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Nats Win! Nats Win!

Shairon Martis: Good.

"I thought that he was tremendous, other than that 3-2 changeup to Castillo that cost him a run, he was good," Manager Manny Acta said. "He's a guy that you can count that he's going to throw strikes. He's either going to get hit, or he's going to get them out. ... He's making it tough. He's competing, and that's one of the reasons why he was stretched today to four innings."

John Lannan threw five scoreless innings against a bunch of Nats major and minor leaguers in Viera, but the club really wanted to see Martis in this position. His line: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. He has now allowed one run in 11 innings pitched this spring, and has to be considered a contender for the fifth spot. (Anyone want to Guess The Rotation on my way out?)

The Nats came back with six in the top of the ninth to win 6-2. Justin Maxwell delivered the big blow, a pinch-hit, two-run homer. He opened up his stance before the game -- the stance he had in 2007, when he had some success in September in the majors -- after consulting with Rick Eckstein, who had gone back and looked at old DVDs. That helped.

Other stuff: Willie Harris went 2 for 4 with a walk. Brad Eldred, naturally, got a hit in his only appearance. Nick Johnson drew two walks. And relievers Justin Jones, Terrell Young, Jason Bergmann, Jesus Colome and Garrett Mock combined to allow just one run in five innings (charged to Young).

And with that, we put a bow on my stint in Florida. Enjoyed it immensely, and I have to get to cleaning up around here before Chico returns. (Kind of a neat freak, that kid.) Hopefully I'll help him out during the season sometimes when I'm not pulled away by the Redskins or golf or the Capitals or random trips to the Dominican Republic to track down kids who lied about their age and identities.

Until then, enjoy yourselves. And before Chico gets back here in the morning, please -- guess that rotation.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 14, 2009; 4:13 PM ET
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Next: A Departure, A Return


Well, that rotation is looking a little clearer:

1- Pedro Martinez-
b.- Kip Wells
iii- Gustavo Chacin
IV- Zach Day
* - Willie Harris

Well, perhaps instead I will go with
Lannan, Olsen, Cabrera, Zimmermann, Martis.

I figured the first attempt above was the only original lineup I could provide.


Posted by: kevincostello | March 14, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and yes, I would really, really love to put Hill in there, as much I like Martis. I just can't believe it.


Posted by: kevincostello | March 14, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Of course, with the Netherlands team nearly out of the WBC, there will be the opportunity to sign someone with a name like Hoop de Grootje or the like.


Posted by: kevincostello | March 14, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

But I'm monologuing at this point. I will stop now.


Posted by: kevincostello | March 14, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Eldred! Eckstein! Bullpen!!

We'll miss you, Barry. It was fun having you back for the week. Would be great if you can help out from time to time. (I'd leave at least one thing obviously out of place. Or hide it in a desk drawer, maybe.)

I will have to think on the rotation some. Going out Old School. I like it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 14, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I like your starting five, PHS, after looking at the roster (which JZ isn't on for some reason).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 14, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

cracked me up 1/2 st., your monologuing. Not alot of us hanging out here today, although I don't know why considering it's cold and rainy.


(I gotta stick with Hill. Martis has time).

Sniff. Bye Barry. (waves sadly)

Posted by: NatsNut | March 14, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Guess the five - Lannan, Martis, Olsen, J.Zimmermann, Cabrera.

1a1: JZ is still listed as an STI/non-roster player; someone will have to be waived to give him a roster spot.

Posted by: BinM | March 14, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

4)Armas Jr.



Posted by: wcapen | March 14, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

To the Blogfather - Thanks for all the fish this week; hope we didn't burn you up too much & hope to hear from you again on this beat.

Posted by: BinM | March 14, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JayBeee | March 14, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Hill, you know what would have been a completely novel thing to write about Barry? Anything BUT his injuries and pain.

How great it would be to see a post about Hill that never once mentioned anything remotely related to that stuff. Gawd knows he probably would have jumped for joy to answer a different question.

NOW I think of it....

Posted by: NatsNut | March 14, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info on JZ, BinM.

In that case, I'd go with Olsen, Lannan, Cabrera, Zimmermann, Martis.

That is a great post idea, NatsNut. Perhaps he could share his thoughts on lumberjacks. (Just kidding on the last part.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 14, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Hi Barry, and bye,

... I have to admit I do like your style. And I enjoyed reading your reports, sprinkled as they were by any number of personal viewpoints.

... it'll be good to have Chico back, to offer a different kind of reflection.

rotation (if the season started tomorrow):

Cabrera (cause they didn't bring him in to fail)
Zimmermann (cause who the hell could keep him out)
Martis/Balestar/Tavarez/Wells (whichever one likes the competition the most, and today that would appear to be Shairon.)

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 14, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

ooh ooh! Wait, Barry. Please ask Nick Johnson whether he's going to shave thunderbolts into his head again. Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 14, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Im going to predict the following opening day rotation:


End of season rotation:


I know its just spring training, but based on early results does that end of season group look like a big league rotation or what? Ah the promise of spring...

Posted by: HenryStin | March 14, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse


with Martis as the long reliever in the bullpen.

On Sept 4th at Nationals Park, Stephen Strasburg will be the starting pitcher.

Cabrera was only signed for 1 year anyway so Strasburg takes his place in the rotation.

The season ends with:


Posted by: dmacman88 | March 14, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

EDITORS: Washington Post home page link to Barry's McGeary story reads:

"Wise: Nationals Top Prospect on Course at AU"

McGeary is at Stanford.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 14, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: GoNats21 | March 14, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that one of the above posters has the fantasy 5 correctly notched. I'll just ditto the correct choice, whomever it is.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 14, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

All righty then - the team is approximately half-way through Spring Training, and still has 58+ players in camp. As of St.Patrick's day (3/17) here's my shot at the roster; Let's look at the pitching staff first...

Starters(40-man;STI): Nine players (Balester, Cabrera, Hill, Lannan, Martis, Olsen; Chacin, Towers, J.Zimmermann) positioning for five slots - Best guess at this juncture is Cabrera, Lannan, Martis, Olsen from the 40-man, & J.Zimmermann replacing O'Conner. Hill will go to the 15-DL to start the season, Towers will either go to SYR or be released; see Chacin referenced below.

Bullpen (40-man;STI): The Nationals' bullpen has seven slots open, with 20 players in camp (Atilano, Bergmann, M.Chico, Clippard, Estrada, Hanrahan, Hinckley, Mock, Rivera, Shell, T.Young; Colome, Glover, Jones, Ledezma, Sosa, Tavarez, Wagner, Wells). Chico is injured & will probably start the year on the 60-DL; Atilano should get optioned to HAR this week. Of the 16 remainding, here are the 'battle zones'...

LR- Chacin[STI], Tavarez[STI], Wells [STI]. Of these three, maybe Chacin 'makes the cut' to the final 25, replacing ???; At best, he's a place-holder until Chico is healthy.
MR- Clippard, Estrada, Mock, Shell, T.Young [all 40-man]; Glover[STI], Jones[STI]. Wide open competition for one, or possibly two slots.
SR/SU/CL- Bergmann, Hanrahan, Hinckley, Rivera [all 40-man]; Colome[STI], Ledezma[STI], Sosa[STI], Wagner[STI]. Hanrahan sould be the season-opening 'closer', with Bergmann & Rivera in two of the 'set-up' slots; That leaves five players in the mix for a single roster spot - still too early to call, imho.

While the starting staff seems to be sorting itself out, the bullpen is still in flux, with the final 12 pitchers going north TBD.

Posted by: BinM | March 14, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Sad to see ya go Barry, can't believe the WAPO is willing to let your journalistic talent sit in an empty parking lot in Ashburn waiting for the third string ball-boy to park in the owners spot.

Lets get this rotation down;

????? Those were the days!

Hill (till mid May)
Kip Wells to the rescue

Posted by: TippyCanoe | March 14, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Nats rotation in May 2012



Posted by: db423 | March 14, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I just went to Office Depot to buy my tax software for April 15th. I noticed a Washington Nationals 2009 calendar for sale. ($12.99) Among the players with full page photos were Jon Rauch, Chad Cordero, Dmitri Young, Wily Mo Pena, and Tim Redding. Wasn't even discounted.

Posted by: ramgut | March 14, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"He opened up his stance before the game -- the stance he had in 2007 ... "

In 2007, who was the the only player in Minor League Baseball to record at least 25 doubles, 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases?

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 14, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

nova_g-man - You must be talking about JMax aka Justin Maxwell!!!

Posted by: dmacman88 | March 14, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Farewell Barry! We will miss you.


Posted by: lowcountry | March 14, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Nats looking good in a horrible USA WBC game.

Hanrahan a nice inning of relief.

Dunn 2 for 3 so far including a double.

Saul Rivera for the Puerto Rican team came in relief in the 7th inning.

Posted by: dmacman88 | March 14, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I just noticed the result, as well. Puerto Rico wins 11-1, a mercy rule killing. Dunn is now hitting .556. Good stuff, ready for the season.

I suppose that the Dominican losing to the Netherlands softens the blow for any other favored team which loses, but that is somewhat shameful. And I thought I saw a mismatch when I took my 3 kids to watch the Harlem Globetrotters beat the Washington Generals tonight.


Posted by: kevincostello | March 14, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and ramgut-

It seems the calendar people must make the calendars before the trade deadline, or they are made in a country in a hemisphere where the international date line is particularly potent.


Posted by: kevincostello | March 14, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

halfstreet, do you suppose the Chinese printers pay much attention to the trade deadline? Me neither.

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 14, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

This is the rotation that I want:

Lannan - He's earned opening day
Cabrera - Most veteran righty to break up lefties
Olson - Don't pitch Lannan and Olson back to back
Martis - Lets find out if he's ready
Zimmermann - This team needs a savior

This is the rotation that I predict:

Hill - until he breaks down
Chacin - filler for the first two months

Posted by: natbisquit | March 14, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse


If it was on merit and ignored the fact that they are paying Cabrera over 2 mil., Martis would be the 5th starter and Cabrera wouldn't be there at all.

An early commenter suggested you leave something out of place for the incoming neat-freak. Personally, I think you should short-sheet the bed... make sure you take into account that he's short himself. :)

Posted by: dabagley | March 15, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Out like a lion, Barry.

We enjoyed it, too. Thanks.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 15, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

So long Barry - it's been great having you back for the past week. Enjoy going back to the Snydermen beat. At least it won't be too boring over there...I hear Danny's new $100 million man has been indicted on some traffic charges from an accident resulting in serious injury and could be looking at jail time.

Posted by: BGinVA | March 15, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

package nick and milledge for pitching. sign gibbons to back up dunn. willingham in left, dukes in center, hold your nose and put kearns in right.

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 15, 2009 2:43 AM | Report abuse

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