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Lopez in left field

The Nationals' lineup is being posted right now, and it indeed includes Felipe Lopez in left.

Guzman -- 6
Milledge -- 8
Zimmerman -- 5
Kearns -- 9
Boone -- 3
Belliard -- 4
Lopez -- 7
Flores -- 2
Bergmann -- 1

Interesting that Aaron Boone gets the start over Dmitri Young at first. Will find out what's up with that. (Not that strange that, with lefty Jamie Moyer on the mound, Nick Johnson has the day off.)

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 3, 2008; 10:22 AM ET
 
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Next: Lopez, Boone explanations

Comments

Lopez in left field is nothing new. A lot of us thought he was out in left field for most of last year!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 3, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

boone?

where is the meat.

Posted by: theraph | April 3, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The thought occurs that this is Lopez's last chance to show some value before they Patterson him.
Just saying.

Posted by: CE | April 3, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

i mean, i understand that johnson is only 1 for 13 or something like that against moyer, but come on. boone???????

put in the round mound of pound.

Posted by: theraph | April 3, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Boone at first???? Hope it doesn't mean the meat is in imminent trade talks?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 3, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"The thought occurs that this is Lopez's last chance to show some value before they Patterson him."

I would highly doubt that. If they just release him like they did Patterson, they are still required to pay his entire $4.9M salary for the season. Unconditionally releasing Patterson only cost them $212,500. Big difference there.

More likely is that it's their attempt to get maximum value for the $4.9M they're paying Lopez to be a bench player this year. If he's going to be a bench player, let him be as versatile as possible in that role.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | April 3, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The Meat is not in trade talks. They can't deal him before his bobblehead day in May.

Posted by: but i can see us losing NJ... | April 3, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I am so glad I started the trend of turning Patterson into a verb. But, I would argue that you can't patterson Felipe, because there is no widespread hoping for his resurgence. Or do we want patterson to simply mean release suddenly?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 3, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Also, Boone is in instead of Meat, probably because Boone has no playing time, yet.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 3, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Who would you like as a pinch hitter with the game on the line - Boone or the meat?

Acta just keeping everybody involved. Did the same thing last year and at the end the Nats were one team nobody really wanted to face.

Posted by: kgwcoach | April 3, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Every manager wants to get all his guys into a game early in the season,especially after an open date and a couple of away games. Boone and Lopez need to play. With a 3-0 record, perfect time to take a chance and get 'em some AB's.

Posted by: joe c | April 3, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

career vs Moyer:

Dmitri: .300 (6-20)/.333/.350

Boone: .083 (1-12)/.267/.333

the rest of the lineup is hitting .226 (21-93) vs Moyer. Ugh.

Posted by: e | April 3, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I guess DY not starting says a lot about the status of his conditioning.

Great to see Flores get his first (and last?) start of 2008.

As long as we're playing holy haywire with the starters and line-up, why not have Bergmann hit 8th and Lopez 9th - gives you basically two leadoff guys after the first time though the order...

Posted by: estuartj | April 3, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Wierd that Dmitri isn't in the lineup. He must really be out of shape and they don't want the defensive liability. That are he is horrible against Moyers or Boone hits him really well. Interesting.

Posted by: BRothbart | April 3, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, and speaking of 3-0, let's not start thinking this is football season here. A team with 90 wins on the season (which no one is predicting for these Nats) wins 3 1/3 games out of every 6. Let's not be dumb and start crying that this guarantees us a loss, since we had a good chance of losing at some point anyway. Will anyone gripe if the Nats come home next week 5-2?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 3, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, and speaking of 3-0, let's not start thinking this is football season here. A team with 90 wins on the season (which no one is predicting for these Nats) wins 3 1/3 games out of every 6. Let's not be dumb and start crying that this guarantees us a loss, since we had a good chance of losing at some point anyway. Will anyone gripe if the Nats come home next week 5-2?

-----

i'm not sayin' i'd complain at 3-1. i'd just prefer 4-0.

Posted by: not convinced | April 3, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Interesting about Dmitri, but Manny seems to know what he's doing. Maybe we'll see Boone and Young split the game to get both some quality ABs.

At this point, I'm really not into doing the whole chicken little thing. There are 162 games, so unless we see a season-ending injury, it's probably just time to settle in and let the chips fall where they may.

Lopez in left should definitely be an entertaining adventure, if nothing else. I just hope that Pena and Dukes stay healthy enough that left doesn't become the new center.

Posted by: Michael | April 3, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I was just about convinced by the "getting everyone involved" argument, but then I thought, why wouldn't you start the "round mound of pound" (credit theraph), who can bat from the left side against Moyer, and then sub in The (other) Boone once we knock Moyer out? Meat hasn't had a start, either. Maybe he's still not 100%.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 3, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Hurry up and heal, Wily Mo!

Posted by: Juan-John | April 3, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

As is often said, baseball teams for the most part play .500 ball. It's the hot/cold streaks that define a season, so while it might be early, if we can get a significant streak to start this season, it has the *potential* to impact things down the road greatly...

Posted by: Mark | April 3, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

looked up his career stats of Boone and Dmitri vs Moyers because I thought that might be some of it, but it can't be.

Dmitri 20AB 6H 1RBI 0HR 1BB 3SO .300BA .333OBP
Boone 12AB 1H 1RBI 1HR 3BB 1SO .083BA .267OBP

Posted by: BRothbart | April 3, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

506, I submit that being "Pattersoned" should mean a surprising, outright release of a player that was assumed to have a key role on the team, at least if healthy.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 3, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

nick johnson day off? y? they just had a day off and only played 1 game.

Posted by: dk | April 3, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"career vs Moyer:

Dmitri: .300 (6-20)/.333/.350

Boone: .083 (1-12)/.267/.333

the rest of the lineup is hitting .226 (21-93) vs Moyer. Ugh."

All the more reason Manny might want to have Dmitri available off the bench to pinch hit against Moyer in a clutch situation, wouldn't you think?


Posted by: Section 419+1 | April 3, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I have to say I like baseball but I don't agree with their days off. So what if they play 6 games in 7 days. Half the time, they are just standing there waiting for the ball, either to be pitched or be hit. Maybe a day off every blue moon but this early? Now, Johnson may get a free pass due to injury. But c'mon, if I got paid to play 6 games a week for only 2-4 hours...I'd take every chance I got.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 3, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Would like to learn more about Dmitri.

He's the mentor to Elijah Dukes, yet he shows up way out of shape, after promising to show up at 240 or so. He looks painfully heavy, trying to play ball. But, hey, the Babe looked that way too.

I would like to know how much of Dmitri's overwieght condition is caused by diabetes? Or if the influence is more the other way around, that his diabetes is worsened by being overweight?

Maybe those with diabetes can write in: is this something that can be controlled, or is it really a difficult process that requires our full understanding of what Dmitri is going through?

Posted by: EdDC | April 3, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm no expert on diabetes by any means, but I do remember reading somewhere that Dmitri was very frustrated b/c the medication he is on for his diabetes makes his weight very difficult to control. Now I don't know if that's him making an excuse, but if that's the honest answer, that's pretty unfortunate for the Meathook.

Posted by: Mark | April 3, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm oddly excited by Lopez in left. Maybe he'll surprise us. And if nothing else, it gets him in the game.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Re Dmitri's physical condition: I saw four Nats's game in Fla, including a couple where Dmitri played 1B. Sad to say, the man looks to be in terrible shape--he couldn't handle any throw that required minimal agility.

And I know it wouldn't make sense to start Mackowiak today against a lefty, but I agree with Arlington Nats Fan that the absence of his name from the LF conversation is strange. You wouldn't want to run him out to LF 162 games a year, but the guy's shown he's a quality backup OF with a pretty good bat. If he can't get PT now--with all the injuries--when will he get PT?

Posted by: CapPeterson | April 3, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The thing about it is...

If Lopez proves to be an adequate defender, he has much more potential to add something dynamic to the Nats lineup. Sure, he had a terrible year last year, and didn't play well in spring training, but if he were to get back on track, he is much more of a quality player than mackowiak, who is essentially a pinch-hitter/start here and there type guy.

Posted by: Mark | April 3, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Boone at 1B, Lopez in LF...my boy knows what he's doing. Gives you a leftie and a switch hitter off the bench for after we knock Moyers out of the game.

Manny's Mom

Posted by: Avar | April 3, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

A Tin Yurl season preview on J-Max:

http://tinyurl.com/34k3lc

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 3, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

wow i bet bergmann is just bustin with confidence lookin at the nats lineup.

Posted by: dk | April 3, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

no, i dont think. that is assuming the nats will be in a position of need later in the ballgame. i would prefer they put the better hitter in the game from the get go, getting 3 ABs as opposed to one. plus, its not like pinch hitting is easy to do. plus, johnson would fill that roll of a pinch hitter nicely in this specific example.

so im not buying the 'save him for the clutch situation' argument. that is assuming too much. i will buy the 'hes out of shape and cant play a full game' argument, though.

---------------

"career vs Moyer:

Dmitri: .300 (6-20)/.333/.350

Boone: .083 (1-12)/.267/.333

the rest of the lineup is hitting .226 (21-93) vs Moyer. Ugh."

All the more reason Manny might want to have Dmitri available off the bench to pinch hit against Moyer in a clutch situation, wouldn't you think?


Posted by: Section 419+1 | April 3, 2008 11:07 AM

Posted by: theraph | April 3, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Meat's 1 for 2 with an RBI double, I'm not thinking that's really worth all our flak over being out of shape. Nick Johnson is out-performing him, but that doesn't mean he's a slacker or worthless. When did his weight cause him to be an out? Sure it needs to come down, but it's not like he's killing puppies, c'mon.

I think Manny wants Dmitri to be his go to guy coming off the bench. That's not a permanent role, but as long as he has him, he's going to use him. Smart thinking.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 3, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Johnson isnt playing, there goes our undefeated season.

Posted by: The BigC from DC | April 3, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Boone can't (or probably won't) be traded w/o at bats. So it makes sense on some level to start him.

Posted by: .390 | April 3, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

THE SKY IS FALLING!

Posted by: Chicken Little | April 3, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The thing about weight and diabetes is that it's a circular relationship. When individuals have diabetes, it's usually directly related to their weight and physical conditioning--overweight individuals are at much greater risk for diabetes and they often develop diabetes as a consequence of their diet.

When you are overweight and diabetic, diabetes medications designed to control blood sugar can make you retain or even gain weight, ironically making the condition more permanent. However, if you're a diabetic and managed to substantially reduce your weight and improve your physical conditioning, your body will burn more sugar naturally, making you less dependent upon medication. It's something of a vicious circle.

The only way Dmitri's going to get out of it is by vastly improving his physical conditioning and losing weight. The weight loss isn't just important for his playing abilities--it will also reduce the impact of diabetes on his body.

Posted by: Michael | April 3, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Runners at the corners, 2 outs here in the 5th, runners will be moving on the pitch, Bergmann kicks and deals the 3-2 to Utley.
There's high fly ball near the left field corner its fairly deep but playable, this should end the inning. Lopez drifting back, back and the BALL SAILS OVER HIS HEAD! Rollins scores, here comes Victorrino to score and Utley pulls into second with a 2 run double on the error made by Felipe Lopez. The Phillies now lead 3-0. It looked for a minute like Felipe had it played just right Dave, but then he seemed to stop to feel for the warning track and just misplayed it.

I'm a die-hard Nats fan, but my ESP is running on all cylinders this AM once I looked at todays lineup!

Posted by: Tippy Canoe | April 3, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Diabetes is nasty because it needs to be controlled on several levels. Physically, you need to stay in shape (remember, there are athletes and there are baseball players...). Mentally, you have to be on top of the medication and your blood sugar levels. There are also some emotional elements. Mood swings, man-oh-man. Its also a lifelong battle, like alcoholism --- you never permanently "win".

I'm not a doctor, but my read is that weight gain is easier among diabetics. Dmitri might not have had the type of support he needed to keep on top of things on the off season, and he may have had a relapse. And, after 30, with diabetes, you don't just get back in shape in a week or two. It takes time.

Still, give the man credit. He's batting 1.000.

Posted by: Kamau | April 3, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

RE: Michael's lesson on diabetes

AHA! Dmitri is vindicated!!

er, wait...

AHA! It's all Dmitri's fault!!

I'm confused.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 3, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Re-posting:

It's not about left field, i.e. "we desperately need a good left fielder" so bring up Maxwell or make Mackowiak earn his roster spot instead of Lopez.

It's ALL about Lopez needing at-bats, needing to play. Period. Whether it's to showcase him for a trade or to keep him fresh, we don't know.

But make no mistake, it's not about the position. If it were about the position, they'd keep Harris there. He caught plenty of outs yesterday.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 3, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

A theory: Lopez in left means you're giving up something on defense. So you don't want to give up even more defense by putting Dmitri at first. Anybody know whether AB is regarded as a decent defensive 1B?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 3, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

off topic:

im sure at least some of you had your picture taken opening night by those 'fanfoto' people. my question is, has anyone every purchased a print from them before? i wanted to get a copy of a picture, but was curious if anyone had experiences they would share.


boone at 1st:
hes a baseball player, and not a specialist. he seems average with good hands. plus hes played multiple positions before, which gives him the benefit of the doubt. unlike lopez in left, which he has yet to do.

Posted by: theraph | April 3, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Thumbs up on Lopez in LF.

1. He'll be at least a league average outfielder on athleticism alone. Will he be perfect? No, but who is?

2. The Phillies are throwing a LH.

3. He hasn't really played yet.

4. Maxwell is like the Redskins back up QB. Everybody loves him when he throws for 200 yards in the 2nd half of meaningless games. Under the glare though, how will he do? I think eventually he could be good, but he's very inexperienced. He needs ABs in the high minors to develop.

Boone is also the logical choice at 1st today. He needs to play once a week at least if he's going to be an effective PH/injury sub. This is a perfect time to do it with a LHP and a day game after a night game.

I get a real chuckle about people who cannot believe players "get tired". The season is a grind people. Sprinkling in days off for NJ in April pays huge dividends in September. I hope Zim doesn't play 162 again. He should be at about 150-55.

Posted by: #4 | April 3, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Bob L., I think it goes beyond just giving up something on defense with Dmitri. From what I saw of him running to first in the opener, he's simply not physically capable of playing in the field right now. He's probably 7th on the depth chart at 1st behind Nick and every other bench player.

Posted by: joebleux | April 3, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Tippy - interesting that you already gave the Phils a 1-0 lead before the FLop error.

Posted by: MKevin | April 3, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"4. Maxwell is like the Redskins back up QB."

He likes smelling things?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 3, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

i think flopez might *EVENTUALLY* be a league average LF, if not better, defensively. but first time he ever plays it? probably not. while it's one of the less challenging defensive positions on the field, it's not so easy any athlete can just jump out there and do it right away. if he's out there, he'll probably make a number of mistakes. you can only hope the athleticism is enough to cover for most of them.

Posted by: 231 | April 3, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Look we're going for 4-0. I'll go with whatever this years' Manager of the Year decides. Manny know's best!

Posted by: Dave | April 3, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

This is off-topic, but you guys seem to have the answers:
I have been looking at the dcballpark web page and was wondering if anyone has sat in the last row or rows of the bottom bowl seats in right-center field.
It looks like (from the angle) the upper tier overhang would prevent people in those seats from seeing some of the fly balls.
Anyone have the answer to this?

Posted by: TimDz | April 3, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 3, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: Capitol Hill | April 3, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to see at what point Moyer hits the wall in his career. He's what 45? Hopefully we'll knock him around a bit.

Heard on the radio this morning some guest analyst from MLB.com. They were talking about the Camden Yards record low attendance and he said the area had 2 of the 5 worst teams in baseball and it would be a long summer in the DC/Balt area. I tell you We Get No Respect.

Posted by: Bazz | April 3, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Bazz, I heard the same broadcast this morning and it ticked me off.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 3, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Is there an echo in here? :)

---

new post

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 3, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

MKevin; Howard stroked a double down the right field line, scoring Jimmy Rollins all the way from first after ABoone cut off Austin Keanrns throw and the relay was to the right of Flores who tried reach back across the plate to tag out the speedy JROLL in the bottom of the first.

Posted by: Tippy Canoe | April 3, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

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