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Morning Reading [Update]

UPDATE: Read about the guy the Nats traded for WMP.

Dribs and drabs. I'll take another run later; it's meetin' time again.

Monday's opponent, the Florida Marlins, settled their roster Friday night.

Jon Rauch stunk this spring, but the Arizona Republic says he still keeps his job.

Speaking of former Nats, Gary Majewski will start the year at Class AAA Lehigh Valley.

Not that it's surprising, but Randy Johnson doesn't throw as hard as he used to, says the Chronicle. But he throws pretty well.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 4, 2009; 1:59 PM ET
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We're not likely to need the third catcher, of course. But Willingham will put the tools on if need be, in an emergency, as his knees and back are hurting, as you point out. But why keep three, when he can BE the emergency guy? It just makes no sense. Send someone down and call them back when DL times happen. But don't keep 3 of 25 around? Duh.

"Why are we keeping three catchers, again?"
Possibly for the following reasons; 1)- Bard & Nieves were in a near dead-heat statistically in ST, 2)- Nieves has been Lannan's "personal" catcher since Lannan came into the bigs, & 3)- Team Management is still not convinced that Flores' elbow is 100%.

Your game quote is 4-1/2 years old; Willingham has developed back problems since then that may preclude him being considered at Catcher.

Posted by: BinM | April 4, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 4, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I was trying to rationalise keeping three catchers.
I'd personally rather have seen the team keep Bard & Nieves, place Flores on the 14-day DL, option Gonzalez & keep Cintron up, but that's just me.

Posted by: BinM | April 4, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

ok, i understand; not trying to be difficult in re 3 catchers. you wanted cintron as SS? he was a plus replacement guy last year, but gonzalez's arm is just too good to send him down; a real gun from the hole.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 4, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I haven't done any research on this point, but it seems at least possible that one or both of Bard and Nieves are out of options; we might be more comfortable with the idea of losing Cintron than one of them.

Also, Bard can be viewed as a useful switch hitter off the bench, particularly from the left side where we can still use the help.

In theory, carrying three catchers at this point in the season is a bit silly. On this particular (unbalanced) team, however, I'm not sure it's a tragedy. A comedy? Perhaps. But then that's why it's good to have the Bard around, right?

Posted by: BobLHead | April 4, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Also, great to hear that Blogswell will be posting here more often. Too many scribes will not spoil the blog.

Posted by: BobLHead | April 4, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

the switch hitting is a real diference, true. bard was a welcome addition.

back to gonzalez at SS. with someone like martis who throws strikes, defense is ultra important, no? zim, gonzalez, johnson fit his approach? trust the defense. guz not so much, but he hits, obviously. so it's a long season. start the AG when martis is on the mound, then guz later?

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 4, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"2)- Nieves has been Lannan's "personal" catcher since Lannan came into the bigs,"

Nieves was Lannan's "personal catcher" for a while last year, yes. But not since Lannan came into the bigs. He wasn't even on the team when Lannan faced down Bonds in SF in '07, for instance. And I believe Manny ended the "personal catcher" thing late in the season last year, before Flores got hurt and by necessity Nieves started catching more often.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 4, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

All of this angst over keeping a third catcher vs keeping someone else is misplaced, because in two weeks they will need to activate Zimmermann to fill out the roster, and whoever is the 25th man today will be gone. Also, whenever Anderson Hernandez comes back from the DL, someone will have to go. So look at them keeping both Nieves and Bard as an extension of the spring training competition between them. In a couple weeks a decision will be made and they'll go with two catchers the rest of the season.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 4, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse


No argument, AGonz has a gun. The problem is, can he throw out anyone from the bench? CGuzman is the starting SS - I'd rather hear about AGonz tearing it up in SYR, than have him lose playing time behind CGuz; Cintron is "Inventory", but was slapping the snot out of the ball in ST.

Posted by: BinM | April 4, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Trading a marginal major leaguer for WMP wasn't such a bad gamble at the time. WMP did have a good stretch in 2007 and increased the Nats' scoring a bunch.

Posted by: utec | April 4, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse


Just looked at the update - Carter, at first blush, comes off a little like Sorano from "Major League", without the accent.

"Don't touch the bats, they're resting"
"Hats for bats - Jobu thanks you"

Can he hit a curveball? - that might be the difference.

Posted by: BinM | April 4, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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