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More About The Cuts

Just a little more on the cuts Washington made this morning. None of the 11 players sent packing had a great chance at making the roster, and so their departure serves a dual purpose. It allows the cut players the chance to play more regularly before they begin the minor league season. And, it allows the Nationals to get a longer look at the players who need to play their way onto the big league roster.

Tyler Clippard and Marco Estrada will both be a part of Class AAA Syracuse's rotation, and will spend the next weeks stretching out their arms. As for the most notable position players: Justin Maxwell, Leonard Davis and Ian Desmond? "We're very happy about what we saw from those guys, especially Desmond, which we saw him this year better than we saw him in the past," Manager Manny Acta said. "So they're going over there [to minor league camp], getting their at bats, and they'll be here on and off. But it was time for them to give me also an opportunity to give some guys some at bats here, because we do have to make some decisions."

The Nats, in particular, need to see at bats from three guys starting today: Kory Casto, Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena. They'd like to have Dmitri Young in that category, too, but the first baseman's ongoing back problems are keeping him out of action.

"He's improving, but he's not ready to get on the field yet, so it's a moot point," Acta said of Young. "Until he gets on the field, we can't even make an assessment on how is he doing or what are his chances or what he is going to do. He needs to get on the field."

By Chico Harlan  |  March 16, 2009; 12:59 PM ET
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Next: One Scoreless IP For Hill


Chico, any chance we'll get a few in-game updates? please please please? At work with no media access.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 16, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I second the call for in-game updates. Thanks!

Posted by: OldDude | March 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Newposted again:

One thing from Chico's article really hit home for me. It really does seem that baseball in general, and Spring Training specifically, are mostly exercises in wasting time. I know that such a thing would drive me crazy.

I understand that this is the life they dreamed of, and I am not feeling sorry for the millionaires, by any means. However, I can see how that would be pretty difficult for some personalities. I don't know that Lastings is spending the 2 to 3 hours before stretching writing The Great American Novel, but I can understand why he might not want to spend so much additional time standing around.

It also gives me more insight to why Jack McGeary has insisted on going to Stanford.


Posted by: kevincostello | March 16, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Alright, I'm going to the guilt well again. If BARRY were there, he'd do it!!

And they're going to have to outright release the Weapon, aren't they, unless they can get somebody to take Kearns' contract.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | March 16, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I see Bonifacio is hitting .237 this spring, even after a 4-hit game a few days ago. A trade to a rival sure can switch one quickly from hoping greatness for someone to hoping for mediocrity for him.

Hill got through the first with 2 strikeouts. Is that all for him today?


Posted by: kevincostello | March 16, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Any word on if Marrero will be assigned to A or AA this year? He looked good in spring training.

Posted by: brothbart | March 16, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

My contrarian spirit rallies to Milledge, though. My contrarian spirit is also very bad at baseball.

Posted by: Section506 | March 16, 2009 8:05 AM


heh heh. Yea, if I recall you were the lone defender of Lenny Harris last summer...

Posted by: NatsNut | March 16, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

More from Minor League Camp, as I sit on the beach waiting to see if Milledge's way will work. Clearly not other way is an option.

I sure hope "Spin" Williams know what he is talking about because he is the only one at Minor League camp teaching and he is sure running from one guy to the next making what seems to me (I was not a pitcher or catcher) rather large changes. Spin tries to speak Spanish but it does not seem to be effective from what I over heard.

I hope Randy S.C. and Rick E. both have the authority to hire and guide the coaching staff at all levels. I think both are outstanding and if we want to make progress I would give them a budget and authority. Both are excellent communicators....."Spin"....not so much.

Posted by: JayBeee | March 16, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Hill set them down in order in the first, Bonifacio flew out and Maybin and Coghlan struck out.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 16, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Is Hill really only doing one inning?

Posted by: NatsNut | March 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Broken Cheese on the mound in the bottom of the second, still 0-0.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 16, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Aaaahh! I hate not being clever enough to figure out what you just wrote, BoBL! Why is Anibel Sanchez "Broken Cheese"?


Posted by: kevincostello | March 16, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse


I once asked the question to my former college coach who was the Indians' and Rockies' minor league field coordinator after he quit college coaching. Big league coaches and the manager have zero input on who does the instruction on the minor league level. The GM controls that with input from the farm director. Major league organizations are surprisingly segmented in that respect. Maybe the Nats are different, but I doubt it.

I will say though that Spin Williams has a pretty good rep, I think, as an instructor.


Posted by: db423 | March 16, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

new post, game updates!

Posted by: NatsNut | March 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Broken Cheese is aka The Zimm Reaper. Somebody called him the Broken Face of the Franchise in here awhile back (due to his attempt to catch a line drive with his face while pitching for the Wisconsin-Stevens Point "Pointers"), and we've been toying with calling him "Cheese" due to the Wisconsin connection (and because it would be fun to yell at games).

Speaking of the Grim Cheeser, he followed Hill's script and sent them down in order in the second with two Ks to boot.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

We could also shout "blessed are the cheesemakers."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Marrero looks in great shape. In the Minor League camp he sticks out like a man among boys. After watching BP it was always clear when he was up just from the sound come from the field......Crack, Crack, nobody else hit the ball like that sound...I could always tell it was him just from the sound as I walked around 4 fields the all back up to each other.

In the field he is very slow. I watched him bunt and he had a ball end up at his took 3 kicks for him to get it out of the way.....I though he was going to fall down.

King does not seem coachable to me. He has coaches telling him all kinds of good stuff and none of it sunk in....made the same mistakes.....kind of like Milledge but King does not have that kind of talent.

Burgess looks like he needs to lose weight. Like a little D Young almost....not yet but I could see the trend.

It is hard work being a catcher in camp....always needing someone to catch and they seem to get short changed on their hitting time.

Posted by: JayBeee | March 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

#4 I agree that is the norm.....just think some outside of the box thinking would pay off here. Think if all hitting drills and terminology were the same from top to bottom. Same with pitching.......Powerful stuff compared to having GM pick these guys and have them report to a GM......makes no sense....GM should pick the expert and let him lead the effort. I know Jimbo would never have done that but Note to RIZZO....change the culture and empower Eckstein at least....he is so good at what he does it is scary!

Posted by: JayBeee | March 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"baseball in general, and Spring Training specifically, are mostly exercises in wasting time."

IOW, you have to sit on your ass and nod at stupid things. Man, that's hard to do. And if you don't, they'll [kip] you. And if you do, they'll [kip] you, too.

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 16, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Kearns, Wily Mo, and a few others haven't earned a spot IMO. They probably can't be traded either unless the Nats pick up most of their 2009 salary.

Tough decisions ahead.

Manny Acta has to put the best 9 out there and not put guys out there to showcase them for trades as was done with PLoD and Estrada last year.

This team when it shows it is commited to winning will build the fanbase based on curly "W's".

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | March 16, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to get tickets for the Nats/Braves here in the ATL second weekend in April,i'm catching h##l from my co-workers who are huge Braves fans, of course i'm reminding them of last years futility by the Braves versus the Nats they don't get any respect down here but i know that's all going to change and soon.I hope someone is staying on top of D. Young and his health not good to hear about his back,anyone monitoring his offseason workout or was there a plan?

Posted by: dargregmag | March 16, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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