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A Little Dancing, And Then The News

Before we get to the usual assortment of cheerless/lamentable NatsTown news, let's start with some off-topic means for smiling. Like this video. A few fellow Fourth Wing Of Democracy types were laughing about it in the press box yesterday. Gotta say, it's six minutes well spent. If the two teams featured in this video can make the most of a five-hour rain delay, then I guess we can all find a rosy picture in the muck.

Also off-topic, though slightly less tangential. Newly-recalled Nat Mike MacDougal looks a lot like Class AAA starter Collin Balester. Though unlike Balester he doesn't have a blog. Honestly, when I walked into the clubhouse yesterday, I thought Balester had been promoted without warning. They have the same reddish mop, the same gangly build, the same three-day beard. First thing I said to MacDougal was, "You look like Collin Balester." He responded with a knowing smile, as if he'd heard little else since unpacking his bags. (He later said that, up in Syracuse, the team's kangaroo court fined Balester for "looking like Mike MacDougal.")

Anyway, that is the sunny-side-up news.

Now:

Stephen Strasburg is human. Or at least human enough to lose.

Jesus Flores had a setback, and will be visiting Dr. James Andrews on Monday.

Elijah Dukes is facing some legal entanglements.

The Nats have lost four in a row, and 13 of 15.

In some broad way, let me connect Flores, Dukes and the Nats' recent stretch of fruitless baseball. It's no coincidence that the offense has tailed since Flores and Dukes have been on the DL. Since May 19, the Nats' bullpen (3.31 ERA) has been just fine. The starting pitching has had a few five-earned run type of games, but nothing calamitous. But the offense? Sure, it's still solid 1-4, even 1-5 if Willingham is there. Still, Flores and Dukes help the continuity. Washington is trying to get by with Wil Nieves and Josh Bard behind the plate, which is alright until it happens for three weeks. Meantime, Justin Maxwell (in center) is 0-for-16 since coming up from Syracuse. Said Manny Acta after yesterday's game: "Well, we're having Dukes come up pretty soon, but right now we'll have to try some other alternative [for Maxwell]. Because he's very tentative. He's not even pulling the trigger and swinging the bat."

By Chico Harlan  |  May 30, 2009; 8:36 AM ET
 
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Next: Maxwell Demoted To Class AAA; Gonzalez Recalled

Comments

His name is Langerhans.....he will help for a week....just do it.

Posted by: JayBeee | May 30, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes I understand he would have to clear waviers when sent down and likely become a free agent and leave the team........so what...trade him at that point for whatever you can get and lets move on...This organization needs to be blown up and rebuilt in the off season anyway....Lanagerhands is not a piece they will need when the new GM and Manager get togather in October to plan for yet another 100+ loss season.

Posted by: JayBeee | May 30, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

5th season in progress and getting worse by the day. All news is badnews with these Natinals.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 30, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Now that the Nats are on pace to win 45 games and have a 5 & 1/2 game lead for worst record in MLB,who are the front runners for #1 overall pick in next years draft?

Posted by: edr04 | May 30, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I think a lot of this fire Manny talk comes from the fact that we haven't really heard anything definitive from the FO. Unless I missed it, I don't think Kasten or Rizzo have been asked or have really commented about Manny's job security in detail.

In the face of no news, arm-chair talk heats up.

I see Hurdle got canned. Just saying.

Would love to see Maxwell succeed but it's clear he needs time. He can be a part of the future so let him develop in the minors.

Langerhans can be a stopgap fill-in for now without jeopardizing his development. At least he can play defense.

Posted by: derwink | May 30, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

strasburg Ks 15 in the regionals and you guys think that saves the lerner's money? ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

she won't divorce because she wants a piece of dukes' next contract. childcare is expensive but sheesh. lawyers win again.

i doubt maxwell will ever be able to hit major league hitting enough to be a starter. i thought that has been the consensus for the past 3 years. he's not that young. he's a pure athelete but hitting is a skill. 4/5 outfielder tops. defensive substitute/pinch runner role at best.

Posted by: longterm | May 30, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Strasburg looked really good. The Learners better sign this guy!!!

Posted by: BT23 | May 30, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

You enter the game with the Langerhans you have, not the Langerhans you wish you had. Just stick Kearns in CF until Dukes gets back and be done with it. He can play CF, he's done it before. Side benefit: No excuse to not play Willingham.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 30, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I also would bring up Langerhans (never would have brought up Maxwell in the first place - I am not sure that he can ever be a starting OF in MLB, but I would at least give him 600 ABs at AAA first before deciding. He is old for a prospect, but injuries still have him short of the at bats that normal prospects get to see if they can turn the corner). I also would find a way to keep Langerhans the rest of the year and let him play CF occasionally, with Dukes going to right.

Here is a trade thought - forget the relievers. NJ for 1B Chris Davis of Texas (maybe we could get a low level prospect, too). Texas has a chance to win now, NJ is a vet who is hitting well and plays good defense. And the fact that they have no commitment to him beyond this year may actually be attractive to them, with Justin Smoak waiting in the wings. It would help if NJ projects to be a Type B FA so they get a pick when he leaves, but I doubt it. Davis is something of a rehab project. He is struggling mightily with BA and OBP this year, but hit reasonably well last year, is still slugging acceptably right now, is supposed to play good D, and is only 23 and under control for 4 more years.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 30, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Jaybee

It really is getting that way. Maxwell should still be playing but, in left or right. Having the the two staues in the outfield at the same time is no way to develop young pitching.

And given now the only youngster we are developing who isn't in the pitching staff is Maxwell, we need to placing the best defense we can behind them. Dunn/Willingham - Langerhans - Maxwell/Kearns is going to be a lot less demoralizing for the young pitchers. And will help the era's. Last night we could have saved 3 runs with a decent outfield.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 30, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

If you are looking for a CF Patterson is the man and he's starting to heat up.

Posted by: ecmdfan | May 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

ecmdfan wins the thread! great stuff!

wait, that wasn't supposed to be ironic?

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | May 30, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Patterson? No more ex-Orioles, please. Cintron and Cabrera were more than enough.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 30, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Maxwell needs more time, I think he isn't going to be a good ML hitter. Every time he has been promoted his numbers got worse. I know BA isn't great but here are his at each level the last 4 season:
Hagerstown - .301
Potomac - .263
Harrisburg - .230
Syracuse - .230
DC - .200

I have looked at quite a few All-Stars to see how they did in the minors and I've never seen this pattern in one of them. I think he needs to be at AA until he does well there. If he doesn't, that might be it.

Posted by: Avar | May 30, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Avar, if I may propse a variation on you good point. Trying out prospects there is a wide gap between 'hall of famer' and 'servicable major leaguer'.

Maxwell may be a waste, he might not. What he is, is 'worth a shot'. So leave him out there for a month or so. It's not like we are going to lose more games, and his defense is a major upgrade from anyone else (yesterdays snafu aside).

Either way we'll know more about our future than will Willigham playing.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 30, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

sorry, I meant 'with Willingham playing'.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 30, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Man, I really want some of this Maxwell Kool-Aid. I haven't had any, even on day one. The kid looks like a Corey Patterson through and through. I want to like him, but I just don't see that Major League killer instinct. Come on man, just swing the bat!

Posted by: Section506 | May 30, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

thanks for sharing that video, Chico.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 30, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

>His name is Langerhans.....he will help for a week....just do it.

A new low.

13-34. Suck on it and like it.

Posted by: Brue | May 30, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The video link is hilarious. I think my favorite part was the headless man.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 30, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Langerhans will be up to play 1B when NJ gets traded, if the Nats don't get another 1B in return.

Posted by: nats24 | May 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Only the Nats would take their best defensive outfielder and play him at 1B.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | May 30, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"Maxwell may be a waste, he might not. What he is, is 'worth a shot'. So leave him out there for a month or so."

I think Maxwell's worth a shot, too, which is why I think he should sent back down to the minors asap. He's not learning anything being completely over matched by major league pitching.

The guy hit .233 in AA last year, and .230 in AAA this year. He's just not ready for the majors.

Posted by: joebleux | May 30, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Thing is joebleux, how long can you keep him in the minors. He's the oldest 'prospect' we have. At some point he either has to cut it or not.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 30, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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