Should have cut him last week. Can't hit, can't field, slacks off, and complains.

Posted by: PB | March 18, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Spring Training must be coming to a close, because my cautious optimism is fading fast.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 18, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Barry - could you and Carig start a rumor about serious negotiations between the Nats and Os over Lopez? Say, for Radhames Liz or Hayden Penn?

Posted by: PTBNL | March 18, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

ya know, I was all for giving the starting job to FLop mainly because I think last year was a fluke for him. Now, however, I'm more inclined to let Belly start at second and Guzzie at short. It's not because they're outplaying FLop so far this Spring, but it's because of their attitude.

Belliard says, "It don't matter to me. Whatever they decide." That is the kind of attitude I like to hear publicly. Privately, I'm sure Belly is saying stuff like "Hell no." But he's smart enough to keep that it inside the locker room and out of the public eye/ear.

Willie Harris, by the way, can go. His blunders on the basepaths today (and in other games this Spring) are inexcusable. I'd rather have Pete Orr as the super-utility guy (he can play most infield positions and some outfield). He has decent enough speed and so far, at least in the small sampling I've been able to witness first-hand, he hasn't made many bone headed mistakes.

Posted by: e | March 18, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

And now we have gottahack.

John in Mpls, which is fading, the cautious part or the optimism part?

Posted by: NatsNut | March 18, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

you think we could get one of their top pitching prospects for flopez? i'd be shocked, even if it wasn't the Os, to get anything of that caliber (not that penn or liz haven't been knocked down a peg or two in the past couple of years, but they're still decent prospects).

Posted by: 231 | March 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Where you said "freakin'", did he say something that rhymes with "duckin'"?

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | March 18, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

oh my god i would love hayden penn for felipe lopez

Posted by: no go on j-lo | March 18, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I'd take William Penn for Lopez at this point.

Dig him up and give him a glove.

-----

oh my god i would love hayden penn for felipe lopez

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 18, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Redding felt horrible -- half the team has had flu-like symptoms -- but he survived. Interesting that he was able to overcome it and Patterson, pitching the other day, wasn't."

Patterson is a pretty boy with absolutely no stones. I really hope he does well but, this guy is obviously soft. I'm growing very tired of his act.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 18, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Oddly enough, even after today's game, the opitimism part.

But I think it's just a series of knee-jerk reactions on my part. Bad outing by Patterson, fake apology by Lo Duca, rotation issues, then Lopez.

I just need to stop and smell the home runs, don't I?

-----

John in Mpls, which is fading, the cautious part or the optimism part?

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 18, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Felipe does need an attidude adjustment. He hasn't show any tangible evidence of improvement this spring while Belliard and Guzman have been rippin' it up.

If Lopez was the backup coming into spring training, don't really see how he has worked his way out of that role. Just take your 4.9 million dollars and give us some support off the bench.

Posted by: Ghost | March 18, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

FLop needs a change of scenery. I remember how the late, great "Ol' Perfesser" Casey Stengel used to say that some guys would rather be second-division regulars than sit the bench for a winning team. FLop needs to realize that if JimBow could have gotten 10 cents on the dollar for him after FLop's arbitration victory, he would have been history. Personally, I would rather see Belliard traded to the Dodgers for their shortstop prospect Hu, but if FLop is going to be a black cloud in the clubhouse if he's not starting, why not trade him to the AngelO's? They have experience dealing with shortstops with bad attitudes.

Posted by: natsscribe | March 18, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Bowden has reach his limit with Lopez and if he can find a backup to play shortstop, Lopez is gone but it will cost them - "cash considerations" to unload him.

Posted by: Vienna | March 18, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Patterson sounds like himself, as does Mr. Lopez. I admire the Nationals for giving them continued chances, but, at this point, neither seems to be taking advantage of the team's largesse in attitude.

Posted by: samantha7 | March 18, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Natsscribe,

I with you on trading FLop and my guess is Jimbo has been trying. However, he is one of only two guys on this team that can play SS some what effectively. That makes it harder to part with him, especially for only a bag of balls.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 18, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Natsscribe,

I'm with you on trading FLop and my guess is Jimbo has been trying. However, he is one of only two guys on this team that can play SS some what effectively. That makes it harder to part with him, especially for only a bag of balls.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 18, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Trade Belly they can get a lot more in return for him, let Felipe try to work it out during the year and if he sucks he's off the payroll and we can start 2009 with a free agent and the better prospect we got for Belly. Oh and Screw the Orioles, trade Belly to the Cubs instead of letting the O's dump Roberts on the Cubs.

Posted by: Northern Nats Fan | March 18, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

i'd be quite surprised to see the dodgers give up hu for belly.

Posted by: 231 | March 18, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

231,

I base my idea on three things. Jeff Kent, the man of his statue at second base for LA, is hurt. Hu is blocked by Furcal. And Belly could be the defensive replacement for Nomar at third and play regularly once Nomar gets hurt, as he usually does.

Posted by: natsscribe | March 18, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

If Lopez doesn't like the bench in Washington, perhaps Jimbo can make arrangements for him to become acquainted with the one in Kansas City.

Posted by: LANats | March 18, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

If Felipe Lopez is in the starting lineup its a joke and a crime.

Posted by: Jason | March 18, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Redding's ready. Gutsy performance today.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | March 18, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Glad you guys are all giddy over today's win. Too bad 7 of their 9 runs came off of Tim Byrdak who used to play for.......the Baltimore Orioles. That's right, what does it say about that guys ability if the Orioles don't even want him on their pitching staff.

Whatever keeps your spirits up guys.

Posted by: O's Exec | March 18, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

The new mantra: Thirty to three.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 18, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I guess maybe I am too positive sometimes. I actually liked Lopez's response. I don't want young players to want to be on the bench, when they still have the upside of Lopez. Keep in mind that many of you were on Lopez for not having enough fire, for not caring last year. You were hard to convince that he cares this year.

He does. He wants to be a starter. He wants to win your fanhood. He wants to be the player he was.

This is good for someone who isn't already 30 and who wasn't already picked up off the scrap heap once. Embrace the cockiness if he intends to back it up. Either that, or be consistent about what you want his attitude to be, please.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"what does it say about that guys ability"

s should be possessive as in
"guy's ability"

Posted by: NTR 506 | March 18, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Lopez acting like he deserves anything is getting real old, real fast.

Posted by: Tank | March 18, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

FLop could not hit the ball last year. He has not hit the ball this year so far. I highly doubt he has a switch on his back that he can flip on around April 30th that allows him to hit the ball.

So, he can't hit. His attitude sucks. And he is almost as much of a prima donna as Patterson. With any luck, Bowden could package a trade of FLop and Patterson for maybe a nice opening day clubhouse spread and a few new segways.

Posted by: Delusion | March 18, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

flu-like symptoms = team buffet food poisoning?

Posted by: just wondering | March 18, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I hear that Bonderman guy that Milledge smacked the homer off of isn't much of a pitcher, either.


/sarcasm

Posted by: LANats | March 18, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with what Lopez said, I want a player that wants to play and win. We need to stop thinking that Belliard is the best second baseman in the game. How many other teams in baseball could he start on right now? Rockies yes, White Sox probably, and the O's if they trade B-Rob. We aren't going to get a prospect like Hu for him, the Dodgers love Hu, Furcal will be a free agent soon so they aren't going to trade away his replacement. And we aren't going to get Penn from the O's for lopez. They are rebuilding they aren't going to trade a young arm for a rental. Now I do hope a trade is made but we need to realize that we prob won't be getting a top prospect in return. Also I would look to try to retain Whitney, he can play a little third as well and he has great raw power and worth seeing how he does in our system.

Posted by: Steveo | March 18, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with what Lopez said, I want a player that wants to play and win. We need to stop thinking that Belliard is the best second baseman in the game. How many other teams in baseball could he start on right now? Rockies yes, White Sox probably, and the O's if they trade B-Rob. We aren't going to get a prospect like Hu for him, the Dodgers love Hu, Furcal will be a free agent soon so they aren't going to trade away his replacement. And we aren't going to get Penn from the O's for lopez. They are rebuilding they aren't going to trade a young arm for a rental. Now I do hope a trade is made but we need to realize that we prob won't be getting a top prospect in return. Also I would look to try to retain Whitney, he can play a little third as well and he has great raw power and worth seeing how he does in our system.

Posted by: Steveo | March 18, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with Lopez being fired up and wanting to be a starter, but he has to earn it, and so far he hasn't. Guzman and Belly have flat-out outplayed him. So if he doesn't want to ride the pine, I suggest he turn it up a notch. If he can't, I would expect him to be professional enough to accept whatever role the team gives him. If he's going to sulk, let him sulk in KC or Baltimore or Tampa.

Posted by: LANats | March 18, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we need to get FLop's Dad into Viera to knock some sense into him.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 18, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"Redding felt horrible -- half the team has had flu-like symptoms -- but he survived. Interesting that he was able to overcome it and Patterson, pitching the other day, wasn't."

Patterson is a pretty boy with absolutely no stones. I really hope he does well but, this guy is obviously soft. I'm growing very tired of his act."


It seems so obvious that I shouldnt have to say this, but I guess I'll do it anyway: Barry, neither you nor I nor anyone else can say how John Patterson feels compared to Redding! Different people are affected in different ways by illness and by pain. Perhaps Redding just complained about it more than Patterson did. At any rate YOU DON'T KNOW and you are inviting people to make negative judgements about Patterson which I don't think is right for you to do! Please just give us the news and not your opinions unless you clearly state them as your opinions and not as fact.

Posted by: jpsfanandproudofit | March 18, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"Interesting that he was able to overcome it and Patterson, pitching the other day, wasn't."

Wow, I mean wow. If that isn't insinuating something, I don't what is. It is perhaps the most "jocktacular" statement I've seen in this blog yet.

Tell me Barry, should it be a prerequisite of making the team by infecting the whole team with the flu before the season and whoever plays through it just automatically gets a spot? You know, beat your chest, eat red meat, and prove your a man sort of thing?

Is it true the whole team has the same stamina, pain tolerance, and reactions to infection? Wow. It's a medical marvel.

Posted by: NatsNQ | March 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"Patterson is a pretty boy with absolutely no stones. I really hope he does well but, this guy is obviously soft. I'm growing very tired of his act."

And I am growing tired of statements from poeple who know nothing about Patterson and have probably never seen him pitch.

Posted by: gilsfan | March 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"Patterson is a pretty boy with absolutely no stones. I really hope he does well but, this guy is obviously soft. I'm growing very tired of his act."

And I am growing tired of statements from poeple who know nothing about Patterson and have probably never seen him pitch.

Posted by: gilsfan | March 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"Patterson is a pretty boy with absolutely no stones. I really hope he does well but, this guy is obviously soft. I'm growing very tired of his act."

And I am growing tired of statements from poeple who know nothing about Patterson and have probably never seen him pitch.

Posted by: gilsfan | March 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

From Ladson:

"Lopez, on the other hand, is 8-for-44 (.205), and Tuesday marked the second time Lopez played second base this spring. Lopez had been playing shortstop because manager Manny Acta didn't want to overwork Cristian Guzman."

He also says the trade rumors were nixed by two sources, and that his trade value is diminished by the perception he has attitude problems.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 18, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse


The way things go with the Nats, Flop likely will be playing regularly once either Guz or Belly get hurt, don't you know.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | March 18, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

natsscribe, i have no doubt that the dodgers could use (and are probably interested in) belliard. what i doubt is whether they'd give up one of their top prospects for him. he's only blocked by furcal for this season.

"On December 7, 2005, Furcal signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for three years and $39 million."

meaning he signed for 06,07,&08. meaning he's a FA after this season and hu is *almost* ready.

i'm pretty sure they'd want something more for hu than just belly.

Posted by: 231 | March 18, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

(That was from me.)

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 18, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

at this point, it's all on patterson to prove himself better than the injuries/illnesses. if he wants to shut people up who b1tch about him being soft or unable to handle any pain or illness, then he needs to prove they're wrong. so far, they've been proven right by his actions. he's a very good pitcher when close to 100% healthy. but anything more than basic aches/pains that accompany being a baseball player seem to distract him from his job.

i want the guy to succeed, it'll make the team better, and i'm rooting for him, but i'm not going to blindly defend him based on that hope. like i said, it's up to him to prove his detractors wrong and he hasn't done it yet.

Posted by: 231 | March 18, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Jim Callis apparently predicts the races 3 years ahead of time at this time each year. He did so again this week, and while he did not mention the Nats specifically, he did say:

"All five teams in the NL East will be realistic hopes of contending."

Grammar folks feed as necessary, but it is nice at least that this outsider likes the Nats' prospects in the near future.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 18, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

From the Nats' Web site:

"The Nationals reassigned outfielder Alex Escobar to Minor League camp after the team's 9-1 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday, and lost catcher Humberto Cota when he elected to become a free agent rather than go to the Minors."

So it looks like Nieves will be the backup catcher to start the season.

Posted by: LANats | March 18, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Keeping PLOP is not working out so great it seems.....Could have spent that $5 million elsewhere it seems (Adam E?) Lopez is now useless to us because he is un-tradable, expensive and a problem to be in the club house......Barry had him starting all winter, 231 had him fixed on the first day of spring training, Chris at CP had rationalized his numbers as just a bad year and attitude had nothing to do with anything....well this is just the start of the season kids.....oh and he still refuses to run past first on ground outs but rather stop at the bag after each quality at bat. That being said, he does look better than Sept of last year.....but all that really means is Nats know what they have to look forward too.

Posted by: JayB | March 18, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Orioles boy,

What does it say about your team that a Tim Brydak was considered a key bullpen pitcher at one time for you guys? Tampa Bay is cleaning out the AL East cellar for you losers.

Posted by: natsscribe | March 18, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

jayb, please feel free to point out where i said he was "fixed." i won't hold my breath, you won't find it.

i've said all along that i thought he was worth taking a gamble with. the key word being "gamble." they don't all work out. it may not have worked out, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad gamble... it's not like the nats are contending this year. would everett have been a better gamble? *shrug*

Posted by: 231 | March 18, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough I will not even look and take your word and YES a professional SS with outstanding defensive skills would have been a much better "gamble" for this team for the next two years. He could have helped the ERA stay down as a spot starter and 8th inning defense replacement for Guzman who does not have any range to his right (limited to his left).

What again was the upside of PLOP again? Lopez never had a leadoff profile. He is not a good SS and 2nd basemen are not hard to come by........especially for $5 Million.

Posted by: JayB | March 18, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not rooting against FLop, but I am rooting for Belliard, Guzman, and B.Boone. I still think FLop can play. He had a bad year. Today he expressed himself poorly. It's going to hurt him and it probably hurts the team. But the guy has more talent than most here are willing to assign to him.

Even though he has marginally better range than Guzman at short, his throws to first to frequently arrive below the knees. Johnson makes that play, but Dmitri struggles with it. Guzman delivers a strong and consistent throw. Lopez is fast, but Guzman is the better baserunner. Belliard and Guzman both seem more clutch.

Lopez has more power, but Belliard has better at-bats. Belliard is better at the double play from second.

Lopez has the most potential of the three, but he's too old to be relying on potential. Its time for results.

Posted by: NatBisquit | March 18, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope the sun comes out up here soon; dese creeps are getting ornerier and ornerier. Starting to seem like the people who "know the price of everything and the value of nothing."

Posted by: MIB | March 18, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I think there's some misunderstanding on the grammar thing. It's only for trolls and because the pettiness of correcting someone's grammar online (in earnest) is only outshone by the pettiness of trying to stir up nasty feelings on a blog.

At least one person out there really gets it though, hats off to NTR. I think it's a nicer, quirkier tradition than trying to flame trolls, which never works anyway.

On JP, being sick/having no stones. C'mon. Either the dude is sick and needs to get better or the dude doesn't have a history on his side enough to be given the benefit of the doubt. No one is out to personally destroy anyone, you all just have different interpretations of the same set of facts.

If you disagree, lay out a cogent counterargument (as jpsfan did the other day and as many glass-half empty takers on Patterson have too). And lets be a little forgiving of spats of frustration that lead otherwise sane bloggers to overreact and say nasty things.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 18, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

But how about Svrluga calling Patterson out? Getting interesting, indeed. A little early for Lameduckism ... ?

Posted by: CE | March 18, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Now, on to Mr. Lopez. I have no problem morally with what Felipe said, in fact I like it. I do worry as an armchair GM that he is going to stress himself out of the lineup again this year. I've always said, Felipe is NOT lackadaisical, he is TOO intense. He sulks and has fits over things he'd be better off forgetting and thereby compounds his mistakes. A change of scenery probably would do him some good.

I'm also thinking that maybe Mr. Hanrahan needs to be traded, stat. It's a gamble, but I think it's one we can afford to take given our relief pitching. Think about it: historically, his recent performance isn't the norm. He's going to regress to the mean most likely, unless he's a very late bloomer, which I didn't think was so common in pitchers. No? So trade him while he's smoking hot and maximize our value for him, while we've still got guys like Schroder ready for the show.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

and that is indeed the Canadian flag on the centerfield-side short pole, with the DC flag on the line side, and US flag between them.
and at 11:33, groups of guys with clipboards seem to be signing off on the field.
Almost there...

Posted by: CE | March 18, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to correct my previous statement by saying that the real reason I play grammar-police is because deep down I know that I cannot pleasure my wife (emotionally, physically, etc.) and feel the need to take it out on others on an internet message board.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 18, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

If a guy at Nats Park says, "Hey, I'm big Mike, now give me your bike"...he probabaly is not the bike valet.

You know who else would be a great replacement for Felipe? Derek Jeter. Which, based on JayB's bizarro shortstop time continuum, could have happened. All the Nats had to do was draft him 1992 instead of BJ Wallace and sign him to a 20 yr, $100 mil deal. That's where Felipe's $5 mil should have gone.

I just did a best 2 outta 3 coin flips, and Felipe won. Now I have to root for Lopez and against Belliard. Sorry Ronnie. Hey...Ho...Felipe says HELL NO!

Ditto the above (in case the above needs to be posted more than once, which seems to be the case today). I mean, come on. All you gotta do is click "Post" once.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 19, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Trading Hanrahan...that's one heck of an idea. A classic sell high move if Jimbo could pull it off.

On the other hand, ineffective starters often do better in relief roles, so he might not necessarily regress. But, regardless, if the Nats found someone who would overpay for him, it wouldn't be a bad idea at all to move him.

Posted by: LANats | March 19, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Internet should be capped.

Posted by: LANats | March 19, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Barry was calling Patterson out with his statement. He said it was interesting.

And it is interesting, really. It doesn't connote a weakness or inability to deal with illness on Patterson's part. It doesn't suggest any superhuman qualities on the part of Redding.

Two pitchers for the same team went into games with flu-like symptoms. Their performances differed. Being that it's Spring Training - when we even read into Zimmerman's comments about Super Bowl parties - I'd say that counts as interesting.

Let's all calm down and take a deep breath (me included). It's March 19th. The Pope hasn't even come to Nats Park yet, let alone the home team. I have a pile of salt here. Let's all take a grain and re-read the post.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 19, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the Lopez situation plays out. The fact is that Guzman and Belliard are two of the best hitters on the team right now, and Lopez is not having much success with the bat. Belliard's comments make him look even better, because they make him look like a team player. If Lopez wants to start, he needs to earn it and he sure hasn't proven anything yet. It was frustrating watching him last year and I don't think I can stand another year of watching him fail to come through in clutch situations. But with as much money as he makes, I have no idea what will happen. I'm sure JimBo has some ideas up his sleeve...

On a lighter note, it looks like Stan Kasten has helped out his own cause by purchasing an advertising panel in the new park. If you zoom in by the right field foul pole, there's an ad above the bullpen that reads "Go Metro. Go Nats." There's also one for Harris Teeter.

Posted by: BSG | March 19, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm not really into deep breaths, but I like salt so count me in for 3 grains.

The Nats have a deep bullpen and I don't envision anyone currently in the pen being around in 2011. Use the surplus now (whether its Hanrahan, Chief, Lurch, Ayala or anybody else) to pick up a prospect(s) and help solve the roster numbers crunch.

Teams like the Padres & Angels have shown building/reloading a bullpen from within your organization can be done effectively for minimal expense. As the good relievers became too expensive, these teams have been able to cycle in cheaper alternatives for similar statistical results.

Plus its more fun to root for homegrown guys than some free agent signee like Danys Baez/Jamie Walker/Chad Bradford and his outrageous contract.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 19, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Los 12-8

I enjoyed the slap at the O's relievers, but I do have to admit that it is entertaining to watch Chad Bradford pitch. More entertaining if the O's lose, but entertaining in any case.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 19, 2008 5:09 AM | Report abuse

John in Mpls, I too will take some salt.

What about considering trading Cordero and letting Hanrahan try closing? You can always change to Rauch if it is a train wreck, but the Wookie prefers to setup. Hanrahan with a 95+ MPH heater and a hard slider is really more in the mold of a prototypical closer. Plus, I am still scared of the prospect of a smaller park and Chad on the mound in the 9th. All those fly balls on the warning track at RFK...

I say see what you can get for either Hanrahan or Cordero and look for a serious SS prospect. If you can package Lopez with them for a better return, even better.

Posted by: NatsWin (formerly several other monikers) | March 19, 2008 5:43 AM | Report abuse

"Enjoy the Nats' day off"?

That would be hard, but I suppose if Jim Bo wants to make a trade today, it could be enjoyable. However, I don't feel that Hanrahan's great spring puts him in a spot to take over for Cordero were we to trade him. I also don't think Hanrahan would bring much in return. He needs to translate the spring numbers into at least most of a year of solid bullpen work before he is a tradeable "asset," I think.

The Detroit News story on yesterday's game bemoans the state of Detroit's bullpen. I am sure our GM is all over that, as he is with discussions with the Dodgers, Cubs and Orioles about middle infielders. Of course, having a line in the water isn't the same as catching a fish, and Jim tries to attract big fish with the least bait possible.

Posted by: Positively Half St | March 19, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Lopez needs a flfanandproudofit guy/girl to look out for him.

Posted by: Jeeves | March 19, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh wise ones - and I use that in earnest, I have a terrible record of predicting trades - you don't think that the shift to reliever will inflate the value of Hanrahan without the proven record with at least one of 31 GMs? Sure it probably won't garner proven talent, but if we converted him into two prospects - maybe one almost major league ready - then wouldn't it be a gain?

I guess that's two parts, one, what is the bait value he brings in a trade and, two, what is his trade value in our estimation?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 19, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | March 19, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there's much trade value yet for Hanrahan. I agree he could be another example of a starter who hits his stride a couple years late as a closer. Let's try him in that role first.

Posted by: Brant Alyea | March 19, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

506 (and I know you know this), it doesn't matter what his value is in *our* estimation. In my own estimation, I'm worth a low-A prospect myself, but the phone ain't ringing, and that's what matters.

And the imposter's punctuation is peccable.

Posted by: CE | March 19, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

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