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An Off Day For Zimmerman

Up here in the press box at Minute Maid, I just got hold of the Nats' lineup for tonight's game. And one name is noticeably missing: Ryan Zimmerman. The Nats' third baseman almost never takes off days; not once this year, until today, has Zimmerman been excluded from the starting lineup. Perhaps this is just the standard off day. But either way, I'll explain the thinking here once I get word.

Anyway...

Washington

Morgan - 8
Guzman - 6
Johnson - 3
Dunn - 7
Willingham - 9
Bard - 2
Gonzalez - 4
Harris - 5
Olsen - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  July 10, 2009; 4:03 PM ET
 
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Next: Zimmerman On Leave For Grandmother's Funeral

Comments

Makes sense. Zimm has to do all the all-star stuff next week. They should probably give him Sunday off as well.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 10, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

My reasoning: Goozie threatened Manny with a sit-down strike unless he was returned to the No. 2 spot in the order. Terrified, Manny obliged.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Periculum - please, enlighten me on your frequent calls for Maxwell to be brought back up!

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009"

I think Dukes had it right. Suddenly guys are liking Syracuse a lot more right now:

1. They win. They have a chance to win a ring.
2. Their pitching and defense is better than the
parent club's. Led by their statistically best
pitcher and ace JD Martin.
3. See 1. They have fun again.
4. Maxwell has more than 10 homers, Dukes was
hitting the cover off the ball. He is hitting
again and he does do a better job fielding.
With Morgan, clearly you might be better off
with an outfield of Maxwell, Morgan, and
and Dukes.

My thoughts on Maxwell et al? Bring up Foli, JD Martin, Padilla, Maxwell, and Dukes. Put an emphasis on winning as a way of enjoying the game more.

At this point why does it matter? You might as well play them just to see what they can do.

Are you having fun watching this team? People used to have fun watching the lowly Mets. Do people enjoy watching this team? Might as well encourage the players to audition and have fun.

Bring up players who want to play and won't give up. Bring up Foli to match McCatty.

Posted by: periculum | July 10, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Actually, does Manny just toss 25 names into his cap and pull them out randomly, the way Billy Martin did on "Bronx is Burning?" Somebody alert Manny that Goose Gossage isn't available tonight.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo says:

TRADES: Latest on Johnson, Kearns
Washington GM Mike Rizzo told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that, "We don't have to move money, and that unties our hands a little bit. That means we're going to make good solid baseball decisions, based on building this franchise the right way."

Golly. Of course, the Nats do not have to move money! The Nats have the 27th payroll in MLB, behind such smallish towns as Oakland, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, and WAY behind KC and Milwaukee. The question is whether this large and wealthy region is big enough (9th in America) for the Lerners to feel they can take on money at some point?

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p4ew-fwu2XT3cpPRtt9qIGw

Posted by: EdDC | July 10, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Manny is holding Zimm "accountable" for all those 6-4-3s...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought the same thing as lowcounty - resting up for all-star week.

And this was cute, Scooter, but methinks that you flatter us a tad bit. ;-)

---

The Trinity?

Uh ...

Flynnie, 1a, and a new post?

Got 'em all.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 10, 2009 4:11 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The question is whether this large and wealthy region is big enough (9th in America) for the Lerners to feel they can take on money at some point?

Posted by: EdDC

I think the answer to that has been shown to be a resounding, screechingly loud and continuous "NO!"

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Man o man . . . did we really just spend the entire afternoon talking about trading a player the GM just said wasn't going to move? I really need to get away from the computer for a bit.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 10, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I bet Zimm hates it.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL, lowcountry. Such is the lift of armchair GMs. Step away from the BlackBerry...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

And, lowcountry, there's nowhere I'd rather be on a quiet July afternoon than talking baseball with you and your friends here. It is, to quote the George Clooney character in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" a "refugium" from the cares of the world.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, I meant to type "life" not "lift."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Hope that none of the fans have R-U-N O-F-T, Flynnie.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse


Brue,

I agree with your comments in the last thread. The philosophy of slow, no defense, but swings a decent bat is the part of the club that needs to change. Gonzalez at short, Hernandez at second, Harris back into an outfield position are all viable ways to play good defenders behind an improving starting pitching staff. Even having 2/3 of an outfield that can field well is better than starting both Dunn and Willingham in the outfield.

Posted by: driley | July 10, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry. That would be R-U-N-N-O-F-T. I need some caffeine.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

periculum, I appreciate your contributions, even if I only agree with about half of them (you really, really have to lighten up on the J.D. Martin fixation; who cares how many HR's Maxwell's hit in AAA, he hasn't shown he can hit in the bigs), but what the hell are you talking about? "Put an emphasis on winning as a way of enjoying the game more."

Like they don't already know that? I'm pretty sure everybody on the team now knows winning is more fun than losing. They're just not capable as a team of doing that.

I do agree with you when you say, "At this point why does it matter? You might as well play them just to see what they can do." I just don't think the answer to the questions facing this team is found in Syracuse, not even from J.D. Martin. Let's hope some trades bring a few pieces and then hope the Nats get busy in the offseason to really get this thing fixed.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 10, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

One of my favorite movies, flynnie. I need to R-U-N-N-O-F-T and cut some grass. Perhaps I'll talk to y'all around game time.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 10, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"not once this year, until today, has Zimmerman been excluded from the starting lineup."

Thank god for the Internet. This was driving me nuts because I knew Harris had started at third one other game...but Zim DH'd that game (against TB).

Posted by: joebleux | July 10, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Manny is holding Zimm "accountable" for all those 6-4-3s...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

wow, that's wierd. I didn't repost, I just left the tab and came back...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Since Zim will be working thru the allstar break, a couple days off now is a good thing. He should probably be rested more often the 2nd half of the season so as to not wear him out. Perhaps he should be rested the day before every other off day as a way to give him a couple days in a row off.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 10, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Got newposted (and lowcountry, this is for you):

506, I agree that a contentder (or near-contender) would be more likely to give up a decent prospect or two for Dunn than a team that was out of the running. I thought about Baltimore but to my surprise, Luke Scott is batting .304/.386/.589 as the O's DH, with 17 dingers and 50 RBIs. And they have four young OFs. Don't think they need him. The Braves could contend in the East and need offense (minus-9 run differential), and they do have some interesting OF prospects (Heyward is probably untouchable but Jordan Schafer might be available particularly in view of his HGH suspension last year). The Bravos do have Garret Anderson in left though so adding Dunn would create a bit of a logjam. What about the Marlins? They're in the same place as the Braves (borderline contender with a minus-8 run differential). We could offer to eat some of Dunn's salary if they would give us, say, 2b Chris Coughlan and one of their 1B prospects (Logan Morrison or Gaby Sanchez). I could make a similar argument for Milwaukee, but with Braun in left and Fielder at first, Dunn doesn't fit there. Same deal in Chicago with Soriano and Derrek Lee, and in Houston with Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman. He's not going back to Cinci, and the Cards don't need him, so that leaves the West. The Dodgers have Manny and don't need offense, which leaves the Giants. Actually, San Fran is a decent fit, Dunn would improve them substantially (on offense) at first and in left. Although they don't really need offense (plus-41 run differential). Still, maybe they would give us DC native Manny Burriss (starting 2B demoted to the minors) and SS Ehire Adrianza.

OK, I'm done overanalyzing potential trades for a player we've said we're not going to trade.


Posted by: BobLHead | July 10, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: BobLHead | July 10, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Maxwell has proven that he is a perpetual AAA player in my mind. He just can't hit at the MLB level. JD Martin is the same thing. Just because you have good AAA stats doesn't mean you have good MLB stats.

Posted by: swang30 | July 10, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Me, I think Zimmerman needs more days off than he usually gets. So I'm happy to see him sitting today.

A few weeks ago I was aching for Ryan to take a day and rest up, because he just wasn't looking at the top of his game. I didn't say it out loud, so it doesn't count, and I was probably totally wrong anyway. I can't name a date, so I couldn't even look up his splits if I tried.

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 10, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The question is whether this large and wealthy region is big enough (9th in America) for the Lerners to feel they can take on money at some point?

Posted by: EdDC

I think the answer to that has been shown to be a resounding, screechingly loud and continuous "NO!"

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

jds,

If you are right, then why should any of us care who plays RF, !B or whether Maxwell will ever hit .250? Maybe it just won't matter?

Posted by: EdDC | July 10, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Man, some people don't like the word "accountable". :)

I think that CiL was right in the last post when he said: "The way Manny should be dealing with this in the media is to address whether Dunn is working as hard as possible, and making his best effort in the field."

I've coached a long time in high school and I know that my Athletic Director would drag me aside and ask me if I really meant that someone wasn't brought here for defense. My AD is a super guy but I would get grilled for saying that.

And I would never throw a player under the bus as suggested in the last post...I've always told my teams, "we win, it's on you, we lose, it's on me." That's conditional on them playing their hardest, being good sports, and putting team first.

I would just rather hear Manny saying that he's trying his best and that people make mistakes. I can live with that. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

I should have explained myself better.

Posted by: derwink | July 10, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

We've been over this and over it.

There are no good teams with bad defense. There have been good teams with sketchy pitching, very rarely, but not bad defense.

Dunn to any AL team for a good young shortstop or, failing that, 2nd baseman. Tim Beckham would be nice but that's not likely. Maybe Triunfel, just because with Seattle, no trade is out of the question.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

and just for fun, from "Project Prospects"
Note the 2008 date.
http://projectprospect.com/article/2008/02/09/top-10-shortstop-prospects-feb-2008
(sorry, TinYurl not updated for FF 3.5 yet)

Top 10 Shortstop Prospects
by Adam Loberstein
February 9, 2008
"5. Esmailyn Gonzalez, WSH (9/21/89); ETA: 2011
When the Washington Nationals signed a 16-year-old kid to a $1.4-million deal, it's safe to say that expectations were soaring plenty high. Fortunately for the Washington brass, Esmailyn Gonzalez was ready to meet the challenge. In his first season as a professional, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder put up a .245/.382/.311 vital line in 131 Rookie League plate appearances. While that overall package may not impress at first glance, Gonzalez did show patience well beyond his years, posting strong 18:17 BB:K rate. He may be a bit rough around the edges—just as any teen sensation in his situation would be—but Gonzalez's upside and youthful display of plate discipline are just two of the many reasons to keep an eye on him next season and beyond."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

All right, now we're talking! Make Zimmerman, that awful scrub 'accountable'. Zimmerman and Dunn are of course the primary reasons this team is bad. If it weren't for Zimmerman's double plays and Dunn's defense, we'd be fighting for the pennant. The lack of a major league catcher or double play combination, and, until two weeks ago, a centerfielder, and a waiver wire bullpen have nothing to do with it.

Meanwhile, lets keep Guzman happy so he will raise his effort level from non-existent to minimal. Hope the grass isn't cut 'funny' so Anderson Hernandez can field those routine ground balls. And as soon as Villone and Traveras get on the mound, victory is assured.

Posted by: raymitten | July 10, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, maybe BoMel was blowing smoke when he said Alcides Escobar wasn't available, although I don't imagine they'd need Dunn.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"There are no good teams with bad defense."

And yet we have consciously fashioned a team with a bottom feeding defense. We then defend our low expectations by saying "that is what we expected". Somewhere up in the owner's box Kasten must at some point be muttering that this is not part of the plan.
I really think that they went after the no defense guys because they think that 10-5 losses fill seats, 1-0 games don't.

Posted by: driley | July 10, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Eh, probably not. I think maybe we're all just cranky after the loss, derwink.

---

I should have explained myself better.

Posted by: derwink | July 10, 2009 4:50 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Shoot, I'll take a 1-0 over a 10-5 any day.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Even if Dunn were going (and he's not), his OPS of .926 and VORP of 24.9 would make him the third best DH in the AL right now. That means any team, other than BAL and TOR would improve at the DH spot with Dunn over their current DH. Rizzo's not going to trade Dunn unless he gets something REALLY good in return. And he shouldn't, either.

Posted by: TomServo | July 10, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

maybe manny wanted willie to experience what it's like to play third without wearing a cup.

Posted by: surly_w | July 10, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"Maxwell has proven that he is a perpetual AAA player in my mind. He just can't hit at the MLB level. JD Martin is the same thing. Just because you have good AAA stats doesn't mean you have good MLB stats."

Really? Based on how much data?
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=28896
50 AB's for Maxwell. I can't even find MLB stats on Martin. How many players would never get a change with you as the GM?

Posted by: sammoMD | July 10, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Good one, surly_w. Any chance we can get Debbi Taylor to ask that question on the pre-game show tonight?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 10, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"Let's hope some trades bring a few pieces and then hope the Nats get busy in the offseason to really get this thing fixed.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 10, 2009"

I think they should get started **NOW** while teams are champing at the bit to get help for playoff runs. And gee Mr. Rizzo has only 37 days to sign Steven Strasberg or suffer the additional indignity of a worst, last place team unable to sign their 1st round pick two years in a row. If Rizzo was really serious he would sign the guy and get him down in the minors as quickly as possible. NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT Phil? Manny? Stan? A bird in hand is worth 3 in the bush (as in trades.).

Trades? Sure. There shouldn't be any "sacred cows" at this point, including Adam Dunn or even all-star Zim. Resign N. Johnson? Sure, if he has a good year. The guy is very consistent and he isn't all that old. He's a bird in hand.

The only "sacred cows" should be the pitchers they think have the best shot at future productivity. Not stars, just consistent and productive.

On JD Martin. Doh, I could be wrong but he looks an awful lot like a certain pitcher who looks like a vast improvement to their bullpen on the left handed side in Sean Burnett. Like Burnett JD Martin was once a 1st round pick I think? Pretty high up can't miss. If he joins the bullpen and pitches like he is Syracuse ... or even closely approximates it ... its a lot better than retread refugees Tavarez, Villone, and Beimel. I haven't a clue as to why they are still even on this staff?

As far as Padilla, Dukes, Eldred, Seth Bynum, Mike Morse, and even Maxwell ... and yes Mock, Martin, Estrada, and Balester ... WHY NOT!?

I think if they pony up some players for a good, reliable young closer, along with improved defense they will find that the game will be fun again because they will win and will have nothing to lose. The season is already over.

Posted by: periculum | July 10, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I've noticed a few jabs at R. Zimm today about his lack of leadership and it brought about an historical comparison. It reminds me of Brooks Robinson's role with the Orioles. In the early 60's, he was their best player and the "face of the franchise" but from what I gather he wasn't really a vocal leader. It just wasn't his style.

The Orioles didn't move to the level of champion until they got Frank Robinson from the Reds. He not only moved into the middle of the batting order, he became the clubhouse leader. The Orioles were the first team to do a "Kangaroo Court" with "fines" levied for goofy things and Frank was the judge.

Bottom line, I guess, is that we shouldn't really slam Zimmerman for not being a leader, if it's not his nature. The Nats will just have to look elsewhere for that.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 10, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Maxwell has proven that he is a perpetual AAA player in my mind. He just can't hit at the MLB level. JD Martin is the same thing. Just because you have good AAA stats doesn't mean you have good MLB stats.

Posted by: swang30

Finally, some sanity on the site. Congratulations, swang30, on seeing the forest and the trees.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Post of the day winner, no more calls please:

Maybe manny wanted willie to experience what it's like to play third without wearing a cup.

Posted by: surly_w | July 10, 2009 5:11 PM

Remember, Willie, the balls come at you faster at third than at second. And that's not a good thing.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

jdschulz50, i respectfully disagree

Posted by: sammoMD | July 10, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

periculum, just to make it clear, I agree with you that they should make trades now. I just think they can't pull off the bigger moves they need to make until the offseason, when they can look at free agents or international players.

I also can't really argue with you about trying Martin and the rest instead of guys like Tavares, Belliard, Kearns and Villone. I just can't get that excited about those moves.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 10, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Martin Notes
ND Sat. vs LHV—8IP, 7H, ER, 2BB, 3K
Has allowed one earned run in each of last
seven starts

09 win total is most as fulltime
starter since ‘04
Spent first eight seasons of his career in
the Indians’ minor league system

Originally drafted in the 1st round in 2001
by the Indians out of Burroughs High
School in California (35th selection overall)

In his rookie season, was an All Star with
Burlington of the Appalachian League.
Was second in the Carolina League in
victories in 2003 and third in the league in
wins in 2004.

110 of his 112 appearances prior to last
season game as a starter.

Prior to 2009, had thrown in five total
games at Triple A (all with Buffalo)

Posted by: periculum | July 10, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"JD Martin is the same thing. Just because you have good AAA stats doesn't mean you have good MLB stats."

"Finally, some sanity on the site. Congratulations, swang30, on seeing the forest and the trees.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 10, 2009"

For JD Martin this is really HIS VERY FIRST full year in AAA both before and after his injury. Before that he was an all-star in A and AA.

So, how do you figure? Sans injuries the guy has had tremendous success, in spite of injuries, at every level. His mettle has yet to be tried in the majors. Look it up.


Posted by: periculum | July 10, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

um, who's Phil?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Hope that Bard's groin holds up. On a somewhat related note, also hope that Willie doesn't give new meaning to the expression "hot corner" tonight. That's gotta hurt.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Dukes and Maxwell are better because of the Foli factor Tim Foli that is, a manager who can impart some "real" wisdom on players like Justin and Elijah based on Foli's successful major league career what can Manny tell them? let me answer that for you, absolutely nothing.Foli has got the Chiefs in contention at the triple A level and why the Lerners don't wake up and smell the coffee is beyond me, hopefully Manny is shown the door at the all star break and Foli gets a head start on implementing his plan for next season.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 10, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Mike Rizzo's dad Phil?

---

um, who's Phil?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 5:48 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Scooter, 1A! I'd R-U-N-N-O-F-T. Is it Phil Wood you're after? From the MASN blog: "I think the Nationals have to consider ending the Ross Detwiler big league experiment for this season, and perhaps bring up Collin Balester, Garrett Mock or J.D. Martin. I have no doubt that Ross has a major league future, but if his post-game interview today meanas anything, he seems to have lost a little swagger.

Of the three righthanders, Martin seems to be the most intriguing, if only because we know so little about him. John Dale Martin is 26, and a former sandwich pick (35th player taken overall) of the Indians in 2001. He's 6'4", 200 pounds - really the textbook size scouts always look for in a pitcher - and in 14 starts is 8-2, 2.14 in 84 innings, and, I might add, a 6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Hey, maybe he's another 4A type we see so many of year after year. But a club headed toward another 100+ loss season can't afford not to take a big league look at some point."

or "Let's try WillyMo on the mound!"


Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

And more from Phil Wood, whom I hope to hear on WJFK when it becomes all sports radio, allowing us to tune out WTEM.

"If you watch some players closely, they'll have stretches where they're hitting the ball hard, centering on it perfectly, and still making outs. The bat speed is there, they're not striking out or pulling off the ball or shortening the bat - the ball is just hit right at somebody. Bad luck.

Hey, those things happen.

The exaggerated shifts some teams play on particular pull hitters impact batting average a great deal. Hitters didn't ground out to short right field 30-40 years ago.

I learned from scouts back in the 80's that you watch a hitter to see if he's swinging and missing - by a lot; if he's a righthanded hitter, is he taking a lot of fastballs the other way (losing bat speed), and vice versa; is he taking a lot of called strikes; is he consistently putting the ball in play. A simple succession of oh-fers may mean a lot or a little, depending upon the actual results.

Example: When the Red Sox were in town, David Ortiz arrived with a .150 average against fastballs. Craig Stammen was ahead in the count, with Ortiz only able to foul off his fastball. When he threw an off-speed pitch - a slider in this case - he sped up Ortiz' bat and the result was a 3-run home run. Big Papi's struggles this year at the plate are directly attributable to a loss of bat speed. And in case you're wondering, no, pitches are not called from the dugout by the manager or pitching coach. They go over every hitter before the game, and in this case, Stammen - or catcher Wil Nieves - got a little overconfident.

It's safe to say that beyond sacrifice bunts, every hitter is trying to get a base hit. There's something quite random about the balls that actually fall in. Some bloops and bleeders win ballgames; some long pokes that are caught at the fence would be home runs elsewhere. You really can't blame the player for that.

The basic incongruities of this game are a major part of why I believe it's the most difficult team sport to play on a major league level. It's why top amateurs rarely make the jump straight to the big leagues.

It's also why some fans get so frustrated."

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Phil Wood did occur to me, Flynnie, but he's not part of the Nats F.O. and the name seemed to be used here in the context of trades/roster moves. But maybe you're right and it the references were to Wood's writing about moves.

I enjoy reading the MASN blogs as well. Maybe the NJ web gurus could add a MASN link to this page?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 10, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

You know what’s the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter? About 24 extra hits a season. 6 month season 24 weeks, that’s 1 extra hit a week. You get one extra gork, one more dying quail, one more ground ball with eyes a week, and your playing in Yankee Stadium.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 10, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

dargreg: "Dukes and Maxwell are better because of the Foli factor...". That's foolish on it's face - they are hitting better because they are in AAA, not the majors. A lot of pitchers in the IL have one or two solid "go-to" pitches (fastball & a hard breaking ball usually), and a couple of average pitches (curve/changeup/sinker) that they're trying to improve on. The quality of the off-speed pitches is the difference between the Big Show & AAA (or lower) for both hitters & pitchers, not the Manager.

Posted by: BinM | July 10, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Even if Dunn were going (and he's not), his OPS of .926 and VORP--"

TomServo WINS!!!!!!!

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"they are hitting better because they are in AAA, not the majors."

This reminds me of one of my favorite Dukes quotations:

"I'm a fastball hitter."

Posted by: Section506 | July 10, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Our dear old friend Ryan Church is changing his address to Turner Field in Atlanta, while Jeff Francour is flying north to be with his new buddies, The New York Mets. I think Church will thrive outside of New York while Francour will flounder in gotham.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 10, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

You're right 1A, and I doubt the FO is listening to Phil Wood. I heard Dan Duquette say that the most unpredictable part of any roster, and one that was unwise to invest a lot of money in, was the bullpen. He wasn't saying don't pay Mo Riviera. But he said that most MLB starters have three reliable pitches, and the ones that don't are in the bullpen. Who knew that George Sherill would be as good as he is. Surely not Mr. Bavasi, the former GM of the Mariners. We have been fortunate in our bullpen up to this year. Colome was irritating to watch, always working behind in the count, but he got outs. Remember Hector "Found Money" Carrasco, who actually started a few games for the first time in his career? So many Nats scrap heap pitchers have done well here and then filled their buyers with remorse. Estaban Loiaza and Carrasco come to mind.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

How's it being received in Atlanta, coke dispatch? Francoeur is a local hero, and Ryan Church is well-liked in New York.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@506: What's the quote from Sorano in "Major League"? That might cover most of the hitters in the Nationals system right now. Until (or if they ever) learn a rudimentary strike zone, and how to fight off pitches close to that zone, they'll never take that next step up from the minors or 4-A to the "Major Leagues".

Posted by: BinM | July 10, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow - My initial take on a Church for Francoeur would be that the Mets got pooched. Church is what he is - a decent corner OF with gap power but who can only play three times a week, at best. Francouer is durable, has a great arm, plays RF adequately, but has completely lost it at the plate.

Posted by: BinM | July 10, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Francoeur is 25. Church is 30. And the Braves had to pay extra cash to the Mets for Churchie!

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"Church is hitting .280 with two home runs and 22 RBIs. Solid at the plate and in the field, the oft-injured Church was slowed last year by two concussions.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel never seemed to warm up to him, and seemed particularly peeved after Church missed third base while running home earlier this season in a game New York eventually lost."

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Not sure how the city of Atlanta is reacting, but the Braves have a history of dumping players who they don't think will pan out. Church I think will do well at Turner. Citi field appears to be to cavernous for his stroke. The heat/humidity of Atlanta should enable his drives to reach the bleachers more frequently. I'm sure there will be some backlash in Atlanta for trading a local guy like Francoeur to gotham.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 10, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

@flynnie: Well, there is that as well; I'm suprised that Omar got the Braves to swallow part of Francoeur's salary (although Church probably clears some long-term $$$ for the Braves).

Posted by: BinM | July 10, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Cash, you're the man, you're the man, that's the reason I'm a Natinals fan! (apologies to Dan Steinberg)

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

New post. :-(

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 10, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Dan Szymborski, of Baseball Think Factory:
" like trades that are easy to dissect.

Ryan Church is a better baseball player than Jeff Francoeur. Ryan Church is overwhelmingly likely to always be a better player than Jeff Francoeur. I am amazed that Dayton Moore only did the second-dumbest thing today.

Ryan Church upgrades the Braves outfield. Ryan Church increases the chances that the Braves will win the NL East in any season that the team plays Ryan Church at the expense of Jeff Francoeur.

Jeff Francoeur downgrades the Mets outfield. Jeff Francoeur increases the chance that the Mets will not win the NL East in any season that the team plays Jeff Francoeur at the expense of Ryan Church. Or possibly a galvanized metal garbage can. When was the last time your garbage can swung at a slider halfway to Peoria? Francoeur actually might be good enough to play for the Peoria Chiefs.

If you made a trade this one-sided with your little brother as a child, you parents would instantly negate the trade and send you to your room. It's like giving your little brother an empty can of Fanta for his Boba Fett. Now, Ryan Church isn't as awesome as Boba Fett, but I don't have to pay a million dollars to an empty can of Fanta either. Ryan Church is not a star, but I wouldn't trade minor-league shortstop David Church for Francoeur either and he's a player I just made up."

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 10, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Well they are celebrating the deal here in the A-T-L Francouer was in hot water over the last two seasons due to lack a of production especially after he went to the Rangers hitting coach to get advice on his ongoing slump dissing the Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton.Terry Pendleton is well respected on the Braves team and when Francouer pulled that little number it was just a matter of time,Church didn't get along with F.Robby or Jerry Manuel both black managers,Bobby Cox is old school like F.Robby so if i were Church i'd check my "tude" at the clubhouse door.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 10, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The Nats as a team need to go into the clubhouse tonight and rearrange it, and not in a nice way. They need to have the Lerners spend several thousand dollars in repairs to everything in that locker room. They have to stop this nonsense of blowing games late. Everyone of them needs to step up and make a committment to one another that eneough is eneough. Just go crazy for a night. No slumped shoulders or bowed heads....just tear it up.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 10, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

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