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Attn: Scott Olsen Fans (And Some Reading)

Olsen was supposed to show up at the ESPN Zone (on the corner of 11th St. NW and E St. NW) at noon today for a Q&A with fans. But Olsen, who is headed for the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis, has also been scratched from his appearance. Jordan Zimmermann will take his place.

Here are a few more links, while we're at it...

The game story from yesterday.

Boswell's column.

Detwiler isn't the only Ross pitching tonight.

Nats Class A catcher Derek Norris lands on Baseball America's weekly prospect hot sheet. (Also, note the Brad Eldred reference lower on the page.)

The Pirates, in town for a four-game series, scored 10 runs in the seventh yesterday.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 18, 2009; 10:28 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup

Comments

Boswell still milking the whole Natinals thing for all it's worth, long after its expiration date. Wonder why he didn't do the same with 30-3 a couple of years ago.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

JZimm for Bobo: What an upgrade.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 18, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

tom bzwell is at it again.

Posted by: longterm | May 18, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Here's a question for the baseball fundamentals experts in the room. This has been bothering me since I witnessed it yesterday from the lower right terrace: On the bunt play in the 8th in which Hernandez dodged the throw from Colome rather than catching it, both runners scored, and the batter ended up on 3rd base. This was because Dunn took an extremely long time to track down the errant throw. It sure seemed to me watching from above that he didn't even start running for the ball until after Hernandez missed it. Isn't the rightfielder's job on that play to back up first base? Granted he was starting from right center because he was shading the batter that way, but if he started running when the ball was bunted he might have saved that second run.

I ask this not to dump on Dunn, who made a circus catch in the game that may never be repeated, and whose power and batting eye are a huge improvement over last year's cleanup hitters, but to call attention to yet another fielding fundamental that the Nats seem to have missed. Our pitchers seem to know where to go on flyballs with men on base, shouldn't our outfielders know where to go on bunts?

Posted by: Section222 | May 18, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Truth is, Olsen found out the ESPNzone was no smoking.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 18, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

You know the real reason Anderson Hernandez missed that throw yesterday? He caught a glimpse of Dick Cheney sitting in the stands. That's enough to give anyone the yips.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

222, Dunn should indeed back up that throw. Looking at the replay, it's pretty clear he didn't get over there at the start of the play.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 18, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

BTW I suggested last night trading Nick Johnson for some bullpen arms. Well it seems the Mets Carlos Delgado is gone. So they are gonna need a first baseman. Hit the phones Rizzo. Oh and the Yanks could use a catcher (Nieves). Get on it.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 18, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

What is wrong with Hernandez? he and Gonzalez were supposed to be these defensive super-stars? Players are really regressing on defense with us. It's seems like a similar regression that hitter have had with us under the hitting-coach-who-shall-not-be-named.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 18, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"He's really a 2 pitch guy at this time and that's not enough at this level. In a perfect world he would be in AAA working on that."

This comment about Jordan Zimmermann struck me as different from what all the scouts say (three and a half, because his change up is a little too fast). Anyone know the answer?

Yeah, Dunn in right field is an atrocity, but I really like the way the guy tries, despite himself.

Posted by: Section506 | May 18, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Look at the replay: the ballgirl was actually running to the ball faster than Dunn was. Dunn is entitled to loaf; he made his one-handed catch for the day.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 18, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

i first thought hernandez missed it because zimmerman appeared to pick the ball up and then followed through with a throwing motion to first.

hernandez looked like he was getting out of the way of the runner and didn't notice the ball til it was past him. strange play but definitely AH's fault.

right field should back up first base. i was surprised he got to third also.

can detwiler throw strikes? i forget.

Posted by: longterm | May 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

DO NOT TRADE NICK JOHNSON FOR BULLPEN ARMS, THE MOST UNRELIABLE COMMODITY IN ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.

It's not worth 10 more wins this season, it's really not. Trade him for 300 more wins over the next decade.

Posted by: Section506 | May 18, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

222's question made me go back and view the highlights again from yesterday's game. People, including Dibble, want to harp on pitch selection when criticizing the Nats' strategic moves. I don't totally disagree with that, but look at the highlights:

1st: Zimmermann is supposed to throw a breaking ball down and away on 2-2 to Werth, and misses by about six inches up so Werth pokes it into center. Not a terrible pitch but just not quite where he wanted.

Still in the 1st: Dibble points out they need to let Zimmermann throw the fastball by people with two strikes. Now facing Victorino, he does throw a fastball on 3-2, but instead of down and away, it's up and over the plate. Double.

4th inning: 2-2 pitch to Rollins. It's supposed to be a fastball down and away, instead it's down and up and Rollins just punches it into LF.

4th inning: 2-0 pitch to Utley. The target is down and in (a great idea, in my opinion, against Utley) but the pitch is up and Utley doubles to tie up the game.

8th inning: Beimel pitching, the target is low and away, he throws it low and in, and Bruntlett doubles.

Not once did the pitcher hit the target and when they missed, the ball ended up in a hittable spot and (surprise) got hit.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 18, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The ballgirl was closer to the play than Dunn was. But she should have been running away from a ball in play, not toward it. Clearly, the ballgirls need to be taking infield before every game.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The BA article also notes Detwiler's performance last week and this year. More Ks than innings pitched, 3:1 K/BB ratio. It'll be interesting to see if he can show something tonight. However, I'm not sure I force feed him beyond one start. His reward should be a promotion to AAA when we call up a Syracuse pitcher for the bullpen tomorrow. Then a roster move to add Stammen or Martin for the next start (someone has to go off the 40 man to do so).

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 18, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Add to DoveLevine's to-call list for Rizzo:

The Giants badly need corner outfielders. Take your pick, jints: Kearns, Willingham, and we'll even throw in Alex Cintron, The Bard and Belly-hard for that young second baseman of yours. Or all the above.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 18, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

And jca, don't forget a 1.407 WHIP for Detwiler, which is higher than league average in the Eastern League.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 18, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Acta is at fault for the poor fundamentals on display day after day. Dunn did not play any RF in Spring Training and did not play much 1B....yes the whole WBC thing but he had time before and after that to work at RF and 1B and he did not. Acta was way to laid back in Spring Training. I was there for a week and Acta had decided over the winter who would make the team and where they would fit. A far cry from having people compete for jobs and making performance count. This is the story of this year’s team. Acta is a Single A manager or a MLB base coach at best. When he gets fired then the team will be making progress until then I am turning it off. I already turned in all the tickets I can on my season ticket plan for games in July - September.....I'll the Nats a second look then.....See ya

Posted by: JayBeee | May 18, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Ouch, Boz. Ouch.

-----

Or maybe Hernández was just shocked to see a Nats reliever throw a strike.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 18, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"You know the real reason Anderson Hernandez missed that throw yesterday? He caught a glimpse of Dick Cheney sitting in the stands. That's enough to give anyone the yips." [section417planD]

------

that may be true, but he just got word that Nancy Pelosi read Chico's story about his reason for missing the ball ("I didn't see it") and is saying publicly that she was mislead by Hernandez's statement.

She also thought her husband was going to buy her a diamond ring for Mother's Day but all she got was a necklace. She is very upset, saying she was mislead by her husband.

Posted by: rushfari | May 18, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson should not be traded for relief pitching but he does need to be traded. He is not going to re-sign, nor should want to, and it would appear we aren't going to make a run at the play-offs this year.

Ronnie Belliard should be traded for relief pitching. Or Kearns.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 18, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"I already turned in all the tickets I can on my season ticket plan for games in July - September.....I'll the Nats a second look then"

Be prepared to still see Manny Acta managing then, because he will be.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Guys, can we keep the political editorials out of here? There are plenty of other blogs on WaPo that froth at the mouth for these things.

Posted by: swang30 | May 18, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Be prepared to still see Manny Acta managing then, because he will be.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 11:29 AM

Why.....has he earned it.....is he effective...does the team respond to him....I really want to know....why will Acta ba the manager instead of say Art Howe or Bob Melvin or Jim Riggleman? So many other people have proven they can let a team....what has Acta proved?

Posted by: JayBeee | May 18, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Why will Acta still be managing then? Simple. There is nothing to be gained by firing him during the season. The DBacks just fired whatshisface and replaced him with AJ Hinch. How's that one working out?

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Be prepared to still see Manny Acta managing then, because he will be.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 11:29 AM

That would be depressing as hell.

Posted by: RickFelt | May 18, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"That would be depressing as hell. "

In the words of Joey Eischen, you can suck on it and you can like it.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I like Joey Eischen actually. I wish Acta would be that assertive once in a while.

Posted by: RickFelt | May 18, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Acta is as assertive as Joey Eischen. A lot. Just that it's in the locker room, where you and I and even Tom Boswell never get to see it. Which actually is as it should be. There's nothing to be gained by Acta taking off the head of Chico Harlan or some other reporter who dares to stand up to him and demand accountability, as all you blowhards want to see. Although I agree with you, it would be quite entertaining to watch. Just ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Does Manny Acta show some talent at picking the hot bat off the bench....Alex Cintron? Does Acta show some skill at finding the right pitcher in the pen or when to take out a starter....currently Acta manages by the numbers...100 pitches and you are out......Do Acta teams show good defense....two years in a row they have led the NL in errors......So please tell me.....why will Acta be the manager in July?

Posted by: JayBeee | May 18, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@JayBeee

axta is at fault because he is more appeaser than leader of men. willingham is hitting fairly well, but axta keeps sticking kearns in the lineup to suck up at bats. young pitching needs consistent defense to make plays. if you're going to keep spotting kearns, then trade willingham who is less defensively proficient. when willingham and dunn flank dukes it's cover your eyes time each time a ball is hit to right or left. axta keeps spotting belliard at second base even though when he and guzman are in the middle infield they have as much combined range of Sec3's sofa further sabotaging the pitching. until someone inthe rront office realizes that defnse counts for something and stop collecting DH-types who take away defensively what they contribute with the bat, as leetee says this will remain the island of misfit toys.

Posted by: surly_w | May 18, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Manny won't be fired because the Lerners don't want to pay two general managers and two managers simultaneously.

Posted by: leetee1955 | May 18, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

ABM...you have a new screen name....how rare.

Posted by: JayBeee | May 18, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

For everyone clamoring for the Nats to trade Kearns or Willingham or Belliard or Nieves or Nick for bullpen arms ... it ain't gonna happen. No team in their right mind will give the Nats any useful player for those guys. Nick would be the only useful everyday player for a contender, but he comes with a hefty price ... his health. And no team will trade any useful player for a chance that Nick will be healthy for the rest of the year. I think any team that wants him will just wait until the end of the season when his contract is up and try and snag him via free agency.

As for Kearns/Belly/Nieves/Willingham, well these are all replacement-level players, at best! And these can be found anywhere and usually at a much cheaper cost.

So unless the players the Nats have suddenly figure it out, where the starters can go beyond 5 or 6 innings and the bullpen can get some 1-2-3 innings, then this is the team we're stuck with this year.

Posted by: erocks33 | May 18, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure if a deal this good were available, it would have been made a long time ago. This might be slightly overvaluing NJ.

---
DO NOT TRADE NICK JOHNSON FOR BULLPEN ARMS, THE MOST UNRELIABLE COMMODITY IN ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.

It's not worth 10 more wins this season, it's really not. Trade him for 300 more wins over the next decade.

Posted by: Section506 | May 18, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | May 18, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If Jordan Zimmermann can make it through the 1st inning with no runs he will win a lot of games!

So much potential there and a killer breaking pitch!

Posted by: dmacman88 | May 18, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

You are likely right, nervousnatsfan. Other teams recognize his injury history. Not that that means aw, what the heck, just trade him for bullpen guys! You've still got to try to get something young and talented.

Posted by: Section506 | May 18, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

At least Acta knows how to fill out a lineup card. Joe Maddon screwed his up yesterday and the Rays were forced to bat their pitcher - in the third spot - as a result, while Longoria was on the bench. Hilarious!

Posted by: BGinVA | May 18, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What I meant earlier was Zimmerman seems to be throwing 2 pitches - fastballs and breaking balls right now (and not commanding them very well). He certainly has at least one other in his skill set and can also work on his change. Promoting him from AA was a mistake - he needs more development, and the Nats can't afford to make mistakes with their young pitching.

Posted by: bendersx6 | May 18, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

As far as J-Zimms first-inning woes, Dibble said that the Yankees tried having Joba Chamberlain (who also had first inning problems) throw a simulated first inning in the bullpen beforehand so when he got in it was like it was already the 2nd inning. And he said it seemed to work for Joba.
Couldn't hurt.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 18, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, trade Nick for 300 more wins over the next decade! Wow, if we can get 30 games a year for an injury prone contact hitting first baseman we absolutely have GOT to make that deal. Sweeeet!!

And while were at it, let's trade Kearns for 200 wins; Belliard for 100 wins; and Cintron for a mild case of herpes.

Posted by: natbiscuits | May 18, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Got it, benders. I think you're right, I just don't think the Nats have any other choice right now. I'm terrified of wasting his talent.

Posted by: Section506 | May 18, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

sorry. that might have been a bit snarky....

Posted by: natbiscuits | May 18, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Acta has been spotting Belly in place of AH lately because AH ain't hitting.

So far this month, AH's line has been .238/.319/.238.

Belly's not been much better (.240/.269/.480) but at least he gives a better chance of knocking the ball out of the park.

And maybe it's just me, but I think most of Cintron's PH's have come early in the game (5th or 6th inning) and usually with none on and two outs. I'd rather see him in this situation than using someone that might be able to drive in runs later in the game. And the way this offense has been playing, there is a better chance of a Kearns or Willingham or Belliard pinch-hitting with runners on base in innings 7 thru 9. Still, Cintron needs to go. He does suck.

Posted by: erocks33 | May 18, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Amusing, natbiscuits

Posted by: Section506 | May 18, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

moving on to the other zimmerman (rockin it one-"N" stylie), some nice statistical info on ryan's streak and his development as a hitter this year from hardball times (via rob neyer).

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ryan-zimmerman-has-arrived/

Posted by: sec231 | May 18, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It's never too early to start planning for next year. Next years top free agents:

http://bases.newsvine.com/_news/2009/05/13/2814111-top-100-free-agents-nos-10-1

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 18, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Joe Maddon has an AL Pennant under his belt. Manny's last championship was when again? Oh, that would be ... never.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 18, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Can someone remind me why Cintron is on the team? I'm not being sarcastic, I really don't follow the logic. And yeah, I think Boswell shd can the "Natinals" stuff. Not witty and not constructive.

Posted by: Section109 | May 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Okay I'm done with Acta!

I'm a season ticket holder that goes to "almost" every game. I have given Acta as many excuses as I can, I can't give him any more.

He can't be blamed for the bullpens crappyness. But...

He makes the following mistakes, tell me if you agree:

1 - The defensive mistakes are too many for a pro team. I've heard from other sources that he doesn't make the team do defensive drills - WHY? Clearly they need them!

2 - He knows his bullpen is bad, yet he still takes out his starters on "schedule" as if he had a "normal" bullpen. I know it's important not to let a young player blow out their arm, but come-on, one more inning please!

3 - He pinch hits for a bullpen pitcher that is doing well!!! Why? The one out the good pitcher is likely to make at the plate is a hell of a lot better then the 3 runs the next pitcher is going to let in! Again he treats these decisions like he has a "normal" bullpen.

Okay - I've vented - I feel better now.

Posted by: anyone1 | May 18, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

How about Friday night, where Manny used five pitchers to get four outs in the 6th and 7th innings? He's way too quick to pull the trigger, and you can't do that, especially early in a game. Extra innings are killing us this year, and that's why we're winless (I believe) in extra frames - Manny exhausts the bullpen way too early. He's got to manage the bullpen with the thought off possible extra innings in his mind every single time.

Posted by: BGinVA | May 18, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"How about Friday night, where Manny used five pitchers to get four outs in the 6th and 7th innings?"

I don't blame Manny for that. I blame the five pitchers who couldn't get anyone out.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

CiL - MiLB.com has his WHIP at 1.39, which looks right around league average. Baseball-reference has 1.407. B-Ref also seems to have a higher ERA than what everyone else has. Their math looks wrong. 9 runs in 27.1 innings is 3.00 that they have. That 1.39 is right around league average (actually notch below, if you trust BR's league average). Not fair to say he's appreciably off league average either way. So, back to K:BB of about 3:1, and the Ks > IP. You agree that's promising, right? Small sample.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 18, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

""How about Friday night, where Manny used five pitchers to get four outs in the 6th and 7th innings?"

I don't blame Manny for that. I blame the five pitchers who couldn't get anyone out.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse "
---------------
Well, a double switch either when he put in Mock or Villone would not have required him to immediately pinch hit for the pitcher who got the 3d out in the 6th. That was questionable at the time.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 18, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I give up...reading all this negative stuff is making my eyes bleed.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 18, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Well, a double switch either when he put in Mock or Villone would not have required him to immediately pinch hit for the pitcher who got the 3d out in the 6th. That was questionable at the time."

I'm surprised anyone would be complaining about a missed Cintron opportunity.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

dclifer97,

Rick Ankiel -- at #9 -- could simultaneously upgrade our outfield and bullpen. Let's get him!

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 18, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@anyone1: You are correct. Manny has a plan (sound familiar) and he sticks to it, come hell or high water. Using eight (!) pitchers Friday night, the night before a scheduled doubleheader, was completely asinine. He does it because he saw Joe Torre (or, more likely, Willie Randolph, his mentor) do it in New York and it might have worked. He doesn't bunt, ever, because he's waiting for the three-run homer. He's totally inflexible. As has been noted, Thrilledge was his leadoff man and CF, no competition. Kearns is still in the picture despite years of non-production. Cintron is still his first PH off the bench because ... oh, yeah, because that's the way it is. His defense sucks because ... well, we don't practice it. The media asks anything and his pat answer is "It's a long season." Hey, Manny, you're 11-and-25. As Yogi sez, "It gets late early."

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

>Okay I'm done with Acta!

I'm a season ticket holder that goes to "almost" every game. I have given Acta as many excuses as I can, I can't give him any more.

This is clarity. These are the people I feel bad for. I've got a buddy who can't give his tickets away. Although, he's loaded so I don't feel all that bad for him. He gave me a diamond club ticket on OD that was comped by one of the banks he deals with. Maybe he can comp Manny a one-way ticket to the Dominican Republic. Write it off! Write Manny off!!

Posted by: Brue | May 18, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Time to trade anyone we can for top "prospects"

Trade Nick Johnson to the Mets for (WAIT A MINUTE THE METS DON'T HAVE ANY IMMEDIATE PITCHING PROSPECTS!!!!) Did you see their bullpen over the last 2 years? You will have to look at Brad Holt (Class A) and Jenrry Majia (Class A) and\or Bobby Parnell and maybe negotiate Johnathon Niese (not great, but young 23 and in MLB)

Regardless I wouldn't trade NJ unless I got a couple of pitching prospects in return, and they would have to probably be relatively young to be from the Mets because their AAA Buffalo Bisons team is GOD AWFUL!!!

Posted by: PNatsFan | May 18, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@Section109: Cintron is on the team because he has pictures of Manny. No, seriously, Cintron was called up when Gonzalez imploded with six errors. Apparently there is no other backup shortstop in the world other than Cintron. Can we get Jamey Carroll back, at least as a bone to the dwindling season ticket base? Hell, at this point, I'd die for Royce Clayton right now. Any votes, Clayton vs. Cintron?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | May 18, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"This is clarity. These are the people I feel bad for. I've got a buddy who can't give his tickets away."

I'm sure that was his intent when he bought them, too - to give them away. Such a charitable dude.

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually I believe the stated reason for Cintron being up instead of Gonzales is that they want AG to play every day rather than sit on the bench waiting for PH opportunities and the odd spot start. Same reason they sent Maxwell back down when Dukes came back off the DL. The reasoning makes sense. The only flaw in it is that Cintron sucks. He's this year's Robert Fick, who was the year before's Nook Logan. Or was it the other way around? I'm trying to forget...

Posted by: section417planD | May 18, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"He's way too quick to pull the trigger, and you can't do that, especially early in a game."

He's also been accused of being way too slow to pull the trigger. In my opinion, he's just pulling an ineffective trigger.

Posted by: Section506 | May 18, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Or ineffectively pulling the trigger.

Posted by: RickFelt | May 18, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The Mets are mentioned above as an obvious destination for Nick Johnson. This, of course, is because Omar Minaya loves all of our players.

The Mets do, in fact, have prospects and the most likely candidates would be young less-MLB-ready ones, as I'd imagine Omar M would not like to part with any who can be useful this "win-now" year. (meaning: someone like Niese)

http://www.ddmetsfanblog.com/2008/11/top-15-mets-prospects.html

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2009/267929.html

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 18, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2009/268080.html

A recent Q/A regarding soon to be draftees.

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 18, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It might be time to rethink the Nats' policy that the most cost-effective way to build the bullpen is to hire discards of the other MLB teams. Joe Biemel is the lone exception to the Nats' strategy, since he cost over $2 million. But the others are cost-effective rejects, for the most part.

Taking high-priced talent off the hands of other clubs is one way to build the pen, in off-season trades. Signing guys as free agents in addition to Biemel would be another way. Still another would be to invest more in the draft (sometimes paying over slot for live arms) and in international youngsters and vets.

All of these options cost money. However, there are two sides to the cost-effectiveness equation. By investing in talent, you get hurt in the "cost" part of the equation. However, the "effectiveness" part is boosted. It might be worth a try, to see which side of the equation the Nats may like better.

Posted by: EdDC | May 18, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

don't forget, free agents decide where they want to play.

Posted by: longterm | May 18, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

longterm,

Whoops, I did forget that a few of the free agents respond poorly to good monetary offers.

On the other hand, if you do build a winning team, free agents are more likely to want to play here.

Posted by: EdDC | May 18, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

if the destination is considered bad, it will take more than "good" monetary offers to get them to go there.

Posted by: sec231 | May 18, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Draft smarter.
Trade smarter.
Sign smarter.
Develop smarter.
Play smarter.

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 18, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

GAH!!!

Tom Boswell. I said this after your last article. The "Natinals" joke was old THEN.

I love you to death, but it's O-L-D. There are PLENTY of newer jokes to be had at the Nationals expense. Move on, man.

Posted by: NatsNut | May 18, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

jca, I will stipulate with you that Detwiler is at, or close to, league average WHIP for the EL. But even so, if that is the definition of a Nats prospect for us to get excited about, that is rather sad. Then I look at the minor league #s for some of the guys your Sox, to cite just one example, have had come up or have coming up, and it is downright depressing.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 18, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Think smarter?

Posted by: Section506 | May 18, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

A little food for thought for those with the axe out for Manny, from Tom Verducci at SI.com, talking about Ron Gardenhire, the Twins manager generally regarded to be one of the best in the game:

"After the Twins' Matt Tolbert popped out to catcher on a 2-0 pitch in the eighth inning of Minnesota's latest defeat to the Yankees (their 22nd in 25 games in the Bronx), manager Ron Gardenhire had a little chat with Tolbert. Gardenhire told Tolbert, "We need base runners, son.''

This discussion, according to Twins people, occurred right in front of Carlos Gomez. Yet, it didn't prevent Gomez from doing the very same thing two innings later. With a 2-0 count Gomez popped out to first base. This caused Gardenhire to throw his hands up. His Twins teams, feisty and scrappy as they are, are impossibly bad and unclutch in Yankee Stadium, both old and new.

The Twins are known for playing smart baseball. But they are young, and they aren't themselves when they play at Yankee Stadium. The problem, according to Gardenhire, is that he still is "trying to get them to understand the game of baseball.''

By day's end he was telling writers this wasn't going to happen again, and telling his third base coach, Scott Ullger, that they weren't going to leave it up to their young players anymore. Gardenhire was going to make the call from the bench. "From now on, we're just going to stick out a finger, whatever it takes'' to get them to take, Gardenhire said."

Sounds like Manny isn't the only manager struggling to get his players to do the right thing on the field.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 18, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

baltova1, it sounds like you just gave us more information about what Gardenhire does in the dugout than anything we've ever heard about Manny doing. I think this is part of the problem--we know that Gardenhire tries, just based on what you relayed here. We don't know the same about Manny. What we do know about the Nats is what we can see--the crappy fundamentals and results, repeated over and over and over again, while Manny stands there in the dugout like a statue.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | May 18, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: BGinVA | May 18, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The Twins have 24 fewer errors than the Nats and are only 3 out of their division despite having an average lineup and bad pitching.

Posted by: RickFelt | May 18, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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