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In the bottom of the eighth ...

(Apologies for being so late. Actually trying a novel approach today: Working.)

Nationals lead 6-3. They have a two-run homer from, of all people, Pete Orr, as well as a two-run triple from Elijah Dukes, a ball that was smoked to right-center (the opposite way) and hit off the wall. No one ever said the guy didn't have talent. My goodness.

Pitching: John Lannan went three innings. His line: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. He was a bit frustrated by the fact that he did not get ahead of more hitters. However, he pitched. I can't stress it enough. The kid knows how to work hitters. On his last hitter, he fell behind Troy Glaus 3-1. So what did he do? Dropped a breaking ball in for a strike, then blew him away for a fastball. To have the savvy to throw that curveball at 3-1 showed something. A scout in attendance said, "I like him. He pitches older than he is, like he's been around longer."

I'll write some about that tomorrow, no doubt. Lannan is really impressing everybody in camp.

"He can pitch - knows how to pitch," GM Jim Bowden said. "He's one of those guys that you just know is going to be a successful big league pitcher because it doesn't matter what the situation is - bases loaded, he'll find the way to put the ball where he needs to to get the out."

(Did I say 6-3? It's now 6-5, because Jason Stanford gave up a two-run homer to Brian Barton. Stanford now out. Chris Schroder now in.)

Tyler Clippard relived Lannan and was a bit all over the place. He struck out Albert Pujols, but walked guys and gave up a homer as well.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 5, 2008; 3:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

Schroder gets out of it with a DP.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Clippard, a bit all over the place? This from a guy who was supposed to have perhaps the most control of anybody. Ouch. Hope he can get it straightened out because if he isn't locating then he doesn't have the stuff to blow people away or buckle knees. Props on Lannan and Elijah -- call me the broken record player but: holy depth!

Posted by: Corey | March 5, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like Clippard relieved Lannan. If he had relived Lannan, it would have been more promising.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Nats in the top of the 9th: Orr strikes out, Moeller flies out, Dubois doubles, The Boone flies out.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the updates - I can feel the blood coursing through my veins agains!

Posted by: lowcountry | March 5, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Can't read my own writing: The Boone pops out. Anyway, on to the bottom of the 9th, 6-5 Nats.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

K, FO9, GR-D/PR, PO4

Posted by: Schroder stays in for Save | March 5, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

How is Hanrahan looking? Is he going to be a bullpen guy? Last year it appeared he had the best 'stuff' on the team. I think he could really be a bullpen star given the right situation. We might even see that 96mph climb up a bit if he isn't pacing himself.

Posted by: Vtechie | March 5, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I have always liked Lannan. I think I had him in my rotation prediction, we'll see. Got ST tickets today...stoked for Viera next week!

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | March 5, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

John Lannan = young Jamie Moyer?

Meant as a compliment

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Schroder may stay in for the 9th.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

He'd better. Otherwise, his day would consist of one pitch!

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Stanford? Orr? Who ARE these people?!? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | March 5, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a one-pitch/two out setup man all year long. I mean how much practice does he need to throw 1 pitch? :)

Posted by: Section 311 | March 5, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

K,K, HBP, S (1st and 2nd),

Posted by: Curly W in the Book | March 5, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Forgot the 3rd Out LO7

Posted by: Oops | March 5, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Bang! Zoom! Another curly w is in the books...

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

how about Hanrahan in the bullpen and as a pinch-hitter?

Posted by: e | March 5, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, as often happens, I spent some time typing a long post, and got scooped in the meantime. Nevertheless, for those interested:

The recap:

Nats 1st: C. Guzman infield single, Milledge reaches on an error, The Boone flies out but both runners advance, Dukes triples in two runs, Langerhaaaaans singles in Dukes, Belly grounds into a DP. Nats 3-0.

Lannan scatters three hits (including a triple) and two walks over 3 innings, but allows no runs and strikes out 3.

Cards 4th: Clippard on for the Nats. Walks 93-year old Juan Gonzalez. Catcher Molina pops out. Some guy named Ryan Ludwick singles, Gonzalez to second. Cesar Izturis singles to load the bases. Aaron Miles grounds into a force out at second but Gonzalez ambles home. Then it says Ludwick was thrown out stealing home, but I think what probably happened is that Izturis tried to steal second, Flores threw to Guzman, Ludwick broke for the plate and Guzzie nailed him. Nats 3-1.

Cards 6th: Ludwick leads off with a homer off Clippard, who gets the next two outs before giving up a single to Brian Barton and being replaced by Hanrahan. So, Clippard's line is 2.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Hello, Columbus. Hanrahan gets the out, but that's it for him today. Hello, bullpen role, probably not in the new park, at least not right away. 3-2 Nats after 6.

Nats 7th: Flores hit by pitch. Orr homers. 5-2, Nats.

Cards 7th: Rivera on for Nats. Pujols walks. Glaus singles. Gonzalez pops out. Molina singles and drives in a run. Nats 5-3.

Nats 8th: Dukes fouls out. Rule V Guzman doubles. Belliard singles, Guzman scores. Nats 6-3.

Cards 8th: Jason Stanford on for the Nats. Miles walks, Barton homers. Mathers fouls out to Dukes, but then Stanford walks the fearsome David Freese and gets yanked for Schroder, who gets Nick Stavisomethingorother to ground into a double play. Nats 6-5.

Nats 9th: Facing potential future Cards closer Chris Perez, Orr strikes out swinging, Moeller flies out to right, but then Jason Dubois (former Cub prospect) doubles, only to have The Boone pop out.

Cards 9th: Schroder stays on and strikes out the first two batters. Then hits the third. Then gives up a single. (Has he been watching too much ChadTV?) Then a sharp liner to left ... caught by Rule V Guzman and the Curly ST W is in the books.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 5, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

this is what I like about Lannan - of his 9 outs today, 3 were by strikeout, 5 by ground out and only 1 fly out. I'll take that ratio anyday.

Posted by: e | March 5, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If you put Hanrahan in the pen, that's it for relief pitchers.

Cordero, Rauch, Colome, and Ayala are locked in.

King makes it as the lefty, and you have to figure Rivera's earned a spot. Add Hanrahan and that's seven right there.

Wagner's return later in the year might make it interesting, though.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Bobble

Posted by: lowcountry | March 5, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Who was the guy the Brewers used to have that was a long relief/pinch hitter? I can honestly see Harnahan being a future closer if we were to ever trade Cordero and Rauch.

Posted by: Vtechie | March 5, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Nice summary, Bob L. Now for the player and play of the game? :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Right on, e, especially in the new park.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 5, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What about Schroder in the pen and Hanrahan in AAA pen for a call-up?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 5, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"What about Schroder in the pen and Hanrahan in AAA pen for a call-up?"

Would Harnahan have to clear waivers to go to AAA? I don't see that happening.

Posted by: Vtechie | March 5, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, after reading Barry's comments, in addition to the game feed, it sounds like the play of the game was probably Dukes' triple, and the player of the game John Lannan.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 5, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Brooks Kieschnick (sp?) was a P/PH during his days with MIL & CHI (NL) plus maybe another NL team or two.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 5, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Because I was curious I just did a click thru of the FFT (Field Flush Test) last night and I am happy to note that no area akin to the Short Left Field Lake at RFK appears to have occurred. It's hard to tell how fast the field drains (since it's hard to tell when the rain completely stops), but -- judging by the maximum water level I saw on the basepaths -- it looks like 45 minutes of drying and 2 tons of Diamond Dry won't be needed to get back to the game after a shower.

Posted by: OldGuy | March 5, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Vtechie - I think last year was his first in the majors. I don't know if they had burned options in prior years, but if Hanrahan was just added to a major league roster last year, I think they'd have 3 option years (unless they also burned onelast year by sending him down if he was added).

Posted by: jon (original lower case) | March 5, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm almost certain that Hanrahan can be optioned to Columbus without clearing waivers. Teams control players for at least three option years, and in some cases four, and his 40-man roster debut was in the middle of last year.

Here's the pitching logjam:

Starters: Bergmann, Chico, Hill, Lannan, Patterson, Redding. OK, maybe that's not a logjam if Hill is hurt and/or Lannan is in the minors with Clippard, Detwiler and Mock. But our five starters come from that group somehow.

Relievers: Ayala, Colume, Cordero, Rauch, Rivera, Schroder, Hanrahan.

I don't think this team will carry 12 pitchers so one of those guys has to be sent down. I picked Hanrahan in my game summary above because he's the youngest of the group and because they might want him to get more experience coming out of the pen.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 5, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I forgot Ray King. So two of those relievers are in Columbus to start.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 5, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Hanrahan spent two years on the Dodger's 40-man.

Posted by: natrat | March 5, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I think the player of the day is Bob L. with the game summary. But, that's just me.

Also nice summary on the pitching staff.

The bullpen appears loaded, Schroeder has some nasty stuff and Riveria just consistently gets people out. I wouldn't rule out a trade by Jimbo, if he can get someone to bite.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 5, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Great updates Bobble!

I'm betting Colome and Hanrahan from that group end up in the minors. Hanrahan for extra seasoning (and because he still has options - before becoming a Nat, he'd languished in the Dodgers' system for a bit), and Colome because of his late start.

For the starters, I'm going to revise my initial guess and go with Hill, Patterson, Bergmann, Lannan, Redding - with Perez, Chico, Clippard, Mock, and Balester starting off in the minors.

To be honest though, it's a REALLY tough call with the starters, and I'm ok with that...

Posted by: BigNatsFan | March 5, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Elijah's the truth.

Hey baseballs, you dead, dawg.

Posted by: Frank Vitchard | March 5, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Maekawa's not showing up, and the talk of Detwiler in the pen ended with the cuts yesterday. Clippard is not a reliever, and Wagner's not even cleared to pitch yet.

I tend to think they will carry 12 pitchers. If so, it essentially boils down to Hanrahan and Schroder.

Hanrahan seems to be the logical choice, but Schroder has done everything asked of him and more.

Posted by: John in Mpls | March 5, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I think you're right, 505/203.

---

I think the player of the day is Bob L. with the game summary. But, that's just me.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 5, 2008 05:06 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 5, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"I tend to think they will carry 12 pitchers. If so, it essentially boils down to Hanrahan and Schroder"

If this is true, I say Schroder, based on his performance last year. Hanrahan is out of options (since he came over to the Nats as a minor league free agent last year...right?), but he's more of a risk than Schroder is. He gets flustered in Big Moments, which is something I've never, ever seen from Chris.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 5, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Shroder amazed me last year. There was many a ninth inning that I had rather seen him pitch than Cordero.

Posted by: Dale | March 5, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Natrat, if you are right about Hanrahan having been on the Dodgers' 40-man for 2 years, this might be a closer call than I thought.

I think the rule is that if a player is on the 40-man but not the 25-man for more than three seasons, he's out of options. In some cases a fourth option year is granted, though, such as where players have less than 5 years of professional service time and where the fourth option would occur less than three years after the player's first appearance on the 25-man roster. Service in the low minors sometimes doesn't count, and it's not completely clear to me how a partial season (like Hanrahan's 2007) gets treated.

Does anybody know the answer to this?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 5, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Schroeder is a pitcher who, until this post, has been overlooked it seems. He was terrific last year after his callup and he has been great so far this spring. I'm definitely cheering for him. If he keeps his head screwed on straight, he'll be dominant. And Hanrahan with control could be awfully good too.

Posted by: Jeeves | March 5, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

If a player has been on a 40-man roster for three years and they are sent down they must clear waivers.

Posted by: DJ 26 | March 5, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

We all know that the Nats need pitchers after last season. If Schroder can stay good, and get better, the Nationals will have one less thing to worry about. ( at least they will have to worry about it less! Still positive!)

Posted by: seat 4 sec 110 | March 5, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Bobble.

Nice work! You may get Barry's job when he becomes goes over the Redskins.

You have to be missing Perez in that rotation over Lannan.

Posted by: Brian | March 5, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I am positive he spent two years on the 40 man there. The Dodgers were my favorite team before we got the Nationals so I have been following Hanrahan's career for a while.

Posted by: natrat | March 5, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

If they had actual plans for Hanrahan to make the team he would have thrown more than two pitches today. They are trying to hide him and slide him through waivers. He won't even get a legitamate shot, watch.

Posted by: ronin | March 5, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm theorizing here but my best guess is Hanrahan has at least 1 option left.

I dont know how many seasons Hanrahan was on the Dodgers 40 man but I do know he was designated for assignment (DFA'd) by the Dodgers which means he was on the Dodgers 40 man roster at some point.

Hanrahan never reached the majors with the Dodgers but this doesnt really matter. If he was on the 40 man and sent to the minors during spring training it still counts as an option used.

He was drafted in 2002. Draft picks generally have 4 seasons before they have to be protected on the 40 man roster or they become available during the Rule 5 draft.

Players also have 3 options meaning they can be optioned to minors for three individual seasons without having to clear waivers (doesnt matter how many times he's called up/sent down during the same year - its still 1 option).

The Nats didnt option him back to Columbus after he was called up this past season.

If he was on the Dodgers 40 man roster for 2 seasons, then Hanrahan has an option left which would be used this season if he is sent to the minors at any point this year.

If he only used 1 option (only on the Dodgers 40 man for 1 year), then he should have 2 options left.

I'd guess is he was on the Dodgers 40 man roster for one year and has 2 options remaining. I dont recall why the Dodgers DFA'd Hanrahan in 2006...It must have been because they wanted to protect another player on the 40 man roster before the Rule 5 draft. The LAD minor league system was pretty loaded (still is) and juggling all the prospects may have proved challenging.

And to be more confusing, there are rules which will allow a 4th option. I do not know those rules and do not know if Hanrahan qualifies.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 5, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Barry - Might be a bit early, but a roster speculation article might be in order. Include information on options if you can. I realize that some of that information is hard to get, but figuring out the bullpen is going to be interesting.

This really does make it seem that some contenders with thin pens might be deal targets. For example, could we get Betemit back for a bullpen arm? Do Detroit (with Zumaya out for a couple of months) or the Cubs need more bullpen options?

BTW - I've got to think of something better than "jon" for a signature. Can I use jon plus a section number if I've only got 4 games out of a group?

Posted by: jon (olc) | March 5, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"He was drafted in 2002. Draft picks generally have 4 seasons before they have to be protected on the 40 man roster or they become available during the Rule 5 draft."

Hanrahan was a second round pick in the 2000 draft. He was first put on the 40 man roster in 2004 and remained on the 40 man in 2005. I think he started 2005 injured.

"I dont recall why the Dodgers DFA'd Hanrahan in 2006...It must have been because they wanted to protect another player on the 40 man roster before the Rule 5 draft"

He was DFA's in 2006 becuase the Dodgers had the best and deapest system in MLB. I am almost positive he has no options left.

Posted by: natrat | March 5, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Unless you come up with a classic worth keeping (e.g., Bob L. Head) or someone besides yourself cares about the continuity of identity, hey, do what I do and make 'em up as you go along.
*************************
BTW - I've got to think of something better than "jon" for a signature. Can I use jon plus a section number if I've only got 4 games out of a group?

Posted by: jon (olc) | March 5, 2008 09:55 PM

Posted by: Identity is an illusion anyway | March 5, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Your right about the draft year (Cots Contracts showed 02 but every other source showed 00)...and being on the 40 man at that point in time now makes much more sense than if he was drafted in 2002.

He was on the 40 man in 2004, then optioned to the minors, on the 40 man in 2005 and optioned to the minors.

He wouldnt have been on the Dodgers 40 man in 2006 and, after doing a little research, was signed by the Nats in 2/07 and placed on the Nats 40 man roster. He was optioned in 3/07 to Columbus so that would be his 3rd option.

Unless he qualifies for a 4th option, he would have to pass through waivers to be sent to Columbus.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

My OD 25 man
The correct answer is (as John McLaughlin would say):
5 starters: Hill, for as long as he lasts; Patterson, less, only moreso; Bergman; Perez; Chico; then Lannan and/or Redding.
7 relievers: Cordero, Rausch, Ayala, Colome, King, Rivera, Schroeder (but I expect a trade, maybe 2 guys, or they lose Hanrahan if he is out of options)
4 outfielders: you know who
2 catchers: looks like no suspension for Lo Duca - with Estrada; Flores is nice insurance
6 infielders: Zimm, Guzman, Belliard, Young; Lopez, some Boone. We love ya Meat but your trade value is near zip, so the only reasons Nick would stay are 1) no decent offers or 2) FO doesn't think Young will hold up.
1 utility guy: ummm, "Boone"? More likely one of the Rule 5 guys.

Posted by: CE | March 6, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

looking into Schroder...

He was called up (added to 40 man) in 8/06 & optioned to AAA in 3/07...went back and forth to AAA a couple times in 07. Schroder has 2 options left.

Not sure how many times Colome was bounced around with OAK & TB but it looks like he has had major league contracts since 2002 and probably doesnt have options left. He almost has 5 years of service time.

Rivera may have an option left. This depends on whether he was on the 40 man prior to the start of 2007 and/or whether the Twins ever had him on their 40 man.

Ayala has 5 years service time and could refuse a demotion to AAA and become a free agent.

Based on team control, looks like the final BP spots will revolve around Hanrahan, Schroder & Rivera...unless a player is moved.


Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 6, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

OK, Natrat, you are our best source on Hanrahan. Let's assume he was on the LAD 40-man for two years there.

That means that for those two years he could have been zinged around between MLB and any minor league affiliate at the Dodgers' option without clearing waivers. And that also means that at that point he had one more "option year" available.

Contrary to popular belief, "options" don't have anything to do with the number of times you get sent down, it only has to do with the three (or four) year period in which you are under team control and can be sent down, promoted and sent back down an unlimited amount of times during that option period. So, in a nutshell, "out of options" doesn't mean you've been demoted/promoted too many times, it means you've graduated from your option years, which are usually years 4-6 of your service (the club gets 3 years free, then three more where you're exempt from the Rule V draft as long as you're on the 40-man roster).

Upon further review, though, it looks to me like the Dodgers outrighted Hanrahan to AAA before the 2006 season, and that he had to clear waivers in order to be sent down then. If that's true, then it would seem that he was out of options then.

However, the Nats picked him up before last season and then optioned him to AAA, and there is no mention of waivers.

What to make of this? Well, unless you're a capologist and/or an expert in MLB rules, the Nats have an excessive number of interesting BP pitchers and bench players, and my guess is that one or more will be dealt.

And yes, I forgot to include Perez in my list of starters, and I do think he will be one of them to start the season.

So what does all of this mean? Last year we were grasping at straws at a number of positions, especially in CF, LF, 1B and the rotation. This year we have a potential glut of OFs, two potentially legit 1Bs, and some decisions to make on the pitching side. That's a serious improvement.

But I wouldn't expect that we can turn 2-3 average MLB types into anything particularly meaningful. I'm sure other teams are aware that we might have to cut/waive some of this excess. We don't have any worldbeaters to deal, just solid depth type guys.

So, maybe some of that depth goes in order to enable us to keep the Rule V guys, who seemingly otherwise have little chance to make the roster? Wouldn't it make sense to try to re-stock the high minors with the same strategy the team has been using to keep the MLB team competitive while building through the draft? We dealt Albaledejo for Clippard. Two more similar deals to let us keep Guzman V and Whitney?

Just a thought.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 6, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I posted on Hanrahan again and forgot to add my name. Whoops.

I think Natrat is right and Hanrahan is out of options. He was signed and added to the Nats 40 man then optioned to Columbus in March/07. That would have been his 3rd option.

It'll be real interesting to see how the 25 man roster plays out. I thought when Mackowiak and Harris were signed they would be active roster guys based on versatility. Same with Aaron Boone. Add Whitney and G Guzman. Then Brett Boone is signed and brought over to the major league complex immediately.

A Boone has the ability to play 3B & a major league deal so he has to be a keeper, but the others....I can't tell for sure, though Mackowiak's injury should make the decision slightly easier.

Combine that with Stanford, GW Mike, Robbie Bell, Tankersley & Shell (all of whom have looked good in spurts) and there's a ton of competition for the last 2-3 roster spots...in addition to Schroder, Hanrahan and Rivera.

I'd imagine bullpen and bench depth would be dealt too, but who? And for what?

Would the Nats deal Ayala, who seems to have the most BP value outside of Rauch/Cordero? Colome? What kind of return should be expected? A projectable 4th/5th starter type like Clippard? Or less since the Nats have potentially less leverage as a roster crunch approaches? A couple teams could use a SS based on recent injuries, so how about Goose for a minor leaguer or two? You gotta think Bowden is up to something based on the number of infield only types on the roster.

I personally think the starters are pretty much set with Hill, Patterson, Bergmann, Perez & Redding (barring injury, then substitute Chico or Lannan). Chief, Lurch, Ayala & Colome are set. Kearns, WMP, Lastings & Dukes. Zim, Flip, RB, Goose, A Boone, Dmitri & Slick (thats 7 infielders w/o the ability to play OF! Sweet!). LoDuca & The Jesus (until Estrada is healthy). That leaves 3 spots. Need a LOOGY (King), a BP arm (Rivera) and either a super UTIL guy or another BP arm (Harris or Hanrahan/Schroder).

Thats not assuming any trades obviously.

At this point, it seems both Rule 5 guys will be returned barring a Speigner for McDonald type deal, Mackowiak is gone, Pete Orr will go back to being Pete Orr, Car Salesman. Harris is on the bubble, B Boone will re-retire. All the 28 year old AAAA catchers will be relocated to to AAA teams that need a backup catcher. Langerhans is SOL unless they keep a defense only 5th OF. All the pitchers that signed minor league deals will be in Columbus (except for the LOOGY). One time Nats hopefuls like Casto & Whitesell will be optioned. Same with future Nats hopefuls Balester, Mock & Maxwell.

I just wish other teams had more injuries that made them desperate for a Slick/Goose/Colome blockbuster trade, then projecting the 25 man roster would be much easier.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 6, 2008 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Doce Ocho-

It's terrible to say, but I also check to see who gets hit by the injury bug. I am sorry that the Rule 5 guys don't have a chance, but that is what happens when your team finally has some depth. It is early, but Garrett Guzman has played better than Matt Whitney.

Casto will clear waivers with no difficulty, I am sure, as should Whitesell. I don't really care if Langerhans or Pete Orr do. B. Boone is hitting pretty well with doubles power, so I am not sure he is done. He would just have to back off his "starter or else" stance to be able to play somewhere.

I have to admit that I don't recall that all that many trades occur in Spring Training, but it would make sense if they did. I really think Bowden needs to do one (for his sanity, and for the team). Amazingly, it doesn't appear that it will be Dmitri or Nick.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 6, 2008 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Your media update...

WFAN (660 AM) will have the game vs. the Mets tonight. The nice thing is that, because it's at night and "The FAN" is a clear channel (the original meaning not the evil corporation -- though they might be owned by CC for all I know), you can get them on the radio down here in DC once the sun goes down and most of the local AM stations go to lower power.

Or you can listen on GameDay Audio.

Posted by: OldGuy | March 6, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

GO ROB MCOWVIAK!

Posted by: DJ 26 | March 6, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

CHURCH SETBACK:

Ryan Church, who sustained a concussion Saturday, was re-examined Wednesday.

"It's not a good day," he said. "I feel like I have a hangover."

Church said there's more a feeling of urgency to play with the Mets than if he were still with Washington and was injured because of wanting to play and fit in with a new team.

Posted by: Courier News Online | March 6, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Reading through these posts, I don't want to hear that Nats fans/DC fans do not love baseball and their team. Dang.

Just one commment about the starting pitchers. Acta has said all along that Chico is in the starting 5. Based on that, I think the 5 are Hill, JP, Chico, Lannan and Bergmann. I think Redding and Perez both go to Columbus with an open-ended ticket pending Hill/JP injury.

Here's my thought on Lannen. The kid knows how to pitch. I was in DC on vacation last summer and caught his game against Arizona and Brandon Webb. It was a beautifully pitched game, very fast. Webb completely handcuffed the Nats. The thing that impressed me, though, was that Lannan pretty much stayed with him, pitch for pitch. The Nats lost 2-0, but that's when I became a Lannan believer.

Finally, I now admit that I'm glad the Nats didn't sign Livo. Looking at what we've got, I'm just as happy with this bunch. And that doesn't even consider who is pithing in AA/A this year.

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | March 6, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

NJ fan,
yea, but Manny was also adamant that Redding has the job too. And that was before his strong start the other day Tough call.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 6, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Old Guy- Thanks for the tip re tonight's game being on WFAN. I'd like to revise my projected starting rotation to include John Lannan. As Bowden and many of the posters on the board have said, Lannan can pitch. I am looking forward to seeing Dukes in action this year. His speed/power combination is unique, and I get the impression that he's going to be a great addition to the team.

Posted by: TJh | March 6, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I think Redding is in, and that the competition really is between Lannan and Chico. As it is, both of them could lose out if Odalis Perez pitches well. Keep in mind that if Perez looks good in the spring, Bowden will be desperate to package him as an "asset" that can be flipped later in the year.

That is, of course, unless the team is in the Wild Card hunt (please please please).

Posted by: Positively Half St | March 6, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

How about this trade? Rauch or Cordero, Rivera, Kearns, and a first baseman(not Johnson) for Cain or Lincecum and Sanchez. (SF)Maybe Lopez would be a fit as well.(Velez?)

Posted by: Jeeves | March 6, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

if by "goose" you mean guzman , don't see it happening. any thoughts of trading guzman and/or lopez can only work if they bring a major leagur ready SS in return. can't go into the season w/o a legitimate starter & backup at SS. we have depth at 2B, but absolutely none at SS.

Posted by: 231 | March 6, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: 231 | March 6, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Wanted to add one more thing-I'm having a time adjusting to the new and radically improved Guzman. Since his shoulder operation and his laser treatment(eyes), he's been unbelievable. Last year's spring training, regular season play before injury, and now this year's spring training. He must be hitting close to 500. Is he for real? Wow! I hope so.

Posted by: Jeeves | March 6, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Not a roster expert by any means, but I don't think "options" are transferrable between teams. Once Hanrahan got DFA'd, I think that was it. Moreover, he's got to be close to five-years service time (considering his first year was in 2001), so he'd have the right to refuse any optional assignment anyway. With all _that_ said, though, I'm not sure why he wouldn't make it through waivers if we wanted to stash him in Columbus. After all, this is Joel F. Hanrahan we're talking about.

The roster is a mess right now - to quote Bowden from one of Barry's articles "I'm not sure you could field a team with this roster." My WA-Guesses, presuming no injuries:

Pitchers (11): Hill, Patterson, Bergmann, Redding, Chico (the starters). Cordero, Rauch, Ayala, King, Rivera. Schroder's got options, he loses out to Colome.

Starting 8: NJ, Lopez, Guz, Zim, PLoD, WMP, Millz, Kearns.

Bench (5): Belliard, DMeat, Dukes, Estrada, A. Boone.

Hard to hazard a guess on spot #25 - could go with another PH-type, a 5th OF, but my bet is Perez as a 6th starter/long-reliever to take over for Chico in case he needs to work on shortening his stride in Columbus.

Posted by: Ryan Dylan (who shall be released) | March 6, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

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