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Midgame Update: Eldred Again

Scott Olsen allowed two runs in four innings blah blah blah.

But Brad Eldred? All he does is hit home runs. He clubbed his third of the week, this one off Clay Hensley, to provide the Nationals with their only offense. The lumberjack-like first baseman will not make this team, but he will provide some entertainment throughout the Grapefruit League. Plus, the dude just made a great diving stop to corral a hard grounder by Geoff Blum.

Thus, I ask: Is there anything Brad Eldred can't do?

Olsen's line: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. It actually would have been better had the third baseman du jour, Joel Guzman, not nearly killed himself as he tried to start a double play. Guzman's bobble and hesitation meant the Nats got only the forceout at second, even though the lumbering Carlos Lee was running the bases. That play scored a run and marred Olsen's line.

"They obviously squared up some balls today," Olsen just said. "But I'm not even remotely concerned about that." The homer to Pence came on a fastball, "belt-high, middle of the plate. If I throw a ball there, he's supposed to hit it that far."

Still, Olsen pronounced himself happy with his progression at this point. "I'm right on pace to where I want to be," he said. He said he started throwing more sliders in the fourth inning, and that he felt good with that pitch.

Mike Hinckley pitched a clean inning in relief, and Ryan Wagner also a scoreless inning. Now on is Tyler Clippard.

Given that this is a Friday night and there's conference tournament action going on (I mean, in theory, some folks might want to get to a TV and watch the late games), that'll be about it from Kissimmee. I'll check in tomorrow from Port St. Lucie.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 13, 2009; 8:35 PM ET
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Next: The Hitting Coach


Thanks, Barry! There's no chance for Eldred to make the team (barring injury)? Do they have options on him?

Posted by: arlingtonresident1 | March 13, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Brad Eldred = Mike Stanhouse

Posted by: jfromPG | March 13, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

He's a lumberjack and he's okay.

He hits all night and he sleeps all day.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BinM | March 13, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

2-2, top of the 9th: Padilla, Bernadina, Desmond due up.

Posted by: BinM | March 13, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Eldred is signed to a minor league contract, so he doesn't have to be waived to be sent to AAA.

One thing he can't do-take a walk.

Posted by: iishoagie07 | March 13, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, BinM.

Looks like another tie for our guys.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 13, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

In support of JayBee:

Milledge may improve, now that Lenny is gone and he grows up a bit, but Tango’s 2008: wOBA and bRAA for Milledge are a very miserable .330 and –0.4. That is minus 0.4.

Compare Belliard’s .380 and +13.7, Dukes’ .389 and + 16.1, and Guzman’s .359 and +13.7. He was NOT the "best offensive force" on the 2008 Nats. He was way, way down the ladder. FWIW, Dunn was .385 and +18.7, while Willingham was .376 and +15.8.

So Milledge slides another few pegs down the “offensive force” list? Trade him for pitching NOW.

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 13, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BinM | March 13, 2009 9:22 PM


... I couldn't even buy an argument against that sentiment.

... that's what I love about baseball ... and you guys - always looking on the bright side of life.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 13, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

is Eldred the New Harris?

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 13, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I've suggested we stick with tradition, 1a, and change the [RF/AB] code every year. This year, we have been handed a perfectly good option in "Kip"--as in "Harris is kippin' FIRED already, drop the subject."

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 13, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

ex-nat emilio bonifacio, who i enjoyed watching last year (except when he batted right-handed) played 2B, SS, and 3B in the same game recently, and now he is playing OF (apparently he played 3 games in the OF for us last year?) ultimate utility man? may make the marlins? still can't hit right-handed. cameron maybin looks ROY in leadoff.

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 14, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Barry please be the Redskin insider!!!

Posted by: rskinz34 | March 14, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Posts have been coming so fast and resposes so furious that I have turned into a lurker. Thanks to Chico, Tracee, Amy, and Barry for all the volume and quality. Thanks to the crew here for keeping the discussions going.

In addition, I may be too optomistic for this group. It's Spring Training and I believe!

I'm happy we have baseball.

I'm happy that the FO is taking some long overdue actions, here and in the DR.

I'm happy our coaching staff appears to be composed of professional instructors.

I'm happy we have the beginnings of a young competent starting rotation.

I'm happy that, with the exception third and maybe catcher, we have competition for every position.

I'm happy that we draft 1, 10 and 50ish.

I'm happy our closer pitches for team USA.

Now, before you check my medcation, I know, to steal a phrase that,"Cruel twists of fate, thy name is baseball."

I have a softball practice shceduled today and a Major League team for which to root.

It's been a long Winter.

Life is good and......yes....I'm.....

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 14, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Strasburg Watch:

SS got the win over UNLV with 7 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs (both earned) and 14 k's over 1 bb.

For the season:

4-0, 1.98 era, 27 1/3 innings, 59 k's, 4 bb's, 19 hits, 6 earned runs

June can't come soon enough!

Posted by: sec307 | March 14, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Interesting proposal, CE.

Well done, natscan. I am reminded of a line from the flick that could be applied to our own Zimm Reaper: Blessed are the cheesemakers.

It's always good to see you come out of lurkdom, SP!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 14, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Hey SlowPitch,

... I'm happy you're happy ... about all those things and more. I'd call all those 'happy's plenty of reasons to be called optimistic, and I'd salute your optimism any time you want to pitch in here.

... I'd be happy to be called optimistic any old time. Baseball is nothing but optimism, IMHO. Even a rain-out lasts only a day.

... and so, with the daytime high today of about 0 (32 F) degrees round about this neck of the woods, and still looking at four feet of dried up old snow banks on either side of the driveway, just the thought of leaving the house today for softball (baseball, any kind of 'ball') practice warms my soul. Thank you for that. I can almost see spring from here.

... baseball's here! Spring comes next week! Winter's over! Bring out your dead!

Go Nats!!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 14, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't mean to become an enabler, but I sort of agree with JayB on Milledge and I also called for Lenny's head plenty of times.

Talk about veterans who are a little too comfortable. Milledge is just a little too comfortable with himself. I'm not as angry about it as JayB, but I definitely see a kid who is just a little too assured of his own greatness. I think he does enough to keep up with his peers and gives the right answers to the media so as not to look to cocky, but it's there.

And the one thing that started to drive me crazy by the end of the season--check out how many times the kid looks at himself on the jumbotron. When he comes up to bat and takes a few swings before stepping into the batter's box, watch his eyes. They shoot up to the jumbotron, EVERY TIME. The first 57 times he did it I laughed, but after that I wanted to slap him. And if he makes a good third-out play in the field? His lollygagging off the field is actually just because he's craning his neck around to catch the replay on the jumbotron.

That's not to say the kid doesn't have major potential. I just think it wouldn't hurt him to sweat it out a little worry more about his game.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update. Just think, that's his WORST outing so far. WOW.

I enjoy playing but since I just check once a day or so, I'm normally hopelessly behind. Interested but behind.

Well put. Rainouts last only one day.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 14, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

well if milledge wasn't the biggest offensive force, he at least did produce the most homeruns and most stolen bases and was second in batting ave in his first full season at 22 years old while learning centerfield. that impresses me if nobody else.

i'm no lenny harris fan but i can find a positive in anything. just like i can find a negative in anything. i'll focus on the positive concerning baseball. i don't make outrageous claims.

i've said for a long time milledge would probably return the most in a trade. but if his average offensive production over the next few years is close to 20/20 we'll regret trading him.

do we want to resign nick johnson and move willingham to left, dunn to right, dukes in center. that's certainly a possibility. just seems like we'd be painting ourselves into a corner. i really want to see how this offense plays out this year so i'd prefer no trades. we could see big improvements across the board.

Posted by: longterm | March 14, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

oh, and thanks alot for the link on Tavares, jobleux. Now I have a knot in my stomach.

And Cevans, I kippin' love your idea.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 14, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

SlowPitch63 - I need a softball team to play with! Where do you play? Contact me offline = tradervic1313@yahoo


Posted by: tradervic1313 | March 14, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, based on the 'press pass' for today's game, it looks like the Nationals' are bringing Justin Jones back into camp to pitch against the Mets. I wonder if the're really going to take a serious look at him, or if this is just a short-term move.

Posted by: BinM | March 14, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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