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Off To Disney -- And The Lineup

Swung by HSCS before heading to Lake Buena Vista and the land of mouse ears to speak to Kip Wells and get y'all a lineup. Thank me later.

(This lineup is, by the way, subject to change, because some of these guys weren't on the original travel roster and Manny Acta is meeting the team over at the Braves' complex, so don't go writing this in indelible ink in your spring version of the Bob Carpenter scorebook.)

Guzman -- 6
Milledge -- 8
Zimmerman -- 5
Johnson -- 3
Kearns -- 9
Willingham -- 7
Hernandez -- 4
Montz -- 2
Cabrera -- 1

(Insert Flores and Dunn in there, and that's kind of a big league lineup.)

Kip Wells: Lots of breath to spend on someone with his numbers, but with Washington, anyone's arrival is news, and he really could make this team. Some notes from a brief conversation:

* He says he's healthy, that he was healthy at the end of last year and he threw well in the offseason.

* He doesn't think reuniting with Spin Williams will be that big of a deal, because at his age, he knows what he has to do mechanically (not that he always does it).

* He prefers to start, but knows he must accept whatever role they give him.

* And he admitted that, after he struggled with injury and performance, he lost confidence.

"At times over the last five years, my last few years in Pittsburgh after two-and-some-odd good years," he said, "I just kind of got weathered or had some arm injuries and this and that. once I left there, I was still kind of scarred, for lack of a better word."

Perhaps, finally, he's healing. We won't find out for a few days in game action, because the Nats are going to ease him in.

OK, am going to try not to type and drive. I'll check in from the Wide World of Sports with any pregame notes.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 12, 2009; 8:38 AM ET
 
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Next: Pregame Notes

Comments

Please don't type and drive, Barry. That would be, well, goofy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully he's a kipper ... he just needs to kip his pitches down ... if he gets some intial success he'll need to kip it up ... when he's ready to pitch hopefully the team will go out and win one for the kipper ... if things get tough he will need to kip on smiling ...

Posted by: natbisquit | March 12, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

newposted....

I can't believe the Nats don't have anyone else among their "inventory" of pitchers who couldn't be better than Wells. This guy is 29 games beloe .500 lifetime - 65-94 - with a career ERA of 4.67. He's only had two decent season in his career going 12-14 with a 3.59 ERA in 2002 and 10-9 with a 3.28 ERA in 2003 both with the Pirates. To counter those numbers he was 8-18 5.09 with Pittsburgh in 2005 and 7-17 5.70 with the Cardinals in 2007. Additionally, his lifetime WHIP is 1.52

Posted by: leetee1955 | March 12, 2009 8:58 AM

Posted by: leetee1955 | March 12, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Brilliant bisquit. Kip up the creative postings!

Posted by: jfromPG | March 12, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

leetee - the nats probably do have quite a few guys better in the inventory. What Wells does is give them the opportunity not to force guys. He's just another option. More than likely, he does not make the rotation. If he's in the bullpen, it will be to give other guys the opportunity to start or develop in Syracuse's bullpen.

Think of Martis and Mock as bread dough. If you rush it before it is ready to rise, cook it, you end up with Matzoh. Maybe 8 days of nourishment, but ultimately not something you want to as your main carb for life.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 12, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"(Insert Flores and Dunn in there, and that's kind of a big league lineup.)"

Make room for Dukes too, or you dead dawg.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 12, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

This morning Ernie Banks' 97 year old mother passed away.
What a wonderful gift she gave us.
This is not such a good day to play two.
Rest in peace Mrs. Banks your work here is done.

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 12, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

... we've had a good discussion about Kip Wells, and some of us have questioned the move. That, I can't understand.

... almost everyone of us - to a poster - has been calling for bullpen help and lo and behold, the Rizz went out and got some. And on top of that, he acquired someone who just possibly might be a fifth starter, or most certainly will be someone who could fill an empty space left by injury or whatever.

... for the life of me, I can't see any downside to this move.

... now, I'm willing to be corrected ...

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 12, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Love the matzoh analogy. Matzoh is fragile too. Cracks easily if you apply to much pressure to it.

Happy Yom Kip-per!

Posted by: ramgut | March 12, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Glass half-empty: Sweet...some washed-up has-been.

Glass half-full: SWEET! Some washed-up has-been!

Posted by: dclifer | March 12, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

natscan,

I agree with your thoughts on Kip.

Folks, it's mid March there really isn't much left out there, the shelves are kind of empty.

Any word from JayB on his misquoting of Lastings in the Washington Times story?

Posted by: Section505203 | March 12, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

> That probably comes from last year when Harris stated that he couldn't get Milledge to look at any video until late in the season. He also was showing up barely on time, and late in a few instances as the year wore on. Apparently he never showed up early.


Posted by: Brue | March 12, 2009 9:38 AM

Tell me, Brue. Would YOU have shown up early just so you could get a few more minutes watching video with Lenny Harris? "Nah, don't go fiddlin' with that button, boy. If you just stare at it for a while and put yourself in the right frame of mind, it'll start playin' eventually all by itself!"

Posted by: nunof1 | March 12, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

On the Kip signing, no harm done, "inventory" seems quite an appropriate word. He had a few decent seasons in 2002 and 2003 and could be a passable spot starter/mop-up guy for a middling team. If we're rooting for an "ip" to take this role though, my money's on Clippard. He's still just 24 and might still qualify as better than "inventory" one day.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Carrying over a question: Was it Milledge or Dukes who had a lateness issue last year?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I still say sign Pedro to an incentive-laden one year deal. He pitched pretty darn good in the WBC (reports were his fastball was at 92 and his off-speed stuff was pretty nasty). If he gets hurt or stinks, no big deal. If he's half as good as he used to be, that's still about 75% better than everyone else we have on the roster. And we could move him at the deadline to a competing team for a propsect or two. I really don't see much downside to signing him.

Posted by: erocks33 | March 12, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"Carrying over a question: Was it Milledge or Dukes who had a lateness issue last year?"

I think they both did, once or twice each. But God forbid you should ever be late for work, even if it's only 1% of the time or less, and you serve your punishment whenever you do transgress. You're scarred for life, regardless.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 12, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I do appreciate JayB's having provided us with the source along with his take on the piece.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

No, it was Milledge. He got sat out of a game because I guess it happened one too many times.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 12, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, nunof, I remembered about Dukes but not Milledge.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

This CRACKED me UP!!!

********************

Glass half-empty: Sweet...some washed-up has-been.

Glass half-full: SWEET! Some washed-up has-been!

Posted by: dclifer | March 12, 2009 9:41 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | March 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I am not usually one to agree with JayBee, but on the other hand I am on record as wondering whether Lastings is one of those "just happy to be here" guys that tries to skate by on talent alone, as opposed to continued hard work. I would like to be proven wrong for wondering that, the sooner the better.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

This is the Dukes item that I was thinking of:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2008/08/dukes_update_1.html

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

Found an item on Milledge, too:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2008-04-24-1279318553_x.htm

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It's not a big league lineup with Kearns hitting 5. Or anything for that matter.

Posted by: RickFelt | March 12, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"No, it was Milledge. He got sat out of a game because I guess it happened one too many times."

No, both Milledge and Dukes got sat each and every time they were late. As Manny said at the time, he only has a couple of rules and being on time is one of them.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 12, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I am assuming that to fit Dunn and Flores in 2 players come out -- one being Kearns.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | March 12, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Dukes and Milledge have No Time Toulouse!

All this team needs now is a 66-foot high penguin.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

BobL, your penguin reference = over my head and to the backstop.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If anyone's a little nostalgic for butt jokes....

http://tinyurl.com/bna4zg


Posted by: NatsNut | March 12, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

thanks to natbisquit and dclifer for their light touch contributions. loved them. more.

i did not follow the team the last few years. who are the character guys, the "makeup" guys on the team? these kinds of players always seem so hard to come by, among the crowd of prima donnas? so willingham, yes, but who else? and who are the troublemakers? scott olsen, yes, but who else?

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 12, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Great minds think alike, NatsNut. In addition to the Baseball Insider piece to which you linked, the Bog has an interesting piece on the Dutch baseball team from a fan's perspective.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I know i'm not the first person on this blog to broach the subject of Pedro Martinez this is a guy who could have something left in the tank and could lend some pitching experience to a young staff and might be good for 8-12 wins, WHY NOT? I mean what could it hurt? give him a shot its not like we're rich with pitching having a guy like Pedro could also sell some tickets. Any thoughts?

Posted by: dargregmag | March 12, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

To my ears and eyes, the character guys on the Nationals include Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman, Wil Nieves, Austin Kearns, John Lannan, Joel Hanrahan, and Willie Harris among others. Dmitri Young was extolled for his leadership in 2007, but his own health issues have subverted his position of leadership. I think by some measures Belliard is considered a good presence on and off the field, but I'm less certain of that. I think Guzman is a quiet lead by example guy, but language and being an introvert seem to tamp down his leadership skills. Milledge is not generally refered to as a leader, but his youthful enthusiasm on the field, after scoring, after wins, etc.... seems to take center stage often. I predict that he will be a leader on some team (hopefully this one) later in his career.

Who'd I miss?

Posted by: natbisquit | March 12, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Manny Acta. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

1a, I recommend a visit to the No Time To Lose Advice Center.

"The story of the wild and lawless days of the post-Impressionists."

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

If Pedro Martinez was willing to take a non-guaranteed minor league deal like Kip Wells did, the Nats would probably sign him. But I seriously doubt that Pedro is willing to take such a deal, even if it's the only option left available to him. And there's no reason the Nats need to sign Pedro to any kind of guaranteed deal so that he can take their money while he figures out if he can still pitch.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 12, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Signing Kip = Going to the Wells once too often?

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

... as for Pedro, I'll say this. If he arrives onto the roster - by hook or by crook - and acquits himself admirably (or even passably) I'll be a happy Nats camper.

... but until he arrives, I'll continue to say 'no' for the simple reason that he has proven himself all along to be a pain in the clubhouse, and quite frankly we don't need any more of those. The Nats are on the cusp of breaking through to the next rung on the MLB ladder; we don't need to keep going down that road any longer - unless absolutely necessary.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 12, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

This is not complaint but a question. Why does it appear that Acta has awarded the center field position to Milledge while all the other outfielders fight for the two corner positions. From what I saw last year, Dukes is a better center fielder. You might have a stronger, outfield both defensively and offensively, with Dukes playing center and Milledge either sitting or playing a corner position. Thoughts anyone?

Posted by: mjames0 | March 12, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Ah, thanks, BobL. I forgot that one. It's almost as good as the Argument Clinic. (No, it isn't!)

Also, you're on a roll today.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

mjames, thank you. This is EXACTLY my question. Seriously, of all those guys Milledge is the lock? Somethin' really fishy about that.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 12, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Dukes and Milledge have No Time Toulouse!
All this team needs now is a 66-foot high penguin.
Posted by: BobLHead

BobL, your penguin reference = over my head and to the backstop.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 "

If you've not seen the British Comedy Troupe/Series "Monty Python's Flying Circus", and indeed this particular episode, that reference would be a bit obscure. Quite funny if you have, though.

Posted by: shygaard | March 12, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree MJames. I think a Dunn/Dukes/Willingham outfield with Nick at first seems like a more potent lineup. I think as the season progresses we may see that. I'm not sold on Lastings Milledge, he is AVERAGE, at best, in the field, and remains to be seen at the plate.

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

New Penguin.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, shygaard. I'm familiar with Monty Python but didn't make the connection to that skit. BobL's clue got me there.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Natsfan1a1 - since you are something of a bird watcher, and the Nats play on an estuary, do you suppose we will see an Albatross vendor at Nats Park?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 12, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

What flavor is the albatross?

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 12, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Better that than a deceased parrot, I suppose. I'm hoping for a phoenix at the ballpark this year, though.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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