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Split-squad Sunday

Just a few minor things on a daylight savings time, split-squad Sunday morning.

* Aaron Boone is in the lineup in a Grapefruit League game for the first time this spring after building strength in his surgically repaired knee.

* Shawn Hill will play catch on Tuesday, and depending on how that goes he will get a schedule about his progression. Manny Acta went out of his way to emphasize that nothing can be determined until after Hill gets through playing catch.

* Chris Marrero and Michael Burgess, two of the organization's top hitting prospects, will go help out the split-squad version of the Nats over in Winter Haven against the Indians. Matt Chico on the hill there.

* And the lineup at Space Coast Stadium:

Guzman -- 6
Milledge -- 8
Zimmerman -- DH
Johnson -- 3
Kearns -- 9
Pena -- 7
Belliard -- 4
Boone -- 5
Flores -- 2

Bergmann -- 1

Three weeks from Opening Night.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 9, 2008; 7:17 AM ET
 
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Next: Odalis Perez: More minor league action

Comments

Good morning, and thanks for the DST reminder. Hope that A. Boone will be a boon to the lineup.

Posted by: natsfan1a | March 9, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Is this Marrero and Burgess first Grapefuit games also? And how many plauyers do they take to a road SS game?

Posted by: junkbucket | March 9, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Sure looks like opening day lineup to me.....(Zimm to 3rd, Boone to Bench)

Posted by: JayB | March 9, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Damn JayB you beat me to it, that is pretty much our A team out there today, at least as far as batters.

I love Jason Bergmann and except a great year ahead for him, but I hope he isn't going to be our opening day starter, or even worse our #1 pitcher...

Posted by: estuartj | March 9, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Does look like the lineup come April...but I would think about Belliard hitting 2 and Milledge hitting 5 behind Johnson...bumping Kearns down to the 7 spot. I just think Milledge has a lot more pop than we think. maybe not more than 20 homers...but he'll hit a lot of doubles. Plus, #2 needs to be a disciplined hitter---moving the runner, maybe bunting...and at the very least making contact. I don't want Milledge to have to walk up to home plate with all those thoughts. I'd like him just to think about whacking the darn ball.

Posted by: section 219 | March 9, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I think the threat of Milledge stealing a base now and then has him in the 2 spot.

Posted by: Bazz | March 9, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Milledge is in the #2 spot for sure. Look for him to stay there most of the season unless Guz/FLop struggle leading off. He might get bumped to the top of the order.

Posted by: MKevin | March 9, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

USA Today's baseball writer said on XM Friday morning that the Nats are shopping around Dimitri, not Nick.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 9, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Anybody think with protection in the batting order this year, that Zimmermzn could challenge for MVP?

Posted by: Nats4Tommy | March 9, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait until this myth of what a #2 batter should do dies.

Even if we had the best bunter in the league at the 2 spot, do you think that Manny Acta's really going to be bunting much, especially with the bats behind him?

Put the best hitters at the top of the lineup, and give them more ABs. Better batters batting more often means more runs scored. It's a pretty easy equation.

Realistically, Nick Johnson should probably be the #2 batter (if not leadoff hitter). Given how often he gets on base and hits doubles, he'd be in scoring position for the big bats all the time.

Posted by: Chris | March 9, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"Shawn Hill will play catch on Tuesday, and depending on how that goes he will get a schedule about his progression. Manny Acta went out of his way to emphasize that nothing can be determined until after Hill gets through playing catch."

Interesting, isn't it, that if you're a kid (or the parent of a kid) "playing catch" is an occasion of carefree joy, a place to put aside all cares of the day and revel in the glory of youth, but if you're Shawn Hill, "playing catch" could be the make-or-break event of your season or maybe even your career.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 9, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Anyone Kyle Lohse would take an $11 Million one year deal to pitch for the Nats about now?

Is that a better use of the $5 Million for Paul L + $5 Million for Plop + $1 Million Johnny E (I understand it is too late now to dumb Lopez et al but many of us disagreed with the above deals when they were done)

Would Lohse bring back more in Draft picks (type A) vs. than PLOP (Type B at best maybe nothing) when they both leave as FA in Oct 08?

Posted by: JayB | March 9, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Thats all well and good, except at the time of offering arbitration to Lopez and signing LoDuca, Lohse was seeking a multiyear deal similar to what Silva signed with Seattle (4 yr/$48 mil).

Would that have made sense to sign a mid rotation starter for close to $50 mil?

What would you recommend doing for the catching position? Do you offer arbitration to Lopez (if you dont, theres no compensation)?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 9, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Wonder what Chico's ERA would have been pitching half his games in Philly rather than RFK?

Posted by: JayB | March 9, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Baseball-Reference.com lets you estimate things like that.

Moving Chico to RFK bumps his ERA up to about 5.20, about 3/4 of a run higher.

Posted by: Chris | March 9, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I mean to Philly from RFK, but you probably figured that out!

Posted by: Chris | March 9, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

los doce ocho is right. that's some serious revisionist history, jayb.

altho, to make your not quite accurate analysis even more interesting, i don't think it would take $11m on that 1 yr deal right now. i'm betting he'd take 6m. i'd be surprised if anyone had offered him that much on a 1 yr deal yet. talk about a guy who overplayed his hand.

still, i don't really have any love for bringing him in.

Posted by: 231 | March 9, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

So you would have signed Lohse to $40+ mil and bumped Chico to AAA (or traded him)?

Check out Lohse's home/road splits, since that is the fact you are using to define the merits of signing him to an outrageous deal...then tell me what a godsend Lohse would be.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 9, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Sunday paper. Where is Boz? Where is Sheinin? Why does Barry have to do it all alone? Pathetic.

Posted by: M.I.A. | March 9, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Yes I would have Cut Lopez without tendering. I would have stuck with Flores catching and signed a backup like we have now a choice of 3 on the roster. Yes hind sight is easy but these two items were not hind sight for many of us....go back and check if you want.

Thing that struck me looking at our lineup today (if indeed this is the opening day lineup) is that well over $15 Million would be sitting on the bench .....What would that bring us in pitching.....GM's get judged on hind sight....Jimbo has bone somethings well but Lopez, Young, LeDuca, Estrada are not looking so good are they?

My prediction is Lopez gets us nothing back in when his contract is up in draft picks and he hits .235 in 200 with an OBS of .299 or less ABs...time will tell

Posted by: JayB | March 9, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The nats should get lohse or even jeff weaver.

Posted by: FF | March 9, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Barry: Based on Lopez's lack of performance this spring and his bloated salary, do you think the Nats would be able to get anything for him in a trade? Is he on his way to being waived on Wednesday?


From MLB.com:
"March 12, 2008: Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days."

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | March 9, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

i didn't call it hindsight, i called it revisionist history. lohse wasn't available for a 1yr deal in december. JB couldn't have known he would be in march.

it's still too early for "hindsight," cuz none of us actually know how it will play out yet. ;)

Posted by: 231 | March 9, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Do we know the lineups for the game in Winterhaven?

Thanks

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | March 9, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

lol at PB. i know you and jayb hate flopez (i'm not a big fan, despite my comments that you can't just cut him in the situation the nats have in front of them). but who's the SS backup if they cut him? desmond? it's comments like that one that make it hard to ever take you seriously.

Posted by: 231 | March 9, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

231: Saving $4 milling in salary, I'm sure JimBo would have no problem finding a back-up SS who can hit as well as Lopez and finding a better fielder should be easy.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | March 9, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: 231 | March 9, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I love these discussions. It has been such a long winter.
My thought on the line up is to move NJ to third and Zimm to clean up. NJ need do nothing unnatural for him, i.e. be very selective, which will give Milledge plenty of opportunity to run, furthermore, if either of the first two get on base, the right side opens up for NJ.
Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 9, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

No.
************
Anybody think with protection in the batting order this year, that Zimmerman could challenge for MVP?
Posted by: Nats4Tommy | March 9, 2008 09:18 AM

Posted by: CE | March 9, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Lopez had *one* bad year. And he doesn't smile enough. Time will indeed tell.
Young -- you mean CBPY Dmitri Young, who (in hindsight) hit around .335, among the league leaders, most of the season Dmitri Young? Yes, that's looking quite fine from here, thank you.
Lo Duca and Estrada haven't played one regular season game yet, so don't even start.

******************
... Jimbo has bone somethings well but Lopez, Young, LeDuca, Estrada are not looking so good are they?

My prediction is Lopez gets us nothing back in when his contract is up in draft picks and he hits .235 in 200 with an OBS of .299 or less ABs...time will tell

Posted by: JayB | March 9, 2008 10:52 AM

Posted by: CE | March 9, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Nats4Tommy, here's why: Gold Glove calibre at third, but not overwhelmingly, and defense never wins MVPs; he won't lead the NL in HRs (without doing stuff they test for nowadays); he won't have enough people on base in front of him be top 5 in RBIs; and he may hit .300 in a good year, but won't hit enough above .300 to get that kind of attention.

Maybe in a really soft year ...

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