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"One simply cannot make this stuff up," Amy Shipley writes from Florida, where the Nats lost yet again. Shipley also mentions the latest spate of Ryan Zimmerman errors -- three in two games, and it would have been four, if not for a postmortem scoring change. Zimmerman's glovework still dazzles, but clearly, the across-the-diamond throw has become an anxiety. His error yesterday was, again, a throwing error. Zimmerman now has 12 E's, fourth-most in baseball, and already more than his total (10) from last year, when he played 104 games.

Hanley Ramirez sets an MLB record among shortstops by driving in a run for the 10th consecutive game.

By the way, among the three MLB players with 13 errors: Emilio Bonifacio, the maddening, sometimes electrifying player whom Florida acquired this offseason. makes the argument that Nyjer Morgan and Adam Dunn, sabermetrics be damned, "are near equals in value."

It was a good week for the Class AAA Syracuse starters, as Bill Gluvna's minor league report points out. (Yes, NJ favorite J.D. Martin again gets a mention.)

MLR 7-1-09.pdf

Dmitri Young, in his rehab assignment, has moved on to Class AA Harrisburg.

One simply cannot make this stuff up, Part II: Joel Hanrahan threw a scoreless inning in his first appearance with the Pirates. (By the way, check out the link to the Hanrahan photo on the left-hand column of the screen. It's jarring to see a familiar face in such unfamiliar garb.)

Three Class AA Harrisburg players -- Leonard Davis, Jack Spradlin and Josh Wilkie -- have been selected for the Eastern League all-star game.

Washington's fourth-round pick, pitcher A.J. Morris from Kansas State, hasn't yet come to terms with the Nats. The Topeka Capital-Journal suggests the signing could come soon, and for above-slot money.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 2, 2009; 8:10 AM ET
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Next: The Nats And The International Market


That was a good read from

Posted by: FloresFan | July 2, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

The minor league report you referenced shows a few prospects, maybe not the "can't miss" variety that you get excited about, but prospects nonetheless.

A poster yesterday speculated that the Nats could be like Tampa Bay in a few years, a smart, small-market, low-budget organization that achieves. While the Nats are not small-market, they can become smart.

Looking at the Rays' draft strategy, do they go after the best players available, or settle for lesser talent for budgetary reasons? If the Rays skimp on draft talent, not signing those who ask too much (like Crow in 2008) or if the Rays draft guys who will sign for under-slot (Drew Storen and Trevor Holder in 2009), then becoming Tampa wanna-bees is a fair aspiration.

Also could you determine if Tampa, like Washington, refrains from signing the relatively expensive 100K guys in the international market? If Tampa, like the Nats, skimp on all aspects of their operations, including going after the best young players, then Mike Rizzo could be the guy to get the Nats to Tampa-like levels someday.

NFA has spotted a good international target, although he is probably out of the Nats' price range, if the past is prologue.

Posted by: EdDC | July 2, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

PS If Morris comes in above-slot, that could make up for some of the below-slot stuff.

Posted by: EdDC | July 2, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

That is not Hanrahan in the picture. That dude is WAY to pretty.....

Posted by: mjwies11 | July 2, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Hanrahan: 11 pitches, 7 fastballs

I'm thinking that it is time to bring Brian Schneider home.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 2, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Interesting factoid: D-Cab still leads NL pitchers in WP's for the season to date, with 10 (Hanrahan is tied for 3rd with 6).

And, to add to natbiscuit positives from the previous thread: the #9 and #11 positions (of 62) in top NL pitchers for ERA are J-Zimm and Lannan.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 2, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Dang, meant to add that the time period was the last 30 days for the ERA leaders.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 2, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

From the Pittsburgh story:

"It is a young team here," said Hanrahan, who lowered his ERA from 7.71 to 7.49. "The guys here are excited and have a lot of energy. They get out there and play the game hard, and that's the kind of guy I am. Those are the kind of guys I want to be around."

Does this mean the Nats don't "get out there and play the game hard."? Hmm.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | July 2, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

It means we have guys who play like Acta manages. Why is this so hard to understand. Things are not changing until this move is mad.

Posted by: JayBeee | July 2, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean the Nats don't "get out there and play the game hard."?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan

No, it means Joel Hanrahan knows how to use the media to get a dig in at the club that lost confidence in him.

We'll see how he does when the Bucs meet up with, say, the Marlins.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | July 2, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Fangraph's attitude in its article isn't sabermetrics be damned - it's more like "the sabermetric crowd" be damned. There's a big difference between damning a methodology and damning about how the majority of people practicing that methodology are doing so.

Anyway, I thought the trade was good for both sides. It's obvious that the two teams have different goals. The Nationals have been so bad this year that they really wanted to upgrade this year's team, and they did so. Pittsburgh isn't in the playoff race but doesn't have nearly as terrible a record either, so they really don't care about how this trade affects this year's team, and thus were happy to acquired a talent like Milledge just for the small chance they can get someone in the organization to screw the outfielders' head on right. The Nationals obviously felt that they had put forth their best attempt to do that and failed, and that their relationship with Milledge was too far gone to have any chance to get anything out of his talent.

Posted by: gregandrew | July 2, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Two thoughts on Hanrahan:

1. He had a couple outings like that for us, too. Give it some time.

2. Hanrahan's problem has always been his head, we should expect an improvement with this reboot.

Posted by: Section506 | July 2, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Smiley Alvarez is flirting with Mario Mendoza, while Jose Rijo plays Alvarez in ‘Sugar’? ‘By the way, among the three MLB players with 13 errors: Emilio Bonifacio, the maddening, sometimes electrifying player whom Florida acquired this offseason.’ Zim was right there until they removed one? In 2007, he challenged the league leader with 23. Zim figures to win the GIDP title this year? All-star? Pshaw.

Burnett and Morgan are cornerstones? Keystones? Thrilledge is a (Mill) stone around the neck. BTW, did Burnett cry after he served up the dinger? The Sabre Summary: Dave Cameron says ‘Dunn is 45 runs better with the bat; Morgan is 5 runs better on the bases; and Morgan is 35 runs better with the glove. Ergo, Dunn is a whole five runs better than Morgan. Or roughly speaking, one-half of one win. For this, Dunn is paid $10 million and Morgan $411,500.’ Pitching, speed, and defense. We’re moving that way, right? Right? Right. Trade Nick fast. Dunnkey plays 3 for a while, then we make the blockbuster trade with an AL team. For pitching. And defense. We can buy the bats later.

Posted by: nova_g_man | July 2, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Of COURSE Hanrahan pitched a scoreless inning. He's not snakebitten anymore...

Posted by: Juan-John | July 2, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

as boswell has pointed out, the devil rays strategy took eight years of terrible seasons, not "a few years"

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | July 2, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I doubt it, nova. He reportedly cried when he was traded away by the team that drafted him. He likely left friends behind on the team and in his community. Big deal - he's human. For us to pile on about his display of emotion is what speaks to character, not the fact that he did so. He also likely had an early wake-up call in order to get on a plane to Miami. It was one inning (as was Hanrahan's). Possibly we need a little bit more of a sampling than that.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 2, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I remember going to the second home game last year against FLA and sitting along the right field foul line. There was a group of drunken Nats fans riding Cody Ross pretty hard ("Hey Cody, I didn't know they made those uniforms in kids sizes") once he moved to right field about the middle innings. Ever since then Cody has been a big thorn in our side. It seems like he hurts us as badly as Ramirez.

Posted by: twinbrook | July 2, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Yes Jaybee. Disgruntled former employees are always an accurate source of information.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 2, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Also anonymous sources.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 2, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

And twitter. It never lies.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 2, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

>Does this mean the Nats don't "get out there and play the game hard."?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan

No, it means Joel Hanrahan knows how to use the media to get a dig in at the club that lost confidence in him.

We'll see how he does when the Bucs meet up with, say, the Marlins.

I know one thing - Knight said on the show yesterday that Jim Palmer had spoken with Hanrahan last week, and he asked him what his best pitch was.

And Hanrahan didn't know.

I'd bet even money that the Bucs figure out what his out pitch is, and they drill it into his head. Which can only improve his performance, because if you let the ball go, and you're either overthrowing, or trying to guide it, you're screwed big time. His fastball flattens out because he drops his arm slot - usually a response to a lack of control/confidence - you try to get your arm closer to your head and guide the ball. You end up either not throwing strikes because you don't stay on top of the ball, or, like I said, it flattens out and they hammer it. Oh, he'll have his moments, but at least he'll know what he wants to throw when the chips are down, unlike his tenure here.

Posted by: Brue | July 2, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"Does this mean the Nats don't "get out there and play the game hard."? Hmm"

Must mean that they play defense, hustle after fly balls, hold teams to singles when they should be singles.

Posted by: NoVaNatRat | July 2, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Dear Manny haters: read Boz's response to the first question in today's chat (summary: blow up the Nats).

This a great encapsulation of what many of Manny think; in short, he hasn't been given any reasonable semblance of a team to manage.

"He has a monstrosity, a random collection of pieces that don't interconnect and can't, in any normal sense of the word, be 'managed.' The Nats are [like] driving a car with two steering wheels, three engines, four sets of breaks and NO WHEELS. "Why doesn't it go anywhere?" B-e-c-a-u-s-e i-t i-s n-o-t a c-a-r."

Posted by: joebleux | July 2, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

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