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Manning Claimed By STL; Langerhans, Speigner Outrighted

The Nationals this afternoon removed three players from their 40-man roster, losing one on waivers and outrighting two to Class AAA Syracuse.

Here are the moves:

* Left-handed reliever Charlie Manning, 29, was claimed on waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals. Manning had signed a minor league contract with the Nats in February 2008, and was promoted to the big leagues in late May. There, he had mixed success: Batters had just a .224 average against him, but Manning was often burned by walks and home runs. He finished the year with a 1-3 record, a 5.14 ERA and a 1.571 WHIP. His removal all but clears the way on the 2009 roster for fellow left-handed specialist Mike Hinckley.

* Ryan Langerhans, 28, the fifth outfielder in DC for much of the season, cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Syracuse. Langerhans has been with the Nats now for two seasons, and showed himself capable in 2008 of providing solid outfield depth. His fielding and speed are his best attributes; his hitting still lags behind, though to be fair, he showed plenty of improvement this year (.188 / .297 / .188 before the break, .253 / .410 / .481 after the break). Langerhans finished 2008 with a .234 average, three home runs and 12 RBI in 111 at bats.

* Levale Speigner, also 28, cleared waivers and will join Langerhans in Syracuse. Speigner was only added to the 40-man roster at the beginning of September, when he joined as a call-up. (A Rule 5 pick, he'd pitched for the Nats in 2007, too.) And indeed, Speigner was just as bad in 2008 and he was in 2007. In seven games and eight innings in September, Speigner allowed 10 runs and 13 hits. He walked six, and struck out one batter. His final ERA: 11.25. He has a 9.19 career ERA in 48 innings.

The Nats now have 36 players on their 40-man roster, not counting five on the 60-day disabled list.

By Chico Harlan  |  October 15, 2008; 4:32 PM ET
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Next: Nats Interested in Willie Randolph?


I liked Manning but I like Hinckley a lot more so I'm glad he will probably get the bullpen spot.

Posted by: irishnat | October 15, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Newsday says the Nats are eying Willie Randolph as the bench coach for 2009 -- and a possible replacement for Manny if things don't go well.

Posted by: ohplease | October 15, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Yawn. Wake me when they outright Kearns. Or Clint.

Posted by: Talk IS Cheap | October 15, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Clint, I saw him at the Capitals home opener on Saturday night. (With some other guys in curly W shirts; maybe the tickets were their year-end bonus from Mark Lerner?) I was sort of hoping he'd grab the mic from the chick with the fingernails-on-a-blackboard voice that the Caps are using as an MC this season.

Posted by: And believe me, I'm not Clint's mom | October 15, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Do the Lerners give bonuses? Now that would be news ...

Also: If you see Clint at a hockey game and not smash him hard into the glass, then you have missed an opportunity.

Posted by: Suicide Squeeze | October 15, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I will not renew my season tickets until they fire Bowden....and Clint!

Posted by: Unhappy fan | October 15, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Going back to the previous post, here is a look at one of the top candidates for the medical director position:

Posted by: BSG | October 15, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to Clint, the story ends with me putting him into the wall.

Posted by: Geico kid | October 15, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

After Bravura Debut, Acta Faces Follow-Up

By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 22, 2008; E01

VIERA, Fla., Feb. 21 -- There was an envelope placed in Manny Acta's hand, and inside the envelope was a letter. The letter was from the Lerner family, which owns the Washington Nationals, and inside the letter was a check. And the check? Well, it doesn't even matter what the number was, or how many zeroes it had. What mattered was the check itself, a bonus for a job well done in 2007. The letter -- it mattered, too, applauding Acta for a fine job on and off the field as the Nationals' manager. But above all, what mattered to Acta was the gesture.

"I told them, 'You don't need to do this -- this is my job,' " said Acta, who confirmed receiving the bonus after a reporter, who already had been told of it by another source, asked him about it. "I don't have any incentive bonus in my contract. I've never had one in any contract -- because it's just my job. My job is to win. My job is to get it done. And I thought it was an outstanding gesture. I wasn't expecting it."

Posted by: I got your bonus right here | October 15, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what his bonus was this year...

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | October 15, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

>I liked Manning but I like Hinckley a lot more so I'm glad he will probably get the bullpen spot.<

Yeah, he threw some good sliders for awhile, but that mediocre fastball turned out to be the killer. When he got tired, his arm slot dropped down and his pitches sailed. Badly

Posted by: Brue | October 15, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about losing Manning - he deserved a shot at one of the LHR slots in ST, along with Hinkley & O'Conner IMO. Langerhans becomes the 1st OF "selection" from AAA in '09 if he re-signs, & Speigner could settle into a AAAA-class middle relief role if he does the same. A little bit of bad news, but not horrible.

Posted by: BIM | October 15, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse


Any word on why Manning was waived at this point? I understand clearing 40 man roster space, but that isnt necessary until 15 days after the World Series. Hinckley has likely planted himself as the bullpen lefty to start next season.

Manning's overall numbers arent really effective, but his LOOGY numbers are solid (.203 BA, .676 OPS, 72 tOPS vs. LHB). He obviously has some value if he was claimed. With only a handful of desirable lefty relievers available during free agency (Oliver, Biemel, Affeldt, maybe Eyre, possibly Marte & Embree) shouldnt there be at least a limited market for him?

Why is Orr still on the roster with 5 other middle infielders on the 40 man and Belliard to backup Zimmerman? Why not waive O'Connor or Colome?

So the questions I have are: Why waive Manning now & Why waive Manning instead of others on the 40 man?

Just seems if a team is going to get by with minor league free agents and retreads to fill the roster, then management should at least hold on to possible assets, however limited they may be.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | October 15, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I hate to point out how awesome I am, but with Joe Buck and Tim Mac sweating me, this is the highest I'll ever be.

From September 21, 2007 chat...

D.C.: Hey Boz,

How foolish are the Mets looking now considering their reluctance to give up Milledge for a reliever?

If Minaya could do things over, do you think he'd have made a Milledge-Cordero deal?

Is there any way that Bowden could pry Victorino away from the Phillies? They rarely play him anymore! Thanks.

Tom Boswell: I'm a Cordero fan, though he sure makes you nervous because you know his command has to be razor sharp to avoid the Dreaded Lang Ball. Like so many teams on so many trades, I suspect the Mets would like to rewind the clock and see if they could do that deal. (However, there was never a day when I would have made it, from the Nationals point of view.)

I wouldn't give two cents for Victorino, especially playing in the Phillies bandbox. How can you afford the "luxury" (waste) of giving 440 at bats to an outfielder with 11 homers and an OPS of .773? If Church or Kearns had those at bats in Philly, they'd have 20-25 homers. Partly because of the distance to fences, but also because a cozy part lends confidence, helps initial hot streaks.

The Phils are a lot of fun right now. I'm pulling for them, either as a wild card or in the East, though I think their starting pitching is just too weak to make it. Manuel, underrated IMO as I've said before, has done a good job. But not nearly as good as Acta. I was amazed to read an analysis of potential Manager of the Year candidates this week. There were SEVEN in the N.L. and Acta wasn't mentioned! Talk about a snub. Many should instantly be on the short list __THEN figure out who the others are.

Posted by: 765* | October 15, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Caps game, I think I saw Zimmerman at the game Saturday. Hope he, and the Learners, got a taste of how this town supports a winner.

Posted by: ChrisC | October 16, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure we all remember the same Charlie Manning. Of course, I can see why he was claimed off waivers and Speigner was not.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 16, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to know Bill Ladson can spin the season. "The Nationals finished the 2008 season in fifth place with a 59-102 record..." He forgot to mention in the NL East, for a second there, I forgot that we had the worst record in baseball.

Posted by: Putting the Prop in Propaganda. | October 16, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I amazed that Ladson got the numbers right on our record and correctly spelled Nationals.

Posted by: estuartj | October 16, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Bye-bye Charlie, we hardly knew ye.

Levale and Langerhans -- that's going to make the Chiefs fans happy, they're finally getting some top shelf AAAA talent as opposed to the crap Toronto assigned to them. (Ahem ....)

Willie Randoph as bench coach and Don Baylor as hitting coach? I think I can get my arms around that -- at a minimum they could supply some veteran leadership, which this club sorely lacks.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 16, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Here's a somewhat dated (9/29) Ladson interview of Acta that I found somewhat reassuring. At least he knows what the problems are. Perhaps most of you saw this when it came out, but for those (like me) that missed it, here's a link:

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 16, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

And some more positive spin from Lastings:

"We have a great group of guys. After losing 102 games, there were no fights. You can't ask for much more."

I hadn't thought of that.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 16, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Those three pieces that were jettisoned didn't fit the future puzzle board anyway. Good luck and good riddance. S & L are only filling spots 3A until better pieces are found. See you all in Viera at Panera.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | October 16, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Total change of topic:
practical science for baseball (NR)

2 for 3
I'm pretty good at Jeopardy!, too.

Posted by: CE | October 16, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy, I'm getting excited about hearing reports from Jupiter (the town, not the planet)!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 16, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

That's cool, ce. Thanks! (Base hit on an 0-2 count - am I clutch, or what?)

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 16, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

3 for 4! I'm packing for Viera now.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Randolf and Baylor?? The idea is to get MLB talent on the actual roster, the roster of PLAYERS. Turn back the clock 25 years and getting those two guys might be interesting.

Posted by: dh | October 16, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

3 for 4 with a HR, boo-yeah!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 16, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Just went 4 for 4 with 3 home runs!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 16, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

CE, that is really neat, and thanks Bob L.Head for the Acta interview--I had missed it. I was out of the country at the end of the season--Flores didn't play, did he? Has anyone heard whether he has recovered completely? I have been snarling at the TV when the Phillies win basically because I can't get over Utley. I will be so glad if the Rays, a team we can emulate, can beat the Phillies in the WS.

Posted by: Section 109 | October 16, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You can get home runs with it? Seeeee youuuu later!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Sect. 109, no, Flores didn't play again this season - they shut him down. Utley...grrr. I'm with you on rooting for the Rays.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 16, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Well I was wondering what we were going to do this offseason without the luxury of watching grass grow in the new park. Evidently at least part of the answer is to play games on Exploratorium.

Yes! Three base hits followed by a dinger!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 16, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Man, you all are slooooow. I'm belting them out of the park left and right. Literally, I'm switching hands. They're going to be dropping by for a drug test any minute now.

I hope Utley is the next Buckner.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 16, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info, Natsfan1a, and also to Section 506 for the solidarity on Utley.

Posted by: Ssection 109 | October 16, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

So a few hundredths of a second in natural reaction time (looks like anything under .25) makes the difference between a hit and a miss, and another few hundredths is the difference between a single and a dinger (as between .17, the highest number that still resulted in a dinger for me, and .18 to .20, where I can hit singles all day long). I've been as low as .05, but I've also been called Sparky a few times so that might not be representative. Almost always between .15 and .2. 506, if you're better than that, then I'll play Milledge and you can be Dukes.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 16, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

That, my friend, is very broke.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 16, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Ouch. I'm older than you are, maybe I've lost a step. Bet I could beat you at the Jamie Moyer simulator though!

Posted by: Bob L. (not A)head | October 16, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Re: Jamie Moyer simulator

I keep throwing the ball too fast! I just... can't... wait... that... long... UGH!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 16, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, 109.

Thanks for the dinger data, Bob L. If it helps any, I was called Sparky as well. I think that I may have been pressing. I've not gotten as speedy as .17. Maybe if I tried early in the morning after coffee and before typing. Sounds like 506 could be an MVP. He can hit for power from both sides. We *will* be needing a drug test, but we do give 24 hours' notice.

Also, new (guest) post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 16, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Woo hoo - doing my home run trot (.15)! I may be day-to-day with a wrist injury tomorrow, however.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 16, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Some more data points - all in the interest of scientific research of course - I had dingers at .15 and .18 and base hits from .19 to .26. I also had a strike at .27.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 16, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

If you're hitting .05 on that swing game - you are guessing and anticipating.

As for Charlie Manning... bye. Sure he's a LOOGY. And sure, the .224 batting avergae against is nice. But he also walked 6.6 batters per 9 IP and allowed 1.7 HR/9. Those are too high. Those walks turn his .224 BA against into a .353 OBP against.

Posted by: Sec 114, Row E | October 16, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

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