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Pregame Notes

It's pretty warm here in Mouse Land, but not much in the way of news. (To be honest, this place, and the whole Disney "Kingdom", makes me kind of ill, but that's a story for another day.)

I'll likely be writing about the bullpen situation for tomorrow, which will be difficult, considering its lack of clarity. The Nationals continue to think about Duaner Sanchez, but, amazingly, adding payroll may be an issue -- even if he were to make $1.2-$1.3-million. As for Sanchez's lack of velocity (88 mph) for the Mets, he said he didn't know he was competing for a spot, and he would have done more if he was aware of his perilous situation. Who knows?

Some items from Manny Acta prior to the game:

* Kip Wells: He will be used on the minor league side of camp for the foreseeable future, and if -- and only if -- he shows well over there will he be used in a major league game. Expectations appear quite low.

* Jesus Flores: He's "pretty close" to returning from his elbow problem, Acta said. Flores told me he'd like to play this weekend. Acta, who doesn't like to attach a date to anything lest we be disappointed when it doesn't happen, declined to be specific.

* Shawn Hill: "He passed his first test," Acta said, which was throwing on flat ground yesterday without pain. He's on target for his bullpen session tomorrow.

* Kory Casto: Remember, this guy is out of options. Where does he fit? It would seem like he doesn't, given Ronnie Belliard's presence here. But Acta praised his defense at third, etc. Would be interesting to see if anybody else picked him up if the Nats tried to send him down.

Braves lineup:

Josh Anderson -- 8
Jordan Schafer -- 9
Yunel Escobar -- 6
Casey Kotchman -- 3
Omar Infante -- 4
Martin Prado -- 5
Brandon Jones -- 7
David Ross -- 2
Jair Jurrjens -- 1

Do you want some in-game notes/updates? Do you?

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 12, 2009; 11:56 AM ET
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Next: Scoreless After One


Yes please!

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

Yes, please.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

As there are no Audio/Video options for this game (and the "live" boxscore is wonky at best), updates would be much appreciated.

Posted by: OldDude | March 12, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Barry, it's either you or SharePoint documentation. So yes, please feed us info.

Posted by: Section406 | March 12, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the much-needed commentary, Barry. Amazing, indeed.

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

"adding payroll may be an issue"

Uh-oh, here we go ....

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

The live box score is not yet in regular season form.

Also, Rally Penguin, anyone?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

""adding payroll may be an issue"

Uh-oh, here we go ....

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 12:22 PM"

Perhaps they'd rather add a guaranteed $1.2-$1.3M to the Strasburg/long-term Zim pool than give it to Duaner Sanchez, who apparently will only pitch all out if he thinks he has to compete for his job. You got a problem with that? Remember, it may only be a million or so. But a million here and a million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 12, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The point isn't whether Sanchez is worth $1.2 or $1.3 million, it's that the team evidently has interest in a player but is balking at paying a paltry sum to get him. I sure hope that's just a negotiating tactic. By my calculations the team added roughly $27 million in payroll this offseason, which looks pretty impressive until you consider that it also offloaded about $25 million (about 16 of which was locked up in Chad, PLoD and FLop). Meaning, we're probably still in the bottom five in the league in terms of aggregate payroll. Meaning, if we can't afford to add a veteran reliever at a bargain basement salary, it brings to mind a certain sound that a bird might make, and I'm not talking penguins.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, an opening for the Lerners ARE Cheap "discussion." Thanks Blogfather, we can tell you've been away for a while. Sounds reasonable to me, why spend over a million for bad performance when you already own bad performers making much less.

Yes, Barry, in game notes please. I can't work an entire afternoon without getting me some NJ.


Posted by: utec | March 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I doubt anyone would claim bat (yet), decent glove. In the corners, you'd really like to see the bat develop before you claim someone.

As for Duaner, just say no. I don't want to see a washed-up reliever who wants too much money and won't put up effort unless he's "on the bubble" per se on my team.

Posted by: iishoagie07 | March 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez at $1.3 Million? Would it really take that much?

Posted by: dfh123 | March 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

In-game notes - yes, please and thank you.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Barry: Did you think there was any chance we might say "no thanks"? :)

Posted by: JennX_ | March 12, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

" ... he (Duaner Sanchez)said he didn't know he was competing for a spot, and he would have done more if he was aware of his perilous situation...."

... would we really want someone with such a lack of wits on the team??

... just asking.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 12, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Good point, natscan.

And might that noise be "tweet," BobL?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Just in time for the first pitch, a link to the balky boxscore:

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I say no thanks to in-game updates. Instead I want a full scale Bollywood dance number from Barry at the end of the game.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 12, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Give up the deets!

Posted by: mjwies11 | March 12, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of penguins, this one has a pretty sweet swing:

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks BobL. I LOL'd.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

D-Cab sets them down in order in the first, after Jurrjens did the same to the Nats.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 12, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

aaaand, new penguin (or is that a duck?).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

So, I'm bored, there's no audio and the highlight of my day (aside from seeing the wife and daughter) is monitoring students while they struggle through a I was thinking--without getting into record prediction, what are the prospects for our Nats?

One of the ways back in my coaching days that we used to approach the season's opponents was fairly simple--did the opponent get better or worse (hard to quantify yes but not trying to be too Kippy (or nerdy) at this moment) compared to the last season.

What are your thoughts on the teams the Nats will face?
My quick analysis:
Mets (6-12 vs. Mets last year) Better. But they still stink!
Phillies (6-12) Slightly worse. still solid, not sold on another great year from Lidge and Moyer.
Braves (12-6. Really. The Braves stink too!) Worse. Good starting pitching, shaky bullpen. Just need to control Larry and McCann, rest of lineup does not scare me or Kip.
Marlins (3-14) Worse. No Jacobs or Willingham, lots of promise but they are beatable.

In my very simple analysis, it would seem the Nats can win some more games against the NL East.

Would be interested in hearing your views....about the NL East and the rest of the League.

Posted by: jfromPG | March 12, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera got a hit!?!?!?

What happened? I thought he was the least athletic human in the world?

Posted by: CluelessNatsFan | March 12, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Of course we need updates, silly question.

P/R - by my count (yes I keep a spreadsheet) they are at $55m assuming they complete the rotation and pen w/ min sal guys. No way that is the ceiling if they were willing to give Tex $12m more than they gave Dunn this year. Must mean he isn't worth it, with which I agree.

Posted by: Avar | March 12, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

AAAAAAAAAAAAAlllll-ba-trooooosss! Get yer new albatross!

Posted by: CEvansJr | March 12, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Two Good Humors please.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 12, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Daggone it! I carried backward instead of forward. Is that an NJ first?

Carrying forward for jca and CE (that's what I get for working instead of following the game):

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


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

What flavor is the albatross?

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

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 12, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

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